Letters : Editor : 2003 : To the Editor 01/08/2003

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Date: Aug 1, 2003
Next: To the Editor 01/09/2003
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Welcome to our letters page. These letters are answered by Jonathan Couper, who uses them as a chance to sharpen his otherwise dull wit. If you want a serious response, your chances will be increased by posing your question, respectfully, to our Spider-Oracle.

From Neil King

hello there editor, I am a universtity student from Portsmouth university. I am writing my dissertation on the cultural identity of Spider-man. My writings are lacking substance. I was wondering if you knew of any academic books that might be of importance to my works.

Hey, haven't you read any of our earlier letters columns? I'm supposed to be the one telling you that you're writings are lacking substance. Where's the fun if you just come right out and confess it?

But to answer your question. The best source for the history of Marvel Comics info is still that classic work, "Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades". If you're looking for a discusion of the nature of the comics medium, try Will Eisner's "Comics & Sequential Art".

For info on the history and philosphy of comics in general, try "Understanding Comics" and "Reinventing Comics", both by Scot McCloud. But I can't think of anything off-hand which specifically discusses Spider-Man's cultural identity, sorry.

From Evan

I just discovered your website & think it's fabulous. Your reviewers are quite witty & about as much fun to read as the original comics. I read Spider-Man when I was a kid in the late '60s & early '70s & stopped reading around #100, but the other day I wandered into a comic books store & bought Essential Spider-Man #5, for a walk down memory lane I suppose & to "fill in the gaps," & reading it I thought, "I wonder what happened to Gwen Stacy?"

So today I found your site. HUH! I'm in a state of shock, needless to say. I guess I'm the last Spider-fan in the world to get the bad news. I'm really angry because I had quite the crush on her back then, though it was 30 years ago. Why couldn't they have gotten married? She would have learned his identity, but how could that have been WORSE?

Anyway, my adult friends aren't into Marvel Comics (poor, deprived fools) so I just needed to share my feelings of loss w/ somebody! That's it, I feel better now. Thanks for creating a quality site about my favorite comic-book hero, & a chance to lose myself just a bit in the past.

Yep, you might just well be the last Spider-Fan in the world to find out that Gwen Stacy is dead! You know, I just can't help but picture you in a Japanese army uniform, poking your head out from behind a bush and discovering that not only did your side lose the war fifty years ago, but that Gwen is Dead!!!

From MotMotMot

Have you noticed that the Hobgoblins and Taskmasters costumes look similar?

Nope. But I did notice that Black Cat and Stunner have the same cup size.

From CoolSchif

Hello there. You have one great site that all Spider-Man fans should look on all the time. I recently went to Wizard World and got Bagely's autograph. One that he signed of mine was Amzing Spider-Man Annual #22 (1st Speedball). He was amazed when he saw the issue and shouted a loud, "This was my first Spider-Man I drew!"

Hey, Bagley is coming to my town this month! You've given me a great idea. I'll grab my ASM Annual #22 (along with my Ultimate #1, natch), and get him to put his scrawl on that. I'll see if he remembers you doing the same... :)

From Jason

I live in the UK and ive only just recently started a great interest in spiderman, and have started collecting 'ASTONISHING SPIDERMAN'.

i believe that this is a UK only comic that is comprised of reprinted stories from other past spiderman comics.

am i right in thinking that there is not a more recent or current comic for us brits. (hoping you have any information)

You're not the first to ask this, so I've just added the following information to our Site F.A.Q. List. It should clarify things for you.

UK comics have always had a different flavour from U.S. comics. While the Yanks were getting into Spider-Man, the Brits were getting into Whizzer & Chips. In the UK, collecting comics is nowhere near as respected a hobby as it is in more civilized countries. It ranks just above "train-spotting".

Yes, most newsagents in the UK only carry "Astonishing Spider-Man", which is a delayed reprint of a fraction of the real titles. But you don't have to put up with that. Most decent-sized city centres have a real comic shop somwhere around, you'll just have to go track them down. I found one in Oxford, and another in Ipswich. There are several in London, including Forbidden Planet.

You will pay more for these comics, firstly because they are air-freighted, and secondly because you live in "rip-off-Britain". That's life, you'll just have to get over it. If you don't have a local place, you can certainly subscribe to any of the big U.S. online comic shops, and get them to air-mail your books once a month. It might even be a cheaper option.

From Mike

hey i saw that you updated spectacular spider-man with a (Vol. 2) reference to reflect the new ongoing series. you've probably noticed as i have that the comics themselves claim to be part of spectacular volume 1(on the inside cover), this of course is ubserd considering there already is a spectacular #1 volume 1.

marvel messed up with the wolverine comics as well, skipping from volume 1 to volume 3 when they reset the numbering. personally i just find it kind of annoying because i now have 2 comics claiming to be the first issue of spectacular spider-man. i was just wondering what you thought about this little misshap.

To be honest, I'm not surprised at all. This is something which happens all the time. There are plenty of examples of numbers being duplicated, or dropped. That's why whenever you talk about a comic, it's always a good idea to mention the year, as well as the volume number, in case of doubt.

Of course, we may well see Amazing Spider-Man shift back to it's original numbering with #500... now that's gonna make a mess out of anybody's collecting database!

From Willi Gerrard

Dear Jonathan,

Today I was looking through the letters section of the latest PPP. "ATS" wrote: "I e-mailed Stan Lee. What are the chances of me getting a reply?" You wrote back: "'Bout the same chance as you getting to pilot the Concord to your coronation as the Crown Prince of Iraq." Are you serious? Beleive it or not, I've also sent Lee an email. Seriously, do you think he'll send a reply? Be honest.

Well... the guy's 80 years old. He spends his evenings frequenting high-society parties with women a quarter his age. He spends his days with high-priced lawyers talking over his law suit against Marvel.

Sorry to burst yer bubble, but just exactly when and how do you think he was going to get around to replying to the hundreds of emails he must get every day?

Stick with writing to SpiderFan.Org. We still love ya all!

From Merv Johnson, II

Regarding that email I sent you last month about how Spidey's costume is attached together. I did notice something rather strange. Whenever he dramaticaly takes off his mask (like in USM #32) it comes right up to the neck.

But in order to fit under a standard shirt, it would have to stop under that collar. It's a bit of a continuity glitch, really.

Well... looks like you got 'em dead to rights there!

From Leon S

Talking about how come Morlun did so much damage to Spidey. You do make a lot of sense when you say that Spidey saying that he was just got hit harder than the Hulk by some guy who looks like he should be walking down a Gucci runway, but I think I figured out why that was.

Maybe it's how Morlun is only alive to feed off of "pure" people of totemalistic relation. Since he's Spider-Man's natural predator maybe it just generally hurts a lot worse, almost like somebody punchin' Superman when he had a big honkin' piece of kryptonite in his hand. That's just what I thought may've been the case and wanted to see what you thought. Later, and keep up the awesome work.

That's a great point. Though JMS likes to compare a lot of his baddies to the Hulk it seems, ie the Digger in his recent storyline, which makes me doubt if that was his thought. But, I like you're explanation, hey if Marvel still had letter pages I'd put in my vote to give you a no-prize!

From Yes

I'm one of the million spidey's big fans from indonesia.

question :are spiderman.org have free email? "yourname@spidrman.org"

Nope, we don't do an email service. Hey, we have a hard enough time running a web-page, let alone a mail server! But, if you're looking for a great online email service with a funky address, how about checking out what comicmail.com offers.

Nope, we don't get commission from them. We just happen to know the guys who run the place, and think they're a pretty cool outfit.

There is actually another site running email addresses with spiderman in the hostname - but to be honest, their website is full of really annoying popups, and it looks like they have a deal where they make their margin by getting you to read spam. Looks dodgy to me. Stick with comicmail, yeah?

From Knappy

When you answered SectorStar's question about times Spider-Man has mutated into a Man-Spider, you left out a storyline that took place in Marvel Fanfare #1-2 (March & May 1982) where our hero was captured and exposed to a device that devolved him along with Angel of the X-MEN. Get yer memory straight, Jonny.

Ahhh! Well, that's what happens when ya ask me, not the Spider-Oracle. You just don't get the same class of answer!

From Anonymous

If Wolverine can't remember his own real name then why would he be able to remember Spider-Man's? ;-)

Hey, is that you Logan? Must be... ya forgot to put your name in the email!

From Peter

I love your spiderman web site but there is some-thing that bothers me i don't think puma is stronger than spider-man because as i recall spider-man can lift 10 tons or more and i don't think a mountain lion can lift 10 tons the reason is that i have studied on mountain lions and their is no way that a mountain lion can lift 10 tons and spider-man is not 7 times faster than a human he is 15 times faster to be correct but it this the best site i have been to.

It's peter again there is an other character that bothers me her name is nekra she is a vampier kind of creature blade, and mobius can lift 1,500 lb's and thats with their full strength there is no way a vampier is stronger than wolverine or spider-man it's like saying buffy the vampier slayer is stronger than spider-man or wolverine.

It's peter again i have looked on the actual marvel website spiderman can move 40 faster than a normal person and you say he moves 15 times faster so your getting false infomation because a vampier can move 7 times faster but you got the strength level on spiderman is right but it looks like you need more infomation.

Err... did you factor in the correct migratory parabollic co-efficients?

Or maybe it's really all just not quite that scientific!

From Merv Johnson, II

Hye, who would win in a fight between Spidey and Wolverine?

Everyone says he could slice though his webbing, but when you think about, the webbing would stick to the side of his blades and his ands too. So there's not real way to cut our of Spidey's web. Me and my friend have sort of compared notes...

According to him, Wolfy once dodged a bullet from really close to the gun. Like, a few yards. If that's not Spidey-grade speed, I don't know what is. His adamantium skeleton makes him stronger (which makes no sense) but he's not 10-ton lifting strong.

What does a neutral person on this subject say? Of course we want Spidey to shut Wolverine up, and Logan fans want to see Wolverine cut Spidey in two. So where does a neutral stand on the two?

Well, first off, you're not going to find any Neutral people here at the SpiderFan site!

But being completely objective, I'd say it really depends on motivation and circumstances. Probably neither could sneak up on the other. But if either was really prepared to kill their foe, they could probably do so.

From Lee

I am in a Marvel RPG (well it's mine) and I'm obviously being Spiderman. The person who I am fighting in the story at the moment is a mage (a psychic mage and is a made up character) How has Spiderman dealt with Psychic people in the past and what things could Spiderman do to stop the psychic?

To be honest, Spidey has had a very hard time beating Psychic foes in the past. Normally, he ends up allied with somebody like Doctor Strange, who can assist him. By himself, Spidey normally calls upon his massive will-power and strength of character to resist the attack, where any ordinary man would succumb. The "Mindworm" comes to mind as one case where Spidey did just that.