The Star Wars series already rests in J.J. Abrams's hands. And now, he's making the jump to Marvel's universe to lend his writing talents to the Spider-Man franchise. Not in film, but teaming with his son, Henry, to tell the next comic book story of everyone's favorite neighborhood superhero.
The writing duo will be teaming with artist Sara Pichelli--co-creator of Miles Morales, recent star of the acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse--for a five issue miniseries beginning this September. All Marvel is teasing so far is the talent attached, a promise that this partnership has taken about a decade to finally come to fruition, and the cover of the first issue teasing the mysterious new villain the team has created to oppose Spider-Man. But who is Cadaverous?
The new miniseries was the mystery project being cryptically teased by Marvel and Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski for several days, beginning with a spiderweb countdown that had many fans hoping the canceled Spider-Man 4 film was getting a comic treatment instead. But the official announcement has finally made (with full countdown and all) in video form, as the two generations of Abrams give fans a tease of what's to come, including the new villain 'Cadaverous.' Take a look below:
There's no denying the Hollywood clout Abrams wields as the current architect of the final chapter of the Star Wars/Skywalker story, not to mention the reports that Abrams's Bad Robot is closing in on a $500 Million deal with WarnerMedia. Yet early responses to the news have been mixed among Marvel's most vocal fans. Well, 'mixed' is probably being generous, since most online circles hoped for a more substantial event. Or, failing that, more details than 'a standalone Spider-Man book' with Olivier Coipel's cover art for Issue #1, which can be seen below.
Those excited to see what Abrams brings to Spider-Man likely have his son, Henry, to thank for getting the wheels moving. According to J.J. Marvel has been looking to work together for a decade--right around the same time Henry, now twenty years old, started reading Spider-Man comics. Speaking with the New York Times about the father-son team-up, Henry acknowledged that the Abrams name gives him a foot in the door for comic writing, but he's still intent on showing his own skills as a storyteller:
Most of my exposure to comics came when I was super young: Calvin and Hobbes, Tintin, Spy vs. Spy. I did have a Marvel compendium when I was 6 or 7 that I adored and I would always land on this page of Spider-Man, not knowing anything about the character or the back story or the powers, but connecting with the visual designs of Steve Ditko. I didn’t really start reading him until I was 11 or 12. And at that point, I realized that this is a character that I see myself in and that was probably the first time I ever felt that way with any fictional character.
Obviously, there is an undeniable privilege here, and I’m not ignorant of that. I think part of creating is creating on your own. My hope and my goal is to do that after this. I can’t believe this opportunity was afforded to us. It’s been a great excuse, especially during the year when I’m in college, just to call and talk about the story.
The fan backlash may shed light on the risks inherent in asking one's fan base and target audience to "use their imagination," but the dreams of what else Marvel could have been planning will eventually fade. In the end, the book will be judged on its own merits, and with artist Sara Pichelli and colorist Dave Stewart, the Abramses are in good shape regardless. Still, about that Spider-Man 4 comic...
The new Spider-Man miniseries from J.J. & Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli, and Dave Stewart arrives this September from Marvel Comics.