We know now that the new series AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS is part of the greater multiverse of Marvel and not part of Marvel prime where Peter Parker and Mary Jane are not officially married. So we will let Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman tell you all about their new book, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS, picking up where the Secret Wars series of the same name by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert left off this November and starring everyone’s favorite neighborhood Spider-Man, Mary Jane, and their daughter Annie!
Marvel.com: Spider-Man and his web-headed pals are in a bunch of books right now, sailing across Manhattan’s skyline and punching bad guys. Can you tell us a little about AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS and what makes it different for the other Spidey books out there?
Gerry Conway: It’s hard when you discuss an alternate universe book to make it clear these stories matter to continuity, but in the case of RYV—and all the Spider-Verse inspired series—they really do matter, because there’s the potential for cross-pollination between these universes. But even without that, RYV fills a very special role: it shows us the life Peter Parker would be living without the events of Brand New Day.
For long time fans—and new fans too, of course—it’s a book full of possibilities. We can literally do almost anything with Peter, Mary Jane, Annie, and the world of RENEW YOUR VOWS. This is a story about a family of super heroes; close knit, loving, and funny. It’s exciting for us as creators and we hope it’ll be fun and exciting for readers too.
Marvel.com: You guys are playing in an all-new sandbox with this book right? Everything takes place in a world apart from the prime Marvel Universe that hasn’t really been explored yet. Is that kind of creative control daunting? Liberating?
Gerry Conway: I kinda answered this one above. Ryan you wanna take a crack at it?
Ryan Stegman: Sure. It’s absolutely liberating. It reminds me of when I worked on SCARLET SPIDER. It wasn’t a separate universe per se, but it was Houston instead of New York. So we didn’t have to work within the parameters of whichever big events were happening and we could tell an uninterrupted story. In RENEW YOUR VOWS, we have a similar scenario except probably even more freedom as I can change the designs of pretty much anybody to suit how I want to draw them. It’s incredibly fun to put my spin on classic designs.
Marvel.com: What kind of stories are you guys most excited to tell in this new world? You’ve got a clean slate to work with. Do you have any favorite characters you’re trying to work in?
Gerry Conway: We’ll be playing in the Spider-Man sandbox, but because we’re the only series set in this particular world, we’re free to bring in characters and villains that might normally only appear in different Marvel series. For example, our first three-issue arc features Mole Man—but it’s a version of Mole Man no one’s seen before.
Ryan Stegman: I just want to tell stories that I would want to read. I’ve always loved love in comic books. It seems to be something that is rarer and rarer these days. But this is a family that loves each other, and that immediately raises the stakes immeasurably. And I get to draw the big super hero action scenes as well as the quiet, tender moments. It’s a perfect balance.
Marvel.com: We’ve got a family of crime fighters doing spider things, but would you call RENEW YOUR VOWS a “family friendly” book?
Gerry Conway: Absolutely. That isn’t to say there won’t be drama and tension, but this isn’t a dark series. The emphasis is on fun, family comedy and drama, action and suspense. Not planning any dramatic visits to the George Washington or Brooklyn Bridges.
Marvel.com: Gerry how are Peter and Mary Jane different than how we see them now in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN? What sort of relationship do they have? And what’s their daughter Annie like?
Gerry Conway: Well, they’ve been married for 10 years, they’re parents of an eight-year-old daughter, they love each other, they’re committed to each other and they have the typical day to day difficulties of a young family in New York. Plus, spider-powers. Which aren’t always a plus.
Marvel.com: Ryan, how does your style in this book compare to say, SCARLET SPIDER? Did you get to reimagine the crime fighting trio’s look?
Ryan Stegman: My style has evolved because SCARLET SPIDER was…five years ago? Yeesh. Anyway, I’ve evolved, but the same super hero action and dedication to drawing Spider-people in spider-poses is still there. I love drawing Spider-people. It’s what I was born to do. So this is a pretty easy project for me to sink my teeth into.
I did get to re-design the costumes. I left Peter’s as-is because, well, it’s the greatest costume design in comic book history. You can do all kinds of different things to it, but nothing beats the classic. MJ got a new look, one based on her love of fashion. Her willful attitude would definitely make her want to set herself apart from Peter’s look. So she’s got a costume that reflects Peter’s, but screams MJ. And their daughter Annie is from the same tree costume-wise, but her costume involves a lot more pads because her parents are over-protective! I mean, would you let your child go swing around the city without pads?
Marvel.com: Is there anything else we should know about RENEW YOUR VOWS before it hits store shelves?
Gerry Conway: It’s going to be a historic hit and everyone needs to order multiple copies for future resale. You’ve been warned.
Ryan Stegman: You should know that I’m doing everything I can to make this the best work of my career. I feel great about it; I’m having the time of my life. I think the readers will feel that enthusiasm coming through.
Stay tuned to comicstalk.com for more Marvel NOW! news and interviews, and get ready for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS from Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman beginning in November!