Page from ASM #642Forget bibs, cribs and onesies -- when Lily Hollister has a baby, the only present Peter Parker is going to get is a battle royale with some of his deadliest adversaries, as he learns that with great power comes some great parental responsibilities.
After the "Grim Hunt" and "One Moment in Time" arcs rock Spider-Man's life, a bundle of joy from two deadly parents is going to bring on the pain, with the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man storyline "Origin of the Species." Starting in September 2010 from issues #642 to #647, writer Mark Waid and artist Paul Azaceta will reunite for the six-issue story arc, as Spidey's entire set of bad guys comes out of the woodwork to come after the son of Norman Osborn and Menace.
When asked where Peter Parker was headed, after the trials and tribulations of the previous arcs, Waid's answer was simple: "No place good."
Page from ASM #642"Both halves -- Spider-Man and Peter Parker -- are worn down to a nub," Waid said. "Spidey’s been ridden extra-hard these last few weeks with no end and no relief in sight. He’s made some questionable decisions and some bad calls -- and this is his chance for redemption."
Considering the Kravinoff family is gunning for Spider-Man's radioactive blood in "Grim Hunt," some of the other villains introduced in Brand New Day have been smoldering behind the scenes. And in the case of Lily Hollister -- also known as the superstrong goblin gal known as Menace -- she's had even more going on in her life: She's pregnant with Norman Osborn's baby. And while Norman himself is down and out after his fall from grace at the end of the summer blockbuster Siege, that specific parentage has drawn some unwelcome attention.
"Sandman. Lizard. Electro. Rhino. Screwball. Kraven. Vulture. I could keep going, but we want to leave some surprises," Waid said. "As far as many of the Marvel U villains are concerned, even with Norman in jail and disgraced, he could someday rise to power again or even be bargained with in prison to divulge knowledge and secrets -- so the baby is a big bargaining chip for them."
Page from ASM #642With the resurgence of these recently redesigned Spider-foes comes the return of Dr. Octopus, last seen with a fatal brain condition in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #600. When asked where Doc Ock's head was at during "Origin of the Species," Waid played it off with a joke. "Despite Phil Jimenez’s extensive character redesigns as seen in ASM #600, Ock’s head is where it’s always been -- right between his ears. Thank God," he said. "But now he wants something he’s never wanted before -- and the Osborn Baby is his key to getting it."
Of course, considering that Menace's psyche has been unhinged by an extra-strength version of the Green Goblin's serum -- indeed, she attacked New York City repeatedly in order to swing the mayoral race in favor of her father -- seeing her react to a villainous siege could go either way. "She’s done some horrible things, Lily Hollister, but she’s not so cold that she’d use her newborn baby as a poker chip. Or is she...?"
And despite his history of insanity and murdering young women, this new baby isn't the only spawn of the original Green Goblin -- "Stormin' Norman" has gotten around, with children such as his son Harry Osborn, as well as the recently-returned son of Gwen Stacy, the superpowered sociopath Gabriel. "He’s busy over in American Son, isn’t he?" Waid replied, when asked what Gabriel's role might be in the story. Still, when asked as to why Spidey's villains would want the child, Waid couldn't say much: "There are many surprising motivations in play -- keep reading!"
Page from ASM #642Yet with Lily's homicidal past tied to many of Spider-Man's supporting cast -- indeed, her ex-boyfriend was Harry Osborn, and her best friend is Peter's current romantic interest Carlie Cooper -- the return of Menace might tear through Peter's personal life as well. "Carlie, in particular, is really wigged out," Waid explained. "Here’s someone she grew up with, who was practically her sister -- and has turned into a full-blown supervillain who’s done some hideous things. Carlie’s sense of loyalty is at war with her identity as a policewoman, and it shows. And it’ll cause her to make some surprising choices."
When asked about his artistic partners for the storyline, Waid was quick to praise Azaceta's work, having collaborated with him both on the recent Amazing Spider-Man arc with Electro, as well as Irredeemable and Potter's Field for BOOM! Studios. "Paul just gets better and better," he said. "He’s flat-out one of the best, smartest storytellers I’ve ever worked with, and his real strength is making New York City come alive."
Wrapping up his discussions about Norman and Lily's little bundle of hate, we asked Waid if there were any moments he was excited to tease for "Origin of the Species." "Many. Many, many," he said. "Carlie’s choices about what to do with Lily. Harry’s reaction to his half-brother -- friend or foe? Peter’s first official date with Carlie. Lone Spidey and Cub. The best Rhino entrance in forever. Harry’s bargain. MJ and Carlie talking about Peter Parker. And non-stop action. Literally, non-stop, as Spider-Man is being hunted like he’s never been hunted before."
Menace Returning! Doc Ock is back! And is there anyone's girlfriend Norman Osborn HASN'T slept with in the Spidey-verse?