Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #10 is on stands now, but if you think you’ve already seen all the bizarre team-ups, wait until you see what writer Kevin Shinick has come up with next. Beginning in March’s Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #10, Shinick is teaming up Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus – against Peter Parker, in a flashback story that ties into the “Goblin Nation” story over in Superior Spider-Man.
You might think that Goblin and Ock have teamed up before, both they haven’t – that is, until next month’s issue. And joining Shinick for this unique team-up issue is two unique partners of his own: regular series artist Marco Checchetto and classic Spider-Man artists Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema.
Shinick recently took over the Superior Spider-Man Team-Up series from Christopher Yost, and although Shinick might be a relatively new name to comics he’s not a new name to Spider-Man. In 2002 he was part of the Spider-Man Live! Stage show, and he’s also inserted the old wall-crawler in several television series he’s worked on including Robot Chicken and Mad. Newsarama talked to him about his unique history with the wall-crawler, as well as this Peter Parker flashback and what bizarre team-ups he’d like to do next in Superior Spider-Man Team-Up.
Newsarama: Kevin, you’re two issues into writing Superior Spider-Man Team-Up but it reads like you’ve been on it for years. What was it like stepping into this book and continuing the story Christopher Yost had mapped while bringing your own ideas in?
Kevin Shinick: First off, that's very kind of you to say. Second, I have actually been doing this for years, only I've been doing it in my head and for no money. So when the chance came to do it for real I couldn't resist. And I'm a big fan of Chris' work so I was already up to speed with everything that was going on in Superior Spider-Man Team-Up. Fortunately for me, I'm jumping in just as things are getting juicy, and Chris didn't mind that I wanted to take things in my own direction.
Nrama: In #9 people looking for you to live up to the title of “team-up” got their money’s worth with SpideyOck joined by the Punisher, Daredevil, as well as a number of villains including Green Goblin, Goblin Knight and Menace. What other faces can readers look forward to in #11 and beyond?
Shinick: Since #11 takes place in the past, I'm sure Otto and the Green Goblin will cross paths with some people you might have forgotten about, but in all honestly I haven't thought much further than #11 and #12 because so much is going down in the next few months that it's impossible to say who will still be standing.
Nrama: #9 and #10 serve as a prelude to “Goblin Nation,” but next month’s #11 gets you right into the middle of it. Can you describe Superior Spider-Man Team-Up’s angle on this event in the larger view of things?
Shinick: Sure. One of the things that's been great about working on this title has been coordinating with Dan [Slott] so that the events of 9 & 10 directly impacted the happenings over in Superior Spider-Man. Now that we've ramped up to the big climax of the main book, I wanted to continue to be just as relevant and energetic but without distracting from the focus of the main journey. So for me, that meant finding an event in the past that was not only important enough to revisit, but whose actions would still resonate here in the present. And now that SpideyOck is facing off against the Green Goblin, I was incredibly interested in getting inside Ock's head since he's essentially facing off against a villain he's most likely dealt with in the past as Doctor Octopus. And as you saw at the end of Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #10, the revelation that the Green Goblin is the mastermind behind it all stirs up a lot of emotions in Ock, and for good reason.
Nrama:And #11 features a never before seen team-up with Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin… and Spider-Man of course. What can you tell us about this story – it’s in the past, so what does it mean to what’s going on now in comics?
Shinick: So here's the crazy thing, in researching the event that I imagined SpideyOck was thinking back to at the end of 10, I discovered that within the extensively rich, fifty-year history of Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin have never appeared together. (Technically they were together once, but Ock was under hypnosis so I don't count it because it wasn't his choice, nor was he conscious.)
This blew my mind and also filled me with excitement, because it opened up so many questions for me. Why didn't they ever get together? Did they get together, but it didn't work out? Or did they put a plan together that's been so incredibly long in the making that it's only now rearing its head? Whichever way I approached it, I felt the outcome couldn't help but resonate in today's timeline when the two come face to face again! (even though Ock is now in Spidey's body) Needless to say, I think the choice we went with will not only match the excitement with what's going on in SSM, but also fill in some much needed chapters to Spider-Man's history.
And to emphasize the occasion, two things are happening: First, in addition to the beautiful artwork that Marco Checchetto is delivering, and in order to capture the feeling of the time we're flashing back to, we've enlisted the awesome artistry of both Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema. Their styles not only capture that era, but I've always been a big fan of their work so I am super excited. Second, Paulo Rivera has drawn two incredible covers for #11 & #12 that fit together to create one fantastic image. I'm already planning on getting mine framed.
Nrama: Speaking of the creative team involved, this book is called “team-up,” but in some ways there’s more fighting between the heroes than the villains. Can you talk about writing with that kind of situation?
Shinick: That's been one of the great things about working with Ock-Spidey. He's a bit of an ass, and no matter who he's teamed up with he's going to be combative. As a writer, I always find that's a more interesting way to approach things so I've been completely comfortable with the shift.
Nrama: Even prior to doing Spider-Man comics, you’ve been doing your own team-up with Spidey – from the Spider-Man Live! stage show in 2002 to also using him on several occasions for the Mad animated series. Where’s Spider-Man sit in that head of yours?
Shinick: Much like Otto, I also seem to have a phantom Peter Parker running around my head. Only I'm not trying to get rid of him. In fact, I'm exploiting his ideas and taking all the credit for them. So when you see Spider-Man appear at my other jobs like Mad or Robot Chicken or Spider-Man Live! You can be sure that Peter is shaking his fist, not so much because I've skipped off with his life, but because he's not getting credit.
Nrama: And what’s it like now writing him on regular basis, but have it being Doctor Octopus inside the Spider-Man mask instead of Peter Parker?
Shinick: I was lucky enough to write a couple of issues of Avenging Spider-Man back when it was still Peter, so to switch gears and write for him now that he's secretly Otto has been a lot of fun. There were times in the past when I wanted Peter to react more severely to something or have more of a biting comment, but I also know that's not his character. So this has definitely been a refreshing exercise, but like anything I think it'll be comforting to see Peter acting as Peter once again.
Nrama: It seems Superior Spider-Man is coming to an end soon – but will Superior Spider-Man Team-Up continue on?
Shinick: Having Spider-Man team up with different heroes is always a good idea. Whether they call it Avenging Spider-Man, Spider-Man Team-Up or Superior Spider-Man Team-Up you better believe we're going to have a lot of fun pairing everyone's favorite wall crawler with people that make his life more interesting. (Notice I didn't say that make his life better.)
Nrama: What characters are you looking forward to possibly teaming Spidey with – or fighting – in future issues?
Shinick: Oh there's going to be a lot fighting for sure. But it's going to be between me and whoever tries to tell me that I can no longer write for Spider-Man.