(CBR) When the villainous Doctor Octopus transferred his consciousness into Spider-Man's body, a new, some would say superior, era began for the web-slinger. Characterized by Otto Octavius transforming Spidey's brand of heroics into a violent and vainglorious style of heroism, the last year also saw the emergence of a new band of working class super criminals that debuted in the pages of "Superior Spider-Man" before earning their own series, "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man" by writer Nick Spencer and artist Steve Lieber.
The "Superior" era of Spider-Man comes to an end this April with the return of Peter Parker and the launch of an all-new "Amazing Spider-Man" series, which raises the question: How will that impact the quintet of villains starring in "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man," and what's next for Boomerang's misleadingly named Sinister Six? For the answers to those questions and more, CBR News spoke with Spencer.
CBR News: "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man" was born out of the "Superior Spider-Man" series. When it was announced that that title will soon be coming to an end, some people were worried Peter Parker's return might mean the end of this book. But the April solicits came out, and that doesn't appear to be the case.
Nick Spencer: Yes, it was really nice because we ran the solicits for issue #12, which the entire Internet told me would never, ever happen! [Laughs] It was a bit of a milestone for us, and I can go ahead and reveal that when the book started, we were told that we had 12 issues. To get to go beyond that is a huge victory for the book, and a testament to the fan response, the very kind reviews, and all the great year-end lists that managed to mention us.
So we're not done yet! We're still around, and the bottom line is, we definitely have the time needed to tell the story that we set out to tell. In fact, we got to build it out a bit more. That's the good news.
Obviously, a book called "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man" starring Boomerang was never destined to be a blockbuster seller, but the very devoted following we've attracted has managed to keep us alive thus far. So a big thank you to everyone who keep passionately talking up the book -- and issue #12 is not our last issue! [Laughs]
Let's rewind to "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man," #7, which explored the origin of the new Beetle, Janice Lincoln. Refresh my memory -- the new Beetle appeared in Ed Brubaker's "Captain America" run, but was any connection to her father, Lonnie Lincoln (AKA Tombstone) mentioned in that story?
No. When we were first setting up the book, we talked about how all these villains are at least somewhat known quantities except for the Beetle, who was a little bit more of a blank slate. Like you said, she first appeared over in Ed's "Captain America," and she made a brief appearance at the beginning of "Superior Spider-Man," but her back story really hadn't been determined by anyone. It was great for me to have a member of the cast where I could invent that stuff. I was certainly keen to do a bad guy origin issue.
What made you want to link Beetle to Tombstone? How big a role will her father play in this series moving forward?
He'll definitely play a pretty big role, especially down the road. For now, though, I love the mobster's daughter archetype. I like the idea of gangster royalty, and I've always been a Tombstone fan. He's one of my favorite Spidey villains, and this was an opportunity to bring him into the story in a pretty organic way.
Beyond that, I like the generational difference. I like that Tombstone is an old school bruiser guy and that Janice responds to that by being an organizational mastermind and is very business minded. It was a fun contrast to play with and felt very real to me.
Speaking of contrasts, we know how horrible and ruthless Tombstone can be from his past appearances, but you show that he actually is a pretty decent father in his own sort of way.
That speaks to how a lot of people are in real life. Sometimes, the most horrible people are the most devoted parents. It's not always easy to draw that line. I thought there was a certain degree of authenticity to Tombstone being a very doting, if somewhat patronizing father.
It was fun to show a character like that in a softer light. I think showing that side of him is great for the character.
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