Marvel's three spider-women have more in common than just their names -- and are getting together in 2016.
This past weekend at New York Comic Con, Marvel announced that Spider-Gwen, Silk and Spider-Woman will be having a crossover event in 2016. It kicks off with Spider-Women #1 in the spring, before the storyline spreads to the three ongoing titles.
What begins as girls' morning out for brunch turns into a cross-continuity caper as Cindy and Jessica are trapped in Gwen's Earth-65 universe while doppelgangers are running wild in their place in the main Marvel Universe.
Newsarama talked with the three series writers -- Jason Latour, Robbie Thompson, and Dennis Hopeless -- about this crossover event, delving into its origins, what instigates the event, as well as where Jessica's pregnancy will lead and also details on Earth-65 versions of Silk and Spider-Woman.
Newsarama: Robbie, Dennis, Jason, big picture -- what can fans look forward to in this event?
Dennis Hopeless: Well everything stems from a Spider-Women brunch… So I’d say the fans can look forward to Mimosas. Or I guess Bloody Marys if that’s your thing but frankly, tomato juice is gross and that shouldn’t be your thing.
This event starts and ends with these characters. All three books are very character-driven. I think that’s why fans have responded so well to them. When we sat down to plot the crossover, we all agreed that the story should build out of the three distinct personalities and what drives them. That’s what fans can look forward to: Spider-Women. Lots of Jess. Lots of Cindy. Lots of Gwen.
Robbie Thompson: There’s going to be adventure, intrigue, fisticuffs, and some big twists, but I’m most excited about the personal story for each of these characters as they go through this dimension-hopping event. They’re all going to be tested and changed by this crossover.
Latour: The goal is always first and foremost to tell a good story. Just looking at these characters from a distance it became very clear that they reflect each other in very interesting ways. It just seems like the kind of pairing that was a de facto super-team before we ever thought to make them one.
But I will say that there are real stakes from this event. As fun as we want it to be the characters will walk away bloodied and changed, for the better and maybe for the worse. So I hope readers are as excited to see how that plays out as we are.
Nrama: How would you describe the relationship between Jessica, Cindy and Gwen?
Jason Latour: I think what’s intriguing about the three of them is that they’re really just getting to know one another. But as far as the initial dynamic—Jessica is definitely the big sister who’s a little frustrated by how much these girls don’t know about being superheroes.
Thompson: Jessica sits at the grown up’s table, and Cindy and Gwen are still at the kids’ table. So, Jessica is a mentor for both of them.
Latour: Her entire drive is to keep them safe and teach them to be competent at this, and as that relates to Gwen I think she just sometimes assumes that she knows what she’s doing given Gwen’s background as a cop’s daughter.
Hopeless: Jess sees herself as the older sister/mentor of the group. Jess isn’t a particularly patient or nurturing person so this wasn’t a role she particularly enjoyed back in Spider-verse. Becoming a mother has started to change her perspective. She’s still impatient and easily annoyed but the idea of helping these young heroes find their way isn’t so upsetting now. It will be a lot of fun developing these relationships.
Latour: As for Gwen and Cindy, they’ve kind of been thrust together. On some level I think Gwen wants to return to the life that she had before she was bitten by a spider, and Cindy not having that regular teenage life really bums her out. Every time she looks at Cindy she thinks about what it would be like to be trapped being Spider-Woman and it chafes her in a way she’s not proud of.
Thompson: Cindy is older than Gwen, but being locked in a bunker for so long has left her with some growing up left to do. And that lack of socialization doesn’t always make Cindy the best team player – and Jessica and Gwen are still a bit wary of Cindy from Spider-Verse. She wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders back then, didn’t always fit in with the team’s plans during that event. So Cindy still has to prove she’s up to the task of being a hero to both of them, and to herself.
Nrama: I'm told Silk and Spider-Woman get trapped in Gwen's reality. How different is it for them than the main 616 universe?
Latour: Well, Earth 65 really is an undiscovered country in a lot of ways.
I think that’s exciting— the opportunity to branch out from this story that’s largely only taken place through Gwen’s eyes so far and see it fresh again. I’ve always said the scale of it is similar to hoFw the Marvel books might have been in 1965. Maybe even smaller. On some level that might seem quaint to Jess or Cindy, but on the other hand— there’s no Avengers to call if you get in over your head. It's just you. It’s almost an analog kind of superheroing.
Thompson: As a fan, one of the things I’ve loved about Spider-Gwen is the world they’ve built in Earth-65. Everything is left of center, different takes on so many iconic characters – yet even when it’s completely opposite, like Matt Murderdock, there’s something strangely familiar and perfect about it too. It’s so much fun. So you’ll be seeing a lot more of that in Spider-Women, and those contrasting versions will lead to some personal problems for Jessica and Cindy in particular.
Nrama: And are there versions of Jessica and Cindy in Gwen's reality that we could meet?
Hopeless: Absolutely. Jess and Cindy’s Earth 65 doppelgangers are instrumental part of the story.
Thompson: You most definitely will be meeting their Earth-65 versions and those counterparts are going to fall in line with what you’ve seen in Spider-Gwen – not what you’d expect at all. Cindy Moon 65 in particular is a big surprise, which I’ll give one detail about: she never spent ten years in a bunker...
Hopeless: I got to spend some time with Loom World’s Jessica Drew in our “Spider-Verse” issues so it was important that this doppelganger story went in a different direction. It definitely does. Earth 65 Jess is not at all what you’d expect.
Latour: Like Robbie said, they’ll play a very key role in this. I’ll leave it at saying they’re equally if not more capable than their 616 counterpoints. They could prove very good allies or very dangerous enemies. Some of the fun is seeing which that shakes out to be.
Nrama: So double trouble for Silk and Spider-Woman in Earth 65 – but how is the 616 universe dealing with their absence?
Hopeless: Well, the Spider-Woman supporting cast is on babysitting duty during the crossover. I’d say their dealing with Jess’s absence in a lot of different ways. None of them include sleeping.
Nrama: So she’ll have had her baby by this point?
Hopeless: Yes. By the time the crossover starts, Jess will have given birth. She’ll be back in action and physically ready to throw down but the responsibilities of parenthood definitely weigh on her. Not many life events change a person as much as becoming a parent. Jess’s reaction to motherhood is a big part of the story we’ll be telling and those themes definitely bleed into the crossover. Jess is fighting bad guys in an alternate dimension without her child. This is not the most comfortable scenario. She won’t like it.
Nrama: Robbie, how about the 616 being Cindy-less?
Thompson: Well, Cindy’s already juggling more than she can handle at the time of the cross-over, so this is not going to help her life at all – especially her life working for Black Cat.
Nrama: And Jason, where will Spider-Gwen be in all of this?
Latour: The villain of this event has a very personal stake in Gwen’s future on Earth 65. And as a result Gwen is going to receive a very interesting offer. And that’s about as much as I’m going to say about that. Just know that what happens to Gwen in this story will have far reaching results for her and her world moving forward.
Nrama: What's it like working on an event together with Jason, Dennis, and the others?
Hopeless: So far it has been great.
Thompson: It’s so much fun – they’re both such experienced and accomplished storytellers and I’ve had a great time learning how they create characters and put stories together. And Nick, Devin and Kathleen are all fantastic editors with great ideas. Hopefully we’ll be able to do something like this again down the road.
Hopeless: Jason and I are good friends and started talking about potential stories for this crossover months ago. I had never met Robbie before but I love what he and Stacy have been doing with Silk and as it turns out, Robbie is fantastic. I suppose it is possible things will devolve into madness once we start scripting, but the plotting process has been totally painless.
Latour: Chiefly I’m handling Spider-Gwen and really working for those issues not to be enhanced by the event rather than feel interrupted it. I think that’s the goal for all the books involved. But the backbone of the whole event is something that all three of us have had a lot to say in. Which is exciting— because Robbie, Dennis and I have a creative relationship that has its own dynamic and we’re trying to discover what the right mix is just like the girls are figuring out how they relate to one another.