C’mere boy — Spider-Man has Rebel roots, like

A scene from Will Sliney's 'Spider-Man 2099'.
A scene from Will Sliney's 'Spider-Man 2099'.

He’s always been a rebel — but now it’s official. Web-slinging superhero Spider-Man is from Cork.

Comic giants Marvel have given the green light for the main character in their hugely successful Spider-Man 2099 comic series to have Rebel roots.

Irish graphic artist Will Sliney, from Ballycotton in East Cork, who draws the superhero for the series, said he was absolutely delighted to have helped persuade chief writer, the legendary Peter David, to give the man behind the mask a Cork connection.

The Spider-Man 2099 comic series was relaunched earlier this year, and has proven to be one of Marvel’s best-selling series in recent years.

It follows the exploits of Spider-Man’s alter ego, the half-Irish, half-Mexican geneticist, Miguel O’Hara, who develops Spidey powers during a horrific lab accident and finds himself stranded in present-day New York.

Fans have always known about his Irish roots, but Will revealed last night that Marvel have given their blessing for readers to find out soon about his specific links to Cork.

But whether we will see Spider-Man slinging his web from Shandon Steeple, flying through the English Market, remains to be seen.

“I can’t give away too much about how his Cork roots will be revealed,” Will said. “Spider-Man is involved in a huge crossover battle in the Marvel universe at the moment. That will take the series on for another three or four months, so it will probably be after that.”

After two years in the business, during which time he worked on Fearless Defenders, The Avengers, and X-Men, Will has become one of the country’s top illustrators.

Earlier this year, he illustrated a story in Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man before he was given his own Spider-Man title, Spider-Man 2099. A CIT graduate, who also draws a comic for English Premier League soccer club Everton, he will showcase his work at an illustrated talk at Cork County Hall for the county’s Culture Night on Friday, September 19.

“The Irish have a very strong tradition of storytelling and our early history, going back as far as the Book of Kells, is one steeped in using visuals in this manner,” said Will.

“With the large amount of Irish people being hired lately by the major comic book publishers, it’s great to see this tradition being reborn here again.”

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