In 2010, after a few years of guesting, Dan Slott became the core writer of one of Marvel’s most enduring and successful comic book series of all time, The Amazing Spider-Man. In 2018, he’ll finally be stepping down after eight years of putting Peter Parker through almost everything.
A million spider-people all over Manhattan? Check. Being chased by mutant-spider-obsessed serial killers? Check. Getting his own body taken over by Doc Ock, leading to two solid years without our Petey-poo? Check. (It’s possible there are some hard feelings regarding the Superior Spider-Man.) Anyway. Peter Parker is actually going to get put into the hands of a new writer, and there is no shortage of talent waiting in the wings to take him over. Here are a few options, in case Marvel needs a list.
Hannah Blumenreich is the author and illustrator of a wildly popular Spidey-zine she put on her website available for free. After the zine spread, she was tapped to write and pencil an actual Spidey one-shot in The Amazing Spider-Man #25 (2017), “Mutts Ado About Nothing.” Her tone of the character is influenced by a modern understanding, both in terms of humor and story. It’s to be seen what her big fight scenes might look like, but I’d love to see her tackle some of Pete’s darker storylines. She could really bring that current sensibility to the narrative.
Ngozi Ukazu created one of the most successful webcomics in recent history with her hockey-slash-cute-romance series, Check, Please! In it, she’s proven her ability to write a long-running, syndicated story that is a mix of comedy, romance, drama, and true-to-life emotional moments. It’s not exactly about superheroes, but the thing about Spidey is that he needs a writer who can handle a mix of humor, drama, and action. I think Ukazu checks off all those points.
G. Willow Wilson
I know. G. Willow Wilson is the co-creator and current writer for everybody’s favorite Jersey City superhero, Ms. Marvel. Who am I kidding? Everybody’s favorite superhero, period. Kamala, in many respects, is the natural heir to what teen-Peter-Parker represented in the Marvel Universe. She’s accessible, she’s relatable, and she does not have all the answers. It would be thrilling to see what Wilson could bring to Peter Parker’s universe. She’s proven through her writing of Kamala Khan that she has an understanding of how to write a compelling super story while still keeping the main character human.
Brenden Fletcher’s Gotham Academy is one of the best-written series to come out of DC in the last few years. Batgirl was a joy to read, and gives us an example of how Fletcher can handle super sleuthing and super… real life-ing. His work at Image, Motor Crush, gives us an entry point into fast action and high stakes. He really can do it all.
Ananth Hirsh knows how to tell a slice-of-life story with a supernatural twist. And what is Spider-Man, if not that? His most well-known book to date is one called Lucky Penny (drawn by Yuko Ota) about a girl dealing with her perpetual bad luck. Now who does that sound like? I think Hirsh could handle telling Peter’s story as we know it, full of personal bad decisions made side-by-side with necessary, but difficult heroic ones.
Tom King’s Vision series that came out a few years ago is still some of the best writing that’s been done in cape comics recently. It made use of narrative techniques we don’t often see in superhero comics. The storytelling was unnerving and interesting, and best of all, it kept us all guessing. It’d be fascinating to see what a master storyteller like King could do with a character who has been around for almost 60 years.
Okay, maybe this is sort of cheating, but since Brian Michael Bendis is leaving Marvel for DC, there is a huge opportunity for Miles Morales, also known as Spider-Man! Marvel could give Miles to Jason Reynolds. Reynolds wrote the critically acclaimed prose novel, Miles Morales (out from Disney last year), and he has a really strong understanding of the character. Don’t sleep on this, Marvel.