Spider-Man is one of the most well connected characters in the Marvel Universe. He's been a member of the Avengers and Fantastic Four and had frequent dealings with the X-Men. His solo superhero career has lead to him crossing paths with many of the heroes and vigilantes that call New York home. Spidey's dynamics with these various heroes are explored monthly in the ongoing team-up series "Avenging Spider-Man," but those established dynamics are about to change. This December, the long running "Amazing Spider-Man" comes to an end with issue #700. When Marvel launches the new ongoing "Superior Spider-Man" series in January, Peter Parker will not be the title character.
December's "Avenging Spider-Man" #15.1 bridges the gap between "Amazing Spider-Man" and "Superior Spider-Man," setting the stage for the series' new direction of team up stories between the heroes of the Marvel U and the Superior Spider-Man. CBR News spoke with new "Avenging" writer Chris Yost about the bookend issue and his plans for the series moving into Marvel NOW!
Long time fans of Chris Yost's work know of his affinity for the X-Men. In the 2000s, Yost and co-writer Craig Kyle helmed popular series like "X-23," "New X-Men" and "X-Force." Recently, Yost got the chance to express his fondness for the world of Spider-Man with his work on the mini-series "Fear Itself: Spider-Man" and the "Scarlet Spider" ongoing series, which lead Marvel to offer him the writing duties on "Avenging Spider-Man."
"Spider-Man is hands down my favorite character in all of comic books. So being able to work on a Spider-Man book is just amazing," Yost told CBR News. "One of my favorite books I ever worked on was the 'Fear Itself: Spider-Man' mini-series. When Steve Wacker called me about ['Avenging Spider-Man'] I instantly said yes. Then I of course realized that I wouldn't be writing the Amazing Spider-Man, I would be writing the Superior Spider-Man, which is just as exciting."
Part Yost's excitement to write the new Superior Spider-Man in "Avenging Spider-Man" stems from the new nature of the character and the book's mandate, which allows him to create and establish new dynamics in the Marvel Universe. "The mission statement of 'Avenging Spider-Man' is still the same. It's teaming Spider-Man up with the biggest characters in the Marvel Universe, but at the same time it's different because we have a new title character." Yost said. "We all know how Peter Parker is going to interact with Captain America and all these guys, but with the Superior Spider-Man that's a very different story. I would even go so far as to say that 'team up' is not quite the right word."
Yost's run on the series begins December 26 with the release of "Avenging Spider-Man" #15.1. "My debut issue comes out the same day as 'Amazing Spider-Man' #700 and it's an epilogue of sorts to issue #700," the writer said. "They're the only two comics Marvel is putting out that week. This is the bridge between "Amazing Spider-Man' #700 and 'Superior Spider-Man' #1. You'll want to buy them both, but read Amazing Spider-Man #700 first. It's an amazing issue and Dan Slott has written the Spider-Man story of his career. Then it all kicks off in a new direction come 'Avenging Spider-Man' #15.1"
In January's "Avenging Spider-Man" #16, Yost combines his two favorite comic properties by putting the new Spider-Man on a case that brings him face to face with the X-Men. "I didn't think I'd be able to get the X-Men as guests stars with the relaunch and Marvel NOW!" Yost said. "We didn't exactly know where they were going to be and how available they would be. The minute they said yes, I was all about it. Obviously, I have a great love for the X-Men. I worked with them for years, and I was all about the chance to have my two favorite proprieties clash like this. There will be some uncertainty in the interactions between Spider-Man and the X-Men."
The uncertain X-Men in "Avenging Spider-Man" #16 are the faculty members from the Jean Grey School including Wolverine, Beast, Storm, Iceman, and Kitty Pryde. "The events that brings all these characters together chose those X-Men. Something happens where literally, as corny as it sounds, this is a job for the X-Men," Yost stated. "After the events of 'Avengers Vs. X-Men,' I think there's a lot of wariness in the world about mutants and a new status quo for mutants. So in some ways it was fun to be able to play with both things. We've got a new status quo for Spider-Man and the X-Men. I just put those in a pot and stirred."
On top of the character drama, readers of "Avenging Spider-Man" #16 will also get an exciting adventure story with a colossal scale. "They'll be fighting a giant 30 foot tall spider with mutant powers," Yost said. "So this is pretty fun story. A comic with a giant monster spider with mutant powers in Manhattan? I'd buy that."
Artist Paco Medina, who begins his run on the book with issue #15.1 and worked with Yost on "New X-Men", will bring the giant mutant spider action in "Avenging Spider-Man" #16 to life. "I loved working with Paco on that book and his work has gotten so incredible since that time," Yost stated. "So the art on this book is fantastic and Paco is drawing a world he knows really well. His character work and acting is amazing and he's just as great with the big action. I can't wait for people to see his work."
Going forward, Yost and Medina plan to introduce the new title character of "Avenging Spider-Man" to a whole host of established Marvel characters. "I think the Superior Spider-Man kind of puts a different spin on the whole Spider-Man world. I think the ability to explore this new status quo is the fun part of it and seeing the Marvel Universe's reaction to this guy is the other half of that," Yost explained. "Because now we're in a world where it's almost like Spider-Man is the guest star in his own book. We'll see how the other characters react to him. There will be new dynamics because everything is now flipped on its head.Everyone knows what a Spider-Man-Thor team up is like. Well not any more you don't."
Fans of Yost's work may wonder if those future teams-up will include an encounter with the other Spider-themed character under Yost's writing hand. "The idea of a team up or crossover with 'Scarlet Spider' may have come up," Yost said with a laugh. "I'm not sure. That does seem perfect though. Doesn't it?"
"Avenging Spider-Man" #15.1 hits stores December 26