Spider-Man has a new woman in his life. Though who is most shocking.
Marvel has announced that they will be releasing new original graphic novels for their characters later this year and next, as the title says, the first just announced is Spider-Man: Family Business (via USA Today). Mark Waid, one of a revolving team of Spidey writers on Amazing Spider-Man from 2009-10, signed on for Family Business because he wanted the chance to do something with gravitas and in a long-form graphic novel.
“The format was as much of the appeal as the character was,” says Waid, the Daredevil series scribe who is co-writing with James Robinson (Earth 2) and teaming with artist Gabriele Dell’otto (Secret War). His paints are “just gorgeous and give it dimension to the characters that I don’t think I’ve seen before.”
“The story is moving at such a breakneck speed that there’s not much of a chance to catch a breath,” Waid says. “He has every reason to be skeptical about who this woman is and who she says she is.”
“It seems very bizarre to him that Aunt May never mentioned anything about this woman, who’s about his age and the resemblance is there,” Waid explains. “Peter wants to try to figure out what this mystery is all about but basically they’re running from a crime syndicate out to kill them both throughout the novel, so there’s not a whole lot of time for Spider-Man to sit and relax and slowly suss this out.”
“It really is a focus on Peter drafted into the spy James Bond-ish, super-secret-agent life that his parents left,” Waid says. “It’s always fun to put Peter Parker in situations where he’s in over his head.”
“Peter is generally most interesting when he’s as ordinary as possible, except for the spider bite. There’s the one freakish thing that happened to him,” Waid says. “One of the reasons we haven’t explored a lot of untold secrets behind his lineage is the danger is obviously there to make it a little too convoluted and take away the everyman aspect of Peter.
“If you were to reveal that his parents were really Skrulls or reveal that Aunt May was really his mother and not his aunt, if you try to pull something like that it feels like you’re pulling the rug out from the ordinary Joe that Peter is. We’ve successfully sidestepped this in this graphic novel.”
Family Business is also set before Marvel’s current Superior Spider-Man series, where arch enemy Doctor Octopus has taken over Peter’s body, to make it a “a little more outside-audience friendly,” Waid says.