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NYCC 2011: Crossing Through Spider-Island

A comics news article

Oh, the deadly comic book crossover. Titles tie into numerous titles. Minis are invented to "support" the main story, only to typically peeve off diehards who feel they have no choice but to keep coming back for more.

Money is spent. Lots of money.

It just so happens that Spider-Island has been the mainstream comic event that doesn't suck, and it has only been strengthened by the supporting issues that fans were initially wary of.

Some of the stronger tie-ins of the three-month Dan Slott-helmed event have been Venom, written by Uncanny X-Force godsend Rick Remender (notably absent from NYCC), Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente's Herc, Antony Johnston's Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu, featuring Shang-Chi -- a character Marvel desperately wants to get off the ground towards the mainstream -- and Nick Spencer's wonderful Cloak & Dagger, which reads just dandy on its own.

Although Marvel came up short against the DC 52 Outbreak at San Diego Comic Con, the comic powerhouse put on an exceptional showing in New York City over the weekend. Even "One More Day" and "Why is Spider-Man on every team?" talk was limited from an overall pleased crowd. The only info of the hour to receive sharp criticism was this image:



"Why does New York always get destroyed?," one disaster-drained fan asked. "Why not destroy L.A. -- it's a shithole." That kid's just lucky a Hollywood resident (like me) wasn't sitting nearby...

Spider-Man editor Stephen Wacker responded that the group put a lot of thought into this next event. They even went to the mayor's office to coordinate the storyline, claiming that "New York Destroyed" will be primarily about Spider-Man working with people to rebuild the (presumed Spider Queen-devastated) city, also displaying just how much NY truly loves its web-tinged hero.

And there's no doubt that Marvel is a supreme marketing enterprise. However, announcing that Avenging Spider-Man, written by former A.S.M. scribe Zeb Wells, will include a free digital copy code when it debuts couldn't help but appear like a clever scheme to hold the title at $3.99.

Regardless, the artwork and anticipation for a title where Spider-Man teams up with various Avengers, including the Red Hulk, is unquestioned. Wacker agreed that Joe Madureira's artwork in Avenging is phenomenal, while Slott quipped that he's so old, Joe was a "high school intern" when Slott began his Spider-Man run.



Some other Spidey tidbits from the exceptional hour:

-Remender's critically-acclaimed Venom series will tie-in with Wells' forthcoming Carnage U.S.A.. Wacker referred to Clayton Crain's oft daunting imagery of Carnage as "so chowder." The quote became a theme throughout the energetic panel.

-Scarlet Spider will return with Chris Yost as writer and Ryan Stegman on pencils. Stegman wanted to do more with the colors black and red as the figure resembles more a reverse-Deadpool than that of the previous yellow, Iron Man-infused look.



-Marvel's Director of Communications (and proud Montreal Canadiens fan… let's hear some boos now), Arune Singh, let it be known that Daredevil was his favorite book in all of comics. He slid under Wacker's inquiry about Captain America, with the red, white, & blue artist Steve McNiven in the house, by deferring to DD artist Paulo Rivera. Interestingly enough, a career of airbrushing cars turned to inking for Rivera's dad, who Rivera now employs. And when Steve Wacker was asked to enlighten the audience about a forthcoming Spidey/Daredevil crossover (written by Mark Waid and drawn by Emma Rios in January), he facetiously rattled: "Spidey will be blind and Daredevil gets his sight back -- and New York gets destroyed!"

-An audio version of Daredevil for the seeing impaired has received an overwhelmingly great response.

-Greg Rucka's version of the Punisher "doesn't eat because he wants to, he eats because he has to." Rucka and new artist Michael Lark's title was also compared to the movie Jaws. "Well, not Jaws 2," Wacker joked.



-Fans cheered when Wacker claimed that if you loved "Ghost Rider or human trafficking, [Rob Williams' take on the now female hell-spawn] is for you." The Avengers' Hawkeye will appear in the title, as well as artwork from Lee Garbett.

-Amazing Spider-Man #676 will be all Sinister Six, particularly revolving around Dr. Octopus' looming death. Slott explained that one of his favorite issues was John Byrne's "day in the life of Dr. Doom" that took over an issue of Fantastic Four. Wacker gagged, "When does UPS arrive?! Do I wait, or leave a note?!"

-Some other classic villains will also make their presence felt in the near future. Fans should expect lots of Lizard, considering that the villain will play the lead in Mark Webb's Amazing Spider-Man film in 2012. But, the crowd roared heaviest that day when Wacker referred to Spidey whipping on the classic Vulture as "beating on Orville Redenbacher."

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