Dan Slott Explains Spider-Boy’s Origins and His Dream Character To Write

Marvel’s modern legend had plenty to say at the Calgary Expo.

One of the most illustrious figures in Marvel Comics history, legendary writer Dan Slott sat down with Agents of Fandom editor-in-chief TJ Zwarych at the Calgary Expo. During their time, Slott discusses how Spider-Boy came to be, the state of the comic book fandom, his dream character to write, and what makes Spider-Man so great.

Slott’s history at Marvel Comics spans decades, nearing the all-time record for writing Spider-Man solo comics. Slott is also behind notable titles like Fantastic Four, Spider-Verse, and She-Hulk — with elements of his run serving as inspiration behind the 2022 Disney+ series.

Dan Slott Is Responsible for the Creation of Spider-Boy

Spider-Boy leaps into the frame in his debut issue of Spider-Man #7 in 2023. | Agents of Fandom
Spider-Boy shocked fans with his introduction to the Marvel Universe. Image Credit: Marvel Comics/Humberto Ramos.

Slott served as the head writer of the Spider-Verse series, which released in 2014. He created a vast web within the multiverse that specifically serves the Spider-related characters we all know and love now. In 2023, Slott created the End of the Spider-Verse arc, leading to one of the bigger additions to Spider-Man lore in decades — Spider-Boy, Peter Parker’s long-lost sidekick.

“We’ve never seen a pre-teen Spidey. So I thought … let’s do a Spider-Boy! Let’s do a little kid who would be a side character. Everyone who reads Spider-Man knows that he is the one character who should never have a side character. So to me that’s like ‘Let’s do it!’ Let’s put him in a very uncomfortable spot where he’s got to be responsible. And it’s all about power and responsibility. So the hook has always been ‘Spider-Man doesn’t need a side character but this side kick needs a Spider-Man.’”

—Dan Slott, Calgary Expo April 2024

The State of Marvel Fandom Hasn’t Changed Much

Stu yells at complaining comic fans over continuity in the 2004 She-Hulk series written by Dan Slott. | Agents of Fandom
Stu serves as a stand-in for some comic creators’ real thoughts. Image Credit: Marvel Comics/Paul Pelletier.

From 2004-2005, Dan Slott turned to She-Hulk as a creative outlet. The big green lawyer’s ability to break the fourth wall allows for more room for storytelling both in-universe and in the meta context. Towards the end of the series Jennifer Walters and her associate Stu head to a comic book shop seeking answers on how they can defeat an infinity gem-powered Titania. While in the shop, Stu scolds the patrons for their constant complaining about comic book continuity. So, 20 years later, what would Stu say to the fandom today?

“Stu would be the one guy telling everyone that Miles Morales is Spider-Man. Sam Wilson is Captain America. Get over it…There’s so many people that want to rob characters of their agency and do it for the sake of continuity. ‘Oh I feel this way because Steve Rogers is the only Captain America! Peter Parker is the only Spider-Man!’ Well, the thing is, Steve is totally cool with Sam being the next Captain America. Peter loves the idea that Miles is the new Spider-Man.

—Dan Slott, Calgary Expo April 2024

Slott went on to mention how popular these characters are, surmising that if they weren’t, their stories wouldn’t get published. The legendary writer took things a step further by addressing the fans who think there is only enough room for one character in a certain universe.

“…if there is someone out there, and it makes them happy that Miles Morales is Spider-Man, you don’t get to take away that joy. This should be a whole universe where anything can happen. If you’re fine with aliens, if you’re fine with robots, if you’re fine with creatures from other dimensions I think you can deal with two Spider-Men and two Captain Americas.”

—Dan Slott, Calgary Expo April 2024

This Is Why Spider-Man Is So Great, According to Dan Slott

Dan Slott swings into action in a variant cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #669. | Agents of Fandom
Dan Slott will go down as one of the greats in Marvel history. Image Credit: Marvel Comics/Todd Nauck.

According to Slott, will become the writer who has created the most solo Spider-Man titles in Marvel Comics history — clinching the feat with Superior Spider-Man #7 on May 22. With so much Spidey knowledge under his belt, Slott was asked what makes Spider-Man stand out from other characters.

“Obviously there is the great power, great responsibility but for me the thing that made Spider-Man different from every other superhero before him was he was the relatable superhero. That is what Spidey has to be. Even in the most fantastic of situations. You can put him in outer space. You can put him in a mystic realm with Doctor Strange. You can temporarily make him a billionaire! You can do any crazy thing to Spider-Man … but it’s the way you see it. The window you see it through is that relatability.

—Dan Slott, Calgary Expo April 2024

The often cosmic or magical nature of superheroes tends to reduce the relatability of the stories being told. But for Slott, Spider-Man’s accessibility is his superpower.

Its the weirdness of what if you were that superhero? Before Peter Parker, every superhero was a full grown adult with perfect teeth … When you had Peter it was this nerdy boy from the boonies. He was picked on and raised by his aunt and uncle. It was so different, it was someone you can know. You were never going to get to Gotham City. You were never going to get to Metropolis. But you can get to Queens! … It’s that kid from the block you know. He’s a good kid. And that’s Spider-Man.”

—Dan Slott, Calgary Expo April 2024

Dan Slott Wants To Tackle Moon Knight Next

Moon Knight's first appearance in Werewolf By Night #35. | Agents of Fandom
Out of all the iconic characters Slott has written, Moon Knight’s main continuity avoids him. Image Credit: Marvel Comics/Gil Kane.

If one is to travel to Dan Slott’s League of Comic Geeks profile, one will find that he has written hundreds of different characters. Bouncing from main 616 continuity to the diverged Earth-18119 timeline. One name that you won’t see on that list, in main continuity, is Moon Knight. It turns out that Marc Spector is high on Slott’s to-do list in the future!

“Moon Knight! Moon Knight! I’m a huge Moon Knight Fan! Everyone’s got their character that is their character. Like you grow up and you buy the first issue of Nova the Human Rocket and now he’s your guy and you’re going to follow him forever… I’m that way with Moon Knight. I own every single Moon Knight appearance he’s ever been in … I was way too into Moon Knight. Especially the Doug Moench, Bill Sienkiewicz era. I love Moon Knight so much! So someday I would like to write a Moon Knight story.”

—Dan Slott, Calgary Expo April 2024

Unfortunately for Slott, Marc Spector is currently spending his time 6 feet under in Marvel’s main universe. But that doesn’t mean he’ll stay buried forever! Especially with a character whose whole origin started with coming back from the dead.

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