SDCC: Across the Spider-Verse

Friday at Comic-Con International in San Diego began with Marvel's Spider-Verse panel, featuring writers Dan Slott, Mark Waid, and Nick Spencer, artist Humberto Ramos, and colorist Edgar Delgado, along with Senior Editor Nick Lowe discussing the upcoming November event series bringing together "every Spider-Man ever."

Ramos was not present at the beginning of the panel, though Lowe announced him as a panelist. "Humberto isn't really late; he likes to make a big entrance," Waid joked. "So when he comes in, don't do anything! That'll teach him to be on time."

The first slides featured "Superior Spider-Man" #32, which Lowe said is "where 'Spider-Verse' really begins." The issue will answer Superior Spider-Man disappeared to for a few pages in #19 after Horizon Labs exploded. "There was a time-plosion," Slott said.

At this point, Ramos arrived, and the audience, as Waid had asked, did not applaud. But then Waid gave fans an ok and they cheered.

"That same explosion that brought Miguel O'Hara back is what caused Superior Spider-Man to disappear," Slott said. "And as we know, nature abhors a vacuum; Superior Spider-Man has been in 2099."

Slott spoke about the adorable Skottie Young variant which features "a baby Spider-Ham" among other Spideys, but then said, "and I KILL THEM ALL."

Lowe next spoke about the just-launched "Spider-Man 2099" #1, which takes place in the present and sees Miguel working for Alchemex and "trying to change his great-grandfather so he turns out to not be a terrible person." Issue #5 will be a "Spider-Verse" tie in featuring art by Rick Leonardi.

Next up came "Daredevil" #6, which came out this week and ties in to "Original Sin." "The reason that Matt's mother left, the reason that Jack Murdock had to raise his son alone; we've got bits and pieces through the years," Waid said. Now, though, Matt Murdock needs answers, "but when he finds his mother, she's in prison and is being extradited to Wakanda." Waid described the issue as "important" and said it involved a strong degree of research. Lowe added that "it's not an easy issue to read" but deals "with some real issues."

Showing a slide with Daredevil skydiving, Waid said that "I want, every issue, for Daredevil to do something that would make Green Lantern pass out with fear. I think skydiving into the Wakandan jungle would be on its way to that."

Issues #8-9 has the tag line "Who are the Purple Children?" which relates to the Purple Man's persuasive powers and the "dynasty" he's been quietly setting up through the years. "Boy, I sure wish he was smart enough to realize that when you put all those children together in one room, he's not the most powerful guy in that room," Waid said of the "creepy" issue.

Back to Spider-Man, Slott said that the "Original Sin" storyline sees that "not only have some characters been keeping secrets, but they have had secrets kept from them." The story reveals that another person was bitten by the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers, but was kept locked in a bunker by Ezekiel for years. She's now let out, but "that might lead into 'Spider-Verse,'" Slott said.

Ramos said that, when drawing "Superior Spider-Man," even though the character wears a mask that hides his features "I had to draw him a little creepier, angrier," but now that Peter's back he needs to convey a more "smiley" appearance beneath the mask.

Next up, Spencer discussed "Superior Foes of Spider-Man," which stars the "working-class criminals" that Spider-Man "usually beats up in the first few pages while he's thinking about what else is going on in his life." But now these low-level villains "are in a lot of trouble, everybody's after them." In issue #14, "we're going to spend a bit of time getting to know Overdrive."

October sees the weekly "Edge of Spider-Verse" miniseries, which leads off with a Spider-Man Noir story by David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, and Richard Isanove. The second issue features Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez. "This character was one that Dan was most excited to get out there," Lowe said. Issue #3 is written and drawn by Justin Weaver. "He came at this with such a cartoonist's eye, and it's a future, non-Peter-Parker Spider-Man," Lowe said. Issue #4, which arrives in November, is by Clay McLeod Chapman, Elia Bonetti, and a cover by Garry Brown, is "terrifying," Lowe said, and is "closer to Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' than Stan Lee." Finally, #5 is by Gerard Way and Jake Wyatt with an alternate universe Spidey called SPI//dr.

"Amazing Spider-Man" #7 features a team-up with Ms. Marvel. "She is the closest character to classic Peter Parker," Slott said of the new heroine Kamala Khan. "The fun is teaming her up with modern day Peter Parker," Slott said. The writer was also very excited about another character in the issue, the new hero Spider UK of the alternate universe Captain Britain Corps.

"Amazing"#8 sees an appearance from MC2 Spider-Girl. "It doesn't look like she's in for a good time," Slott said. "There's rough stuff in store for every Spider character you've ever cared about!" he added ominously. "I'm very sorry."

Lowe then announced "Spider-Verse Team-Up," each issue featuring a story by Christos Gage and Dave Williams and then another story by "a murderer's row" of writers and artists.

Next the announcement for "Scarlet Spiders," by Mike Costa and Paco Diaz. The stars are Ben Reilly, Kane, and Ultimate Jessica Drew in a team-up of the Spider-clones.

This was followed by a video of a new Spider-Man mobile game called "Spider-Man Unlimited," which launches in September. "It's kind of like a Temple Run game only better," Lowe said. "There are 23 playable Spider-Men at launch, and there will be even more after 'Spider-Verse -- that's the most Spider-Men in a game, ever."

Lowe said there would be another Spider-announcement at the Women of Marvel panel Sunday morning.

The floor was then opened to fan questions.

Slott said that, for there to be possible for the Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman to get an ongoing series, "first she'll have to survive Spider-Verse."

Asked about the accessibility of "Spider-Verse," Slott said it will be easy to read, and the chapters in "Amazing" make up a complete story in itself, with the tie-ins "enriching" the experience. "You don't have to have read every issue of 'Spider-Man India' or 'Spider-Manga.'"

Slott clarified that any Spider-Men co-created by Sony, such as the movie versions and CGI cartoons, will not appear in "Spider-Verse," but will include unexpected versions like the Japanese "Supaidaman."

Asked about whether Miles Morales' previous meetings with Peter Parker would be mentioned in "Spider-Verse," Slott said that yes, and "he's actually met a couple alternates of Spider-Man," specifically Superior. As to whether it affects the "Ultimate" book, Slott shouted "SPIDER-VERSE AFFECTS EVERYTHING," joking that it will even influence "some kid writing fan fiction, 'Spider-Verse' will affect that."

Asked about Madame Web, Slott tentatively said that, "yes, she is on panel" in an upcoming issue of "Amazing," but "she has been in a coma since the events of 'Danger Zone.'" Which of course led Lowe to sing the Kenny Loggins song.

The next fan asked whether "Spider-Verse" would include Ultimate Peter Parker. "That's a very good question," Slott said, without elaborating.

Asked about Anna Maria would have time to grieve, Lowe noted that "she's also learned that he was a super-villain. Who has literally tried to blow the world up." Slott added that, "it would be a real shame is something really horrible happened to her."

Will we see 616 Miles Morales in "Spider-Verse?" "Not in 'Spider-Verse,'" Lowe said, wrapping up the panel.

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