Iron Man Gets Tenured Spider-Man Writer

The long-tenured writer trades in his take on a billionaire jet-setting industrialist for Iron Man

In an interview with Vulture, Dan Slott, who has written an astounding 189 issues of Spider-Mancomics over the past decade, announced that he’s leaving the character with Amazing Spider-Man#801. His next project will be “the gem of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Iron Man.

According to Slott, his departure with issue #801 has been planned in his mind since “Spider-Verse,” the story arc that saw the Spiders-Man of the Multiverse unite to battle Morlun and his family that somehow hit shelves four years ago. Because of the release schedule for that book, and the logistics involved in creating it, Slott said he stepped back and looked at the process and thought, “Okay, I think something inside me broke.” 

Slott’s Iron Manwill focus on Tony’s status as the ultimate self-made man. “He looks at a challenge and goes, ‘How do I machine my way out of this?'” said Slott. He contrasts Tony with Captain America and Thor around him, pointing out that of the big three on the Avengers, only Iron Man made himself a superhero. Honestly, Slott’s Tony sounds a bit like Lex Luthor, but without the resentment of Superman.

To try and pin down Slott’s best work in an ouevre that would take months to reread is a fool’s errand (spoilers: the best story is “No One Dies,” and even he agrees in the Vulture piece), but perhaps his most ambitious was Superior Spider-Man, the comparatively brief run where Spider-Man’s brain was overwritten by Dr. Octopus, with Otto slowly realizing the burden and responsibility of being Spider-Man, and against all odds becoming a hero. In addition to gathering every Spidey in the multiverse and turning one of Peter Parker’s deadliest foes into the hero himself, Slott’s stories have also attempted to rehabilitate The Clone Saga; reimagined almost the entire rogue’s gallery; and given us the most terrifying tale in Spider-Man history: a bedbug outbreak in Manhattan.

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As an aside, the most interesting thing about Slott’s 189 issues of Spidey comics isn’t his longevity with the character in an era when creators are frequently treated as disposable cogs in an intellectual property factory, but that it’s actually way more common than one would expect for creators to have runs like this – see Brian Michael Bendis’s several-hundred issues of Ultimate Spider-Man (both of them), Robert Kirkman’s gross of Invincibleand 175 issues of The Walking Dead, Erik Larsen’s 225+ issues of Savage Dragonor Bill Willingham’s 150 issues of Fables.

For more on Slott’s Iron Man, what’s next for Amazing Spider-Man, or a mathematical algorithm that calculates overall quality of an arc that factors for longevity, consistency, and Jim’s personal preferences, stick with Den of Geek!