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Marvel: JMS Sins Past
Posted 24/06/2004
Source The Pulse

This summer the world of Spider-Man heats up. Not only is Spidey the star of his second major motion picture, but a summer event, Sins Past is raging through the Amazing Spider-Man series. Although tight-lipped we got a few details from writer J. Michael Straczynski about this tale.

[Image: 509asm1_th.jpg]THE PULSE: It's been several years since we've seen a massive Spider-Man crossover. What interested you about taking on a project of this scope?
J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI: It's not really a crossover, though it will have impact beyond these five issues. There's a follow-up story planned for one of the other titles, and there will certainly be a new character available and running around to be used, but it's not a crossover situation per se.

THE PULSE: Which "past sins" are coming back to haunt Spider-Man now?
STRACZYNSKI: That would be telling. In broad strokes: we all have secrets, we all do things that come back to haunt us, sometimes without our knowing we've done them, other times from someone we knew and trusted. As secrets go, this one is a biggie, and a pretty dark one at that.

THE PULSE: How tough was this to coordinate with Paul Jenkins and Fiona Avery? We've been told "Sins Past" crosses over in Spectacular Spider-Man and Amazing Fantasy.
STRACZYNSKI: Fiona isn't involved in the story, she's doing Amazing Fantasy, and Paul will be doing the follow-up. On the topic of Fiona for a moment, though, there's one thing I'd like to clarify. There are a number of writers for whom I've given a leg-up over the years. I bought John Shirley's first TV script, did the same for J. M. DeMatteis and Craig Miller and Arthur Byron Cover and about a half-dozen others, helped writers to learn the craft better, working with Steven Barnes on pitching to TV...working with new (or new to TV) writers is something I *do* because I think it's important. One of those writers was Fiona, and the unfortunate thing is that Top Cow decided it could best market her stuff by making her my "protege," but she's no more (or less) a protege than any of the other people I just named. The problem is that in doing so, she kind of got put under my shadow, and that's completely unfair in that she's done work for other producers on other TV shows, like Earth: Final Conflict, wrote a pilot for Gale Ann Hurd, she's just sold a novel, she's her own person. But somehow this protege thing just stuck, and I would very much like to un-stick it if possible. I've mentored at least a dozen different writers over the years, and that mentoring should not be used as a reason to slam them. (I've actually taken on a few more since then, and have told them not to refer to me specifically in public because of just this sort of thing.) I firmly believe that those who make it as writers have a moral obligation to lend a hand to those coming up behind us. I know there are others who feel differently, who feel it's important to quash anyone who might be perceived as a threat, or competition for assignments, but I've had others help me out over the years, as I became a writer, and the only pay-back they asked was that I do the same for others myself. And that's what I intend to continue doing.

THE PULSE: Sounds like a great way to be. Going back to Amazing Fantasy for a minute ... besides the young woman getting the spotlight there, what other new characters are introduced in this story?
STRACZYNSKI: Unfortunately, to name the two in the ASM book would be to give away crucial information. Other than that, the cast is pretty small, I really wanted to focus on Peter's situation here.

THE PULSE: What existing Spider-Man rogues or cast members will be present?
STRACZYNSKI: The Green Goblin, but only in flashback.

[Image: 509asm4_th.jpg]THE PULSE: A lot of people felt burned by the last multi crossover Spider event - how is this crossover going to be different from what people are expecting - ie. a huge crossover where we HAVE to buy every issue to understand or a huge crossover where its too confusing to figure out anything going on ....?
STRACZYNSKI: That's not what this is, so it's not an issue. The full story is contained in ASM.

THE PULSE: How does a project like this excite you as a writer and get your creative energies going?
STRACZYNSKI: It's a chance to get fully into Peter's head, and to play around the corners of one of the most pivotal moments in the Spidey mythos without tipping anything over or being disrespectful to precedent.

THE PULSE: What other projects are you working on?
STRACZYNSKI: The pencils on Dream Police are about halfway finished -- Mike Deodato is doing the art on this as well, and it's just glorious to look at -- and I'm hip-deep in the Doctor Strange mini as well. I've also turned in the first issue of a new book for Marvel, a creator owned title, but I don't want to name it yet only because that should properly come from Marvel, not me. They'll probably announce it after we get a few more issues under our belts. I've also turned in the last three Rising Stars issues, the first one was turned in late March and the rest not long thereafter, once the problems with Top Cow had been resolved, so they should be coming out whenever Top Cow can get them together.

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And here's a few details from editor Axel Alonso that previously ran on THE PULSE.

Editor Axel Alonso gave THE PULSE a few soundbytes on why this particular Spider-Man storyline shouldn't be missed. "Sins Past digs deep into Spider-Man's history and unearths something big - something that no one will see coming," stated Alonso. "It also introduces a new character into the Spider-Man pantheon who's bound to raise some eyebrows. (The effect the story will have on all the titles) is hard to calculate, but it's safe to say, there will be no going back," continued Alonso. Alsonso also clarified what the Sins Past storyline means to the whole Spider-Man family of titles. "This is not a crossover," assured the editor. "Sins Past is a complete story arc in and of itself, but it raises questions that will be reconciled in the pages of Spectacular Spider-Man." As one might imagine Alonso cited loose lips as the biggest challenge to editing this project. "Keeping the #^&@ secret!" he immediately responded when asked what was the toughest part to this job. "Mike (Deodato) did a great run on INCREDIBLE HULK," Alonso replied when asked what made the artist a good fit for the story. "He's a big fan of Straczynski's work -- and vice versa -- so it seemed like the thing to do."

And finally some anti spoilerage:

After some of the comments about clones following the Sins Past interview with J. Michael Straczynski, the writer has asked us to reveal another piece of information.
[spoiler]"Just for the record: there are no clones in the Sins Past title, anywhere, at all. I'm not touching that storyline." After seeing this cover to Amazing Spider-Man # 511 , many speculated the blonde, who looked like Spider-Man's deceased ladylove Gwen Stacy, might be some kind of clone. However the writer has confirmed there are no clones in this tale.[/spoiler]

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