As both the head of a successful tech firm and in his alter ego as Spider-Man, Peter Parker may be a globetrotting superhero, working to make the Marvel Universe a better place, but that doesn't mean he's forgotten where he came from. He still maintains an office in his hometown of New York City, and many of his friends and deadly foes still call the Big Apple home. It's no surprise, then that he tries to get back to there whenever possible, and soon readers will get a chance to follow Spidey's New York-based exploits on a regular basis.
“Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man,” a new back to basics style ongoing series from writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Adam Kubert, arrives via a Free Comic Book Day story before premiering as a regular series in June. We spoke with Zdarsky about Spider-Man's connection to New York, his favorite Spidey villains and supporting characters, and the role Marvel's New York based heroes might play in the series.
CBR: In recent years, Peter Parker has become a global hero, but with "Spectacular Spider-Man" you're taking a back to basics approach and focusing on Peter's adventures in his home town of New York City. What's it like writing him against that backdrop after he's spent the last few years of globetrotting?
Chip Zdarsky: It feels good! Spider-Man and New York go together like Tony Stark and fighting his friends. I love playing with Spidey’s relationship to [New York's] residents, who may be a bit more blasé or irritated when it comes to the web-crawler than people in any other city. It’s a good dynamic to have for Spider-Man, so his ego doesn’t get inflated and he goes back to showbiz! New York keeps him humble.
Bringing Peter back to New York gives you a chance to play with some classic Spidey supporting characters. Can you talk about some of the familiar supporting players Peter will interact with in your initial issues of "Spectacular?"
I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that I got to write MJ in our FCBD issue, and that was tons of fun. And, since my background is newspapers, I’m really looking forward to digging into “The Daily Bugle” and its related characters! Especially its on-again, off-again, sometimes Employee of the Month J. Jonah Jameson.
The other regular characters Peter interacts with of course are the members of his eclectic collection of deadly foes. Who are some of your favorite Spider-Man villains?
Again, no spoilers, but I got to put Vulture in the FCBD book, which was a thrill for me as I have an unhealthy fixation on senior citizen heroes and villains. For the main series, I get to use a fair number of classic Spidey villains, and amp up a few of them as well by giving them unlimited data plans for their phones. Spidey’s never faced Stilt-Man armed with no-extra-cost Google Maps while out on the town committing crimes!
[Laughs] Nice! Does the back to basics approach of “Spectacular Spider-Man” mean you're primarily interested in telling stories of Spidey as a solo hero? Or will we see some of his other friends and crime fighters like, say, Daredevil or the Human Torch?
Oh, definitely. Part of the fun of Spider-Man is seeing his role in the Marvel Universe by contrasting him against other heroes. And I love writing Human Torch, so he’s in it right off the bat.
Guest stars pop up all throughout the run as Spidey gets in deeper and deeper over his head.
One of the great things about Spider-Man is, he's a character who can get involved in almost any kind of adventure. Will "Spectacular" have a specific tone and feel to it, though?
I’m trying to create a fun Spider-Man book that anyone who loves the character can get into, but also a book that quickly spirals out of control, 'cause I like seeing Spider-Man against ludicrous odds.
I like that Spidey tangles with street-level bad guys but also gets wrapped up in world-saving adventures. I want this book to cover all those bases in a believable way.
What's it like working with Adam Kubert on this series? It seems like he'd be a great fit, given his history with the character and his work on classic Spidey style stories like the original "Renew Your Vows" miniseries, and books that frequently featured a weird and humorous feel like "Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine."
Holy cow, it’s insane. The artwork coming in from Adam is the best of his career, which is a problem because all I want to do is show everyone -- but I can’t! He’s bringing a beautiful level of detail to the book while tapping into that humorous feel you mention. It’s a really beautiful combination.
Finally, can you leave us with some hints and teases about your initial stories in "Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man?"
A figure from Peter’s past shows up and throws his life into disarray! A villain’s ultimate plan finally comes to fruition, planned since the day Peter became Spider-Man! Spidey goes on a date!