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Chicago Comic-Con '09

Chicago Con '09: Spider-Man's Secret Wars

Paul Tobin revisits the original Marvel crossover event this December

By Marc Strom

Writer Paul Tobin and artist Patrick Scherberger give readers a whole new perspective on the classic Secret Wars with SPIDER-MAN AND THE SECRET WARS, a four-issue limited series beginning this December.

With each self-contained issue, Tobin returns to a different part of the Secret Wars saga, a process that the writer enjoyed immensely.

"It's fantastic," Tobin remarks. "I not only remember the story fondly, but also recall thinking there was more to tell-that some events had to be dealt with quickly, or glossed over entirely in order to further the main story at the time. Now I'm actually having an opportunity to bring some of the details to light."

For this series, Tobin will focus on Spider-Man and his experiences in the Secret Wars, a decision the writer made for a number of reasons.

"He's really the everyman," Tobin notes. "I know it sounds weird to say that a guy that can stick to walls and bench press a couple tons is an everyman, but what makes it true is his attitude. If I'd chosen Reed Richards we would have seen nothing but the big picture. Thor's 'picture' is

Cover art by Patrick Scherberger
even bigger, because it's hard to be objective when you're immortal. And of course if the viewpoint would have been from the Hulk, who somehow had the mind of Bruce Banner at the time, it would have all been about how annoying everybody else is, and how they just might need smashing. With Spider-Man, though, I can change the focus of the lens. Peter looks at big events and small events with the same human lens, and that's what won him top billing."

As for which moments from the original story Tobin ultimately chose to revisit, he explains that a certain amount of deliberation went into the process.

"That is where the true decisions were made," recalls the writer. "We had a limited number of events and story elements we could revisit from the original Secret Wars, and choosing which ones made it and which ones didn't was a matter of great debate. Editor Nate Cosby gave me a great deal of leeway in my decisions, or at least he did after he slapped me with a glove and felt the fury of my dueling rapier.

"We both felt, of course, that we had to expand the story of Spider-Man and the black costume, but after that the great debates began, with many of those I consulted-the gang at Shocktrauma.com were a big help, here-agreeing with my choices, and only three people breaking off our friendships and disowning me for all time."

Of those moments, Tobin had the most pleasure revisiting a couple in particular.

Interior art by Patrick Scherberger
"Two story elements from the original SECRET WARS have always been uppermost in my mind," Tobin divulges. "One of them is when Spider-Man, alone, is able to defeat the entirety of the X-Men. As an original reader, I can remember crying, 'No way!' and throwing my comic across the room in outrage.

"The other scene that really struck me, however, is when the Molecule Man dropped an entire mountain range on the heroes, and the Hulk was able to keep the heroes from being crushed. I loved that. Loved that the outcast was the one with the muscle, and love that he nearly killed himself saving others. So, yeah, that's where we're starting off.

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      [quote@kellymf57 i wonder what rogue has to do with this?and it has to be a recent part of the story, because her costume on the cover is her recent one[/quote] No, it's similar but that's definitely the same costume she wore back in 'Secret Wars' in the early 80's. The artist has obviously modified the look of many characters to suit his and today's 'style' (similar to the way they changed the costumes and technology in X-Men: First Class), for example he's got Colossus in shorts rather than underpants. But this is a retro story, they're going back and telling 'untold tales' from the Secret Wars.I can't wait, I loved that series. Let's hope they get Mike Zeck to do some variant covers!


      i wonder what rogue has to do with this?and it has to be a recent part of the story, because her costume on the cover is her recent one


      Sounds like this could have potential. A slong as Torbin is a little more Marvel Adventures Spidey and less Marvel Adventures Avengers.