'Edge of Spider-Verse' Writer Alex Segura on the Makings of a Classic Spider-Man Story
On ‘Marvel’s Pull List,’ ‘Edge of Spider-Verse’ writer Alex Segura explains why he loves to see Spider-Man put up against insurmountable odds.
To celebrate his 60th anniversary, Marvel’s Pull List is going all-in on everything Spider-Man. Last week, EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE writer Alex Segura helped kicked off this spectacular Spider-month by breaking down AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999)’s “Coming Home” story arc with hosts Ryan Penagos and Jasmine Estrada. Over the course of their discussion, Segura revealed his favorite kind of Spider-Man story, as well as the elements that stood out to him in this run by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr.
Before he dove into the mechanics of classic Spider-Man stories, Segura recalled his first encounter with the character – and with super hero comics in general. “My first super hero comic was a Spider-Man digest. It was a reprint of SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE (1968) #2, and that's different from THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, but it was this black and white prestige series that Stan [Lee] and John Romita did in the 70s,” he shared.
“It was a really terrifying Green Goblin story, and I was probably too young to be reading that, but it burned into my brain, especially that opening sequence where, for some reason, George Stacy is showing a video of the Green Goblin to Norman Osborn and you see Norman Osborn drenched in sweat. He's like, ‘I'm the Green Goblin,’” he continued with a laugh. “It was pretty intense!”
“And then after that, I was always hounding my local pharmacy, like the newsstand at the Eckerd Drugs and places like that,” he said. “I had a comic shop across the street from my grandparents’ house called Frank's Comics and Cards, which was a block away. So whenever I had a couple of bucks to rub together, I'd walk over there and buy some comics. Spider-Man was my big obsession – Spider-Man, the X-Men and Batman, stuff like that.”
While revisiting “Coming Home” in particular, Segura realized exactly what it was that makes a Spider-Man story stand out to him. “It made me think about what my favorite kind of Spidey stories are, and it's these kind of stories where Spidey has no reasonable chance of winning,” he explained. “Logically, he should not be in contention here… There's an issue of AMAZING [SPIDER-MAN], AMAZING [SPIDER-MAN] #350, where [David] Michelinie and [Erik] Larson do Spidey against Doctor Doom and, you know, going in, there's no way – he should not be competitive with Doctor Doom, but he still finds a way out of it.”
“It's all about working the corners and using his scientific brain to figure out a solution, and that to me is classic, just peak Spider-Man,” he added. “I think [Straczynski] nails it out of the gate, which is so impressive. To add all this stuff to the mythos and then still tell a really classic Spider-Man story is really hard.”
To further emphasize his point, Segura brought up THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #45 by Lee and Romita. “It set that tone. He's fighting the Lizard on a train. He's totally beaten; his arm is broken. But then he figures out, like, ‘Let me put him in the cold car.’ He uses science; he uses his brain. That's what kind of sets him apart from just a strong super hero,” he said. “He's got this scientific mind that can help him in these situations.”
In “Coming Home,” this applied to Morlun the Inheritor, who “wasn't like a typical super villain in a costume, spouting out insults. He was like a force of nature coming towards Spider-Man. As we read the issues… he wasn't dressed like a super villain! He just looked like this. This was his clothes. He's just so powerful he doesn't need to make jokes or insult Spider-Man because he knows he's going to win.”
“That's what, I think, made me almost forget that the story ends in a positive way. Obviously, hundreds of other SPIDER-MAN issues come out, [but] I was like, ‘Wow, is he going to – like, this is the end?’” he recalled. “I don't want to get too far ahead, but there are moments even then when Spider-Man starts to doubt, like, ‘Is this the end?’ too. It was done in such a great way that you almost start to believe it too.”
Follow Segura and other creators like Caio Majado, Dan Slott, Pere Perez, Karla Pacheco, and Martin Coccolo through the Spider-Verse in EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE (2022) #1, on sale now, and don’t miss Segura’s guest spot on Marvel’s Pull List, available now!
Marvel is celebrating Spider-Man's 60th anniversary all month long! Stay tuned for more Spider-fun right here on Marvel.com.
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