As Marvel's ongoing Amazing Spider-Man title moves into the highly anticipated 'Last Remains' arc, a story that's been building for two years now, writer Matthew Rosenberg is joining regular series writer Nick Spencer for a series of supplementary issues running alongside the core Amazing Spider-Man series.
Numbered the same as the corresponding Amazing Spider-Man core issues, Rosenberg's issues are labeled .LR for 'Last Remains.'
Alongside artist Federico Vicentini, Rosenberg will explore the adventures of the Order of the Web, Peter Parker's allies in the fight against Kindred.
Newsarama spoke with Rosenberg ahead of Amazing Spider-Man #50.LR's October 21 release to discuss the next stage of the mystery of Kindred, the next steps for the Order of the Web, and what 'Last Remains' means for Peter Parker not just as a hero, but as a person.
Newsarama: Matthew, you're joining the Amazing Spider-Man team for the 'Last Remains' arc, starting with Amazing Spider-Man #50.LR, a numbering that will continue alongside regular series issues. How did you get tangled up in Spidey's web?
Matthew Rosenberg: 'Last Remains' is a really huge story with a lot of moving parts. You have Peter, Mary Jane, Miles, Ghost Spider, Silk, Madame Web, Spider-Girl, Spider-Woman, and a ton more characters all getting caught up in this.
It's really the beginning of what the last few years of Nick Spencer's run have been building towards in a lot of ways. I think because of the size of the story Nick Lowe (Spidey's editor) and Nick Spencer (Spidey's writer) were looking for someone to come in and lend a hand.
I had a lot of familiarity with what Nick Spencer had planned for the book and I think tonally our writing styles are pretty complimentary, so I am sure I made the list for those reasons. And then I assume after a lot of meetings and careful consideration, my name was randomly chosen out of a hat.
But it's been great because it's a real dream come true opportunity for me and it gives Nick Spencer more free time to pursue his hobby of calling me up and making fun of me.
Nrama: 'Last Remains' focuses on Kindred, a mysterious villain who's been haunting Spider-Man's life for some time. What can you tell us about your portion of the story?
Rosenberg: Kindred is one of those great Spider-Man villains because it's not just about the physical threat he presents to Peter, but how he infects every element of his life.
What really levels him up here is that his tentacles not only reach family and friends, but how he continues to rope in other villains along the way. I can't go too much into it, but Spider-Man is going to be facing some threats from unexpected places.
It really will feel like the walls are closing in on him.
Nrama: The cover of ASM #50.LR shows the Order of the Web, and the solicit mentions the ending of #850. What's at stake for this team as Peter's life changes going into 'Last Remains'?
Rosenberg: This story that Nick Spencer brought really plays with a ton of my favorite things about Spider-Man, but one of the main things is the balance between how he helps the people he cares about and how who he is actually puts them in harm's way.
For the six of them, who all obviously have a ton of love and respect for Peter, that push and pull of having Spider-Man in your life becomes very real very quickly. Obviously, they want to help where they can, but what happens to them and Spider-Man's role in it, makes that a very complicated thing.
They're in danger, they're at risk of tearing apart as a group, and they are going to have to ask some really tough questions about who they can trust going forward.
Nrama: Kindred's true identity as Harry Osborn was just revealed. How does that mystery play into Spider-Man's long history with unknown villains – and with Harry?
Rosenberg: With Kindred, Nick Spencer has really tapped into such a core concept of Spider-Man in the best way.
It's the awful intersection of Peter's personal life and costumed life, where every single movement has a ripple effect that hits everything. So the mystery surrounding Kindred works to not only make you examine what's happening and where things are headed, but it also forces you to look back and see how it changes and redefines things you thought you knew.
Those are the best kinds of stories, the ones that shake everything up.
Nrama: You're working with Federico Vicentini on Amazing Spider-Man #50.LR. What's he bring to the table for a story like this?
Rosenberg: I said this casually the other day without thinking about it, but it struck me afterward how true it is. I honestly think Federico is one of the next huge superstars in comics. He just really does it all.
His characters look great. He conveys the emotion and acting in a scene so perfectly. His action scenes explode off the page. And his pages are just great to look at. You feel the energy, the pain, the excitement. It's a truly gorgeous book and I think people are not ready for it.
Nrama: What has surprised you most about working with these characters? What is the biggest challenge of a Spider-Man comic?
Rosenberg: So many of them have "spider" in their name. That was weird and challenging.
Nrama: Amazing Spider-Man #850 ended with Peter Parker pushing Norman Osborn out of an airplane. With the knowledge that comic stories develop over time, how does that affect your perspective on Spider-Man and his philosophy of power and responsibility?
Rosenberg: That moment is a major turning point for not just Peter, but all of the cast. What happened in the end of #850 will make some characters question a lot of what they believe and who they are.
But for Peter I think it's just another indication of all the ways that Kindred is getting to him. We are beginning to see the cracks.
And that's the danger of the game Kindred is playing, it isn't just going after Peter or even his friends and family, it's putting who he is as a person and what he believes to the test.
Nrama: What can readers expect as 'Last Remains' gets underway? What has expanding into the .LR issues allowed you and Nick Spencer to do with this story?
Rosenberg: I think the biggest thing is that we can really give you more of all the best parts of Spider-Man because we have more room to tell this important story. The art can breathe more. The fights are bigger. The stakes are higher. The supporting characters get more of a chance to shine.
But it all moves so fast and is so wild. It's like a rollercoaster, and your favorite movie, and a great meal, and a great night out with friends, and a fireworks show, and a car crash, all rolled up into one story.
And who wouldn't want that?
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