From Todd Portnoff
After seeing so many attacks on Ben, I have to come to his defence. His return complete with no family and no life has given Spider-man something he has needed for a long time: a chance to start over and to struggle. He needs to scrape by, to defend his secret life against new relationships. All of these problems were fading out of Peter's life. His conflicts were what? Fake parents. A wife who worried about his dangerous assignments. Increasing darkness. Increasing darkness must have been one of the reasons that the clone saga was hatched in the first place. In replacing Peter, the writing staff had the chance to take him as far down the road of desolation as they could. At the end, he was unrecognizable, and in the end less like the original Peter that the wise-cracking Ben is now.
Though I loved seeing Peter in the master-work Spider-Man: The Final Adventure, I think it would be criminal to bring him, his wife and his child back into action, let them rest and the ending of the Final Adventure stand. How are they going to make us believe that the clone saga will be reversed credibly at the same time that Peter's powers are returned. Is Mary Jane going to really let him get back into costume? Please... And what about Ben? Death, degeneration, what. Or will no one else care when they finally have their Peter back in action.
Yup, it's sad that Peter has to suffer so we can all be entertained... a moments silence please... great. Now - what's taking him so long to get back here!
From Al Sjoerdsma
For your information: Just had a talk with the guys at a local comic shop. They said that the Scarlet Spider issues did not sell well at all and that Amazing SM #409 was the worst seller in years. Marvel, already scrambling to restructure, has reacted to this by firing the editor of the Spider titles. The new editor says that the whole Ben Reilly as Spider-Man bit will be scuttled immediately and that Peter is being brought back right away as Spider-Man.
This actually disappoints me. I was very much opposed to this whole Ben Reilly thing at first but now I am all for it. (Of course, bear in mind that I am about a year behind in my reading of the books.) Regardless, I think it is a shame that this whole elaborate story is going to be gutted for financial and not creative reasons.
That's pretty much what my friendly comic salesman said.
From John Persing
Re: Mind bomb. There is a literary reference that widen the readers' appreciation of the comic. The name "Kurtz" is an obvious reference to the Joseph Conrad novela "The Heart of Darkness", the literary basis of the movie "Apocalypse Now". Kurtz was an agent of the colonial trading firm in the Congo around the turn of the century. He went off on his own into the mind twisting insanity of the jungle and by applying ruthless and inhuman techniques is able to produce more ivory than any other trader. In the end, he is destroyed by his methods.
Famous last words:: Kurtz: "The horror."
From Air Judden
I know it's all opinion, but just for my $0.02, I disagree with the review of "Carnage: Mind Bomb". It wasn't worth 5 webs. I think the webs rating should be strictly defined. I saw a lot of 5 webs for recent stuff, and I don't think they were that exceptional. I view 5 webs as something like the top 5% of issues, or something like that. In other words, very exceptional. Something like "the boy who collects Spider-Man" or the original Hobgoblin thread (long though it was).
Hmmm... OK, I'll talk to the boys and we'll try and be a little more restrained on those ratings. I guess Mind Bomb got the five webs because it was a real step in a new direction for Marvel. I don't think I would want every comic I read to be like that, but it sure is nice to get a breath of fresh air once in a while.