Starting this November, writer Christos Gage—along with classic Spider-Man writers and incredible artists—aim to explore a variety of wall-crawling characters in the three-issue SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP limited series.
In addition to tapping a wealth of storytelling opportunities, Gage explains in this interview how Spider-Verse presents chances for certain characters to learn more about themselves when dealing with a wide range of Spider-personalities!
Marvel.com: While it is spectacular to get to team-up, say, Miles Morales with Old Man Spider-Man, how challenging is it to dialogue scenes between such vastly different versions of Spidey?
Christos Gage: Well, each issue has two stories. And in the first one, my story is Old Man Spidey, Ben Reilly and Spider-Ham. Which is still quite a range of Spideys, am I right? The differences are what make it fun! It's actually harder to write dialogue between characters with very similar voice, because you want everybody to be distinct. The more different they are the better!
Marvel.com: In terms of storytelling opportunities you would not have otherwise have, what's been the biggest narrative benefit to exploring this diverse Spider-Verse?
Christos Gage: You get to present every character with a look at a different version of themselves. That's always a source for rich storytelling. Could I really turn out to be such a jerk? How did that guy do so much better in his life than me? I thought I had it bad, but look at that poor sap! Wait—is that a talking pig?!?
Marvel.com: I know it's too early to discuss who you are collaborating with on SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP, but when you get the chance to team with incredible artists do you intentionally try to write scenes that allow them to draw scenes you know they do best?
Christos Gage: When I know what artists I'll be working with, I always try to play to their strengths and what they enjoy doing, regardless of how long they've been working. With classic artists, there may be some temptation to go for what you know they will knock out of the park, but you can't be too fanboyish about it to the point where you're just asking them to do a greatest hits medley. The idea is to tell the best story. Personally, I love seeing artists I admire doing stuff I know they're great at, but I also love seeing them tackle new material. I got to work with the great Adam Kubert on SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #32, and I got a big kick out of seeing his rendition of Superior Spider-Man as much as classic Spidey.
Marvel.com: What is the key to writing a character like Spider-Ham, who inherently has more humor in him than even the original Spider-Man?
Christos Gage: To stay true to the character, but not lose the humanity—so to speak. With Spider-Ham, I look at “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” The toons are unquestionably cartoon characters, but there is an underlying humanity to them that is really poignant, without undermining the nature of the Toons.
Marvel.com: I would be remiss to not ask, given that the Spider-Verse pulls together a variety of continuities into one place--dare we hope for a cameo by Johnny Storm's greatest invention, the Spider-Mobile?
Christos Gage: No spoilers, but with Spider-Verse, there's a chance of pretty much anything!
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