[THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR "AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" #672, IN STORES AND AVAILABLE DIGITALLY NOW]
No one in the Marvel Universe can question Peter Parker's love for New York City. As the Amazing Spider-Man, Parker has protected the citizens of Manhattan on countless occasions, but in "Amazing Spider-Man" #672 by writer Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos he brought the Big Apple back from one of its darkest hours. The issue was the sixth chapter in the "Spider-Island" storyline running through "Amazing Spider-Man" and several different tie-ins, which detailed Spidey and his allies' battle against a plague that transformed most of New York's population into giant spiders.
In the issue, Spider-Man executed a plan that cured New York's citizens and allowed his allies to strike a decisive blow against the mastermind behind the plague, the villainess known as the Queen. In our penultimate installment of SPIDER-ISLAND HOPPING, our look at each issue of the main storyline with the creators involved, Assistant Editor Ellie Pyle joins us for a conversation about "Amazing" #572.
CBR News: So Ellie, "Spider-Island" was one of the biggest Spider-Man stories in recent years. Now that issue #672 is in stores and it's just about over, how does it feel to have been a part of it?
Ellie Pyle: Absolutely amazing! I was thinking earlier today that I first heard Dan Slott talk about a certain moment in "ASM" #672 back in the first week of February. That's almost nine months that I've been waiting for this issue to be on sale so that I could say "LOOK HOW AWESOME THIS IS!" and people would actually know what I was talking about. And then once the pages started coming in from Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado everything turned out even more incredible than I'd imagined. This entire project has been a fantastic ride from start to finish, working with so many talented writers and artists and trying to help keep the pieces fitting together. I'm just thrilled with the way it all turned out.
One of the biggest moments in "Amazing" #672 came when Peter Parker's clone, Kaine, took down the Queen in her gigantic and monstrous Spider-Queen form. Peter's sonic shielding suit allowed Kaine to survive the Queen's sonic blast, but it was his stingers that helped him deliver the coup de grace. Since Spidey developed those stingers after going through "The Other" storyline, we're curious about the extent of Kaine's powers. Does Kaine have all the powers Peter got at the end of "The Other?" If so, when did he receive them? Did he go through an ordeal off panel that gave him these powers or did his "death" in the "Grim Hunt" storyline lead to him receiving these powers?
I believe Dan hinted at this in the last installment of SPIDER-ISLAND HOPPING. Kaine has been through a lot! He's been killed, brought back to life, mutated and cured, mostly through science-y processes that remain somewhat mysterious. I think it's fair to say that anything is possible for Kaine at this point in terms of what powers he will manifest and what he will do with them in the future.
It seems like issue #672 was also a huge issue for Peter's ex-girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson. She used the spider powers she developed from the early stages of the plague to help Pete in his gambit to stop the Queen, and in the end of the battle she says she loves him. What's her state of mind at the end of the issue? How big of an impact will the events of this issue have on MJ going forward? Will she be a major player in the next few issues of "Amazing? or will the focus be on other characters?
Mary Jane has a lot to think about as this issue draws to a close and future issues will find her working through it all in ways you might expect and others that you won't see coming, all of which are perfectly true to her character. So yes, she's not going anywhere quite yet. But keep in mind, she's not the only woman in Peter Parker's life and we'll be seeing quite a bit of Carlie Cooper in the coming issues as well.
The identity of the title character of the upcoming "Scarlet Spider" series is still a mystery, but both Kaine and Mary Jane are the top suspected candidates for being the new Scarlet Spider. We know you can't reveal if either of them are the new Scarlet Spider, but how much of an impact do the events of "Amazing Spider-Man" #672 have on the new "Scarlet Spider" series? Does something in the issue lay the ground work for the new series?
Hmm -- maybe you'll see more coming than I thought. I will tell you that you definitely saw the new Scarlet Spider in action in "ASM" #672 and his or her identity will become even clearer in "ASM" #673 on sale [now]. As to whether there will be much overlap between the two series, that remains to be seen. If only there were some way to look into the future -- or some other spider we've seen dressed in scarlet who could shed some light on which of these candidates is a red herring.
Regardless, I for one am very excited about this book (and really disappointed I'm not assisting on it)! I loved Chris Yost's work on "Fear Itself: Spider-Man" and "Spider-Island: Avengers." And Ryan Stegman did an amazing job on "ASM" #665. You can catch your first glimpse of their take on the new Scarlet Spider in "Point One" on sale November 9th!
A number of characters involved in "Spider-Island" had their own separate stories such as Shang-Chi and Cloak & Dagger. Many of these characters came back to help out in the big final show down with the Spider-Queen at the end of #672, and we have to wonder where do they go from here? Will they continue to be reoccurring players in "Amazing Spider-Man?" Or are there plans to give them their own books?
It was great to get the chance to include these characters in "Spider-Island" and we know fans would love to see more of them in the future. I can't confirm any plans that may or may not be in the works for separate series for these characters at the moment, but even in the Marvel U, New York is a small enough place that people have a way of running into each other sooner or later.
"Amazing Spider-Man" #672 was part six of the six-part "Spider-Island" storyline, but the tale is not over yet. "Amazing Spider-Man" #673, available now in stores and digitally, is the epilogue to the storyline. Can you offer up any hints or teases about the issue?
At its core, "Spider-Island" really has been a love letter to this city and that will continue into "ASM" #673. Remember how it all started with Pete saying that he's always loved this city but he never thought it would return the favor? Stay tuned!
The issue also features the return of artists Stefano Caselli and Frank Martin! And everything changes for Peter Parker when he is forced to finally say to someone: "I am Spider-Man."
"Amazing Spider-Man" #673 by Slott, Caselli and Martin is on sale now.