In Marvel Comics Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, the title character’s list of responsibilities includes being a good father and husband as well as a mentor figure to heroes with less experience than him. The series follows the family-style super heroics of Peter Parker, his wife Mary Jane and their daughter Annie. And while the book’s initial twelve issues chronicled the Parkers’ harrowing adventures with a variety of villains while Annie was still a young girl, the next era will be even more difficult and dangerous as it takes place during Annie’s adolescence.
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That new era began in Renew Your Vows #13, where the series new creative team of writer Jody Houser and artist Nick Roche kicked off their run by jumping eight years into the Parker family’s future. What’s life like for teenage Annie? How are Peter and Mary Jane coping in their personal and heroic lives? And what classic Spidey villains are waiting in the wings for the Parker clan? For the answer to those questions and more, CBR spoke with Houser about her plans for the series.
CBR: In Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #13 you pick up the adventures of the Parker clan after the eight year time jump that came at the end of issue #12. What was behind this approach?
Jody Houser: I’ve always had a deep and abiding love of alternate universes, and I find teen heroes on the cusp of figuring out who they are and the shape of their life to be compelling. Throw Spider-Man into the mix (Holy crap, Marvel let me write a Spider-Man book!), and it’s just an absolute blast to write.
The glimpse we got of Annie May Parker at the end of issue #12 suggested she’s a pretty happy and well adjusted teen with a good sense of right and wrong. What’s your sense of the character?
She’s a good kid raised by good parents, but that doesn’t mean that life is always happy or easy for her. She’s at an age where she doesn’t feel her parents really get her and all she’s capable off. Not to mention that the fact her dad is Spider-Man just isn’t as cool as it was when she was little. She still wants to be a hero, but she’s starting to push towards doing it on her own terms.
What can you tell us about the personal life that Annie has sort of carved out for herself? What kind of peer group is she part of out of costume, and does she have any super powered friends her own age?
That’s actually going to be a big element of our second arc. Despite being in her second year of high school, Annie is still figuring out where she fits in, as well as how her civilian and superhero lives work together.
What’s sort of the status quo for Peter and Mary Jane when you pick up with them? How are they handling being parents to a teenager? And has Mary Jane found a way to get spider powers of her own? Or is she still employing Regent tech to borrow some of Peter’s abilities?
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Peter and MJ are still scraping by in their civilian lives, and it’s getting harder. While they’re both close to Annie, dealing with a teenage temperament isn’t always the easiest thing. And MJ is still using the Regent tech for the moment.
What’s it like working with your collaborator Nick Roche, who’s probably best known for his work on IDW’s Transformers titles?
Honestly, my favorite thing is just how much fun it is to throw both the action and the character moments at Nick. He’s great at both and he’s always so excited about where the story is going. “You mean I get to draw _____?” There’s nothing better than working with collaborators who are having a blast.
It looks like the first villain you and Nick will be pitting against the Parkers is the Lizard. What made you want to bring that character into the book? What do you find most interesting about him?
It certainly looks like that! The Lizard is such an iconic villain, but also a sympathetic one, which is generally the case for most of my favorite villains. We’re going to be playing with both sides of that.
We really wanted to do a fun story that had a classic superhero feel, with a good dash of interpersonal interaction/drama. Basically, a story that felt like it made sense under the Marvel Legacy banner.
Finally, what kind of initial role will the larger super hero universe play in your Renew Your Vows run? Will we get cameos or full on appearances from groups like the X-Men or the Avengers? And see institutions like say S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Short answer: Yes, at least for individual characters. One of the fun things about books like this is you don’t have to worry about who’s dead or in space or depowered or etc. You have all the tools in the toybox to play with.