Dan Slott & Olivier Coipel on ‘Spider-Verse’

Here’s the latest word from the Spider-Office at Marvel Comics – Dan Slott and Olivier Coipel are going to be teaming up to create a storyline that will showcase every incarnation of Spider-Man you can think of – which is a tall order for a character that’s been around 50 years – running through Amazing Spider-Man starting with issue #9. It’s called Spider-Verse, and here is the official blurb about it:

Every Spider-Man ever! Morlun, an incredibly powerful villain, is back and more powerful than ever, traveling from reality to reality with a terrifying and singular goal—the extermination of Spider-Man in every universe. Now – Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Miguel O’Hara and thousands of other Spider-Men must assemble to battle back the greatest threat to this universe or any other! This November, New York Times best-selling spider-scribe Dan Slott and blockbuster artist Olivier Coipel assemble a Spider-Army for a thrilling universe-spanning adventure! This is SPIDER-VERSE!

 

Here’s a banner from Gabriel Dell’Otto to showcase just how many Spider-guys they’re thinking of.

 

 

Crave Online (meaning me) is on a conference call right now with Slott and Spider-Office editor Nick Lowe to talk about this, and we’ll be updating this page with information as soon as we get it from the source!

Here we go:

Dan Slott goofs around, saying he just got back from England and is sworn to secrecy about Dr. Who stuff.

Superior Spider-Man #30 is due out soon, but this November, Spider-Verse brings together every Spider-Man from every universe together for the first time. Amazing Spider-Man #9 will start it, but several titles will also have it, but it’ll be secret for now. Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli have a five-page back-up story in the Guardians of thee Galaxy FCBD book as a preview.

Slott says it is Every Spider-Man Ever teaming up or fighting each other – some won’t get along. A Spider-Man story on a scale we’ve never seen before. Lowe says it dwarfs every other Spider-Man story, and he was drooling as soon as he heard of it. Coipel is chained to a table drawing as we speak. It’s huge and mind-boggling. Slott says ‘Every Spider-Man Ever’ wasn’t enough, and they’re bringing in more that you’ve never seen before.

The threats involved for them to team up against? Whenever Morlun shows up, you’re guaranteed a slobberknocker. There’s something about Morlun that we don’t know yet that will expand on who he is and what his whole deal is. It’s pronounced “MOR-lin.” Lowe likes that Morlun always kicks the crap out of Spider-Man, and this is the biggest Morlun story ever. Lowe put him in the top 10 of Spidey-villains before, but after Spider-Verse, but he’ll be in the top 3. It’s just nuts.

The lead-in story says there’s been a prophecy in the pages of Amazing and Superior that “Every Spider Shall Die.” It’s not just “Arachnophobia 2” or anything. Slott jokes it may carry over to actual spiders! There is a Spider-Character in the preview that gives us a taste.

Lowe marvels at the extent of Spider-characters being even more than the number of X-Men in Battle of the Atom, which he also worked on. Lowe says he knows Slott can handle huge complex casts in emotional, character-driven ways. “George Martin, eat your heart out,” Lowe says, and Slott says ‘don’t go there!’ then says ‘Martin doesn’t let characters live a lot, does he?’ Possibly teasing a death, or just screwing around and joking a deadly Spider-Red-Wedding.

The Dell’Otto piece above will turn into a million variant covers, apparently.

Mangaverse Spider-Man to Miles Morales to What If? Spider-Men, from 1602 Spider-Man, Spider-Ham! There’s a whole sixth cover that they aren’t showing yet in that Dell’Otto poster. The Spider-characters on that one are so integral to the story, and will shock and appall so many of us that they can’t reveal it yet. Even MC2 Spider-Girl is on that cover.

Amazing Spider-Man #1 will not be them sitting on their laurels after Superior Spider-Man. Electro and Black Cat come back in Amazing 1-5, 1.1 kicks off the Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl story. Original Sin is coming out and they can’t talk about it yet. Four years of Spider-Man publishing is jammed into one year. This is bigger than Superior Spider-Man. Slott says every story this year is a bullet in the gut.

Slott’s biggest fear is “what do we have left to do in 2015?” since they put so much into 2014. Lowe jokes they can send him on vacation in a web hammock in the Outback like the X-Men or something. Within the first two pages of Amazing Spider-Man #1, we’ll meet someone integral. Lowe says our face will be destroyed by it.

Ultimate Peter Parker, who is currently dead involved? This is multiple universes – you may find out a character dead in our universe is hale and hearty in some other universe. Once it starts, though, they can’t vouch for the safety of any of them.

How did they compile this massive list of Every Spider-Man Ever?  Slott is surprised that they will get to use some of them, considering the hoops they’d have to jump through to get to use them. This likely does not include Amalgam’s “Spider-Boy.”

Even stuff like the Fairy Tale stories, the Mangaverse, wants to be included, because someone loves every story out there. But somebody’s got to bite it, man.

Slott loves working with Coipel. He has gorgeous covers and they’re just starting up now. He Skyped with him to walk him through the project to gauge his interest, and Slott says ‘how can you not be interested when someone grabs the Spider-Man toy chest, flinging it open, and hurling everything out of the box.’ Lowe says the clicher for Coipel was that he loves characters, and he wanted to make sure there was enough Peter Parker meat on this bone. It is meaningful to Peter, it’s not just a crazy battle of tons of Spider-Men. There is a real story here. Slott says ‘any classic war story’ like Bridge on the River Kwai, etc., is like this – this is Spider-Men going to war. There will be epic human moments in this.

Slott says this is very fresh off after Peter comes back – Morlun has killed Peter Parker before during The Other. Peter’s just coming back to life after Superior, and suddenly he’s got an epic threat from someone who’s killed him before, and he’s very aware of his morality. What is Peter Parker’s role in this war?

Supporting casts from other universes? Yes, including Jonahs. Spider-Man’s world is New York, and we go to other New Yorks. Slott doesn’t want to see a Spider-Man story where he has a lightsaber in a space ship. The fantasy element is other dimensions, but they are other Manhattans through different lenses with unique flavors. The cast members will be seen in other worlds. What is the Jonah, the Aunt May, the Flash Thompson of that world?

This runs directly in Amazing Spider-Man starting with #9, with ancillary tie-ins. It’ll be the main story, like Spider Island, not a stand-alone series. It’s the most exciting and necessary book going on.

The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon version? It’s partially owned by Sony, so Slott says they can see that one. But the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon universe will be in there.

What will the main battlefield be for this war? Slott says ‘that will be telling.

Conception of the story? Slott wrote the story for the Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions video game, and he’s wanted to do that, but bigger, ever since – that had four Spider-Men from four universes.  Lowe says he’s been hearing about it for years at retreats, because it’s the kind of huge story that you need to get everyone’s attention for. It’s been in the hopper for years.

Is this the launching pad for Spider-Man 2099 series? There will be many announcements this week, and Lowe will be tarred and feathered if there’s no word on that soon.

Could Spidey-Ock be a part of this? No comment until Superior Spider-Man #30 on Wednesday and #31 three weeks from now, and that will cover our expectations for Superior Spider-Man.

What about Morlun made him the choice?  Slott says there are so many questions about him haven’t been answered – every Morlun story ends with his death and he keeps coming back, and he’s an unstoppable force. Doc Ock gets beaten a million times over 50 years. Morlun has a really good record, and the reader’s Spider-Sense goes off. Morlun means business. Lowe jokes that Morlun literally means ‘business’ in his home language.

Any other non-comic Spidey? Broadway Spiderman? Bakshi 67 Spider-Man? Action figure plans? They can’t speak to merchandising, but some characters will be seen for years to come at cosplay – many girls are going to want to dress up as certain characters. There are jokes about Broadway Spider-Man’s archenemy Jazz Hands (secret identity Jasmine Hands). Slott suggested ‘what if there’s a Cars world where the Spider-Mobile is alive and talks to you like Speed Buggy,’ and they had to tell him NO. He has a secret identity and no one knows he’s Spider-Mobile – his secret ID is Peter Parkedcar. That’s when they remind him that Coipel wants an emotional story core which doesn’t work with that.

Any Spider-Women? Slott says 616 Spider-Characters will be enmeshed in the giant Spider-War. Jessica Drew will be in this, and MC2 Spider-Girl, are just the tip of the iceberg. All genders and races will be represented. Spider-Monkey is on that cover. They love shouting “Spider-VEERRRRRRSE!”

Is this in any way a sequel to Spider-Men, or any world on how this will affect a sequel to that? They remember meeting each other, but this isn’t a sequel. That’s a Bendis thing. Slott says it’s not always going to be a throng of Spider-Men leaping headlong into a problem as a giant group shop. You’re going to see fun pairings from different Spider-Men from different worlds working together.

Any involvement from the regular supporting cast? We’ll have to wait until November. That’s spoilery. Electro and Black Cat are coming, and Original Sin causes a lot of developments, and Learning to Crawl will affect the present as well. A lot of road before Spider-Verse, and big things are going to happen before that. Things may get exploded emotionally.

The main story unfolds over six issues of Amazing Spider-Man, but the full announcement of ancillary titles – a new series launches alongside of this, miniseries alongside of it. The story demands this with so many moving parts. Spider Island was an Island. This is a Spider-VERSE!

Peter’s memory? That’s all spoilery stuff. So maybe he’ll be getting it all back.

Slott talks about previous retreats where they plan big events so far ahead, that people are always surprised when it finally comes to pass. Everyone insisted it had to be a Peter Parker story, not an Otto Octavius story – that was the consensus at the retreat, so he had to hold it off until after Superior was done, and Slott realized he had to bow to the conventional wisdom from everybody. When it’s Doc Ock, it’s Moriarty leading a team of Sherlock, or Mr. Hyde with a team of Jekylls. With Peter, it takes on a much greater meaning. You want not just Spider-Man, but the One True Spider-Man at the heart of the story, the drop in the pond whose ripples created all these Spider-Men. Slott says everyone at the table was right.

Spider-Kitty is apparently going to be in, thanks to ComicBeat suggesting it. Slott wasn’t thinking about it before.

Is Slott taking more of an editorial position with the nature of this story? Slott says Nick is the editor. Lowe says he was watching from another office during Spider Island, but Slott sculpted that main story. This will be similar – this is Dan’s story he’s been dying to tell and working for it for so long. Lowe is just servicing that story. If you look at Rick Remender’s involvement in Spider-Island with Venom, that’s the example – Spider Island, you picked up on what Rick did in his own book, and made them count. Slott really wants to make the books joining in count just like that.

Any Avengers or anyone else? If you don’t have a spider in your name, get out. We’ve got a zillion cast members – no bringing in all the Avengers of all those other worlds, too. Slott jokes “It should be Every Spider-Man Ever… plus Stingray!”  Lowe jokes “Stingray’s a spider! He’s a water spider!  Ant-Man! Spiders and ants, the same thing!”

Reed Richards involvement then? Maybe an alternate reality version has Reed as Spider-Man! Cloak and Dagger are suddenty mutants, it could happen! (Sounds like a joke, though)

They want it clear that just because Peter Parker is coming back doesn’t mean it’s going to be ‘business as usual.’ This year is dense and packed to the gills with unbelievable changes and hurdles for Peter to get over.

Check out the Mike Del Mundo promo image, and a couple of pages from the Spider-Verse preview from Free Comic Book Day on May 3.

 

 

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