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Dan Slott on Death, Venom and All Things AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

**Haven't read Amazing Spider-Man in a while? This article has huge spoilers on several recent developments — proceed with friendly neighborhood caution.**

With two full story arcs of his reign as sole Amazing Spider-Man writer now out on shelves, Dan Slott has introduced a lot of new things to the Spider-Man mythos. In the first arc, illustrated by Humberto Ramos, it was (mostly) all positives for our hero: a new job at Horizon Labs, a new girlfriend in Carlie Cooper, and a new Hobgoblin in the form of Phil Urich, who's taken a new role as essentially an evil Peter Parker.

The second arc (which featured Fred Van Lente co-writing two issues), illustrated by Stefano Caselli? Not so good for Peter, as he lost his Spider-Sense and failed to stop J. Jonah Jameson's wife, Marla, from being killed during the Spider Slayer attack. : Dan Slott on Death, Venom and All Things AMAZING SPIDER-MAN


Newsarama talked to Slott mere days before the always-busy writer headed to Australia for the Armageddon Expo, learning more about recent plot developments and Venom's starring role in the title's Point One issue, and talking about what's coming next — including "Spider-Island" and "Infested" — plus this week's Amazing Spider-Man #655, which Slott has dubbed his favorite comic that he's written in his career.

[Newsarama note: Portions of this interview previously appeared on Newsarama in the article "Dan Slott: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #655 'Is Now My Favorite'," published Feb. 23, 2011.]

Newsarama: Dan, we’ll definitely get to this week’s #655 — and beyond — but first I wanted to ask about a couple of things that are already out, starting with last week’s Point One issue — specifically, what led you to the decision of doing a new reader friendly issue of Amazing Spider-Man with virtually no Peter Parker or Spider-Man in it?

Dan Slott: [Laughs.] It’s weird, because I read the online reviews, and the ones for #654.1 have been very silly. Everybody reviewing it would say, “I really liked this issue. But I’m giving it a poor grade, because it wasn’t a good Spider-Man Point One. I’m deducting ten points!”

It’s so weird to me, because every person who reviews it says how much they like it. Then they turn around and go, “Eh, but...” “I ordered a steak and you brought me pizza!” It’s like, “OK. I see where you’re coming from.”

I think the Point One thing was strange for us on the Amazing Spider-Man book, because one of the nice things we’ve been hearing about the book is even when we’re in the middle of a storyline, even when you’re coming in at chapter 2 or chapter 3, that we’ve been a very good jump-on point. That we’re very new reader  friendly with each issue, even in the middle of arcs. I’m writing it the way I used to read them when I was a kid. Back in the day, you weren’t getting a six-part story that would work nice in a trade; every issue they thought might be somebody’s first. I think we’ve done a good job of that in Amazing. So when they said, “do an entry point issue,” it’s like, every issue on Amazing is an entry point issue.

It was tricky for us, because we work so far ahead, especially with our first three arcs. It was hard to come up with an issue that fit in between #654 and #654, because #654 — spoilers! — has the death of Jonah’s wife, and #655 immediately kicks off with her funeral. How do you weave something through that tiny spot and not take away from what Peter Parker should be feeling or where his story is going? To me, the solution really was Venom. Let’s give a good kickoff for Rick [Remender] and Tony [Moore]’s book. What Venom was going to be doing in the world of Amazing Spider-Man was something that was always in the cards. I had always wanted to take this approach with the character. When we decided to pull the trigger and introduce this all quicker into the books, then it became like, “Oh, dang it, I’m not going to get to be the one to write this.” It was fun for me, and Rick was really nice to let me do it, and jump in and go, “OK, here’s the set-up.” I have so much love for this, and two times a month Amazing Spider-Man is all I can handle. I’ve read the Rick scripts for upcoming Venoms and they’re insane, they’re wonderful. I think the Spider-Man universe is just going to kick everybody’s butt this year, because I look at all the stuff we’ve got planned and all the great books in the Spider-Man umbrella. The secret stuff we’ve got coming up — stuff I’m not going to be writing, because I’m over here doing Amazing twice a month. Rick’s Venom book is so frickin’ cool. I think it’s a murderer’s row of Spider-Man projects.

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