We have the freedom to pull from anything, but I really like what [Brian Michael] Bendis did. A lot. That felt like… that was Peter Parker back in high school. And, spending as much time with his high school problems as it did with his superhero problems, which I think is really a lot of fun.
There’s also some really funny comics stuff, like, the Archies. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane series, but they have this really great anime-style illustration, and it’s all just about Peter Parker’s relationships. It’s like the soap opera of Peter Parker in high school.
I can’t say enough good things about Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, it’s definitely one of the most under-appreciated Spidey books in recent memory.
I read the entire first and second volumes of the series back when they were released in 2005–2006 and always really enjoyed the lighter take on Spider-Man, his villains (the few that actually make appearances) and his relationships with Mary Jane, Flash and the rest of the gang. The art by Takeshi Miyazawa (who previously worked on Runaways), as Watts mentions in the interview, is also a fun change of pace too.
If Watts is planning on using any of the material as a basis for his Spider-Man film, it’s off to a good start. If you’ve never read or even heard of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, do yourself a favour and check it out.