Marvel Knights

Face the Foes with Marvel Knights: Spider-Man

Writer Matt Kindt pits the wallcrawler against 100 of his most vile villains in a new limited series this fall!

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By Paul Montgomery 

Some days, Spider-Man can count his allies on the fingers of one hand. Enemies, though, remain in constant supply.

With October’s MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #1, writer Matt Kindt and artist Marco Rudy pit the long-suffering wall-crawler against nearly 100 of his deadliest foes. Call any iteration of the Sinister Six an amuse-bouche to the smörgåsbord of hurt awaiting Spidey in this globe-trotting battle royale.

Tasked with shoving Spider-Man down this teeming gauntlet, Matt Kindt hand-picked an unprecedented rogues gallery and spread them out over five issues representing one of the busiest weeks in the webslinger’s illustrious career in crime fighting. Of course, only one villain has the patience to send out this many party invitations: that eminent emcee, Arcade.

Tackling 99 villains in one week presents a tall order, even for Spider-Man. Thankfully, Kindt’s rounding up.

“I got close,” says the writer of the ultimate bad guy total. “I got pretty close. I’m not sure what the final count is, but I put as many as I could in there.”

Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #1 cover by Marco Rudy

Though the odds favor most readers finding more than one of their favorite villains in MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN, Kindt can confirm the identities of only two aside from Arcade:

“I’d rather not spoil anything,” he says, “But I’ll tell you Nuke has always been one of my favorites. I won’t tell you how, but he’s in there. When I was in high school I wrote a whole issue about Nuke from his point of view. So I’ve tapped into a few ideas I had when I was about 15. And of course you can never go wrong with Kraven the Hunter.”

The sheer size of the mob will be only a fraction of the challenge for both Spider-Man and the creators. Unusual locations, each with their own trappings, throng of bad guys, and creative conundrums, figure in every issue. Kindt and Rudy even approached the tone and visual style differently with each arena, from a haunted house to a dense jungle. One chapter takes place entirely on a submarine, another in—and no doubt around—an airplane. The close-quarters and typical lack of skyscrapers aboard such vehicles makes for frantic combat and unique situations.

“Once you take Spider-Man out of New York, you can’t really have him swing around,” notes Kindt. “Put him in a desert, how do his powers work? What advantages does he have? That was part of the fun. Stick him underwater in a submarine, what can he do? Trying to think of scenarios we might not have seen before. We’ve all read 1000 Spider-Man stories, so I wanted to come up with something a little different.”

Even jostling alongside scores of rogues, Kindt affords ample attention to Spider-Man and the physical and psychological toll of this marathon brawl.

“I was just trying to think of his psychology and how his powers work,” he explains. “One of the things that I thought was kind of fun is his Spider Sense. It goes off whenever he’s in danger. Well, what if he’s in danger for a week straight? What does that do? What kind of toll does it take on him? What happens if he’s under constant duress for a week straight?”

So, does Spidey get any sleep?

“Well, do you count getting knocked out as sleeping?” jokes Kindt. “Then sure. He gets some sleep.”

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