Letters : Editor : 2008 : To the Editor 17/04/2008

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Date: Apr 17, 2008
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From Ron

I have been reading Spider-Man since the mid-sixties as an Air Force kid in England. The OMD and now BND series appear to be an attempt by the powers that be at Marvel to disenfrachise new and loyal Spider-Man fans. I have sent several emails to Marvel and have yet to see them in any blogs. Out of respect to my local comic book dealer I purchased the first BND book and promptly canceled my subscription for any more Amazing Spider-Man books.

I agree with several thousand fans that the direction to which Marvel is taking Spider-Man is unacceptable. The story line in OMD, especially the final book didn't even pass the common sense and good judgement test. My wife or frail and near death Aunt, who shall I choose to live? Peter's Aunt always wanted what was best for him and his Mary Jane. Marvel also literally kicked, "With great power comes great responsibility," line to the curb as well. Why would anyone want this great power, when it continually brings you nothing but pain and heartache (hell, he doesn't even have copyrigt rights over his own name for God's sake.)

Perhaps the Marvel leaders want him to become a drug addict, alcholic (ie Tony Stark,) or recluse. Perhaps Peter may even say, "To hell with this crap," toss the suit and head out west and attempt to live life as one of the masses. Now these mental genuises have him reverting to a twenty something broke, living with his Auntie, nerd, in a state of constant denial his darn self. In BND the hot Latino babe is drawn to him to get a shot at his millionaire friend, pathetic; babe magnetic he is definitely not. Mary Jane, "Jackpot" a super hero?

Spotted that tie in during free comic book day last summer; doesn't work for me. We are doing this for the youth they say. Pardon me bub, the majority of folks I see in comic book stores are not kids or teen-agers. As far as Stan "The Man" Lee's take on this, he's doing the politically correct thing and generally maintaining a low profile through tis mahem. However, let not your hearts be troubled, those who enjoy the idea of a married responsible Peter Parker; read Spider-Girl and guess what? Her brother has inherited the ol'spidey genes from the old man. Nuff said.

Indeed. Nuff said.

From ac

ok, i'm trying to be positive....

does brand new day mean that gwen really didn't sleep with norman osborn? for that matter, if harry is alive, how about gwen herself? not that i'll ever know, i've stopped reading all comics thanks to omd.

The problem is, nobody knows what's true any more.

It seems that all of continuity is "up in the air" at the moment. Which of the existing 2000+ Spider-Man comics I currently own are valid, and which are not? The more comics you have, the more confused you are right now!

From cescobar

Long time fan, 38 years old - I've read through #550, and decent but it's not working for me. The whole concept of OMD, is still absolutely ridiculous. He had matured, evolved, Marvel didn't just do a retcon, Marvel made him lose diginity, maturity, some time - He's like 25?? Come on!! And I love a mature comic book as much as anyone but it seems like BND is cussing just for the sake of cussing, to be hip or something. Come on, lame. %&*#@! Tom Brevoort said "...making Peter a teacher definitely made him seem older" WHY IS THIS SUCH A BAD THING TO EVERYONE???

He IS older, not as old as real time but 30 years old or so and a teacher, what's wrong with that? And to say as a married man there are no good stories to write? Then what, the last 20 years have been a real struggle for Marvel to write interesting stories for Spidey? I think Marvel did fine but I guess everyone is no longer up to the challenge. So they're saying all of those dramas on film and TV just don't have a chance if they're about a married man and all of the struggles that come with it?

Everyone has said it all but one thing... Civil War was created to lead to this point. No doubt. They needed a good way to get someone to shoot at MJ or Pete, thus getting May shot instead. So for those of us who think May should've just died, I'm sure that was never an option. This had been planned for two years plus.

I heartily agree with your fundamental point. Stories about married people don't need to be boring. For years and years, Marvel made such a fuss about how their stories were superior to those of the "Distinguished Competition" because in the Marvel Universe, characters grew and developed.

Retcon Resets like these simply spit in the eye of all the things that made Marvel special. And that can't end well.

However, I don't buy the "Civil War was planned to lead to this" theory. I can perfectly believe that when Joe Q decided to make his move, he just looked around and waited for an opportunity. I think he could have tied it in to World War Hulk or Secret Invasion or House of M or any major story-line. Remember, despite being terribly misguided in this case, JQ is still fundamentally a talented writer. He knows how to hook stories together as and when suits him.

From Corpse King

Now that we are stuck in the middle of Brand New Day, do you think that the Spider-man comics with re-introduce Felicia "Black Cat" Hardy as a possible Love interest for Spider-man? She is one among the trio of popular Parker lovelys (MJ, Felicia and Gwen). It seems they are setting up MJ as a possible love interest if she's Jackpot, it might cause conflict if Felicia was to come back into the picture as well.

It could possibly happen. Though Marvel does seem rather keen on working with new characters for a bit, and the Black Cat Romance thing has been pretty much done to death. So I certainly wouldn't bet on seeing Felicia and Peter hooking up in the near future.

From Ksawarrior

I've been reading your revies on Brand New Day, and how it's mainly got positive reviews.

I agree that it's fun, and classic, and all that. But I still refuse to buy anymore core Spidey titles until the horrific retcon of One More Day is undone.

Does this make me a poser fan because I don't like that we had to sacrifice 20 years of continuity under Quesada's bad storyline to get an old fashioned classic Spidey story, instead of just getting a writer to just write a story that fit in continuity under the same fun atmosphere?

It's very hard to review these issues fairly. The majority of the SpiderFan staff strongly disapprove of what has been done with Spider-Man. Most of us own and love most of these back-issue stories that have been instantly devalued (in an artistic sense) by the recent brutal hackwork on Spider-Man's Universe.

However, when we review the new comics, we really have no choice but to rate them as stories in the context they are presented. And there is no denying that the current crop of Spider-Man writers are generally talented, keen, focused, and doing a pretty good job with the situation they are forced to deal with.

But that doesn't change the fact that most of us loathe the heavy-handed editorial decision which has been dumped on them.

From 02otpauli

Look, I know that One More Day has been rubbed into the dirt more that the Clone Saga ever was, but I have one more point to make to it.

Joe Quesada says that One More Day will only just make everyone forget Peter and MJ's marriage, but it has done more than that. It has also resurrected a long-dead character, Harry Osborn, and returned Peter's identity and power quote to normal, adding more damage to the amount of rumble the nuclear bomb of the idea which destroying MJ and Peter's marriage has create.

It has ruined the continually of Spider-Man's stories for the last 20-odd years, and destroyed all the effort I have made over the last x-number of years to understand the 616 marvel universe and the 101 other marvel universes that Marvel have created in the last 40-something years.

Now I have to go and try and understand yet another universe, knowing the old main marvel universe no longer exists, and figure how the last 20-odd years of stories work because Mr Quesada can't do anything without peeing someone off, so thank you Mr Quesada, thank you very much.


From Keith

I know you're not into reviewing "fan fiction," but this isn't a request for a review.

I'm not exactly new to all this writing stuff (I've had a few comics pieces published, some articles, worked as an editor for 15 years, and I've a big super-secret Off-Broadway satire in pre-production right now), and I recently have decided to RE-WRITE the missteps in Spidey over at my blog.

If you or any of the guys on your staff want to take a look and send me your feedback, I'd love to hear it!

On a personal level, I'll have to kindly decline. I have a stack of books on my bedside cabinet that just seems to keep growing. I really would struggle to find the time to read anything more, especially if I was reading to provide feedback.

As per our F.A.Q. the site just really doesn't dare get involved with fan fiction. Why? Well, the problem is that Fan Content in general is very time intensive to review and maintain. Fan Fiction is the most demanding of all.

Adding fan fiction content to the site would add the workload of an entire new site, and we just can't handle that right now. All we can do is apologise, wish you luck, and hope that you find a site that better suits your needs.

A search for "Spider-Man Fan Fiction" on Google turns up 356,000 hits. Good candidates appear to be FanFiction.Net and FanLib.Com. Both have "Spider-Man" categories with some existing content.

Of course, with that kind of experience under your belt, perhaps we need to clarify that "Fan Fiction" refers purely to the fact that it's written by somebody outside of Marvel - it's not a comment on the quality at all!

From philip pace

I am trying to find if the company Brown Wells and Jacobs Limited is still existing? The reason is that I bought two pop up Beatles books and I am trying to see on how to locate the battery as when one opens the book, one can hear the Beatles songs playing.

I don't know why I get emails like this. I bought one of their books just like this guy did. The book was published however many years ago. Do I look like I work for the yellow pages? Do I look like an expert in battery replacement? I mean, seriously... why do people send this sort of email.

Sure, I run a website. So I probably know how to use Google. But really, what goes through people's heads when they write something like this?

From Franfer

Hello from Spain. I've just read your rave about the un-wedding (in Spain we are still in "back in black") and there's something really funny: If you read the comic "101 ways to end the clone saga" one of the freaky sollutions for that mess was Mephisto.

Rave author Andrew Miller replies:

That's true, Franfer. And they rejected that solution for the Clone Saga because they thought it was too silly!

Embarrassing, isn't it?

From Michael

Hi - Per FOOM magazine number 5, 1974, there was a 16mm Spider-Man fan film covered in an article. Just wondering if you guys had any idea where to find any leads on how to acquire or see this short film.

Hmmm... we just checked through our FOOM #5 and didn't see that article. Perhaps there's a mix-up over the numbers? But in any case, I'm afraid that none of the staff can recall any such film. The first fan film we're aware of is the 1992 The Green Goblin's Last Stand.

Maybe somebody hardcore old-timer SpiderFan out there can recall this?

From Tom Trainor

As I am sure you are aware, with the Iron Man movie coming out, Marvel.com produced a list of the top 10 Iron Man stories ever written, "required reading" as they put it. This got me thinking about what a list like that would consist of about Spider-Man. I naturally assumed that there would be a multitude of lists on the internet but the only thing I could find was a Wizard collection that I didn't entirely agree with. I did not see one on your website, if I missed it please direct me to it. If there is not one, that is an article I would love to see someone on your staff do.

I thought about writing one myself, but my catalogue is limited to Amazing and I have not read most stories on any other title. On top of that, Spidey is one of the rare characters that has had a steady title for 45 years and I would find it difficult to think of great stories that hold up on their own without direct knowledge of what came before. Obviously you and your staff is far more qualified than myself to create such a list. I think this list should include both wonderful single issues like Amazing Fantasy #15 and the Sept 11th issue as well as great arcs such as Kraven's Last Hunt and the Death of Gwen Stacy.

Well, we can off you a fan list of the Top Ten Worst Spidey Storylines. Marvel meanwhile offers their choices in The Very Best Of Spider-Man (TPB) and The Best of Spider-Man Hardcover (Volume 1).

Actually, once upon a time SpiderFan did feature an on-going vote of the "best Spider-Man stories of all times." Unfortunately, such polls nearly always end up resolving into a poll for "the best-known Spider-Man stories of all time."

I know many fans who would pick all ten from the first 50 issues of Amazing Spider-Man. My personal favorites are affected by the ones I read when I first started reading. Though, younger fans may pick recent issues simply because they know them. When all is said and done, I suggest that really there can never be any such list. All we can hope for is one person's opinion.

If anybody has the urge to write a Fans : Top Ten list, they can email the Fan section maintainer using the link on that page.

From Mister Prolific

Will there be a special Wizard issue about Spider-Girl turning 10 or the MC2 turning 10.

At least a feature in a upcoming Wizard?

Strangely enough, Wizard don't tend to email me each month with their upcoming article line-up!

Wizard are normally pretty good to Spider-Girl, they have covered her each time that her title avoided cancellation. There could well be a tip-of-the-hat for her tenth anniversary. However, if you really want to be sure, I suggest you contact them via their website, www.wizarduniverse.com.

From Z. Adkins

[Regarding our review of Ultimate Fantastic Four #26.]

Hello. I have to say that I'm suprised that anyone would be suprised by the content of a comic written by Mark Miller. I can give you the basic plot formula that Mark Miller uses for his comics. Whores, whores, whores, whores, mindless violence, whores, whores, whores, gay joke, whores whores whores. I try to aviod anything that has Miller's name attatched to it. Batman Year One was good though.

Sorry, just had say my piece.

Hah! Well, personally, I don't generally object to any of those aspects in my reading material.

My real complaint is that I like my comics to be one thing or the other. Either they're good clean fun - or else they're low-down filthy and offensive. This sort of "tittilating-teen" stuff that shows lingerie and nothing more seems kind of pointless.

In Millar's defence, I must confess that enjoyed his work on Civil War and Marvel Knights: Spider-Man.

From Z. Adkins

I have planned a trip to Books a Million, my Nirvana, for the coming weekend. I was wondering if you could suggest what Spider-Man or Spider-Man related TPB would you suggest, as so I can avoid picking up a stinker storyline. I trust your judgement.

You trust my judgement? Then you're very much in the unwise minority!

But seriously, even if we just count core titles, there's over a thousand Spidey comics out there. I really wouldn't know what your tastes would enjoy. If you're looking for the classics and don't mind stuff that's a little retro, then I'd recommend starting with the Marvel Masterworks. I saw those in paperback recently. Color reprints of all the early stuff - can't go wrong.

But maybe you're a Venom fan and you need to dig into the 90's? Or perhaps you like more modern stuff? Or maybe you enjoy team-ups? Or perhaps the New Avengers are your thing? Really, without spending half an hour chatting about comics, I would hesitate to try and suggest what you might enjoy.

I suggest you read a few reviews on the site, then check out our Spider-Man Reprints section, and maybe it will all become clear.

From Charmeloen

put me in touch with john romita jr.

Not until you fulfil your side of the bargain and get me that date with Hayden Panettiere!