Letters : Staff : 2007 : To the Staff 08/08/2007

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Date: Aug 8, 2007
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From justjka

In one of your Letters to the Editor, you claim "Peter David finished the job in the pages of FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD." Peter David brought Flash Thompson out of a coma, taking him out of character limbo. The character is then revealed to have amnesia, and remembers Peter only from their teenage. This serves as a contrast to what Peter remembers, as Flash was his friend but now treats him the same way he did before. Also, after his identity is revealed, Flash is in disbelief because he only knows him as Puny Parker. PAD did not transform Flash into a jerk, rather he brought him back as the old Flash in order to serve as a contrast in how much has changed in Peter's life.

I can only speculate as to David's motives for resuscitating (literally) the old Flash into the pages of FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD. Frankly I'm not interested in them, either. Regardless of his intention, he succeeded in undoing decades of effort on the part of other writers to give Flash a personality with depth and complexity. In David's hands, Flash went from a three-dimensional character to a two-dimensional one: a character who is thoroughly obnoxious and painful to read, to boot.

I've admired David's work in the past, but his run on FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD earns nothing but condemnation from me, I'm afraid. There's the confusing Uncle-Ben-doppelganger arc, the bloody and grotesque murder of the book's comic foil (Principal Whasshisname); his hand in the mess that was "The Other"; and so it goes. Of all these offenses against good writing, the recasting of Flash Thompson as a brain-damaged, aggressive bully without any redeeming qualities was the worst of the worst.

From ste.oneill

who do you think was the worst villian of the 1990s animated spiderman show, also if you had to choose the villians for spiderman 4 who would it be

I think the worst villain of the 1990's animated Spider-Man show was the Rocket Racer. That whole episode was rubbish, I thought.

I think the villain for Spider-Man 4 should be The Lizard. He's long overdue getting the big screen treatment. They've already introduced Curt Connors. The Lizard is a natural progression.

From gamefan06

Why can't Marvel find any good Spider-Man writers these days? First we have Howard Mackie, who is replaced by a writer who is just as bad, if not worse. The very first thing Straczynski did when he started writing Amazing was change Spidey's origin to mystical voodoo crap. Since then he has burned down the Parker home, gave Spider-Man new powers, new costumes, turned Gwen Stacy into a hoar [sic], turned Flash back into a jerk, put Aunt May in a coma, and a bunch of other things that make me want to puke.

I admit I don't know how things work at Marvel, maybe Straczynski isn't completely to blame, but it seems the only thing he's good with is humor. I just can't believe the guy has actually won awards, I'd like to give an award for Best At Ruining Franchise, a.k.a "BARF" I'm just waiting for someone to replace Straczynski and retcon these horrible, horrible, deeds. I don't suppose there is any word of him leaving yet? How much longer can he possibly last?

Come on, gamefan06, tell us how you really feel.

I can't say I've enjoyed J. Michael Straczynski's work on AMAZING, which is why I stopped collecting it early in his run. But in fairness to him, I'll point out that:

* JMS' work on the CIVIL WAR build-up and tie-ins was superb, easily exceeding in quality his earlier and later work on AMAZING, the other CIVIL WAR tie-in books, and the CIVIL WAR book itself;

* Many of the elements you cite in your denunciation (the Parkers moving into Stark Tower, Aunt May in a coma, etc.) were presumably forced on JMS by Marvel editorial, and he was forced to work with them; and

* Flash's transformation from a character with depth and complexity into a two- dimensional jerk had nothing to do with JMS. Howard Mackie started the ball rolling and Peter David finished the job in the pages of FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Soon we won't have JMS to kick around anymore! There's a roll-over of creative teams on all three Spider-books coming in the very near future. Fans of JMS will be able to follow him over to THOR as he presides over the re- launch of that character. The first order of business, it seems, is deep- sixing Thor's dorky old costume and giving him something a Viking warrior wouldn't be embarrassed to wear in public. Huzzah!