Comic Wire

Thu, March 15th, 2001 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Beau Yarbrough, Columnist

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MARVEL GIVES SPIDEY'S WEB A SHAKE

Much ink, digital and otherwise, has been devoted to the upcoming revamps of Marvel Comics' X-Men books, but the company isn't letting their other flagship off without the same.

While rumors have circulated for a while now about what changes Spider-Man will be undergoing, the company made an official announcement about what fans can expect this spring in an announcement Tuesday.

New "Amazing Spider-Man" writer J. Michael Straczynski is best known as the creator of the television series "Babylon 5," and while he's done creator-owned comic books in the past, this assignment will be his Marvel debut. He's not sneaking in quietly this April, though.

According to the company, Straczynski's Peter Parker will be getting a new job, when he becomes a science teacher at his old high school, which is no longer the place he (and readers) remember.

"I feel that Spider-Man has lost his relevance," Straczynski said in Marvel's release. "I want to bring him back to his roots, throw him into the streets of New York and put him in powerful social situations that he hasn't encountered for a while."

More dramatically, Straczynski will be working in a plot line that raises the possibility that Peter Parker is not the first person to gain Spider-Man powers over the years, and that he may, in fact, be part of a larger group of people who have become wall-crawlers.

Straczynski begins as writer on "Amazing Spider-Man" with issue #30.

LAST ONE OUT OF 'GEEKSVILLE,' TURN OUT THE LIGHTS
SASSAMAN ON SERIES' END

[Geeksville #6]As reported in the last edition of the Comic Wire, Image Comics' "Geeksville" is came to an end with this week's issue #6, previous reports of its health to the contrary.

And while Rich Koslowski gave his thought on why the end is here, the book has two writers, so the Comic Wire spoke to Gary Sassaman -- whose "Innocent Bystander" was half of the book -- Monday to get his thoughts on what happened and where his fans can see his work in future.

"Well, I have a graphic novel (and I stress the word novel) in the works ... and I hope to do a second volume collecting the rest of all the IB stories. Since no one seems to want to publish volume two of a two part series, I guess I'm going to have to do it alone, and that will take some time. I don't have the money necessary to self-publish these days."

The reason for cancellation was simple, he said.

"The book never sold in the kind of numbers we had hoped for. We knew we were always kind of a 'cult' book, but we had hoped that the added Image logo would bring us more recognition, and it did, but only to a point."

But as for what he would have done differently, if he had to do it over again, the answer is: not much.

"If the marketplace was kinder to self-publishers, I would have continued that way. Don't get me wrong, the guys at Image were wonderful to us. But I was always shocked that they asked us to the dance, so to speak. We really didn't fit in with their books."

VIVA LAS COMIC BRIEF

Here's what's news and press releases in CBR's Comic Brief since the last edition of the Comic Wire:

  • Oni Give it Away Again!

  • DC Comics solicitations for product shipping June, 2001 with covers

  • CrossGen's "Crux" #1 to contain extra length story for no additional cost

  • Tim Bruckner signs exclusive contract with DC

  • Alternative Comics announces ambitious 2001 publication schedule

  • More CrossGen Issues sell out

  • Paul Storrie to take on the "Batman Beyond" writing chores

  • Open letter from writer Frank Tieri on "Deadpool"

As for last time in the Comic Wire:

  • "Geeksville" closes its doors

  • David, Keown return for "The Last" Hulk story

  • "Herobear" creator goes full-time on series

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