John Marc DeMatteis stopped by First Comics News to clear up his role as writer for the recently announced Web of Spider-Man series and give hints about what his story that appears in issue #1 will be about.
First Comics News: Marvel has announced the new Web of Spider-Man with you writing the main feature. How many issues are you writing?
J.M. DeMatteis: I’m just writing the lead feature in the first issue. I think there’s a good chance I’ll do more down the line, if time and opportunity allow, but right now, that’s it.
1st: So just one issue as in only one, you’re not in a rotation with other writers?
John: Just the one.
1st: How did you get involved with the launch of Web of Spider-Man?
John: I was already working on the Kaine story I’d assumed it would end up in Amazing Spider-Man Family, when editor Steve Wacker told me he wanted it for the lead slot in Web’s first issue.
1st: So what can you tell us about your Kaine story?
John: Kaine is one of the most intriguing, multi-layered characters from the infamous Clone Saga. He was cloned from Peter Parker’s DNA before Ben Reilly…and the experiment, at least in the eyes of his creator, Miles Warren, was a failure. The new story takes place not long after the events of a mini-series I did some years back called Spider-Man: Redepmtion. Kaine is in prison, his cellular degeneration is getting worse – in fact, he’s dying – and he has to face the ghosts of his past. With luck, this story will appeal both to folks who know Kaine well from the Clone Saga and new readers who have never encountered him before.
1st: What brought Kaine back?
John: Well, I tossed the suggestion out to Steve as Kaine is, along with Ben Reilly, my favorite character from the Clone Era. He showed up quite a bit in the regular Spidey titles back then, but I really got a chance to explore the character, to peel back his psyche and get into the deeps of his soul, in the aforementioned Redemption mini and another mini-series I did calledSpider-Man: The Lost Years. Lost Years remains one of my favorite stories among all the Spider Tales I’ve told. I really connected with the character and it was interesting, and a little odd, returning to him after a dozen or so years away. Steve was very enthusiastic about the idea…and we were off and running.
1st: There are hints that Ben Reilly may be returning, and as you said Kaine played a major role in the Clone Saga. Does this story tie in with anything going on in Amazing Spider-Man?
John: You’ll have to ask Steve about that.
1st: You’ve been back in Spidey’s web a few times here and there recently. What’s it like to come back into his world for you?
John: That’s right – in the past year of so I’ve written a trio of stories for Amazing Spider-Man Family, and now this Kaine story, and it’s been great fun. Like reuniting with old and dear friends. After writing so many Spidey stories, over so many years, Peter Parker and his cast are pretty much imprinted on my psyche.
1st: Finally, what’s next for you after Web of Spider-Man?
John: At the moment, I’m finishing up a dream project, The Life and Times of Savior 28, for IDW…doing final revisions on a novel, called Imaginalis, that will out next year from HarperCollins…just completed my fifth episode for the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series…co-writing Metal Men with Keith GIffen for DC. Keith and I also have a top secret project that I’d love to talk about, but the Powers That Be won’t let me yet!… continuing my duties as Editor-in-Chief of Ardden Entertainent and also co-writing a new mini-series for Ardden called The Merlin prohecies. Among other things! So I’m pretty busy right now.
Web of Spider-man #1 is scheduled for release in October from Marvel Comics