In 1979, Spider-Man and Red Sonja first crossed paths in the pages of "Marvel Team-Up" #79. Almost twenty years later, the writer of the current "Red Sonja" series, Michael Avon Oeming, brings the webhead and the warrior woman of Hykrania together again in the five-issue Dynamite Entertainment/Marvel Comics crossover "Spider-Man/Red Sonja." CBR News sat down with Oeming to talk about the upcoming series.
In short, "Spider-Man/Red Sonja" pits Spidey and Sonja against their longtime foes Venom and Kulan Gath. "But that's not the half of it!" Oeming told CBR News. "Toss in some extra spice and lots of love and you have the beginning of the story. For me the set-up is all 'dressing' to express the relationship between Spidey, Sonja and their connection with MJ. The situation is fun for Sonja - she's a woman out of time and she doesn't understand why this man - whose face she can't see - is trying to…" At that Oeming, trailed off, for fear of giving away too much.
Oeming is going for a classic feel for the Spider-Man/Red Sonja team-up and, as a result, it won't be Mac Gargan donning the symbiote, but its original host, Eddie Brock. "We were very fortunate in that we are using Brock and he is the Venom so many fans love from the nineties," Oeming said. "Those McFarlane covers were amazing and wait until you see Mel's interior art."
In "Marvel Team-Up" #79, the spirit of Sonja possessed the body of Mary Jane Watson. While Oeming said "Spider-Man/Red Sonja" is not a direct sequel to that issue, he did say there would be a nod or two to the classic team-up. "The connection is going to be apparent and it is in continuity."
Oeming, who has helmed Red Sonja since its relaunch by Dynamite, jumped at the chance to see the title character cross paths with Marvel's resident wall-crawler once again. "When the possibility of this was mentioned to me well over a year ago, it seemed surreal," Oeming said. Oeming lauds "Marvel Team-Up" #79 as one of the greatest crossovers of all time and was excited to build on both the Marvel and the Dynamite canon. "Once I got over the excitement, I realized that I had to work my butt off to tell a story that was as close to as good as 'Marvel Team-Up' #79 as possible. There was a certain amount of magic (pun intended) in that story that you feel like could not be replicated. In order to build on that I had to try not to replicate it, but tell a story that fans would look at and say, 'Wow, that really stands out!' It is one of the hardest projects I ever had the joy to work on. I'm actually honored to have worked on it - it is my first opportunity to work on Spider-Man and I continue to write the book that I love, Red Sonja." And Oeming said regular "Red Sonja" artist Mel Rubi was just as excited to try his hand at drawing Spider-Man.
When asked if there were any other characters Oeming would like to see Red Sonja crossover with, the writer told CBR News, "Yes, but that would be telling." The first issue of "Spider-Man/Red Sonja" hits stands this August.