Tuesday Q&A

Tuesday Q&A: Joshua Hale Fialkov

Alpha steps out of the shadow of Spider-Man and into his own spotlight!

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Alpha: Big Time #1 preview art by Nuno Plati

By Jim Beard

With numerous successes outside Marvel under his belt, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov now treats Spider-Man fans with a brand-new five-issue limited series spotlighting Alpha, the Marvel Universe’s newest hero.

In ALPHA: BIG TIME #1, out February 20, Fialkov and artist Nuno Plati resurrect the career of the young man once known as Spidey’s “sidekick” until the web-slinger himself forced Alpha into early retirement. But it’s the day of the Superior Spider-Man now and our would-be hero can’t wait to get back down to business.

We asked the writer to fill us in on what to expect in ALPHA: BIG TIME in terms of the story, the cast, the challenges and the pleasures of the job.

Marvel.com: Joshua, what's been going on with Alpha between the time we last saw him in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and BIG TIME?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Mostly his life completely falling apart. His mom and dad split up, he got dragged off to Pittsburgh to live with his grandma—and his very, very out of it mom—and, well, he's become that kid everybody knows and hates. Also, he's probably failing Trig.

Marvel.com: So, how does he get back into being a hero, and what's the Superior Spidey's role in that?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Superior Spider-Man sees Alpha as one of Peter Parker's biggest mistakes and biggest missed opportunities. Peter Parker discovered something amazing with Parker Particles, and Superior is going to show him just how they can really be used. Poor Andy is just the schlub in the way.

Alpha: Big Time #1 preview art by Nuno Plati

Marvel.com: Why does Alpha think he's the greatest hero ever, and what's he got to back that up?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Well, first of all, those powers. He's got strength, speed, flight, energy blasts, super senses—beats the hell out of the blind guy with radar vision or the angry guy who hits stuff, right?

Marvel.com: Point taken. What will be Alpha's greatest challenge in the story? Villains? The public? Girls? Himself?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Definitely himself. He's a 16-year old boy, so, y'know, every problem is definitely of his own making from top to bottom.

Marvel.com: Sounds like he makes a big mistake in BIG TIME; what kind of ramifications can we expect from that?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Part of the conditions of getting his powers back is that he has to take that great responsibility in hand, and, well, he almost immediately screws it up, and it's on him to decide what to do, and if he's going to get away with it or not.

Marvel.com: Who makes up Andy’s supporting cast here?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Well, seeing as I'm in the Spidey office, I wanted to play along with the traditional Spidey structure; so, we get to meet his grandma, who serves as his Aunt May, he's got a “best friend” named Kilgore, who is more just the kid he sits next to, and then, there's the girl he falls in love with, who happens to want nothing to do with him or super heroes.

Marvel.com: So, what's your own greatest pleasure in writing this series?

Alpha: Big Time #1 preview art by Nuno Plati

Joshua Hale Fialkov: I'm known for writing dark stuff, and there's certainly heaps of it in here, but, writing a character who actually enjoys who he is and what he does, and, has the joy and energy of a teenager is beyond thrilling. I mean it from the bottom of my heart that this is the most fun I have writing every month.

Marvel.com: What's it like working with Nuno Plati again? How would you describe his input on ALPHA: BIG TIME?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: He's amazing. I think he's doing work that's ahead of the curve, modern as hell, and completely heart breaking. He makes characters sympathetic and real in ways most artists can only dream of. He's a genius on the rise.

Read ALPHA: BIG TIME #0.1 now and get set for the first issue coming February 20!

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