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By Jim Beard
Fear not, Spider-Man fans—friendly neighborhood writer Mark Waid's here to weave a webby tale illustrated by Marcos Martin in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #578 on November 19, and like the proverbial beam of light he arrives just in time.
"The universe fools Spider-Man into thinking this is going to be his lucky day," says Waid of his latest Marvel opus. "The universe lied. Now Spidey's trapped in a collapsed subway tunnel with a dozen other folks—and one super villain."
Whether or not the scribe catches thieves just like flies remains to be seen, but he's adamant that his tale offers a situation for the arachnid that's both unusual and thrilling: trapped underground by an improbable New York City earthquake, Spidey has seen better days.
"Editor Steve Wacker and I spent time discussing the least advantageous places for Spider-Man to be during a fight," explains Waid. "He works best and fights best in wide-open spaces—so giving him somewhere to be where moving around is difficult, acrobatics are impossible, and strength is a potential liability if it's used on the wrong pile of rocks—that seemed to be the way to go!
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"Spidey's biggest super-power is that he never gives up, so the drama comes out of trapping him in a situation where his other super-abilities are as much of a liability as they are an asset."
Waid's no stranger to the webslinger, having written many a Marvel adventure over the years, and has previously penned Brand New Day back-up stories for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #568 and #573. Now, and despite his lack of radioactive blood, the writer has been invited to join that most exclusive of Marvel teams; the few, the proud, the Spidey Braintrust.
"The Spidey Braintrust has made me feel very welcome," remarks Waid. "I really like what the Spidey crew has been doing with Brand New Day. Having worked with Wacker on another weekly series, it's interesting to watch with some inside knowledge how they pull this off—and they're doing great."
The writer credits the legendary Spider-Man stories of yore for making him a fan of the character, and even influencing his successful career in comics.
"'The Night Gwen Stacy Died!' [from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121] is still to this day the single comics story that affected me most profoundly," he notes of the infamous 1973 Spider-Man turning point. "It's a heady lesson to learn at age
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10 that the world isn't safe and that no one is protected, but I'm glad it was Spidey who walked me through that."
While eager readers wait patiently to catch a glimpse of which super villain Waid works into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #578, the writer muses on further Spidey-baddies with which to cause even more chaos.
"I want my shot at Mysterio someday," he notes. "As a diehard stage magic fan, I love me some Mysterio."
For now, Waid and Spider-Man aficionados must be content with his immediate future with everyone's favorite wallcrawler—a future rife with possibilities.
"[Artist] Barry Kitson and I are re-teaming for a one-issue standalone in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #583, exploring the long relationship between Peter and Betty Brant," he reveals. "Then I'll be back for a three-parter called '24/7' a few short weeks later!"
Need we say it? It's a good time to be a Spider-Man fan.
Catch AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #578 on November 19, featuring Mark Waid alongside artist Marcos Martin. Being buried alive? Never before so much fun. And for the first 100 issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, scurry on over to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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