Tuesday, December 14, 2010


My Marvel Comics debut, "What If? Spider-Man" is out in stores as of this Wednesday, December 15th 2010.

It's hard to say what means more to me, achieving my lifelong dream of working with Marvel, or having my name on another book with Paul Azaceta.

While I've enjoyed writing for DC, I was a Marvel guy growing up. The theme of my Bar Mitzvah was Marvel Comics. Somewhere out there are shirts with a caricature of me in Iron Man's silver and crimson armor with the words "I had a MARVELous time at Mark's Bar Mitzvah".

That particular Iron Man suit, along with a bearded Thor and a Black and Red Captain America, also heralded my favorite Spider-Man garb - his black and white costume. To me, that's the iconic version, and it's the one he wears through most of our What If? story.

What If? Spider-Man spins out of Joe Kelly's recent GRIM HUNT storyline. In it, Spider-Man is run through a gauntlet, with many of those close to him killed by his classic foe Kraven The Hunter. Spider-Man comes close to killing him, and our story asks what would have happen if he'd taken that next step.

There's some people I should thank for this opportunity. Editor Tom Brennan, who not only picked me for this assignment but really stepped in and made this a better story. Steve Wacker, who I wrote an as yet unpublished Spider-Man story for that got me this gig. And Mark Waid, former editor-in-chief of BOOM! Studios. Mark recommended me to Marvel when I was working on Unthinkable, and helped get my foot in the door. That was no small favor - it's hard to imagine the EIC of any major publisher recommending a writer or artist to a competitor. It speaks to the kind of guy Mark Waid is - a mensch.

While it's a dream come true, so is working with Paul again. While he did the covers for UNTHINKABLE, this is the first time we've collaborated on a story since my first published work, GROUNDED, nearly five years ago. Since that time, Paul has become one of the main Spider-Man artists, and one of the top talents in the industry. There's no greater compliment to me than an artist wanting to work with me again. If you like what we're doing here, you're going to love our creator-owned book, GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES, which should be out in 2011.

In the meantime, I hope you'll check What If? Spider-Man out. Next Wednesday, December 22nd, my last book of 2010 comes out, when I head back to DC Comics for TEEN TITANS: COLD CASE with Sean Murphy.

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