Dan Slott, who has been writing Spider-Man for a decade, will leave the character behind and take over Iron Man.
June's The Amazing Spider-Man #801 will cap an incredible ten years and 189 issues of Slott-penned Spidey adventures, according to a new report from Vulture.
"This was a long time coming," Slott admitted. "I had all these benchmarks I really wanted to hit. I was talking to [former Spider-Man writer] Gerry Conway about how long I had been on the book at one point, and he was talking about the speed with which the book was coming out. And he was going like, 'You’re running a marathon.' I’m like, 'Yeah, we’re running a marathon of sprints.'...I could always see the next furlong, I could always see what was ahead. Like, Get this far and I’ll make it to the next wave of 'Brand New Day' writers, then, If I make it this far I get to one out of every five issues of [The] Amazing [Spider-Man ever published]. If I get it to this far, I get to [issue No.] 700. And so on. So 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."
Slott began writing the adventures of Peter Parker at the launch of Marvel's "Brand New Day" publishing initiative in 2008. After decades of being married to Mary Jane Watson, Peter traded their love to Mephisto in order to save the life of Aunt May -- and as a result, the books got kind of a soft reboot as Peter's history was reworked around a life lived without his marriage.
During his run, Slott has reinvented both Peter Parker and Spider-Man more than once, and 100 issues ago he even killed the character and gave the role of Spider-Man to Doctor Octopus for a while. The result? Death threats for Slott, massive sales for Marvel and, once Superior Spider-Man got under fans' skin, almost universal praise.
Doc Ock wasn't the only one to get Spider-Man powers during Slott's run, though; "Spider-Island" saw every New Yorker get them, while the writer also launched the series into the "Spider-Verse," bringing in alternate-reality wall-crawlers from all over the Marvel Universe.
Most recently, Slott has been platooning with other writers, with one writer tackling Peter Parker stories while another handles Miles Morales, who finally joined the Marvel Universe proper following Secret Wars.
The writer told Vulture that he began plotting his exit -- which he has always planned for now -- in 2014, when the mayhem of his "Spider-Verse" writing schedule convinced him that he would not be able to do it forever. For those paying close attention, he says, he has been "counting down" to his Spider-Exit with cryptic numbers on his Instagram feed.
Slott's ten-year run is an outlier in comics, where frequent reboots, fluctuating sales, and the always-changing demands of publishers who have to respond to outside trends tend to lead to big-name creators spending a year or two on a comic before they move on to the next thing and clear a path for the next superstar.
Slott, in fact, will miss the record for most Spider-Man issues written -- but it is not held by Stan Lee or even J.M. DeMatteis but rather Slott's own contemporary, Brian Michael Bendis, who holds it in large part because of his lengthy run on Ultimate Spider-Man. Slott admitted in the interview that he would have liked to surpass Bendis, but that since Bendis's run was ongoing, that seemed like an impossibility.
Bendis, of course, just signed a multi-year exclusive deal with DC and has left the Spider-Man titles himself.
"And Brian left and I was like, 'Nooooo,'" Slott joked. "That put it within reach! Like, climbing all the way up to Everest and seeing someone else’s flag up there and going, I’m like 20 feet away, but I’ll turn around and you head back home."