Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man frequently wrestles with misfortune, and over the last decade he’s certainly experienced the “Old Parker Luck” a number of times, but he’s also had quite a bit of good fortune, as well.
Much of his recently tumultuous life has come courtesy of Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott. During Slott’s tenure Spidey’s saved New York City, the world, and even the Multiverse. He’s landed a dream job as an inventor, had his body stolen by Doctor Octopus (who used it to replaced him as Spider-Man), become the head of globe spanning corporate conglomerate, and been forced to sacrifice his fortune to keep the technological breakthroughs of Parker Industries out of the hands of Doc Ock and Hydra.
That’s a heck of a decade, by any standard.
This Spring, Slott prepares to bring his 10-year tenure to a close with one final arc, and then a final issue. CBR spoke with Slott about his final Spidey arc, “Go Down Swinging,” with artists Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia, where Peter Parker will be in the crosshairs of both the Carnage symbiote and its new host Norman Osborn. He also opened up about reuniting with artist Marcos Martin for his final issue, Amazing Spider-Man #801, which will serve as a coda to the writer’s entire run.
CBR: Dan, I’ve read that you’ve known for a while now that issue #801 would be your last Amazing Spider-Man issue. What made you want to say goodbye with that issue?
Dan Slott: I knew for a long time it would be #801, because #800 was going to be a big all or nothing, blow the roof off, slobber knocker. And I didn’t want to go out on the fireworks and explosions. I wanted to go out on the curtain call. [Laughs] Something heartfelt. My best shot at a Stern-like “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man”; a nice, “This is everything Spider-Man means to me” kind of story as opposed to “THE GREATEST FIGHT OF SPIDER-MAN’S LIFE!”
So you have sort of the action packed epic, and then you have the epilogue?
Yeah. It’s not really a coda on the “Go Down Swinging” arc, but it’s everything I love about Spider-Man.
If I remember correctly, a couple retreats ago [Brian] Bendis was starting to tell me a story off to the side that he wanted to do with Miles [morales]. I was like, “Brian, please don’t tell that story!” [Laughs] He asked why, and I told him that it was so close to my final Spider-Man story that I had planned out ages ago. I wrote it and then put it in the drawer. Brian asked what it was, and I told him what was planned for #801.
Then, when we went back into the main room of the retreat, Brian stopped everybody and went, “Hey, you guys all have to listen to Dan’s Spider-Man story.” He made me tell the whole thing and I got a nice little round of applause from the room. [Laughs]
I can’t remember exactly when I asked Marcos Martin if he’d draw that story. It might have been during “Mysterioso,” our last arc together of Amazing Spider-Man. Or later, when he helped out on a few pages of Superior Spider-Man. He’s one of my favorite people of all time to work with. So I asked him — way back when — if when it was time for my run to be over, whenever that was in the distant future, [Laughs], if he’d come back and draw my last Spidey. He heard it and agreed to come back and do that story. So that’s #801.
I have all this stuff worked out for how many issues equals this benchmark and how many equals that one. Going to issue #801 brings the final tally of my core run to 180 issues. If you cheat and start using stuff like Free Comic Book Day issues, specials like Spider-Man: The List, “Learning to Crawl,” all the.1 issues, as well as side projects, minis, and annuals, you could slap on about an extra 36 issues to the count. So it’s 180 of the core book. Ten years. And hitting #800. I liked the way everything rounded up.
Now, on the flip side, if you count every comic I’ve ever done in the 27 years I’ve been doing this, when you get to Amazing #797, the first issue of “Go Down Swinging,” that’s my 500th comic. Guys like Peter David and Geoff Johns would laugh at that. It’s like, “It took you 27 years to write that much?” They do that much in a week. And I say that out of pure envy. [Laughs]
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