Letters : Spider-Oracle : 2001 : Spider-Oracle Petitions 01/10/2001

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The wise one answers all your Spider-Questions.

From Alexandre

Hi,my name is Alexandre and I am probably spider-man's biggest fan!!!!!!!!

I collect spider-man comic books and the action figures.My question is about comic books:I find it strange that some of the spider-man comic books have a little spider-man head on the lower left corner,for example:Spectacular spider-man #55.I own this comic book but mine does not have the spider-man head and on your website it does,does this mean it is fake,a reprint,etc.I would like to,if you have time for you to answer my question.

Hi Alex! Your question is one that a lot of collectors wonder about. Here's the answer: The cash registers that are used today at grocery stores and convenience stores work by scanning a bar code (those groupings of thick and thin black lines). In order to let these stores scan comics quickly, the comics were given bar codes around 25 or so years ago. But for comic book specialty stores, they usually ring up every comic by hand, so comics sold at comic stores don't need a bar code. But that little box on the bottom left corner has already been set aside, so the comic people decided that, since it was there, they would put different pictures in the box. Sometimes a Spidey head, sometimes a Captain America head, and others.

So all that bar code on your SPECTACULAR # 55 means is that it was not purchased at a comic book store. But it's just as real and valuable as one with a Spidey head.

From Mackie

Has anyone ever figured out the answer to the no-prize question oferred in Annual 10, with the Fly, in which Spider-Man accuses the Fly of killing Farley Stillwell, although it's not clear how he knew that Deacon did it?

Let's see what Spidey DID know...

  1. He knew the Fly was Deacon (Kidnapper from earlier) by recognizing his voice (pg 35) he also knew Deacon was shot and fell into the river. (pg 18)
  2. He overheard the Fly say "the man YOU created me to destroy, etc." Spidey now knows Jonah was involved with the creation of the Fly, even mentioning he had done this before. (pg 39) Spidey knew that Jonah and Farley Stilwell (deceased) were previously responsible for creating the Scorpion to tackle him. (ASM #20)
  3. He knew Jonah left the office in a big hurry to go somewhere (Jonah was meeting Harley Stilwell but Spidey didnt know that) (pg 26)
  4. He also overheard Jonah accuse the Fly of being a 'filthy killer' (pg 42)

And now let's see what Spidey can PRESUME.

  1. Since Spidey ran into Deacon earlier, Deacon had no powers, so he must have deduced that Deacon got his powers very recently, in-between the time Deacon fell into the river and the first time he saw the Fly.
  2. When Jonah left the office, he could only guess he was going to wherever the Fly was created, since he was obviously captured by the Fly.
  3. If Spidey thinks Jonah is telling the truth about the Fly being a killer, Spidey knows the Fly killed someone, and based on the past, Jonah would have contracted Farley Stilwell to create the Fly, but since Farley is dead, he could only guess Jonah went to Farley's brother, Harley Stilwell.

So, he can reasonably assume that the Fly killed someone, and that person was most likely the Fly's creator. But what is not clear is how Spidey even knew the existence of a Dr. Harley Stilwell.

Perhaps another reader can shed some additional light on this?

From Issyhere

Do you know if marvel is planning on re-releasing the marvel masterworks series? They seem like the best way to get a run of Amazing Spider-Man in full colour. I've already looked at your comics reprint catalogue, but do you particularly recommend any of the reprint series such as essential?

Check out the latest issue of Diamond's Previews catalogue.p. 182. The first Amazing Spider-Man Masterworks book is being reprinted "on sale January 23". (The same Previews has a reprint of Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1 on p. 183, "On sale February 6".)

As for any recommendations of reprints... I'd say go for any relatively cheap copies. The early Marvel Tales have gotten to be expensive just in themselves. So, look for things like "Classic Spider-Man", "Spider-Man Megazine", "Essential" (even though they're in black and white), the Signet Spider-Man books or the later Marvel Tales that started reprinting again from Amazing Fantasy #15.

The prices start to drop in the early Marvel Tales around the time the comic goes from a double-size 25 center to a regular size book. At that point, the reprints are up around Amazing #50 and continue on from there. If you haven't read all of the first 100 issues of Spidey (plus Annuals and Spectaculars), definitely look for these reprints. They are well worth your interest.

From Jonathan

I always thought that venom was created when Cletus Kasady was broken out of jail by his symbiote, and some of it was left behind and bonded with eddie brock. Your venom page says he bonded with it at a church before attempting suicide. Have you heard the version i always thought of? Which one is right?

Venom (Eddie Brock) was created at the church (as seen in flashback in ASM # 300). It was Carnage (Cletus Cassidy) who was created in ASM # 345 when Venom broke out of jail.

From John

Dude, I've been looking for 3 wks. in Wizard, Overstreet, & lotsa other places to find the Spiderman TITLES & ISSUE #S of when Ben & Peter discover that Ben's the true clone. I know that he dies in Spidy #75, but I can't find this other story. Think you can help ? Much appreciated, thanks.

In SPECTACULAR #226, Seward helped Ben and Pete with some tests that showed that *Peter* was the clone.

About a year later in SPIDER-MAN #75, Norman told Peter that *Ben* was the clone. When Ben died later that issue, he degenerated, proving that he was indeed the clone (although being a "perfect" clone he was not supposed to degenerate, but I digress).

From MetalGoldKnight

I have a few questions:

  1. I'm confused about all the loose ends from Final Chapter. What happened to Jack O' Lantern, Conundrum, Kaine, the Molten Man, Baby May, Aura, and the mystery man helping Robbie Robertson in ASM 434? And how did Norman Osborn return from being completly insane to only as insane as he was before the Gathering of Five?
  2. How did Carnage get out of the energy shell the Silver Surfer put him in?
  3. You're bios section is wrong, it says Big Wheel is dead. He is still alive, check out the new Spider-Man game Mysterio's Menace to see for yourself.

Question 1:

Jack O'Lantern - See the recent MYSTERIO MANIFESTO limited series.

Conundrum - Has not been seen since.

Kaine - Has not been seen since.

Molten Man - since he was being mind-controlled, he presumably went back to living his normal life.

Baby May - either A. was stillborn, or B. is in the custody of Kaine. However, May continues to be seen in a possible future each month in the excellent series SPIDER-GIRL.

Aura - Has not been seen since.

Mystery Man - do you mean Alison Mongrain? She died.

Norman Osborn - THE REVENGE OF THE GREEN GOBLIN mini-series shows that he takes a special drug to ward off the insanity.

Question 2:

That has never been revealed.

Question 3:

Video Games don't count in continunity, otherwise we'd have to list Spidey as "deceased" evert time I played the game!

From Celia

Can you tell me if there was a Spider-Man comic book that involved a Star Wars plot with some of the characters from Star Wars? What was it called, when published, vol#, etc.

Our Spidey Super Stories specialist submits the subsequent succinct synopsis.

The classic Spidey Super Stories 31 features a full-length Star Wars parody, starring Spidey as Luke. It was published in Feb 1978, making it one of the earliest comic book parodies of star wars. It also has Moondragon as Leia, and Dr. Doom as Darth Vader. The cover is a parody of the original Star Wars movie poster.



SIR YES SIR! THE ISSUE YOU.... I mean, the issue you are looking for is Amazing Spider-Man #143. It was reprinted in Marvel Tales #120 and the CLONE CENESIS TPB.

From Donald Smith

Perhaps you can help. I am translating a french novel - Jean-Patrick MANCHETTE's crime novel LE PETIT BLEU DE LA COTE OUEST. (Paris: Gallimard, Serie Noire, 1976, p. 99), which contains the following section (translated into English):


From the floor of the Lancia he retrieved an old issue of Spiderman (not to be confused with The Spider, whose adventures appear in Strange magazine). He had brightened at this, returned to the grave, opened the comic book, and begun with great solemnity to read the text which introduces every Spiderman adventure, and which never varies:

"Before becoming a righter of wrongs and a pitiless meter-out of justice, Spiderman reigned for years over the underworld of the USA as a veritable emperor of crime. Spiderman himself perfected a fabulous armamentarium that allows him to hold any criminal gang at bay. Spiderman also enlisted the services of two scientific geniuses, Professor Pelham and Professor Erichstein. So he has technical resources at his disposal that the ordinary human brain can barely imagine."


Did the original author invent this text, or did he translate from some original English language text. I get the impression that this text used to appear in a Spiderman comic that came out in the seventies (ar least) in the UK - POSSIBLY published by Marvel/UK, with different artist/writers from the the US edition. Is that possible?

Any help or advice you may be able to give on this will be very much appreciated. And once again, anyone who helps me with this problem will receive a free copy of the translation of the book when it appears!

Whew. That sure doesn't sound like any Spider-Man that I know. It's unlikely that anybody other than Marvel would have produced a Spider-Man comic, and it's equally as unlikely that Marvel would have completely reinvented Spider-Man without me having heard of it.

The Spider-Man that I know was never a crimelord, never possessed an 'arboretum', or whatever, and never had any scientists at his beck and call. He scarcely had enough resources to ride the subway, let along conquer the underworld.

Sorry, but I suspect that M. Manchette either took great creative licence, or else he became confused, and this reference actually refers to "The Spider", and not "Spider-Man".

There was a 70's UK character called "Spider", who was also known as the XXY man, because he actually posessed three chromosomes (Klinefelter Syndrome). I remember seeing a television series about him, and I believe I owned a novelised adaptation of one episode. I don't recall a comic, and I don't recall any US links.

Perhaps one of our readers can help?

From fsbts1

I'm looking for information on Secret Hospital for a fanfic I'm doing. Specifically, how fleshed out were the cast and crew, and was the premise ever detailed, or even summed-up? I need to know who the characters involved in it are, or were.

Well there's a blast from the past. Secret Hospital, a popular TV soap in which Mary-Jane worked for a number of episodes, nearly having an affair with one of her fellow cast members in the process.

As I recall, there was very little in the way of detail about other cast members, or plots. Your best option would be to purchase the issues of Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) from the late 150's and early 160's, which shouldn't cost you more than three or four dollars each. Any information which is available will be in those stories.

Essentially, the Secret Hospital show was a tongue-in-cheek take-off of the equivalent real-world TV soap. Bitchy nurses, smooth-talking doctors, lots of secret affairs, and a mis-match of malaprised medical murmurings. Why should Gerry Conway have bothered providing detail, we can all imagine it perfectly well anyhow.

From trendkiller90

i have been looking for a marvel board game i think it was like d&d i was hoping that you could help me get some info or tell me if i was dream'n and if it is true where can i get it because me and my friends think it would be a blast to play.

It was called "Champions". You can find a page full of links here at DMOZ. I also hear that Marvel are bringing out a new role playing game, but I'm sure you will find more information about that at some of those sites.