Letters : Spider-Oracle : 2010 : Spider-Oracle Petitions 19/01/2010

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From Kelly

Any idea who distributed mini books (3in by 5 in) on 1 side is spiderman and wolverine, the other is jubilee and spiderman. The covers say that there are #1 and # 2 of a series.

You are referring to the first two mini-comics from Drakes Cakes (Set 1). They are from 1993, and there were four in the first set. The second set consisted of five comics. Here is the details for #1:

Drakes Cakes (Set 1) #1
Year 1993 : NM ($5.00) : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man & Jubilee (Miniature)
Editor:  Glenn Herdling
Writer:  Eric Fein
Pencils:  Jim Craig
Inker:  Dan Day, David Day
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From Carlo

Hii there I'm a U.K student and I'm thinking of doing an assignment on spider-man's superhero persona in comic books, one part of the assignment I wanted to relate spider-man comics reflected issues in our society and how it effects his character. So my question to you guys is are there special issued comics that reflect our society in them, I've already got the 9/11 and Obama comics any more?

Certainly. Many writers have tackled aspects of "social" issues in Spider-Man comic books at various times, with varying degrees of success.

To mention a representative sample, you might consider NCPCA - Spider-Man & Power-Pack (a sponsored "child abuse" promotional comic). This was the first of a dozen or so "social issues" comics which promoted awareness of social issues such as domestic violence, drugs, smoking, alcohol and more. You can find them all in our Spider-Man Promo Comics Section (which also includes commercially-sponsored Spidey comics produced for the less worthy purpose of just "helping to selling stuff").

On the subject of tobacco, Mary Jane took up smoking for a while, before quitting in Amazing Spider-Man #385, when Peter took her to see Nick Katzenberg in hospital, as he lay dying of lung cancer. And while we're talking about disease, in Spider-Man Unlimited #3 Dr. Octopus tries to cure Aids in order to save his girlfriend.

If we head back to the beginning of Marvel social issues, in 1971 Marvel famously broke new ground by writing a story in which Harry Osborn became addicted to psychedelic drugs. This was in Amazing Spider-Man #96-98, the first comics of their generation to publish without the approval of the Comic Code Authority.

But those are just the tip of the socio-literary iceberg. Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #120 dealt with gang-enforced neighborhood gentrification. Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #137-138 related to immigration. Web of Spider-Man #49 dealt with drugs and drug dealers.

Web of Spider-Man #56-57 featuring the villain Skinhead was a story about racism, albeit in a rather clumsy and heavy-handed fashion. An ongoing theme in stories by Gerry Conway in Spectacular Spider-Man and Web of Spider-Man dealt with Anorexia via Mary Jane's cousin, Kristy. She later overcame this and babysat Normie Osborn for a while before going into character limbo.

Both Spectacular Spider-Man #71 and Spider-Man #27-28 deal with the harm caused by ready access to guns. Another honorary "guns" mention would be Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #31, with kids using guns at school, though it arises only towards the end of the story. Also related to guns, in Peter David's Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #110, Ernie Popchik (an elderly boarder at Aunt May's house) shoots three teenagers after earlier being a victim of crime.

After the Clone Saga, Flash Thompson got drunk frequently and eventually went to Alcoholics Anonymous while also working for Norman Osborn. And let's wrap up with one last Flash Thompson story. In the recent Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #574, we learn how Flash became a cripple while fighting in Iraq.

I'm certain you will find something in there which suits your purposes.

From Matthew

I started a thread in CBR reading spider-man from the beginning. I frequently advice websites like this to get more info and I have to say that your work is very good! I saw that in your review on issue #31 you say "First appearance of Professor Warren", though there is a professor Warren, if I remember right, in the issue that Spider-Man fights the living brain. I think that obviously they are not the same, but it is strange that they have the same name.

It's not so strange that they have the same name. Comic creators weren't all that concerned with continuity details back then. It's nearly certain that the name persisted in Stan's head from using it in previous issues when he named Professor Warren in Amazing Spider-Man #31. He may have even thought of them as the same person.

It probably never occurred to him to worry about the fact that one was a high school teacher and one was a university professor. Perhaps it was the fans who initially distinguished between the two, calling the high school teacher "Mr. Warren" and the ESU teacher "Professor Warren" but Kurt Busiek finally produced the explanation in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #25 when he had Mr. Warren introduce Peter Parker to his brother Professor Miles Warren.

In Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, Mr. Ray (a recently assigned official first name) Warren tells Principal Andrew (another new official name) Davis that he wants to recommend Peter for a scholarship, but Empire State University and his brother Professor Miles Warren are not mentioned until Untold Tales as referenced.

From Tyler

So, this question may be a pretty obvious plot hole, but I am hoping there was an explanation for it somewhere. Do you remember when just before the Clone Saga came out, Ben Reilly was creeping around the Spider-books, making various appearances? It was during this time period that he also made calls to Aunt May. Well, a couple of panels depict him wearing a Midtown High School Class ring. How is this possible? Where would he possibly get that ring? It doesn't really make sense to me. This inconsistency is also repeated in the new Clone Saga min-series. I just don't understand how he would get a ring like that. Ebay? So, my question is, do they ever explain how it is possible that he would have this ring?

There are a couple of reasonable explanations here. In the backup story of Amazing Spider-Man #400, Ben goes to the Parker household and takes "the few things he needs". This includes some clothes and some cash. It isn't shown that he took the ring, but perhaps he grabbed it while he was there.

Alternatively, perhaps Professor Warren (aka The Jackal) fabricated the ring, in the same way that he duplicated the costume and the web-shooters. As a meticulous villain, he would care about these little details. Either scenario covers the case quite neatly, I would suggest.

From Enrique

A friend of mine sent me the image in the link and I don't remember in what story we saw this. I can tell it's Romita Jr's art, and that the girl is NOT MJ.

The picture is from Amazing Spider-Man #502. The girl is actually Mary-Jane Watson. Her red hair is muted by the moonlight, which may have confused you. Peter is lying awake because he has drunk too much coffee.

From Gal

I'm a small-time original art collector, and I was curious if you could help me out with identification of certain set's artists?

I've seen a complete listing of The Amazing Spider-Man, 1st Edition Fleer - 1994. While it's know that all cards were pencilled by Mark Bagley - there's no listing here for his inkers/finishers.

I'm looking to identify the inker for the specific sheet including Cloak and Dagger (card 78) and the whole sheet looks to have a very different finish touch than Bagley's "regular" inkers.

Any info regarding the inkers of the set and the inker of this specific sheet, would be most welcome.

Ah, there are some things that the Gods would not have known to mortals, and the details you ask of are very much in that category. I am not aware of anybody who tracks these kinds of details. An attempt to guess the inker by looking at the artwork is a bit of a long shot even by Spider-Oracle standards.

If you really need to know, I suggest you track down Mark himself and see if he remembers who he worked with. Either figure out what comic conventions he is attending this year, or else send him paper mail c/- Marvel. Physical mail always impresses people that you're serious.

From Bill

Can you tell me specifically which music libraries were used for the Spiderman show of the 60's?

I know the Ray Ellis cues/scores were used for season #1, and KPM music library from England with the studio composers were used for seasons #2 and #3, but there was still other music cues used not from those sources, and I would like to know which stock music or library was used in addition to the sources I mentioned.

What is this? Did the United Nations declare this "International stump-the-Oracle Week" and I didn't hear about it?

Doesn't anybody have questions about Spider-Man comics? The Spider-Oracle knows a great deal about Spider-Man comics. Concerning 1960's TV background music libraries, not so much.

From Mark

can you tell me how many hard covers are out there.also tpb collected.

How many hard Covers? Well, at least you're on topic here, though you certainly win the prize for "most vague question of the month".

I presume you mean "Spider-Man Hardbacks". Are you including hardback novels? What about Spider-Man art collections? Or do you mean reprints only? Are you including second printings? What about guest appearances? Spin-off Appearances? Does that include UK Annuals?

Anyhow the number is changing all the time, and my acolytes don't make a particular effort to keep absolutely up to date with reprints here at Spider-Fan. Suffice to say... LOTS. Dozens of hardbacks, and hundreds of TPB. You can just Search for TPB in our Comics Database.

If you intending to purchase Spider-Man in hardback or TPB, then twice in the last year, Marvel has produced a catalog of their currently in TPB and Hardback offerings. They first was Marvel Reading Chronology 2009, and later Son of Marvel Reading Chronology 2009. Both of these were free giveaways from comic shops. Go find your local comic shop and see if they have any left over.