Peter Parker can forget the jackpot, because he’s just hit the big time.
At Comic-Con International in San Diego, the talented Marvel: Spider-Man panel lineup revealed a brand new day of a different color for everybody’s favorite web-slinging hero. Marvel’s Manager of Sales and Communications Arune Singh moderated a panel consisting of newly appointed Senior Vice President of Creator & Content Development C.B. Cebulski, the “awesome and very talented” Dan Slott, “the equally awesome and debonair” Paolo Rivera and “Spider-Man” assistant editor Tom Brennan. The first topic of conversation was the currently ongoing “One Moment in Time” arc in “Amazing Spider-Man,” which concludes in August and paves the way for “Origin of the Species,” a sweeping epic of a story that promises “to wrap up lots of things that have been building since the beginning of Brand New Day,” said Slott.
“Spider-Man is on the run,” the writer elaborated. “He has something very important to the Osborn family and the entire world. There is not a moment where he’s not under attack and there’s not a moment he can rest. You’ll see why Spider-Man is the greatest hero in the universe.”
“Origin of the Species” marks the grand finale of the Brand New Day epic first launched in “The Amazing Spider-Man” #546. The panelists praised the work of BND contributors Slott, Bob Gale, Fred Van Lente, Joe Kelly, Mark Waid, Marc Guggenheim, Joe Caramagna, Zeb Wells and Steve Wacker. But where one chapter closes, a new one begins in the form of “Big Time,” the new October-launching “Spider-Man” status quo courtesy of Slott and a trio of rotating artists in Humberto Ramos, Marcos Martin and Stefano Caselli.
In announcing “Big Time,” Slott and his colleagues showed off some new teaser art from the new era of “Spider-Man” books, including Spider-Man wearing a Fantastic Four uniform, a never-before-seen black and neon green Spider-suit, and Spidey battling it out with a newly designed Scorpion -Â and yes, Mac Gargan is back as Scorpion, leaving fans to wonder what’s going to happen to the Venom symbiote.
“As much as I’ve had a great time working with the Spider-Man team, at this point, I’m doing Spidey by myself,” Slott said of “Big Time,” which ships twice every month and features 30 pages of material with every issue. Issues will occasionally feature eight-page backup features as part of those 30 pages, though Slott will frequently use all 30 pages for the main story. In “Big Time,” Parker finds himself on a new, as-yet-revealed career path that promises to showcase “all of the wonderful gifts” he has to offer the world outside of his Spider-Man abilities.
Also announced was an all-new “Spider-Girl” series from Paul Tobin and Clayton Henry completely unrelated to Mayday Parker, who’s story concludes in “Spider-Girl: The End.” Readers will get their first taste of the new Spider-Girl in a backup feature in the first issue of “Big Time,” clocking in at 47 pages. Singh promised the audience that “this is a very important book to the Spider-Man family. It’s not an ancillary or a satellite book. It’s very important.”
Additionally, Singh announced two new miniseries: “Osborn,” written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by Emma Rios, and “Carnage” from writer Zeb Wells and artist Clayton Crain. “Osborn” tells the story of Norman’s days behind bars, with the former head of H.A.M.M.E.R. featuring a suspicious Green Goblin tattoo on his neck. “Carnage,” meanwhile, sees Spider-Man and Iron Man going toe-to-toe with the newly returned symbiote menace.
Audience members were invited to ask their questions, with most inquiries directed Slott’s way. He was asked if there would be any new villains introduced in “Big Time,” with Slott teasing that we’ll see characters that haven’t been seen in a while coming back to true form and some with new spins, in addition to new villains. “I’ve got to write two of these [books] per month,” he said. “So I’ve got to write a lot of stuff.”
One fan asked Slott about the fate of the Venom symbiote now that Mac Gargan is back in action as Scorpion. “You will see where the symbiote goes kind of in the first issue. So much happens in issue #648, it’s like an idea bomb goes off,” he teased. “You’re going to see some symbiotey stuff pretty soon.”
“Huge stuff” happens in the Ramos-illustrated first arc once Peter Parker embarks on his new career, Slott told another fan. In the second arc, something happens that makes Spidey reevaluate what kind of Spider-Man he wants to be, leading him to “operate in a way that we’ve never seen before.” By the third arc, “there’s going to be a massive status quo shift.”
Another attendee asked Slott if it would ever be explained how Quentin Beck, alias Mysterious, came back to life. “Whoever said that was Quentin Beck?” Slott retorted to a chorus of ooh’s and ahh’s.
While many fans expressed their desire to see the return of Ben Reilly – something that is being worked on, according to Brennan -Â the end has arrived for Mayday Parker, with her swan song coming up in “Spider-Girl: The End” from Tom DeFalco. Brennan told the crowd that there’s still some hope for Mayday’s future if sales warrant her eventual return.
Asked for hints about Peter’s new job, Slott said: “Let’s just say it’s his dream job. Peter Parker gets his dream job. But it’s Peter Parker – even if things are going great in Column A, he’s going to screw something up in Column B, because he’s like us.” Despite this, Peter’s career is getting in shape, which leads to him having more resources as a superhero. After all, with great money comes great stuff.
One fan wanted to know more about the fate of Norman Osborn, and he was advised to keep an eye out on on the “Osborn” limited series to get an idea of where the character is going. He was also advised to keep an eye out on the mysterious goblin tattoo on Norman’s neck.
Slott teased to the audience that the black-and-neon-green suit is not the new Spider-Man suit, but one of potentially several new suits.
Are there any plans for Gwen Stacey in the immediate future? “More decomposing,” said Slott.
Finally, Slott was asked if there were any major super-villain team-ups planned for his “Spider-Man” run, and there are. Asked for a hint on that team-up, Slott ominously held up six fingers.
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