Okay, since our EIC is apparently off getting primped for his gig tonight on the Colbert Report, I figured I'd throw out some immediate ideas for the Spider-titles and hear from you fans what think.
With all due respect to the current teams on the Spider-books, I'm looking to bring in some new - and old - blood to stir things up in the Spiderverse for the next year. (Or more if I can work my magic on some of them.)
Old Webhead is coming off a pair of record-setting weekends at the box office, and I've been trolling some of the messages boards out there to see kinda response it got from the folks who care enough to take the time to opine on the internet. Yeah, yeah, I know that's not everyone, but it is a vocal bunch, so don't discount them.
One of the things I'm hearing is how fans - while they like a good movie done well - don't like it when the basic foundations of a character are meddled with. (Flint Marko plugging Ben Parker? Ouch!) More than 40 years later, the movies are marking box office gold by paying homage to the originals, and the heritage that's gone before.
So at the risk of an internet tar and feathering, how about we take a look at a -shudder- back to basics approach with Spidey? Good stories, great art, the kinda books that make you actually look forward to that Wednesday release of the next issue?
So here we go: Amazing Spider-Man. Let's make it Amazing again. I've heard lots of fans want to see John Romita Jr. making his return to the Webhead, so let's give the people what they want. And how's this for a two-fer? I'm asking his big daddy to supply the covers for one year! Arguably, one of the most identifiable Spider-artists ever, I can't wait to see 12 issues of Spider-goodness with JR Sr on the exterior, and JR Jr on the interiors.
So who would pen the tale to complement this titanic two? You sitting down?
You read that right. I'm making a pitch to the Maine Man to carry over the humongous success of his Dark Tower series and apply it to our Mainstream Marvels. Don't dismiss this idea as silly. Look, we know King has helped bring tons upon tons of new readers into the local comic stores in search of his Dark Tower series. I'm asking Master of the Macabre for a one-year commitment to Marvel's flagship character. We know everyone's got a Spider-Man story inside them that they're just waiting to tell. Let's hear SK's version!
The cross pollination from King bringing new readers into our little Marvel Universe is limitless. Obviously, I see a major media blitz coming along with this, so let's get the folks in marketing buckled in. Comics sites, fanzines, posters, and of course - ugh - variant covers. Let's talk about this some more.
Admit it, that would be Amazing.
Over in Spectacular, I'm looking at bringing back a couple of familiar names, one of whom hasn't been seen around these parts in some time, and will surely ignite a fair amount of controversy.
On Spectacular, I'm going for David Michelinie on writing duties, with John Byrne making his return to the House of Ideas on interior art. Love him or hate him, you can't deny Byrne's ability to bring some magic to the printed page. Let's let David handle the writing chores, with Byrne on pencils, and we could really tell some great tales of Spidey and his supporting cast, which of course, includes his Spectacular and Amazing cadre of villains.
First up for David, I've asked him to give me the consummate story concerning one of the villains he himself helped create in the first place: Venom. Look, the bad guy made it to the big screen before the likes of the Lizard, Kraven, Electro, and the Vulture. He's got wheels. Of course, any kid glomming his first glimpse at Venom via the movie is looking for Eddie Brock in the regular titles. I say we give it to him.
David, you've got a year to get Eddie and his symbiote up close and personal again. Let's see how you get us there.
Oh, and like Romita Sr. on covers over on Amazing, I'm shooting for another biggie for the Spectacular covers. Again, someone else who had a big hand in Venom's first forays into all things Marvel. You're still sitting, right? Good. I've placed a call to Titanic Todd McFarlane and asked him for a one-year commitment to Spider-covers. You know you all loved his variant on Ultimate Spider-Man 100, right? Think 12 more of those.
Obviously the success of both of these titles is predicated on smart packaging, strong advertisting and maximizing our new market saturation.