Worlds Wide Web
With anniversary special Amazing Fantasy #1000 and The Edge Of Spiderverse, it’s a banner month for Spidey
SET TO CELEBRATE HIS 60TH anniversary this month with the landmark Amazing Fantasy #1000, Peter Parker is also returning to the wider Spider-man multidimensional world in the upcoming The End Of Spider-verse, written by long-time Spidey scribe Dan Slott.
“It feels like I’m home!” announces Slott, who will also be teaming up with Mark Bagley on a brand-new Spider-man monthly in October. “Writing Spider-man is my dream gig, as Spider-man is my favourite ever fictional character.”
The final part of a trilogy that also encompasses 2014’s original Spider-verse and 2018’s Spider-geddon, The End Of Spider-verse will serve as an appetiser for next year’s big-screen animated film Across The Spiderverse. “Now they’ve got a new movie coming out, we’re going to do The End Of Spider-verse and wrap it all up,” laughs Slott.
“If the last series was The Empire Strikes Back, this is Return Of The Jedi! ‘Boom, blow it all up!’ This is the last Spider-verse story and I’ve always known what the premise of it would be. I’m not going to spoil it for you but it’s a good hook, so hopefully there’s stuff you won’t see coming.”
First up, however, is the four-issue spin-off The Edge Of Spider-verse. Described by Slott as “a big fun anthology where different writers and artists get to make up brand-new Spideys,” it reacquaints us with some familiar alternate wall-crawlers and introduces some totally new web-spinners. “It’s fun seeing other creators do their schtick on Spider-man,” continues Slott. “Over the course of this series, you’ll see which guys get to join Peter and Miles Morales on the team for The End of Spider-verse.”
Along with an all-new Spider-uk who is “a whole new character from a completely different part of the country” to the nowdeceased original Spider-uk, Slott and artist Martin Coccolo have also created the “kilt-wearing, bushy-bearded Scot” Spiderlaird. “As someone who loves Jamie Mccrimmon from Doctor Who, it’s good to get that out of my system,” says Slott. “Spider-laird comes from a different Earth and time period, and he’s not a Peter Parker, so it will surprise people who he really is.
“We’re also bringing back Anya as Spidergirl and evolving her character and looking at everything in her past, which all builds to something new where she can play a unique role in The End of Spider-verse. We’re also going to meet Spider-rex, who is our first Spider-man who is a Tyrannosaurus rex, and there’s Hunter-spider, which is Kraven the Hunter as Spider-man.
“And Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the creators of Broadway’s Come Away With Me, are doing Spinstress, the first singing/talksto-animals Spider-princess, which makes me so happy as there will be music!”
Proclaimed by Spider-man editor Nick Lowe as “the last Spider-man story that will ever be told,” Slott and artist Jimmy Cheung’s 12-pager for Amazing Fantasy #1000, meanwhile, centres on Peter and Mary-jane’s enduring love. “It’s my best shot at writing a bookend to Spider-man’s debut in Amazing Fantasy #15,” he says. “If someone asked me to go all the way to Amazing Fantasy #1000 and write something on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, this would be that story.”
Lowe says that he “just wanted to put together a set of awesome stories and a mix of classic, modern and out of the box creators.” The 72-page special’s impressive roster includes Neil Gaiman and Armando Iannucci. “Neil pulled a real Neil Gaiman and delivered an emotionally deep and challenging tale that will charm your pants off,” reveals Lowe, who paired him with artist Steve Mcniven.
“I’ve been chasing Armando Iannucci for years to write a single line of J Jonah Jameson dialogue, and he’s done that and so much more. Armando’s story needed someone with a proven track record for outdoing Watchmen, so Ryan Stegman was my only option.”
Illustrated by Terry Dodson, Kurt Busiek’s contribution provides a pay-off for one of Amazing Fantasy #15’s other two stories, “The Man In The Mummy Case”, which was the handiwork of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
“Nick told me that it was a celebration not just of Spider-man, but of Amazing Fantasy itself, including the quirky fantasy stories that ran in the back of the book,” explains Busiek. “Nick said I could do a Spider-man story, or do one of those fantasy stories, but me being me, my immediate question was
‘Can I do both at once?’ It’s long been one of my ambitions to do a sequel to the back-ups in
Amazing Fantasy #15, figuring ways to tie them into the Marvel Universe and getting Spidey involved, and finally I’ve had the chance to do that.” SJ
Edge Of Spider-verse #1 is out now. Amazing Fantasy #1000 is out 31 August.
It’s fun seeing other creators do their schtick on Spiderman