Marvel hosted its Spider-Man Brand New Day Friday afternoon at Wizard World Philly. CBR reported live from the panel. On hand to discuss Spidey’s life and times were Dan Slott, Tom Brevoort, Arune Singh, Joe Quesada, and CB Cebulski.
Brevoort introduced the panel, filling in for Joe Quesada who was running late. He asked by show of fans how many were reading “Amazing.” There was positive response to the three-times monthly schedule.
In July, Marc Guggenheim will introduce a new Kraven. In August, Dan Slott and John Romita Jr.’s arc will be “New Ways to Die.” The first issue will have alternate covers by Alex Ross and John Romita Sr., backup stories will be included written by Mark Waid with art by Adi Granov. “And each issue will be laced with crack cocaine,” Slott joked. The arc will introduce a villain called the Anti-Venom and return Norman Osborn to Spidey’s orbit.
Quesada arrived at this point and opened the floor to questions, after returning to some embarrassing slides of Brevoort in a wig.
The first question was whether there would be an explanation to Spidey’s loss of organic webshooters. “Yes,” Slott said. “There was a gap between the end of ‘One More Day’ and ‘Brand New Day.’ There are missing stories there, like ‘Lost,’ which is a popular TV series…”
After a BND compliment about Spidey’s sense of humor, Quesada said, ‘Thank you. Don’t get married or you’ll lose your sense of humor.”
“We cannot, cannot, say these stories did not happen,” Quesada said about the prospect of “One More Day” eliminating continuity, “People saying that’s what happened are just trying to get a reaction.” Brevoort said that most of the answers as to how continuity was affected will “unfold over the next 12, 16 months.”
“One of the choices we made, and it was an absolute choice … was to not spend the first three or four months explaining this stuff. It’s bookkeeping,” Brevoort said.
“Because we’re coming out three times a month, it does give us some leeway to reveal this more slowly,” Quesada said, “to peel away the layers of the onion.”
“We have the answers, we just have to go on the timeline we’ve established,” the EIC said.
Regarding the loss of Spider-Man’s ID as it relates to Wolverine, Slott joked that “Wow, I’ve just remembered my entire history… and now there’s a glitch.” He continued, “you’ve made yourself a writer and filled in some of the blanks that we haven’t filled in yet. It’s a puzzle–it fits.”
Brevoort added that, “The ground has not been pulled out from under your feet as much as you think it has.” He said it all relates to the gap between Peter and MJ’s kiss and the party that reintroduced Harry Osborne.
“Before the end of the year, you’ll see the return of a character from the JMS run,” Brevoort said. “That stuff did not go away.”
“I always loved the Human Torch, particularly when Johnny’s being a hothead. And then there will be an arc where he matures. Then you see another arc and Johnny’s burning the thing’s bed, just acting like Johnny,” Slott said in response to a question about Peter’s established life lessons. vis-a-vis the paparazzi job. “There doesn’t come a point in your adult life when you’re ‘mature.’ If Peter did the right thing all the time he wouldn’t be Peter Parker, he’d be Captain America.”
“I think these things play off each other really well,” Slott said about BND and “Secret Invasion,” “where suddenly everybody doesn’t know who Spider-Man is at the moment paranoia is at its highest in the Marvel Universe.”
Brevoort said the timing of “Brand New Day” is different because “on the one hand, we’ve done 16 issues, but on the other it’s only been five months.” This makes it difficult to answer fan questions about when certain arcs, such as the Spider-tracer Killer, will play out.
“There’s no question about it, DC took a very big risk” with “52,” Quesada said. He mentioned that he had discussed the idea of Spider-Man going weekly prior to this, but that it didn’t make sense with the creators who were on the Spidey books at the time.
Brevoort said, “We’ve been talking about the idea of it for a while,” explaining that — contrary to other editors’ recollections — he was not the one who didn’t like the idea. “Getting back to the place where there was one book, where everything that happened in that character’s life was in that book, that appealed to me,” he said, noting that “Amazing” was always the flagship.
“The Spider-Mobile? I wanna bring it back!” Slott joked in response to a fan who suggested BND was just rehashing old material.
“Any character runs the risk of becoming stale, but you look at classic runs, like John Byrne on ‘Fantastic Four,’ they’re ‘back to basics,” Brevoort said. “After seeing [JMS’s] version of Spider-Man for five years, we thought maybe it’s time to look at something new,” he said, noting that it was important to explore different angles and explaining this is why BND has avoided using classic villains.
“Every one of these characters is built upon a particular archetype,” Quesada said. “At one point Johnny Storm got married and they had to make his wife a Skrull because Johnny works better as a young, single hothead.” He said it was important to “keep the characters as true to their characters as possible.” Peter Parker is “the lovable loser, the everyman,” Quesada said.
Any other “genies” to put back in the bottle? “As far as problems affecting the archetype of the characters, I don’t think there are any out there right now.” In addition to the Spider-marriage, Quesada’s other two “genies” were winnowing down the mutant population and the “predictability” of a universe in which everybody likes each other.
Is Anti-Venom going to be a character we’ve seen before? Slott: “I’m not even going to tell you if it’s a symbiote.”
“It’s kind of fun to take a character where he shouldn’t go, to have him make the wrong choice,” Slott said of Peter’s paparazzi career. Brevoort and Quesada said that his current behavior was not equivalent to his photography of super hero battles.
“We haven’t seen him poke his camera into someone’s window,” Slott said, “we haven’t seen him do the sort of really sleazy things paparazzi can do… yet.”
“If we hadn’t done ‘One More Day,’ and a door opened and it was Harry Osborn, can you imagine that happening?” Slott asked in response to character history revisions, which Brevoort said the team was very careful about, to avoid rampant continuity revisions. “Imagine that happening.”
A “What If?” reversing the “One More Day” decision? “Right now, we’re not,” Quesada said. “It’s too early to strip mine this stuff.” He did add though, regarding the Woman from “One More Day,” “that’s another story.”
In response to Aunt May’s “Yes!” in a recent issue after getting Peter out of the house and into his own apartment, Quesada joked, “She really just wants to get laid.”
Why hasn’t SHIELD gone after Spider-Man since “Civil War?” “He’s got Spider-sense; he’s really hard to catch,” Slott said.
Jackpot will be “heavily featured in ‘Secret Invasion: Spider-Man,” Brevoort said.
“And you’ll learn something very important about Jackpot this month,” Slott concluded.