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By Jim Beard
In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #1, due August 6, writer J.M. DeMatteis cuts right to the heart of the young Peter Parker in his story, "Spider-Man: 48 Hours."
"With '48 Hours,' I wanted to explore what it was to be an emotionally wounded and very confused teenager who suddenly finds himself in possession of incredible powers, who—in memory of his uncle—wants to become a genuine hero" explains the veteran scribe.
"But, of course, wanting to be a hero and actually being a hero are two very different things."
DeMatteis desired to explore a time when Peter's world had just imploded, immediately following the callous murder of his beloved Uncle Ben. It's a Spider-Man tale set at a time in Peter's life that may surprise some readers, a moment of gravity and of decision.
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"He's not the confident, quipping Spider-Man we know: he's a grieving, scared kid trying to make sense of a world that's been turned inside out," continues DeMatteis, no stranger to Spider-Man having penned the seminal "Kraven's Last Hunt" saga among other Spidey tales. "Just because Peter can suddenly climb walls and swing over bridges doesn't mean he's not afraid of heights. Just because he has the ability to run into a burning building and save lives doesn't mean the very idea of doing that doesn't scare him half to death.
"Those are the elements that made writing this story interesting. Picking up the threads of Peter's story the morning after Ben's murder really allowed me to explore those elements; to see Peter in a new light."
The focus of the new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY anthology title will be, of course, family. DeMatteis views this as an important foundation stone in Peter Parker's character.
"In many ways, the heart and soul of the Spider-Man mythos is family," he notes. "Despite the fact that Uncle Ben died in the very first Spidey story, he is perhaps
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the single most important influence in Peter's life—an influence that continues to be felt today. Aunt May, of course, has always provided the grounding for Peter, the roots that he needs.
"Without Ben and May, the orphaned Peter would have evolved into a very different person, and Spider-Man would have been a very different—and, I think, much darker—hero."
The amazing art of newcomer Alex Cal gives "48 Hours" just the right sense of pathos the illuminating story demands.
"I was incredibly impressed with Alex's work," raves DeMatteis. "He did a beautiful job with this story and I'd be delighted to work with him again."
Amazing Spider-Fans can see for themselves on August 6 in the inaugural issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FAMILY, also featuring an untold Spider-Girl tale by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and Sal Buscema, which you can learn more about right here on Marvel.com later this week. Also, check out the first 100 issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!