Get ready for a blast from the past! With Marvel’s Chicago Comic-Con announcement of “Spider-Man and the Secret Wars,” a new 4-issue limited series following the events of the 1984 classic series from the web-slinger’s point of view, we were hungrier than Galactus after a ten-day fast for more details. CBR News had the pleasure of speaking with the creative team of writer Paul Tobin (“Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man”) and artist Patrick Scherberger (“GeNext”) to get into the heads of the folks who will be getting into Spidey’s head for this limited series.
CBR News: So going into a project like this, how many nights were lost to “Secret Wars” research?
Tobin: A lot of it was already in my head. I can remember reading Secret Wars when it first came out… it really influenced a generation of readers, and it was the first major crossover event I could ever remember really getting into, with all of Marvel’s major players suddenly disappearing, and everything going wild. Then, when editor Nate Cosby and I were talking about this project, I sat down with the Secret Wars trade collection, freshening my memory. One thing that I’d forgotten is how the Beyonder had TOTALLY stacked the deck in favor of the villains. I mean, c’mon, the villains included Dr. Doom, Ultron, the flippin’ MOLECULE MAN, and then, just for laughs, Galactus. A big, “Thanks a lot, Beyonder,” goes out to the Beyonder from the superheroes on that one.
Scherberger: For myself the majority of the research was there in the original books. That’s the nice thing about being the penciler on a project like this. The writer has to do most of the heavy lifting.
CBR News: Will anything have to be retooled from the original story now that Brand New Day is in effect?
Tobin: No. We decided to stay away from that. There were some aspects I toyed with including, or referencing, but in the end I decided that the storytelling was the most important aspect, and if I drew in too many elements, it could all get too murky. So, Battleworld became a bit like Vegas, in that what happens on Battleworld, stays on Battleworld.
CBR News: What is your favorite aspect of writing or drawing the Secret Wars from Spidey’s point of view?
Tobin: Spidey’s basic heroism is what appeals to me. As I mentioned earlier, Spider-Man is WAY out of his league here. He can lift a car, but he’s fighting guys who literally toss mountains and eat planets. A lot of guys would hunker down and weep, but Spidey takes this all in stride. Sure, it’s a sort of stomach-queasy and anguished stride, but he won’t ever stop, and that’s what I love about him.
Scherberger: That in addition to drawing Spider-Man again I get to work on most of the characters I’ve been dying to work on for quite some time now. And now I can work with all of them at the same time. I’ve got to say it’s pretty fantastic.
CBR News: Will readers get to see any bit of Spidey’s black costume and his thoughts while obtaining it?
Tobin: That would be a most definite “yes.”
CBR News: What has it been like trying to get into Spider-Man’s head at such a pivotal point in his career?
Tobin: Less difficult than I would have thought, at first. It’s just that Spider-Man is so busy in the series that he doesn’t have time for thinking, “wow, things sure are pivotal right now.” Peter, on Battleworld, is so busy trying to stay alive that not much of the outside world is really intruding; when he’s busily fighting an entire alien army that’s trying to destroy the city of Denver (which for some reason the Beyonder placed on Battleworld) he doesn’t really have time to wonder if JJJ will give him a raise.
CBR News: Will you be experimenting with different styles for this project?
Tobin: Certainly. When scripting the first two issues, I had a mustache, but now I’ve shaved that off and— oh. Wait. This is more a question for
Patrick, isn’t it? Sorry.
Scherberger: Maybe a bit, but I’m not quite sure if anyone will notice much of a change from my normal style. My biggest hope is that I can do justice to Paul’s scripts.
CBR News: How do you think working on Spider-Man in this series will be different than working on him in other projects?
Tobin: He’s removed from his usual cast of characters, his normal life, so in essence he’s almost removed from being Peter Parker. Normally when I’m writing Spidey’s adventures, I try to have about a fifty-fifty balance between Peter and Spider-Man, but here it’s about 90 – 10 in favor of the webslinger.
Scherberger: I’m trying to walk that fine line between how I approached him in the Marvel Adventures titles and how he appears in the regular Marvel Universe. Personally I’ve always preferred a thinner Spider-Man, but I’m hoping to tone down a few of the exaggerations. I’ve been drawing him as a teenager for quite a few years now, and hopefully I’m getting it a bit right.
CBR News: What are you most looking forward to chronicling in the Secret Wars?
Tobin: When Hulk holds up the mountain. That really rocked me when I first read it, because I love the jade giant. I mean, c’mon… he held up a MOUNTAIN! Everyone would have died without him.
Scherberger: Captain America. Hands down. It’s my first opportunity to work with him, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had since working at Marvel. Don’t get me wrong. I love drawing Spidey, but I’ve been dying to work with Captain America for a while now.
CBR News: What is your favorite moment from the miniseries?
Tobin: That one part where Hulk holds up a mountain. On this project, I was able to really expand on that moment, and get in a lot of interplay with the Hulk and the other heroes, especially Spider-Man, of course.
Scherberger: I don’t want to say. It would be a spoiler filled paragraph, and I don’t want to give anything away.
CBR News: Is there anything you’d like fans of Spider-Man or Secret Wars to know about this project?
Tobin: In the first issue, the Hulk holds up a mountain.
Scherberger: And in the Second issue… Nope. I’m going to keep that to myself.