By Ben Morse
After 700 issues, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN comes to an end this December. Will a superior webslinger emerge from the fallout?
In January of 2013, writer Dan Slott and writer Ryan Stegman launch SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, featuring a brand new Spidey immersing themselves in the world of the world’s grea
We posed all this and more to Slott.
|Superior Spider-Man #1 cover by Ryan Stegman|
Marvel.com: In your own words, what makes a superior Spider-Man?
Dan Slott: That’s a tricky thing. It could be their powers. It could be an overestimation of their self-worth. It could be that they’re calling themselves Superior Spider-Man. Or it truly could be that they have some qualities that Peter Parker lacks. How is that possible?
Marvel.com: After AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 in December, the title is ending, and for the first time ever, it’s not coming back right away, instead being replaced by this book. Why such a big change?
Dan Slott: What merits this big change? One of the things we’ve been revealing around Marvel NOW! is the big, fun exciting thing of “oh look, everyone’s switching books, everyone’s going to new pastures.” And yet, I refuse to leave [Laughs]. But that’s all because on some level, you’re getting an all-new Dan Slott. Remember that happy wacky guy? No, no, you’re getting the really messed up guy from GREAT LAKES AVENGERS and Arkham
Marvel.com: What’s happening with the supporting cast? Are we getting all-new players there or some familiar faces?
Dan Slott: This is still very much the world of Spider-Man. There may be a new Spider-Man here, doing things in a new and different way, but you’re going to see the Spider-cast reacting to this. You’re going to see how this Spider-Man will deal with our Spider-Man’s villains. How will he react to this Spider-Man’s supporting cast? Whoever makes it out of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 will find a different Spider-Man waiting for them when Superior Spider-Man starts.
Marvel.com: What villains are we going to see specifically? I hear things about a new Sinister Six…
|Marvel NOW! by Joe Quesada|
Dan Slott: Yes. With the death of Doc Ock and the recent Sinister Six falling aside, a bunch of Spider-villains will try to pick up the mantle. They’ll go “hey, no one’s using it, the name’s got some cred, we are the Sinister Six. “
We can also expect very early in the run, a return of Adrian Toomes, The Vulture.
Marvel.com: What’s the future of Horizon Labs?
Dan Slott: For many characters, and for many things in Spider-Man’s world, there are dark days ahead.
Marvel.com: You’ve got a new artist coming to help you out in Ryan Stegman. What do you have to say about Mr. Stegman?
Dan Slott: I had the privilege and honor of working with Ryan on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #665; a story we did called “Crossroads,” right before we did Spider Island. The minute I finished that issue with Ryan, I was so happy with it. I was begging [editor] Steve [Wacker]. I was saying, please, can I do more with him? Can I, please? He went, no, he’s on SCARLET SPIDER. I was like, curses. So now I’m all evil and happy now. [Laughs]
In all seriousness, [SCARLET SPIDER writer] Chris [Yost] is our new writer on AVENGING SPIDER-MAN, and we’ve been keeping him in the loop about all the changes that are going on and what’s happening in Spider-Man’s world. And he’s pretty excited. He actually got to read #700 ahead of time and he wrote me a quick note: “I’m an old man and dead inside, but you made me cry.”
Marvel.com: back to Mr. Stegman for a second, what is Ryan bring to the character of Spider-Man? He’s a very unique artist and he seems perfectly suited for this character.
|Scarlet Spider by Ryan Stegman|
Dan Slott: Ryan is really stretching and growing on this book. He’s trying all kinds of new things with his style; he’s really trying to change things up. Anyone that fell in love with his work on SCARLET SPIDER, you haven’t seen anything yet. He’s really pulling out all the stops for Superior. I really don’t want to give away stuff, but this is not the Spider-Man you’re used to, and that even goes down to the visuals.
Marvel.com: You got Ryan coming in, but, being greedy, you’re also keeping Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli too.
Dan Slot: And [colorist] Edgar [Delgado], and [inker] Victor [Olzaba] and [letterer] Joe Caramagna.
Marvel.com: You won’t let anyone go.
Dan Slott: No. They’re all chained up in my basement.
Marvel.com: What did they think of the big changes? Are they excited to try out some new stuff?
Dan Slott: Well, yeah. Cammo’s already done a cover, and it’s a more brutal Spider-Man than we’ve seen. We’ve already got a cover out by Humberto that really highlights some of the new changes to the costume and the new look for this Spider-Man.
Marvel.com: How many issues of Spider-Man have you written at this point? Do you keep track?
Dan Slott: Oh god. It’s in the mid-70’s by the time we end. I think by the time we hit #700, if you look at just AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, I think I just jumped into the number two spot. Because you can’t touch Stan [Lee at number one]. But then you take a step back and you look at Gerry Conway, and Gerry Conway has done tons of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and other Spider-Man books; Spider-Man everywhere with Gerry. So, in the grand scheme of things, we are all way down here compared to Gerry.
|Amazing Spider-Man #600|
That puts it all in perspective. The thing that freaks me out is when I go, “didn’t I just do AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600?” It’s freaky to me. But we have coming up in #700 [a story by] J.M. DeMatteis. And I think we have Stan lined up to answer letters in the letters page. So the fans get to have his voice in there too. And we have this famously unused [Steve] Ditko cover, which I really hope someone sends me one. So excited for all of the Spider-Royalty that Steve’s lined up for this monster!
Marvel.com: Where does SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN fit into Marvel NOW!?
Dan Slott: Well, this was a weird kind of synchronicity that we were building to this. And then when Marvel NOW! happened, it was a way for us to go, “We already have this major upheaval happening in the book that makes it a completely different thing, and that in its own way kind of fits into the world of Marvel NOW!.” It was just pure luck that we had something like this already planned.
Marvel.com: How looped in are you in talking to other creators?
|Amazing Spider-Man #700|
Dan Slott: The guys I talk to the most are [Rick] Remender and [Jonathan] Hickman, and of course Yost. One of the things that’s very interesting to me about Marvel NOW is that every major creator has a new property and we know they’re in it for a good long epic run. Everyone wants to have this [Brian] Bendis level run, like what he did on the Avengers, or what Ed [Brubaker] did on Cap, or what Jonathan did on Fantastic Four. Everyone is going in this with this strong desire to do their epic run of a character, and because of that, when we had one of our last retreats, everyone has so much passion for their new runs and are really thinking about it through the lens of their character, that I really think you’re going to get these great, seminal runs. I think once everyone has firmly planted their flag on the flavor and style and all their insane and crazy ideas of their characters, then I think you’ll see everyone playing in each other’s sandboxes. And I have to say, there are plans down the road for what happens with SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN in the Marvel Universe, and we’re going to see a lot of that, especially in Chris Yost’s AVENGING SPIDER-MAN. And I think you’ll see, in SUPERIOR, for the first half of the year, it’s really going to be smack dab in the middle of Spider-Man’s world. There’s so much stuff to play with just with this new Spider-Man, and how they react to Spider-Man’s world.
Marvel.com: Final question. You have said publicly that after AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 comes out you basically will have to barricade yourself in the house, not go out in public, hide from everybody etc. Are you still maintaining that attitude as we go into SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN?
Dan Slott: Passions run high and fast. And I expect many message boards to be consumed with flames as all this stuff goes down. But at the same time, I feel that once #700 is over, and when SUPERIOR launches, I think a lot of people are going to walk into this and go, “what have they done?” But when they get to the end of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1, there will be a moment of, “oooh,” and then it’ll be safe for me to poke my head out and to walk the streets again.
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