Letters : Spider-Oracle : 2001 : Spider-Oracle Petitions 01/03/2001

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The wise one answers all your Spider-Questions.

From Todd

Can you tell me the name of J Jonah Jameson's secretary, and also the name of Peter Parkers' girlfriend?

JJJ has only had two regular secretaries throught the years- Betty Brant and Gloria "Glory" Grant. Any other secretary he's had has never lasted more than 1 issue.

As for Peter, he's had qite a number of girlfrinds through the years, including Betty Brant, Gwen Stacy, Chrissy Ironwood, Deb Whitman, Marcy Kane, Felicia Hardy(the Black Cat), and of course, his wife Mary Jane Watson.

From Safran-Can

I once read in a Usenet post of how Robbie had concerns about Mandy & Randy's relationship because Mandy was Jewish.

  1. Is this true?
  2. What issue(s) of which series would that concern have been shown in (I'd like to see for myself how it was handled).

Not really. Robbie was mostly concerned about Amanda being white. Being Jewish was just another straw.

The issue was Spectacular #117. It should be noted that Robbie is not biased, and really liked Mandy. His concern was mostly how her and Randy's kids (if they were to have any) would be treated by others. It should also be noted that Mandy was a total babe! Why would any guy in his right mind divorce her?

From Kennedy

For the past several weeks, I've been attempting to get back into "Spider-Man" by researching from the point I left off. My question: is there a website you know of dedicated specifically to the "Clone Saga" and its effect on Marvel? Any info you have would be greatly appreciated.

What a coincidence. See our recent news item - Reilly Rules at CBG.

From Oliver

Just read the looking back section regarding the Tablet saga and that is a good question about whether the Connors are supposed to know who Peter Parker is at this point. As far as I know, there was never a story where the Connors, or Curtis rather, met Peter before those Spectacular Spider-Man issues in the 1980s. Maybe there needs to be another "untold tale" to be told there. Other than that, I'm guessing Peter heard about that summer job through other science majors or something.

There is one interesting thing though according to the 1985 Spider-Man index series regarding another issue from that storyline - ASM #74 Vol. 1 "If This Be Bedlam". Here's the exact excerpt from the comments section in the entry for said issue: "In this story, Martha Connors believes Billy Connors does not know that his father is the Lizard, but this is a story error. Both Martha and Billy have known this since the Lizard first appeared, and each knows that the other knows." Thought you'd be interested in knowing that if you hadn't already.

Again, that thing about the Connors knowing Peter Parker during the Stan Lee era is a good question and does really need some research. Sorry that I couldn't help. If anyone out there knows, I'm sure the rest of us Spiderfans would like to know! Thanks!

According to the Marvel Chronology Project, Curt Connors' only appearances before Amazing #73 are in ASM #6, 32, 33, and 43-45.

Your information from the '85 Index series (about Martha knowing that Billy knows) is correct as a result of one panel only, as far as I can tell. In panel 4 of page 14 of ASM #6, Spidey sets off to find the Lizard. Billy and Martha stand together with Billy saying, "D-don't hurt him, Spider-Man! He's still... my father! Sob!" By the time the Lizard appears again in ASM #44, Martha is protecting Billy from the knowledge that his dad is the Lizard. So you could either say that Stan screwed up or you could say that Martha doesn't know Billy knows because she never listens to the kid and her mind sort of wandered and she was worried about Curt and, besides, she was trying to figure out what she wanted to eat for dinner... therefore she didn't hear Billy say that and she never caught on that Billy knows. That's the kind of answer that would get you a no-prize, at any rate.

As for the question of whether the Connors family should know Peter Parker at this point, I can't save Stan's bacon in the same way. All of Curt's appearances to this stage are meetings with Spider-Man only. I don't see any evidence in any of these stories that Curt should have the slightest clue that PP exists.

From Kennedy

I've read a lot of opinions concerning retcons and how they are generally considered bad policy (I'm thinking of the Jean Grey and numerous Spider-Man retcons.) What did you think of the Fantastic Four retcon from the '80's that established that Reed Richards in fact designed the rocket ship with the weak shielding to expose the crew to cosmic rays on purpose?

I have only a vague recollection of the FF story where Reed designed the rocket with a flaw. Was that in the late 80s? Somewhere around FF #300? I suppose my feeling about that retcon is that I chose to ignore it. As far as I'm concerned, Reed did not intentionally subject his crew to the cosmic rays. This sounds like one of those retcons where the writers overthought it.

In their attempts to update the stories, somebody probably said, "hey, wait a minute, Reed may have been ignorant enough to not properly shield his ship in 1962 but he wouldn't do that in 1980" or whatever. Therefore a retcon was deemed needed. (Though why all the writers and readers can't just say "yes, the FF was around in 1962 and Reed and Ben were in World War II and now it is 2001 and they are still in their 30s" is beyond me. What's wrong with that?)

Anyway, this is the kind of overthinking that brings about things like John Byrne's Spider-Man Chapter One where Peter had to receive a PC as a present and the burglar broke into the Parker home specifically to steal it. I chose to ignore that retcon, too.

From kewlguy

Some questions for the oracle...

  1. First, in Amazing #425, Spidey has an insulated suit on with a red emblem on his chest. Is that a spider symbol cause it looks like two diamonds or something.
  2. Second, in Unlimited #5, it says on the cover 'Who is the Steel Spider?' Is this the same Steel Spider that's in the Planet of the Symbiotes super special part 1?
  3. Finally, in Web of Spidey Annual #5, there's a solo adventure of Captain Universe. Is this the Cosmic Spidey-Captain Universe they're talking about?

And the answers are...

  1. C'mon man, it's like... Spider-Symbol-Of-The-Future! Get hip!
  2. Yes. That would be Ollie Osnick, who appeared first in Spectacular #72 and Amazing #263 and #266. He (or an alternate-future version) can also be seen currently in Spider-Girl #32.
  3. No, this is a different recipient of the Captain Universe powers.