Click here for official gear at MLB.com Shop


Tons Of Fun!








WebUndies - It's not just underwear!





Return to the Continuum home page

Clicking on images provides larger ones.
Justice League Unlimited 3-Pack Assortment

WEDNESDAY, JULY 5, 2006

SPIDER-MAN UNMASKED PRESS CONFERENCE

Spider-Man will discover that unmaking himself perhaps wasn't the best idea, Amazing Spider-Man writer J. Michael Straczynski said Thursday during a Marvel Comics telephone press conference.

"He becomes more and more uncomfortable with this decision," Straczynski said, noting that Peter and Tony Stark have confrontations and Peter begins to doubt if he should trust him.

Staczynski was joined on the conference call by Sensational Spider-Man writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man writer Peter David and Spider-Man editor Axel Alonso.

Following are more highlights.

* David said that he will be focusing on Peter's work at school in Friendly. Issues #10-12 will feature "several" Mysterios coming to the school looking for Spider-Man.

He said the story ties in to real-world concerns with teachers, and Peter will have to decide what's best -- staying at the school, possibly drawing villains, or staying away, unable to protect students if/when villains show up anyway, calling Spider-Man out.

David also revealed that a former girlfriend will write a tell-all book about Peter, not painting him in a very good light. "It's a character that has not been around for a while, so fans should get a kick out of it," he said.

* In Sensational, Aguirre-Sacasa said his first post-masking issue will also be set at the school as Doctor Octopus comes calling in a story with art by Clayton Crain.

Following that, is a three-isuue story called "The Deadly Foes of Peter Parker," a nod to The Deadly Foes of Spider-Man mini-series. The Chameleon leads a group of what the writer called "a rag-tag group of villains" unaffected by the events of Civil War.

* Alonso said that Straczynski is providing the "macro" Civil War story in Amazing, with the major story beats located there. "Roberto and Peter are telling the nooks and cranny stories," Alonso said.

* The writers were asked if Spider-Man's activies that might have been litigatible will come back to haunt him.

"A lot of what he's done over years that has not come to his door because haven't known where to deposit it," Stracyznski said.

"Peter's friends who didnt' know anything about his double life are going to have enormous questions," said Aguirre-Sacasa.

David said he felt it was more interesting to look at how people view Spider-Man now rather than a stream of court papers being served.

* Asked it was possible that pro-registration characters such as Tony Stark and Reed Richards could be cast as bad guys if Spider-Man starts look at the other side, Staczynski said, "My theory is the monster never sees the monster in the mirror. They think what they're doing is right."

David added it would be a betrayl of such Marvel building-block characters to paint them as bad guys.

"What sort of message would it be -- they are bad guys and the reason they are is cooperation with the law. What the hell?"

David said that Civil War is the "most gray area event" in his association with comic books. "It's really difficult to figure out whose side you're on, and who's right and who's wrong, because they're both right and wrong," he said.

Alonso said Marvel editor is trying not make any side the underdog in the Civil War debate. "We don't want to make Tony look like the Big Bad Wolf," he said.

* Straczynski said J. Jonah Jameson's instant reaction to the unmasking will be a sense of betrayal. Alonso said it hadn't been determined yet where the JJJ arc will play out.

* David said that the current events in the Spider-titles shouldn't overwhem the identities of the individual books, especially with the writers providing different points of view.

* David said the unmasking and Civil War responsibilities forced him to alter his plans for Friendly, which he said "intrinsically isn't a bad thing," He said he knew that writing a title with a flagship character at Marvel requires flexibility for big events.

"It's not where I would go, but it does offer some interesting opportunities," he said.

Straczynski said he had an "oh my God" reaction to the decision to unmask Peter. He likened it to being put out on a highwire. "When you're out on the wire, really cool stuff can happen."

Aguirre-Sacasa said the impact has been major; even his parents in Nicarauga heard about the unmaking. "I consider myself lucky to be working on the character at this time," he said.

* David likened the unmasking to an actor suddenly being on a hit television series. "Life suddenly changes very dramtically," David said. "You get this bleedover from your career into your personal life. And it's a helluva adjustment.

"It's really disconcerting. You're on all the time. You're on24/7 and every single public move you can make gets put under a microscope."

Aguirre-Sacasa said he feels the unmasking "humanizes" Spider-Man, noting that Doc Ock now knows a 15-year-old took him down and that villains who attack him now will know the type of person -- a family man -- that they're trying to kill.

* Stracyznski said that the costume was a buffer between Peter and the public. Now citizens can yell, "You suck, Peter," Straczynski said, and it will hit home.

* Asked about fan reaction, David said, "Fans descry change, yet they respond very positively to change in terms of paying attention to what's going on and, let's face it, bottom line, the sales. The fans are going to read book to find out what happensand they are going to be excited about the character.

"You can't give fans what they say they want, you have to give them what's right for the character."

* Asked about Mary Jane's role in future stories, David said that she's such an important character she will impact everything.

"It can pull them apart of push together," Straczynski said.

Alonzo noted, that like Peter, both Mary Jane and Auny May will have to deal with ramifications that they didn't see coming.

* Straczynski said that Spider-Man's "with great power comes great responsibility" credo is actually at the heart of Civil War.

"This is a guy who torments himself over what is a responsible thing to do," he said. "If you look at his stories, it's been him agonizing over 'What should I do in this situation? When you have this kind of crisis going on, his agony will be that much greater in trying to find what is the responsible thing."

Alonso said that Peters leads with his heart, but that he can also see the shades of gray and acts as a "sort of a tour guide" through the Civil War story.

* Asked how the unmasking will impact the Spider-Man movie franchise or confuse the continuity of the character, Alonso said that the publishing division is independent from the studios side of Marvel. "We have autonomy," he said. "We have a longterm plan and we're not steering away."



E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com



Return to the Continuum home page


Copyright © 2006, The Comics Continuum