Letters : Spider-Oracle : 2000 : Spider-Oracle Petitions 01/07/2000

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The wise one answers all your Spider-Questions.

From Orion

Regarding Web-Spinners #17-#18

I read the stories and liked it but there's one continuity flaw I noticed. It's regarding Doctor Octopus. Any Doc Ock appearances in a Spider-Man title, except for SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #124 (which was a retcon story taking place after AMAZING SPIDER-ANNUAL #15 from 1981), between 1983 and 1987 had the character fearing Spider-Man every time he saw him.

This fear of Otto's didn't end until the end of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Vol. 1) #297 when Spider-Man had to save Manhattan from a virus and Doc was the only guy who had the cancellation code so he thought the only way to save Manhattan was to let Doc Ock beat him which he did and Doc overcame his fear of Spider-Man.

If you notice in the WEBSPINNERS stories, Doc Ock seems to not be scared of Spider-Man. Could he have just gained a temporary rush of confidence for that 2 parter? Who knows? I just found that character flaw in this point of Otto's life a little disturbing. So far, it seems like I'm the only one who has noticed it. Thought I'd point that out. Thanks.

That is true. In PETER PARKER #79, Spider-Man defeated Doctor Octopus and dramatically told Ock to never dare challenge him again. This so unnerved Octopus that he became terrified of Spider-Man, and went into a catatonic state whenever he saw Spider-Man (see WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #4-#5). He was cured in AMAZING #297 when Spidey purposefully let himself be defeated. The recent WEBSPINNERS story arc, however, takes place before AMAZING #289 and therefore should show Doc Ock as still being terrified of Spider-Man.

From Zen

In the second wave of Amalgam Comics that DC and Marvel published, Larry Hama wrote a title called BAT-THING that combined elements of Marvel's Man-Thing with DC's Man-Bat and Swamp-Thing. The issue featured two New Gotham police detectives named "Clark Bullock" (presumably an African-American man) and "Christine Montoya". Obviously, these characters were derived from Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya of the DC Universe. But I never could decipher the Marvel characters to which they were linked. I suspect that "Clark Bullock" is derived from the "Detective Clark" character from Hama's VENOM: ALONG CAME A SPIDER and VENOM: ON TRIAL, but this is purely speculation.

I always wanted to ask Mr. Hama this question directly but I have been unable to find a way to contact him. Could you guys shed any light on this for me? Have there ever been any other notable "Clarks" or "Christines" on the NYPD in the Spider-books? Or do you think I'm totally off base?

The Oracle's Name-Dropping Assistant replies:

I wouldn't be surprised if Hama used those first names as "tributes" to characters he'd done in the VENOM minis, but I doubt that much thought went into it one way or the other, to be honest. He just used new names to show they were Amalgam-ated characters.

But I've only met Larry once, so I wouldn't presume to know how his mind works... *grin*

From Mantener

I am a big fan of Venom but haven't really gotten into magazines because the hobby was too expensive. Could you please answer these questions for me?

  1. Who specifically has Venom fought against other than Carnage and Spiderman?
  2. How many times has Venom saved Spiderman and from whom?
  3. Does Venom still want to kill Spiderman or has he forgiven his transgression?

One question per holy visitation. The Oracle has chosen to answer your third question.

The answer to #3 would be most definitely yes after Amazing #19 and #22 - although #22 seems to have put Brock back on the shelf probably only to be needed by Spider-Man a couple issues in the future to deal with whatever the new Ward/symbiote thing ends up being - leading to yet another temporary friendship then fight, etc...

From Zeichman

Hey, I got a question for the spider oracle. How did Ben Reilly get a job without a social security number?

Seward Trainer, good friend that he was, fixed Ben up with all the necessary documentation during Ben's "lost years".

From Chris (Again)

even Roger Stern didn't know who the Hobgoblin when he left

Ohhhhh yes he did!

From Chris

all he ever said about it was that he had not decided upon the identity when he left

besides: killing Macendale was a mistake

besides: I can believe that Foreigner's men can take the original 'goblin

Roger Stern has said he knew who the Hobgoblin was from the very beginning.

I quote from the Interview with Roger Stern which SpiderFan conducted with him shortly before the Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives! Limited Series was released.

Q. Your up-coming "Hobgoblin Lives" mini-series will presumably reveal all, but perhaps you could say a little more about what happened. How did you feel when you read #289? Did you even then begin planning how you could reveal the true story?

A. Oh, I felt elated when I read ASM #289. Ned Leeds hadn't been my choice for the Hobgoblin's identity, and the sequence of events in issue #289 provided all the proof I needed that Hobgoblin -wasn't- Ned -- *couldn't* have been Ned. I knew then that I could write my own revelation to the character... if they'd ever let me. At the time, I figured that no one ever would, so I just filed the idea away in my subconscious. Occasionally I'd mention the story possibility to a new Spider-Editor. Was I surprised when Tom Breevort and Glenn Greenberg asked me to write it!