by Brian Truitt)
Spider-Man has had an array of baddies in his rogues gallery over the years, but in an upcoming digital comic-book series, amnesia is a bigger issue than the Green Goblin or Kraven the Hunter.
Peter Parker wakes up wearing his costume with no idea who he is, where he is or more importantly why he's robbing a bank in Amazing Spider-Man: Who Am I?, by writers Joshua Hale Fialkov and Dan Slott and artists Juan Bobillo and Antonio Fabela. It begins in April, the same month that Slott relaunches Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 with artist Humberto Ramos with Parker again in the Spider-seat after Doctor Octopus spent a year in his head.
Who Am I? takes place after the current Superior Spider-Man title ends, according to Fialkov, who was tapped to honcho the story because of his crime-writing background and obsession with the concept of identity.
Peter ultimately escapes the cops and figures out his name is Spider-Man. While at the goons' hideout, he goes on the Internet to the Daily Bugle's website and does a search for "Spider-Man."
"It comes up 'Spider-Man: Menace!' and 'Spider-Man: Threat!' " Fialkov says. "You see the headlines through the bulk of classic Spider-Man stories, and he's like, 'Crap, I must be a bad guy. Who knew I'm a horrible criminal?' "
At its core, the upcoming digital comic — following other Infinite Comics series such as Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted and Iron Man: Fatal Frontier — is a tale about Spider-Man when you take away all the qualities that make Peter Parker a hero.
"He no longer remembers his origin," Fialkov says. "He no longer remembers Uncle Ben. He no longer remembers Gwen Stacy and all the stuff that's happened to him that defines who he is. All he knows is he's being told he's a criminal and he has to come to terms with that and figure out if that's really true.
"It's about what makes Peter Parker great," the writer adds, "and to get to play with those kinds of layers and explore that character was a lot of fun."