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THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008


The third times figures to have a lot of charm.

Matt Wayne's third script of Kids' WB!'s The Spectacular Spider-Man, "Persona," airs this Saturday. It figures to be among the season highlights, with Black Cat and the introduction of the black suit.

The Continuum caught up with Wayne to talk about the episode, along with his other projects.

The Continuum: Black Cat, the symbiote, Chamelon, possibly some other villains...was it difficult to pull that many elements together?

Wayne: Not really. Greg Weisman tends toward tightly interwoven plots, and these four episodes that finish off the first 13 are especially full. By the time I'm writing an outline, it's more a matter of dramatizing each scene as succinctly as possible, making choices that might arrange the various threads in exciting ways. But the major arcs and the big moments are Greg's, with me and the other writers all pitching ideas as we go. Having said that, it was an interesting switch to be writing Part 1 of the arc, unlike "Natural Selection" and "The Invisible Hand," which were each Part 3 of a three-episode arc. I especially like some stuff I did in the teaser: When the symbiote is introduced, Pete's reaction is pure science fanboy. That kind of fascination with the natural world, it's something that kids are born with­which is why there are so many Discovery channels­and that our schools end up stifling by age eight. (Not that the alien symbiote is anything but pseudoscience!) I just think our approach makes it easy to feel his wonder.

The Continuum: This show is for kids, but did the sexual chemistry between Black Cat and Spider-Man translate to television?

Wayne: Within reason, yes. Black Cat thinks that Spidey's an adult when he's really a teen. That made it easy to walk up to the line, jump up and down, wave our arms, and never cross over into inappropriateness. It's more funny than sexual, although Peter's dead serious. He's in it to win it!

The Continuum: What did you think of the casting of Tricia Helfer?

Wayne: Her voice is her sexiest attribute. And that's saying something.

The Continuum: You're working on the new Batman: The Brave and the Bold series. What's your role and what can you say about it?

Wayne: My role is "Writer #4," or so, as it so often is, plus some later episodes as well. And I don't know what I can say. I dropped a hint at Dwayne McDuffie's messageboard and they came very close to guessing just what I was hinting at, so I'm either coy or mum these days. But the designs look awesome and I always enjoy working with James Tucker and Michael Jelenic.

The Continuum: Any other animation or comics projects on your docket?

Wayne: More Spectacular Spider-Man; some comics stuff that I can't talk about for a few months; more Ben 10: Alien Force airing June and apparently for some time after; the animated Hannibal the Conqueror with JLU's Stan Berkowitz and novelist Steven Barnes, for BET; and a pet comics project of mine, The Road to Hell, co-written with McDuffie with art by Colin McNeil, will be on this summer.

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