Down­ward Spi­ral

Gerry Con­way takes Spidey back to ba­sics

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Hav­ing taken over the reins of The Amaz­ing Spi­derMan in 1972, Gerry Con­way is the writer who is most closely as­so­ci­ated with the Wall- crawler’s clas­sic pe­riod af­ter Spidey’s co- cre­ator, Stan Lee. Now af­ter spend­ing the past two decades script­ing TV shows like Law And Or­der, the 62- year- old is re­turn­ing to ol’ Web­head’s monthly ad­ven­tures with Spi­ral, a spe­cial five- parter that be­gins in The Amaz­ing Spi­der- Man # 16.1.

“It’s hon­estly quite sur­real,” says Con­way, who will be joined by artist Car­los Barberi. “It’s been such a long time since I worked on the char­ac­ter that it al­most feels like I’m com­ing home to a familiar neigh­bour­hood that I grew up in. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s also tinged with a bit of nos­tal­gia and per­spec­tive of the years that have passed in be­tween.”

Fea­tur­ing Yuri Watan­abe, aka for­mer po­lice cap­tain turned vig­i­lante the Wraith, Con­way’s story will draw not just on his ex­pe­ri­ence script­ing po­lice pro­ce­du­rals like Pa­cific Blue but also his fa­ther’s back­ground in law en­force­ment. “I come from a fam­ily that’s steeped in that mind­set,” he re­calls. “So while I don’t nec­es­sar­ily ap­prove of it, I cer­tainly get it, which gives me an in­sight into Yuri’s cri­sis.”

Cen­tring around a power strug­gle among Marvel’s crim­i­nal gangs led by the likes of Tomb­stone, Ham­mer­head and the Black Cat, Spi­ral will stand in stark con­trast to the di­men­sion- hop­ping es­capades of re­cent cross­over, Spi­der- Verse. “One of my wishes when I came back was to do a street level story be­cause that was where the char­ac­ter was at when I was writ­ing Spi­der- Man,” ex­plains Con­way. “He was much less of a world saver and more of a street saver at that point. I’ve al­ways liked that as­pect of Spi­der- Man and I don’t think it’s got­ten enough play in the last few years be­cause of the big event sto­ries that Marvel needs to do.”

With Dan Slott con­tin­u­ing on The Amaz­ing Spi­der- Man’s main arc, Spi­ral will still have an im­pact go­ing for­ward. “My goal was to do some­thing that’s to the side but is still cru­cial to Spi­der- Man’s fu­ture devel­op­ment,” says Con­way. “When this story is over, it will have af­fected not just Peter and Yuri but also New York in a way that will have reper­cus­sions in the fu­ture, so it’s kind of im­por­tant that it hap­pens.” The Amaz­ing Spi­der- Man: Spi­ral swings onto shelves later this month.

Ham­mer­head gives Spidey and the build­ing trade more work.

Spi­ral will res­ur­rect many clas­sic Spidey vil­lains.

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