Steve Wacker Answers Your Spider-Man Questions, Part 2

Wacker Spidey Answers, Part 2

Upcoming Spider-Man

Newsarama Introduction: … you know what? There’s nothing we can say, except you know how something can be described as being both beautiful and horrible? It’s this. Here’s Amazing Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker. He’s missed you.

All right, yesterday was an appetizer. Here’s the main course….six pages of tolerating your mean-spirited attempts to throw me off my game. Jokes on you though, internet, I’m as unstoppable as Bendis at a Punctuation and Grammar Festival!

Set your sensitivity on High and your anger on Carlin-ish!

Here we go…

cameronbrown76 wrote: As the editor, what are the most challenging aspects of getting Amazing out almost-weekly, and what are the biggest rewards?

Steve Wacker: The challenging part is staying ahead of the game and trying to find new ways to manipulate the schedule so that no one (including the talent) realizes how close to the wire we run. Marvel is set up very differently than DC with fewer safety nets if you start running late, so every week is actually pretty tense for me and my assistant Tom Brennan (who can’t be lauded enough for his commitment). Eventually were going to miss a week and we’ll have 7 days of “the sky is falling…and on fire…and ruining my childhood” all over the internet, but until then I’m proud of not only the schedule we’ve kept, but that the quality has stayed high creatively.

The reward I get sounds corny, but it’s really the only reason to do this job: it’s all about the people. Working with the talent on the book both on the writing side and the art side makes this a pretty special time in my career. Seeing what ideas the writers come up with and is always an adventure. But it’s evenly matched by the artwork as it comes in. On any given day any of these guys are my favorite Spidey artist. I’m not so far removed from 14 year old Steve that I’m not a little shocked at how lucky I am.

It’s sad that we’re also ruining Spidey forever at the same time, but what are you gonna do?

The Phazer wrote: When OMD is inevitably undone - and it is inevitable - will you be embarrassed about the shilling you've done on it?

SW: I‘ll be dead by then and your half-robot daughter will have discovered your old Newsarama password and spend her last 5000 years embarrassed about what you spent your time on.

SageShini wrote: What happened in Final Crisis?!?!? (Somebody else asked this. Its a bit ridiculous, but you're a hilarious guy so I wanna know your answer. )

Superman saved stories; Batman is left in the ultimate trap and the myth of the New Gods were reignited.

Next week: I explain “Family Circus circa 1974-1977.”

Amazing Spider-Man #592, pages 14-15

Serious question: Okay, in a CBR interview you did recently they asked you about the new Spider-Man Family and the kinds of stories that would be in it. You mentioned quite a few that made me think it was a book I'd like to try out, but there was one in particular....Spider-Man 20,999. Now, was that a typo on their part, or do you actually have someone pitching you a story about the Spider-Man of the year 20,999 AD?

SW: Everytime you mention CBR, Brady dies a little inside.

Not a misprint. I want to do it. I have a pitch that I just need to sit and read.

ApacheDick wrote: How did Eddie Brock's ex-wife Anne Weying become African-American in "Venom: Dark Origin"? Did she suffer from Michael Jackson-syndrome, or is Zeb Wells just lazy?

SW: In Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, there’s a scene where icing on cake turns from white to pink between shots. Lazy-ass Hitchcock!

In the first issue of Amazing Spider-Manthe very first issue…Stan mistkanely refers to Peter Parker as “Peter Palmer”. Clutch your pearls, kids!!!

I’m sure the Venom this was just an honest and unfortunate mistake, but I don’t know why you’d blame Zeb of all people. Wouldn’t an on-the-ball editor have caught this? What do we pay us guys for?

Look ,we’re just uncaring jerks who have no idea what were doing. I’d stick to audiobooks and if I were you.

AxonRey wrote: Is Harry Osborn ever going to embrace his potential as a force in the Marvel Universe, or continue to cry about how he lives in his father's shadow? And by getting out of his father's shadow, owning and operating the Coffee Bean isn't what I have in mind.

SW: “American Son” starts in May.

Amazing Spider-Man #589, page 6

antimonitor5 wrote: Recently Roger Stern, Joe Kelly and Mark Waid have contributed stories to AMS that were all quite good (especially Kelly's 2 issue Hammerhead masterpiece). Are there any new writers jumping on board in 2009 to write some issues of AMS? If so, can you share any names? I have a suggestion, what about Jason Aaron or Jonathan Hickman?

SW: Jason and Jonathan are both writers who continue to impress, so they’d be welcome here anytime.

At our retreat next month, Zeb Wells and Fred van Lente will be there since they’re both working on Spider-related mini-series. Also I hope you’ve been keeping up with the relaunched Amazing Spider-Man Family because J.M. DeMatteis just wrote the hell out of a Harry Osborn story catching up everyone with how Pete reacted to his return.

Goof wrote: When will Obama be back on the cover of ASM?

SW: Probably never, but who knows. It was a one time salute to a Spidey-fan-made-good. The success of the issue caught us all on our heels a bit, but it was a fun whirlwind for a couple weeks (Special thanks to Joe Quesada for being out of town allowing me to do a bunch of TV appearances that served mainly to show people I went to high school with how pudgy I’ve become. Thanks, NBC!)

By the way, if you haven’t seen it, Marvel.com is running a free prologue to the Obama story by Zeb, Todd, Jared, and Dean White (who turned it around again in record time) along with the original 4 pager.

Plus you can fine my favorite project ever: GETTYSBURG DISTRESS by Matt Fraction, Andy MacDonald, Chris Eliopolous and Nick Filardi. All wrapped up in an awe-inspiring cover by Paolo Rivera.

FilmBuffRich wrote: There's this guy who hangs around the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA area who claims that he works for Marvel but everyone knows he's full of crap. Could you tell him to knock it off? Thanks!

Lincoln is more of a man than Spidey or Cap could ever hope to be

SW: That’s Joe Kelly. It’s handled.

vbartilucci wrote: The current score for questions –

Dan DiDio: 282

Steve Wacker: 77

Jealous?

SW: You bet as the Editor-in-Chief of the world’s biggest comic company this is pretty embarrassing for me—HEY WAIT A MINUTE! I just edit Spider-Man! I’m not the Editor-In-Chief at all! You got me!

Anyway, clearly Dan has more to answer for. And anyway, most of his questions are Ethan van Sciver using various aliases.

To help my old boss out, I’ll grab one of his questions and answer for him here. Hang tight. I’ll be right back…

frangieh11 wrote: Will the new Batman, and Robin have a new change of suits?

SW: Yes. They will be dressed as Spider-Man and Luke Cage and appearing in New Avengers #50. On sale next week!

Happy to help.

Spidey616 wrote: Any chance of Sara Ehret returning as Jackpot again later this year? And is Marc Guggenheim really taking a short hiatus from the web-head group after he writes this year's Annual? I'm gonna miss him. Can you announce who's drawing the Annual?

SW: Marc’s been going steady on Spidey for several months not whipping “Character Assassination” into shape and then jumping into an epilogue for Extra! #3 and the Annual, so he may need a break. I’ll make sure it’s not too long though.

Annual will be drawn by Patrick Olliffe.

cowtrout wrote: How long is the weekly format going to be used or? Is there an end date planned or issue # Say to 650? 700?

SW: Oh, man I wish! Then my kids could have a father who didn’t walk around zombie-like mumbling about D-List Spidey villains.

Norman and Harry in happier times

No end date planned. This is the way the book is being run for the foreseeable future.

I’d would like an end date though, so I know exactly when to leave halfway through

Sunless wrote: Any chance you could convince Marvel to record their convention Panels like DC does for us people overseas?

SW: That is a terrific idea! I’m actually surprised to hear we don’t do it. Consider it suggested.

PresidentKang wrote: Why a Sinister Six (or 666) story at issue #666? Why not revist the Mephisto deal-with-the-devil storyline at that particular issue number. It seems to be a good place to do it, what with the number of the beast and Mephisto being the devil and all.

SW: You’re a little confused. Nothing has been announced for #666, that’s still a couple years away.

The character Mephisto is not the classical Devil, by the way. He’s just a demonic character owned and operated by Marvel Entertainment. The “real” Devil that your thinking of sits across from me, wears a thick Tolkein-esque beard, and edits Dark Avengers.

buff1040 wrote: How much longer are we all going to have to wait to see the Black Cat show up in ASM?

SW: A little longer. That’s a character I want to make sure gets reintroduced in as strong a manner as possible. The writers and I have gone round and round about her a couple different times, but the timing hasn’t been right. We’ll get there.

rwe1138 wrote: Does Keith Giffen return your phone calls?

SW: Yes. He has a crush on me.

NYCEsq wrote: I keep reading that the current Spidey stories couldn’t be told with a married Peter Parker. Yet I read each issue and I am unable to see why the key story elements could not be told with a few minor tweaks and a married Parker. Can you look back retrospectively and give me some specific examples of key plot elements that demonstrate why the marriage had to go? I think it would help on my road to recovery and acceptance.

SW: I keep hearing that I said that, so I feel for you. That’s such an arbitrary hurdle put down by readers who simply want to be argumentative that I’ve spent zero time making sure our stories can go over it. I’ve spent very little time editing a married Peter Parker, so I’m not sure how that change would affect things overall.

I guess if you squint hard enough you could just throw a married MJ and Pete into our stories, but you could also have Uncle Ben running around and still have Menace attack. I’m not sure what that really proves ,though… other than you probably liked the Peter/MJ marriage.

Ha. Another internet debate resolved. Here I come, Congress!

Airport Pete

ColinMcCormack wrote: I don't know how much you have to do with scheduling, but Character Assassination, just like New Ways to Die, is having almost a month go between its penultimate and final chapters. It takes a lot of the tension out of the story. Can we try to avoid that in the future?

SW: “Takes the tension out?” How do you handle monthly books?

In both cases, the scheduling was on purpose to give Johnny as much time as possible to do extra sized finales. You want to go and avoid the very thing I think is brilliant about my math!

FormerMarvelZombie wrote: Any chance we can box at the San Diego con, if I win we get the old Spidey back, if I lose I'll start buying Spider-Man for the first time since OMD(including all the older issues).

SW: I’ll box, but the bet’s not going to do you any good. It’s not like I sit around and make decisions like that.

Besides, no one believes you aren’t reading anyway.

Ken_B thinks he’s being clever and writes: When looking at the sales numbers this year, will you be using the inflated numbers given by #583 (let's say 400,000) to justify the BND status-quo, knowing that BND had nothing to do with how well that book sold (or can only single super-heroes meet the President?), or will you peg in the more reasonable 60k units?

SW: I will go to my employee review this year claiming as confidently as a message board based business-of-comics dilettante that every issue of Spidey this year sold 10,000,000 copies through subscriptions and that I should be justly rewarded.

Your question is silly, but you know that already. As hard as it will be for you to swallow, we’re hip to why #583 sold so well and knew it was going to be a fleeting bit of attention. In other news: water is wet, sugar is sweet and 30 Rock is funny.

We also got some criticism from folks like yourself for putting the President on the cover of a single issue story as opposed on the first part of a big epic, but I’ll leave it to the creative minds here on Newsarama to figure out why putting President on the cover to #584 would have been a bad idea.

ted_dahlman wrote: Are there any other Marvel titles you could see coming out three times a month?

SW: All of them. I’d like to spread this agony around the office.

Indy24NC wrote: Great job with Amazing Spidey. Have you ever thought about writing a story arc?

SW: I tried but my pitch was a story starring an unmasked, married

Spider-Man teaming up with Ben Reilly (who now smokes), the restored REAL Avengers, and Rom: Space Knight (who now smokes).

The story would have been a DONE-IN-ONE that not only brought back Gwen Stacy, but re-killed Bucky, brought back my sweet Jean Grey and contradicted everything that happened at Marvel ever since the day Joe took over.

Plus it would have been 100 pages for .25 cents and I would’ve forced drug stores to carry them like it was 1975 and make all the retailers pay for a “Got Milk” style pro-comics campaign!

Also no variant covers that you’re FORCED to buy and none of this would have been available digitally because that’s never going to take off!

No one here wants something like that, right?

Marvel Man wrote: Steve, any chance there will be a Spidey & Ms. Marvel romance? Peter asked her out on a date in Brian Reed's Ms. Marvel title & she accepted. I know they are an odd couple, but I think it would make it all the more interesting.

SW: I couldn’t agree more. They should at least go out once.

Though it is pushing believability that Pete could ever land a beautiful looking woman like that.

Jimmy Palmiotti wrote: how did you get so damn good looking?

SW: By reading Jonah Hex and watching the new Complete Painkiller Jane on DVD.

All right, on that husky Italian note, it’s six pages later and I’m moving out of here faster than Jimmy in a church.

Don’t respond to any of this below. Just accept it.

Have a good weekend.

-Steve

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