Longtime Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott has announced his departure from the series with Amazing Spider-Man #801 - a decision he says has been in the making for years. Slott has been a writer on Amazing Spider-Man since 2008's "Brand New Day" arc, having taken over sole writing duties on the title in 2010.
"This was a decision that was made way long ago," Slott told Vulture. "I gotta feel like a jerk, because whenever someone would interview me, or whenever it would come up on panels, I would look out at people and say with a stern look that I was never leaving. Very much in the same way I was saying, 'Peter Parker is never coming back. I killed him' [during The Superior Spider-Man]. I lied. I lied horribly. [Laughs.] But that’s what us storytellers do, we spin lies."
And given Slott's timeline, he's not kidding about the length of time he's been holding onto this secret - since around 2014's Spider-Verse event.
"It was also around the time that we were doing Spider-Verse, and it was such a big undertaking...And in the middle of all of that I was like, 'Aaaaaah.' That was it. I was very much aware of, like, Okay, I think something inside me broke. But I am going to make this, man. If Spider-Man can lift that heavy thing off his back, I can do this."
Slott already has a new Marvel Comics destination in mind - and he didn't beat around the bush naming his next project: Invincible Iron Man.
"I am going from the flagship character of the Marvel Comics of my youth to the gem of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The linchpin. I am going to Iron Man."
"Tony Stark: He makes you feel; he’s a cool exec with a heart of steel," joked Slott, quoting the 60s Iron Man cartoon theme song. "I’m all excited. They’d asked me to do Iron Man a while back, but by then I was at [Silver Surfer] and I had Spidey and I was already overcommitted, so it kept gnawing at me. Like, Oh, man. I really do want to do Iron Man. This would be fun. And when that came around again, it was like, Okay, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I want Iron Man...This is Tony Stark, Iron Man. This gonna be about technology in the Marvel universe in a very specific way and it’s gonna lead to very big things."
Still, Slott said he would consider returning to Spider-Man to acheive one goal - to have written the most Spider-Man comic books of anyone, a record currently held by Brian Michael Bendis, who is exiting Marvel (and, incidentally, Invincible Iron Man) for an exclusive DC Comics contract later this year.
"There was only one benchmark left that I could hit and it felt forever away, and that was more issues of any Spider-Man comic than anyone. That was the one benchmark that was very much dangling out of reach like Tantalus. The reason why was Brian Michael Bendis. He kept writing, so it was a moving benchmark, and I just assumed he was never leaving. If I had known, if I had only known that Brian was gonna jump to DC I would’ve stayed on. [Laughs.] I bet you I would have stayed on."
Slott's final issue of Amazing Spider-Man will be #801, which has not yet been solicited. Assuming no gaps between the latest solicited issue, March 7's #797, and the finale, #801 is expected in July.