Anya Corazon, also known as Araña, is one of the many Spider-People currently webslinging around New York City. Now, however, writer Alex Segura takes her on a new adventure that strands her in the future, causing her to team up with Spider-Man 2099, billionaire CEO Miguel O’Hara... and the two discover they have similar enemies in the present and the past.
Segura is an award-winning author, and has previously written the literary mystery Secret Identity, the Star Wars novel Poe Dameron: Free Fall, and the Pete Fernandez mystery series. io9 is excited to announce his newest novel, Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow, and get the exclusive details on what fans can expect.
James Whitbrook, io9: You just helped kick off a new chapter of Anya’s journey in Edge of Spider-Verse. What is it about her that drew you back to her?
Alex Segura: Araña holds a special place for me because I have such vivid memories of first reading her adventures. It meant a lot to see a Latinx Spider-character, and to get the chance to write a novel that in some ways reintroduces the character to readers felt really important and special. That it comes after I got the chance to further her comic book story is also really special. Anya is driven, talented, and brave—but she’s also learning. In many ways, she has a lot in common with Peter Parker during his early days. But she’s also her own person and trying to find her way in a complicated world. I think that’s very relatable, no matter your age or life experience.
io9: Why was Miguel the natural foil for Anya in Dark Tomorrow? What made him the perfect mentor in the Spider-verse for her?
Segura: In the book, we find both heroes at very different points in their careers—Anya is starting out a bit aimless, and trying to find some guidance in terms of how to be a hero. On the flipside, Miguel is reeling from a major tragedy and isn’t sure he even wants to be Spider-Man anymore. So when they meet, we have two characters that really need each other, but they have to realize that, and they have to evolve to the point where they can help each other. That felt really fascinating to me—to chronicle that struggle for Miguel, to pull him back to being a hero, and at the same time have Anya learn from him and come into her own. Honestly, when we talked about the idea, it felt so natural that I was amazed we were getting the chance to explore it first. Their dynamic was my favorite part of the novel.
io9: Obviously you’re a novelist for a living as well as a comics writer, but what challenges are there in bringing characters made for the medium of comics into the literary medium? How different is your approach than if you were scripting this as a comic?
Segura: I think when you’re writing comics you’re collaborating—you’re starting the project and watching as others add and expand on your idea. With a novel, while I realize it’s playing in an existing sandbox—you’re kind of driving the whole sensory experience. I can’t rely on the artist to add visuals to my dialogue or scene descriptions. It’s a different kind of challenge. As a fan of both characters, I wanted to take the opportunity that prose provides and get into their heads a bit more than we might see in comics, and also to find a special balance—where the story is wide open enough that new readers can enjoy it, but also loaded with winks and nods for longtime readers. There are a few characters I was honestly surprised I got to use—so that was a blast.
io9: Where do you want to see Anya’s journey go as a character? Do you think she has the potential to break out even more in the world of Spider-heroes?
Segura: Oh, definitely. I think she’s an amazing and versatile character with a ton of upside. I’d love to see her continue to stay in the spotlight for a long time to come. She feels like she’s really ready to break out.
And, I have to say—Miguel was a game-changer for me, as a Cuban-American middle school kid obsessed with Spider-Man. I have vivid memories of buying that first, holo-foil issue of Spider-Man 2099 by Peter David and Rick Leonardi and not only being blown away by the comic, but by the idea of Miguel. To see a Latinx Spider-Man was a revelation for me. Identifying with the characters you’re reading is so important and vital—it stuck with me since, and that moment played out in my head many times as I wrote Miguel and Anya’s adventure.
Araña and Spider-Man 2099 goes on sale May 2, 2023, and is available to pre-order.
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