By Ben Morse
It's been three years since Mark Waid's name has graced the credits box of a Marvel comic, but he plans to make his return to the House of Ideas an amazing
The acclaimed writer of classics including—but not limited to—CAPTAIN AMERICA, FANTASTIC FOUR and 52 becomes the latest creator to join the all-star cast behind the scenes of "Brand New Day" when he becomes part of the brain trust responsible for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN later this year.
"It's daunting but really exciting," says Waid of the opportunity to write Marvel's premier character. "I've come very close to writing Spidey over the years, [but] I'm eager to sit down with the real deal. I find that Peter's voice comes very naturally to me. Spidey's one of the Marvel characters whose voice is so familiar to me that I can hear it in my head as I type."
While Waid's love for Peter Parker and his world played a key role in persuading him to write the wallcrawler, the editor of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN also helped twist his old friend's arm.
"'Sagacious' Steve Wacker was the key," notes the writer. "We had such a good creative relationship at that last place he worked that following him to Marvel was an easy choice to make. I'd have written Captain Ultra stories for the man, but luckily he offered me the Web Slinger himself."
Like so many other fans, Waid has been following "Brand New Day" intently and applauds the new direction as well as the men responsible for it:
"There's a vitality to Peter and his supporting cast that I don't think has been felt in years. The sense that anything could happen has been reawakened. I sat down to dinner with [writers Bob] Gale and [Marc] Guggenheim, half of the Spidey brain trust, a few weeks ago and we're gonna work together well. I've been a fan of Bob Gale's for most of my life and Guggenheim is irritatingly talented given the brevity of his comics resume—it took me twice as long to get half that good."
A brand new supporting character has also caught Waid's eye, though he also still holds a classic one in high favor.
"My favorite [new character] is Carlie, the hot nerd girl crime solver—no shock there," admits the scribe. "But no one in the Marvel Universe holds a dearer part of my heart than J. Jonah Jameson."
Despite never having written Spider-Man on an ongoing basis, Waid has danced around the character in past Marvel stints, including using him as a guest star in FANTASTIC FOUR and writing the HOUSE OF M: SPIDER-MAN limited series featuring an alternate reality Spidey. The writer has always felt affection for Peter Parker and doesn't hesitate to reveal why.
"He never gives up," insists Waid of Spider-Man. "That's the 'Amazing' part of the Amazing Spider-Man—he won't surrender no matter what personal or professional cruelty the universe is flinging at him that day. The day-to-day catastrophes visited upon Peter are as often hilarious as they are tragic. The first Spider-Man story I ever read made me laugh because his big problem that day was that he had a bad cold. That was awesome. That
I could relate to. Struggling to enlarge the Bottle City of Kandor, not so much."
In the end, Waid hopes to translate his own excitement about Spider-Man to the people picking up AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.
"All I want is for the fans to be entertained," he concludes. "There have probably been more great stories told about Spider-Man than about any other Marvel character, so that's quite a legacy to live up to as a writer, but with the help of Steve, the brain trust and the awe-inspiring artists in the Spidey stable, I think we can hold our heads up high!"
For all the Marvel news and updates spinning out of New York Comic-Con 2008, visit our news hub. And for a great way to kill time in between announcements, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!