Lian Tang SpiderMan

The Amazing Spider-Man has relaunched yet again, and this time around Peter Parker is a CEO of his own worldwide company. He apparently took driving lessons to handle a car like a young Mario Andretti. He apparently took Mandarin and became fluent in a matter of months. He is “very” close to his Asian business partner, and he’s fortunate to have new technology on hand for almost any dilemma. At the end of the day, a review of this relaunch boils down to whether or not Peter Parker fans should embrace The Amazing “poor man’s Tony Stark.”

Like much of Dan Slott’s work, he offers a mixed bag of interesting ideas with the downright bizarre and embarrassing.

Take, for instance, Parker’s refusal to fire the woman he knows has a.) pro-actively worked to undermine his core vision, and b.) actually attempted to ally with a super-villain who destroyed his New York offices and almost killed everyone inside.

Peter Parker Sajani

For those don’t remember, here is a flashback to The Amazing Spider-Man #17:

Sajani Jaffrey: I think we can be allies. I’ve heard of you. The Ghost – corporate saboteur, right? Which means someone hired you, probably to torpedo our super-prison. Well, guess what? Nothing would make me happier. It’s all my partner’s idea. I think it’s a stinker. I’ll make you a deal: Don’t hurt anyone, leave the rest of our projects alone…and I’ll show you the best, fastest way to wreck the prison stuff beyond repair. What do you say?

The Ghost: You’re a shrewd negotiator, young lady.

To CEO Peter Parker, working with corporate saboteurs to destroy his company is only worth a “talk.”

As was the case with The Superior Spider-Man, Mr. Slott must dumb down his characters in order to get from Point A to Point B. Characters during SSM needed to not realize Doctor Octopus was inside Peter’s mind to keep Slott’s story going, and so their intelligence dropped 20 points.

Mr. Slott now needs Sajani to move his plot along, so Peter Parker blithely overlooks a betrayal that any normal person would fire – and sue – her over.

One of the more interesting aspects of the book comes when it is revealed Peter has hired Hobie Brown (aka: The Prowler) to be his “decoy” Spider-Man. While the decision offers the potential for a very fun relationship to form, one cannot help but wonder if Brown is a “poor man’s James Rhodes.”

Hobie Brown Prowler

Is The Amazing Spider-Man #1 worth buying? That’s a good question. If you like Guiseppe Camuncoli’s work, then sure. If you want to read about Peter Parker-Stark, then sure. If you can put up with Dan Slott’s “sweet” ideas being drowned out by others that are seriously “sour,” then sure.

If, however, you read Renew Your Vows and felt as though Marvel finally captured the essence — no matter how fleeting — of the “real” Peter Parker, then you will probably want to withhold your cash.

Editor’s Note: Regular readers know that I am in the process of learning Mandarin. Let me just say that one does not simply begin taking Mandarin lessons and become fluent in a matter of months. This is the kind of writing that drives fans mad. Dan Slott could put Peter in Saudi Arabia tomorrow, have him speak fluent Arabic, and then make the character say, “Yeah, so…in addition to expanding this global tech-empire, fighting super-villains, inventing new technology, and learning Mandarin over the last couple of months, I just-so-happened to take a few Arabic classes as well.”

If you think that is jarring and lazy writing, then it is likely Dan Slott will call your criticism invalid.

SpiderMan speaks Mandarin

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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.

38 comments

  1. I found your comment on Mandarin interesting, since I am studying it myself. According to the US government agency Foreign Service Institute (FSI), it takes 2200 hours or 88 weeks to master Mandarin. The US comedy show The Big Bang Theory, had an episode where physicist Dr. Sheldon Cooper tried to learn Mandarin. The result was he got everything messed up. Peter is a scientific genius. There’s no indication in previous books he could master languages easy. Not only do you have the pronunciation pinyin to worry about, all the characters take time to learn. Even if you focus on the most common statically occurring characters.

    1. Peter is a scientific genius. There’s no indication in previous books he could master languages easy. Not only do you have the pronunciation pinyin to worry about, the all the characters take time to learn.

      You’re actually learning to read and write? That’s hard-core. I’m opting to just learn how to speak for now. It will come in handy with my relatives, and my wife and I will have our own secret language when necessary as an added bonus. 🙂

  2. Hey, Doug. I was ‘fortunate’ to read a leak of this on 4Chan on Monday and am of exactly the same opinion as always. Peter keeping Sanjani around despite her betrayals is one thing, but I found it even more disrespectful for him to turn the “great power” speech into a commercial tagline. Also I’m surprised a certain rice supplyer hasn’t sued him for calling his foundation “Uncle Bens'” (rofl)

    And yes, the Webware thing is so obviously going to be tapped into by Doc Ock for yet another world-domination scheme, and when it’s all traced back to Peter, coupled with anything else Sanjani gets up to, Peter will be blamed entirely for what transpires and he will alienate everyone he’s mended fences with, and the same tiresome cycle goes on and on

    In the meantime, I have been enjoying the dickens out of the daily newspaper strip, which has a very topical storyline going on, Mary Jane has been trying her best to find a means of negoitating a peaceful resolution to an international incident caused by Namor, she wants to use her calming influence on him to get him to stop sinking ships out of retaliation for the continuous poisoning of the oceons. She wants to work with Peter to help reach him, using his resources as Spider-Man. It is this kind of pro-activeness that we sorely need more from the character.

    1. Thanks for the reply, Zarius. I heard about the 4Chan leak. I never really go there and I can’t really remember that last time went to Reddit. The moderators at Reddit are a giant joke.

      Anyway, I really did enjoy the art of this book. I’d almost buy it for Camuncoli’s work alone. It really does make up for Slott’s writing, which is usually a mixed bag.

      I’m glad to hear the newspaper strip continues to put out a product that resonates with you. It will be a sad day when that ends. I wonder how many stories are in the bag at any given time. I wonder if it’s possible they have roughly a year’s worth of material on hand (or more).

    2. Most of the time the strip has about three storylines per year, usually the tail-end of the previous year’s arc,one full arc over the spring and summer, and then a fall arc that leads into the next year. If you pay a subscription fee you can get the whole year

  3. Stillanerd’s review is now up. Great stuff, as always.

    “And in what can only be interpreted an obvious attempt to blunt his critics, Slott has the press accuse Peter of being a “Poor man’s Tony Stark.” But what Slott doesn’t seem to realize is that calling attention those criticisms to lampshade them doesn’t automatically negate those criticisms.”

    And…

    “Moreover, Spider-Man has adopted a more practical approach and outlook to crime-fighting, that while he’s still willing to save bad guys whenever possible, he openly admits that his vow of “no one dies on my watch” was an “impossible goal.” In that single moment, one cannot help but think Slott, through Spider-Man, is apologizing to the reader for what was a short-sighted creative decision from earlier in his run.”

    Regular readers will remember that I hammered on this point in June, 2012: “Dan Slott’s Spider-Man: World’s Dumbest Super Hero”.

    “Spider-Man is put in a situation where he must choose between saving Silver Sable’s life as she is held beneath rising water by the immovable Rhino, or stopping a satellite launch that will doom billions. Our hero feebly pulls at his enemy’s forearm like a little boy who yearns for a toy until Sable uses one of her last breaths to berate his idiocy: ‘If you don’t go — EVERYONE DIES! GO!'”

    Time flies.

    1. I like “no one dies” for Spider-Man, but you have to set that up tonally. Comics are far too dark nowadays for that. I’d be alright with a Spider-Man book where that would work, but I don’t think writers could do it.

      What is with Slott and pointing out his own flaws? He did it back-to-back, in the last issue of RYV and the first of Amazing Peter Stark. He doesn’t actually address the point, he just brings it up and it flops onto the floor, then he just sort of awkwardly walks away from it. What use does this world have for this version of Peter Parker if it already has a Tony Stark? Nobody ever suggested that Peter was on Stark’s level as a technical genius. He’s smart, sure. And I could see a “Parker Industries,” since he has obviously invented some things nobody else has. But social media apps? Is this the same Peter Parker? When has he ever cared about computers and that kind of thing? He’s always been into physics and biology and such, but that’s nothing like the same thing. Sort of like the learning-Mandarin-in-a-few-days thing — oh, he’s smart, so he’s generically good at everything. Real people have specialties and are no better than anybody else at things they’re not specialists in.

      I’m not sure I agree about the art. I’m not actually clear on what the new suit is supposed to look like — the shading is so subtle that it’s not clear whether the emblem is supposed to be glowing (I assume it is) or what the deal is with the eyepieces. I thought it was okay but not great.

      Finally, to continue Marvel’s recent “eat your slop or get out” attitude, there’s the gay wedding they shove in for no reason. It really gets to me the way they can’t accept that any fictional character (or reader) could have different views than theirs. You’d think with Peter’s respect and admiration of Uncle Ben’s values, it’d be unlikely that he’d be so okay with this. But then casual sex goes directly against the core of his character and they had no problem having him engage in that, so I guess I shouldn’t expect any better.

      At least it saved me some money skimming the thing rather than wasting money on it.

    2. I guarantee you that when Dan Slott read this review he was hoping I would go off on a tangent about the same-sex marriage… I actually do have something to say about it, but it’s not what he thinks.

      I think the message Marvel is sending is rather annoying: “Hey, you guys loved married Peter Parker? You want to see Pete and MJ married, right? Well, too bad! You’re getting Max Modell’s wedding to some guy named Hector! And if you complain, then you somehow hate gay people, red-heads, and Mexicans…or something.”

    3. It’s just one of those in-your-face “screw you if you don’t want to read about this” kinds of things. I always wonder how these writers would feel if every other episode of some show they like, saw The Walking Dead, had a long and serious scene of a character earnestly preaching Southern Baptist Christian doctrine, thinly connected to the plot, or if every other article on Comics Alliance was hardcore right-wing political polemic. I know they’d find that incredibly annoying, but how do they not see that this kind of scene is exactly the same for other people? Or maybe they do get it and prefer to cause frustration because they can’t stand people who disagree with them. I’d like to think they’re oblivious but I think the real answer is that they’re spiteful.

      Oh yeah, and surprise — the element we’re keeping from RYV isn’t anything you want — it’s the lame villain! Whose motivation no longer exists but is still taking the same action! Hooray!

    4. I think a lot of the time it has more to do with insecurity than spite.

      Inserting the “right” kind of political activism into a creative project (i.e., liberalism) is the one thing that can score points with political-activist reviewers, which basically requires no thought on the writer’s part.

      Say Dan Slott doesn’t jam in all sorts of blatant political posturing into his book. Then it must be judged solely on its merits. But, if he pumps it up with calls for green technology, CEOs that pay themselves pennies, gay weddings, interracial relationships, etc. … then an activist reviewer cuts him slack where he should be taken to task (e.g., Peter not firing someone who tried to destroy his company with a super villain — even though he knows exactly how it all went down).

      In Dan Slott’s case, there is also a certain level of spite involved. Didn’t he explicitly say he inserted something into ASM recently to annoy certain fans, but the moderator at CBR erased it? I remember someone saying that in the comments section a few months ago.

    5. Also, did it feel like Slott was massively overcompensating, trying to make Peter seem competent by giving him every possible positive trait you can think of? Oh, he’s rich — but he’s humble because he doesn’t take a big salary! He’s a genius who invents a super-successful social media app (wasn’t that the last thing evil Tony Stark did in Superior Iron Man?), he tells Nick Fury what to do, he learns Mandarin, learns to drive like a stunt driver, and cures poisons.

      I’m all for having Peter be competent, but this seems like what a lazy writer would do if he was trying to make a convincing hero out of a total loser — just keep piling unrealistic positive traits on him until hopefully people can buy that he’s a plausible hero. I think the TV Tropes term for that is “Gary Stu,” the male version of Mary Sue.

      It’s just stupid that a person with a well-established personality could suddenly excel in a dozen fields we’ve never seen him have any talent for before. Rather than learn how to have him exhibit the positive character traits that readers enjoyed for decades, Slott takes his loser version and just keeps saying “well, what if he was a super-genius globetrotter? Would he be cool then? Well what if he could learn a language in days and have a hot foreign girlfriend? What if he could cure diseases and drive a super-car? In other words, if Spider-Man was James Bond crossed with Tony Stark, then would he be a good character?”

      Maybe that’s an okay idea for a character, though it seems like it’d work better for DC since Marvel already has the actual Tony Stark. But at any rate it’s not a description of a good Spider-Man, it’s a new character that kind of looks like Spider-Man but basically has nothing else in common with him.

      I don’t know, I grew up on 90’s Spider-Man. For me the quintessential Spider-Man story was Maximum Carnage. His goodness and desire to do right was palpable. In a scary situation, even the other heroes followed his lead because they trusted him to do the right thing. Pushed to his limits, exhausted and traumatized by seeing so many of the people of his city dead in the street, with the murderer at his feet and with the power to kill him, he still showed mercy.

      That’s the character I remember — not a shallow knock-off. He’s a man with less power than many of the other heroes, but in spite of that (or because of that) he has more humanity. He can see the person inside the monster and still have hope that somehow he can repent. I don’t know where Slott’s conception of the character comes from, but his tenure can’t end soon enough to suit me. It’s clear that he doesn’t know how to write Spider-Man and just wants to write other characters instead.

    6. “Slott takes his loser version and just keeps saying “well, what if he was a super-genius globetrotter? Would he be cool then? Well what if he could learn a language in days and have a hot foreign girlfriend? What if he could cure diseases and drive a super-car? In other words, if Spider-Man was James Bond crossed with Tony Stark, then would he be a good character? … It’s clear that he doesn’t know how to write Spider-Man and just wants to write other characters instead.”

      We had man-boy Peter…and then dead Peter for over a year (replaced by Spock)…and then lost-in-the-mix Peter during Spider-Verse…and now Peter Parker-Stark.

      I think you understand what’s going on here quite well, Eidolon.

      I think Stillanerd is also quite observant:

      “Take everything that’s Spider-Man out of the equation in this issue, and Peter’s just another young, hip, politically progressive “benevolent boss” wish-fulfillment, a bland facsimile of Oliver Queen from Arrow minus the brooding and five o’clock shadow. Which I guess makes him Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer, the other “Poor man’s Tony Stark.”

      “Hi, I’m Peter Parker. I’m a CEO, but I pay myself pennies because somehow profits are a bad thing…as if I can’t use higher profits to the benefit of mankind. I make it a point to tell people my products are ‘green.’ I’m bringing ‘free’ internet to third-world countries. I’m ‘very’ close to a woman of another race – and she’s not an American. I attend gay weddings between white and hispanic men (officiated by women as an added bonus). Love me. **cough**Love Dan Slott**cough** LOVE ME. Loooooooove me! I’m so Progressive.”

    7. You’ve hit on something that I think is part of what frustrates me about all these kinds of characters (the current socialist Superman is another one). They don’t have the courage of their convictions.

      If Parker Industries is doing good work, where’s the hypocrisy in taking a big salary? Having more personal money would allow him to work on his Spider-Man stuff more effectively. Plus, if he’s not taking much money himself then he must be using the company’s funds to funnel into his Spider-Man tech. That seems more questionable to me, and less charitable, than taking the money as his salary and then spending it on his gear — investors in his company (if there are any, that wasn’t clear) would be fine with the founder and CEO taking a large salary, but they aren’t intending to fund Spider-Man to do Spider-Man stuff. It actually would be sort of clever if Spider-Man ran a Patreon-type thing, at least that would be a unique idea, a superhero whose fees are transparent to the community and who is sponsored by them, where they give directly to the hero’s budget. At least Bruce Wayne is rich and doesn’t pretend that Wayne Enterprises isn’t a for-profit business. And clearly some of his fortune goes to paying for Batman stuff.

      These heroes fight for — what, exactly? It isn’t to save lives apparently; “no one dies” is an unrealistic goal. It isn’t to uphold our values; the values the character held when he was created would’ve been against a gay wedding, so the values he’s fighting for are whatever’s cool at the moment (or whatever the writer thinks is cool at the moment). Do they fight for truth, justice and the American Way? Superman doesn’t support America specifically anymore; and whose truth would they fight for? You can’t fight for everyone’s truth because they conflict. Would Ms. Marvel or Dust fight to defend a gay wedding? Would they fight against Muslims rioting because of a desecrated Koran or stand on the sidelines? Would Muslim or Hispanic superheroes fight against illegal immigrants who break their country’s laws or for them? What would the atheist superheroes (apparently nearly all the non-Muslim characters) do in these situations?

      Back even 20 or 30 years ago we mostly knew what these characters believed in and most of use could agree on what the right thing to do was. Now you’d be hard-pressed to name a single meaningfully Christian comics character, and I don’t think you could name one who wouldn’t disavow any traditional belief that was uncool at the moment. Why do these heroes fight? What values are they fighting to uphold? And if those values can change on a day-to-day basis, what do they matter and why should they be imposed on others with violence?0

      You can see this with Kirkman’s Invincible: the writing is honest enough to show that a person with tremendous power but with no values rooted in anything outside himself would go off the rails because he has nothing to ground him. He can be easily swayed by a clever villain because he doesn’t believe in a higher truth that can inform him reliably about what’s right and what’s wrong, and his values drift based on what he’s experienced. He does a lot of good but eventually he enables a lot of evil too because of this. Unfortunately I don’t think Kirkman is willing to follow that particular thread as far as it will go, but it’s good writing to recognize that the problem is large and insoluble for atheists.

    8. You have just given me a chance to shamelessly plug a 2013 post: “Dan Slott’s moral relativism killed Spider-Man: One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”.

      “Peter Parker’s “gift” (i.e., Dan Slott’s “gift”) to the world was that he has allowed a character who should be serving 5,000 life sentences for crimes against humanity off the hook. Before redemption can occur on earth a man must pay for his crimes and atone for his sins. Doc Ock has the blood of countless innocents on his hands, but because Peter beamed “with great power comes great responsibility” into the villain’s head moments before he died then it’s somehow all okay? Of course not. And that’s why this current run is so repulsive to anyone with a shred of respect for the character; they would never allow Doctor Octopus to take up the mantle of Spider-Man.”

      Dan Slott is the guy who likened Doc Ock to early Hawkeye. Let that sink in. At his worst, was Hawkeye anything like a character who nearly took out six billion human beings? Answer: No.

      Moral relativism is a serious problem for anyone who is trying to write about virtuous men and women. How can you have virtue if you have a moral relativist world view? If right and wrong are in the eye of the beholder, how can a writer truly do these heroes justice? Answer: He can’t.

  4. Well, I guess we’ve been introduced to Peter’s latest ‘Tang’.

    The Sanjani stuff grates in particular. She’s a lot like Tyler Stone from “Big Time” and onward–the token “bad” character of the cast who never seems to get the slightest comeuppance.

    I do like Camuncoli’s work quite a bit, but I simply can’t bring myself to read this stuff. I consider myself a die-hard Spider-Man reader, but if Renew Your Vows is the last Slott stuff I read before he’s off the book in probably ten more years (and seven more new ASM #1’s) than I’m more than ok with that.

    1. “If Renew Your Vows is the last Slott stuff I read before he’s off the book in probably ten more years (and seven more new ASM #1’s) than I’m more than ok with that.”

      Did you see that Alex Alonzo referred to Dan as “Michael Jordan in the zone”? I grew up just outside Chicago and watched countless Bulls games in the 90s, so that analogy rubs me the wrong way for numerous reasons. Slott’s behavior reminds me much more of Spike Lee’s antics at Bulls playoff games…

      Regardless, let’s hope Alonzo was thinking of Jordan during his time with the Washington Wizards.

    2. Slott is practically a cartoon character at this point, so the only Michael Jordan-related comparison is “Slott’s a cross between Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam in ‘Space Jam.'”

    3. I did see that laughable remark from Alonso, Doug. I’m not sure there’s a single person working in comics who that analogy could be bestowed on, but it sure as hell ain’t Slott.

      I also wonder if this cardboard-cutout excuse for Peter Parker in the current run will ever stop and reflect on how he got this tech company only because a madman was running around in his body?

    4. Dan Slott’s Peter Parker doesn’t even take time to reflect on his own death (or whatever it was) and resurrection. Ha! I don’t see him reflecting on how his tech company was built by a megalomaniac unless said megalomanic reminds him sometime in the near future. 😉

  5. Well, your review ticked all the boxes I’ve come to expect from comics these days: questionable writing, bad characterization, Mary Sue antics, and some forced political posturing. (I support gay marriage, but a lot of liberal writers are wholly incapable of invoking that or any other issue without being obnoxious and self-righteous. I read comics for action and adventure, not to get a hamfisted lecture.) Well, if nothing else, Slott’s been consistent. The only thing missing is him complaining about criticism of his work.

    About the only thing here I like is Hobie’s increased prominence. I always liked the character, but you’re probably right about him ending up as a poor man’s Rhodey. I also suspect Slott only picked him just so he could say, “I had a black guy in the Spidey suit. Aren’t I progressive and awesome, even more than Bendis? AREN’T I?!”

    1. Without getting too political, I’m more of the mindset that government should not be in the marriage business to begin with.

      I think in the U.K. everyone gets a civil union certificate and then people just go to priests for their respective religions to get married. That seems to make sense to me.

      As a Catholic, I have a definition of marriage that might annoy people who aren’t Catholic. I don’t begrudge anyone who belongs to the First Gay Baptist Church of San Francisco who wants to get married according to its definition… I just don’t want someone waltzing into the Catholic Church and telling it how it needs to define one of the Seven Sacraments. 🙂

  6. This is really off topic, but DC Comics has reintroduced a version of Superman that is a FATHER and married to Lois Lane into their main universe! 🙂 Could there be a reboot? If this sells, could it be an end of the SJW invasion? Did Marvel create X-Men ’92 and the all ages Spider-Man comic called “Spidey” to test the waters to see if people want the old style of comics back? If married Superman is successful, will that make Marvel look really bad with what they did to Spider-Man?

    http://www.comicvine.com/articles/exclusive-preview-superman-lois-and-clark-1/1100-153826/

    1. If this sells, could it be an end of the SJW invasion?

      This question assumes that married Superman will not be a SJW’s dream dad. 😉

      I don’t see the industry changing anytime soon unless a unexpected cultural sinkhole opens beneath them and the guys in charge are swept away. Regardless, this does look somewhat interesting, and I’m not typically a DC kind of guy.

  7. For the record, I haven’t read this comic, so I can’t comment on the actual quality of the story, even though I do have some thoughts about the franchise’s recent history. (I’m not planning on reading it, anyways. All the evidence points to me really disliking it.)

    First of all, I find it ironic this whole new version of Spider-Man was started way back with “One More Day,” which was ostensibly written to get the “core” character “back, when it ended up creating an iteration of the character that is far removed as possible from any default version of Spider-Man. (Not to mention that if you look at the Spider-Man franchise as a whole, it’s pretty effectively molded and solidified itself around the pre-“One More Day” version to the extent that it could be argued that the Spider-Man they were trying to recreate isn’t even the “core” version anymore.)

    One thing I’ve wondered about. A common complaint about Slott’s writing is that he writes Peter Parker as an immature incompetent. However, the “Renew Your Vows” series was generally praised for writing a good Peter. Why, if Slott is capable of writing a mature version of the character, why doesn’t he do it all the time?

    I don’t really like the redesigned costume here: the “Tron” lights seem out of place and I’ve always hated the webbing under the arms (that was one of the few things the “Spectacular Spider-Man” cartoon fumbled).

    Spoiler alert: Apparently Regent is the one thing that RYV set-up for the main comic series. I don’t really see what’s so great about that. Granted, Regent’s post-Secret Wars career may have been planned before RYV #1 even hit stands, but he was fairly universally panned as the comic’s weak link. Besides, he was pretty much tailor-made for the RYV story. Take him out of that setting and what’re you going to do with him? Did Slott even think ahead as to how this character would work in a setting where his reason for existence was gone?

    I’m still going to put my vote for a regular RYV series. It’s probably the best deal the majority of us fans are going to get out of Marvel as far as comics go and judging by the quality of the miniseries, the fact that it was one of the top sellers in the whole “Secret Wars” thing, and the warm reception that the RYV Parker family received, it really deserves the chance to become something more than just a random one-off in a bizarre mashup event.

    Besides, it ended all but saying that the story wasn’t over. I, for one, want to know what happens next (and I really want to see a story with Annie using her powers to raid the cookie jar, for some reason). On top of that, the RYV premise sounds far more promising for future story material than an Iron Man knockoff.

    I don’t know, we got here because of that “One More Day” story. Marvel predicted that in five years, fans wouldn’t care and embrace the new status quo. While it did find its readers, it’s been nearly a decade and people still haven’t let it go. Does the company even understand the audience that’s buying this stuff? And exactly who have they been making this gobbledygook for? It might be arrogant to even question this, but I’m seriously doubting that Marvel, Slott, or whoever else is calling the shots really understands Spider-Man. Pretty much all the post-2007 stuff seems to fly right in the face of everything established about the character and mythology since the beginning forty-some years ago.

    By the way, nice to see I’m not the only one who has fond memories of “Space Jam.”

    1. I don’t really like the redesigned costume here: the “Tron” lights seem out of place and I’ve always hated the webbing under the arms (that was one of the few things the “Spectacular Spider-Man” cartoon fumbled).

      This gives me an opportunity to clarify something based on a different comment: I enjoyed Camuncoli’s work, but I am not a fan of the new costume. I think the “Tron” lights you mention are kind of dumb and unnecessary.

      It might be arrogant to even question this, but I’m seriously doubting that Marvel, Slott, or whoever else is calling the shots really understands Spider-Man.

      Dan Slott reads the comments here, and I’m pretty sure his blood pressure skyrocketed the moment he read your post, WebLurker. 🙂 As I’ve said before, it seems as though Mr. Slott really enjoys the “Spider-Man” side of the character, but is highly uncomfortable writing Peter Parker.

      That’s why Peter had to essentially die for over year. That’s why “Silk,” for all intents and purposes, overshadowed Peter during the last re-launch. That’s why Peter got lost in an army of “spider-men.” That’s why we now have Peter Parker-Bond-Wayne-Stark.

      The reason why fans still will not let go of One More Day (as you rightly point out) is because OMD tore at the character’s core character. Instead of admitted just how big of a mistake they made, Marvel to this day refers to it as “medicine.”

      It is not arrogant of you to point out that Marvel editors and writers who defend such a travesty either a.) don’t understand the character, or b.) are filled with so much pride that they would rather damage the book than to apologize and fix the error.

    2. Dan Slott reads the comments here, and I’m pretty sure his blood pressure skyrocketed the moment he read your post, WebLurker. 🙂 As I’ve said before, it seems as though Mr. Slott really enjoys the “Spider-Man” side of the character, but is highly uncomfortable writing Peter Parker.

      Interesting thought. I recall from somewhere Slott’s saying his favorite part of the franchise was the “Team-Up” series, with guest characters and wacky happenings. Hey, fair enough, you like what like you like and don’t like what you don’t. That would probably explain why his most famous stuff has been the big sci-fi-esque stories, like “Spider Island,” “Superior-Spider-Man” and “Spider-Verse.” I do find it a little funny, since I always thought of Spider-Man as one of those superheroes who was relatively grounded in the normal world.

      If Slott indeed likes the “Spider-Man” part, but can take or leave Peter Parker, that’s where I’d ask: “Why is that?” Not only have some of the most popular stories in the franchise focused directly on Peter more than the superheroics or depend on Peter being Spider-Man (e.g. “The Death of Gwen Stacy,” “The Death of Jean DeWolffe,” “Ultimate Spider-Man” #13, the movie “Spider-Man 2,” just about anything involving Venom, etc.), but I think that Spider-Man is one of the few superheroes where the civilian identity is of equal importance to the superhero one; Spider-Man and Peter Parker are so interconnected from the reason Peter became a superhero in the first place to the way the Spider-Man’s career affects, conflicts, and blurs the line with Peter’s personal life that you can’t even really make a Dread Pirate Roberts switch. Miles Morales and the Doc Ock Spider-Man may have their fans, but none of them are Spider-Man, just a different superhero who happens to use the same name and powers. They may be okay as superhero comics, but they just don’t work.

      For me personally, if you asked me to think of the great moments from the franchise, I think most of the ones I’d come up with where of Peter is off-duty, interacting with friends and family. The stuff where he’s in costume, doing cool stuff, and cracking jokes is great. I don’t want to see it go anywhere and I’m pretty sure that it’s part of what makes the character popular. But I’m also pretty sure that the civilian stuff — the things that Marvel seems to want to leave behind — is what makes the character endearing; why he stands out from the crowd of superheroes as arguably the most beloved character in the genre.

      It is not arrogant of you to point out that Marvel editors and writers who defend such a travesty either a.) don’t understand the character, or b.) are filled with so much pride that they would rather damage the book than to apologize and fix the error.

      I doubt I’d get a straight answer (with PR and all), but I’d really like to know sometime why having an unmarried 616 Spider-Man is such a sacred cow to Marvel. And I’m not being facetious here; I’m genuinely curious. I get it that you like what you like and don’t like what you don’t and Marvel employees have their likes and dislikes, the same as us. But still, of all the things they could be anal about, why is this one, unpopular element it?

    3. If Slott indeed likes the “Spider-Man” part, but can take or leave Peter Parker, that’s where I’d ask: “Why is that?”

      I have an answer to that, and it will be coming in a blog post that I will likely publish with my next ASM review. 🙂 I think you’re going to really like this one, since I will be quoting Dan Slott directly. He said something during a comic con within the past year (on video) that is downright stunning for anyone in charge of writing Peter Parker. None of the comic websites covered it, as far as I know. But I will…

      If you check in about two weeks from now, then the post will be up.

  8. Marvel’s anti-marriage policy is designed to keep themselves entertained. THEY are the ones who get bored with the task of depicting stable relationships. They run out of ideas of what to do. The idea that some series (not all, of course) benefit from having a relatively stable couple at the center, and the gut-wrenching soap opera mostly happens to the supporting cast, is alien to them. With marriage they also lose most of the prurient, pornographic elements that they deliberately inject into the protagonist’s lives. They believe most young boys are ferociously immoral, or would like to be, so they make Peter Parker someone who will always eventually have some new bed-mate on the horizon. Personally, I see most of the men running the comics industry as p/t pornographers.

  9. If Peter actually is involved with a lower-level employee, he is breaking various laws and ethical codes. Just like Peter is committing felonies by retaining Sanjani, and covering-up her crimes. Once again, lies about this being the same Peter Parker we’ve always known. He hasn’t been Peter Parker since BND.

    1. I actually find the thing about him not taking much salary to be really obnoxious along this vein. Investors would expect a CEO and founder to take a big salary, and he could use that however he chose without any issue. If he wanted to spend his salary entirely on being Spider-Man, that would be fine. On the other hand, investors wouldn’t expect him to take a small salary, but then use the company’s resources to fund an unrelated enterprise. That’s basically embezzlement at that point.

      It’s one thing for Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark to say “the company, c’est moi” and use its resources freely. It’s another thing to pretend that’s not what you’re doing in order to show off how virtuous you are publicly, and then use the company as your private lab/piggy bank anyway.

    2. This is where Dan Slott’s liberalism breaks down and is exposed for all the world to see. We know Peter Parker is a virtuous man — and yet, for some strange reason, he must make less money. Why? It makes no sense. If Peter is a good man, then he should want to profit as much as possible.

      Why should Peter Parker — the guy who runs Parker Industries — not make pay commensurate with the level of **cough**responsibility**cough he shoulders as CEO? Again, it makes no sense. When it all falls apart, it is Peter’s name and reputation that is at stake — not the night janitor.

      Why doesn’t Dan Slott take a pay cut and tell Marvel to pay him no more than the janitor who cleans the toilet after he takes a massive bowel movement each day? He won’t do that because he knows the human capital needed to write ASM is much different than the human capital needed to clean toilets. Both jobs are equal in terms of being honorable work, but they are not equal in terms of the skill Marvel is looking for to make money.

    3. Once again, we have an issue where Dan Slott does not seem to think through his stories.

      Everything always has a slap-dash feel to it. It’s rushed. It’s often disjointed. I understand that he is under enormous pressure, but either a.) he is taking on more than he can handle, or b.) Marvel’s procedure for publishing books is terribly inefficient and it’s hurting the character.

  10. The current regime is using the company to do leftist propaganda-politics, and has been doing for a long time. Civil War was leftist crap, Iron Patriot tried to wed the U.S. flag to a psychotic killer, America in the MU embraced Norman Osborn after everything he had done (because Marvel depicts Americans as morons), and the company is anti-heterosexual-marriage.

  11. See this is the problem. Why is Peter Parker a “Poor man’s Tony Stark”? we already have a Tony Stark, we don’t need another one. That’s like with Green Arrow being somewhat of a poor man’s Batman, but at least that guy is more complex and lighthearted than batman. I’m glad you mentioned Prowler being Rhodey because that’s just makes it worse, and I suppose Ms. Tang is the new Pepper Potts?

    I also found it weird that Peter would keep Sajani despite what she’s done. Now, I can argue that Peter wanted to give Sajani a second chance because he’s a good guy and believes people can change or whatever, but when people’s lives are at stake you think Peter would put his foot down. This whole idea of Peter having his own business sounds good but executed in a way where Peter is basically living off of Otto’s success. He didn’t do any of this stuff it was all given to him. Totally different than that time he became a teacher. I thought that was a good idea because Peter choose that life, he choose to give back to the world and help kids more unfortunate than him. In this comic, Peter is living off on wealth he personally didn’t achieve or choose. Not firing Sajani isn’t really proving he’s using his great power to be responsible.

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