C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T P R O P O S A L
S P I D E R - M A N
P E T E R B E N J A M I N P A R K E R ♦ P H O T O G R A P H E R / S T U D E N T ♦ Q U E E N S , N E W Y O R K ♦ H O R I Z O N L A B S / D A I L Y B U G L E
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:
"You say you don't want the responsibility? Guess what? People like us... we don't get a choice."
You all know the story of Spider-Man. I'm not intending on doing anything drastically different with his origins, aside from a little modernizing.
Peter was 16 when he first gained his powers, a junior in high school when he first donned the tights, and a senior when he began working at the Daily Bugle. He's in his second year at Empire State University now surrounded by new and old friends alike. His heroic career thus far has been mostly dealing with the Maggia's influence in NYC, with only a light sprinkling of more unusual foes - and a dash of Chitauri invasion. Peter's experienced as Spider-Man by now and has made several innovations and improvements on how he operates over the years. He's made allies in people like Dr. Curt Connors of Horizon Labs and Captain DeWolff of the NYPD.
After nearly four years of conflict with the Maggia, the status quo is about to change as the death of Silvio "Silvermane" Manfredi, the head of the criminal organization, sparks a shift not only in the syndicate but also the greater New York City underworld that will forever alter the lives of Peter Parker and Spider-Man.
C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S:
Most of you know that I've tried my hand at Spidey before in two games that were short-lived. Some of you also know that I wrote over eighty pages of notes for my first stint and an additional twenty for the second. Suffice to say, my passion for the character is boundless, and my ideas for the wallcrawler and the world he lives in evergrowing.
I don't want to write a Spider-Man who is radically different at the core. This is a Peter who has still dealt with loss and tragedy, who still needs to balance his personal and heroic lives. My version will just be doing that with less costumed baddies running amok. So far, at least.
Instead of throwing a constant influx of powered villains at Spidey for him to bounce around between, I want to develop each villain and faction I introduce and build them up in ways that make it feel like they are a genuine threat. I also want to have a more focused narrative that is finely woven together into a wide web that eventually covers all the major points of the Spider-Man mythos - but without rushing and forcing the narrative.
I'm starting this story off with a relatively experienced Spider-Man but also one who, until the previous year, hadn't had any personal encounters with the stranger aspects of the Marvel (and DC) universe. This gives me both an excellent jumping-off point but also a free and open path I can take. No burying the lead of potential amazing arcs by shoving them into a bloated backstory.
And, with how I am structuring Spider-Man this time around, I am fully able and willing to crossover and co-op with anyone immediately. No more slow-burn introductory arcs that prevent me from interacting until I finish. No more writing purely in my own little corner. At least when it comes to the East Coast and to where Spider-Man can physically go to, my goal is to get everyone's favorite webhead into the thick of things.
C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:
The classic Spidey supporting cast will be present with some touches of modern additions. Peter's still living with Aunt May. He attends Empire State University with Harry Osborn, Flash Thompson, Mary Jane Watson, and Carlie Cooper. He grew up with Gwen Stacy who is spending time overseas after the death of her father.
He is employed at the Daily Bugle, the successful print and media newspaper, as a photographer. There he works with the likes of Betty Brant, a junior reporter with dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. Although often relegated to bit pieces, she and Peter often try to get pieces regarding the Maggia to see the light of day. Robbie Robertson is still Peter's boss and the current editor-in-chief of the Bugle, and a proven supporter of Spider-Man. Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson, former Bugle EIC and now owner of the Daily Bugle Network, a recent but major cable news station, is a vocal opponent of the webslinger. Ben Urich and Norah Winters act as DBN's on-air anchors and personalities.
Dr. Curt Connors, a geneticist and biochemist, former colleague of Peter's father, heads up Horizon labs - a genetics and technology research facility. He is an ally of Spider-Man and has aided the hero numerous times throughout the last several years, including the development of several gadgets and gear improvements. He works alongside his partner, Dr. Miles Warren, a professor of Peter's at ESU. Debra Whitman, ESU graduate student, and Michael Morbius, Greek transfer grad student, both round out the Horizon Labs roster as assistants for Dr. Connors.
Captain Jean DeWolff of the NYPD Major Crimes Unit, former partner of the late Captain George Stacy, aids Spider-Man when it comes to Maggia matters, and vice-versa. Yuriko Watanabe and Vin Gonzales, two young officers on the force, are more often than not the first on the scene of any criminal round-ups Spidey leaves behind. On the other end, paramedic Elias Wirtham supports Spider-Man on rare occasions when the latter is in rough shape and needs a bullet wound or two patched up.
While Peter has mostly contended with the Maggia over the last four years, he has had several encounters with some more traditional foes - albeit in somewhat less traditional means.
In his second year as Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson, convinced that the wallcrawler was a menace to society, hired private investigator Mac Gargan to follow Spider-Man and discover his true identity. This resulted in an embarrassing public display that left Gargan out of practice and a popular meme for several months. He has, more than once, apprehended Russian enforcer Aleksei Sytsevich, as well as Fred Myers and Anthony Davis, a pair of petty thieves who more often than not foul up their own plans before Spidey can even try to stop them. A string of jewelry and art heists sixteen months ago led Peter along a multiweek game of cat and mouse that led to the arrest of renowned international cat burglar Walter Hardy. And, less than a year ago, Peter found himself face-to-face with the horror of his mutated ally, Dr. Curt Connors, warped into a massive, humanoid reptile with a monstrous hunger. It took all of his strength and cunning to capture and subsequently revert the good doctor before any serious harm could be done.
Finally, also in the previous year, Peter found his and the planet's world rocked as the existence of aliens became undeniable during the Chitauri's invasion of New York City. For the relatively brief duration of the conflict prior to the Avenger's victory, he worked tirelessly in defending the citizens on the streets and in their homes from collateral damage.
The bullets whiz by me as I effortlessly twist mid-air, whipping out one arm and firing off a web-line that snags a nearby pillar and pulls me to safety. The dull buzzing at the base of my skull dies away as the four armed men stop to reload.
I stifle a yawn. Don't want to embarrass Silvermane's newest recruits during their first day of the job.
I'm tired after my late-night cram session with Harry and the gang. Professor Warren had really been pushing us lately and I'd barely gotten four hours of sleep the night before. Besides, if I were to be honest with myself... I was bored. These prototypical Maggia thugs were boring.
"Listen, guys." I offer with my best calming voice, arms up in an innocent gesture. "We all know the deal here by now. You shoot at me, you miss, I punch you, you cry, I web you up, you get arrested, and Silvermane doesn't pay for your bail. Do we really want to do this song and dance again? Don't you know the old adage 'those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it?'"
Goon one, the sloppiest of the bunch wearing a greasy t-shirt with poorly slicked back hair, casts a nervous glance at his compatriots.
I continue, pressing the advantage. "And, really, what's the goal here? You shoot me in broad daylight and skip off into the sunset? Not even your boss could get you out of that one, there are cameras all over this city now. Not that he'd even try. Do you know how many of you guys he's gone through the past four years? Do you really just want to be another statistic for him to forget about in a week?"
Hired muscle two and three, though both were seriously lacking in the muscle department, nodded along. I could see I was winning them over.
"So, you just going to let us go?" The last of the four piped up, his voice a mix of disbelief and hope.
My shoulders sag. I know what's coming.
"Well... no," I admit reluctantly. "You did just shoot at me. And you were trying to extort that nice old lady at the laundromat. Plus, I'm pretty sure I saw you kick a cat as you ran away. Not cool, dude."
"Screw that, asshole!"
The sigh barely escapes my lungs before that oh-so-familiar buzzing tickles my brain. I'm leaping into a frontflip before I can even process my own actions.
"Right. You kick the cat and I'm the a-hole."
As the action starts and my limbs connect with Silvermane's soon-to-be-former henchmen, this time I don't bother to conceal my yawn.