A Whole Different Tune: Christos Gage On The ‘Superior Spider-Man’ Annual

Matt D. Wilson

It’s been some year in the Spider-Man books. With Peter Parker apparently dead and Doctor Octopus living out the Spider-Life in Peter’s body, creators including writer Christos Gage have had the opportunity to explore lots of scenarios and situations they never would have had the opportunity to dig into with Pete wearing the webs.

Come November, Gage and artist Javier Rodriguez will examine a story we’ve seen with Peter many times in the past: Aunt May in danger, and put the Superior spin on it. MTV Geek got the opportunity to ask Gage how things might play out.

MTV Geek: We’ve seen a little bit of interaction between Spidey-Ock and Aunt May in the regular Superior Spider-Man series. What brings them together here?

Christos Gage: Well, obviously, the man who appears to be Peter Parker and Aunt May are family. But the real hook here, for me, is the premise of the story. Aunt May’s been kidnapped by bad guys and Spidey has to save her? We’ve all seen that before, right? Sure. But you haven’t seen it with the Superior Spider-Man. This is going to unfold very differently than it would have with Peter Parker.

Geek: Doc Ock and Aunt May have some history of their own — as you well know, they nearly got married. How directly is that addressed?

Gage: It’s referred to, but that’s in the past. What’s relevant now is the relationship between Aunt May and the man she believes is Peter Parker, her nephew, but is actually Otto Octavius in his new role as the Superior Spider-Man.

Geek: Aunt May gets kidnapped by Blackout — but which Blackout? The dimensional manipulator or the demon guy?

Gage: The half-demon Ghost Rider villain. The guy who killed Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch’s) sister. We wanted someone who has a history of being a genuine, lethal threat and does not hesitate to attack his targets through their families. A scary guy.

Geek: It’s been a while since we’ve seen Blackout (either one) outside of a group of villains. What’s he doing on his own here?

Gage: He’s out to re-establish his reputation as someone not to be messed with…a stone killer who can get to any target. In this case his target is Spider-Man…and he’s striking at him through the guy he’s learned makes his weapons, Peter Parker…by going after those closest to Pete.

Geek: Peter’s friends and family have certainly noticed his very different demeanor over the past few months. Aunt May certainly has to take notice, right?

Gage: Well, Pete’s demeanor toward Aunt May is that he’s paying a lot more attention to her, devoting a lot more time to her, and telling her how wonderful she is. Sure, she’s noticed, but it doesn’t lead her to ask, “Who are you, and what have you done with my nephew?” She thinks Pete is just making an extra effort and she really appreciates it. When we get what we want, we tend not to ask a lot of questions.

Geek: After Aunt May gets kidnapped, we’re promised that her and Spidey-Ock’s relationship will “change forever.” This is going to get weird, isn’t it?

Gage: Oh, you only wish this was about kissy-face flashbacks to the Doc Ock/Aunt May wedding. No, it’s much, much darker than that. I’ve worked very closely with Steve Wacker and Dan Slott, with whom I’ve co-written several issues of “Superior Spider-Man,” to make sure this story is a key part of the Superior Spidey saga. It will definitely have repercussions on the ongoing book. Major ones.