Spider-Man, it’s true, has been through quite a lot lately. But with the end of Doc Ock’s residency as the Superior Spider-Man, things may finally be looking up for Peter Parker. But of course, with his famous luck, that’s unlikely to hold. As Marvel prepares to launch a new volume of “Amazing Spider-Man” next week, “Amazing Spider-Man: Who am I?” writer Joshua Hale Fialkov, “Spider-Man: Family Business” co-writers Mark Waid and James Robinson, “Amazing Spider-Man” artist RamÃ³n Perez, editor Jordan White, and editor Nick Lowe greeted fans at C2E2 for a lively discussion.
The panel began with White playing the Spider-Man theme song on a ukelele. One fan who sang along was called on stage to read an early copy of the 96-page “Amazing Spider-Man” #1.
“Who here is really angry that we’re coming out with ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1 and not keeping ‘Superior Spider-Man?'” Lowe asked, to some applause — though of course most enjoyed both. Black Cat and Electro will be the villains fo the first five issues, Lowe said. Having her identity revealed “did not make Felicia Hardy very happy,” the editor said.
Issues #4 and #5 will tie into “Original Sin,” Lowe said, revealing that “someone else was bit by the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker,” Lowe said. Readers will discover where Silk, the new character, has been throughout Spider-Man’s career.
Low also showed a slide revealing Silk’s look for the first time.
“It takes place between ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #15 and ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1-5,” Perez said of the first Spidey arc, “Learning to Crawl.” It will examined skimmed-over aspects like Peter’s social life and Uncle Ben’s funeral. It will also introduce a villain called Clash, who has also been conspicuously absent throughout Spider-Man’s life.
“Clash’s powers are sound-related, and it’s really interesting to see how they are visualized in this series,” Lowe said.
Speaking about the “Who am I?” Infinite Comic, Fialkov said that the story begins with Spider-Man “not knowing who he is, where he is, or why he’s robbing a bank.” He comes to “in the middle of a bank robbery,” but without the memory of “Uncle Ben’s lessons about great power and great responsibility.”
Waid talked about how the Infinite format played well with the artists on his Thrillbent digital platform. “We’re the quarantine for Marvel Infinite — because they get it.” The first four issues of “Who am I?” arrive May 6.
Much applause for “Spider-Man 2099,” written by Peter David with art by Will Sliney. “Spider-Man 2099 is stuck in the present,” Lowe said, noting that he can’t return to his own time but finds himself getting caught up in the machinations at Alchemex.
Lowe showed pages of Spidey 2099 “beating up muggers who are hipsters — look out for roving bands of hipsters!”
Next up was a slide for “Spider-Man: Family Business” by James Robinson, Mark Waid, Gabrielle del’Otto, and Werther del’Andere. Waid described it as “telling a big story in a big way” and “an all day reading experience.” The story came from a scene Waid envisioned in which “Peter gets into a situation, and someone basically tells him ‘take my hand if you want to live,’ and that person identifies herself as his sister.” Waid said that “some of it was really in my wheelhouse,” and for the rest he turned to James Robinson to help him craft the story.
This is Robinson’s first work with Spider-Man, but was also timely: “When Mark started out, Mark didn’t know this but I had literally quit DC Comics that day, and was thinking, what am I going to do?”
“This is your karmic reward for quitting DC,” Waid said.
Robinson described “feeling like a kid again” when he wrote his first scenes of webslinging and split Peter/Spider-face.
Lowe also praised del’Otto’s art, and Waid reminded fans that the book was just announced as a number one New York Times bestseller. “Take that, Stephen King!”
Waid and Peter Krause’s “Daredevil: Road Warrior” digital comic will be released in print in the 48-page “Daredevil” #0.1 in July. “It’s a beautiful looking book,” Waid said.
“You’ll notice in the credits it doesn’t say Mark Waid, Writer, Chris Samnee, Artist — it says Mark Waid and Chris Samnee storytellers,” Waid said, explaining it really is a shared effort.
On Matt Murdock’s move from NYC to San Francisco, “he relies on the New York City geography to know where he is,” Waid said. “The sound of the cable cars alone make swinging from building to building difficult.”
Waid also said the Owl will be the major adversary in the first arc, with “powers beyond anything you’ve seen the Owl possess before.”
Issue #5 will be the “Strange Death of Foggy Nelson.” “If you’ve read the first issue, you know Foggy Nelson is not dead… but everyone refers to him as if he is. Isn’t that strange?” Waid said.
“Daredevil” #6 features guest artist Javier Rodriguez, in which readers will learn more about his mother — “and it drops the whole world out from under his feet,” Waid said. “And that’s just in the first few pages.” He has to find Maggie, but when he does, “it’s a shame he finds her in prison, about to be extradited to another country.”
Next up was the main event, “Spider-verse,” the summer event beginning on Free Comic Book Day before continuing in November. The series involves “every Spider-Man ever… or at least every Spider-Man we’re legally allowed to use,” Lowe said. Preview slides showed Spider-Man 1602 and the villain Morlun.
Lowe then opened the floor to fan questions.
Asked about their favorite alternate Spider-Man, Lowe gave the ’90s animated Spidey, Robinson and White said Ben Reilly, Peter Porker for Fialkov, the Electric Company for White, and Waid answered Miles Morales.
A fan in a Spider-Man costume suggested a group photo op for Spidey cosplayers to tie in with Spider-verse. Lowe liked the idea, and said it could be arranged after the panel.
Waid said that there is no pressure to make “Daredevil” like the upcoming Netflix TV show. “That’s not how things work at Marvel,” he said. “The tail does not wag the dog.”
Asked about singing more theme songs as he did for “Nextwave,” Lowe said that he “sings all the time in my personal life.” Waid added that “he sings to me sometimes on the phone,” with Fialkov saying “it takes the edge off notes.”
One fan asked how Spider-Man 2099 would be addressed by other characters. Lowe joked that he refers to himself as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 2099.” Other suggestions were “Spider-Dude, Spider-Mensch,” with a fan then shouting “Spider-Bro.”
“Spider-Verse” will “not stop ‘Spider-Men 2’ from happening,” Lowe said, referring to a sequel to the meeting between Peter Parker and Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales.
“Ultimate FF” #4 will feature “our new Ultimate Spider-character,” Fialkov said.
Asked about the “Superior” love interest, Lowe said, “we are nowhere near seeing the end of Anna Maria.”
“Spider-Man: Family Business” is in continuity, Lowe and Waid confirmed. “I would be shocked if we didn’t see more of that,” whether in an OGN sequel or follow up in the regular series.
“There is a lot of Kaine love coming up in ‘Spider-verse,'” Lowe said, also reminding fans that they should follow the character in “New Warriors.” “He has some very particular attributes … that make him a good guy to have around when Morlun attacks.”
A fan asked each panelist for one word explaining what Spider-Man meant to them. Waid led with “Responsibility,” with everyone else concurring. Lowe also offered “swingin’,” but Fialkov noted that “mostly he only had one girlfriend at a time.”
The next question was whether Peter would incorporate any of Otto’s inventions. “He has to face that in many ways Doc Ock was a better Spider-Man than he was,” Lowe said, except, of course, for possibly being a little “overbearing… and evil.”
Lowe said that “there aren’t really going to be symbiotes” in “Spider-verse,” in response to a question about Spider-Carnage.
The fan also asked about spinoff characters such as Spider-Dog, as Deadpool did during his series. “I would love to write Spider-Dog,” Robinson said. “I will fight James Robinson to write Spider-Dog,” Fialkov added.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” will “dig deeply into Flash Thompson’s history,” Lowe said, but “Flash Venom” as he is known in the Marvel office will not be appearing in “Amazing” any time soon.