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Days of the New: Wacker Talks “Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day”

by  in Comic News Comment
Days of the New: Wacker Talks “Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day”
Pages from “Amazing Spider-Man” #547

Marvel Comics‘ Spider-Man is known for being a hard luck superhero and the past few months have shown the “Old Parker Luck” to be in rare form: after making his family a target for his enemies by revealing his identity to the world, the Wallcrawler switched sides in the superhero “Civil War,” making him a fugitive from justice. Then Peter Parker was dealt an even more devastating blow when his aunt took an assassin’s bullet meant for him. Now in the current “One More Day” storyline, it appears the only way to save his dying Aunt May is for Peter Parker to sacrifice his marriage and love for his wife by giving it to the demon lord Mephisto.

How “One More Day” will end is still in question but one thing is for certain — the new rotating creative teams coming aboard “Amazing Spider-Man” with January’s #546 are out to make 2008 a banner year for Spider-Man. CBR News spoke with Editor Stephen Wacker about the new creative teams’ plans for “Amazing Spider-Man,” which have been dubbed “Brand New Day”

Pages from “Amazing Spider-Man” #549

“Brand New Day” is not the name of an actual storyline; it’s the overall title of the first four months of the “Amazing Spider-Man” relaunch. “To put it in a much more understandable context, ‘Working Class Dog’ was the name of Rick Springfield’s classic 1981 album, but there was no actual song called’ Working Class Dog.’ The title was simply a thematic summing up of what was happening on the album (which included the still-on-my-iPod ‘Jesse’s Girl’),” Wacker explained. “I guess I’m basically saying that ‘Brand New Day’ is a lot like a Rick Springfield albu — which means I’m probably going to be called into my boss’s office the minute this interview goes live.”

While “Brand New Day” is not one big overall storyline, the stories by the rotating creative teams are connected. According to Wacker, the “Brand New Day” stories in “Amazing Spider-Man” will be like a TV season, with individual stories and one larger ongoing story lingering in the background that will occasionally step to the forefront. “The writers all came to New York and all four of them (plus Quesada, Brevoort, CB Cebulski, Aubrey Sitterson, and myself) hashed out 3-4 overarching plots that would take us through the year,” Wacker said. “Once we had that basic set up of where we were going, the writers individually came up with stories that moved the big plots along, checked in on the supporting cast and gave us lots of Spidey action. I’d compare this to Rick Springfield’s next album, ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet’, but I can feel the internet already staring at me weirdly.”

Pages from “Amazing Spider-Man” #552

The first ongoing story of “Brand New Day” concerns the promotional image unveiled at this year’s Wizard World Philly Convention; a mysterious gun-wielding figure wearing a Spider-Man mask. “You’d be quick to assume it’s not Peter Parker himself,” Wacker remarked. “Desperate times, desperate measures. (Same as I’m sure Rick Springfield felt after his 1984 movie ‘Hard to Hold’ tanked.) I love that shot though. Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines and Morry Hollowell, fresh from ‘Civil War,’ gave us the eye-grabbing second page splash that we needed. I’ll warn you, though, it’s nothing compared to the first page. Even you’ll believe that, yes, comics can be good!”

When “Brand New Day” begins, a couple of months have passed since the end of “One More Day,” but Spider-Man’s relationship with the city of New York has not changed. “My favorite part of the ‘Spider-Man 2’ video game is when you swing too close to the ground and you hear some guy yell, ‘Get outta here, ya menace!’ It was as thrilling as my first kiss (which, now that I’m thinking about it, was a dire braces-filled, tongue-y mess, so forget that comparison),” Wacker stated. “For the most part, I think New Yorkers see Spider-Man as kind of a creepy guy, but at least he’s their creepy guy. It’s the same way we feel about Donald Trump and Steinbrenner.”

Pages from “Amazing Spider-Man” #555

Another unchanged facet of Spider-Man’s life come “Brand New Day” is his constant struggle to make ends meet. “After ‘Civil War,’ teaching isn’t really an option anymore, but Pete’s always got his job as a freelance photographer to fall back on,” Wacker explained. “He’s not on the Bugle staff, so freelancing will always be a part of his life in one way or another. When we start the book, Pete is in need of cash. How he gets it will be a major part of our plans throughout the year.”

Come “Brand New Day,” there will also be new people and factors in Spider-Man’s life. Unfortunately for the Webslinger, some of these new people are supervillains out to make his life miserable. “We all know we can get some attention by doing the 784th Dr. Octopus story, but it was such a safe, obvious way to go that we just shied away from it,” Wacker said. “So at the initial summit, all the writers came up with new villains who carried some sort of personal grudge against Spidey and/or Peter. The launch of this behemoth has given us a unique opportunity to debut some new ideas and get a real spotlight on them, so we’re taking the ball and running with it.”

New villains will be the primary menaces in the stories of “Brand New Day,” but some of Spider-Man’s classic rogues will make appearances in the stories. “You will see some of them,” Wacker stated. “And afterwards, I guarantee you’ll be like me demanding to see McNiven, Vines and Hollowell on a Hammerhead ongoing book.”

Pages from “Amazing Spider-Man” #555

Not all the new people in Peter Parker’s life are out to hurt him. In addition to new villains, readers can expect lots of new faces to join the supporting cast of “Amazing Spider-Man” “There’s a new police officer that’s good pals with Pete, a new owner for the Coffee Bean, and a new boss at the Bugle,” Wacker explained. “That’s just the beginning, though. You’ll have to wait for the stories to come out before you find out their impact on Pete’s life.”

Wacker also revealed that in addition to the names already announced, there will be several new faces bringing to life “Amazing Spider-Man” in the New Year. “We’ve got several surprises planned on the art side of things that we’re announcing this week,” he said. “And a special surprise artist that we’ll announce later.”

The “Brand New Day” stories in “Amazing Spider-Man” are a carefully weaved web of classic and new elements, which Wacker hopes appeals to Spider-Man fans of all ages. “Every Spider-Man reader brings so much to the table; I have absolutely no idea of what will or won’t resonate with anyone besides myself. It all feels brand new to me, though there are some classic elements in place, but I’ve never been as deeply involved with the character as I have in the past year. Whether you think it’s all completely new or classic feeling tales all depends on you. Our job is to make each issue important and hopefully to make you sweat for a few days until the next one.”

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