Later this year, Spider-Man is swinging into action in a new Marvel title - Marvel Action, that is. From writer Delilah S. Dawson and artist Fico Ossio, IDW Publishing’s licensed Marvel Action: Spider-Man brings together a high school aged Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, and Miles Morales for a series of all-ages adventures.
Newsarama spoke with Dawson ahead of Marvel Action: Spider-Man #1’s November 28 release to find out what’s in store for this trio of Spider-heroes as they work together to save the city, take on villains like the Lizard, and try to get close to their hero Tony Stark as possible.
Newsarama: Delilah, tell us about the Peter Parker at the center of Marvel Action: Spider-Man. Which versions of the character are you drawing from?
Delilah S. Dawson: I'm ultimately drawing from the heart of Spidey: Peter is sweet and good-hearted, socially awkward, a little disorganized, and very nerdy. Although he has come to grips with his powers and responsibility, he is starting to feel alone and a little insecure in regards to his secret identity. Paying it forward to the next crop of Spideys and finding kinship with them is a big deal for him.
Nrama: Peter Parker isn’t the only Spider hero in this story. You’ve got Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy swinging along too. How do you bring them all together?
Dawson: I looked at the lore for Gwen and Miles and considered what they might be like in this moment - high school freshmen, newly discovering their powers and trying to figure out how they now fit into the world. All three kids converge in a newspaper internship program for which the 'prize' is the chance to interview Tony Stark. Since he's one of the only superheroes with an un-secret identity, all three Spideys are desperate to meet him.
Nrama: What kind of format will your stories take? Are these one-and-done tales?
Dawson: It's all about arcs. Each issue has its own little story that contributes to a bigger story, all building in excitement. With the complexity of the Spideys meeting and learning to work together, one-and-done just doesn't give us the depth we need to follow their friendship.
Nrama: One of the biggest aspects of Spider-Man’s world is his rogues gallery of villains. Which fearsome foes do you have coming up in Marvel Action: Spider-Man?
Dawson: Let's just say that his first foe is one of my favorites - and that you shouldn't mess with lizard DNA!
Nrama: You’re working with artist Fico Ossio on Marvel Action: Spider-Man. What makes Fico the ideal artist for this book?
Dawson: Fico is amazing! The dynamic energy he brings to every page is incredible, and I adore the way he captures the kids' unique facial expressions. I especially love saying, "Please make this monster as weird as you can!" and seeing what he comes up with. Because, yes, there will be monsters!
Nrama: Now that you’re in the Marvel Universe, are there any specific corners of it you’re hoping to explore?
Dawson: It's hard to think beyond Spidey right now. This is truly a dream project!
Nrama: What’s your favorite thing about writing Spider-Man?
Dawson: I feel a lot of kinship with this version of Peter. I was nerdy and awkward and badly bullied in middle school, but by sophomore year of high school, I had embraced my dorkiness and found my friends. I also love giving today's kids an entry point to the world of Spider-Man comics - and comics in general. And I especially love writing Spidey's groan-worthy banter and sardonic meta-commentary.
Nrama: Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes in the world right now. What makes Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Gwen Stacy the heroes we need in 2018?
Dawson: We're living in a world where it's easy to be apathetic and assume that problems are either too big for one person to matter or too scary to get involved in. Each of these Spidey kids learns to trust, to see their differences as strengths, and to work together to help fix the problems they see in their city. They actively choose to do good, and I feel like that's a great message for kids today. Stop and help someone who needs it. Talk to a stranger. Reach out. We can all make a difference.