Chris Newbould | February 15, 2014
A new story in Marvel’s 700-issue The Amazing Spiderman comic book series is set to shed further light on Peter Parker’s troubled teenage years and the early days of the Spiderman alter ego.
The five-part story Learning to Crawl will start in May 7th’s issue of The Amazing Spiderman and will be written by Dan Slott, who has written Spiderman for Marvel since 2008, and drawn by Ramón Pérez. It will shed more light on how the transformation into Spiderman took place and how those early days of fighting crime, juggling school and coming to terms with the emotional blow of losing Uncle Ben helped turn Parker from a gawky teenager with a knack for cracking-wise into the hero and human he’s become.
Slott says the new story not only pays homage to the first 1962 appearance of the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko-created character, but peels back more layers of what was going on in the first, 1963, volume of The Amazing Spider-Man: “When you’re looking at things in those issues, you’re going ‘Wait a minute! How did this happen? How did he get this? Where did this come from? ‘Why didn’t Aunt May ever wonder about that?”’ he said.
Slott calls the story a chance to learn more about Parker the teenager and high school student, not just the recipient of a bite from a radioactive spider: “You start looking at it closer and closer and you go ‘There’s a story here that we’re not seeing,”’ he says. “A very pivotal and crucial story that lovingly respects everything that went on but tells you more, so much more about Spider-Man and so much more about Peter Parker.”
Slott is notorious for keeping tight-lipped on storylines, preferring to let readers find out the day a book is out and not before, but he offers a few hints of what may be to come such as a new villain inspired by newspaper and TV reports of Spider-Man’s actions.
“Someone’s running around trying to be just like Spider-Man and there’s no way in Peter’s mind that he’s not responsible for everything that guy’s going to do,” said Slott of the Ditko-esque bad guy he would not name. “He’s got his first villain who is his own age, someone that he’s inspired” instead of clashing with The Vulture or Doctor Octopus or the Lizard, all of whom were adults and authority figures. “He’s a troubled teen hero fighting a troubled teen villain!” Slott added.