Marvel’s line of Spider-Man comics is undergoing am extreme changeover after 10 years of solid stories that have introduced a number of Spider-characters into the Marvel Universe. The public shakeup began when Brian Michael Bendis announced that he would be leaving Marvel Comics to start an exclusive contract with DC Comics, ending over 17 years with the company, much of which was spent with Spider-Man; first, Ultimate Peter Parker and then one of the current Spider-Men, Miles Morales. Bendis’ final issue with Miles Morales will be Spider-Man #240, ending an era for both the company and the character.
Of course, it’s arguably partly because of the success of writer Dan Slott’s time with the mainstream Peter Parker that helped Miles Morales rise to his own level of popularity following the death of Ultimate Peter Parker. Slott took over Amazing Spider-Man ten years ago, as a team of writers following the “Brand New Day” reboot of the character. After the dust had settled from the events of “One More Day”, as well as the restructuring of the Spider-Man line into one book, Dan Slott took over as the sole writer of Amazing Spider-Man with issue #648. Slott has added to the Spidey shakeup recently when he announced that he will also be leaving the world of Spider-Man, with Amazing Spider-Man #801 set to be his final issue.
Slott announced his departure in a recent interview with Vulture:
“This was a decision that was made way long ago. I gotta feel like a jerk, because whenever someone would interview me, or whenever it would come up on panels, I would look out at people and say with a stern look that I was never leaving. Very much in the same way I was saying, “Peter Parker is never coming back. I killed him” [during The Superior Spider-Man]. I lied. I lied horribly. But that’s what us storytellers do, we spin lies.”
While the Bendis departure seemed like it may have kicked off Slott’s as well, he revealed that he had planned his finale back in 2014:
“I kept having these benchmarks to hit, and then I realized, once you hit ten years and then issue 800, the next benchmarks were way too far away. [Laughs] So I always knew that was the zone. Anyone who follows my Instagram account, every now and then I would post these cryptic numbers from my whiteboard. This running tally, of which, that tally starts in like, July 10th of 2014, where I knew what I was counting down to and no one else knew what I was counting down to. I wanted to lock that in so I could prove I wasn’t lying.”
As for some of those unreachable benchmarks, that one we can blame on Bendis:
“There was only one benchmark left that I could hit and it felt forever away, and that was more issues of any Spider-Man comic than anyone,” Slott added. “That was the one benchmark that was very much dangling out of reach like Tantalus. The reason why was Brian Michael Bendis. He kept writing, so it was a moving benchmark, and I just assumed he was never leaving. If I had known, if I had only known that Brian was gonna jump to DC I would’ve stayed on. [Laughs] I bet you I would have stayed on.”
Slott took Peter Parker to new heights in the Marvel Universe, taking the eternally-poor and frequently unemployed underachiever and elevating him into a rich corporate mogul who could rival Tony Stark with some of the cool toys that became a part of his life. Of course, true to Parker luck, it all crashed and burned, but it was a wild ride over the last 10 years. And while Slott is known for the captivating storylines and his massive changes to the Parker status quo, he had as much of an impact on the villains of Spidey’s universe. Most notably with Doctor Octopus (now Superior Octopus), who during his time as the Superior Spider-Man was the one responsible for putting Parker on the path to his short-lived fame and fortune.
Of course, Norman Osborn has gone through a number of changes over the years as well, with Bendis moving the character to the forefront of the Marvel Universe for a time, allowing Doc Ock to grow in his place. With Ock out of the picture for a bit, it allowed Slott to bring Norman Osborn back down to the level of Spider-Man villain, still heavily in contention for that coveted arch-enemy role he formerly held without question. Slott’s final work with Spider-Man will finish off his current arc with Osborn, something teased previously by Marvel while promoting the upcoming “Go Down Swinging” storyline, which also revealed a new Goblin for Spider-Man to deal with. We got a brief look at the Red Goblin in the video, but a new variant cover by Ed McGuinness has teased the character further:
The cover raises a lot of questions and gives us a few hints about the origins of the new Goblin. if this is indeed Norman Osborn than it looks like he has managed to find a new source of power since his Goblin formula will no longer work. We’ve seen that he has been dabbling with magic to restore his power, and it looks like he might be in the deal-making business with Mephisto for some of his new power. Of course, it also looks like Norman could be wearing the Carnage symbiote as well, in a frighteningly powerful merger of abilities. This would seem to echo the story points that occurred when Slott first came on to the series after Peter made a deal with Mephisto to save his Aunt May that resulted in the loss of his marriage to MJ. This possibility has fans wondering if this possible reemergence of Mephisto in Spider-Man’s life could have more far-reaching implications in the Spider-man universe, but it’s a bit too early to be speculating too far with that.
Thankfully, Slott won’t be leaving Marvel Comics, simply moving over to an unknown Iron Man series that will feature Tony Stark, as opposed to the current series which stars Riri Williams as Ironheart. That series is written by Brian Michael Bendis, and will end with Invincible Iron Man #600, which we can assume will return Tony Stark to the role of Iron Man. Be sure to follow along as Slott says goodbye to the Amazing Spider-Man over the next few months.
Images: Marvel Comics