By Kevin Mahadeo
This fall, Norman Osborn's making a list, but he'll only need to check it once.
As Osborn's rule over the Marvel Universe tightens, the Green Goblin-turned-Iron Patriot targets his biggest threats and prepares to deal with them accordingly. Comprised of eight interconnected one-shots, DARK REIGN: THE LIST refers to a literal list of people, places and things that hold particular importance to the Marvel Universe's current man in charge. A different creative team tackles each issue, which each address one item on the previously mentioned list.
For the next week, Marvel.com will be speaking with the talented writers responsible for Making the List.
When it comes to THE LIST, Norman Osborn decided to save the best for last.
Weaved together by writer Dan Slott and artist Adam Kubert, DARK REIGN: THE LIST—AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, the last of the series of one-shots representing key elements on the list of things Norman Osborn looks to address in the Marvel Universe, sees the former Green Goblin going after his oldest and greatest nemesis. The two fought fist-to-fight last summer in "New Ways to Die" and can currently be seen clashing in "American Son," all in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN; this time, however, as the current man of power in the Marvel Universe, Norman seeks to finally squish the amazing arachnid once and for all.
As one of the Web Head writers on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Slott already works hard to put Spidey through the wringer on a thrice monthly basis. Though tired and unshaven from lack of sleep, Slott still took a moment to talk about the upcoming special and discuss the evil of peas.
Marvel.com: Spider-Man is the last person on the list. Why is that?
Dan Slott: Who's running the world now? Norman Osborn. If anybody deserves to be the last name on the list, it's Spider-Man. If anyone is going to get the big final shot, it's Spider-Man. When you think about all the great rivalries in comics—Captain America and the Red Skull, Iron Man and Mandarin, Reed Richards and Doctor Doom—[there's] Norman Osborn and Spider-Man.
Marvel.com: It's like peas and carrots.
Dan Slott: Yes, if peas were evil! I think an important thing that readers should ask themselves is, why is Norman making this list now? What has changed in the world of Dark Reign? What has ramped things up to the point that he has to make this list now? Dark Reign reaches a boiling point you're going to see just how important the list is. And the coup de grace, the end of that list, is Norman and Spider-Man. It's the Iron Patriot and Spider-Man. Norman against Peter. It's what fans have wanted to see for so long.
Marvel.com: We saw Norman go after Spidey in last year's "New Ways to Die" storyline from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. How will this one-shot compare to that?
Dan Slott: This one-shot brings to a head that have been seeded in "New Ways to Die" and seeded in [the current arc] "American Son." When Norman was called in to hunt down Spidey in "New Ways to Die," he was [just] the head of the Thunderbolts. Now Norman is pretty much running the world. Everything is just so ramped up.
Marvel.com: The Web Head writers mentioned before that this is the year we really see Spider-Man immersed in the Marvel Universe. This is definitely the icing on that cake in that it's really throwing him right into the Dark Reign event. What's it like bringing Spider-Man out of the bubble and into the sandbox?
Dan Slott: It's exciting. When we started the new run of AMAZING we focused more on Peter's world. But from the beginning we were seeing cracks. There wasn't really a bubble.
He was teaming up with Wolverine in the [Zeb Wells story]. In "Kraven's First Hunt" he was interacting with Daredevil. By the time of "New Ways to Die," we opened up the toy chest and brought in the Thunderbolts and Venom and Bullseye. But now there's no doubt. You open up an issue of Joe Kelly's "American Son" and there's Spidey going up against Daken and here's Spidey dealing with the Sinister Spider-Man. But when you get to DARK REIGN: THE LIST—AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, it is no New Avengers, no Dark Avengers. It is Spider-Man and Norman Osborn head-to-head, mano-a-mano.
Marvel.com: So this isn't going to be Norman and the Dark Avengers. This is going to be these two rivals, face-to-face, in the fight of the century?
Dan Slott: Yes, but there is more to it than that. I think one of the twists you're going to see is that as much as Spider-Man is on Norman Osborn's list, Norman Osborn is on Spider-Man's list.
Marvel.com: When it comes to the list items, some Norman brings to the public's attention and others he chooses not to. Is this a public thing or is this so personal that he wants to keep this one to himself?
Dan Slott: When Norman comes into contact with Spider-Man in DARK REIGN: THE LIST—AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Norman is going to have a very specific reason for wanting to take Spider-Man out and wanting to take Spider-Man out now! He always wants to take Spider-Man out.
"What am I going to do today? I think I'll kill Spider-Man." But this isn't "I want to kill Spider-Man," this is "I need to kill Spider-Man."
Marvel.com: You mentioned the special ties into the current events in AMAZING—how does it end up affecting that title afterwards?
Dan Slott: There is a status quo change that happens for Norman and Spider-Man, and that will carry onto the Marvel Universe. One of the things that shocked me about everything going on is how many repercussions these stories have for all of their characters—how much it is really a key point. Big things happen in THE LIST.
Marvel.com: Adam Kubert is on art for this one-shot. How awesome is that?
Dan Slott: That is super awesome. Anything Adam Kubert touches is gold. You look at the murder's row of artists they have all [these] books, Marvel has really pulled out the best and brightest. I'm so honored to be part of the writing crew on this because the talent on the art side is insane. These books are going to blow everybody away.
Marvel.com: What do you look forward to the most about Adam's work on this?
Dan Slott: Working on AMAZING and working with guys like John Romita Jr. and Marcos Martin and Mike McKone, you get spoiled. This is that kind of case where you know that you're working with people at the top of the game, who are at the top of the field. Anyone who has seen any Adam Kubert knows that this guy is the best of the best. It's dynamic. It's gorgeous to look at. When I heard the list of everyone coming onto the art side of the list, I was just tingling in anticipation. Who was I going to get? When they said, "Adam Kubert," I was like, "Score!
This is going to be sweet!" Hopefully you do a good job. You write pages with that in mind. "How would this look if Adam Kubert drew it? I got to give him this scene to draw. That'd be cool." I'm the luckiest man to be working on this issue with Adam Kubert.
We hope you've enjoyed Making the List—stay tuned to Marvel.com for more on Dark Reign: The List!
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