Marvel.com: First off, which part of the perspective trifecta are you handling in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #564?
Marc Guggenheim: I'm handling the first part. The part told from Spidey's [point of view].
Marvel.com: How did you choose which part? Was their lobbying going on or did it just sort of fit together for all of you to break things up as you did?
Marc Guggenheim: As I recall, Dan Slott suggested that I write the first part. And, as everyone knows, I do whatever Dan says. As for the other two parts, I forget exactly how who chose what. I vaguely recall that Bob wanted to tell Vin [Gonzales'] side of the story because he wanted to advance some plotlines with him. But my memory is hazy except for the whole Dan-getting-me-to-do-the-first-part thing.
Marvel.com: What is the central event of this issue that all three characters are offering their differing viewpoints on?
Marc Guggenheim: It's a good, old fashioned chase sequence. Much chaos and mayhem ensues.
Marvel.com: How was the collaboration handled? Did you guys just agree on the plot and then go your separate ways or was there checking in throughout?
Marc Guggenheim: The basic notion was—and, again, I believe this was Dan's idea—"let's just have Marc write a crazy 8-page action sequence and then Bob and Dan will work around it." And, to their credit, Dan and Bob did a great job finding the perfect moments to "overlap" with my section. Then, of course, there was much retrofitting and rewriting on all three sections to make the integration as tight and consistent as possible.
Marvel.com: Moving on to your next major storyline in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #565-567, you will be introducing a new female Kraven. The original Kraven has previously inspired two previous legacy characters who tried to take up his mantle at some point—how does this Kraven differ in her motivations for following the Hunter's footsteps?
Marc Guggenheim: This Kraven is motivated almost exclusively out of a hatred for Spider-Man. She's not interested in fame or money or anything other than Spidey's head on a pike.
Marvel.com: What inspired the female angle?
Marc Guggenheim: Contemporaneously with thinking of a new Kraven, I'd also been thinking of creating a female antagonist for Spidey because he really doesn't have any female bad guys in his rogues gallery. It seemed obvious to then combine the two notions.
Marvel.com: How has it been handling the first Daredevil/Spider-Man team-up of the "Brand New Day" world, which will occur in this arc?
Marc Guggenheim: I have to say, the DD/Spidey stuff is among the things I'm most proud of in this new arc. I think I've managed to come up with a way for them to team up that you've never seen before, post-"One More Day" or not. What's interesting to me is that although Daredevil no longer knows Spidey's identity, Spidey still knows the, shall we say, persistent rumors that Matt Murdock is Daredevil—maybe Daredevil should make his own deal with Mephisto. So the relationship is a lot more one-sided.
Marvel.com: This is your first time working with Phil Jimenez. How has the working relationship on this arc been?
Marc Guggenheim: I can't speak for Phil, but it's been pretty amazing as far as I'm concerned. I've wanted to work with Phil forever, having been a longtime fan of his work. He comes to the arc with so much passion and great ideas. This is probably the tightest collaboration I've had in comics thus far.
Marvel.com: You are also handling partial writing duties on the BRAND NEW DAY EXTRA! Special coming out in July. What's going on with your story there?
Marc Guggenheim: It's a story that wraps up the lawsuit-against-Spider-Man subplot that I kicked off in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #550. It actually features another team-up with Daredevil, but again, it's a very unconventional one. One of the other things I think is fun about it is that it's set several months in the future. It actually ties in to an arc that won't come out until January or February—so we're really taking advantage of how tightly integrated and plotted in advance our Spidey arcs are. This story not only wraps up one storyline, but teases a whole other one.
Marvel.com: After the Kraven arc when's the next time we can look forward to see you on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN?
Marc Guggenheim: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #35, coming out in October. It resolves the Jackpot subplot. I'm in "wrapping up subplots" mode, I guess. My January/February arc will...well, that would be telling. Bob Gale
Marvel.com: You are handling scripting duties for the two issues prior to #564. #562 was just released last week, so fill us in on what fans can expect from #563…
Bob Gale: At the end of #562, Spidey follows up a lead that he expects will lead him to solving the mystery of the Spidey-Tracer killings. This lead puts him in The Bar With No Name, the notorious watering hole for Marvel super villains, which he realizes too late.
Thus, at the start of #563, we join a full out barroom brawl in progress!
Who threw the first punch? Who cares? But here's one thing you can be sure of—it wasn't Spidey.
Opening the story with a brawl in progress is in the classic Stan Lee tradition of starting an issue with all-out action.
But the brawl is just a fun teaser for the real story which involves the Bookie, the Enforcers and Coney Island.
Marvel.com: Any hints on who might be trying to crack Spidey's skull?
Bob Gale: Besides Hydro-Man, I'm not going to spoil who all is in here…or how it ends. I'm no spoiler!
Marvel.com: Mike McKone is making his AMAZING SPIDER-MAN debut drawing your stories in #562 and #563. How has the collaboration been going?
Bob Gale: Mike McKone's art is terrific and I understand he'll be doing some more Spidey stories in the future. After seeing #562 and #563, I think every Spidey fan will be delighted to know he'll be a regular artist.
Marvel.com: Following #562-564, when's the next time we can expect to see you on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN?
Bob Gale: I don't have anything scheduled for the rest of 2008…mainly because I'm working on a screenplay—top secret—that is a higher priority—for me, at least! I'm still heavily involved as part of the Spidey Braintrust, and I expect I'll be writing some Spidey stories again in 2009. Dan Slott
Marvel.com: First off, which part of the story in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #564 are you handling?
Dan Slott: I'm the last man in the relay. I get to see us through the finish line. Marc's got the Spidey chapter. Bob handles things from [Vin Gonzales'] perspective. And I get to show you what it's like from the bad guy's point of view. And we all know that bad guy's have the most fun.
We all had different elements that interested us and different parts of the Spidey-verse that we wanted to touch on. For my part, I wanted to get my hands on Mr. Negative again and showing things from the villain's point of view was a natural way to do that.
Marvel.com: Your next AMAZING SPIDER-MAN work following this issue is the "New Ways to Die" six-part arc in issues #568-573 with John Romita Jr., who is a legend at Marvel—was it intimidating to work with him because of that?
Dan Slott: Totally. But all that went away the second the first pages came in. Then you're all, "Holy Moses, my story's got John Romita Jr. art! How cool is that?!" From then on it's been an awesome ride!
Marvel.com: After "New Ways to Die" when's the next time we can look forward to seeing you on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN?
Dan Slott: Next up for me is a two-parter that features the return of [artist] Barry Kitson and a classic [Stan] Lee/[Steve] Ditko villain. And I'm super-excited about both. I'm a big fan Barry's art. And I love the classic villains. From the start of ["New Ways to Die"], we're opening the toy chest and pulling out all of the Spidey Rogues Gallery. This guy? He's been showing up since 1965—how's that for a clue—and I can't wait to get my mitts on him. This two-parter is also going to answer a lot of people's questions about Harry [Osborn's] return. You don't want to miss this one. It's only two issues, but a lot of important stuff is going to happen.