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Spider-Man: The Other Conference Call

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Earlier today, Marvel hosted a conference call to talk about their next big event, Spider-Man: The Other. Until now, details on the event have been sketchy, but Marvel opened up to tell Broken Frontier and other websites some of the secrets behind their biggest event since House of M.

On the phone with us were Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man writer Peter David, Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Editor Axel Alonso, Director of Sales David Gabriel, Director of Marketing John Dokes, Manager of Sales Forecasting and Planning Shannon Monahan, Marketing Coordinator Jim McCann and Jim Nausedas.

Everyone arrived and Marvel kicked off the conference with giving us a rundown of what we can expect from Spider-Man: The Other. What everyone already knew is that the event starts in October and will be told in four parts. Each month, for the first three months one writer will pilot the three core Spider-Man titles--Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, and the new Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. The first act is being told by Peter David, the second act will be written by Reggie Hudlin (the current writer of MK Spider-Man and Black Panther), and the third will be told by J. Michael Straczynski. In January all the writers will return to their respective titles.

Joe Quesada went on to say he was proud of the story. Fans can look forward to a whole array of guest stars including the New Avengers, Reed Richards, Yellow Jacket, Black Goliath, Dr. Strange, Ethan Edwards, and the Hulk. Quesada went on to say that this story arc is “traditional Marvel fun,” and even though it’s small, it’s chock full of adventure and excitement. He also stated that this will be the Spider-Man battle of the decade. “The Other” will see the return of Morlun, a character created by J. Michael Straczynski during his first run on Amazing Spider-Man.

Peter David then chimed in to say this story is all about Peter Parker, and that every Spider-Man story should be about Peter Parker. He went on to say, “When Bruce Wayne isn’t dressed up like Batman, he’s still Batman. But when Peter Parker is Spider-Man, he’s still Peter Parker. He’s always Peter Parker. He creates this persona.” David also gave away some clues pertaining to the story when he said most people attack Spider-Man, but this attack comes from within.

    

When questioned how working on this event was different from events in the past, David said it was different because he felt like more of an important player, rather than just a cog in the machine. He had the first three issues of his new book Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man written when Marvel approached him about Spider-Man: The Other, so he basically changed them to fit the arc.

The Marvel reps then explained that it was basically JMS who got the ball rolling on this event and everyone else jumped on. Repeating that this time the threat comes from within Peter Parker’s normal life rather than Spider-Man’s, David was cautious not to spoil anything. Still, he hinted that Peter Parker will have to deal with something that stems from him being Spider-Man, but it’s also something we all have to deal with in our lives. When questioned if Spider-Man: The Other would be pertaining to anyone’s health, the answer given was, “Maybe.” David admitted that this story takes place “While Spider-Man is still a part of New Avengers,” which might have been a slip that we can expect him to leave New Avengers during the arc. He wanted this to be a Spider-Man story supported by the New Avengers, not the other way around.

One concern addressed was how close this event was tied to House of M. Marvel felt like it was time to do an event like this, because the Spider-Man line was starting to drift and they were beginning to lose sight of the book. With The Other, they want to bring readers back in. In related, Marvel also noted that the crossover will not tie into New Avengers.

When trying to get more out of Peter David as to the villain on the story arc, he revealed: “Of all the things Spider-Man has ever defeated, has he ever defeated death?” Marvel then went on to repeat that Morlun would be the main villain in the story, adding that he’s appealing because he’s impossible to defeat, so what must Spider-Man do to stop a villain that cannot be stopped?

When asked if readers must commit themselves to all 12 issues of the story Marvel basically said yes. Missing any of it will make you lose what’s going on entirely. This story arc won’t be set up like House of M where you can buy the core title and any of the other ones you wanted to. David went on to explain that his act of the story will be self contained and even introduce a new character called Tracer. But for the full effect, logically, all issues must be bought. According to the House of Ideas, the writers are trying their best to make it not so much a sense of obligation, but rather make you feel pure excitement that drives you to buy the next part.

Marvel was quick to point out that the fun doesn’t stop for Spidey after The Other is finished. Peter David went on to talk about his plans for Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man once this three-month-spanning crossover was finished. He says he’s simply going to write fun Spider-Man stories like his predecessors Stan Lee and Steve Ditko did. Those are the stories he grew up with and he hopes to create a similar feeling. He wants to catch readers off guard with a huge “Gosh-Wow!” factor. He’s going to focus on Peter Parker, but also add in some fun Spidey stuff.

David is convinced that Peter Parker is a guy who believes he doesn’t deserve happiness. He feels current writers have lost touch with his roots. Peter Parker has a perfect life in comics right now, but he can’t ever come to that realization or else he ceases to be Spider-Man. The reason he keeps being Spider-Man is because he thinks he doesn’t deserve to be happy.

Before wrapping up the call, one caller asked if Marvel was doing anything to help the relief effort in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Marvel said they were talking to Diamond to see what could be done as far as helping retailers in the area and then they would do something about raising money. On the spot, Peter David requested that any royalties he makes of the first issue of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man be put towards American Red Cross.

In the end, lots of questions were answered during Marvel’s latest conference call, but lots of new ones have popped up as well. Will someone die? Will the Spider-Man books get the attention they once had? Will this make us forget the giant disaster known as the Clone Saga? Guess we’ll just have to wait until October to find out.

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