It’s been an age since I went onto a Marvel conference call – heck, it’s been an age since I did anything over here which wasn’t an interview. So today when Marvel set up a call with Dan Slott and Nick Lowe to discuss the next Spider-Man event storyline, I decided to nip across and see what was going on.
Spider-Verse will be a six issue storyline starting in issue #9 of Amazing Spider-Man – for Peter Parker is returning next month, as well as the Amazing Spider-Man series – and will see the villain Morlun return to take his attack on Peter Parker to multiple Universes.
Marvel are advertising this as a storyline where every Spider-Man to have ever appeared (as well as Spider-Girls and Spider-Womens) will appear once more, to try and take on Morlun. As you can see in the images here, all kinds of Spiders will show up. Spider-Ham is there, as is Miles Morales. Scarlet Spider, Venom and Spider-Man 2099. Morlun wants to kill every Spider, so every Spider is going to have to work together if they want to stop him.
With art from Olivier Coipel, the story will be teased in next month’s Amazing Spider-Man #1, but will also be previewed in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day issue with a five-page story from Slott and artist Giuseppi Camuncoli – two pages of which you can see here.
When you get in on one of Marvel’s press calls, you’re willingly opening yourself up to “the full Nick Lowe experience”, which typically ends with you feeling like you’ve just eaten a whole bag of sherbet. Routinely pausing to scream the words SPIDER VERSE!! at the rest of the Spider-Man office, Lowe said that this was the first script he read upon moving to role of Spider-Man editor.
It was a fun call, and a lot of details came out during the press questions – the press being CBR, Newsarama, Crave, ComicVine, John Siuntres (the one man brand) and Nerdist. With Superior Spider-Man soon ending, and Peter Parker returning, the story was decided upon as it would hit on an interesting slant for the character: having just come back to life, Peter will now find himself face to face with the man who killed him during ‘The Other’. Morlun is a fairly recent villain, and Lowe said “Spider-Man is never closer to defeat than when he is facing Morlun”.
When I asked about why they chose Morlun to be the villain who is tracking down and killing off every version of Spider-Man he could find, Slott answered:
So many questions haven’t been answered yet about Morlun. He always dies at the end of each story he appears in… but always comes back, as an unstoppable force. It takes the most desperate, flailing measures to take him down. Doc Ock gets beaten a million times, and we’ve seen him lose repeatedly. On the other hand, Morlun has a really good record! Morlun means business.
This is being pitched as a war story for Spider-Man, as he heads off to battle with an army by his side. And that army will include Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man:
We loved Spider-Men, and the characters certainly remember meeting…
Lowe said. The idea of this being a story with multiple Spider characters in it led many people to speculate on which characters would or wouldn’t show up. John Siuntres asked if the Spider-Man from the Broadway production “Turn Off The Dark” would appear, whilst Crave were told that the Spectacular Spider-Man from the cartoon series would not get to show up – the character is partly owned by Sony. The Ultimate Spider-Man of the cartoon will show up, though. As will Mayday Parker.
Slott said that he wanted to write a story where the Spider-Car would come to life – a sentient creature, in the style of Pixar’s Cars – and would be called “Peter Parked-Car”. Lowe said he wanted Stingray to show up.
Marvel’s press calls are very silly things. In the poster right at the top, from Gabrielle Del’Otto, five of the six covers for the series are displayed. The sixth one will follow on to the right, but is being held back for the time being. Also held back were details on the tie-in storylines for this event, which’ll be announced at C2E2 instead. There will be a series launching alongside this event, as well as several different miniseries.
I asked about working with Coipel, as I believe this is the first time Slott and Coipel have collaborated.
One of the things about Olivier – when he signs on – is he first and foremost has a love for characters. He wanted to make sure there was a good story for Peter Parker. What clinched it for him is that this is a story which is meaningful for Peter. It’s not just a battle filled with splash pages of all these characters leaping about – but there’s character, and a real arc for Peter Parker himself.
The scope of the story will be large, and head to other dimensions as Morlun goes on his killing spree. Slott first had the idea to write this when he worked on the video-game “Shattered Dimensions”, in which the player got to take control of four different Spider-Men at different points in the game. This is the natural progression from that, and obviously a bit bigger in scope.
The call wrapped after three questions each. Although for my final question, I simply asked “will Spider-Kitty be in this story?”
Spider-Kitty, of course, being the hero of a Skottie Young short story set during the previous Spider-Island event. After a pause, Slott said “I hadn’t thought of Spider-Kitty… but now we’ll have to write it in”.
So, y’know, you’re welcome.
Spider-Verse starts way into the future, in November, with Amazing Spider-Man #9. It’ll be teased in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day issue, out in May.