Letters : Editor : 2007 : To the Editor 28/02/2007

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Date: Feb 28, 2007
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From Matthew

Remember back in Amazing Spider-Man #238, when Aunt May thinks: "That's all well and good for you to say, Nathan Lubensky! You never lost a child like I..."... but is interupted, the thought never finished, the plot never followed up on.

Consider also the supposed 'first' appearance of Ben and May before Amazing Fantasy # 15, in Strange Tales #97; in which a younger Aunt May and Uncle Ben adopt a young mermaid that eventually returns to the sea.

Here's my point, I'm sure you've already reached it: what if these two events were the same? That the 'child' she was referring to was this mermaid? It would definitely solve both issues. It would also cause many more headaches. But hey, if Superman can date a mermaid, why can't Peter have an adopted cousin mermaid. Stranger things have happened in the spider-verse.

Indeed, though I'm not quite sure I can think of one right at the moment. Much as this does sound quite neat, I think that the modern-day Marvel staff would struggle to put an official stamp on this idea.

The Spider-Man novel, Spider-Man: Secret of the Sinister Six also toyed with the idea of giving Peter a sister. I'll have to dig out the book and give it a review for the site.

From Maxximus

Hi, I recently gotten back into my love for Spider-man after watching the old fox animated series again. I wanted to know more about the actual comic Spider-man and wiki-ed him up and found so much info and so many links to things I had no idea about. Anyways this got me wanting to read the comics instead of the summaries on wiki. I saw in the faq that you said that there is probably no good list on what order to read the comics in, but I was hoping you could help me by telling me when during the asm version I should start reading friendly/sensational/spectacular or where I should be during some of the major story arcs like the clone saga.

If you're struggling to make sense of the current titles, have a look at our Current Title Summary. If you want to read up some classic stories, then simply head down to your local comic shop or hop onto Amazon and buy yourself some Trade Paperbacks... cardboard bound reprints of the most popular tales for Spidey's past.

As for what arcs we recommend? Check out our reviews to see our ratings!

From DP

Myself and a large group of other people (at Marvel.com) have orginized and are trying to get Ben Reilly brought back to the Spider-man titles. We dont want the clone saga brought back, just the character himself.

Would you yourself or your site be willing to help or point us in the right direction. There are about 57 of us at last count, we are about to start heading out and getting others onboard.

Ah, well I think you'll have to count me out. Much as I also enjoyed Ben as a character - I can't help but find the whole "Two Spideys" thing just a little too complex. If nothing else, it's painful to have to explain to new readers.

Also, it seems to me that (a) duplicating characters and (b) resurrecting characters are both rather lazy ways of creating stories. I'd rather that Marvel put their energies into new ideas, not reworking old ones. In any case, I'm quite certain that the painful days of the clone saga are still not quite yet far enough in the past for anybody inside Marvel to seriously consider "Bring Back Ben" as a viable option right now.

From Robert

The title "Deathweb, be not Proud" is in reference to the book by John J. Gunther. Gunther wrote the book in the 40s about his soon Johnny who died of brain cancer at 18. John Gunther was a travel writer doing a series of books in the 30s and 40s such as "Inside, Europe".

His acclaimed book, Death Be Not Proud, about his son's brain cancer is a minor classic. I read it when I was 14. For Roy Thomas to bastardize that title in such a manner makes me think a bit less of the rascally one.

Unfortunately, ripping off classic book and film titles has been a staple fare for comic books for quite some time. Pretty much ever third Iceman story is named "The Iceman Cometh". Doc Ock is frequently "Arms and the Man", or "Farewell to Arms". Stan Lee himself was a huge fan of the idea, and the others just picked up where Stan left off.

I'm sure no offense was intended - Roy probably knew the title but didn't know the details. A bit like Woody Allen's quote: "I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."

From Mark

I recieved a copy of the amazing spiderman black cover includes the number 36 on cover. i believe this to be the 9/11 edition sold after the disaster. I have kept it in the sleeve and never opened it even to peek inside knowing the potential value down the line. i would love though to see whats inside. i was told once that there was a site on line to view it. can u help me?

I haven't heard of any such web site. But there's no reason not to open the comic. Unless you have a particularly clean mint copy and have kept it boarded and sealed, then it's unlikely to be worth more than five or ten bucks. Wash your hands and read it carefull, you won't diminish the value at all.

As a general note, there's very little money to be made in the small-scale trading of modern comic books. All the big cash is made in limited edition covers (which are only sold via dealers), or in older comic books (generally 1960's or earlier).

From Murphy

I'm not sure on whether or not one has to be part of the staff, but I was wondering if I could submit a Spiderman rave to the rave section just this once. If so, I'll send it with the next email (if there is one), so that one of the employees of this site can check it and make certain that it meets the criteria neccessary to be on this site.

Sure, if your rave is well-written and interesting, we'll certainly consider it. No promises of posting it, but we will certainly give it a fair look over.

From Matthew

just a few questions i need awnsered. i am a new fan trying to sort out spider-man continuity. i think i have a pretty good grasp on it, just need a few things clarified:

  1. does kryptonite effect bizarro the same way it effects spider-man?
  2. does spiderman ever get revenge for bane breaking his back?
  3. in what issue did dr. octpus get sexual reassignment surgery and change his name to caroline trainer?
  4. my dog is blue?
  5. is it true that peter parker is a clone of hal jordan?
  6. venom is monev backwards. that's not really a question, i just thought it was ironic and finally,
  7. if spiderman got frozen at the end of world war two, how did he end up crashing his helicopter on the kent farm in kansas?

Simple. Answers are, in order, (a), (d), (c), (c), 34, Yes, Africa/Antarctica, Spaghetti, and LSD + six double vodkas.

From Steve

I appreciate this is going to sound like one of those letters you get from PhD students that have decided to write a theseis on Spider-Man having never looked at a comic book in their life.

But I'm not a PhD student. I'm an actuary and I've volunteered to speak at a conference in November 2007 on what actuaries can learn from Spider-Man (or more accurately from issues 1-500 of ASM plus AF#15). In recent years I've talked about lessons from Star Trek, Fantasy Football and Internet Poker. I find I leave fewer quiet gaps when it's a subject I could talk all day about.

Anyway, I wondered if any of the team could think of any good lessons that I could include. Obviously there's WGCTCGR where I can cite AF#15 and talk about ASM#90 and ASM#121 where the lesson seems to have been forgotten. I'm also thinking about how if something works once you can't assume that it will work every time, eg the anti-magnetic inverter used in ASM#2 and ASM#7 against the Vulture. And how important it is to test things properly before using them, eg ASM#6 and ASM#100.

So if you can think of anything good, do speak up. Anything involving villains from the films would be especially good as those are the ones that most people will be familiar with. But the lessons need to be lessons from the comic books, not the films!

Well, Actuaries assess insurance premiums, right? So let me suggest:

  1. Any significant scientific device will be stolen three pages after it is first shown.
  2. Any abandoned building will be destroyed in an epic battle three pages after it is shown.
  3. Any super-hero sidekick will be killed, and replaced later with another person bearing the same costume.
  4. Any major villain who is killed will subsequently be resurrected.
  5. Any major supporting character to Spider-Man who is killed, kidnapped or crippled will be resurrected, freed and/or healed in the next title reboot.

None of those facts are going to make your work any easier, sadly.

From Aaron

I was looking at your "Software" page and noticed it could use a bit of an update. As of now, the following games come to mind that aren't listed:

  • Spider-Man 2 (For consoles, PC, Nintendo DS, GBA, and PSP)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man (For consoles, PC, Nintendo DS, and GBA)
  • Spider-Man: Battle for NY (For Nintendo DS and GBA)
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (For consoles, PC, GBA, and PSP)

If possible, I'd recommend that you post these games on the "Software" page.

Ah, yes. The Software page has stagnated a little, recently. This is because I don't actually own any of those games. Also, all our games pages are created and edited by hand-edited HTML, meaning that it's quite difficult for people to add new games.

I hope to automate the games pages in the near future - which will allow contributors to enter more information via online forms in a simple format. When I do that, then we'll advertise for people willing to enter information on these new titles.

From Anonimous

I saw some pictures and reviews of the 3rd upcoming movie, and I think that the spider-man costume for venom is kind of shitty! And I also think that MR. Lee himself might be a little bit dissapointed. It looks like the origonal costume but only black and white. I would like you to forward this around and to posably make it a debate.

There you go. Feel free to mass debate as much as you like.

From Kathleen

Hello, my name is Kathleen Stalford and I was wondering if you have any puzzle books that may be written in brail?

A fine question, but sadly the answer is that I know of no Spider-Man books or comics that have ever been written or translated into brail.

From Alexander

I'm the biggest fan there is of spider-man there is, but theres one thing thats gotten a little annoying. THEY HAVE CHANGED THE STORY LINE COMPLETELY!!!! I mean spider-man was'nt supposed to die millions and millions of times and come back with a bloomin new suit. He was supposed! To always be red 'n' blues where as the story writer have changed the story line and that is the last time I am going to say that they completely changed spider-man. They have more less taken' the mickey out of spider-man and made him into this ... This.... INVINCIBLE GUY!!! Why dont they just make him stay the same!

p.s. Why did the write him taking of his mask! now his wife know and j.jonah. jameson knows plus HIS AUNT KNOWS! and now the bad guys know!

Well, I understand your point of view, and I share your concerns. But the fact is that if Spidey stayed the same all the time, he would rapidly become incredibly boring and predictable. If you want to read classic Spidey, then there's forty years of history to enjoy.

Anyhow, it was always guaranteed that Spidey's red-and-gold "Superman/Iron Man" outfit won't last forever. He's Back in Black now, but I'd bet good money that he'll be back in the Red and Blues before too long.

From Mila

I'm a stock footage researcher looking for the clip where Spiderman says, "For me, an ordinary life is no longer an option." I just watched the 2002 Spiderman - twice - and didn't find it. Do you know where I can find this sound bite? The more specific, the better - I need a time code (hours and minutes into a film) but I can work from a movie title, or a scene number or title in a movie, or even which general part of the movie the quote can be found ("It's near the beginning" etc).

I'm sorry, but I don't recall that phrase being in the film. There is a voiceover at the start and end of the film with similar sentiments - but that specific text doesn't appear in the copy of the screenplay that I have. I also can't find that text on the internet with any authority attributing it to the movie.

From Danielle

I have a three year old boy who has just learned about Spider-Man from his friends at preschool. He has never seen any books or videos regarding Spider-Man, but he seems very interested and also, a little left out when the other boys are talking about it. I ordered him a couple Spider-Man and Friends board books, but I was hoping you could recommend a DVD that would be appropriate for the youngest crowd. I've researched all the different animated shows, but I'm overwhelmed and confused. He doesn't get scared easily, so I'm not worried about the villains. However, I would like his first exposure to not be too dark, or violent. Can you help me with a recommendation.

The two most recent "live action" movies are both quite adult - with ratings recommending them as 15 years or over. I wouldn't show either to a three year old. Any of the cartoons or older movies should be fine.

From Wizzerd

I vaguely remember a Spiderman cartoon that involved Spiderman sneaking onto an island base for a terrorist group called "Cobra". I'm not sure if it was meant to be the same Cobra who are enemies of G.I. Joe, or merely very similar. I think this episode predated the G.I. Joe cartoon, but cannot be certain. The only scene I can still recall vividly involved Spidey disabling a SAM site with 4 missiles (visually similar to a GI Joe toy) that came up out of the ground, or maybe he just dodged missiles as it fired... hard to be sure, as this was well over 20 years ago.

Asking the staff, nobody can recall any such episode from the 60's, 90's or the 80's Amazing Friend series. It may possibly have been from the 80's solo series. We tend to be more of a comics site here, you might have better luck tracking down some of the Spidey Cartoon web pages.

From Terry

I still have my Hulk sweatshirt. Unfortunately it has some split seams and the sleaves are too short but I have it anyway. I bought it from the ad in the comic book. In fact I bought two; one for me and one for my brother. Still have my Thor t-shirt too. I had many wonderful days reading Marvel comics in the '60s.

Glad to hear it, Terry! The question is...can you still fit into them or do you have to hang them on your wall like a sampler?