Getting Back to Basics with Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man

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Today it was announced by Marvel that Chip Zdarksy and Adam Kubert will be the creative team on the new Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man series. In an interview with EW, Chip Zdarsky said that he is getting back to basics with Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. What that means, exactly, remains to be seen, but Zdarsky dropped a couple hints throughout the interview as to what fans can expect of the new series. At the top of the list for most fans is a return to street-level Peter Parker as opposed to being a rich tech savant à la Tony Stark.

The main book, Amazing Spider-Man, has kept things fresh by stretching the character and his situation. It’s still classic Spider-Man at its core, but transposed into new settings. With this book, we’re using the same Spider-Man in-continuity but shifting the spotlight back to his NYC environment and supporting cast. But even though we’re pushing to make it a more personal book, we’re still going to have big adventures with ramifications that’ll be felt in his other books. If I had, like, a true mission statement for the title though, it would be: “Have fun, have heart, have stakes.” My personal mission statement going into the book is “With great power comes something something I don’t know I’ve never had power before”

Getting Back to Basics with Spider-Man
Photo Courtesy of EW

In addition to the grass-roots feel Zdarsky is bringing back to Spider-Man, fans will also be getting a throwback feel from the series since Zdarsky’s experiences with the source material are rooted in the 80’s and 90’s, which is something he’ll have in common with a lot of today’s readers who grew up on the 90’s Spider-Man, especially the TV series.

I’m a child of the ’80s and ’90s, so a lot of books from that time really imprinted on me. The mystery of the Hobgoblin hooked me as a kid. I also loved the stories that made you feel like Spidey was up against impossible odds. The classic scene from issue #33 of him struggling under the wreckage; his defeat of Firelord, Galactus’s herald; the introduction of Venom, which was terrifying; or when J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr. introduced Morlun, an unstoppable, single-minded villain. Even though he’s been on teams, Spidey as the loner trying desperately to survive and save everyone is key. I also love stories that remind you of why you love the character. Superior Spider-Man managed to do that superbly while not even having Spider-Man as a character, which was incredibly bold with a fantastic payoff. I think those are the things I want to push in this book: impossible odds and reminding people why they love Spider-Man.

One of the biggest changes to this new Spider-Man series is the introduction of a new character. Zdarsky has written up a character who goes by the name Rebecca London and she has just moved to New York City in the hopes of making it big as a comedienne. Zdarsky suggests that, as the two characters find their way in the world, it’s possible they find their way together, in a romantic capacity. He also hints that many long-since-forgotten characters will be reintroduced in this series.

Your head’s going to spin when you see all the senior citizen characters I introduce! Marvel keeps telling me to “skew young” and to keep my “weird fetishes out of their book” and that I’m “fired,” but I think audiences are clamoring for the next Aunt May! I’m also introducing Rebecca London, a recent transplant to NYC looking to have a career in stand-up comedy. Spider-Man, not Peter, is the only person she’s managed to meet since arriving in the city, so they strike up a friendship and … possible love connection? Marvel is thrilled with me that she’s (sigh) “age appropriate.”

As for how Zdarsky defines the basics of Spider-Man, it’s really the same image we all see when we picture our favorite wall-crawling menace; he’s an underestimated force to be reckoned with and he’s an icon for New Yorkers.

He’s misunderstood and underestimated, either as Pete or Spider-Man. He’s the mascot for New York City, and, like a sports mascot, that means he’s beloved by children and endured by adults. He’s the only street-level superhero who could beat a herald of Galactus in a fight. He feels things stronger than any other hero and covers that up with jokes. He’s Spider-Man!

This series sounds like it strikes all the right chords and hits at all the right moments. It should be a fun series to follow, if only to see how a new romance blossoms in the life of Peter Parker. It’s not that Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane are unappreciated, it’s that Peter could use a new distraction and the world would be a better place with one more Spider-Man love interest, as long as she doesn’t, you know, die really quickly to advance a familiar storyline.

What do you think? Are you excited for this book? Are you okay with a new love interest? Leave us your comments in the section below and tell us how you feel about Zdarsky’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man

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