Marvel writer Dan Slott has a reputation for weird behavior online. There was the time he stalked The Main Event. There was the time he searched out a random woman to troll on Twitter and made jokes about the quality of her life. He has now taken it to the next level. Dan Slott is simultaneously stalking Twitter accounts he has blocked while telling his fans that the people he is stalking are “crazy.” The Amazing Spider-Man writer cannot get me out of his head, which is why this tweet went up yesterday after my review of Renew Your Vows was posted. Dan Slott RYV TweetHere is what Mr. Slott did: Even though he has blocked my account and the account of Twitter user “Doctor Bizarre,” he obviously found Bizarre’s link to my review and concluded that we are, in fact, the same person. The implication is that I am so “crazy” that I start dummy accounts for the sole purpose of “hating” Dan Slott — even though my ASM reviews stick almost exclusively to his fundamental misunderstanding of Peter Parker as a character.

Where are the Dan Slott fat jokes? Where are the Dan Slott Danny Devito jokes? That’s right — they don’t exist in my writing because I don’t “hate” anyone. And if I were inclined to create dummy accounts, then it would be because Twitter recently blocked me after I complained it did nothing (yes, nothing) to the Islamic radical apologist who threatened to kill me.

Sadly, Dan Slott can not separate in his mind the difference between criticizing a man’s creative work and criticism of the man.

Here is the truth: Years ago I was struggling to make ends meet while trying to get my career started in Washington, D.C. I was contacted, in many ways out of the blue, by a man who runs a website called “Molotov Softball: Weird News for Weirder Times.” This man said he liked my work and offered to pay me just for allowing him to link to my blog. I jokingly asked him if he was Rumpelstiltskin or a guardian angel. (I never got a straight answer, so he may come knocking for a child one day.)

Long story short, this man eventually asked me if I had any creative friends who would be willing to write “weird” pieces under the pen name “Doctor Bizarre.” Those pieces would supplement another writer, whose pen name is Penny Franklin. Molotov Softball got a new contributor soon afterward.

Is Doctor Bizarre an old Army buddy or relative of mine? Am I Doctor Bizarre? Is he really my mysterious benefactor (who I still haven’t met in person and have no idea what he looks like — although his checks always clear)? I wish I could tell you, but the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter because Dan Slott is the one acting like a crazy person. Again: he blocks people on Twitter, stalks them, and then makes things up to his Twitter followers to gain praise and sympathy.

“Hate”? Where is the hate? Look through Doctor Bizarre’s Twitter feed or read his blog and find any posts that are personally directed at Dan Slott. You will not find them because they do not exist. The blog contains zero references to Dan Slott — again, zero — and the Twitter feed randomly shares links my work here — never personal opinions or “hate.” Dan Slott acts like a troubled man and makes up “hate” out of thin air to receive retweets and “favorites” on his Twitter account.

Molotov SoftballI have seen Dan Slott use the same tactic on different comic websites. If a user is banned and he suspects someone else of being that banned individual, he will relentlessly harp on the point. Why? Because all he has are personal attacks. He will call people like me “crazy” from afar so his minions lick his ego-wounds, but he won’t come here and actually debate my work on the merits. The few times he did engage me on different websites, he intellectually got his clock cleaned and had to beg the moderator to shut everything down. Ask him about the time he deleted an epic YouTube conversation because he looked like a raving lunatic.

Now, since I’m tired of Dan Slott acting like anyone who goes by a pseudonym online needs to be “exposed” by thin-skinned Marvel writers, I will explain why this is an utterly moronic move on his part. I will use my own life as an example. I encourage regular readers who go by an alias to add their two cents in the comments section.

I currently work for a newspaper.

Air Force national defense TWTMy writing is seen by many people. People associate me, for the most part, with work on national security matters. If there is a breaking story on the Islamic State group, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, or cool military technology, then there is a good chance that I am writing on it. Do I want to mix tweets on Dan Slott’s Renew Your Vows in with my work on Sunni radical terrorist groups? No. I do not. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that sometimes there needs to be a line of demarcation between an individual’s personal and professional life.

Since I’m assuming that makes sense to the vast majority of readers, I will now move on to exposing Dan Slott’s utter hypocrisy for all the world to see. Dan Slott Twitter BlockHow interesting is it that Dan Slott likens Twitter to “talking outside,” but yet he seeks to keep his own conversations private from anyone who is inclined to call him out on his “BS”? Again, I cannot stress this enough: Dan Slott blocks accounts and then weirdly reads the accounts that he has blocked. Dan Slott Twitter stalking excuseThis is the man who puts words in Peter Parker’s mouth. This is the man who actually holds creative clout at Marvel.

Congratulations, Marvel — you employ a man who blocks accounts, stalks said accounts, and then calls the owners of those accounts “crazy.”

If there is a colleague who cares about Dan Slott, then that person will pull him off to the side and tell him that his regular behavior, usually around 1:00 a.m., is not healthy. It is not productive. And it is certainly not professional.

Update: You can’t make this up. At 1:04 a.m., prime Dan Slott weird behavior time, he reads this blog post and then takes to Twitter to say that his previous stalking had nothing — nothing — to do with me, despite his long history of reading this very blog every time a review of his work goes up.

Best case scenario: “Hey guys, I wasn’t stalking Douglas Ernst yesterday — I was stalking another guy. But…reading Douglas Ernst’s blog  just now at 1:00 a.m. (i.e., the guy I blocked on Twitter) means nothing. It’s not stalking. Seriously. Trust me.”

Dan Slott needs Damage Control for his damage control.

Dan Slott Twitter BacktrackUpdate II: In the comments section below, I spoke with Carl about why Dan Slott would continue to read my work even after blocking my Twitter feed. The short answer can be found by tapping into my WordPress stats, which show me where people are coming from. Today, for instance, I had people coming over from Tumblr — “Walloping Web Snappers!” was one such account. Dan Slott knows that this happens often. That is why he will continue to read my reviews as long as he is on ASM. MJ Watson Tumblr


  1. God, it’s been what, three years and Slott’s STILL reading your blog? Yeesh. If he doesn’t like what you’ve written, he should ignore it, but that would require a level of maturity I don’t think he possesses.

    1. Carl, how do I know that you’re not me…or that I am you? Or that we’re all part of the Borg collective? Or Anonymous? 😉

      But seriously, that’s a very astute observation. He knows that I have legitimate points. He knows that a lot of people read my ASM reviews. He knows that SEO continues to bring people to my old posts on a regular basis, but that there’s nothing he can do about it. He desperately wants to respond to my criticism, but he knows that a.) I’m a smart guy who can mop the floor with him when he resorts to personal attacks and straw man arguments, and b.) he can’t delete embarrassing comments.

      He’s in this maddening position where he wants to ignore me, but he can’t because he knows that I’m able to influence others with sound logic and reason.

      “Hate” to Dan Slott, when referring to my reviews, is a euphemism for “I can’t refute what Douglas Ernst says.”

    2. “Carl, how do I know that you’re not me…or that I am you? Or that we’re all part of the Borg collective? Or Anonymous? ;)”

      I don’t know. Ha. Maybe everyone on this blog is a part of the Borg Collective. In that case, Resistance is Futile!

      In all seriousness, I agree about Slott. He knows you have legitimate points, but he doesn’t come here because it’s much easier for him to take potshots at you from afar on Twitter, where his fans will come to his defense no matter what. Or he doesn’t have moderator friends who will delete people who offer dissenting opinions here, as he does on the forums of sites like CBR or Newsarama.

    3. Here’s a question: If he is stalking me, then how many others are there? How many hours each week does Dan Slott troll Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, etc. looking for what people are saying about him? It has to be a disturbing amount of time. I’m assuming it fluctuates depending on his schedule, but I would be concerned if I were a Marvel editor. You’re hiring this guy to give you an all-star product and he’s up until 1:00 a.m. reading my blog and then trying to fish for compliments on Twitter.

      Why doesn’t Nick Lowe walk into his office and say, “Listen, Dan…this is weird. It’s really weird. I’m not saying this because I’m trying to be mean. I’m saying this because it’s just freakin’ weird and you need to have someone say it to your face.”

    4. Should I start calling myself ‘Three of Blog’ now?

      In all seriousness, I suspect all this genuinely stems from insecurity. Internet/social media tends to magnify the worst aspects in people. They use things like filtering conversations, blocking people, posting anonymously (sock puppeting) to bend things in their favour.

      If Slott just gave the fans what they want instead of trying to “monkey-paw” them (as well as not harass them on social media) he’d have less critics. When it comes to story writing, there’s a time for everything (e.g. timing for a plot twist, timing for a two-parter, timing for a tragic story) but at the end of the day, you have to give the audience some sort of “pay-off”. Criticisms of Dan Slott largely come from the fact that there hasn’t been a good pay-off (or feel good story) in Spider-man since before OMD and all of Dan Slott’s storylines have half-arsed resolutions.

    5. “Should I start calling myself ‘Three of Blog’ now?”

      Excellent. The Douglas Ernst Borg collective grows! I may have to start a new blog and call it that. 🙂

      Criticisms of Dan Slott largely come from the fact that there hasn’t been a good pay-off (or feel good story) in Spider-man since before OMD and all of Dan Slott’s storylines have half-arsed resolutions.

      Bam. Dan Slott works overtime blocking people who dare to push back on his writing style or editorial decisions, so in essence he’s created a giant social media safety bubble to live in. On some level he actually knows it, which is why he’ll continue to read blog posts by someone like me — even after my personal account has been blocked.

      I’ve had people say some seriously annoying things to be on Twitter, and for the most part I just ignore them and they go away. I blocked the guy who threatened to kill me. I’ll block people who try to sell me thousands of Twitter followers. I’ll block pornographic stuff. But in general I don’t care if some guy makes a crack at me from time-to-time. Dan Slott was so obsessed with keeping his bubble safe that he even started using some app then ended up accidentally auto-blocking a ton of his followers. Why? Because they may have randomly referenced GamerGate at some time. Yeesh.

  2. kicker is that I am likely in that Spidey Tumblr blogger’s age group (early 20s) and yet I got Slott’s fetish for offing Peter Parker whilst keeping a modicum of “Spider-Man” going… Breaks my heart…

    1. In Dan Slott’s mind, he now thinks it’s weird that “Walloping Web Snapper!” doesn’t go by her real name. “What sort of crazy excuse could Web Snapper have for not using her real name? Is this really Douglas Ernst posing as a woman? It must be, because what sane person would agree with him?”

      Has Dan Slott never heard of The Federalist Papers? Publius? I guess not, or he’d know that there are legitimate reasons why an individual may choose to go by a pen name. The reason why my blog is called “Douglas Ernst Blog” is because I stand behind everything I write. I’m right here. I’m not hiding from him. It is Dan Slott who has now taken pot shots at me from afar — for years. Like I said, when he encountered me on other platforms he wound up whining for the moderator to close things down or deleting his comments when he made a fool out of himself.

  3. Douglas…Douglas…Douglas. Mr. Slott should not have forced me from the swamp. Doesn’t he realize that a correct assumption on his part would mean that I am your ID — your shadow — the parts of you that should never be shared with the good readers of this blog? Why would Mr. Slott ask for the “Doctor Bizarre treatment” when I am capable of confronting him in ways you never could — or would — even if you had the chance?

    If you truly “hated” Mr. Slott — and you were me — then you would have utilized “Doctor Bizarre” long ago.

    “Desperate John Kerry offers Putin sexual favors in return for peace in Ukraine”?

    “‘Piss Christ’ returns to NYC; ‘Piss Mohammad’ still missing”?

    I’ve never read anything like that on your blog, Douglas. I fear that Mr. Slott stalked himself into the shadows, and now he will come to regret it.

    One day Douglas, perhaps you will wind up like me: a hobo with a shotgun!

  4. Does Dan Slott suffer from an egomaniac inferiority complex? It makes me wonder why he is so paranoid about critiques on his writing style and his need to scour the internet for detractors of his work.

    He displays impulsive internet behavior, almost like a kleptomaniac, he can’t help himself and is possessed by delusions of personal greatness and feels a lack of appreciation by some quarters of the comic-book fan base.

    People who seem too tense or sensitive to the opinions of others also exhibit signs of egomania and an inferiority complex. If you find yourself taking everything said about you too seriously and obsessing over what someone may have pointed out as a flaw, then you are perpetuating the critical self-image. At the same time, you are being absorbed by the thought of yourself and how you can possibly appear to be better to others.

    At the end of the day, he needs to get over his distorted thinking patterns. All people have their flaws. If Dan Slott was truly happy with his writing skills and sales figures, then he wouldn’t be acting like a crazed online stalker.

    Invariably any work that goes out into the public arena, is going to be objectively scrutinized by critics, whether one likes it or not. Dan Slott just needs to accept that and be professional about it.

    1. I’m sorry Magnetic Eye, but I cannot accept anything you just said here as worthy of a response since you are not using your real name. If your real name is Magnetic Eye, and you are not my uncle, then I expect you to provide proper legal documentation as soon as possible. 😉

      “Invariably any work that goes out into the public arena, is going to be objectively scrutinized by critics, whether one likes it or not. Dan Slott just needs to accept that and be professional about it.”

      Exactly. Like I said, I work for a newspaper. I get plenty of feedback from people, and sometimes you have to deal with individuals who don’t like your work. Fine. Cool. I can deal with that. I can also deal with it here. But what I don’t do is start playing Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego with those who have been critical of my blog or work I’ve done for my employer.

      Dan Slott writes The Amazing Spider-Man, and since I have always loved the character I will review his work. Dan Slott makes political statements in his Twitter feed, and I have written about politics for years. Therefore, I will occasionally cover his politics — like the time he told Christian supporters of Hobby Lobby to go to “Christ-Land” after their win at the Supreme Court. He needs to just deal with it like an adult.

    2. Douglas, my birth certificate is in the mail. 🙂 Seriously though, I have no qualms about divulging my real name online. It’s Tony.

      Oh no! I’ve done it now. Half of me can’t anonymously hide behind my avatar anymore. 🙂

    3. Question: Who watches the Magnetic Eye?

      Answer: Dan Slott watches the Magnetic Eye. And now you’ve done it, because he’ll be monitoring anyone named “Tony” on comic book message boards for some time to come. 😉

  5. Oh, wow, Dan Slott is no better than those infernally childish otaku I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with on the net. Trolls really can’t hack it when somebody won’t bow down to them and tell them how great they are. Yep, trolls operate in packs. So it’s not a bit surprising that he’s had his toadies flaming you to stroke his wounded ego.

    It’s a big power-struggle with them. That’s why they just won’t take a hint and learn to just leave people alone.

    His behaviour sounds just like that of crazed anime/creepy pasta fangirls that I kicked off my own site because they went completely against its objectives. One, or maybe both of them kept sending their little friends over here. Both ranted at what a mean, “arrogant ba***rd*” I was for “thinking the world should follow my rules” *snicker* and it really bugs them that I dislike their favourite web site, Quotev, and *gasp* dared to express it and back it up with a few other links.

    One of these brats kept getting kicked out of my site, and repeatedly trying to get in. First, on a daily basis. Then I changed the settings so I’d have to manually approve new members. Eventually she stopped after getting several rejections in a row. But she came back six months later, and six months after that. She also has a Twitter, and she took to that whenever I dared to kick her yet again. But, the only time I ever looked at her Twitter was shortly after she crawled back, trying to get onto my site again. The rest of the time, I forgot about her. So the first time there was a six-month break between her tries, I had actually thought she was gone for good, and had pretty much forgotten about her until *Bang!* There she was, trying to get in again. What the…?

    Though Dan Slott and his cronies have thrown far more putrid crap your way than the fan-brat in my case, I think their motives are similar. Neither of them can stand being up against people who will not let them push us around. And their egos get easily bruised. So, they can always try to pull the victim act. That’s what bullies and brats do when they don’t get their way.

    1. The thing that gets me is that he just makes these veiled references to me in his feed, followed by [insert some form of woe-is-me, Doug-is-so-mean complaint]. Because he’s not being specific, then one just has to take him at his word that he’s telling the truth. I somehow “hate” him. Really? The last time I checked I was criticizing his work on The Amazing Spider-Man. I said nothing about his worth as a human being. I’ll call him out on strange behavior (e.g., blocking me on Twitter and then reading my reviews anyway), but that isn’t “hate.” That’s me shining a spotlight on his lies and distortions.

    2. “Dan Slott is no better than those infernally childish otaku I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with on the net.”

      Last night I was talking about this with my wife she is shocked at how “professional” writers such as him are acting like mad children on the internet.

  6. Crap like this is why I don’t have a twitter account. It sounds to me like Dan is cracking up.

  7. The odd thing is that this is common behavior for Dan, as I have also had experience with. If he has an issue with your views he gets very crude and starts looking for ways to attack a persons character rather than discuss the issue (especially when he is proven wrong). With that said he may have meant you or maybe not but the end result is that he cannot take any negative views of his work. I can contact my friend FG this may be a good topic for his podcast later. FG has been silent on my blog for some time now since he is moving to a new website for an exciting new project where he and another person will review games, comics, art, politics and other current events. They also plan to have a podcast and they are having guests on them I may even be a guest of his podcast on occasion. The cool thing about the project is that they both have different political beliefs yet they can have rational conversation and find common ground.

    Don’t get mad be happy as Dan continues to give you a voice as he advertises your work.

    1. Dan doesn’t seem to understand that when he says something to his Twitter fans, there’s a chance that some of their follow-up searches will appear in my WordPress stats. Or one of my friends will tell me what he said (especially if it’s political in nature). I generally know that after I post an ASM review is a good time to monitor his feed because he’s impulsive and can’t help but respond to criticism.

      He needs to vent, but he doesn’t want to take me on directly. He opts to do it in a way where his followers respond with the equivalent of, “Awwwww. That’s a nasty boo-boo. Let mommy fix that right up for you. There, there. There, there.”

  8. There literally are NO words. If average nobodies like us can ignore people who dislike us online, why can’t a so-called professional creator in one of the biggest and most influential entertainment companies on the friggin’ planet??

    1. I just love that he says his earlier tweet wasn’t about me while acknowledging that he is, in fact, reading my blog posts after having blocked my Twitter account. It boils down to: “I wasn’t stalking Doug last night — I was stalking him tonight, guys. Priceless.”

      Dan just doesn’t like it that he’s been called out on the way he fishes for compliments. He blocks Person X, but then he still reads their stuff while insulting them to his own followers. He needs to keep it vague enough so no one will push back (including the target of his mockery), but specific enough so that his fans will give him an ego boost. (e.g., “Haha! Those guys are ‘crazy,’ Dan. You’re the greatest! I love your work.”)

      None of this would be an issue if he either ignored the vast majority of his critics, or if he dealt with criticism head on in a professional manner.

    2. Case in point, when he brought up our issues on his Facebook page without naming me…only I sort of pushed back by mocking the whole spiel with a “Perfect Strangers” video

    3. My wife saw his tweet from this morning saying that he wasn’t talking about me — proving that he still reads my blog even though I’m blocked on Twitter — and she’s like, “That’s like that Carly Simon song: ‘You’re so Vain!’ She says ‘I bet you think this song is about you,’ but it IS about the guy!”.

      We both had a laugh at that.

  9. I think Brevoort used to try to rein Slott in a little (at least exhort him not to obsess over the Internet), but it didn’t work, and I doubt Nick Lowe can do it. I’d say that he needs a good wife to proof-read his Internet behavior, but what happy, well-balanced woman would want to put up with this every day?

    1. Eww, no! Definitely not me. He’d have to be married to a silly fangirl. Nothing else would work on that front. But you know the saying “You can’t fix stupid” just apply that to the likes of Dan Slott and the no-lifes I’ve been exposed to on the net, and the saying becomes “You can’t fix trolls.”

  10. On a different point: I think Slott reacts personally to ASM criticism partially because his Peter Parker is him — it is Dan Slott. The current Peter Parker is controlled by his emotions, doesn’t think ahead, and doesn’t use logic. The whole MU condescendingly thinks of Peter as a loser who doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Peter can’t stop wise-cracking, to the point that his colleagues roll their eyes and say, “Just stop!” This Peter sort-of plans things out, and fights a lot, but never has a satisfying conclusion. So, when you criticize ASM, he processes it as if you are passing judgment on him. Not a body of work, but him. It’s just that weird.

    He doesn’t grasp that he has already soiled his legacy, by internet-stalking people, lying about people, calling all his critics haters, and so on. His on-line antics now overshadow the actual work. When a writer or artist conducts himself or herself well in public, their good reputation brightens up people’s opinions of their work. If J. Michael Stracynski talks with fans in a positive way, then people view his work more charitably, I suppose you could say. “Yeah, there was too much magic, and his villains weren’t so hot, but still he single-handedly revived ASM, and his character work with Peter, MJ, and Aunt May was unparalleled.” No one, “Oh yeah, JMS, that crazy-eyed dude who told people to go violate themselves if they didn’t like his story.” But that IS what they’ll be saying about Dan Slott.

    1. It’s a tragic story, it almost plays out exactly like the kind of deconstructive storytelling currently found in Slott’s own work, but perhaps more tellingly, in the rather amazing comic “Superior Iron Man”.

      Now THAT is how you do a fall from grace story in the Marvel universe with precision accuracy, so much better than Tony’s last fall off the good books in Civil War, with every character that has ever been close to Tony maintaining their smarts and effectiveness, trying to salvage something from the mess the inverted Avenger has inflicted. The final pages with Pepper are kind of cliche if you’ve been in the game as long as you have as a comic fan, but it paints a vivid picture…the lies, the manipulations, they give you adulation, they give you praise, but the people that had faith in you, the people that once respected you, they have to contend with the fact that the man they knew, the man they felt had such potential and capacity for good, has been swallowed up by pride, ego, and the all too fleeting fame that the ego will continue to strive to maintain for as long as there’s breath in their lungs. Ultimately, they may keep some of their followers, but the people who rallied behind them since the beginning now focus on showing the masses how they were wronged, to show the uglier side, the compromises, the snark, the cruelty. Those that carried the torch for him in those early days like I did now carry matchsticks, and at any given moment, we are capable of lighting a fire under his kiester.

      Dan may bite, but we do worse than that. We burn.

    2. Here, here! I like that “Dan may bite, but we do worse than that, we burn” I’ll have to remember that and replace Dan’s name with the next idiot troll to try and cross me. *Wicked grin*

    3. Oh gosh, I think you may be onto something here, scary and pathetic as it is. It reminds me of a disaster I experienced with a fangirl just like that on an email list I tried to run and ended up giving up in irritation because of all the fangirl Mary Sues and lurkers.

      Long before my introduction to the nasty and embarrassing world of otaku, there was a fangirl for a series in a completely different genre. To make a long story short, she came barging on to my email list and godmoding every established/canon character to make them fawn over her hellchijld, and I’m not kidding, this character was a real brat extraordinaire. Oh, and – she was blind. So the sympathy card was demanded and expected.

      When I told her, as nicely as I could manage, that this was a list for character interactions, and not for just one person to write for everyone and post their own finished fanfics there, and that her character just wasn’t going to be greeted with adoration by my own original character, she flipped out. When She argued, and when I told her why her character was unbelievable especially as a blind girl, she went absolutely batcrap bonkers! She argued, flamed, pitched fits, and finally when she told me I had no skill, that was when I finally gave her the boot.

      She was indeed, as insufferable as her own bratty character. And, she tried to justify her character’s behaviour as “bold” while telling mine for giving it to her straight that she was “rude. Uh, no, it was very much the other way around.

      What it all came down to was this fangirl, who claimed to be only 12 years old, was royally buttburned that her supposedly perfectly awesome adorable character was put in her place for being a brat. She acted like I had attacked her personally, and she became all sorts of unglued.

      It wasn’t just her character that was the problem, it was also what she did to the canon characters in that fiction. There was no way in heck any of them would’ve put up with that bratty behaviour and just coddle her and whimper at her feet whenever she hurled raving insults at them. Yet that was exactly what she had them do in her utterly cringeworthy little story.


  11. If given the opportunity, I’d tell Slott what Buzz Lightyear (a, ahem, more valuable component of the Disney empire than Marvel comic writers) told Woody:

    Like others here, I don’t hate Slott. I save my hate for people who have personally wronged me, not weak writers with the maturity of a child. Unlike Slott, I can walk away from the table and retain my composure. I really do pity him, though. He’s like a cartoon character at this point; I almost expect him to start yelling at clouds à la Grampa Simpson. I have to admit, there’s an almost fascination to his train of thought. He treats any criticism of his work as some kind of personal insult, but then he hurls around actual personal insults, only to cop a wounded gazelle attitude and feign ignorance about his earlier behavior. This guy somehow manages to have less self-awareness than hothead John Byrne.

    I’ve long believed that Slott (not to mention the other usual suspects) behave this way due to insecurities about their work. It’s like what you said about Michael B. Jordan; someone poised to be in a hit and be well-remembered wouldn’t flip out on critics at the drop of a hat. On the whole, comics stopped being important over a decade ago, but Slott has the added problem of being involved in stories that are (at best) divisive and (at worst) reviled. Decades after the fact, we’re still talking about the characters Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others created, as well as landmark stories by later writers like Gerry Conway, Peter David, and Chris Claremont. That has to burn today’s writers: always being known for living in the shadows of others… if remembered at all.

    As they say, the things that make you the angriest are the things you know are true and Slott is one angry little man.

    1. I have been spoiled with the number of insightful comments in the last 48 hours. Between you, Jack, Magnetic Eye, Zariussi, etc. it’s like everyone is firing on all cylinders!

      I have to admit, there’s an almost fascination to his train of thought. He treats any criticism of his work as some kind of personal insult, but then he hurls around actual personal insults, only to cop a wounded gazelle attitude and feign ignorance about his earlier behavior. This guy somehow manages to have less self-awareness than hothead John Byrne.

      If your brain was a rifle and your words were bullets, you’d be firing some seriously tight shot groups, my friend. 🙂

      I’ve said this before, but the fact that comic “journalists” don’t regularly call out unprofessional behavior makes them an accessory to a growing divide between fans and creators. Marvel’s frat-boy mentality doesn’t help… I can’t imagine some of the old school writers and artists behaving like clowns if Twitter was available back then.

      Like you said, today’s writers are generally trapped in the shadows of giants. In many respects they’re only “trapped” because of their own churlish behavior and inability to think outside their own narrow politics, but I digress. It will be fun to look back at this era ten years from now and talk about the legacy that writers like Dan Slott left behind.

    2. Just wanted to share this. What a stark contrast between the diplomatic and civil manner in which true professional gentlemen conducted themselves compared to the narcissistic buffoons running Marvel’s print division today.

    1. “I think that Superior Spider-Man is really about the story of the life of Dan Slott.”

      It would be hard to argue with this point, given that Dan Slott also makes similar comparisons. Here is what he told USA Today on Dec. 26, 2012:

      “Doc is kinda like me: He’s short and schlubby. This is a guy who now gets to be in the body of Peter Parker. This opens up whole new things.”

      It would be interesting to play armchair psychologist in terms of why Dan Slott loves SSM so much. I have done a little bit here and there (e.g., Dan’s Slott’s weird glee at treating Peter Parker like a “meat puppet.”)

      My guess is that he would get rather angry if someone really dug deep into the SSM interviews and discussed how much of Spock is Dan Slott simply writing Doc Ock and how much of Spock is Dan Slott. If a man has harbored all sorts of baggage because he’s “short and schlubby,” then how would that affect the way he writes characters with those traits? It’s a fun question to turn over and play with like a Rubik’s Cube.

    2. “I think that Superior Spider-Man is really about the story of the life of Dan Slott. Let’s be honest here. Do you think that he’s the kind of guy whose ever dated a super model, actress, or a super heroine?”

      Is *that* all? That’s what it all comes down to, who gets the super-dooper-smexy eye-candy girl?

      *Rolling eyes* Pathetic.

      Come on. It’s not like girls always have to be supermodels, in fact, I wish they’d dump that whole crock of shallow stupidity altogether. Society would be a lot better off without it.

      I grew up on the old Spidy TV cartoon. The closest he got to romance was the odd crush in high school, and maybe possibly a hint at a relationship with Betty Brant down the road. I would’ve been happy if the genre had kept on with Spidy doing what he does best, trouncing dastardly villains, and just leave boring romance/family stuff other than the odd appearance of Aunt May, out.

      Even on the old cartoon, there was an episode where Peter Parker had to rush out on a secret mission to stop some villainy, and the girl who was really into him at that time was Sonya. She was so mad that he had to cancel their date and he couldn’t tell her. So what does she do? Why, the seriously annoying typical girly over-reaction of “It’s another girl!” and hangs up on him. *Rolling eyes*

      “Mary Jane” Ugh. Sorry, but that sounds too close to Mary Sue. I don’t like that name combo anyway because it’s been used in too many generic hypothetical examples of “Mary Jane” this, “Mary Jane” that from various adults, including school teachers trying to make a point. So I find it very hard not to snicker at its mention.

      But let’s forget about the Mary Jane/relationship cruft for a second.

      IMO, people like Dan Slott are just pushing the envelop, trying to come up with as many ways to fly in the face of canon, see if the fans will actually pay good money to go for this character-butchery, call it new and innovative and original) and hey, some people just can’t get enough of turning well-established fictional characters into their opposite and a horrible parody of themselves. Fanfics are rampant with that kind of crap, be it “alternate universe”, good twin/bad twin, magic spell, exposure to radiation or some other supposedly mind-altering substance, soul-stealing, “parallel universe” you name it.

      What I’m getting from this is that Slott is basically giving Spider Man a huge “Screw you for being such a decent, upstanding character, Parker, I hate you, and just loath the idea that people out there still like the boring old original goody2shoes you… So I’m going to make you a real badarse for the lulz! And all you fans who like the real spidy can just go eat worms.”

    3. In this instance I have to wonder why anyone would ask Tom Brevoort if there is a writer — who is currently providing work for Marvel — that he dislikes. There is no way on earth he would ever answer that question. An employee wants to know his boss is going to go to bat for him. It would be an extremely dumb move for Brevoort to entertain such a question.

    4. Yep, that’s the cartoon I’m talking about.

      Ugh – the internet made a meme from it. Sheesh, is nothing sacred?

      So considering that cartoon compared with what Slott has done, I hold him guilty of character-butchery.

      Looking at another comment not far above where you quote some of a Dan Slott interview, all I can say is, pathetic. That guy has issues, very annoying and childish issues at that, and he needs to get over himself. Aligning oneself with some character based on body type, no matter how loathsome that character is? Over-grown fanboy. Just as bad as those horrid otaku who went nuts and fought over some anime character because they had the hots for him. Boo-hiss.

  12. I just read the updates. Bahaha!

    This guy needs to invest the time he takes to troll people online and whine about negative reviews into actually coming up with stories that Peter Parker would actually do.

    1. Thanks for circling back, bossmanham. 🙂 I wish there was a way to get a recording of Dan Slott’s internal monologue after he realized that his attempted cover-up only made him look worse. He blocks me on Twitter, yet he reads my blog. He supposedly wasn’t referencing my negative review — he was stalking some other online critic. Heh.

      Poor Dan has finally run up against someone with his own platform who can’t be silenced by Slott-friendly moderators. It must be maddening to know that no one is going to flush my critiques down the memory hole like they did over at the old Marvel boards. Heck, Newsarama went so far as to deep-six an entire story, “The Inferior Online Debate,” when its attempt at character assassination backfired and people started defending me in the comments section.

      The fact that he is this focused on my blog highlights quite nicely that comic “journalists” aren’t doing their job. In general the writers are all treated with kid gloves, so when you finally have someone who is willing to write hard-nosed reviews, these guys go ballistic.

  13. I wonder if Mr. Slott might be feeling a little nonplussed at the reader reactions to Peter’s actions in RYV. I think he thinks people would feel that Peter violated himself (and that reaction is absolutely crucial to Slott’s goals). Instead, I think most readers are first, “Yeah, kill Venom with death!”, then second, “Of course you don’t chase Vulture that very second, your little daughter is with you. Do it later.” If I’m right and that is the majority readership reaction, then that hissing sound you hear is all the air going out Slott’s propaganda balloon. Which would leave him groping for what tone to strike.

    1. I think your observations are quite astute once again, Jack.

      Slott has another problem on his hand moving forward, which is Regent — he’s a lame villain. So we have a few issues left where this is supposed to play into the new universe post Secret Wars, but on some level there’s an “eh” feeling to it all because Regent is so generic. We’re already dealing with an alternate reality version of Peter and MJ, which somewhat blunts the ability to elicit strong feels from fans. Now the problem is compounded with a villain who is a yawner.

    2. Yes, this is a What If? Peter Parker and MJ. They only exist to teach Us A Lesson That We Should Learn. So they don’t matter.

    3. To be fair, post-OMD Peter is a What If version as well, we’re just conditioned to think he’s the real one for the time being. Dan’s whole spiel this year has been that ANY Spider-Man promoted by Marvel as a big deal is the real one regardless of which universe he comes from, and they’ve said RYV will have consequences that will carry over into the main books, so it’s not all going to be worthless. Also, a lot of people don’t really care that it’s an alternative Peter and MJ, seeing as this version of the pair is more in line so far with what we want out of the pre-OMD versions

    4. To be fair, post-OMD Peter is a What If version as well, we’re just conditioned to think he’s the real one for the time being.

      I don’t agree with this. I may not like what the Marvel “brain trust” has done with Peter, but he’s the legit Peter. A good writer could undo the damage with one good story, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s the real Peter.

      Also, a lot of people don’t really care that it’s an alternative Peter and MJ, seeing as this version of the pair is more in line so far with what we want out of the pre-OMD versions.

      If this is true, then Marvel has successfully lowered the bar to levels previously thought unimaginable. Feed a man nothing but grits and vitamin supplements for years and he’ll think a tiny morsel of chocolate is the greatest thing in the world. On a long enough timeline he may even forget that in his younger days he was once sustained by well-balanced meals.

      What lesson does this teach Marvel? It seems to me that the lesson is: throw the Peter/MJ crowd a small bone every few years and that will placate them.

      Nope. Sorry. Renew Your Vows may as well be featuring android versions of Peter, MJ and “Annie.” They’re not the real deal, so it’s hard for me to get invested in their fate.

  14. Dan’s whole spiel this year has been “any Spidey you care about is the real one”….I don’t agree with the man on most of his storytelling decisions or attitudes as you well know, but being a writer/reader who’s best years since OMD have been enjoying the tales of alternative universe Spideys, I agree with him here. If a Spidey feels right, and seems more familiar, they should be considered just as valid or just as endearing. The Spider-Man I grew up with is nothing like the one the brain trust have subjected us to for eight years, so no, I don’t think he is the “real one”, he has his moments when a writer really nails the Peter of old (see Gerry Conway’s recent remarkable run), but everything feels artificial and false…I don’t care for this reality because it was created via demon magic, it is not “true” to me, it is a distraction, I will care more about it when the marriage is ultimately restored and a timeline mapped out where the marriage mattered. Monkey paw it as much as they probably will, just give me something with a little honesty.

    That’s what I took from RYV. It feels “right”, and yeah, I may be taking scraps off the bowel and being content with that, but it’s an honest portrayal of Peter and MJ. There is no such thing as a “real” version, and the minute we start thinking in that way, we limit ourselves to one singular interpretation that these days will always feel limited and an illusion at it’s core. I’d rather broaden my horizons.

    So no, RYV does’nt feel “artificial” and we’re being told not to treat the Parkers as such. They are going to matter as much as Mephistoverse Peter baffingly still “matters” to some people.

  15. The problem I see here is that the 616 Peter is the real Peter, that is, he is the character who premiered in AMAZING FANTASY 15. And the 616 Peter is on Reed Richards’ life raft. So there is an objective standard of reality, in terms of storyline and character.

    1. A lot of alternative Peter ALSO start with Amazing Fantasy#15 and diverge at certain points, and many of them have proven to have had better stories, stronger relationships, and much broader development. So yeah, cool beans if you want to stay loyal to 616 Peter, but he will never be the real one to me until he properly redeems himself for OMD. That’s just the way it is.

    2. In essence, that’s like saying: It’s only ‘real’ Peter if you like what happens to the character at any given point in time.

      Using that logic, any criticism you level at Dan Slott for his interpretation of the character is rendered moot. Why is your preferred version of Peter any more legitimate than Dan Slott’s, then? It isn’t. That’s exactly what Marvel wants…

  16. Because my preferred Petes have everything I expect out of them. Responsible, mature, make all the right choices that avoid all the pitfalls brought by the unmasking, unshackled from the totem drama, have a strong and trusting bond with MJ, and are generally relaxed.

    And no,I also don’t think my interpretation is any more legitimate, otherwise I’d be throwing a bit of a tantrum every time I read people being ok with things as they currently are. My preferences work best for my state of mind at the moment, I am still only five or so years fresh off recovering from a mental breakdown caused by, on top of other things, OMD itself, so anything that puts me in a happy place (be it MC2, Newspaper strip, 2009’s Real Clone Saga, Ultimate Peter and MJ etc), I tend to hold on to that.

    Maybe it is what Marvel want, and I’m a sucker for compliance, but I’m at a stage in my life where investing in 616 Peter just is’nt something I want to do…but I fully respect the fact you fly the flag for him and don’t give up on him regardless of what he’s put through in any given era.

    1. Likewise, I can see where you would gravitate towards versions of Peter with said qualities. I’m also sorry to hear about your breakdown and wish you a speedy recovery.

      But yes, on this issue I’m willing to go down flying the “616 Peter” flag if that’s what happens.

    2. Thanks for the well wishes Doug, I’ve been well on the mend for a while, though still occasionally have my cradle rocked, little things kept me pleasant, among them being amongst like-minded types like yours showing how less weird it all seems to think a certain way about something

    3. That’s always been one of my biggest goals with this blog: to show people who have similar feelings that they are never alone. To me it’s all worth it if I can help just one person feel that way.

  17. Heh, Dan found out I snuck back on CBR again and promptly outed me…good news is that he seemed to confirm he actually reads my fanfiction.

    1. Dan Slott is so sad. He can’t just respond to the argument at hand. He needs to look for something — anything — to steer the conversation in another direction when he’s faced with criticism that isn’t easily dismissed. It is rather telling that he is so obsessed with being able to identify you online that he reads your fan fiction.

      Again, let us remind everyone — this is the guy who habitually tells his Twitter followers about “crazy” comic book fans. Who is the one who is acting like a crazy person? It’s not you. You’re just a dude who wants to share his opinion on a platform where other comic fans are sharing their opinions. Once again, you’ve shown screen shots that, to me, appear pretty innocuous. Dan Slott may not like them, but they certainly aren’t something that would warrant a ban from any website.

    2. It’s weird, because Dan’s said previously to me he makes it a policy NOT to read fanfiction, I suppose you may as well stitch that up with his promises to leave online discussions to the fans, a promise he breaks routinely either to rat someone out (in my case) or to bait when people get a little too passionate trying to right any perceived wrongdoings he’s committed on paper to the characters.

      Yet here he is, correctly pointing out that I pride myself on 80s cartoon genre fic writing, and proving to be as much of an 80s fanboy as I am by identifying the Thundercats reference. He pulled a similar trick with me over christmas, identifing Knight Rider. That’s the sad thing about this whole issue between me and him, I could sort of see us being friends if I were’nt so persistently critical of his work and if he was’nt so persistently incapable of taking my criticism on the chin and rolling with it. I have a very good friend who often leaves reviews that criticize my spelling in my fanfics, I have another friend who sometimes points out slight logic gaps in my fiction, on each occasion I do not lose my cool with them and do everything I can to edit, hone, and perfect the story, even writing whole chapters that address and write off their concerns while entertaining them.

    1. “My problem with your posts are that they’re deceitful. You take on a new identity and pose as a different person on a site that has banned you multiple times (I’ve lost count after the 5th time.) You’re clearly not welcome at CBR. You’ve received a permanent ban there for your behavior.” — Dan Slott to zariussi on zaredit.

      This would be a fair point — if there weren’t so many moderators who clearly will do anything to stay on Dan Slott’s good side.

      You are “not welcome” at CBR because anyone who is capable of criticizing Dan Slott’s work with an IQ above Mary Jane during Superior Spider-Man needs to go. Almost everyone who comments on my comics-related posts can speak of instances where innocuous remarks have disappeared on these sites, bans have occurred for minor infractions while guys like Dan Slott and Steve Whacker have been allowed to act like petulant children, etc.

      One of my favorite stories happened on the old Marvel boards. I was at work all day and when I came back I was banned for breaking some rule. When others asked why I was gone, the moderator said I used foul language or something absurd like that. He totally made it up out of thin air, and I was gone for at least six months.

      I have noted the “Inferior Online Debate” over at Newsarama as a solid example. I was banned for tactfully defending myself. When others started to question why the heck I was banned, the whole thread was locked. Eventually, the whole story was torpedoed and now all that exists is a 404 Error message. Telling, isn’t it?

      You’ve commented on my blog for quite some time now, zariusii. You have even defended Dan Slott on occasion. I’m pretty good at spotting trolls, and I’m not seeing you as a guy who really needs to be banned once, let alone five times. Am I missing something? If you conduct yourself on CBR like you conduct yourself on my blog, then your CBR bans are bunk. I have chosen to generally stay away from sites like that because they’re filled with comic industry boot-lickers, but if you want to continue commenting there I don’t really see anything wrong with that.

      If you’re able to write 400+ comments before a guy like Dan Slott calls you out, then that indicates to me that you are behaving like a rational adult on the boards.

      One of the reasons I don’t go to comic book sites is because Dan Slott has a history of showing up any time I comment, and then weirdly bringing up old blog posts of mine that have nothing to do with Spider-Man. The others in the comments section get frustrated, the moderators get frustrated, and Dan Slott once again gets to smile because he completely derailed a conversation that was critical of his work on ASM.

    2. I do love your “old war stories”, I must have read them dozens of times now and they’re ideally used for every occasion where things like this happen. Good to remind new readers of your blog where you’ve been in this back-and-forth also.

      Dan and I were quite civil in that discussion we had, no name-calling, no “get a life” comments, no insinuations I collect barbie doll’s heads…very refreshing. Yeah the whole “you are a deceitful person” was a bit top-heavy, but like I said to him, I don’t hide who I am, and I always leave tell-tale signs it’s me because I am fixated on a specific number of subjects (usually I’m the biggest advocate of the ASM newspaper strip), there’s only one instance so far of having another account banned without Dan setting off the fire alarm.

      Dan actually did mistake someone who was critical of his work on CBR for me at one point and that person only had his posts reinstated after an I.P check verified he wasn’t. Prior to that, he and Dan’s exchange had been promptly deleted. I don’t think the guy has posted there all that much, but it’s a similar situation to when Dan thought you and somebody else blogging were the same person a couple of weeks ago.

      And you’re absolutely right on CBR’s boot-licking. Here’s another war story, On my most recent stay, I was even warned from other members, in confidence via private message, not to say anything derogatory about DC’s persistence in pushing the woefully underdeveloped Superman/Wonder Woman pairing, not even ranting about it in threads which appreciated Lois/Clark because a moderator on the Superman section seemingly delighted in banning anyone that did that, and that she had “ruined” the forum.

      When I called Clark;s 90s ponytail “fruity”, it generated politically-correct police sirens. I didn’t actually know “fruity” was offensive/homophobic, it’s just a buzz word I caught off a comedy routine that I kind of liked. Had I known it was slanderous I wouldn’t have used it.

    3. “On my most recent stay, I was even warned from other members, in confidence via private message, not to say anything derogatory about DC’s persistence in pushing the woefully underdeveloped Superman/Wonder Woman pairing, not even ranting about it in threads which appreciated Lois/Clark because a moderator on the Superman section seemingly delighted in banning anyone that did that, and that she had “ruined” the forum.”

      That is exactly what I’m talking about. The moderators are often immature babies who are allied with the comic industry’s intellectual bed wetters. When an intelligent person starts criticizing dumb editorial moves, suddenly the lone adult in the room has to go.

      You are “not welcome” in Dan Slott’s personal playpen because you know how to handle yourself like an adult. If you decide to completely walk away, then I would take the “No Grown-ups Allowed” moderation as a badge of honor.

    4. Random follow up, Zariussi:

      I find it incredibly interesting how Dan Slott has no qualms getting on his moral high horse when speaking to you about sneaking into a message board forum, when he readily admits (and appears to be quite proud of himself) for sneaking into a Marvel internship against the rules:

      “25 years ago: I was a @Marvel intern. Told a tale to get in: That I was in college. (I’d already graduated.) Been telling tales ever since.😏

      Dan didn’t merely tell a “tale” — he lied. Dan Slott, Mr. Online Social Justice Warrior, may have taken a legit internship away from a young black kid who always wanted to write for Marvel. Why? Because the rules don’t apply to Dan Slott. But hey, it doesn’t matter because Dan Slott has been telling “tales ever since.”

    5. Yes, I’ve heard that one quite a bit from Dan. Tom DeFalco was in charge when he got hired. How does Slott repay him? Laying waste to Spider-Girl’s universe and leaving Tom D to salvage the pieces (luckily Tom implied it was an alternative Mayday, much to Dan’s chagrin).

  18. We all called it:

    In the post-Secret Wars relaunch — Spider-Man is Miles Morales, not Peter Parker. And just to cap it off, here’s an asinine, sex-/race-obsessed quote from Bendis:

    “I started crying in the middle of the aisle. I realized my kids are going to grow up in a world that has a multi-racial Spider-Man, and an African American Captain America and a female Thor.”

    You have to love the consistency: race and sex don’t matter! That’s why it’s such a huge deal to change the race and sex of a character!

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