#7 cover by Khoi
Pham.Khoi Pham has drawn a wide variety of Marvel series over the past few years, including straight-up superheroics on Mighty Avengers, the mythology-steeped Chaos War miniseries and, most recently, street-level swashbuckling in Daredevil #10.1.
As announced Saturday during the Amazing Spider-Man panel at the C2E2 convention in Chicago, his latest endeavor is joining writer Chris Yost and legendary inker Tom Palmer on Scarlet Spider as of July’s issue #7. Scarlet Spider stars Spider-Man’s once-evil clone, Kaine, as he attempts to move on from Spidey drama in Houston — something easier said than done.
The series has won praise from Clone Saga die-hards and deniers alike, and Newsarama talked to both Yost and Pham via email to discuss the next phase of Scarlet Spider and filling the void of departing series artist Ryan Stegman (who’s moving over to Fantastic Four). We also got some hints on what’s coming up next in the book, which includes a surprising take on long-standing sinister Marvel corporation Roxxon. [Newsarama note: No Scarlet Spider art by Khoi Pham was available from Marvel at press time.]
Newsarama: Khoi, you've illustrated many major Marvel characters at this point in your career, and now you're working on the Spidey side of things, coming on board Scarlet Spider. How big of a Spider-Man fan are you? And more specifically, are you a fan of the Clone Saga era where Kaine first debuted?
Khoi Pham: I love Spider-Man, and I loved being able to buy three Spider-Man books every month as a kid. So of course I was on board during the Clone Saga, which I think is second only to the Kraven story as one of my favorite Spider-Man arcs. It's cool to be revisiting those memories now.
Nrama: One of the main distinguishing aspects of Scarlet Spider is that it takes place in Houston, far from the typical Marvel Universe locale. How much fun have you had exploring that setting? What kind of research have you put in?
Pham: I'm really enjoying reading up on the area and trying to make it a visually distinct backdrop for the character. Many times locales other than NYC fail to provide that majestic or compelling stage for these larger than life characters, which I think is why it often fails. But I'm planning on making Houston and the Gulf area visually compelling.
Nrama: With that comes another unconventional aspect of the book, the fact that other than the title character — who in this incarnation, is greatly changed from before — Scarlet Spider also features a lot of new characters. How fun is it to get to illustrate a Marvel series that, visually, is mostly uncharted territory?
Pham: It's awesome! I can draw new and obscure characters all day long.
Nrama: Chris, moving from Ryan Stegman to Khoi Pham as illustrator on Scarlet Spider, does your perspective as writer change at all?
Chris Yost: Yes and no. I'm still telling the same story, I just adjust to play to the strengths of each artist. But as both artists are completely awesome, it's really not a big adjustment.
Nrama: Khoi, do you see similarity between you and Stegman in your art styles? Though you obviously have distinctive voices, I think it’s a pretty smooth transition between the two of you.
Pham: Man, I love what Ryan's been doing on this book. He brings a ton of energy to his panels. He's also really good with his action sequences, which is where I think some similarities lie. It's going to fun to see how I can build on the amazing foundation he's already, well, built.
Nrama: Your first issue is out in July, so you've been probably been working with Chris Yost for a little bit now. From your perspective, what are his strengths as a collaborator?
Pham: The thing I like about Chris is that he writes things that are interesting to draw. He knows when to shift gears and scenery to keep things interesting. He knows when to punch up the action with a bit of humor. He's also involved during the art stage, which is really nice. A real treat to work with.
Nrama: Chris, now that the series has been out for a few months, have you been pleased with the reaction to it, for as much as you've been monitoring such a thing?
Yost: I've been incredibly surprised and gratified by the response. There's no Marvel character that I could write that I wouldn't fall in love with, but Kaine has a special place in my heart. I want him to find an audience, and so far so good!
Nrama: What can you share at this point about the arc staring with Pham's first issue, #7? It looks like long-standing Marvel staple Roxxon will be involved, but maybe in a little bit of a different role than readers are used to seeing them.
Yost: Roxxon is the victim! There's an attack on Roxxon world headquarters in Houston, and Scarlet Spider is on the case. Khoi's first issue starts with a literal bang. We follow it up with some lovin', some mystery, and some fighting.
And then the American Southwest's own super hero team the Rangers gets in on that action. Scarlet Spider versus Texas Twister! Because you demanded it! Well, I did anyway.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!