– The lion’s share of updates from the house of ideas centers around one of their most well known creations, Spider-Man. Kicking off these web-slinging tidbits is the announcement that Jamie Foxx will be cast as the villain for Marc Webb’s “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2”, according to Variety. While nothing is official yet, sources as well as one of Foxx’s own lines via Twitter suggest that he could be cast as Max Dillon, a.k.a. Electro. While one might imagine Foxx would make a fine Robbie Robertson, none of the Daily Bugle characters appeared in “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN” this summer; instead Webb has woven a franchise around mysterious goings on at OsCorp, the company owned by Norman Osborn. Electro is one of Spider-Man’s oldest enemies, debuting in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9, circa 1964 and has yet to appear in film, although an electric utilizing villain was in James Cameron’s rejected Spider-Man film script of the 1990’s. Spider-Man has very few villains of color; Tombstone/Lonnie Lincoln is one of the few notable ones, and he was a major figure in the “SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN” cartoon series. Webb continues to tease these rumors by talking up Electro, as well as Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane (rumored to be Shailene Woodley), Norman Osborn and the world he wants to weave with these films as the first hits blu-ray this week. The sequel by Sony will debut on May 2nd, 2014.
In terms of Spider-Man comic book news, the character of Alpha who debuted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #692 earlier this year will branch out into his own five issue mini series in February. In a story leaked to USA TODAY, the writer will be Joshua Hale Fialkov (I,VAMPIRE) and artist Nuno Plati. Within this series, Alpha will move to Pittsburgh to move on with his life as well as probably make a return to being a hero. He would technically be the newest superhero to take up residence in Connecticut since Speedball. The curious thing is this newer character who received a lot of publicity will only get a mini series, while an obscure anti-hero like Morbius will get his own ongoing series. Marvel may be returning to a time when ASM is seen as a launch pad for some newer characters – such as in the 90’s when Morbius, Black Cat, Silver Sable, Venom, alongside newer characters like Annex and Nightwatch spun off into their own series or mini-series. In an interview with Newsarama, Fialkov sees this as his chance to redeem Alpha, who was painted as a jerk in his opening arc in ASM. He sees the character as not so unlike many teenagers and there is a “coming of age” story there.
Finally, writer Dan Slott is talking up his final arc of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (ASM), as the series marches towards a “final” 700th issue until it is relaunched as SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. It naturally alludes to yet another “final plan” by Dr. Octopus as he lies at death’s door, and that the “Superior” Spider-Man will not be Peter Parker, although who it is will be unknown. Last week, Slott stated the name “Miguel” to artist Ryan Stegman, leading the possibility that it is Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099. At the NYCC, Slott repeated that the finale to ASM #700 and the start of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN would shock fans, but after the first six to eight issues of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN it would make sense. Despite a (mostly) solo run on ASM of soon to be more than two years which has seen many swoons and major stories, this will be the biggest for Slott yet; perhaps even the biggest story of his career. Expect this to continue to be a major story as 2012 ends and 2013 begins. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 will hit around Christmas, be priced at $7.99 and will be packed with extras, including a 52 page main story by Slott and artist Humberto Ramos.
– Marvel have released two more vague teasers for upcoming Marvel NOW! projects as they have been doing lately. The first is considered “FEARLESS” by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Will Sliney; the only connection is a series called FEAR ITSELF: THE FEARLESS about Valkyrie and Sin which was written by Bunn. Sif is getting ready to take over JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, so Valkyrie could be getting traction. The second is more notable, as it is teased as “UNCANNY” to be written by Brian Bendis and drawn by Chris Bachelo. Bendis is currently launching ALL NEW X-MEN and this is probably a relaunch of UNCANNY X-MEN, which would be the second in two years. It could also be another use of the “uncanny” title exclamation such as in UNCANNY AVENGERS or UNCANNY X-FORCE. Bachelo has been drawing major X-Men books off and on for years, so expect this to become one of the new flagship X-Men titles beside Jason Aaron’s WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN. This does fulfill the statement that after some 8 years on Avengers, Bendis is being shifted onto the X-Men franchise in a major way. Both of these series will launch in February and more details will emerge in the coming weeks.