What, you really want to know about me?
Country: Canada, the greatest country in the world. Accept no substitutes!
Occupation: Government bureaucrat
Romantic status: I wish
E-mail: [email protected]
What kind of stories are you writing here?
Most of the stories I'll be posting here are from my Marvel Comics fanfiction, notably my Sleepwalker and Spider-Woman series at the Avengers 2000 fanfiction site, which I first began writing in October 2006. As I wanted to expand my readership and get some more reviews, I'll be posting the stories here as well.
The setting is a rebooted version of the Marvel Universe, Earth-2706. It has no ties to any of Marvel's established continuity, being essentially a complete Ultimate-style reimagining of the Marvel Universe. The history is in some ways similar to that of the established Marvel Universe in its own timeline, with the Fantastic Four making their epic voyage into space in 1998, the Hulk appearing in 2001, and Spider-Man being bitten by the genetically altered spider in 2003, and the various other heroes and villains appearing at different points in this timeline. Everything is played perfectly straight-believe it or not, decades of social conditioning by comic books (in this case the DC titles, like Batman, Superman and the Justice League) have led people to believe that that's how those with superpowers should act. If it was broadcast in this world, people would condemn the TV drama Heroes as being completely unbelievable and ridiculous, as critics would be asking where the secret identities, spandex costumes, colorful codenames and rogues galleries are. All these things are part and parcel of reality in Earth-2706; some have proposed that people who gain or manifest superhuman abilities should be made to register and/or only use their abilities with government approval, but these have been repeatedly shouted down, as such actions are commonly viewed as encroachments on personal freedom and government coercion. :P
Sleepwalker begins in October 2006, after many of the prominent Marvel heroes have established themselves. The 30 or so issues that I've written so far, and will be uploading over the next few weeks, so far span three months, and the "official" timeline is set at just before New Years' in 2006, with the year 2007 about to begin.
Also, as per the advice of one of my reviewers, I've moved the series to the Marvel section of the Comics part of the site. The series is also featured on the K.I.C.K.A.S.S. community, which has very kindly begun hosting my work:
Okay, but why Sleepwalker, of all characters?
Spider-Man, Batman, and X-Men stories are a dime a dozen when it comes to fanfiction-I wanted to do something different. I personally think Bob Budiansky's original Sleepwalker comics are some of the most criminally underrated work Marvel has ever published, and deserve better than they've gotten from a lot of fans and critics alike. With a highly original concept and relative obscurity, I have a lot of freedom to make the characters my own and really put my own personal stamp on them. Truth be told, I'm not all that comfortable writing iconic characters like Captain America, Wolverine or Batman, because of their highly devoted fans-if I get something wrong, I'll never hear the end of it. With more obscure heroes and villains, the audience doesn't have as many expectations of them going in, and so I have more of a capacity to do my own thing...which is good, because some of the characters, especially the villains, are heavily reimagined.
And, like I said, I wanted to do something different. That's why, for example, in this version it was Aunt May who was shot and killed by the Burglar, and Uncle Ben is the one who survived. Similarly, the love of Peter Parker's life is Gwen Stacy, and not Mary Jane Watson. Not that I have anything against MJ, mind you, it's just that everybody pairs her with Peter Parker. I just wanted to break the mould a bit. Again, I'm not trying to tie into Marvel's official continuity or continue telling Marvel's stories-I'm telling my own.
Mary Jane fans have no reason to worry, however, as she's the titular heroine of Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With the Light. She won't be getting together romantically with Peter Parker, but she does have an important part to play in the spider-mythos.
Along with that, Sleepwalker and Spider-Woman also each allow me to explore a number of personal themes that mean a lot to me personally, or are otherwise important to me. Of course, you don't need to pick up on these themes to enjoy the story-they're there if you look for them, but if you're just interested in the straight-up drama and action, you can have a good time too. Again, with obscure characters, I have more flexibility to work with them than I would if, say, I was using the Incredible Hulk. I can also take B- and C-list characters who I felt never got the respect they deserved, and give them their time in the spotlight. Sleepwalker never made it as an A-list character? Fine then, I'll make him an A-lister.
I'd also like to point out that all of the super-powered characters I use were created and published by Marvel, and the only original characters I create are non-powered supporting cast members.
Finally, I'd also like to state, for the record, that everyone from Spider-Man to Sleepwalker and everyone in between, and probably something like 90 percent of the characters I use, are the copyrights of Marvel Comics and Marvel Entertainment. I don't own them, and I'm not making any money from this. This is just my little version of the Marvel Universe, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Mary Jane is Spider-Woman, then?
Yes, she is. Set in the same continuity as Ultimate Sleepwalker, Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With the Light tells the story of Mary Jane Watson, and her beginning to develop her own spider-like powers. Her reasons for donning a costume of her own and becoming a costumed heroine are entirely her own, and quite unlike those of Sleepwalker or Spider-Man. MJ's powers vary somewhat from Peter's, in the sense that she generates her own webbing the way Spider-Man does in the movies, and possesses a bioelectric "sting" akin to the venom blasts used by the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman in the original 1970s and 1980s comics. She doesn't have Peter's spider-senses, but she does have equal superhuman strength, speed and agility, along with a few other unique powers that will be revealed as time goes on.
Otherwise, Peter and Mary Jane don't really know one another, and Mary Jane will be blazing her own path, only loosely tied to that of Spider-Man's. With her own supporting cast, themes and rogue's gallery, Mary Jane's adventures will be quite distinct from Peter's. They do not know each other's secret identities, or anything else.
I know this has been done before, most notably by my esteemed colleague and friend the Master Planner, but I'm going in an entirely new direction. Many of the themes I address here are also my own.
So Peter and Mary Jane won't be getting together, then?
Nope, sorry. They may well develop a strong kinship, but it won't be a romantic one. Unlike the official versions of Gwen Stacy, this one won't be dying any time soon.
Anything else you want to say?
Yeah-if you like Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With the Light, then be sure to check out Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams. This was the series that started it all, and what eventually led to my Spider-Woman series. Reviews and commentary for both series are more than welcome, and in fact are very much appreciated.
That, above all else, is what I want.
Reviews are welcome. Discussion is welcome. Feedback is welcome. I want and I crave all these things.