Paul Pope gets 'Tangled' in Spidey's Web

[Art by Paul Pope for Tangled Web #15]Paul Pope, a creator known best for his work on creator owned projects like "THB," "Escapo," "Heavy Liquid" and the upcoming mini-series "100%" from Vertigo, will be taking a shot at Marvel's Spider-Man in the very near future.

Coming this June Pope will contribute a story to "Tangled Web #15," the Spider-Man title that has played host to a large number of creators you wouldn't expect to tackle the character. Pope has written and drawn a story called "The Collaborator."

"When they offered me a shot at writing and drawing Spider-Man, I wanted to come up with some aspect of the character's world we haven't seen before," Pope told CBR News. "I kept returning to an image that initially popped up in my mind; A girl jumping on her bed, with posters and photos of Spider-Man tacked to her wall. I began wondering about this girl. Who is she? Why is she jumping on her bed? What time is it, night or day? What time of year is it? What YEAR is it? I began to get an idea that she had to be the daughter of a super villain, maybe one of those lesser known, 1970s era, one-issue and their busted-loser-bad guys. Maybe she's a big fan of Spider-Man, and she doesn't realize her dad is one of Spider-man's enemies. I liked that. I imagined in her dad's secret workroom, he also had a picture of Spider-man tacked up, but his has a knife stuck in the middle of Spidey's forehead."

Taking the concept from this simple image into a complete script was only the beginning for Pope as he soon discovered this idea opened a whole new avenue of possibilities. "Then I began wondering, what would it be like to be the son or daughter of a super villain? Of course, the bad guy was probably pure hell to live with, maybe abusive, certainly ill tempered. Would the negative character traits the dad exhibits also be seen in the daughter? Is super villainy an inherited trait? Here we are, back at Original Sin already. What if she's sweet and nice, nothing like her old man? What if she was more like the Mom, and for some reason the Mom is out of the picture, leaving this girl in the care of a vile man who wants nothing more than to kill the very hero the girl, coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally, who knows?), worships? What a premise!"

Fueled by the questions this girl's character brought to the surface, Pope knew that he had to tell this story. "As these things began to come together, I thought, 'What a good story it'd be to see how this girl learns her father is a super villain,' and 'What would it be like for her to come face to face with her hero [Spider-Man] in the process?'"

Pope looks at the work he put into this project fondly. "It's been a blast working on this book, almost as much fun as 'THB.' Even though it's been a lot of work, on top of my on-going '100%' deadlines. 'Gotta pay the cost to be the boss!'"

Pope's stint on "Tangled Web" won't be the only work he does for Marvel. "I'm doing an 8 pager for 'Captain America: Red, White and Blue.' [It's] a Red Skull story. That comes out in November of 2002, so there's time to get the word out. I haven't even started drawing it."

Pope also mentioned that he has two more high-profile super-hero books coming soon. "I'm not sure what either's gonna be, exactly. But maybe in general, it'd be safe to say [I'll be] doing more superhero work for the Big Two, or something like that."

Pope's issue of "Tangled Web" ships June 5th, 2002.

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