Good things come to those who wait. Amazing things come to those who wait for Peter Parker.
Marvel's original friendly neighborhood Spider-Man comes back to life in the All-New Marvel NOW! re-launch of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN this April. Doctor Otto Octavius has been the proud owner of Peter Parker's body and life for the better part of a year now, but soon, he will learn that even superiority proves no match against the amazing original.
But how will Peter return? And what will his world look like when he's back in tights, swinging from skyscrapers and saving the day? We spoke with writer Dan Slott for those answers and more!
Dan Slott: I'm feeling horrible! I wanted to keep him dead and in the ground! [Laughs] Okay, that's terrible. I shouldn't say that.
How do I feel? I feel relieved. I've been doing a heel turn for a year. I've been gleefully shouting, "Peter Parker is dead!" When I knew full well that he was coming back. Of course he's coming back. Did you really think we'd kill Peter Parker for good? Come on! He's the greatest super hero of all time. He's my drop-dead favorite character in all of fiction. Of course I'm not killing Peter Parker. Of course there was a trap door. Of course there was a way back. Of course there was a plan.
Marvel.com: How far back does the plan go? Did you already know how you'd bring Peter back before you took him off the table?
Dan Slott: This was part of the pitch of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. Walking people through it, I told them, "And then we reach this point where people begin wondering, 'How are they going to bring him back?'" That was part of the appeal, part of the fun of the mystery, everyone wondering, "How are they going to do this?" The other part of the appeal is, "What is Doc Ock doing to Spidey's world? What's going to be left? What's that world going to be like when Peter Parker comes back?"
Marvel.com: What can you say about how Peter's "comeback" plays out, and where it leaves Doc Ock?
Dan Slott: Peter still has a hero's quest in him. He's coming back, but this is not going to be easy. Great power and great responsibility always comes at a great cost.
As for Doc Ock, that's one of the biggest questions of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. What happens to Doc Ock? Now that you know Peter Parker's coming back, what is going to happen to Otto Octavius? That's a very big question. That should be weighing on your mind.
ter Parker finds when he [returns]. What is going to happen? There are so many plates in the air, and so many characters [that] have relationships with Spider-Man that have changed. So many aspects of Spider-Man's world, and Peter Parker's world, have completely changed.
On top of that, Peter will have to deal with something else [when he returns]. You always have to throw the left hook. It can't just be what everyone expects it's going to be, or where there's the fun in that? There's always one more thing on top, one more twist, one more bump in the road you did not see coming.
Marvel.com: Poor Peter. That guy never catches a break!
Dan Slott: Oh, I think that if you were as good as dead, and somehow you came back from that? That would the biggest break you could possibly catch. [Laughs] Not catching the break would be if he was still underground. That would be the ultimate "Parker luck."
Marvel.com: Before Peter steals the spotlight back, let's take another look at SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. As the book nears its final act, how do you feel about how the Doc Ock Spidey experiment worked as a whole?
Dan Slott: I've been in this industry since 1990, but this was really my first time launching a flagship title from day one with a fantastic team. That was exciting. We kind of knew going in that this was a weird book. It's very disorienting. I'm really grateful for everybody's support of the book—the fan support, editorial support, everybody—because it's a weird book that easily could have crashed and burned. Everybody could have been like, "Doc Ock as Spider-Man? No!" And just walked away.
This book was always constructed as a story with a beginning, middle and end. About a third of the way in was when we purged Peter Parker. Halfway in is when Spider-Man has a whole new look and he's doing everything the Doc Ock way. Everything was mapped out and every day we went at it at full-force. It was exciting, but we knew, walking in, it's a very weird premise.
What?" Everywhere you looked around, something happened. Working on the series, we knew from day one that we were jamming our foot on the accelerator and we weren't lifting up. We're firmly on the gas, just going as fast as possible. That's the feel we wanted for this book. It was fun to see readers going, "Why is something big happening all of the time?" That was part of the energy of this book.
And then there's all of the brilliant art from Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli. There was a nice feeling of, "Yeah, we're going full-tilt, and look how pretty it is. The foot's on the accelerator, there's no brakes, but man, what a gorgeous sports car."
Marvel.com: The fan reaction has been loud on both sides of the fence. Some people love Doc Ock as Spidey. Others, not so much. What has it been like for you, reading the reactions, knowing that Peter's return was on the horizon?
Dan Slott: It's been tough in that there are so many times you want to drop the mask and yell, "He's coming back, don't worry! You will see him again!" It's been hardest at conventions and signings, when I get the question from little kids. You just have to have a heart of ice. "Sometimes, bad things happen to good people." It's so hard not to say, "He'll be fine in a year from now! He will be okay! Stay strong!"
one of our best issues, when we had the wake for Human Torch during "Big Time." Everyone's sitting around the coffee table late at night at the Baxter Building, reminiscing about their favorite Spidey-Torch stories. And it got me thinking: "Yeah, that's the way you have to do it. You have to play it straight."
The fan reaction has been brilliant. It's been so polarized and, most of all, passionate. That's great. If Peter Parker, Spider-Man and Doc Ock make you feel this passionate, even if it's pulling your hair out? That's a wonderful thing. It means you care.
Marvel.com: What are you most looking forward to about writing Peter Parker again? What have you missed about him?
Dan Slott: I've missed the humor. There's humor in SUPERIOR, but it's flipped. It's at the expense of Doc Ock and just how arrogant he is. I've missed Peter Parker, the wise-cracking smart aleck. I can't wait to get back to that, and to have him come back.
Throughout SUPERIOR, Doc Ock believes he's a hero. When he takes out someone like Massacre, who has killed a dozen people, [Doc Ock] believes he's doing the world a favor. He thinks he's saving so many future innocent people, the people under his protection, the people who need a hero. You don't blink when you see a scene like that in PUNISHER or WOLVERINE, but that's not the guy we see on kids' lunch-boxes and on pajamas. That's not the guy floating down Sixth Avenue at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. That's not our guy. He doesn't kill. But that's great. If a book that's been around for 60 years has you surprised, and is still breaking your expectations? You want your comics to do that. Those are the ones you remember.
Now, when Peter comes back, it's time to be amazing again. It's time to remind everyone just how wonderful it is to have the Amazing Spider-Man, and what an incredible hero you have when you have your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Dan Slott: I think the new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN—this is probably the last thing I should say. There are some words in comics that are verboten. One of the most dreaded words when you're promoting a comic is "fun." You're not supposed to say this book is going to be "fun," or "all-ages"—that's another dirty word. But when you think about it? “Star Wars” was all-ages. Some of the greatest movies of all time are all-ages. And Spider-Man should be for everyone.
It's weird for me, how many fans of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN are little kids—and they get it. Kids are so much smarter than they're given credit for. So many of the kids understood that this is "the bad Spider-Man." For a while, you're cheering for Wile E. Coyote. And they got it.
This is one of my favorite stories from when AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 came out: There was this boy named Max, who wasn't old enough to read yet, but he loved Spider-Man. So he and his dad would read Spider-Man together. His dad would put Max on his lap, and they would read together. So they're reading through #700, and they get to the page where Peter is clearly dead, and the dad lost it. He freaked out. "How could they do that? How can they end Spider-Man like that? They can't kill him!" And Max pulls on his dad's sleeve, and says, "It's okay, dad. Spider-Man's going to be fine." He got it!
Follow the latest twists and turns in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN and then prepare for the return of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN this April!