Letters : Editor : 2008 : To the Editor 11/02/2008

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Date: Feb 11, 2008
Next: To the Editor 17/04/2008
Prev: To the Editor 21/01/2008

From Christopher

I suggest reading Erik Larsen's take on the whole OMD debacle over on CBR if you haven't already. I didn't agree with everything he said, but I definitely agreed with his overall assessment. Let's just say he didn't have many kind words for Joe Q.

From all that I've been reading about the argument (fans vs. the Marvel editorial staff), it boils down to having the character change with the stories or having him stay the same to attract new fans... this argument, I think, is pretty much at the heart of any retcon Marvel or any other publisher has done in the past. Unfortunately, if Marvel only marketed Ultimate Spider-Man better, they could still have their cake and eat it too... after over 100 issues, Ultimate Peter is still in high school, still dealing with girl issues, still living the life to which Joe Q. has reverted 616-Peter. Much like with Civil War changing the "status quo" of the 616 universe, this Brand New Day crap is really blurring the differences between the 616 and Ultimate lines... why have one or the other when they've both become so similar to each other?

Regardless, one of the reasons why I really enjoyed Peter revealing his identity during Civil War was the potential stories surrounding "Spidey on the run". Even before he did, back in ASM, there was a brief moment when we almost got that (before Aunt May, of all people, convinced him to reveal his identity). I missed out on the Lost Years during the clone saga, and was looking forward to something similar... a Peter wandering the U.S. in Bruce Banner fashion (which would also be a chance to introduce new and interesting supporting characters in each place Peter stopped in).

Probably the worst stab-in-the-back out of this whole thing was its effect on JMS's run. For the first time in a while, a Spider-Man writer introduced interesting story-lines and changes into the character. I didn't necessarily agree with the whole totem aspect at first, but JMS's story-telling really convinced me. Aunt May was no longer just an old woman, and JMS really strengthened her character (especially after she found out Peter's identity). Most of all, although he didn't know the continuity as well, he really knew Peter's voice. To have all of JMS's run be completely worthless at the start of "Brand New Day" was a really slap in the face, to him and all the fans that enjoyed his work.

Joe Q and the rest of the Marvel editorial staff has really shown his douchebag-ery on this one... I really hope that things are made right -- and by that I mean reversing the whole magic thing and letting Spidey be a fugitive again -- but looking at how stubbornly Joe went ahead and made this happen, ignoring almost every rule of basic story-telling, it looks just as likely Joe will stubbornly stick his head in the sand, ignoring almost every fan of this once-fine book.

Very rarely do you see big-name writers publically speaking out against a storyline in the way that Larson and JMS have expressed their serious doubts over One More Day. Combine that with the fact that our SpiderFan poll shows a roughly 80% fan disapproval rating with nearly every aspect of the story, and you really have to question if this was such a smart editorial move.

I know that Spider-Man is a holy grail for wannabe comic writers, but you have to wonder how many big names will be interested in taking on the task given such a heavy-handed level of editorial interference. Will the "Next JMS" leap so happily into the role, having seen the treatment dished out to his predecessors?

I live in hope that this is just one giant put-on by Joey Q. I'm praying that the April 1st Issue of ASM will reveal the whole thing as a pocket universe, or Mysterio plot. It's a weak straw to clutch to, but it's the best way out that I can see right now.

From Matthew

Okay, I know you guys have probably heard enough about OMD by now, so I'll keep this brief. I have just two points:

  1. Everyone lately has been saying that they would rather the clone saga to OMD. I'd be careful how loud you say that. If Harry Osborn is alive as of OMD... Ben Reilly could be do. It actually makes a certain degree of sense, if you think about it (not too much, though). And am I the only person who thinks it'd be a little fun to have Ben back? Then we could reverse OMD and have him be the Spider-Man that was revealed to everyone and... never mind, that messes up continuity more. -sigh-.
  2. There is a VERY easy out to OMD in my mind: Mysterio. Recently ressurected with seemingly mystical powers in Friendly Neighbourhood, I can't help but think of the Guardian Devil arc Mysterio died in, where Myphesto himself said he was saving a choice seat in hell for Mysterio. I think it would be great if OMD was part of a deal Mysterio struck to get out of hell, and now he knows Spidey's ID and nobody else does. I just think it'd be cool... and a little more credible then just having to devil pop up in Spider-Man.

Yep, the moment is perfect for Mysterio to confess his part in all this. We can but live, hope, and scream blue murder at the top of our lungs!

From Clark

A few raves have already covered my shared disgust with the direction of "Amazing Spider-Man" under J. Michael Straczynski. I greatly enjoyed his early work on "Amazing" through #500. Then he decided to not only write a horrible story (Sins Past) but, in so doing, ruin the greatest Spider-Man story ever (The Night Gwen Stacy Died), and it has been snowballing down hill ever since. Many cheer his imminent departure as writer of "Amazing". However, I feel that his departure isn't enough.

Amazing's problems are occurring in most of Marvel's other titles. Every story has to be an over-hyped, earth-shattering, and uninspired event with an easily predictable bad outcome. I blame this on Joe Quesada, Marvel's current Editor-in-Chief. He and the other editors have performed abysmally over the past 4 years. Loyal fans such as myself have been burdened with the likes of "House of M" and "Civil War" just to name a few. What ever happened to stand-alone stories? Why does every new idea have to be an event? And why does every event have to be its own mini-series? e.g. "Civil War" easily could have been a story in the New Avengers title.

Heck, the only creative team that is able to get away without following along with Quesada's shenanigans in the Marvel U are Whedon & Cassaday on "Astonishing X-Men". One of the reasons their book is Marvel's best-selling title is that Whedon refuses to participate in Quesada's lousy events. Just because JMS is leaving "Amazing" doesn't mean that similar problems will continue to plague it. Marvel needs new leadership to bring it in a new, original direction that is fresh while simultaneously remaining faithful to the past continuity we all know and love.

Whedon proves it can be done, and Geoff Johns does the same at DC.

I don't think you're alone in feeling rather "event-weary". I groan whenever I see any new event coming up. The World War Hulk crosses three mini-series, with one-shots, and variant covers and crossover appearances up the wazoo. I'm looking at the best part of $200 if I want to collect the whole story... and I'm no longer amused.

From Rob

Though I haven't actually picked up any brand new day issues, I do know enough about what's been going on (thank you, internet). I just noticed some striking similarities between this "reboot" and the one in '99:

  1. Aunt May's back from the dead, having been saved by Spidey in the story prior. In fact, Spidey has to make a "tough choice" about her life.
  2. Black magic is involved in the story prior. (The Gathering of Five and... well, yeah.)
  3. Our story picks up with Spidey having been out of action for some time.
  4. Big changes are happening at the Bugle (the new building then, the paper being turned over to Dexter now).
  5. The mystery of someone else running around with Spidey's threads.

Did I miss anything? With all the complaints about BND retreading old ground, this brings that up a notch, I think.

Oh, stop that! You're scaring me! Yes, you're right on all points. Now please excuse me while I go find my pills, I feel one of my nervous attacks coming on.

From IPC

Dear Jonathon Cooper,

First off: love the website, but why does everyone seem to hate the Peter/Mary-Jane marraige? (sic)

Now for the actual reson for the e-mail. How would you and the fans like to see a Smallville-esque show of Spider-man? The reason I ask is I am currntly wrighting one that I intend to take before Marvel next fall. I was hoping to gather opinions from fans and Spidey experts such as yourself (no I am not trying to kiss your butt). I have alredy gotten opinions from a few writers (thus far positive opinions) and I thought it best to get a variety of backgrounds. If you would like I can e-mail you a copy of my notes. Please return at your convenience.

Yours, Sincerly as Charlie Brown.

I'm not sure where on earth you got the idea that "everyone hates the Peter/MJ marriage", the only guy I've heard of who is dead set against it is Joey Q. Of course, since he's the Editor-In-Chief of Marvel, his opinion counts for more than most.

But let's move on to your second question. This one comes up often enough for me to actually add it to the "List of e-mail topics that won't get a reply." In brief...

Thank you very much, but I must politely decline the offer to provide free proof-reading, creative writing feedback, or literary agency services in relation to Spider-Man Fan Fiction, Movie/TV scripts, Stage Plays, or Comic Book Scripts.

However, I will provide you with some free advice, which is this...

When submitting literary work of any form for review of any kind, it is most important to ensure that you correctly spell the name of the person to who you are writing.
If you intend to be taken seriously as a writor, at the very least you should put your full real name at the bottom of your submissions.

I feel compelled to point out that you made six spelling errors in the brief email you sent me, including TWO errors in my name! I'm honored that you're so impressed with my carefully crafted responses on the Letters Page that you think that my acerbic style and cutting wit is ideal for a prime time TV show. But really, I think you'd be much better off dropping an email to Tim Kring or Joss Whedon.

No, I don't know the email address for either of them!

From Yinka

hey how ya doin i will like to see youuuuuuuuuuuuuu please spiderman

You want to see me? I think you need to see a therapist. I happen to have the email of a very good one, right here.

From Kamon

Could you please tell me just how many villians there are in spiderman...

(Counts...) One, two, sixty-seven, three thou...

Err... I think the answer is: "All of them".

From Nick

okay I have a question? I am currently reading the amazing spiderman series and i know that there are other types of the series liek the spectacular spiderman and web of spiderman etc. so I was wondering do I have to read the other types of comics to get the full storyline and if so what would be the ones to buy where id be able to get the use out of it.

You need our Current Title Summary.

From Anonymous

I think I may have solved where the Ultimate Spider-Man Video Games in the series and it is between Ultimate Spider-Man Issues # 69-70, or around Ultimate Spider-Man Issues 70-71.

Here is my reasoning for it:

  1. Obviously it is set three months after the Venom saga so it's after Ultimate Spider-Man #39.
  2. It appears to be set after the Ultimate Six saga, as Green Goblin is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and there are billboards of a Kraven the Hunter film, which was mention in Ultimate Six. His makes it anywhere after Ultimate Spider-Man #53.
  3. The Ultimate Fantastic Four is known to the public, which it wasn't before Ultimate Spider-Man #70.
  4. And Peter is still going out with MJ, and since this game came out around about the Hobgoblin/ Warriors arc, I say that this happens before them.

And before you say "Oh, Silver Sable has no memory of Spider-Man' identity," No-Prize time. When she was attacked by Venom on the Queensboro Bridge, she did get bashed around a lot, so this may have caused her to have some kind of memory loss.

That's great. That was really keeping me awake nights.

From Andrew

Another question about Venom's powers. In the video game Spider-man: Friend or Foe, one of Venom's attacks is the ability to spew a deadly bile while screeching from his mouth. This has never been shown before in anything Venom was shown in, to my knowledge. Question is: Can Venom spew venomous bile from his mouth, or is it artistic lisence from the video game?

That's a fun game. I played that on the Wii. But no, this is purely artistic licence. Most video games aren't related to mainstream continuity in any real sense.

From Jeryk

mi muy querido amigo lo que necesito es saber como podria conseguir historietas pasadas o libros del hombre araña. soy de tampico, mexico. y me gustaria poder coleccionarlos.

Por Senorita, I am el Fugitivo.

From Alexander

Are you going to do anymore Spidey Super Stories reviews?

After our SSS reviewer, Eric Engelhard, left the team due to other commitments, we never managed to find anybody who dared even try and live up to his wonderful reviews.

One day, the right person will come along and pick up the job, but for now we're putting our reviewing time into other issues.