Letters : Spider-Oracle : 2003 : Spider-Oracle Petitions 01/05/2003

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The wise one answers all your Spider-Questions.

From Jack

I have a run of "Marvel Tales" issues #159 to 177, and I'm curious as to how much 'altering' was done to the original covers or more specifically if it's Steve Ditko's original art on the "Tales covers" touched up or someone aping his style. I've looked over cover scans of the originals & reprints and I'm just not quite sure?!?

Those are all pure Ditko art, Jack, though there is some recoloring done. Also, some covers were "flipped" left-to-right in order to not have the UPC box conceal anything (which artists didn't have to worry about back in the sixties).

From Mr. Monkey

im suppost to do an s.a for english, but cant find the answer to one important question. Can you tell me who started marvel? I have checked everywhere including marvel.com but couldn't find the answer.

The classic reference for early Marvel history is "MARVEL: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics", by Les Daniels. Like so many books, it has an introduction by Stan Lee, who some believe founded Marvel.

But no, long before then, Martin Goodman and Louis Silberkleit formed Western Fiction Publishing, which produced cowboy magazines, and detective pulp fiction. Louis left, and became a partner of MLJ, which published Archie comics. Martin stuck with WFP, which created Ka-Zar in 1936, and Marvel Science Stories in 1938, featuring sci-fi tales. In 1939, he started a series entitled "Marvel Comics", which spawned Captain America, The Human Torch, and Submariner. Naturally, given the times, they all ended up battling the Nazi Menace.

Marvel didn't become "Marvel" until the 40s. So I guess your answer is "Martin Goodman", really. Hope that helped!

From LazyGuy

In Ultimate Spider-Man #39, Peter talks to Doctor Curt Connors, and yet again, somebody else discovers Spidey's Identity. There is a flashback pannel, in which Connors remembers (despite heavy alchoholism) that Spider-Man had helped him in his time of need. Then they cut to a picture of Spider-Man being attacked by what is clear to the Ultimate Lizard. Where does this come from? When was the Ultimate Lizard actually used (if at all)? Just... what's up with that?

Lots of Ultimate Spidey readers were confused by that, LG. You see, Ultimate Spidey met the Ultimate Lizard in ULTIMATE MARVEL TEAM-UP # 10. Apparently, alot of readers don't realize that it's the same Spidey in both books. And I grant you, despite them both being written by the same guy, they do seem like *very* different books.

From Sean

I need help, as I can't find an old issue I had, when I was a child(mid 70's). spiderman had lost his memory, and was sitting on a building, using his web to snag a sandwich, even! I always loved the artists style of drawing, and can't find which issue this might be. since it was in the mid 70's, it should be easy, right? ha! anyway, I don't remember who the villain is(at first I thought I remembered silver samurai, then thought maybe it was kraven? who knows...)

You *forgot* the amnesia issue?!? O bitter irony. To help you out, Sean, it's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 57. You can find it reprinted in either KA-ZAR vol. 1 # 3 (yes, I said Ka-Zar) or in Essential Spider-Man 3.

From Webs

Hi Oracle

  1. Where is Norman Osborn right now????
  2. Who is your favorite spidey villian?
  3. Is May (Peter's baby) dead???
  4. Is the Gwen clone dead?
  5. What other clones are still at large?
  6. What ever happened to Morbius, The Hobgoblin, The Lizard, The Scorpion and The Spot (not counting that stupid "Heartbreakers"storyline from Tangled Web)?
  7. Was there really a Carl King (the thousand) character in the original spidey comics of the 60's?

that's all. thanks for the insight so far...

Hiya, Webs! Here's some fresh, new insight for you.

  1. Last seen sitting at his office desk, with a gun and a pizza.
  2. Chameleon.
  3. It was purposfully left vague. She was either stillborn, or is currently in Kaine's custody. And of course, you can read about her (in the future MU) in her own fantastic title SPIDER-GIRL.
  4. Nope. She's still out there.
  5. Kaine and Miles Warren.
  6. Limbo. Retired. Recently appeared in QUALITY OF LIFE. Recently appeared in PP:SM. TW is it for Spot, he dead.
  7. No, he first appeared in TANGLED WEB #1. But in that issue he was revealed to have been one of Peter's classmates, and it turns out he was "behind-the-scenes" in Amazing Fantasy # 15.

From Naqu


  1. In Amazing 122 (impaled Green Goblin) who was the man standing in the shadows at the end of the story?
  2. What was the point in MJ's stalker being in the shadows all the time, if he wasn't going to turn out to be a character we knew, the fact that he was in the shadows suggests that the writers wanted to conceal his identity. All that build up for nothing.
  3. Clone Saga aside, the Ben Reilly costume was better then the current, dated costume. Like what they did with Batman it's different while still staying true to the original design. It's about time they changed the design and kept it changed, i mean how thin are his web shooters.
  4. I'm assuming the sales on Peter Parker: Spiderman are ok. Why are they getting rid it replacing it with Spectacular. I can never understand why there are so many Batman and X-Men titles and only a few Spiderman titles.
  5. Do you think that some of story arcs in Ultimate Spiderman are spread across too many issues, the second Goblin arc for example.
  6. I know you've been asked this before but, could you give me the HTML code for the quizzes on your site, thanks.


  1. It was revealed to be Harry Osborn (thus leding up to him becoming the Green Goblin himself).
  2. The truth is, even the creative team at the time didn't know who "the stalker" was going to end up being. How's that for planning ahead?
  3. I think if you asked every Spidey-fan, most would say they prefer the original costume.
  4. It's to give the creative team of Jenkins and Ramos a #1 issue.
  5. Actually, yes. But hey, it makes for a good trade paperback.
  6. You don't need to ask us! Just go to any quiz page, e.g. our Quick Quiz on Dr Octopus and choose "View Source" from the menu in your web browser. You'll see all the HTML, including the JavaScript that makes it all work.

From Brian

hey spider oracle, i was wondering if you could clue me in on how the current continuity fits together. how come the green goblin and flash's accident are not involved in in AMZ and how come mary jane isnt in PPSP? how does this all fit together? does one take place before/after the other??

Hey there, Brian. The Spider-Man in AMAZING, is of course the same Spider-Man that is in PP:SM, so the stories all have to fit together some way, even if you have to kind of squint your eyes and tilt your head a bit.

Basically, the Flash subplot is a Paul Jenkins idea, so it's his story to control in PP:SM (soon to be SPECTACULAR), while JMS was given the job of putting back the Pete/MJ relationship in his book ASM. They'll referece each other if the story warrants it.

Although there are still a couple issues left of PP:SM to be released, I'm guessing it's safe to say that all of the PP:SM issues take place before ASM # 50.

From Zach

Would you by any chance be able to tell me exactly where Peter Parker got bit by the spider in the first place. If it isn't much to ask i kinda wanted to know Where he was (at high school or a university etc.) and what class he was in (seminare or during a lecture etc.). If you were to take the time to answer my questionsin a reply by e-mail I would appreciate it sooooo much.

Easy. He was attending a public exhibition demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear waste materials sponsored by the General Techtronics Corporation. It was after school.

From Ats

Two questions:

  1. Do any TV channels show the 60s cartoon?
  2. Did Stan Lee and Steve Ditko get along?

Two answers:

  1. It's hard to say, Mr. Ats. There are thousands of local TV stations, making it far too many to check, but none of the big networks, or big cable-channels like Cartoon Network regularly show it. Your best bet is to hope for it to come out on DVD someday.
  2. The story goes that a disagreement over the Green Goblin's real identity caused Steve to leave ASM after #38 way back in the sixties. It must have been a doozy of an argument, 'cause Steve Ditko has never drawn Spider-Man again, to this day.

Apparently, there has also been a bit of discontentment over the years over Spider-Man's sometimes being referred to as being "created by Stan Lee", without mention of Steve's equal role.

Nowadays, Stan and Marvel both give Steve equal credit. But it does seem as though Steve still carries a bit of a grudge. He is a very reclusive person, and has a reputation for being rather "eccentric" at times. I heard a story that Stan attempted to make things up with Steve, but was rebuffed.

From Eric

I hope you can help me. I am looking everywhere to find that information. I can't find it anywhere. Ok I know about most of his abilities. I read in a book that he can lift 10 tons, jump has wide has a highway, jump has high has a three floor building. He has the reflexes like 40 people. Spider sense and wall crawling. The only thing I don't know is how fast can he run? I need a proof on a web site or something. I can approximate but I would really rather see it somewhere. Would you know how fast he can run? I really would appreciate it if you tell me.

On a good day, Spidey can keep neck-and-neck with medal-winning Olympic runners, but his running ability isn't in the "superhuman" range.

From SlaqJak

Conan Obrien recently appeared in a Spider-Man comic. Do you know which one?

Conan? I don't think so, Slaq. Perhaps you're thinking of Jay Leno in the SWEET CHARITY one-shot and the Spidey/Leno back-up stories?

From James

my question is when spiderman changed costumes (from original to black) in the eighties wasnt there a huge degree of condemnation from fans?? and wasnt there a HUGE fan poll to get the original costume back??

Well, I can't recall any single fan poll which caused the return, but there was an outcry. One story also says that Todd McFarlane insisted on drawing Spidey in his classic red-and-blues.

From Neil

So, i just bought me some Essential Spiderman books, and was muchly surprised when i read that STAN told the READER, with great power, comes great responsability, yet EVERYONE accepts the ben tell peter this. I am just wondering if u know why it has gone down in folk lore as this is the case.

That's a very good question, Neil. Pete learned for himself in AMAZING FANTASY #15 that "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility". But at some point through the years, it's changed into something that was taught to him by Uncle Ben (as seen in the recent movie)

I don't know when this first occured. The earliest I remember seeing it is SPIDER-MAN VS. WOLVERINE #1 from 1987. Do any of you PPP readers recall an earlier instance of this Uncle Ben shoe-horning?