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Welcome Back Spider-Man 2099

Artist Ryan Stegman gets into the return of Miguel O'Hara in Superior Spider-Man, with first look inked pages!

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Superior Spider-Man #17 preview inks by Ryan Stegman

By Josh Wigler

Peter Parker may be dead and gone, but another much beloved webslinger stands poised to soar back into the Marvel Universe.

Miguel O'Hara, better known as Spider-Man 2099, swings into the pages of writer Dan Slott and artist Ryan Stegman's SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN next month in issue #17. It's the first of a three-issue arc filled with time-travel, dinosaurs, goblins and more. With Otto Octavius still active as the Spider-Man of today, his first encounter with the Spider-Man of tomorrow will assuredly prove anything but friendly.

Stegman spoke with Marvel.com to preview some pages from SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #17 and detail his process on bringing Miguel O'Hara to life.

Superior Spider-Man #17 preview inks by Ryan Stegman

Marvel.com: Going back to before SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN launched, before anyone knew it was Otto Octavius under the mask, there was a lot of speculation that the new Spider-Man would be Miguel O'Hara. Now, he's finally hitting the pages of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. What was your experience with the character before coming into these issues? Were you a 2099 fan?

Ryan Stegman: It was kind of a blind-spot for me. I didn't get into comics until about 1996 or 1997, and I started out as a fan of Image books before moving over to Spider-Man. So, it was a blind-spot until we started talking about bringing Miguel back. I went and read a bunch of the 2099 stuff and really enjoyed it. Now, I'm a fan!

Marvel.com: In getting to know the character recently, then, what is it about Spider-Man 2099 that spoke to you?

Ryan Stegman: It's just a great design. As far as design goes, especially in the 90’s, there's stuff that was designed that looks "90’s" now, that looks like it needs to be updated. But with [Spider-Man 2099] in particular, it needs nothing. It needs no additions; it's just classic. It's got a very iconic look and it's very easy to work with. That's what I like to do. When I designed Scarlet Spider, I tried to go with something iconic, something super-simple, something that would last for a long time, [even though] I could have just gone with the classic hood. But with Spidey 2099, I had no desire to change anything. That suit is just so cool.

Superior Spider-Man #17 preview inks by Ryan Stegman

Marvel.com: I was going to ask, because there's always a temptation to put your own stamp on a character, but with Spidey 2099, if it ain't broke?

Ryan Stegman: Yeah, pretty much. I haven't changed a thing about it.

Marvel.com: There are some notable differences between Spider-Man 2099 and the Spidey we see running around in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, the 2099 version's "web-cape," for example. Can you talk about the differences in your approach to these two Spider-Men?

Ryan Stegman: They're fairly similar. They have different costumes, obviously. The cape is the thing that's the most different. I'm a big proponent of anything you can add to a drawing that shows motion and movement. The cape really helps activate the movement of the character. That's huge. I love playing around with the cape. But as far as fighting and swinging? For the most part, they're very similar, including the fact that they both have certain finger talons, claws when they fight. I think it's neat that they're so similar. It's cool to have them both playing off of each other as almost mirror images.

Marvel.com: They come from different places, though, and not just in terms of the time-stream. Miguel is more of a classic hero, where Otto has been running amok over SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN for a while now, making all kinds of decisions that Peter Parker would never dream of making. Does that make an impact on the way you present their fighting styles, in terms of how far one of them is willing to push the fight?

Ryan Stegman: Oh yeah. With Superior, there's always an element that he's willing to take it to the maximum degree. He's basically going against his nature to not do extreme damage. I think that when you see him fighting, he goes for more brutal tactics. Whereas Miguel, he's fighting more to disarm and gain control of the situation. Otto is ready to decapitate somebody.

Superior Spider-Man #17 cover by Ryan Stegman

Marvel.com: SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #17 begins in Nueva York in 2099, and we see how a time anomaly is affecting things there; Tyler Stone, for instance, is literally fading away, one physical chunk at a time. Did your representation of the "anomaly" come from Dan Slott's script, or was that your idea?

Ryan Stegman: He had a description, and we talked about it. I thought we were on the same page, and then I drew it the way I wanted to, and when he saw it he said, "Well, that's not what I had in mind — but that's way cooler!" [Laughs] We kind of just ran with it. I don't think he envisioned it the way that I did, but at the same time, we were both pretty pleased with how it ended up looking.

Marvel.com: That's a good lead-in for something I wanted to ask, since you've worked with Dan for a while now. Let's look at the top of the issue as an example: Miguel's fight with a giant dinosaur. How much do you stick to the script on a sequence like that? How much does Dan just trust you to make Spider-Man fighting a dinosaur look awesome?

Ryan Stegman: Dan will sometimes give me more Marvel-style scripts. He knows that with action scenes, I prefer if the instructions are, "We need to get from here to here. Go nuts." So he'll do that for me sometimes. Sometimes, he'll get more specific when it's for story purposes. His writing is a little bit looser than some of the scripts I've worked with. Some scripts are very descriptive. He's not overly descriptive. He doesn't call for every specific shot. He says what needs to happen, and gives a bunch of information. My philosophy in general is to take what [the writer] gives you and add to it, rather than taking what [the writer] gives and say, "Oh, I don't want that to be there." Everything that's there is a combination of us coming up with it together. Everything he wants is in there, and I add some things as well.

Superior Spider-Man #18 cover by Ryan Stegman

Marvel.com: Looking ahead, Miguel O'Hara is a part of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN from issue #17 through #19. We've been talking about their first, brief encounter. What can you tell us about what to expect from Otto and Miguel in the coming issues?

Ryan Stegman: I can say that they will definitely fight. [Laughs] That's a lot of fun to draw. The tone of this story is a very fun action-centric comic. It's got sci-fi elements, time-travel, lots of punching, lots of web-slinging. There's a lot of fun, Spider-Man action all over it. That's my favorite thing to do.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #17 hits stores in September. Next week on Marvel.com, we’ll have more on the return of Spider-Man 2099 from writer Dan Slott!

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