ASM Parker IndustriesMarvel has a “new” idea for Peter Parker: Make him sort of like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne — and have him stuck in love triangles because Dan Slott liked that as a kid.

MTV reported Tuesday:

Move over, Stark Industries: Spider-Man is in charge this time.

“Peter Parker has stepped up,” Slott told MTV News over the phone. “He’s grown. He’s become the Peter Parker we’ve always hoped he was going to be. This company, with Peter’s inventions and Peter’s gumption has gone to new heights.” …

“He’s operating with Parker industries in not just New York, but also Shanghai and San Francisco and London,” Slott said. “He’s going to be a far more global Spider-Man, and with that is going to come all new global threats. Things that will really test Spider-Man like never before. …

“One of the things I always loved was there was always a triangle,” Slott said. “There’s all these characters who are vying for Pete’s attention and I think you’re going to get back to that. You’re going to see all kinds of different characters we know and care about.”

Take a look at Marvel’s promotional material for its upcoming relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man (yes, fans get another Slottian relaunch): Nothing says “Peter Parker” than James Bond-ish attire and two casino-bimbo wannabes latched onto his arms. Spider-Man even gets his own Nolan-inspired Bat-Spider Mobile…

If Peter Parker has grown up, then why is he still stuck in endless love triangles? Did he grow up into the “Peter Parker we’ve always hoped” he would be, or did he merely pupate into some weird version of himself consistent with Dan Slott’s childhood fantasies?

Here are the different versions of Peter Parker given to fans by Mr. Slott over the years:

  • Dumbed-down Peter Parker, who acts like a novice superhero when he’s had years of experience.
  • Dead Peter Parker.
  • Ghost Peter Parker, whose impotence is only forgotten with time because Doctor Octopus randomly gave the hero his life back.
  • Where’s Waldo Peter Parker, who became lost in a sea of spider-men during Spider-Verse.
  • Peter Stark-Wayne-Parker, who perhaps gets to boink women in Shanghai love triangles.

Was Peter Parker always destined to be a jet-setting CEO who flies from New York to London to Shanghai, or was he more likely to lead a life of quiet research conducted by men like Reed Richards? Was Peter Parker always destined for expensive love-triangle tribulations of the world’s billionaire elites, or was he more likely to settle down with a good woman by his side like, again, Reed Richards?

If Dan Slott were a violinist, he would be a third-string musician who weirdly wormed himself into a first chair. His “ear” for ASM indicates that while he understands the “harmonies” and “melodies” that make Spider-Man a winning character, his handling of Peter Parker is almost always off pitch.

The next volume of The Amazing Spider-Man already sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

49 comments

  1. Here’s the other thing about Slott’s claim that Peter has “grown” and “become the Peter Parker we’ve always hoped he was going to be.” Note how even the MTV News article reminds us that Peter didn’t actually create Parker Industries–Doc Ock did. Doc Ock was the one who got the PhD, not Peter. Doc Ock was the one who got the business loan and the capital, not Peter. Doc Ock was the one who hired the key staff and gave them jobs, not Peter. If anything, Peter Parker, Mr. “With Great Power Comes Responsibility,” the guy who, as depicted in the first Sam Raimi film, wanted to make it on his own steam, is literally living off the fruits and labor of Doc Ock. Sure, Doc Ock did do all this by pretending to be Peter, but even so. Might as well have President Obama go up to Peter, point to him and say, “You didn’t build that!”

    1. Mike, this comment is pure gold. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can always count on you to provide insightful commentary. That really is a damning observation. How can anyone really counter that? Peter didn’t “grow” into this Spider-Man — he died into it. Where would Peter be right now if Dan Slott wasn’t allowed to entertain his weird Doc Ock fantasy for over a year? I highly doubt he would be in charge of global technology titan Parker Industries.

  2. “Dan Slott liked that as a kid”

    Well, based on some of his rantings, he does have the mentality of a child, so his thought process here is hardly unusual.

    “One of the things I always loved was”

    Sorry, Dan, but experience has dictated that whatever follows the rest of that phrase will be a bad idea.

    “there was always a triangle”

    Hey, I was right.

    “Love triangles” should be synonymous with “bad writing.” They can be so tedious, especially in a superhero book. There can be some value to it, I admit, like Gwen and MJ during Stan Lee’s run. That brought a little extra energy to Peter’s life out of costume. (Certainly better than all those heart-attacks Aunt May kept having.) ‘Course, Slott doesn’t understand why it worked.

    1) The girls were fun and distinct from each other. Their whole lives didn’t revolve around Peter, so they could be more than living props. Gwen did start to lose some of her identity, but only after she and Peter became exclusive. You can see that kind of contrast and characterization with some of the other women who vied for Peter at the same time: Black Cat and Debra Whitman, Betty and Veronica–er, Liz. Based on the current quality of writing at Marvel, though, I don’t doubt for a second that any would-be love triangles will feature paramours along the lines of Mary Sue—I mean, Carlie Cooper: hyped up as great potential partners, but really just bland and annoying.

    2) Peter spent most of his life being a geek, so there was a novelty to attractive women responding to him. I suspect there’s a lot of “living vicariously through the fictional character” there, but whatever.

    3) The main reason it worked: Peter was practically a kid. He did express interest in marrying Gwen while he was still in college (I think in ASM #100), but he was still a stupid kid. He was exceedingly responsible and brainy, but he had also made it clear he wouldn’t tell Gwen about being Spider-Man even after the nuptials, which demonstrates he wasn’t mentally prepared for marriage. That’s fine because he was basically a kid–one who had done and seen more than his social circle, but one who still had a lot to learn about life and what his dual identity would mean for a relationship. (Retroactively, that’s kinda the reason why MJ turned down his marriage proposal during Marv Wolfman’s run. She knew who he really was, and she knew she wasn’t ready to deal with the stress.) It wasn’t until the ’80s that Peter was ready: he had a few extra years, a lot more dating experience, and some honest conversations with his would-be spouse. Ah, character development, where would we be without you? Oh, right, “One More Day” and onward.

    Really, the whole love triangle thing, hasn’t that ship sailed already? It’s like DC’s New 52. After years of wedded bliss, Superman and Lois were retconned back to the same tired Clark/Superman/Lois dynamic that was old before my parents were born. The writers don’t know how to keep the story moving, so they want to jog in place (as well as ram questionable decisions and bloated events down our throats). Despite Marvel’s pathetic attempts to say otherwise, Peter’s an adult. Why retread ground we’ve seen countless times, particularly when Marvel has made it clear they want a single Peter? What, is he supposed to go through repeated relationship hijinks with a couple girls, only to immediately reset the clock with two new girls? Oh, how exciting. Yeah, that’ll really boost sales and dethrone the movies and cartoons as the most important parts of the franchise. :\

    “yes, fans get another Slottian relaunch”

    Evidently, someone noticed how the first issue sold over 500,000 and then dropped 400,000 the following issue. Truth be told, the book still sells better than most of Marvel’s other offerings, but it has been sliding (albeit along with so many comic books nowadays). “Love triangles” might not be synonymous with “bad writing,” but “relaunch” is definitely synonymous with “attempt at a sales boost.”

    “was he more likely to settle down with a good woman by his side like, again, Reed Richards?”

    Did you ever read Joe Quesada’s rationale for ending Peter and MJ’s marriage but keeping Reed and Sue’s? The guy could be a contortionist.

  3. Well, that is most unfortunate. Much of Spiderman’s charm comes from his nerdy, somewhat innocent ways. He’s an accidental superhero. We all know there’s something special about him, but he’s not a sophisticated James Bond or even a Batman-like character. Spiderman could stumble into a love triangle I suppose, but it sure wouldn’t be true to his character.

  4. More Slottian flatulence. I doubt the writing has improved much since SSM and ASM. Turning Peter Parker into a Stark/Wayne philanderer is as nonsensical and unoriginal as Slott gets.

    Changes to the costume also look silly. What’s with the over-sized glowing spider logo?

    1. Look at his webs. Those are also glowing. Do his webs now hack into computers and send the data up a line into his costume when he shoots them? Heh. This is going to get really weird.

  5. Ugh. Will this Slott nonsense ever end? How do these idiots who he proposes these stories to sit there and not kick him out of the room immediately?

    1. They’re all buddy-buddy. When you become too friendly with your peers and they can’t give you honest feedback, then it’s detrimental to the creative process. You just have these guys that are running amok, and when they screw up they won’t admit it. Everything they do is the work of genius, and if you disagree then you’re just ungrateful to be standing in the shade of giants.

  6. To better encapsulate my feelings towards this decision by Marvel, I’m going to steal a friend of mine’s joke on the subject:

    “I think Dan Slott is confusing Peter Parker for Tony Stark

    Distances himself from Spider-Man by saying it’s a body guard : check

    Corporate Tycoon : double check

    Suit with advanced technology : triple fucking check”

    Sure it’s an oversimplification, but honestly, I think it works.

    1. Yep. The thing is, Marvel and Dan Slott are trying to pass off this concept as something original. It’s laughable. Yes, it does open up new story possibilities, but there is no reason to believe that the current creative team on the book will actually take advantage of the best options. The needed to get him out of New York City, and this was the only thing they could come up with. Marvel needed to make room for Miles and Silk and Spider-Gwen and Spider-Woman, etc. Bye, bye, Peter. We’re packing your bags and sending you off to Shanghai.

  7. Perhaps the upcoming ASM is really Spock 2.0… Remember the 100 day Anna Maria program that was to to awaken? That is part of Spock’s plan in motion.

    1. That would make it even worse for Peter Parker fans. If the relaunch of ASM was a stealth relaunch of SSM, it would be a giant slap in the face to anyone who loves Peter Parker. Given that, I’d say your theory has a 35 percent chance of being correct. 🙂 If it’s something that would really annoy long-time fans, it’s always within the realm of possibility that Marvel will go that route.

  8. Peter being anything but Peter again. The same old song.
    Unless the promise that “elements” of Renew Your Vows remaining was a supremely dishonest troll marketing tactic to keep readers invested in this summer and early fall’s marriage-related event, there’s no possible way something so grounded can be reconciled with something as out of Peter’s natural element as this. At worst, if Annie carries over but not MJ, Peter will come off as a neglectful high-rise society dad.

    Tom Brevroot is also acting the fool on his forumspring, even going as far as to say “yep, this is more relatable than him being married”. They are living in the Marvel equivalent of the Wrestling Bubble Principal, they are now so detached from the wants and needs of the consumer market that they have convinced themselves that everything they do to divorce Peter from his regularities is more of a challenge than actively relying on what made him a commodity. They are always trying to give you what you don’t really demand on the off-chance you’ll find it more “surprising”, well we’d find it more surprising if you followed the instructions and played with your toys within reason.

    I’m reminded of the Mr. Bean sketch where he tells the story of the birth of Christ in a toy shop, only he uses a regiment army, a dinosaur, and a dalek. That worked as a comedy, this is supposed to be serious.

    1. “Tom Brevroot is also acting the fool on his forumspring, even going as far as to say ‘yep, this is more relatable than him being married.'”

      So fans can better relate to Peter Parker when he makes deals with demons and becomes a billionaire tech titan who jet-sets from San Francisco to New York to London and Shanghai on a regular basis. Got it, Tom. Keep up the great work, buddy.

  9. Apparently Dan Slott recently posted on CBR that he decided to write this relaunch while all the other creative teams were being shuffled out of pure spite towards his critics. Sorry not interested in this when you get the point where writers aren’t just doing whatever the hell they want and occasionally taking jabs at you to said writers confessing that there future stories exist for the sole purpose of torturing you for not worshipping his past work there is no reason for any of us fans to buy the book it would be even more masochistic to do so now.

    Of course the moderators deleted Dan’s comment not long after he posted it. They didn’t want that bit of news to come out.

    I’m going to take Nick’s advice he gave me “permission to leave” I may not have been purchasing ASM but I can still leave by not following this fiasco until someone else comes in charge. I love your reviews some say you’re a little to aggressive towards Slott but keep it up there are enough honest reviews out there already we people like you to keep the pressure on these manchildren.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Ryan. I can understand the “aggressive” critique, but those people should look at my reviews within the context of what you just said:

      “Apparently Dan Slott recently posted on CBR that he decided to write this relaunch while all the other creative teams were being shuffled out of pure spite towards his critics. […] Of course the moderators deleted Dan’s comment not long after he posted it. They didn’t want that bit of news to come out.”

      That is huge news. Does anyone have a screenshot of that? Do you have a link to the page? Is there a cached version? If someone can get a screenshot of that, I will gladly write up a blog post. I’m not sure how anyone can complain about an aggressive (but generally pretty fair) approach to Dan Slott’s ASM run when a.) Dan Slott is making comments like that, and b.) moderators are deleting his inflammatory comments to cover up for him.

      Slott doesn’t seem to get it: every time he behaves like that, guys like me and Hube will be there to shine a giant spotlight on his behavior. We will chronicle it so that future ASM fans will be able to put his run into the proper perspective. When a true professional takes control of the wheel, then his immature behavior will become even more apparent.

      Dan Slott’s fans shouldn’t be turned off by my “aggressive” reviews — they should be livid that certain moderators at sites like CBR are not honest brokers. They delete comments by Dan Slott to protect him from bad press, they ban people who shouldn’t be banned, they send comments down Orwellian Memory Holes, etc. Fans are not getting the comic books they deserve because the comic book websites are totally in bed with the creators.

      Let’s talk about love triangles: the love triangles between sites like CBR, companies like Marvel, and creators like Dan Slott.

    2. I read about this on the Crawlspace forum. The person who caught this regrets not screencapping it. Had I known about it I certainly would have (anything to get me from ‘tending to my “decapitated barbie doll heads” right? ROFL)

      However, Dan’s been a busy boy on there all day arguing with people about the new direction, here’s yet another outburst from him

    3. How sad is it that moderators at CBR are following Dan Slott around with a little digital mop and bucket to clean up his public relations diarrhea? I once had a moderator at Comic Vine tell me off the grid that a certain thread was closed to “save Dan Slott from himself.” Telling, isn’t it? Dan Slott wants his inflammatory comments erased so he can essentially whisper in your ear “Shhhhhhhh. This never happened.”

    4. Mister Mets, the moderator on the CBR Spider-Man forums, has provided ellaboration on the alleged comments Dan made about staying on to spite critics over on the Crawl Space. The one thing we can take out of this though? Dan apparently has EIGHT YEARS worth of stories planned out for the book

    5. I think the person who told Slott to die should have faced consequences, but here is the takeaway line:

      “I feel spite to be a really strong motivator” — Dan Slott.

      How often does a creative endeavor performed in spite translate into a good product? Dan Slott admits that he is fueled, in part, by spite. He didn’t say that the criticism forces him to become a better writer — he just said that he is motivated by spite. He has given fans a window into his soul, to which I ask once more: Is this the kind of person who should be in charge of handling Peter Parker’s adventures? I say, emphatically, the answer is no.

    1. George Berryman over at Spider-Man Crawlspace has put forth an interesting theory. I have said for quite some time that Marvel was knee-capping Peter. When one considers all weird racial comments Marvel writers have made over the past few years, coupled the company’s diversity-for-the-sake-of-diversity editorial moves, it is hard to outright dismiss what Mr. Berryman is saying.

      “I try not to be a ‘conspiracy theory’ kind of guy but with this I have no other choice but to conclude that Marvel actively wants us to reject Peter for Miles now. If you consider that possibility then it makes sense that Marvel would be willing to keep a mediocre writer on a book for throwaway stories.

      “That’s all I can come up with now. This is the most confounding, creatively bankrupt wave of b.s. I’ve seen from the Spider-office since Quesada’s self-perceived ‘masterpiece.’ And it may be intentionally bad in order to trump up Miles so they can eventually replace Peter with him. Think about it. What better way to do that then to make Peter even less enjoyable?”

      I give Mr. Berryman credit: this is the kind of comic book conversation kick-starter that would get squashed on other websites.

    2. That’s an interesting theory. Do you think the idea is to influence the movies by means of the comics? To create enough fan support for Miles Morales (even if it’s only because they have nowhere else to go) that they’ll do that version in the next film rather than Peter Parker?

      I know Sony was pretty adamant about using Peter for the next iteration in the leaked emails, but do you think the comic creators were trying to get the movie people to go that way?

    3. If Marvel plays the long-ball, it can do what Bendis wants — make Miles “the” Spider-Man of this generation. The company has invested so much time and resources into Peter that it’s like a giant locomotive that can’t really stop on a dime. It’s going to take a bit to slow the Parker train, park it into the station, and then go full-steam ahead with Morales.

      I suppose if the Sony/Marvel partnership goes well they can eventually just give Miles his own movie. That makes much more sense than the rumored Aunt May film. 😉 I’d be pretty annoyed if an Aunt May film that just ripped off Agent Carter was made before a Miles Morales movie. Heh. There’s a part of me that just wishes Marvel Studios stayed back and let Sony bomb — again — so it could get complete control of Peter Parker.

      Although, here’s another scenario. Sony keeps partial control of Peter Parker while Marvel continues to find ways to undermine his credibility. On a long enough timeline, how weird would it be if the only good depiction of Peter a fan could get was because Sony retained the rights?

  10. Claremont admitted that he used to deliberately write all those Madripoor stories because he knew Wolverine fans didn’t like them. I’ve said it elsewhere, Slott is a Glen Larson 1980s kind of writer, so everything he does on Spider-Man reminds me of Knight Rider. I also think that Marvel has abandoned the idea of building long-term customer engagement through the use of consistent cast members and on-going sub-plots. I think they’re treating everything in the major titles as if they are all possible MCU story-boards.

    1. And that’s the wrong approach to use. It sucks that the publishing side wants to reflect the movie side, which is quite limited in scope because of time and money constraints. One reason why Marvel got bought by Disney was because of the Film Studio’s resources to power up Marvel Films finances.

      Ever since Axel Alfonzo took over, Marvel has become more like its movie counterpart, which is more like the Ultimate Universe, which I was never a fan of. Yet, unlike other alternate universe brands, The Ultimate Universe is now part of the regular Marvel Universe.

    2. “Slott is a Glen Larson 1980s kind of writer, so everything he does on Spider-Man reminds me of Knight Rider.”

      I think that’s a pretty decent comparison, actually. I can see that. There’s definitely an 80s vibe to his work, although to me it’s more along the lines of a mindless 80s cartoon that you really liked when you were a kid, and then you got older and thought, “What the heck was I thinking?”

      In some sense the old Knight Rider episodes are like that. Maybe we can fuse the two of our ideas and agree that Dan Slott would be better off writing a remake of the old cartoon “Turbo Teen”? 🙂

      “I think they’re treating everything in the major titles as if they are all possible MCU story-boards.”

      Agreed. I think this too is a fair assessment of what’s going on. I can see that.

    3. Dan can definitely sniff out an 80s reference a mile off though…he actually got me banned by the moderators on CBR after reading me make reference to the sword of omens

    4. Maybe it’s because I too am a child of the 80s, but I honestly don’t think a Thundercats reference like that was enough to give you away. Heck, they attempted to relaunch the cartoon in 2011. My guess is that Mr. Slott hyper-analyzes any sort of comment with an 80s reference to see if it might be you. Even if you’ve commented 400 times, he’ll probably start trolling through your previous comments to put together a psychological profile. When he gets enough information, he pulls the trigger and calls the user out. If it’s you, great. If not, then there’s very little downside. As we have seen, the moderators are more than happy to flush Slott’s comments down the Memory Hole.

  11. When I did a post on the CBR forum regarding to Tigra being a part of Spider-Man’s world(in place of Carlie Cooper) as part of the NYPD CSI Unit as well as the notion that the character could become an ally of Peter Parker, Slott told me that Tigra was left field because she never had a strong link with Peter Parker in the past. I made a comment that she worked with Spider-Man 3 times in the Marvel Team-Up series and stated that in retrospect, Gerry Conway should have included her in the pages of ASM back in the 1970’s (after her initial self titled The Cat series had concluded) because she could have been Spider-Man’s first anti-Catwoman partnership in contrast to Felicia Hardy who was stuck in that category.

    Here is the following remarks:

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthfury78:
    Gerry Conway was the first ASM to pair Greer Grant with Spider-Man in a team-up adventure and J.M. DeMatteis was the last ASM writer to use her and Spider-Man together. After that, no one else has used Tigra and Spider-Man together since 1982. It might had been fun to had seen Tigra featured in Kraven’s Last Hunt if DeMatteis had used her in that story in addition to Spider-Man.

    Dan Slott:
    I disagree.
    For DeMatteis to have used her in KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT would have been a very bizarre and arbitrary choice… based solely off of one Marvel Team-Up story and an out of continuity Spidey Super Story. Having any other hero running around during KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT (especially an arbitrary one) would have pulled focus away from the very simple/clean/poetic focus of the bare bones cast of Spider-Man, Kraven, Vermin, and MJ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthfury78:
    Had Conway integrated Greer into Spider-Man’s world, she might have avoided being used as an avatar for Tigra. In addition, Greer might have been Peter’s first anti-catwoman relationship whereby she’s a cat themed character who works as a part of the NYPD of which Felicia Hardy is not. Greer might have been the perfect contrast to Felicia as one of Peter’s close friends, especially if Conway had transferred her from University of Chicago to ESU as one of Peter’s classmates. The one thing that might have bonded them together was the lose of a loved one which as Greer’s husband and Peter’s Gwen Stacy.

    Dan Slott:
    HAD they had done this… It MIGHT have gone this way… IF there was a story where…

    When you talk about Peter/Spider-Man and Greer/Tigra, you keep mentioning things that DIDN’T happen in the past, but that you would have LIKED to have happened. That’s called “head canon”. There are stories that you wished had taken place, but in the end, they didn’t happen at all.

    It’s okay to want things– and even to have wanted things to have happened differently. But “head canon” cannot act as “actual canon.” Actual canon (or actual continuity) belongs to books we’ve all read– and experiences we’ve all shared together as an audience. In that actual continuity, there have been only 1 or 2 adventures where Spidey & Tigra have properly teamed up and spent quality time together. And those are two adventures that most of the newer audience (of the past 30 years) haven’t really experienced. So this whole Spidey & Tigra shipping really feels like it comes out of left field. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthfury78:
    In the world of comics, everything is left field. Silk and Spider-Man(and to some extent, Alpha) is left field because she has the same origins as Peter which was never presented by any other writer in the past.

    Dan Slott:
    Yes. In the same way that Cloak & Dagger were “left field” when they were created. Or the Prolwer. Or the Lizard– or ANY character when they first appeared.

    That is not comparable to someone creating an improbable relationship to a character Spider-Man had 2 encounters with over 50+ years, just because of your personal head canon and your desire to “ship” them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthfury78:
    Felicia becoming a villain is left field because of what Otto did to her?
    I think you’re confusing story concepts with “Why won’t Dan do the one thing that I, Darthfury78, wants done.”
    Felicia’s turn, the Doc Ock/Superior storyline, Flash becoming Agent Venom, Kaine getting cured in Spider-Island and becoming the new Scarlet Spider…

    Dan Slott:
    …are all status changes that came out of stories *I* the writer wished to tell.

    Every story has to come from *somewhere*.
    I have absolutely no interest in building off of 2 random issues of Marvel Team-Up to backwards build a Greer/Peter relationship where none really existed before– or bore any interesting fruit.

    The Felicia Crime Boss turn didn’t come out of nowhere.
    It came from Superior Spider-Man running into the Black Cat. How WOULD he deal with her? That is the premise that spiraled into– she flirts with him, he takes her out, she goes to jail, she loses everything, she breaks out…. and what happens next.

    That’s a world away from: Hey, remember that Marvel Team-Up from 33 years ago? Someone should really bring back that thing from it… that didn’t sort of even happen in it… because…. well… WOULDN’T it have been cool if that character WERE in Kraven’s Last Hunt?

    THAT is left field.
    And that’s being generous to the field.
    That’s more like out of left continent.
    Or left spiral arm of the galaxy. 😉

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Slott:
    Every story has to come from *somewhere*.
    I have absolutely no interest in building off of 2 random issues of Marvel Team-Up to backwards build a Greer/Peter relationship where none really existed before– or bore any interesting fruit.

    Darthfury78:
    No one is asking you to write a Spider-Man and Tigra story. Just as no one is asking you to write a Spider-Man and Captain Marvel story either. I asked for your opinion. That was it.

    Every Spider-Man writer has a favorite. What doesn’t interest you someone else will take advantage of. Just like Peter dating Carol Danvers, which you went on record to say that if you had done the story, one of them would be a Skrull.

    And the Spider-Man and Tigra story would not in any way revisit the old Marvel Team-up from where their last adventure left off. Although, I did mentioned that I wished that she was integrated into Spider-Man’s world as NYPD Crime Scene Investigator, in retrospect. It doesn’t mean that you have to write it anymore than someone wanting to write a Spider-Man and Wolverine team-up adventure against Thomas Fireheart: The Puma.
    —————————————————————–

    Dan Slott tells me that Tigra in Spider-Man’s world is left field? Yet, he creates a situation of which Peter Parker as Tony Stark is as left field as they come, Especially, Otto jumping into Peter’s body and taking charge of his life without one hint of suspicion from those who know him. Yeah, Spider-Man can’t be in a relationship with a super heroine. Yet he’s allowed to be a CEO of company that’s not really his to begin with.

    1. Seems that Dan should have just said “I don’t feel like catering to these wants” and leaves it at that rather than try to deconstruct an argument. There are definite left-field romances in many a superhero book, and what of Peter and Kitty? Arguably one of the most popular pairings of the Ultimate Universe, that was introduced swiftly in one annual where the two had only casually known each other previously, and it’s a relationship where both parties take an active crime-fighting interest. It’s only ended when Peter realizes the depths of his feelings towards MJ and Kitty in-universe never got over that.

    2. Dan Slott respects the history of Peter Parker — that he likes — and the rest is malleable. In a similar vein, his ideas are never out of left field but yours are and all of his internet critics are “crazy.” He acknowledges that his response to criticism is to “dig in” his heels instead of trying to look at said criticism from an objective point of view. He admits using “spite” as a motivator. The guy has problems and should be called out on those problems when it’s appropriate. Unfortunately, comic website moderators tend to act like his Praetorian guard.*

      *Editor’s note: Yes, I did get that line from Ted Cruz.

    1. John Byrne needs to just drop the mic and walk away. Boom!

      Dan Slott: “I’ve been reading comics for over 40 years. I love ’em and respect ’em from every era.”

      John Byrne: “Fit that into your work some time. Might make for fun reading.”

      And more:

      Dan Slott: “It’s not courage to speak out in a place where someone else controls both the vertical and the horizontal. You don’t fly into Cuba and say anything that might upset Castro. That wouldn’t be courage. That’d be madness, right?”

      John Byrne: “Perpetuating the myth that opinions different from mine are not allowed in the JBF? Want to scurry down to your LCS with a tale of how you stood up to Big Bad Byrne? Yawn.”

      It’s weird that Dan Slott would essentially compare Mr. Byrne’s site to Communist Cuba. It’s insulting, but also hilarious considering that Dan Slott favors comic book websites with Castro-wannabe moderators.

      Another good one:

      John Byrne: “When I started attending conventions on a regular basis, back in the Seventies, I was disturbed by the “dark” thread that seemed to run thru a lot of fandom. I was assured — mostly by Roger Stern — that the fans who attended cons were somewhat atypical, and that the majority of our audience was casual readers who enjoyed the books and characters for what they were, and didn’t devote a lot of mental energy (especially “dark” mental energy) to them.

      But, as I have noted before, as the marketplace has shrunk, the people who we used to consider fringe elements (“walking wounded” we called them) had not only seem undiminished in numbers, but have actually moved closer to the center. And, to make matters worse, a lot of current pros (or, at least, their attitudes) seem to be drawn from this group.

      There was a time when, quite literally, letters that would come in demanding that the characters age, or be more violent, or more sexual, or all of the above — well, those letters would get a laugh around the Office, and then be consigned to the trash.

      Today, it often feels like such missives are considered source material!”

      It keeps getting better:

      John Byrne: All-Ages should mean that you can read and enjoy a comic when you’re ten, and if you happen to come back to that same comic when you’re 20 you’ll find LAYERS there of which you were not previously aware. Likewise at 30 and forty, and so on.”

      I have said for years now that Dan Slott does not get this very point. Well said by Mr. Byrne.

    2. I think my favourite part of Slott’s conversations with Bryne’s fans was this little nugget

      DAN: “Even though you think that reader “doesn’t care a whit about fifty years of previous Spider-Man stories”– those kids KNOW Spider-Man. They’ve seen the Raimi movies on Netflix, they’ve seen the Webb movies in the theaters, and they’ve DVR’ed the hell out of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon on Disney XD. They KNOW what Spider-Man is supposed to be”

      Dan, the Raimi, Webb, and Ultimate Spideys are the farthest thing from what Spider-Man is supposed to be, Dan.

    3. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the first Raimi movie. I’m also willing to cut movie directors some slack because it’s really tough to essentially condense decades of material from the comics into a (good) film. Any time you switch mediums there are going to be compromises that need to be made. To me the importance should be placed on knowing where one cannot compromise while also making sure to keep the character’s “core” intact.

      I thought Webb’s first outing was “eh” but it’s not like anyone (but Sony) was demanding a new Spider-Man movie so soon. I also thought Peter’s jokes made him come across more like a jerk than as a witty guy who was using jokes to hide his fear.

      I never saw the Ultimate cartoon, but I heard it was pretty bad. I’m still annoyed that Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was cancelled. That cartoon was great!

      Check out Season Two, Episode 23 to see Spider-Man help save the world. 🙂

      Disney Executive: “Hey, this cartoon is really something, isn’t it? Everyone likes it. I guess we should just pull the plug and give fans an inferior replacement.”

  12. This new set-up for Peter Parker is the sort of thing a writer does when he’s bored with a character — you come up with increasingly nutty scenarios, because you aren’t interested in the character. Zany scenarios are what currently sells the magazine. SSM was bizarre, but Slott was enthusiastic about it, which showed in his writing, Spider-Verse was 100% about being zany and bizarre. The villains were lousy, but that didn’t matter because they were just there to make the flashing, sparking story-gizmo to spin. Carnival fireworks are what he’s good at; you notice the soap-opera stuff he writes never flies — which is why badgering him with one’s obsessive love-interest fancies is a waste of time. He writes all of that part poorly. I’ve seen little evidence from his writing that Dan Slott understands the heart. He writes what he’s good at, which is to set up colorfully sparky, popping, fizzing plot, and it sells well even though the stories have more holes than the Long Island Expressway.

    1. “Carnival fireworks are what he’s good at; you notice the soap-opera stuff he writes never flies — which is why badgering him with one’s obsessive love-interest fancies is a waste of time. He writes all of that part poorly. I’ve seen little evidence from his writing that Dan Slott understands the heart.”

      Speaking of “hearts,” that comment was like an intellectual dagger through the heart. That one cut deep.

      I think Dan Slott means well, but because he is so immature he throws online temper tantrums when faced with legitimate criticism. He doesn’t know how to handle it when someone exposes his weaknesses as a writer. His problem isn’t that he doesn’t have a heart to tap into for powerful stories as much as he lacks empathy for anyone with an opposing worldview.

      That “spite” comment was incredibly telling. He knows how to write stories for people who see the world through a similar psychological prism, but he’s essentially incapable of writing entertaining tales through a more objective lens. He sees at sea level but he can’t really get a few from 10,000 feet. That severely limits what he can successfully pull off. Instead of perhaps admitting his faults he “digs in” and doubles down on “spite.” Sad.

  13. Hello Douglas. Big fan of the blog. Been a silent reader for a long time and have finally decided to comment.

    As always, well written and fun to read. Your use of the word “pupate” nearly had me in tears. So funny!

    I enjoy these reviews and updates as I (for the first time since I was about 6) am a bit out of touch with Spider-Man and the happenings over at Marvel, primarily because I’ve been boycotting the company (as well as DC) for the past several years.

    I’ve heard many people say that Dan Slott’s Silver Surfer is basically a Slottian adaptation of Doctor Who and so based on the white tux wearing, bimbo-juggling, goofy gadget – mobile driving Peter Parker I see here I’m going to go ahead and put my money on this new volume of Spider-Man reading like the Dan Slott remake of a late-Connery/Moore Era James Bond film.

    1. Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it. It always makes my day when someone who has read (and enjoyed) the blog for awhile shares their thoughts in the comments section for the first time.

      First off, I can totally understand your boycott. In fact, there was a period of time when I did the same. At some point in time I just got so fed up with the perpetually-glowing reviews certain comic websites gave to questionable stories that I just went for it. I know there are some people who think it’s weird I still buy Marvel products on occasion, but I figure that if I spend $4.00 and write an honest review then I might a.) save a few guys and gals who don’t have much disposable income some money, or b.) point those same readers in the direction of a book that is truly worth their attention. Dan Slott’s weird decision to stalk me around the internet also played a role in prompting me to write ASM reviews on a much more regular basis. If I can’t talk about comics elsewhere without getting hassled, then I guess I’ll have to do more of it here. 😉

      As it pertains to Silver Surfer, I heard the same thing. My personal opinion is that I’m not sure how Dan Slott can really write a character who has been likened to a philosopher of the cosmos…but I think it would be going too far if I zeroed in on that book, too. Spider-Man was my first comic book love, so he gets the bulk of my blogging attention.

      If you’re right about the next volume of ASM reading like a Roger Moore-era James Bond, then the next couple of years are going to be pretty painful. The only thing I really remember as a teenager watching those on TNT’s “Bond Week” was that at some point in time Roger was a bit too old for those ladies… Yes, he’s James Bond, but it was getting a little weird towards the end.

      Dan Slott didn’t do a very good juggling the complexity of Spider-Verse, so I’m not sure how he’s going to fare with a globetrotting CEO/Superhero who needs to go from San Francisco to New York to London and then Shanghai on a regular basis. My early prediction is that the run will be creatively herky-jerky. With all of these different locations, new characters, new job responsibilities, etc., I just see it being a challenge to get into a groove and build momentum. I do think that opening up Peter’s world offers a lot of cool possibilities, but I have almost zero confidence that Dan Slott will consistently hit the mark. I can’t be happy with one cool issue of ASM out of every 8-10. The lead-up to Spider-Verse was atrocious. I’m not sure how anyone can say with a straight face that Dan Slott wasn’t either on autopilot or just completely focused on Spider-Verse deadlines/Silver Surfer.

      Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. I’m always interested to hear what you think.

    2. You’re quite welcome.

      I love Spider-Man. I also love the Flash (that’s only 1/4 true…I’m specifically a Wally West fan). More so than either of them I love the comic book medium. That is where my Marvel boycott stems from. I would love to see the comic book medium flourish into something that is respected and critiqued on the same level as film, music and prose novels. I feel that after nearly 100 years of history comic books should be on that level, but it’s kind of hard to demand intelligent people give the medium that sort of attention when the biggest publisher prints nothing but a never ending cycle of publicity stunts, shock value character “deaths”, temporary costume/power/relationship gimmicks and lackluster cross-over events. I remember reading the Marvel Comics solicitations on CBR one day and just thinking, “My God…all of this sounds so horrible!” and just haven’t bought a Marvel comic or (paid to see) a Marvel movie since.

      I was told by a teacher during my senior year of high school that I couldn’t count comic book pages toward my semester’s required reading because, “Comic books aren’t real literature.” I successfully argued her statement by pointing out that Watchmen had made Time Magazine’s “100 All Time Novels” list, a feat accomplished by very few of the books we read in class. After writing her a short extra credit essay on the history and evolution of comics I was granted the Watchmen (and ONLY Watchmen…she would make no other exceptions) page count.

      It’s frustrating to me that in all the time comic books have been a staple of American culture they’re still largely viewed in disgust by people in academic circles. Then again, it’s hard to argue that the medium is more than just pap for basement-dwelling, culturally isolated manboys when you’ve got basement-dwelling, culturally isolated manboys like Slott and Scott Lobdell working with some of the biggest publishers (on some of their biggest publications). It’s obvious that people are interested in comic book CHARACTERS and STORIES (comic book movie box office numbers will attest to that). I’d just like to see some of those people follow that interest to the actual comic book page so that the medium might survive.

      For years I’ve been trying to steer new readers and movie fans towards comics that might make them life long readers and away from soulless, churned-out nonsense like…well…pretty much everything Marvel puts out these days. I’ve ranted until I was blue in the face about the merits of the medium and the hypocrisy and corruption that happens behind the scenes to people who probably don’t even care (but apparently find a ranting comic book fan to be amusing). I just want to see quality comics, because comic books have SO MUCH potential. That’s why I appreciate what you do Douglas. For a long time I thought I was alone on this crusade, so I was very delighted to find this blog full of like-minded people.

      Thanks again. I’ll be reading.

    3. I’m going to respond a bit out of order here.

      “I’ve ranted until I was blue in the face about the merits of the medium and the hypocrisy and corruption that happens behind the scenes to people who probably don’t even care (but apparently find a ranting comic book fan to be amusing). I just want to see quality comics, because comic books have SO MUCH potential. That’s why I appreciate what you do Douglas. For a long time I thought I was alone on this crusade, so I was very delighted to find this blog full of like-minded people.”

      This too makes my day. One of the main reasons for writing this blog is that I don’t ever want a guy like you to feel like he is alone. I was a free market/strong national defense guy on a college campus in southern California years ago, which is an interesting (i.e., occasionally lonely) experience. At least I met my wife there, so I can’t complain! 🙂 Anyway, that same desire to reach out to young conservatives who are busy Googling certain issues also applies to men and women who wish comic book creators tried to elevate the craft instead. I’m not sure why Marvel seems to be vying to become the lowest common denominator’s go-to source for comic books.

      I’m not sure how long you’ve been reading the blog, but I’m assuming posts like this would be up your alley: “Guy Delisle’s ‘Pyongyang’ — a comic can become essential reading” I think if we ever sat down over dinner we could probably have some fun conversations on the industry.

      It’s frustrating to me that in all the time comic books have been a staple of American culture they’re still largely viewed in disgust by people in academic circles. Then again, it’s hard to argue that the medium is more than just pap for basement-dwelling, culturally isolated manboys when you’ve got basement-dwelling, culturally isolated manboys like Slott and Scott Lobdell working with some of the biggest publishers (on some of their biggest publications).

      In one of my debates with Mr. Slott some time ago, I mentioned that while he seems to think comics are “just” comics, it doesn’t have to be that way. I said that someone like Art Spiegelman used “Maus” to tell a tale that really resonated with people on a deeper level. Dan Slott causally tossed what he thought was a throwaway reference to Hitler and Pol Pot into his “Ends of the Earth” tale, but good writers don’t have throwaway lines. Every word is precious. Every word means something.

      I think there is a way that a comic like ASM could work on multiple levels. It can be written for younger readers, but also have layers to it that adults can appreciate it. Some Pixar movies have done this incredibly well. It can be done. Unfortunately, Marvel’s comics division doesn’t get it. That’s why you get issues of The Superior Spider-Man where Doc Ock is “pleasuring” himself to thoughts of MJ while “Ghost Peter” (or whatever he was) looks on in horror.

      If more modern creators had any self respect, then they would hang their heads in shame over what they’ve done to the industry.

  14. Nick Lowe said today that Slott is a fanatic student of the “weird” obscure parts of ASM lore. Does that sound fitting? Miss the character of the whole forest because you are interested in this clump of weird misshapen ferns over in the corner?

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Jack. As regular readers know, I have often said Dan Slott creates a warped “fun house mirror” version of Peter Parker. I’m glad that Nick Lowe agrees with me. 😉 Someone tell Dan Slott.

  15. So over on CBR, Dan is on the warpath again defending the new direction, and Mike (aka Stillanerd) is called out and told to “please stop” interpreting the book a certain way by the author, who insists the book discussed at length on Tumblr, the Crawlspace, and other websites is not the one published by Marvel

    Then, in another thread, he sees someone using a picture uploaded from your blog and immediately dismisses the person’s opinions as invalid because he talks with you, who he believes wants Peter to actually murder Koreans, and labels this blog as “Crazy Town”.

    1. Notice how a picture someone uses from the actual comic is suddenly invalid because it’s a screenshot taken from my blog. Haha! I hope someone calls Dan Slott out on his continued use of red herring and “poisoning the well” fallacies.

      The funny thing is that he completely distorts my original position on the North Korean thing — again — because all he really knows how to do is to lie and distort when he’s cornered. For those who are interested, I thoroughly dismantled some of Dan Slott’s distortions here: “Dan Slott goes nuts over sales because he knows Spider-Man fans don’t respect him”

      “The reason why I was upset was that with 6 billion lives on the line, Dan Slott’s Peter Parker took precious time — when every second counted — to lecture his teammates about the sanctity of North Korea’s gulag overseers.”

      Why does Dan Slott feel the need to obsess over me on websites with friendly moderators, but he never brings his personal attacks here? Oh, yeah, that’s because he knows that I’ll intellectually tear him to shreds.

      Dan Slott, since you’re reading this, you really need to stop. Every time you mention my name and lie about this blog, people come here and realize that you are, in fact, a liar. Most comic book readers seem to know this by now, but your continued obsession with me (from far, far away) only hammers home the point.

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