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The Spider's Web Exclusive:
Interview with Tom DeFalco

For over a combined decade Tom DeFalco has been a guiding light for Spider-Man. In the mid-1980's during he saw Spidey along with the winding down Hobgoblin saga, the introduction of the Rose and the introduction of the alien costume in "Amazing Spider-Man". Going on to become Marvel's Editor in Chief for a time, Mr. DeFalco returned to Spider-Man in 1995, and although he left the book after three years, he continues to write Spider-Man in the pages of "Spider-Girl", and the recently completed "Mysterio Manifesto".

Taking some time out of his busy schedule, Mr. DeFalco shared some of his thoughts on his work on Spidey, how "Mysterio Manifesto" came about, and what lies ahead for "Spider-Girl".

The Spider's Web: How did you get started in the comic book industry?
Tom DeFalco:
I always knew that I wanted to be a writer, and I loved comics. While I was in college, I wrote for a few local newspapers, a weekly comic strip and did a few short stories. After I graduated, I got in touch with the various comic book companies, and ARCHIE COMICS offered me a job.

The Spider's Web: Now, you've written Spider-Man over many different eras like the grim and gritty 80's and the Ben Reilly saga, to name a few. Is there a time that you really enjoyed writing?
Tom DeFalco:
I had the most fun when I was working with Ron Frenz during my first run on Amazing, followed by my string of stories with Ron Lim on Unlimited Spider-Man.

The Spider's Web: That said is there a character you particularly liked writing?
Tom DeFalco:
I have to love a character to keep writing about him or her. Spider-Man, Thor, Thunderstrike, the FF--I love them all. My current favorites are Spider-Girl, Randy O'Donnell and Mr. Right, although you probably haven't heard about the last two. If I could choose one character to write, he would be Captain America, Conan, or Archie Andrews.

The Spider's Web: In your last run on Amazing Spider-Man (#407-439) you did really intricatly woven stories with the Black Tarantula, the Rose and Norman Osborn. Did you have the longtime plans for those characters plotted before beginning to write them, or did the stories just come about over time? Do you normally plan stories fully beforehand or do they come about over time?
Tom DeFalco:
I usually prepare a loose outline so that I know where a story is headed, and dispense the info and clues when they're needed. The Black Tarantula and new Rose stories ended rather abruptly, and I'm sorry about that. The powers-that-were decided to take the book in a new direction, and I was given one issue to wrap things up. In hindsight, I realize that I could have done a better job.

Mysterio Manifesto The Spider's Web: On to your latest Spidey book, "Mysterio Manfiesto". How did this come about? Was it part of a plan to have Mysterio return, or was it simple misscommunication on the parts of the Daredevil and Spider-Man editors?
Tom DeFalco:
I assume there was some kind of miscommunication between editors. For assorted reasons, I hadn't read Kevin Smith's Daredevil series or Howard Mackie's relaunched Spider-Man, and didn't even know about the problem until a friend complained about it. A few days later Ralph Macchio called me up and asked me if I'd like to do a Spider-Man limited series. He told me to come up with a springboard, and pitch it to him. Since I had my friend's complaints in my mind, I suggested I resolve the Mysterio problem. Of course, I had no idea what I was getting into at the time.

The Spider's Web: Now to what I'm sure a lot of people have been waiting for in this interview, the Spider-Girl questions: Are you at all surprised by the success of Spider-Girl and MC2, given Marvel's previous unsuccessful attempts at "alternate universe" stories?
Tom DeFalco:
Surprised? I couldn't believe the-powers-that-were wanted to do the book in the first place. Pat Olliffe and I are very grateful for all the support the fans have give us, and we'll always try to be worthy of it!

The Spider's Web: A lot of the characters and plots in Spider-Girl seem to have been drawn directly out of the Clone Saga. Is there a particular reason for that? Do you feel that the Clone Saga got a bad rap from creators and fans?
Tom DeFalco:
Since Mary Jane originally got pregnant during the Clone Saga, I thought that was a good point of departure for my series. And I do think the Clone Saga got a bad rap. Yes, it went on much too long. Yes, some of the individual stories were bad. But some were real good! (I think Amazing #400 is one of the best comics I've ever read!) Some fans are still mad that we said Ben Reilly was the real guy during the course of the story. I guess they didn't notice that Peter ended up to be real guy once all was said and done.

Mr. Right! The Spider's Web: Finally, if you can say, what lies ahead for Tom DeFalco, Spider-Girl and MC2?
Tom DeFalco:
As far as Spider-Girl is concerned, I intend to keep writing this title until Marvel tells me to stop. As for me, I love writing comics. It is an honor and a privilege to participate in this medium, and I never want to stop. Right now I'm planning two new comics which will be published by Image. They are called RANDY O'DONNELL IS THE M@N (with Ron Lim), and MR. RIGHT (with Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema). Fans of Spider-Girl just give them a try. Thanks for being there!

The Spider's Web: Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview.
Tom DeFalco:
Take care, and thanks for thinking of me!

 

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