“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
Shakespeare’s observation in the second act of “Twelfth Night” holds especially true of the Spider-Verse. Greatness may have been thrust upon Peter Parker, and he bears it with great responsibility. Not every hero at the EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE came to their power so haphazardly though.
This fall, meet Aaron Aikman, whose intends greatness, as Dustin Weaver, writer and artist of EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #3, explains:
“My Spider-Man is a man named Aaron Aikman, and unlike Peter, he chose to be Spider-Man. He did it to himself, to become a hero for his city. I guess that says a lot about the character of my Spider-Man. He's got a big ego and being good at being Spider-Man is a point of pride. He doesn't struggle with his responsibility. He enjoys it. Other than his origin being different, he also has a completely different cast of supporting characters and villains.
“Aaron does share some things in common with Peter; they are similar types, white, male, fairly young—Aaron might be a little older—and they both have high intellects; but, while Peter had his career as a photographer, Aaron never strayed from academic and scientific pursuits. He's an accomplished and ambitious scientist.”
Of course, Aikman’s scholarly pursuits and noble intentions don’t leave his life free of drama or tragedy. Science, for all its constants, has its variables.
“In Aaron's personal life, he struggles to save his romantic relationship with his mentor, the brilliant Dr. Kaori Ikegami,” says Weaver. “As Spider-Man, Aaron is facing an incredibly elusive and mysterious villain known as Naamurah, who has been kidnapping people all over the city. The question is, will Spider-Man learn the truth behind Naamurah in time to save his city, or does fate, despite all Aaron's ambition, all his intelligence, and his strength, have other plans for him?”
As with all the heroes of the Spider-Verse, Aikman’s iteration of Spider-Man arrives with a familiar aesthetic, but his costume design has been uniquely informed by his own fighting methods and priorities. Aikman’s reality includes speculative science fiction concepts, and the uniform reflects that bleeding edge technology and style.
“The Aaron Aikman Spider-Man has a more sci-fi look,” explains Weaver. “His costume is very similar to Peter Parker's but it isn't spandex and his mask is more like a helmet. When he's not in the costume, Aaron looks like a pretty cool guy, I think. He often wears sunglasses, which as we all know is super cool, and he's got a kind of mod-60's style.”
Weaver jumped at the chance to play with one of the medium’s most iconic characters, while reconfiguring his constituent elements to create a Spider-Man all his own.
“The appeal of working with Marvel is that you get to play with Marvel's toys,” he muses. “And though they have some of the best toys in town and are really cool with letting you play with those toys, you're still doing it at their house, in their sandbox. That's the cool thing about doing this Spider-Verse comic. I'm getting to play with one of Marvel's toys but, in a way, they are kind of letting me take it home. I'm playing with it in my sandbox. I'm taking Spider-Man and creating a new context for him of my own design. It's a fantastic chance to be creative and have fun while utilizing the appeal of one of the greatest super heroes ever, Spider-Man!”
Continue to explore EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE tomorrow with Clay McLeod Chapman and his take on Spider-Man!