For many Marvel fans, Sean McKeever and Spider-Man seem to go together.
So now that the writer's exclusive contract with DC has ended, his return to Spider-Man seems fitting. McKeever, who is currently writing the Nomad mini-series for Marvel, makes his return to Spider-Man this week in Web of Spider-Man #1.
Known for his critically acclaimed series Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, McKeever also guided the character in Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man and Spider-Man Family. But his Spidey stories came to an end when the writer became a DC exclusive writer, most recently working on the monthly Teen Titans series.
Now McKeever will not only write the web-slinger's encounter with Frog-Man in Web of Spider-Man #1, but is doing a one-shot What If? Spider-Man House of M issue due out in December.
Newsarama talked to the writer about his return to Spider-Man, what he thinks of the change in the character's status quo, and what readers can expect from his new Spidey stories.
Nrama: How did you get offered the chance to work on Web of Spider-Man?
McKeever: I got asked at San Diego by Steve Wacker if I’d be interested in writing a short Spidey story. We talked over some various ideas, and joked around, and wound up coming up with an idea, which was to have a story where Frog-Man shows up, wants to be Spider-Man’s partner, and there’s a little surprise for Frog-Man as well, because somebody shows up and wants to be his partner.
Nrama: How is it to get back to Spidey after being away from him for a while when you had the exclusive at DC?
McKeever: Well, it’s like riding a bike. I just hopped right back on, you know. He’s the character I grew up with since I was 3 years old. I know who he is, you know.
Nrama: Stephanie Buscema, John Buscema's granddaughter, is doing the art on your story. What was it like to work with her?
McKeever: This is specifically set in mind with Stephanie Buscema as the artist, and it just looks so fantastic. She has this really classic cartoon, kind of Darwyn Cooke style to her work, that’s just brilliant. So it’s really fun to see my script turned into that style of art. She's the absolute perfect artist for this story and really brings a wonderful energy to it all.
Nrama: And you're also doing the What If? Spider-Man: House of M issue due out in December. Was this something where you were wondering, “what if,” or did you kinda develop it with Marvel?
McKeever: No. Justin Gabrie at Marvel came to me about it. He gave me a list of "what ifs" that he was interested in doing, and of course, the one with Spider-Man on it, I had to latch right onto.
So it’s definitely something they came to me with in terms of the basic question, which is what if Gwen Stacy had survived the House of M? So I took that premise and really worked out what would be the point of divergence, and what would that do to Peter’s life, and what would that do to reality itself?
I really like science fiction along the lines of Timecrimes, which is this foreign film that is very Hitchcock-ian, but yet uses science fiction in it. So I kinda wanted to do that here, and that’s probably the most I can say about that aspect of it without giving too much away.
Nrama: Did you have to do a lot of research for this story?
McKeever: Yeah, but the research I did was around the events after House of M, and Spider-Man House of M itself. I needed to refresh myself just on the end of House of M, just to figure out where the divergence would have taken place, and also to figure out what was going on with Peter once he got out of the House of M situation. What were the first major stories after that, etcetera?
I wound up not really playing with any of those exactly, but one thing I had to know was where was Norman Osborn, so you’re definitely going to be seeing him involved. I mean, it’s a story about Gwen and Peter; of course he has to be involved.
Nrama: And who did this cover?
McKeever: Terry Dodson did the cover, which is super cool. It has painted colors over it by, I believe it's Jorge Molina. His coloring style is really cool. It really does give it sort of a painterly feel. (The interiors are) drawn by Dave Ross, and will have painted colors over it as well.
Nrama: Gwen and Peter had a son in House of M, right?
McKeever: Yeah, and that’s a big part of it as well, because at the end of House of M, Peter was very upset, because he remembered everything that he had. Now, here’s Gwen there as well, and she remembers everything she had, and none of that is there any more except for Peter, who’s with MJ.
Nrama: Is MJ referred to in the story?
McKeever: Yes, but it's not about them being together.
Nrama: So there's no confusion with the continuity of the marriage?
McKeever: It’s really neither here nor there in the story. MJ and he are together, but the details of it aren't something that comes up.
Nrama: The story you're doing in Web of Spider-Man is your first time back to Spider-Man since the end of the marriage to MJ. What do you think of the change?
McKeever: I've been enjoying Amazing for the most part. I do like the idea of a single Peter Parker, allowing him to wallow in girl troubles along with everything else, so it works for me.
Nrama: As a writer, has that been easier for you to adjust to since the two weren't married when you wrote the characters in Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane?
McKeever: I haven't had to concern myself with that yet. It's a non-issue in all my Spidey work thus far. But I'd say both are easy for me to write. I had a lot of fun writing them together in that Spider-Man Family "Amazing Friends" comic, which was before One More Day/Brand New Day. Personally, I like writing all aspects of their relationship in all the various permutations it could potentially become.
Nrama: Will you be doing more stories for Web of Spider-Man?
McKeever: Just the one for now. I haven’t talked to Wacker about any more Spider-Man stuff, but knowing me, it won’t be too long before I’m writing the old web-head again.
Nrama: Do you want to give us a quick update on Nomad?
McKeever: Just that I’m finishing up the final issue, and I can say with some certainty that if you haven’t picked up Nomad, that maybe you should, because I think it’s going to be the start of something pretty cool and neat in the Marvel Universe.