By Jim Beard
Here's what Spider-Man's got already: a book that ships three times monthly, top-notch creators, a new lease on life, smokin' chicks, and nasty villains—what more could a webslinger want?
How about Joe Kelly?
Kelly will be making his imminent return to Marvel and offer song, story, and snappy patter to the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Familiar to fans of DEADPOOL, DAREDEVIL, and X-MEN as the guy who delivers solid plot and dizzying dialogue, Kelly's succinct in his assessment of the new gig:
"Working with Spidey is going to be a fat bag of awesome."
Given the Spidey-reins, Kelly reports he's feeling "fantastic" and been itching to take another crack at the famous wallcrawler since his 1997 story in WEBSPINNERS: TALES OF SPIDER-MAN.
"Spidey is one of the characters who has been close to my heart since I was a kid," proclaims Kelly. "And that WEBSPINNERS arc was too quick and too long ago! It was an 'old school' story where Pete was still in high school. So even though a lot of the familiar faces are back, this is Pete in a very different time in his life—new challenges, the 'Brand New Day' shake up, etc.
"It's a more complicated set of issues facing him now – although there's always going to be a part of him checking his breath whenever he talks to a pretty girl, y'know?"
A graduate of the joint New York University-Marvel Comics writer's workshop, the "Stan-hattan Project", Kelly has elevated his craft to far-reaching heights since his days as a fledgling scribe. His own challenge as a writer consists of fashioning tales with
fresh outlooks, a challenge he feels confident of hurdling with Spider-Man.
"I try to hit every character I work on by breaking them down to their unassailable components," the writer explains. "Then I put back together whatever's left via my twisted sensibilities. That way you can protect what makes a character special, but then exploit the rest by bouncing them off your own fears, hopes, dreams, loves, hates, etc. At least that's the theory. From that I usually find an unexplored angle."
Though prolific in comic book output, Kelly's cagey in Spidey details. When asked as to his mission statement, what needs
to be included in his AMAZING SPIDER-MAN arc, he retorts: "Me. I need to be there." Which artists join him on the book? "Great ones!" Cooking up new villains? "Probably!" Guest-stars from the Marvel Universe? "Most likely!"
However, Kelly will happily gab when it comes to the subject of his favorite Spidey tales of yore.
"I know it's a go-to answer," Kelly replies. "But 'Kraven's Last Hunt' is bad-ass on so many levels. I also love Mysterio's appearances and as
a kid I read the stories about Gwen's return via the Jackal—both of those messed with Pete's head in very different ways. Anything that makes Spider-Man think he's insane is cool.
"And, lest we forget – Spidey taught the Beyonder how to poo. Nice!"
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