It seems the big shakings coming down the pipeline in Amazing Spider-Man #700 are going to be such a big deal that Alpha, introduced in Dan Slott's 50th anniversary issue ASM #692, will come back to the fore in his own five-issue miniseries. It'll be written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, making him one of the few guys who gets to work for Marvel and DC at the same time these days, as he's also the writer of I, Vampire. Alpha, which he'll be doing with artist Nuno Plati, will have a markedly different tone.
"The funny thing is how, at DC, I'm the 'dark' guy," Fialkov said in an interview with Newsarama. "I do the super-edgy, super-complex, adult, horror-y stuff. Then at Marvel, I'm the wacky, fun guy. So it's almost as if I am, in fact, two different writers."
As you may recall, Alpha's real name is Andy Maguire, a nondescript kid who got super-powers due to a sabotaged Peter Parker experiment at Horizon Labs - echoing the way Parker got his own superhuman abilities. However, Maguire's powers weren't just being sticky and jumpy - he was massively powerful and a reckless danger to everybody, not to mention extraordinarily selfish in using his powers to get chicks, money and fame.
However, when last we left him, Parker had found a way to de-power him and teach him some humility, although the door was left open for a return. Apparently, he'll be going through that door sooner rather than later.
"I think Andy has gotten a bad rap," Fialkov explains as to how he's going to tackle a book about a snotty brat. "Clearly, Andy was a jerk, but the reasoning from where I stand is that most people, if they were suddenly given the power of a god, would probably be jerks. He got all the things that he always wanted, which is the most human, teenage reaction — because that's what teenagers are. Teenagers are greedy and selfish, and they make bad decisions, because they think they're going to help themselves in the short term. That's what every teenager, everywhere in the world, is like. In that sense, I feel like he is really universal, and now he's had something to make him learn — he's had this event that's really changed him and shaped him. It's giving me an opportunity to tell a coming-of-age story about this guy."
"I look at all of my characters, villains or heroes, as human first," he continued. "For me, it's really more about getting to the heart of his motivation, and what makes him tick. I think by doing that, it makes him more relatable. I did a Skeletor one-shot that came out this week. Instead of trying to write Skeletor like the cackling bad guy that he is, I focused on, 'What makes somebody do that?' It's like Doctor Doom. From Doom's point of view, he's trying to take care of his people. His primary interest is taking care of Latveria. Does that mean that he will try to kill the Fantastic Four? Well, yeah, because the Fantastic Four are a threat to Latveria. In his own story, he can't possibly be the bad guy — or the things that would make him the bad guy of his own story are going to be different things than what make him the bad guy of a Fantastic Four story."
Fialkov certainly has his work cut out for him, making Alpha a character whose adventures you really want to read about, but he thinks it's different enough to stick. "People complain that there's not enough new stuff," he explains. "This is a new character, it's a formula you haven't seen before in a superhero comic, especially from the big two. I'm going to do everything I can to take advantage of it while I can."