J.J. Abrams is working with Marvel! No, not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And not on television. Instead, Abrams has been collaborating with his 20-year-old son Henry Abrams to write a new Spider-Man comic miniseries that’s due to publish this September, featuring artwork by Sara Pichelli.
The news was announced today by Marvel, along with word that the Abramses’ story will introduce a new villain named Cadaverous who will cause problems for Spider-Man, Peter Parker, and Mary Jane Watson. The five-part series will be published this September, drawn by Pichelli and colored by Dave Stewart.
While specific plot details are under wraps, J.J. Abrams says the story shows Peter Parker “in a way you haven’t seen him before,” and in speaking with the New York Times revealed how this collaboration came about:
“[Marvel editor] Nick Lowe had been pressing me to do a book with him. A year or so ago, I started talking about it with Henry and it sort of happened organically. And that has been the joy of this. Even though I’ve been talking to Nick for a long time, weirdly, this feels like it just sort of evolved from the conversations of Henry and I, having ideas that got us excited and Nick being open to the collaboration.”
Abrams admits that he was never the “die-hard comics fan” that his son Henry is, and indeed Henry spoke a bit about the experience of writing with his father:
“I feel like I’ve developed not just as a writer, but someone that can appreciate stories more. Spider-Man is one of those superheroes where the more you read about him, for me at least, the less I understand him. He’s so anti-everything that you’d expect from a hero. I think Stan Lee said something about putting the human in superhuman. That is what we’re trying to do.”
Henry goes on to say in the interview that there’s “an undeniable privilege here” with regards to working with his father, noting that he hopes to create on his own after this. But for now, this is a pretty neat father-son project.
This isn’t Abrams’ first time taking a crack at superheroes, as he previously wrote the screenplay for a Superman reboot called Superman: Flyby that McG was going to direct. That project eventually fell apart and Abrams moved on, and while it’s hard to imagine him wanting to tackle a major comic book movie after helming two Star Wars and two Star Trek films, never say never I guess. For now, fans get their chance to see his take on Spider-Man later this year.