Who would Peter Parker be if he didn't become Spider-Man? Writer Marc Bernardin, along with artists Ron Lim and Rafael de Latorre, explore this very question in Heroes Reborn: Peter Parker, The Amazing Shutterbug #1 (opens in new tab). Without the great power and responsibility of being Spider-Man, Peter fully takes on his role as a photographer for The Daily Bugle, where he gets to work side by side with his favorite hero, Hyperion. This puts a powerless Peter Parker into the heart of the action.(opens in new tab)
The Heroes Reborn one-shot, Peter Parker, The Amazing Shutterbug #1, hits comic book stands on May 12 - a week after the main event's premiere. Newsarama had the chance to chat with writer Marc Bernardin about what fans can expect from this alternate version of Peter Parker. We discuss Peter's view on heroism without the weight of Spider-Man's mantle, Peter's unique relationship with Hyperion, and Bernardin even teases which familiar Spidey supporting cast members will make an appearance.
Newsarama: Marc, how is Heroes Reborn: Peter Parker, The Amazing Shutterbug #1's version of Peter Parker similar and/or different from the Peter Parker/Spider-Man we all know and love?
Marc Bernardin: Well, the thing that drew me to this book was trying to drill down into who Peter Parker is - or, rather, who he would be if he wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider. What's it like feeling as if purpose has passed you by? Is Peter the kind of person who would still find a way to do great things even if he didn't have great responsibility?
Nrama: Even if Peter isn't Spider-Man, will we see any heroic moments from him?
Bernardin: Not to give away too much, but much of the story of Peter Parker: The Amazing Shutterbug is him learning what heroism is for him - and how that differs from what heroism means for someone like Hyperion.
Nrama: Peter Parker is a huge Hyperion fan in this. How do you explore his 'fandom'? What does he love about the hero?
Bernardin: In this story, Peter and Hyperion are connected by more than mere fan love. It goes much, much deeper.
And fandom is, to me, a matter of perspective. What does the subject of that adoration feel towards those he thinks adore him? How might that not be an accurate reflection of the truth? Peter's feelings towards Hyperion are complicated, whereas Hyperion's feelings towards Peter are rather simple.(opens in new tab)
Nrama: With a name like Amazing Shutterbug, it seems like Peter's camera is going to play a big role in this story. How will Peter's photography skills drive the narrative?
Bernardin: Photography is and always has been integral to how Peter Parker moves through the world. In classic Spidey stories, it's often a means to an end: how he breaks into the Bugle, how he takes advantage of his own heroism to put money in his pocket.
But for us, the camera still serves as Peter's vehicle out of college and into the real world, but it's more than just a way to make a living. In The Amazing Shutterbug, it's aspirational. The lens reveals the world the way he wishes he could see it - even if it'll occasionally show him more than he bargained for.
Nrama: How are the other members of the Daily Bugle involved? Are their Heroes Reborn counterparts different from their regular versions?
Bernardin: You'll definitely get a glimpse of some familiar Bugle faces. And, as Shakespeare once advised: To thine own self be true. Even in an alternate reality, some things - and some people - will remain the same.
Nrama: Will we see other familiar Spider-Man supporting characters outside of the Daily Bugle staff?
Bernardin: It wouldn't feel quite like a Peter Parker story if he didn't run into at least one of his great loves. Which one, and how that interaction plays out, will have to remain a secret for now!(opens in new tab)
Nrama: How does this tie in directly to the Heroes Reborn event?
Bernardin: The challenge for me was, how can I take that brief Parker appearance in the Hyperion one-shot and give it some context? What were the events in Peter's life that led him to the rooftop of the Daily Bugle as a regular-old human? Who is this Peter Parker? And how can we, in telling the story of that moment from Pete's perspective, add some new depth to that moment?
There are some other loose ties here and there, but that's what excited me about the concept - and I'm glad that my editor Devin Nunes and our amazing artist Rafael de la Torre responded to that same excitement.
Nrama: Could we see more of this version of Peter following the one-shot?
Bernardin: Absolutely. Every ending is just another beginning waiting in the wings.
This is a transformative story for Peter, in more ways than one. And to see who he'll be on the other side of the events of Peter Parker: The Amazing Shutterbug #1 would be fascinating.
Make sure you've read all of the best Spider-Man stories of all time.