Amazing Spider-Man: Return of a Legend

Writer J.M. DeMatteis revisits a character he helped redefine in issue #700!

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Amazing Spider-Man #700 cover

By Tim Stevens

In December, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN reaches heights few other serialized comic books have visited with issue #700. To help the book celebrate, Marvel has brought back at least one writer closely associated with some of the best Spidey stories to date—but he felt it coming before they did.

“One day I found a spider in my house, picked him up and put him outside,” J.M DeMatteis recalls. “The next day: another spider.  Another trip outside.  When I saw the second one, my first thought was, ‘Hmmm.  I think I'm going to be doing a new Spider-Man story.’”

It did not take the universe long to confirm DeMatteis’ hunch.

“Within a day or so, Steve Wacker emailed me, out of the blue, to ask if I wanted to write a story for [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN] #700,” he reveals. “So the lesson is:  trust the spiders!”

Amazing Spider-Man #700 cover by Humberto Ramos

Artistic collaborator Giuseppe Camuncoli seems to have earned some trust along with those arachnids. While DeMatteis and Camuncoli have never teamed before, the writer knows that the story will be in very competent hands.

“He's new to me but, based on [what] Steve Wacker showed me, I think he'll do a knock-out job bringing my script to life,” asserts DeMatteis.

Peter Parker himself also helps immensely, the writer insists.

“I think it's because Peter Parker is the most psychologically real character in any super-hero universe—and I almost hesitate to use the word character,” he explains of his affinity for Spidey. “I believe in Peter. I identify with him. His trials and tribulations reflect my own and that's allowed me to pour so much of myself into Peter when I've written him. A kind of mind-meld happens and we become one person.

Amazing Spider-Man #700 variant cover by Marcos Martin

“I think the readers react similarly; there's something about Peter that resonates with them, that feels true. He is, first and foremost, the everyman of super heroes. He's one of us. That's why I'm always happy to revisit the character:  it's like getting a chance to hang out with one of my oldest and dearest friends.”

While DeMatteis might be fairly forthcoming in why he thinks Spider-Man worthy of an issue #700, he remains tightlipped about the particulars of his story.

“I don't want to give away any details,” he states simply. “What I will say is that I wanted to do a story that was special and unlike any Spider-Man story I'd done before.  One that was a suitable for this big anniversary celebration. I think my story, "Spider Dreams," fits the bill. It's a stand-alone story that—well, if I say anything more about it, I'll spoil the surprise, so I'll shut my big mouth now.”

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