Spider-Man's one-time sidekick Alpha is starring in his own series in the Marvel NOW! era — but unlike some have speculated, it's not Superior Spider-Man.
As first reported by USA Today, Andy Maguire is back and starring in an Alpha miniseries starting in February, from the creative team of I, Vampire writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and Marvel Universe: Ultimate Spider-Man artist Nuno Plati (the two have collaborated before, on a story earlier this year in Amazing Spider-Man #692, the same issue as Alpha's first appearance, and a 2011 Marvel Girl one-shot).
The five-issue story sees Alpha moving to Pittsburgh, where Fialkov was raised.
"He's been demoted from this awesome life to nothing," the writer said of Alpha, to USA Today. "All the cool stuff is gone."
Yet Maguire will still have ties to Peter Parker and New York City — he has to "fly back to New York every couple of weeks on a Horizon private jet" check in with Parker, which seems to establish that Peter Parker is not only still alive post-Amazing Spider-Man #700, but still working at Horizon Labs.The USA Today piece further reveals that "Alpha's relationship to Spider-Man" will change with issue #700, and that much of the Alpha miniseries is a direct outgrowth of upcoming Spidey developments. It's been stated by both series writer Dan Slott and editor Steve Wacker that the Spider-Man in Superior Spider-Man is not Peter Parker, but who will be under the mask come January remains an open mystery. This news also provides context for the release of Alpha #0.1 in January, a reprint of the character's first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #692.
Alpha's move to Pittsburgh is yet another case of Marvel broadening their fictional universe outside of New York — especially in the Spider-Man titles, where Scarlet Spider is based in Houston and Venom is moving to Philadelphia.
"You put a hero in New York, and there's just 75 other people flying around," Wacker told USA Today. "You can write around that but it's not as if we don't have that area of the country covered. I love seeing new things in my comics."
The Alpha series also looks to explore a potentially more heroic side of the character, who used his considerable powers for selfish reasons in his original introduction story.
"It's a classic Marvel situation where you've got a kid with power who is making some wrong decisions," Wacker said. "That's an inherently dramatic story, watching someone screw up and learning along with them and seeing how they change."More from Newsarama:
- Partner Problems: The 10 Worst Comic Book SIDEKICKS
- Is January's ALPHA Reprint a SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN Clue?
- SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN Hits Marvel NOW! With New Suit, Attitude