The Spider-Verse is coming to an end, and it's all Dan Slott's fault. The prolific writer is teaming up with artist Mark Bagley for a return to the Spider-Man franchise, after having penned a decade worth of stories for the web-slinger. Slott is kicking things off with a bang with Spider-Man #1, which kicks off "The End of the Spider-Verse." All of your favorite Spider heroes like Miles Morales and Ghost-Spider will take part in the story arc, along with new characters introduced in the Edge of Spider-Verse miniseries.
ComicBook.com spoke to Dan Slott about Spider-Man #1, collaborating with iconic Spidey artist Mark Bagley, the threat posed by villains Morlun and Shathra, creating new characters in Edge of Spider-Verse, and much more. We also have an exclusive look at Spider-Man #1, which goes on sale October 5th.
Returning to Spider-Man and Collaborating With Mark Bagley
ComicBook.com: What led you to come back to Spider-Man after you spent the last couple of years on Fantastic Four?
Dan Slott: I cannot quit this character. He is my favorite character in all of fiction. Suck it, Hamlet. What it really was like, people would ask me when I was leaving Amazing Spider-Man, "Will you ever come back to Amazing Spider-Man?" And my answer was always, "Never. I never want to do that again. I never want to do it twice a month." It was very much like if you've seen that clip or that GIF of Lucy from I Love Lucy at the chocolate factory.
The second you finish one issue, you're getting another one out. To do it that quickly, you always have to write stories out of sequence so the next artist can start their story. So you're always writing chapter one of this story, chapter four of that story, chapter two of that story. And I was like, "Gah!" I always said getting the gig was a monkey's paw.
You got your greatest wish, but not the way you want it. Being able to write adjectiveless Spider-Man, being able to write just Spider-Man and do it once a month, everything I've always wanted. This is kind of like coming back to Spidey on my own terms and going, "Oh, yeah. I could write one issue of Spidey for the rest of my life." Never want to do anything else. It's great. And I get to do it with Mark Bagley! That's insane.
Most people remember him for Carnage. For some generations, he's the guy who was there from Amazing, from Ultimate Spider-Man #1. And Ultimate Spider-Man, that came out like 18 issues a year for the longest time. And when you add that to his run on Amazing and all the other projects he's done, like the Chip Zdarsky book Life Story, you're just like, "Oh, my God." He is synonymous with Spider-Man. We've only worked together on a Spidey thing once or twice. We did my first ever 616 Spider-Man story in canon, from Venom Supersize #1 and that was with Mark.
It was like an eight or 10-page story. He'd just come back from the Secret Wars, and there was a whole running subplot of sometimes when Peter would go to sleep, the suit would take over his body. He was sleepwalking, having adventures. Mark and I told one of those, like an adventure that Peter would never remember he had because he was asleep the whole time.
And during Original Sin, we did a really quick two or three-page, J. Jonah Jameson story. And that's it. We never really worked together. He's had covers. He's done art that's graced the covers of books I've worked on, but this really is our first time working together on long-form Spider-Man stories. It's crazy.prevnext
Since you mentioned Spider-Man just being monthly, have you noticed a difference as far as stress level, being able to just work on the monthly book compared to back when you were doing the twice-monthly Amazing?
Yes. Oh, my God. Y-E-S, capital exclamation point. It is a different world. We have the first issue at the printer. The second issue is already all drawn. The third issue, Mark is coming around the horn. We jumped ahead and did issue five ahead of time because of scheduling. We were waiting till we saw all the stories and designs that everyone was contributing to Edge of Spider-Verse. We wanted to make sure all that was locked down before we did it, but there was an issue. You'll see why when we get to issue five.
I'm really looking forward to that. Normally, I'd be talking about a book that would be a couple of weeks away, but this is a monthly book. It's like five months away. That blows my mind. And it's already in a drawer.prevnext
Edge of Spider-Verse
How involved were you in the creation of the new characters that the readers get to meet in Edge of Spider-Verse?
Obviously, I had a hand in the short stories that I've worked on personally, and so I have one in each issue. I came up with a lot of the concepts behind Spinstress. And there are some where it'd be like, "Oh, it would be fun to have this kind of a spider." And [editor] Nick Lowe would go off and pitch it to people like, "Who wants in on this?" I helped out Phil Lord with the creation of his character who will be in Edge of Spider-Verse #5.
But by me saying help out, that was more like me being a sounding board, like a little bit of a Robin to his Batman on that. It's all his ideas, but I'd be the one going, "Ooh, that's cool." That's the extent of my help. "Yeah, that's awesome. Do that. Do that, Lord."
Morlun And Shathra are obviously back. We saw them in the trailer for Spider-Man #1....
Don't watch the trailer. Go in blind. In fact, stop listening to this interview. Walk away.
So with Morlun, obviously he's fought Spider-Man and the Spider-Verse heroes with his family, and then Shathra's fought Spider-Man also. What's their dynamic working together as a pairing this time as the big threat looming over the Spider-Verse?
Well, this was always planned out as a trilogy. You don't do New Hope and then Empire Strikes Back, and then switch villains. That would be silly. Who are the Rebellion fighting? They're fighting the Klingons. What? No. The Empire. So what we're doing, this isn't the finale of all of this, of Spider-Verse into Spider-Geddon into End of the Spider-Verse. This is how it was always going to be. If I told you about the Morlun-Shathra dynamic now, it would ruin some of the fun.
That is interesting knowing that it was a trilogy. It just goes to show how long some of these plans had been in the making for so long.
That was always the intent because you have something like Spider-Verse and you go, "This is too much fun to have everyone show up all together, all the Spideys that you've ever seen anywhere." The original Spider-Verse was before the movie, before even Ultimate Spider-Man did an adaptation of it. So when you go back to the original Spider-Verse comics, we kind of knew there was something cool there of bringing in everybody, and that people would want to see more of that.prevnext
Spider-Man Guest Stars, Amazing Spider-Man Crossover?
Can fans expect many of these guest stars and some of the characters they met in Edge of Spider-Verse to pop up in your opening arc of Spider-Man?
Yes. If you have Spider-Verse favorites, they will show up. New characters we are all meeting in Edge of Spider-Verse will show up. It's all happening.
Is there going to be much crossover with your Spider-Man and the Amazing Spider-Man ongoing?
They're set in the same world, in the same continuity, at the same time, with the same character. So my running bit that I tell people is, if Zeb Wells gives Peter Parker a peanut allergy in Amazing, he will have it in Spider-Man.
Like when you first see Spider-Man showing up in our main book, he's got the [Norman] Osborne suit. It's clear the books are going to play off each other. The difference is you'll get Amazing Spider-Man twice a month.prevnext
End of Spider-Verse
Is the plan for your Spider-Man series to continue after the End of Spider-Verse?
The End of Spider-Verse does not mean the end of Spider-Man. So there are more that are coming.
Is the End of Spider-Verse planned for 2023 or for the end of this year?
It's the first arc of the book, and it will be a big arc. It's going to run six or seven issues.
Okay. I was thinking it was a separate event, like Edge of Spider-Verse.
No. Nope. No, Edge of Spider-Verse is a five-issue mini, and then it goes into the all-new, ongoing book, Spider-Man #1.
It all counts. So the things you're going to see the most are ... It's really going to lean on the first Spider-Verse, Spider-Geddon. And Jed MacKay did a series called Spider-Verse. There may be even some nods to Web Warriors, which was the team that lived on Loomworld, if you want to go deep diving into your Marvel Unlimited accounts. That said, you can jump into Amazing Spider-Man #1 clean.
You're perfectly fine jumping into Spider-Man #1. If you want to read Edge of Spider-Verse beforehand, and you can't find it because it's been sold out, issues one and two are going back to press, and issue three will be out soon. And you can read all five issues of Edge of Spider-Verse really in wherever you want. It's a big fun anthology. So feel free to jump in with issue three. But if you want issues one and two, they will be back on the stand soon. Thanks to you, everyone, for buying them.
I'm so excited. Coming up in Edge of Spider-Verse, I got to do my first-ever solo story with Spider-Mobile. I got to be re-teamed with my Batman Adventures pal Ty Templeton, who also did Spider-Man/Human Torch with me, and we did a solo story about Spider-Mobile that I love. You'll get to meet other characters from Peter Parkedcar's universe like J. Jonah Jalopy. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know for the tone.prevnext
Secret Spider-Verse Character
You're bringing back memories of your promotion for the first Spider-Verse, and I remember how you excited you were about all the different Spider-Man characters that you got to work, and bringing back some of the forgotten characters.
There is a Spider-Verse character that we've never seen before that is going to make me so happy when they show up. And I believe the first time you'll see them is in Spider-Man #4. It's just so wonderfully stupid. That's the fun of it. We also have the first appearance ever of Night-Spider coming up in Edge of Spider-Verse #3. She's the Spider hero from the world where Felicia Hardy got spider powers instead of Black Cat's bad-luck powers.
The artist Sumeyye Kesgin was wonderful. We get to tell Felicia's story, and she's going to do some fun stuff in The End of Spider-Verse. And with Edge of Spider-Verse #5, we're telling the story of the world where Kraven gets spider powers.
This has been one of those dream gigs. We got Bob McLeod who was the anchor on Kraven's Last Hunt and was the artist on New Mutants when I was growing up. Just to get him to draw Kraven was great. And J. M. DeMatteis came out and worked with me on the story and did the script, so it's going to sound right and sound like Kraven. Getting to see J. M. DeMatteis at work was a treat. There's a lot of cool stuff coming up. Oh, it's going to be so good. Everyone should pick up everything.prev