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Exclusive: Mike Costa Talks SPIDER-VERSE, Marvel’s New SECRET WARS Series

It’s a good week to be Peter Parker. Or Miles Morales. Anyone who was bitten by a radioactive spider or swings around the streets of New York City at night under the nom-de-guerre of Spider-Man, really. First your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man manages to swing his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper, and now he and his many variations spinning out of the Spider-Verse event are taking their talents to Battleworld in a brand new Secret Wars series that we are exclusively unveiling today: the appropriately named Spider-Verse #1. Written by Mike Costa (Scarlet Spiders, Snake Eyes – Agent of Cobra), illustrated by Andre Aruajo (Avengers A.I.), and featuring a cover by Nick Bradshaw (Wolverines), this book brings together all manner of Spider-people including Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man India, Spider-UK, Spider-Man Noir, and Mayday Parker for the wall-crawlingest title in town.

Here’s a look at the cover:


Pretty nifty, huh? Honestly, I’ll read anything that combines Spider-Gwen and Spider-Ham in one, kooky place.

Here’s the official solicit:



“Spinning out of the SPIDER-VERSE event, a team of Spiders finds themselves face-to-face with Battleworld! Starring SPIDER-GWEN, SPIDER-MAN NOIR, SPIDER-MAN: INDIA, MAYDAY PARKER, SPIDER-UK and SPIDER-HAM!”

To take you deeper into the wild world of Spider-Verse #1, I caught up with the mad maestro who will be writing it, Mike Costa, who told about what we can expect, the challenges of folding all these Spideys into a massive event like Secret Wars, symbiote suits, and much more:

Nerdist: For those who aren’t necessarily up to date on Spider-Verse, is there any barrier to entry? What do people need to know to get ready for Spider-Verse #1? What can they expect from the book?

Mike Costa: The entire Secret Wars event is structured in such a brilliant way that entry into almost all the stories is as smooth as possible. Spider-Verse features a cast of alternate Spider-characters (all big parts of current Spider-Verse event) who find themselves… well, I can’t give away the end of Amazing Spider-Man #14-15. Go read them. This picks up from there. Along with that, readers can expect this to be like any classic Spidey adventure: funny, exciting, and (hopefully) even a little heartfelt by the end.

N: How will this series tie into the events of Secret Wars?

MC: Obviously this story takes place on Battleworld. But how it ties in to the larger context of Secret Wars is something of a spoiler. I can say, though, that you don’t need to read any of the other Secret Wars books to understand what’s going on in Spider-Verse. It’s a self-contained story that subtly connects and complements other elements in the larger tapestry. (Though I recommend you read those other books anyway because they are all awesome.)

N: What’s the biggest challenge in preparing for a massive universe-wide event like this?

MC: The hardest part was definitely finding a clean, simple a way to distill the essence of the Spider-Verse event into a single story that can logically take place on Battleworld. But the Spider-Verse story that’s running through ASM right now is probably my favorite Spidey event ever (and I even got to play a small part in it) so this was also the most satisfying part of the process as well. Well, that and coming up with ever-more complex pig-puns for Spider-Ham.

N: Of the many Spider-Verse characters appearing in this book, which has been the most unexpectedly enjoyable to write so far?

MC: Well, I’ve got some ringers in my cast like Spider-Gwen and Spider-Ham, but of course I knew those characters would be fun. The guy who surprised me the most was Spider-Man India. He’s so much more than “Spider-Man, but in India,” which is what I (stupidly) assumed before I sat down and actually read his comic in preparation for this project. There’s a real richness there, and so many unique things about him that set him apart from the other cast-members. This book is the most he’s gotten to shine outside of his original mini-series, and I’m really excited about that.

N: Given that this is Secret Wars-related, everyone is wondering — will we see one or more symbiote suits?

MC: I don’t know how I can answer that question without a spoiler so I’ll just say this: When I was a kid, “What If?…The Alien Costume had Possessed Spider-Man” left an indelible mark on my impressionable mind. In that story, the symbiote eventually drains Peter like a vampire and jumps to more and more powerful heroes until it attaches itself to Thor and Black Bolt has to scream at him (bringing down an entire mountain) to finally defeat the thing. This was the most awesome story I had ever read in my life. If I were in charge of Secret Wars, EVERYbody would have a symbiote, including Galactus. But… sadly for alien costumes everywhere, I am not in charge, so you’ll just have to wait and see where the suit turns up for yourself.

Are you looking forward to spending time in the Spider-Verse section of Battleworld? Let us know in the comments below.

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