Five Questions for Alex Segura Regarding His YA Novel “Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow”

I ADMIT THAT the last time I read a Spider-Man comic book was way back in the early 1970s, when superheroes did not look much like my Mexican American family and predominantly immigrant neighbors. Of course, in recent years, there's been an explosion of new—and decidedly multiethnic—takes on the superhero canon. This has been lucrative for the comics, film, and television industries, in large part because it has dramatically expanded the audience, which has been thirsty for better representation in superhero storylines. So, when I learned that bestselling and award-winning novelist Alex Segura had written a YA Spider-Man , I was intrigued. His 2022 novel Secret Identity (Flatiron Books) had recently won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the Mystery/Thriller category, adding to Segura's already long list of accolades, including nods for Best Mysteries & Thrillers of the Year by NPR, LitReactor, Kirkus , Booklist , and the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel , to name a few. What would a Spider-Man novel look like when crafted by someone with the writing chops of Segura? The result is Marvel Press's May release Araña and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow , and I can report that it is a thrill ride that delivers all the excitement and arch humor of the best Spider-Man tales but with an undeniably Latinx flavor. The centers on a teenager, Anya Corazon, whose secret identity is Araña, a superhero with spider-like abilities—web-slinging included—in present-day Brooklyn. Her father is an investigative reporter, but they both are damaged by the mysterious disappearance of Anya's mother years earlier. On top of this loss, Anya's superhero mentor has been murdered, leaving the teenager unmoored and tumbling toward superhero oblivion. But the sudden appearance of the villainous Judas Traveller makes the situation worse, leading to Anya's unwanted time travel to Nueva York, the future New York City, home of the Spider-Man of 2099. The action is fast and ferocious, while the is witty and noirish. I wish I had such superhero novels when I was a teen. Segura answered a few questions for the Los Angeles Review of Books […]

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