Credit Where Credit's Due

A recent email from a Spider-Fan asked an interesting question - Who (if anybody) will receive an on-screen creator credit for Spider-Man in the soon-to-be released movie. I had to admit that I didn't know.

The reason he asked is that the recent X-Men movie dodged the somewhat complicated issue by omitting creator credits altogether. Of course, the X-Men as featured in the film were a rather chequered compilation of various eras and X-teams. You would have to figure that Spider-Man was a bit more clear-cut.

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko started it all off, of course. Stan Lee has always received much of the glory, but that's more a matter of his personality, and his later senior positions at Marvel.

But there are others who have certainly played their part. Brian Michael Bendis has certainly put Spider-Man back on the map with Ultimate Spider-Man. Kirby drew the first picture of Spider-Man that most people saw at the time... the front cover. Should either of them get a mention? But then JMS and Paul Jenkins have lead the prodigal son back from the wilderness in the regular continuity. Todd McFarlane did the same thing ten years ago.

There's more. Peter David gave him an edge, Fred Hembeck took it off again. Romita (Sr) gave us the picture of loveliness that is Mary-Jane (Mackie took her away, but let's not talk about him, or Kavanagh). Frenz, Buscema, Andru, Bagley, Byrne, Conway, Thomas, Romita Jr... plus the editors and inkers like Fingeroth, Esposito, Giacoia, Hanna, Mantlo, Milgrom, Michelinie, Mooney, Romata Jr, Salicrup, Wein and Wolfman... all those guys did their stuff on over a hundred issues each... and contributed in no small way to the Spider-Man we know today.

It would be impossible to credit them all. So, Andrew and I say that Sony should keep it short and sweet, and flash up the immortal words - "Based on the Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko"... after all, credit where credit's due, eh?