In the world of
INTERVIEW WITH RALPH MACCHIO
ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN 1997- by Andrew Goletz
months of Gray Haven bashing the current state of the Spider-Man books and
the back peddling by Marvel on the highly original, risk taking move of
introducing the Spider-Clone, Ben Reilly as the one, true Spider-Man,
Spider-Man group editor Ralph Macchio graciously skipped lunch and took
time out to answer questions about everything from the clone to the future
of the books.
AG: Did you request to be brought on board as
editor or were you asked to?
AG: What was the rational behind reintroducing the Spider-Clone (Ben Reilly) and making him the real Peter Parker?
wasnít around for the whole thing, so some of the information is second
hand. People felt that the character of Peter Parker was becoming bland.
They wanted to get back to his carefree days where he was without
commitment and short of killing Mary Jane, which we didnít want to do,
bringing Ben into the book seemed to be the most logical way to go.
AG: When was the decision made to revert and put
Peter back into the suit?
AG: How is something like this decided?
RM: We got
together and we each came up with ideas; everyone has a say.
AG: Is the decision that was made, to kill Ben and prove the results of him being the real Peter to be false, the only way you think it could have ended?
RM: Yes. It
was the only way to resolve the story properly.
AG: The resurrection of Norman Osborn. What
prompted this decision?
AG: How does that work? This character is believed dead for 20 years (our time). Did you need special permission to undo that?
were no mandates to not bring Norman back, but his death was so
meaningful, there never seemed to be a story worthy of bringing him back,
AG: Was it always intended for the mastermind behind all of these events to be Norman?
donít believe so.
AG: Unlike when Batman and Superman were replaced with newer versions, Ben Reilly wasnít made out to be a jerk. He was a good character and in a lot of way, superior to the way Peter Parker was being written. Was this the intent?
course. We wanted the readers to accept Ben Reilly. He was Peter Parker
and there was the added benefit that he didnít have to go through all
the trauma that Peter went through. He was more of a free spirit.
AG: Even when you knew his final fate?
AG: Was this the only way to go? Was anything else considered?
were other ideas presented, but for everyoneís piece of mindÖ.
AG: Was it hard writing a character when you knew he was going to die?
hard. We all felt guilty writing the scenes, especially with Ben and Peter
discussing their futures and how Ben will be the godfather. It was
heartbreaking. You get to regard these characters almost like real people
and we begin to care. We knew Ben would never be the uncle to Peter and
MJís baby. It wasnít going to happen, and we hope that itís a moving
experience for the readers.
AG: Why should people read Spider-Man now? After
all thatís happened, what would motivate someone to continue to or just
now go out and pick up the books.
Copyright©2000 Andrew Goletz