In Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, readers are experiencing the adventures of a version of the title character who has achieved a rare victory: becoming part of a family who can help him shoulder his responsibility to protect New York. Peter Parker, his wife Mary Jane (who used the technology of the supervillain known as the Regent to become the superhero Spinneret) and his daughter Annie (AKA the youthful hero Spiderling) are a loving and supportive crime fighting team, who inspire each other to be the best they can be — but they’re about to face their greatest challenge.
That challenge arrives this week in Renew Your Vows #11, by series artist-turned-writer, Ryan Stegman, and new artist Brian Level. Young Normie Osborn revives his family’s legacy of evil, and as the new Green Goblin declares war on Spider-Man. CBR spoke with Stegman about the story of Normie’s revenge, which will close out his run on the book.
CBR: You’ve been part of Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows since issue #1, but you recently moved from drawing the book to writing it. That’s something that I don’t think is widely known.
Ryan Stegman: [Laughs] Yeah. I recently tweeted about a review I read where they credited Gerry Conway because he had co-written the previous two issues with me, and I straight up wrote issue #10. They seemed to think he was still the writer, and I found that funny. Then I felt bad because they felt bad, but it was a strange situation where suddenly the artist is just writing the book.
What’s it been like taking over as the series’ writer?
Scary. [Laughs] I had been kind of hounding Marvel to let me do some writing, but I thought it would be on a smaller scale, like some short stories, because I’ve done a short story for Marvel before [in 2015’s Uncanny Inhumans #0]. So when they offered this, I very much had a moment of, “Can I really do this?”
I’ve always written for myself. As a kid, I wanted to be a writer and an artist, and possibly a writer even more than an artist. So there was a moment where I was like, “I don’t really know for sure if I’m going to do this right, because I’ve never really had myself put on a scale this large. I had to come to terms with it and just do it, and it’s been really fun.
Writing Renew Your Vows has given me whole new respect for editors, too. Not that I ever disrespected them, but I get it now. I’ve been an artist for a while. Usually when I turn stuff in my editor just says, “Great!” And that’s it, but now that I’m working on this I’m on the phone all time with my editor Darren Shan. We’re hammering out story details, and Darren has been so good about steering me in the right direction. He was the one who gave me this opportunity and he’s helped so much.
It feels like you’re taking over the book right at the time of the payoff of the Osborn family story that’s been developing in the background of Renew Your Vows since issue #1. It’s also interesting that you’re using Normie and the Osborns in this book since its main characters are a family that help each other rise up and find their best selves. Is the Osborn family meant to be the opposite side of that coin, to show that families can be destructive as well as healthy?
That’s very perceptive of you. Part of the reason why I love this book and was so excited to take this job when it was offered in the first place was that I love family dynamics in comic books. I love action, love stories, and family dynamics. So I’m a big Fantastic Four fan and a big Spider-Man fan.
And yes, that’s something I’m very interested in playing up. I want to show how Annie Parker’s life is sort of ideal, but not everybody is blessed with the same kind of life and not every kid feels loved all the time the way that they should. So it’s kind of an interesting juxtaposition of Normie, somebody who lost his father, and Annie, who has the perfect life, on the flip side.
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