Spider-Man: Handling Hammerhead

Writer Joe Kelly speaks about bringing Spidey’s flat-topped foe back into the fold in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: EXTRA!

Share:

Comments:

Preview art by
Chris Bachalo

By Jim Beard You just can't keep a good Spider-Man villain down. So says writer Joe Kelly, who joins Spidey Braintrust members Marc Guggenheim and Zeb Wells for a bit of extra-curricular activity on July 30—namely, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: EXTRA! This extra-special, extra-sized, extra-ordinary one-shot expands upon the ongoing AMAZING SPIDER-MAN saga with three stories of Spidey danger, destruction, and deviltry. Kelly's part to play, alongside amazing artist Chris Bachalo, concerns a long-ago Spider-foe by the moniker of Hammerhead. His real name lost in a murky past, Hammerhead's a crook with a gat and a gimmick—he's an old-school gangster with a skull that'll just kill ya, see? Kelly gives us th'business concernin' the story:

Preview art by
Chris Bachalo

"It's about Hammerhead's origins, why he glommed onto the Capone-style persona in the first place, beyond a few wicked bumps to the head," relays the writer. "I wanted to dissect him as a character to build an argument for his possibly moving into a different role. One better suited for his particular talents." Debuting in 1972's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #113, Hammerhead immediately positioned himself as a power-grabber of the greediest order. His head transformed into a cranium only the Frankenstein Monster could love, the pinstriped plunderer blasted away at anyone who stood to challenge his power, including a certain webslinger. "I think Hammerhead has spent his life pursuing power in order to prove that he's something he's not," explains Kelly. "He's always tried to be a bigger character, flashier, a leader of men when, really, he doesn't quite have the chops. That's what this story is about—and the offer a 'generous benefactor' makes him to finally embrace what he is."

Preview art by
Chris Bachalo

Kelly zips his lip when it comes to parlay further about said "benefactor"—and the little matter of Hammerhead being previously presumed, well, a stiff, having been shot up by hired gun Underworld amidst the madness of Civil War. "Let's just say that someone considers Hammerhead a person of interest, and would rather not see him retire to that great Tommy Gun repair shop in the sky," he notes. "Plus it's incredible what you can do with plastic surgery these days…" The writer's also feeling very welcome in the multiple arms of the Spidey Braintrust, his own little band of benefactors. "It's fantastic," Kelly crows. "It's been a dream of mine to write Spider-Man for a long time; he's been my hands down favorite since I was a kid. Plus the Spidey guys are all very cool and supportive.

Preview art by
Chris Bachalo

"Five seconds into a conversation with them can tell how psyched everyone is to be working on the book, and they have a million ideas. I knew it was going to be a fantastic experience that first night in the barracks when [Dan] Slott and [Marc] Guggenheim held down my blanket and [Steve] Wacker hit me with a sock full of Scarlet Spider busts…I felt really loved." With a penchant for marauding mobsters sporting reinforced steel alloy skulls, Kelly's take on what he sees as Hammerhead's "open history" adds yet another wrinkle to Spider-Man's eclectic rogues gallery. "It makes it fun for me to play around and build up a backstory that was relatively simple," he reflects. "Plus, I had a lot of unpleasant ideas for scenes that I wanted to see Hammerhead live through, and they're just nasty-good!

Preview art by
Chris Bachalo

"Add Bachalo to the mix and it was a done deal for me." You might find yourself being measured for a pine box unless you wise up and check out AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: EXTRA!, hitting the mean streets this July 30—capiche? You can read the first 100 issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and more on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

      MORE IN Comics See All

      Comments

      0 comments