Culture & Lifestyle
Published May 12, 2020

Spider-Man Editor Nick Lowe Answers Your Letters on 'This Week in Marvel'

Listen to the latest ep as you read a few missives from the Merry Marvel Marching Society!

Welcome to the special fireside chat that is This Week in Marvel⁠, Marvelites!

On the latest episode of the show, your hosts Ryan "Agent M" Penagos and Lorraine Cink welcomed AMAZING SPIDER-MAN editor Nick Lowe to read and respond to a few incredible letters that the Spidey office has received over the past few weeks. (And speaking of Spidey, there's a new ish of ASM on the way to your local comic shop real soon, frantic ones!)

Amazing Spider-Man (2018-) #43

Anyway, back to the TWIM goodness! 

We've collected four of these mighty missives for your perusal right here! So read 'em, plus nifty Nick's responses, then listen to the episode below!

Hi there my is Denver and I just wanted to thank you for all the terrific work you've done on the Amazing Spider-Man. I've always been interested in comics in general but there's something truly special about this current run of Amazing Spider-Man. I haven't consistently read any comics for a few years but that's changed since I started reading your book. I even subscribed to Marvel Unlimited so I could get to read all the back issues from the beginning. Most people would say that world right now is in pretty rough shape but your team's work has made it a lot less stressful for me and I am sure others as well. I can't thank you enough for that.  

Take care and be safe 

Your friendly neighborhood Canadian, 
Denver 

Okay. So one thing I should have mentioned before we started off in this...I have two things immediately. First of all, usually, I start my AMAZING SPIDER-MAN letters pages with saying, "Hey, Web-Heads!" We're all trying to be Stan Lee, let's be honest. We're all trying to be Stan Lee when you're an editor, and you're always trying to find some way to personalize it to the audience and make it fun, and Web-Heads is what I call our Spider fans. That's the first thing that came to mind. 

Secondly, I am pretty certain that our friendly neighborhood Canadian Denver is not a dinosaur, BUT anytime I hear Denver as a first name, I think of that great cartoon—or I don't know how great it was. I loved it when I was a kid—called Denver, the Last Dinosaur. I always loved that theme song. Would you guys mind if I sang it? 

[SINGING] Denver, the last dinosaur. He's my friend and a whole lot more.

[NOT SINGING] But anyway, Denver, thank you for writing. It is so great to hear that this crazy time has had a silver lining for you of giving you the time and opportunity to dig back into comics, especially into Spider-Man comics because, let's be honest, Spider-Man is the greatest character of all time. Sherlock Holmes, sorry. You stink. Ron Swanson, you're close, but sorry. Spider-Man is better. I'm sort of jealous of you being able to embrace some of these comics for the first time or at least get back into where you're going because you are in for such a treat with so many of these comics. So I'm just so glad to have you back in the Web-Head family, and I can't wait until you catch up with where we are. You've got a long way to go. We are nearing legacy issue #850, you guys!

But, Denver, thank you for writing. You rule. We love Canadians. Alpha Flight forever. 

***

Dear Spidey-Team, 

I hope this message finds you all well in the midst of this pandemic. I am saddened by the difficulties this situation has brought on everyone, and I am sure you are no less affected. While I may not be able to get my print copies of ASM any time in the near future, I am excited to pore over my collection of Nick's run and keep trying to look for little clues and come up with crazy theories on who Kindred is (Gwen Stacy? Norman Osborn? [that would be crazy!] ..... Howard the Duck???). I wish you all the best in this tough time. I'm eager to get back to the normal swing of things. 

Sincerely, 
Luke V.   Godfrey, IL 

That's awesome, Luke V. Thank you so much for writing. 

This pandemic is definitely affecting us here in New York City and the Marvel family. You know, we are all in full lockdown. But we are all even more so grateful to the essential workers, those who work in hospitals and paramedics and food delivery and grocery stores and the MTA—the amazing MTA people—who are so affected by this. There are so many people who have gone out of their way and sacrificed so much for all of us, and we are eternally grateful. We are very interested in heroes in this line of work, and getting to see so many people be heroes is not lost on us at Marvel. 

Getting to your specific letter, Luke, thank you for writing. I'm so glad you're enjoying going back over this run. It's been about two years now that Nick Spencer, along with Ryan Ottley and Humberto Ramos, Kev Walker, a bunch of awesome artists, have come together to do this, you know, twice monthly book. And the best is yet to come. 

The "Sins Rising" arc that we have coming up is bonkers. It is so scary, and it is so dark and gripping. People are not ready for it. It's so good. I'm so glad you're able to look back because one of the things that Nick Spencer loves to do is play with Spider-Man's history, with Peter Parker's history, both during the last two years, but especially beyond that.

***

Hey Spidey Office! 

We all know that this whole season has had some pretty rough months, but I just want you to know that one of the bright things that has come out of this for me is a reintroduction to the Spidey Comics through Comixology. Spidey has always been a favorite of mine since I was introduced to him as a kid close to 30 years ago, but as life went on, I veered away from our favorite Web-Head's monthly shenanigans.  It has been such a blast catching up and seeing some of my favorites come back into the picture (Clone Conspiracy Ben Reilly!) and meet some interesting new characters. 

My kids have gone NUTS over the [Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse] movie when we watched it, and like many families, we were representing at Halloween.  My daughter, especially, has found a role model in Gwen.  I can't wait to introduce them to the comics proper, now. 

I just want to say thank you all of you over there at the Spidey Office and that I hope everyone in your web is safe and sound.  What you're doing is impactful and making a world that this Dad can share with his kids. 

All the Best, 
Jon 

'thwip, thwip' 

Oh, what a great letter. 

It's so great. John, thank you so much for writing in. These are the kind of things that keep us going as we're making this. Like you said, it's been a rough few months, and so we've all had to work through, you know, some adversity. And we're lucky to still be working and doing this job. 

But we're so glad that you guys have all been enjoying this stuff. Seeing you talk about Clone Conspiracy—we worked so hard on that a couple of years ago. I'm so glad to see that you loved it, and I'm so glad you found your way back to Spider-Man. 

But I do have a bone to pick with you, John, I'm sorry to say. You mispronounced a very certain word that I know Ryan and Lorraine know. It's actually pronounced [SINGING] Spider-Verse! That's the correct pronunciation of that. But, you know, we're so glad your family enjoyed that movie. I love that movie, and I loved working on the books that inspired it. 

It's so awesome that your daughter loves Spider-Gwen, AKA Ghost-Spider. She was a character that I worked very hard on with some amazing creators to put them in the place to create them, you know, Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi. And Dan Slott had a big role in that as well. And seeing this character take such an amazing life thanks to the comics and the movies and all that stuff and giving families, you know, something like this to bond over—because that movie has been almost unlike anything else I've experienced as far as like, you know, a Spider phenomenon, one of its kind, and that's been so cool. 

So, John, thank you for sharing that. And please keep us posted with which ones—which comics you and your family are enjoying. And we could probably point you at some other good ones. We've had a really great—there was a great SPIDER-GWEN run. Now, there's been a great GHOST-SPIDER run. And we hope you guys like where she is now. 

***

Dear Spidey-crew, 

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) once wrote that “love and work are the cornerstones of our humanity.” 

I write these words as we are quarantined because of Covid19. Because of this plague we are not able to go to work and many of us are separated from our loved ones. So what can we do that brings some normalcy into our lives? 

Luckily, Freud also included “playfulness” as a requirement for a happy life. Reading the recent issues of “Amazing Spider-Man” has been a godsend. The “True Companions” arc has been a playful way to ignore the bad news around us! 

Thanks for all you do to entertain us! ‘Nuff said! 

Rabbi Steven Lebow 
Marietta, GA 

So this is one of the other things that I love so much about letters pages. You have your letters page and fan mail email staples, and one of those staples is Rabbi Steven Lebow. Rabbi Lebow writes in very often, and it is always as thoughtful and eloquent as this one is. He's always got some great, you know, philosophy wisdom to drop on us. He's always got some angle on Spider-Man and what we're doing in the comics that just thrills us every time we get a letter. So Rabbi Lebow, if you're listening—and I hope you are—thank you so much for writing your letters. You are one of our favorite email addresses to see pop into our inbox. 

I'm so glad you're enjoying "True Companions." It's one of my favorite arcs we've been working on, and it was one that kind of just took on a life of its own. Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley are working on it. And what was supposed to be a two-issue arc bloomed into a three-issue arc because Nick had some great ideas that just happened in the writing of it. And I loved them so much. I was like, let's just do it. And Ryan Ottley, he buckled down and made it happen.

When you add a whole issue into someone's schedule, that's 20 pages. That's at least 20 workdays. And so Ryan buckled down, along with Cliff Rathburn on inks and Nathan Fairbairn on colors, and we had some help on that last issue—some color help from Dee Cunniffe as well. They rocked it. 

And it is all about a classic, underserved, quote, unquote, "villain" named Gog. Gog is this big monster that came in with Kraven years and years and years and years and years ago. He was part of Erik Larsen's run with one of his Sinister Sixes that he did back in the day. And it's just such a great character, and what happens in this arc is so great. It ties in with some of the threads of the Kingpin that we've been sewing, and it lays down some keys to some future stories as well!

Thanks, Rabbi Steven!

***

Listen to the full episode right here!

With new episodes every Friday, This Week in Marvel delivers all the latest Marvel discussion and news about comics, TV, movies, games, toys, and beyond! Tweet your questions and comments about the show to @AgentM@lorrainecink, or @Marvel with the hashtag #ThisWeekinMarvel!

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