One of the common complaints about Marvel writer Dan Slott is that he fundamentally misunderstands the character Peter Parker. While there is plenty of evidence from his run on The Amazing Spider-Man to make such a case, I have found the best way to illustrate this is to simply quote the man.

An incredibly telling moment from Florida Supercon went under the radar roughly eight months ago. Mr. Slott said Dr. Octopus is actually better at appreciating real beauty than Peter Parker — and that Parker’s love for Mary Jane is “anti-Marvel.”

“Ann is beautiful. When you think of Peter Parker, I wanted to have this big change in the life of what makes Otto different from Peter. And when you read all the Otto Octavius stories of his background, of his growing up, of who he was — and even as Dock Ock — all the women he falls in love with, he sees them for who they are inside.

Look at Stunner. Look at all these, like, nerdy girls he was dating as Otto. I think that’s something Otto does something better than Peter. He sees people who are truly beautiful and loves them for that.

And you look at everyone Peter has fallen in love with, and every single one of them is superficially beautiful on the outside. And the reason for that is they’re all created by John Romita Sr., who drew everyone woman beautiful.

What guy wouldn’t fall for Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane? Or even if he falls in love with like a Deb Whitman, yeah, she’s the girl with glasses, but she’s the girl with glasses who can suddenly take off her glasses and whip out the hair.

Everyone Peter falls in love with is so classically beautiful, and to me that is anti-Marvel.

To me, the Marvel Universe is not about perfect people. To me the Marvel Universe — the thing that makes it so much better than any other superhero universe — is the Marvel Universe is the book about people with feet of clay.

When I read DC Comics, my favorite DC characters that I love the most are the most f***ed-up ones.

In Dan Slott’s world, there is something unacceptable with Peter Parker falling in love with a beautiful woman — but it’s perfectly okay if he falls into lust with Silk (Cindy Moon), due to Slott-created spider-pheromones.

Silk SpiderMan SpiderVerse

Why is Anna Maria Marconi considered “truly” beautiful by Dan Slott, but Mary Jane is not? It has been established that MJ’s beauty is not just skin-deep, so what is the problem?

Only if Peter Parker was a shallow man who married an equally-shallow party-girl would there be an issue — but that is not the case.

Here is Mr. Slott’s problem with Peter Parker:

When I read DC Comics, my favorite DC characters that I love the most are the most f***ed-up ones.

Peter Parker is a well-adjusted character, despite all of his trials and tribulations. He has guilt issues due to Uncle Ben’s and Gwen Stacy’s death, but in general he has always handled the challenges life throws at him with grace and dignity. He is not “f***ed-up,” which Mr. Slott indicates is a prerequisite for becoming one of his favorites. As a result, he must make up weird personality deficits for Peter Parker like Doctor Octopus being better at appreciating “true” beauty.

Lian Tang SpiderMan

Dan Slott’s Peter Parker is now “very close” to Lian Tang. Is she not beautiful? Or is Peter just falling in lust again with a new Asian flavor-of-the-month?

Is it “anti-Marvel” for the character to fall in love with Gwen Stacy and MJ, but Marvel-certified to fall in lust with women of Japanese and Chinese heritage? We thought we were getting diversity, but perhaps we’re just getting the objectification of Asian women… Sad.

If you feel like Mr. Slott does not understand Peter Parker, then I suggest watching the Dan Slott Q&A Spotlight from Florida Supercon. The whole thing runs for an hour, but it will take less than five minutes to understand why The Amazing Spider-Man has been creatively spotty for years.

Update:

Dan Slott is playing the old “I was taken out of context” card. Classic. Ask yourself how he is taken out of context. He isn’t. Should I have transcribed the entire hour’s worth of dialogue — in addition to posting and linking to the YouTube video?

Mr. Slott’s definition of “out of context” is, “Someone accurately highlighted my words and now I look bad.”

Here is Dan, via Tweet longer:

The frustration of being in the public eye (even in a small pond) is everything you do or say gets scrutinized, pulled out of context, and twisted by those with an agenda. Oy.

In a video from a convention in January I talked about two or three different characters from the Spider-Man supporting cast being designed/drawn as being “superficially beautiful on the outside”. That was talking about the characters’ external appearance ONLY — and NOT about them being superficial on the inside as well.

Thanks for reading, Dan. If by “agenda” you mean, “honoring Peter Parker’s integrity,” then guilty as charged. Even if you were only talking about external features, what proof is there that Peter Parker could not appreciate Anna’s beauty?

Answer: There is none.

As always, I wish you the best.

UpdateII: Thanks to Hellz Yeah, Mr. and Mrs. Spider-Man for sharing my blog postThanks as well to Mary Jane Watson Tumblr. Good stuff.

(Photo: http://mrsspidermanmaryjanewatsonparker.tumblr.com/)
(Photo: http://mrsspidermanmaryjanewatsonparker.tumblr.com/)
(Photo: http://maryjanewatson.tumblr.com/)
(Photo: http://maryjanewatson.tumblr.com/)

Related: Zendaya as Mary Jane? Ask about red hair for the next year and you’ll be called a ‘racist’

Advertisements

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.

41 comments

  1. So f@#ked up and stupid characters are cool, but beautiful looking women drawn by John Romita Snr are anti Marvel? More hypocritical logic. Did it ever occur to Dan Slott that perhaps the dapper guys from the Marvel Bullpen in the 60’s attracted beautiful women, were married to beautiful women and were inspired by beautiful women which then reflected in their work?

    Peter Parker after graduation grew stronger as an adult, more mature and handsome and so it makes sense that he too would attract beautiful women. Not all beautiful women are superficial, unless you live in Dan Slott’s fantasy world where it’s real easy to objectify them..

    In my book, Dan Slott will always be a fan fiction writer. His words reek of hypocrisy and delusion. He says he likes f@#ked up and stupid characters and would like to write them. So what’s he still doing on ASM? oh yeah! that’s right, introducing his own style of f@#ked up and stupid characters. That’s because he can’t write characters people can relate to and when he tries e.g. Peter Parker, whose true character and voice is severely lacking.

    Dan knows full well there were plenty of messed up characters in the 60’s Marvel comics. Mole Man, Puppet Master, Norman Osbourne, Curt Connors…..etc…..etc…..the list goes on. So why try to impose some sort of backward diversity inquisition on the classic Marvel of the 60’s? I would sooner and still do read those books over some some of the current crap Marvel is dishing out.

    Also nice vocabulary using the (F) word at a comic con with no doubt kids present in the room. As a parent and an educator I know that’s totally unprofessional and inappropriate. But I guess you’ve got to sound hip or cool in front of a nerdy crowd.

    1. When I heard him define Peter’s love of Gwen and then MJ as “anti-Marvel” I did a double-take. I couldn’t believe he actually said that. It is so informative as to why he writes the book the way he does — and that is not a compliment.

      He is a man who tries to shoehorn “f***ed up” into places where it shouldn’t exist. When it’s not there, he invents it.

      Sure Dan, Otto appreciates what is “truly beautiful” so much that he tried to exterminate six billion people. But hey, Peter needs to work on his ability to appreciate the totality of friends and family in his social circles. Unreal. 😉

  2. “When I read DC Comics..I want to read about the screwed up ones”…should’nt you be concentrating on what your actual company are offering as an alternative product? I see this happen with Tom Brevoort on his Facebook too, he spends a lot of time talking about The Flash or Superman

  3. I never read much Spider-Man, but I can relate to how a writer’s ‘need’ for a ‘f***ed up’ character can actually umm…f**k up a character.

    I thought like Dan Slott for years. You get into a mode where you look so hard for the beautiful in the ugliest things and for the ugliest things in the beautiful that you no longer have a clear view of right and wrong. This is less about Peter and MJ and more about Spider-Man and Doc Ock…or lets be more honest…fellow Americans and Terrorists.

    The Corps which actually introduced me to a true diversity of people taught me how silly that is. If you truly love/care/admire something, it’s beautiful to you…there’s nothing to look for ‘inside’ or look past…this implies there’s something wrong with it.

    Slott sees character flaws has something to admire and hold up, rather than something to overcome that makes a character interesting. Wolverine is a great example of how this attitude messed up a character, though theres enough people that buy it to keep a character popular, even after he’s a mess.

    I loved Wolverine for years, before he became ‘popular’ for putting his claws into things. Claremont wanted to write him as a man that is overcoming his bestial nature, and saw the bestial nature not as a good thing but as something that dragged him down. Wolverine started in X-men as basically a savage screw-up, and slowly developed into a noble warrior, who checked himself at his best but was willing to kill if necessary…from a military family, this was something I could relate to.

    Then the Dan Slotts of the world got to him…

    DUDE I WANT SEE WOLVERINE GO APESH*T!!!! One of his worst moments was the age of ultron event…man that things was a steaming pile…but really…cutting Pym up to ‘save the future’ it’s hard to believe this is the header for a recent popular movie. There’s X-force, where the writers try to make it look like a morality play on the use of assassination and the effect that has on Logan vice X-23…but lets be honest…it’s a cheap way to get Logan to murder and eat it too (cake sure is yummy). That low point was seeing his noble, closest friend (Nightcrawler) watch him gut a purifier, as if nothing the character has ever done or went through really matters. It wasn’t all bad to me (we kill terrorists that threaten us)…but I was less than impressed with the writer’s moral implications of murdering your enemies when they are incapacitated. Eventually they just killed Nightcrawler…MORAL QUANDARY SOLVED!

    This is Shinden btw, using my facebook from now on

    1. I’m standing up and cheering this comment. The example of Wolverine once trying to overcome his flaws to become a noble warrior — and the urge by certain writers today to allow him to revel in the worst parts of his nature — highlights exactly what I think is wrong with the industry.

      You “get it,” but for whatever reason a lot of readers cannot pick up this very important distinction. My hope is that guys like you will one day regain control of the wheel at major publications.

  4. I remember this comment, so I’m glad you followed up on it. Like you said, he has to make up deficiencies for Peter, and THAT is why he’s been a manchild throughout Slott’s run. Peter’s strength as a character has always been how he’s able to come through in spite of everything that happens to it. In a recent interview on CBR, Slott said something along the lines of how, when you grow older, you don’t stop making mistakes. I feel that Slott’s obsession with accountability on social media extends to how he writes Peter. Slott sees someone who is FAR more well-adjusted than he expects, so he’s been trying to “fuck up” Peter. You would think that all the trauma of Otto ruining his life would do that, but no, Slott ignores that and instead makes the issue about how Peter needs to follow Otto’s example like with the nanobots.

    This is why I believe that Doctor Octopus is intended as the “true” hero of Slott’s run. Throughout Superior, we’ve seen Slott attempt to reverse Peter and Otto’s moralities. Otto is better than Peter in these other ways, and it is those virtues we need to appreciate about Otto, while Peter is a constant screw-up whose mistakes are supposedly the “real” reason we care about Spider-Man. When Slott says he favors the most “fucked-up” characters best, that could just as easily refer to Doctor Octopus.

    Of course Slott gives a pass to how he just reduces Asian women into “exotic” trophies. While it does offer diversity, Slott is the sort of man that would hide behind that. John Romita’s women are white and fulfill “standards” of beauty, so they’re the default. Rather than genuinely offering relatable characters in someone like Cindy Moon, he still has someone beautiful, but as a minority, he’s treating her “exotically”, and if you criticize her writing, then he can turn the tables against you for being a bigot. Or, another way to look at it is just that HE was the one who came up with the women, so he gets to praise them, while he doesn’t feel entitled to give Romita’s characters the time of day, because at the end of that day, all that matters is who Slott created, and who he favors.

    1. Or, another way to look at it is just that HE was the one who came up with the women, so he gets to praise them, while he doesn’t feel entitled to give Romita’s characters the time of day, because at the end of that day, all that matters is who Slott created, and who he favors.

      There was so much goodness with your comment, I didn’t know where to start. I think you smashed one off the left-field wall for triple with that last observation.

      Side note: It’s great hearing from you. 🙂 Thanks for adding to the discussion. I appreciate it.

    1. I suppose he’ll say I was taking him “out of context” because I didn’t transcribe the entire YouTube video. 😉

      Update: I predicted it. Classic!

      Dan Slott, once he started taking heat after this blog post gained momentum:

      The frustration of being in the public eye (even in a small pond) is everything you do or say gets scrutinized, pulled out of context, and twisted by those with an agenda. Oy.

      I transcribed a huge block of text. I linked to the video. I told people to watch it. It can be viewed without even leaving my blog. And yet…he really wants people to believe I’m taking him “out of context.” Good luck with that.

  5. Someone should post that clip from “Spider-Man 2” where Jameson is laughing hard and asking “You serious?”

    So, Slott’s favorite characters are the ones with screwed-up lives. Okay, they do have their place and can be very compelling characters when written well. I get that. What I don’t quite get is that Slott has stated that he’s a Spider-Man fan but wants to mutate the character into something completely different. If Slott dislikes the stuff that forms the basis of the character, then what made him a fan in the first place? It’s be like saying: “I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan, but the stories should’ve dropped the whole mystery thing and the Dr. Watson character. They really dragged the series down from the greatness it could’ve been.”

    On top of that, how does re-imagining Spider-Man as a successful CEO fit the “screwed-up” character?

    I don’t find many of Slott’s arguments convincing. For example:

    “Look at Stunner…He sees people who are truly beautiful and loves them for that.”

    As I recall, Stunner was A.) a supervillian and B.) her gimmick was that she hid behind an attractive holographic avatar. That is the worst character to bring up in this argument, since she was certainly not a good person inside and her trademark was that she was ashamed of her appearance.

    “And you look at everyone Peter has fallen in love with, and every single one of them is superficially beautiful on the outside. And the reason for that is they’re all created by John Romita Sr., who drew everyone woman beautiful.”

    Excusing the fact that Slott answered his own question, he’s basically saying that the characters are shallow because of a previous artist’s drawing style. That’s a valid argument on their characterization because…? On top of that, Slott is insinuating that comic book character can’t be beautiful both internally and externally. Have you even read the previous issues in the series you’re writing for, Slott?

    While I’m not familiar with the 616 Gwen Stacy, as I understand it, the reason that MJ Watson became extremely popular as both a character and as a comic book “love interest” character was not exclusively because she was a pretty face, but because of the character development she was given. There’s a reason that she and Peter being paired together has become hardwired into the mythos.

    The entirety of his comments seem to be mostly to up-sell his “Superior Spider-Man” series. Why? The series is already finished and been around for a while. Most opinions on it have already been formed, and people can read it for themselves to judge it. It also found a decent amount of fans, so it’s not like Slott can say that no one loved it. And even if it was completely roasted, trashing material that means a lot to the fan base isn’t the way to go about defending his work.

    I often get the sense that Slott seems a bit mystified why there are “Spider-Man” fans who hate his work. While one can argue back and forth whether Slott writes bad “Spider-Man” stories, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that slaughtering sacred cows and other beloved things and then telling those that held those cows dear: “Thank me for my altruism in putting you out of your miseries,” will not earn you any supporters among those fans.

    P.S. I once saw a poll on a forum asking whether Slott should stop writing the series (I think I saw that Magnetic Eye had contributed). Although a forum poll is highly unscientific, I found it interesting that even a lot of people who love Slott’s version of “Spider-Man” were thinking that it was time for new management, on the grounds that his work was running out of steam. You really have to wonder if Slott is going to stay until he wears out his welcome with every single person in the fan base.

    1. On top of that, Slott is insinuating that comic book character can’t be beautiful both internally and externally.

      Objective readers can see that Slott’s analysis of what is “truly beautiful” is incredibly discombobulated. I updated the blog post to show his response, which is that he has been taken “out of context.” Shocker, I know. 😉 For whatever reason, Dan Slott can not turn the objective eye back on himself to see how he is perceived. I really do feel for the guy at times.

      I often get the sense that Slott seems a bit mystified why there are “Spider-Man” fans who hate his work.

      As you point out, he seems to take great glee in upsetting the apple cart, but then he oddly wonders why apple lovers have a negative reaction.

    1. Cindy Moon a few months ago, and now Lian. Interesting… We’re supposed to just care for her because they’re “very close”? It doesn’t really work that way. There was no organic build-up to their relationship — it just exists. Sigh.

    2. I’ve seen cases where a fictional relationship can be fudged. Case in point, I’ve always found the Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy relationship in Mark Webb’s “Amazing Spider-Man” movies to be very badly handled, partially due to the fact that Gwen was a very flat character and partially since the relationship had, in your words, “no organic build-up…it just exists.” (Ironically, I hold the unpopular opinion that the Peter/Mary Jane relationship from the Sam Raimi movies was not only better than the aforementioned Peter/Gwen coupling, but also one of the better ones in the genre, partially due to the fact that there was build-up to the relationship and that MJ was given a decent amount of depth and character development.)

      However, I think that most people overlook or don’t mind the flaws of the ASM movie relationship because of Emma Stone’s performance (and to her credit I think she did her best with what she was given). As another example, I’ve gathered that there’s general consensus that the love story in “Jurassic World” was a little under-baked. But there are people who, like me, liked it for what it was, largely because of the actor’s performances and the screwball fun that was injected into it.

      The moral here, is that you can get away with a weak love story if there are other elements in it that compensate. But I don’t think that Slott has that luxury, especially since the best ones don’t work that well on the written page and Peter’s love life is already a sore spot for fans.

    3. I only saw the first ASM movie and agree: The actors did the best with what they were given. They had chemistry. Unfortunately, Sony was still completely in control of a property it didn’t quite know how to handle. I almost wish Marvel let them make one more dud so it could have total control over Spider-Man’s rights.

      I hope Marvel is in the process of getting The Fantastic Four back from Fox. Marvel Studios has enough good will at this point that it wouldn’t take long to re-establish the characters’ credibility.

  6. It is true that Marvel characters are typically screwed up. They didn’t live perfectly perfect lives like, say, Superman. Spider-Man’s demonized by Jameson and picked on by his high school peers. The mutants are persecuted and have a host of personal problems. Even the Fantastic Four were faced with everyday problems–not just Doctor Doom revenge plots or so forth. On the other hand, being Tony Stark-lite doesn’t strike me as an everyday problem or having feet of clay.

    When you tamper with the sacred cows, you have to expect to be called on it. That’s the way fandoms work. Pick any character or franchise: deviate from the formula, someone is always going to complain. A given creative team can win over dissenters, though, if they’re willing to work hard. Look at the “Batman Beyond” cartoon. A teenage Batman is a dumb idea, but the creative team made it good. Characters were defined, new villains were introduced, and different story ideas were explored. Not every episode was a winner, but they tried and weren’t just lazily slapping together a show because they had to make one. *cough* “Spider-Man Unlimited.” *cough*

    Slott never seems willing to actually try; he just wants the praise and for dissenters to shut up. The inherent problem with his statement (as well as his general viewpoint) is how utterly clueless and hypocritical he is. “It’s wrong for the writers before me to hook Peter up with beautiful women like MJ and Gwen, but it’s okay when I do it.” Magnetic Eye hit the nail on the head: Slott is the cliched fanfic writer–doing whatever he pleases and insisting he alone knows better than everyone else, apparently even more than the guys who created Spider-Man. And a thin-skinned slam on Romita, to boot? What a jerk. Memo to Dan Slott (and, given his bizarre obsession with you, Doug, he could very well be reading this story right now): you will never be regarded as well as Lee, Romita, or any other writer or artist that preceded you. The sooner you accept that, develop some tact, and grow a thicker skin, the happier you’ll be.

    1. I’m not sure if you saw the update, but Dan has read the blog post and deemed it “out of context.” Heh.

      Anyway, I’m not sure why guys like you get it — “A given creative team can win over dissenters … if they’re willing to work hard” — but certain others at Marvel do not. Your Batman Beyond example is on right on point.

      And a thin-skinned slam on Romita, to boot?

      I also thought that was an ill-conceived statement on Dan’s part. Yeesh.

    2. To be honest, I’m surprised he didn’t accuse someone on YouTube of editing the video to make him look bad.

  7. The odd thing is that there was always plenty of “screwed-up” in Peter’s life — from circumstances, not coming from inside him.

    He was a hero, but people hated him and the local media blasted him at every turn. He did amazing things, but got no credit. He had incredible power and was clever and inventive, so that he could’ve made a killing in the private sector, but only scraped by financially because he focused those skills on helping others. He’s this spectacular superhero that some people look up to and respect, but he still gets picked on because nobody knows it’s him. When he did one selfish thing, his uncle died. When someone tried to kill Gwen, he made a small miscalculation (not even a mistake, really) and she died. When he rejected something that tried to give him power but that wanted to corrupt him he created a vicious and deadly enemy (and later another). And that incarnation (apparently, as Douglas has pointed out) died a lonely death, unknown and unmourned, with only the hope that he made his murderer a better man to comfort him.

    The screwed-up comes from the world, from a man trying to do the right thing but having so many things in his way. It comes from “no good deed goes unpunished.” And the catharsis is seeing him overcome this problems because of his inherent goodness and strength of character. We don’t want to see Peter be the source of the problems! It just shows that Slott has no idea what we enjoy about the character, or what made him great. In the words of Socrates:

    Beside our picture of the unjust man let us set one of the just man, the man of true simplicity of character who, as Aeschylus says, wants “to be, and not to seem, good”. We must, indeed, not allow him to seem good, for if he does he will have all the rewards and honours paid to the man who has a reputation for justice, and we shall not be able to tell whether his motive is love of justice or love of the rewards and honours. No, we must strip him of everything except his justice, and our picture of him must be drawn in the opposite way to our picture of the unjust man; for our just man must have the worst of reputations even though he has done no wrong. So we shall be able to test his justice and see if it can stand up to unpopularity and all that goes with it; we shall give him an undeserved and lifelong reputation for wickedness, and make him stick to his chosen course until death … The just man, then, as we have pictured him, will be scourged, tortured, and imprisoned, his eyes will be put out, and after enduring every humiliation he will be crucified, and learn at last that in the world as it is we should want not to be, but to seem, just.

    1. Thanks Douglas, that’s very kind.

      I didn’t buy this issue or anything, I was reacting to Slott’s idea of Peter as a “[messed]-up character.” I just feel like Slott is getting everything wrong about Peter. Did I see some art from this issue somewhere where Peter had that kind of dark, evil expression where they shadow his face and everything like they did for Superior sometimes? What’s that about?

      Anyway, when you read that passage about the “just man,” you realize that, intentionally or no, that’s what Peter has always been. Superman is the just man who both “seems” and “is” just – he suffers the difficulties of upholding justice, but receives justice’s due reward. If you make Peter messed-up (other than temporarily by stress or pressure, such as his regrettable “The Spider” phase) then you lose the drama inherent in the quote.

      There’s a purity in Peter’s struggle. He is good, but gets no credit, and while he grumbles, he doesn’t really resent anyone for it. He could beat up JJJ any time he wants, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t hate JJJ, he just wishes he’d tell the truth. He doesn’t hate the cops who sometimes shoot at him (even though they could have killed him!), he only wishes they’d realize that he’s on their side. On the one hand it makes him relatable since not everything goes his way. But it also represents the purity of his mission, of his goodness. He does right even though he doesn’t get the rewards — doesn’t even get the normal rewards of a person of his talents, like a stable income or respect from his colleagues and boss. He does right only because it is right, even though it only hurts him to do so. His only reward is that he knows he did the right thing, and sometimes there’s a fleeting moment of appreciation.

      In this version, e.g. in the first issue, Peter is a goof. He forgets to zip up his fly (presumably at this point Slott remembered “oh yeah, Peter is a ‘dork,’ and I made him a genius playboy philanthropist so I guess he can’t do everything right or he’s not quite as relatable. What’s dorky? Not zipping up your pants I guess?”) at an important meeting. But that wasn’t the original point of his dorkiness!

      Peter was a dork in the original primarily because 1) he loved science stuff, a positive trait that only got him grief from others, 2) he wasn’t well-liked before he had his spider powers, an example of something he could fix by means of his powers but doesn’t in order to protect his loved ones, and 3) he acted weird due to his obligations as Spider-Man. All of these are positive things which he is punished for. Loving knowledge is a positive trait, not using his powers to benefit himself at the expense of others is the right thing, and leaving in the middle of dates and missing social events in order to save lives is morally just. He is punished for all of these by social disapproval, despite them all being right. It’s another example of the theme.

      Peter wasn’t a dork because he did ridiculous, goofy things. Others imposed that “dork” persona on him. These effects faded as he aged — being good at science is alright for an adult, especially a teacher, and people who met him later in life met a version of him with better social skills. Nobody thought of Peter Parker during, say, Civil War or The Other as a “dork.”

      It’s like Slott is trying to regress the character back to the high-school version’s memorable traits while totally changing the circumstances. Nobody would call Peter Stark-Bond-Parker a “dork.” You could be rich and still be a dork, you might call Gates or Zuckerberg that, but Peter is nothing like that type in this relaunch.

      I’d never thought all this out before, about what makes the character tick and what’s at the core of it. Hopefully this makes some level of sense; sorry for the length. At this point I actually feel like Peter is more off-track than as a result of OMD. That was a poor story, not told well, with disastrous consequences for the canon, but at least the version of Peter that made the awful choice was erased by that story. The subsequent Peter was mostly the same man, under different conditions. This is not the same character anymore, and hasn’t been for some time.

      Maybe that dumb robot has another backup of Peter in there somewhere; I think the one that got used at the end of SSM was defective.

    1. This post must have struck a nerve, because it’s doing really well on social media. It looks as though it’s been picked up on Reddit, which means Dan Slott will read it earlier than usual. He usually checks my blog around 1:00 a.m. 🙂

    2. Think I saw a pro-Mary Jane Tumblr page pick it up, too. Had quite a few likes. It’ll be really interesting to see what Slott has to say, if he chooses to comment on it.

  8. Given how thin-skinned Slott is, you’d think he’d want to avoid social media. I mean, the more he complains and harasses, the more negative attention he draws on himself. It sure doesn’t do his public image any good; a few years ago, I would’ve avoided his “Spider-Man” stuff simply because it didn’t match the version of the mythos I love, but might’ve checked out other stuff he wrote if it looked interesting. Now, after all the cyberbullying and toxicity I’ve seen, I don’t want to read anything with his name on it.

    1. The funny thing about his TweetLonger post is how he rants about a controversy many of his followers will not know about. They’ll be like, “What is he talking about?” So they’ll either believe him that he’s been taken out of context (untrue), or they start Googling to find out what’s going on, which leads them here.

      Dan won’t link to my blog post or mention me by name, because the moment he does so his fans will see that I provided plenty of context and encouraged people to watch the video. If I was going to take a man out of context, I would provide in-house viewing of the entire Q&A session on my own blog. I wouldn’t transcribe multiple paragraphs. Deep down he knows this, but I guess it may be temporarily cathartic to go on a Twitter diatribe.

  9. Thinking about it, I find it kind of incomprehensible that Slott seems to have negativity as his default setting, when, judging by his situation, you’d think he’d be happy as a clam.

    First of all, he’s writing for one of the top two comic book publishers in the business, specifically their number one character’s primary ongoing series (a character who’s within the top three most popular characters in the genre). In other words, he’s basically got one of the best gigs possible in his career.

    On top of that, Slott self-identifies as a “Spider-Man” fan, so his job has a personal resonance with him. He’s also stated that he loves his job, which is more than some of us can say. At least some of his bosses have gone on record that they’re very happy with his work, and appear to be giving him free reign to tell the kind of stories he wants to, which are really nice things to have.

    And if that, isn’t enough, he’s got a decent fan base. While there are his critics (many of whom are frequent fliers here, I’d imagine), from a general Google search, it’s safe to say he frequently gets good reviews. Amazon.com ratings for his trade paperbacks are respectable, on average. Whatever audience his work has, he’s found it and earned their loyalty.

    So, he’s got a highly desirable job that he loves, has vast amounts of creative freedom at that job, is considered an MVP by his employers, and has a following among his readers who are eager for more of his work. I don’t think most of us working stiffs will ever get one of those things, much less the whole enchilada.

    I get that it’s disappointing when you create something that you think is great and have people declare it rubbish, question your competency at your job, and write you off as destroying the franchise your writing for. But, with all his success and supporters, why’s it a big deal that one subculture of the “Spider-Man” fan base is vocal about their grievances against him, to the extent that he spends so much time venting, arguing, and bullying? It’s not like the comics are being reset to our liking or anything (more’s the pity).

    1. The other day at work I made a dumb call on a story I was writing. My editor called me out on it. I was kind of frustrated because I was trying to juggle a lot of things when I made the decision, but deep down I knew he was right. I could have a.) denied the truth, b.) hemmed and hawed about the circumstances that led to the decision, or c.) apologized and admitted to my error.

      I chose “Option C.”

      The reason why Dan Slott comes to this blog and others is because deep down he knows that I am searching for truth. He may not like how I deliver the message — and he may think there are other “agendas” at play — but in general he knows that I serve as a mirror. If he looks at this mirror, his flaws are visible.

      No matter what profession a man has, he does not want to be considered a fraud. I believe Mr. Slott’s history of temper tantrums are, in some sense, a sign of progress. It means he cares. But they are also a sign that he has not yet figured out how to respond to constructive criticism. He lumps in legitimate concerns with “trolling,” and that is a defense mechanism to deny the truth.

      When my boss corrected me the other day, I apologized. When a reader sent me an email telling me to “burn in hell” (I’m not lying), I kindly wished him the best in life and moved on. The point is this: When Mr. Slott reaches the point where he can use honest critiques of his work to improve the final product, it will be a good day.

  10. What is there to say except Slott’s take on Peter/Spider-Man simply doesn’t work.

    Speaking of JMS, it seemed that no matter how far out he took the book, he always had a handle on the voicing of Peter, as well as Mary Jane. It still more often than not still felt like a Spider-Man book–I often can’t say the same about Slott, and just really don’t get where his thinking is at with his approach to the character.

    It’s like he thinks he’s doing something with Parker that’s never been done by stripping away everything that makes him Spider-Man–the core cast, the villains, and now the setting, power set and status quo. There are comic writers who could make such ideas work and make them fertile and intriguing for awhile. Slott is simply not one of those writers.

    1. Speaking of JMS, it seemed that no matter how far out he took the book, he always had a handle on the voicing of Peter, as well as Mary Jane

      I think that is a really good way of putting it. You’ve captured my feelingly on JMS nicely. He played with fire and got burned a couple times on his run…but in general I enjoyed his work. I always felt like he was in command of the characters. With Slott, it feels like there are rubber bouncy idea-balls in his head and he just pulls them out like a state lottery drawing. He never really seems to question his own ideas — he just runs with them.

    2. “With Slott, it feels like there are rubber bouncy idea-balls in his head and he just pulls them out like a state lottery drawing. He never really seems to question his own ideas — he just runs with them.”

      And the thing is, on paper, most of the ideas aren’t bad ones. Having a career supervillian try to play hero, specifically using the mantle of his main enemy. Lot of possibilities. Having an interdimensional adventure where parallel universe versions of a hero (and their other counterparts) need to team up to save the day. While not really deep, that could be a lot of fun.

      I think the question is, do the ideas fit the character they’re being applied for? “Superior Spider-Man” arguably would’ve worked better as its own series with brand-new characters. It probably would’ve been still going on today, assuming that it found the same level of popularity, and wouldn’t have been nearly as divisive.

      I mean, it’s an interesting idea, but it really felt like it started as a marketing gimmick rather than a well-thought out idea to do something interesting. For example, why use Doc Ock? He’s not Spider-Man’s archnemesis, so it doesn’t really work thematically the way Ultimate Spider-Man’s apparent death did (by having the Green Goblin do it and by making Peter’s final stand about him protecting his loved ones), and he’s a fusion scientist, so how could he build a mind-swap device? While finding a villain who could build one might be difficult, I think the best candidate for a “Superior Spider-Man” would’ve been Venom. While that would’ve eliminated the idea of the imposter stealing Peter’s civilian identity, Venom is a shadowy refection of Spider-Man, is the most personal of Spider-Man’s enemies, with the possible exception of Norman Osborn, and, in the comics, fancies himself a ruthless superhero. That fits the idea of the “Superior Spider-Man” better than Ock ever did.

      “Spider-Verse” is a really fun-sounding concept (if it wasn’t for the fact that it was a post-“One More Day” story, I was told that it had a lot of death and a weak ending, and the fact that Ultimate Spider-Man was given the cold shoulder, I probably would’ve read it myself). But, Spider-Man has never really been one for sci-fi things like time travel, parallel realities, etc. He’s always been more at home in the real world. “Spider-Verse” always sounded more like a “Fantastic Four” idea more than anything.

      I almost wonder if Slott has the misfortune (creativity-wise) to be at the wrong place for his talents.

    3. Slott is a snide deconstructionist. He dismantles things from the past, sniding on everything from the past (including how John Romita Sr drew women), tears it down, and then boasts with pride that he is a true ground-breaker. But when has he ever shown any real originality? It reminds me of my dad, who used to put down the people around him, as a way of building himself up in his own mind.

    4. And p.s. I bet if someone posted on Slott’s feed that a quality woman would spit on Doc Ock (and a high-quality Texas woman would shoot him), Slott would be offended.

    5. That’s the thing. Without any sense of continuity anymore, dopes like Slott can say a hero is anything they want him/her to be.

  11. You know there’s away to fix how comic books are written once they see a substantial dip in sales over time they’re going to freak out and make a change to it and if were all vocal about our problems with the crap they’re writing Marvel will have their back against the wall and they’ll have to change how they do things. But unfortunately humans in general are dumb and love misery and will keep eating the sh*+ they keep shoveling out. The only thing I’ve read he has written was superior spider man and i did enjoy it while it lasted but I’m not looking forward to anymore stories like that again even though it was enjoyable for me. I want the relatable and likable Peter Parker back where he was before that Millar civil war/one more day Strazynski/Quesada garbage that has been hanging over the amazing spiderman series ever since.

    I’ve been looking at the renew your vows trade because it seems like the closest thing to an actual spiderman book since before the series tool a nosedive 9yrs ago or more. I don’t think he dislikes the Peter and Mary Jane relationship he either just doesn’t know what to do with it or people higher up are not allowing anyone to do anything with it besides splitting them farther apart. Besides with Bendis still writing for marvel he’ll end up ruining spiderman if he gets his hands on it anyway if it conflicts with his plans. Honestly I find Bendis to be a bigger problem than Slott should he have run on the amazing spider-man with that said though Slott has ruined it pretty badly as it is right now, Spider-Man is a Bruce Wayne rip off minus the I’m Batman attitude which can be easily fixed regardless of the excuses what people who work for & at marvel say and they know it.

  12. All I get from this is that a fat neckbeard doesn’t like pretty people.

    Not to be a jerk, but… Slott’s problems with PP/MJ seem to be rooted in his own inability to appreciate beauty. MJ has repeatedly proven herself to truly love Pete, to be tough as nails in a crisis, and to be on his level in terms of humor, if not intellectually. She was the perfect foil for Spider-Man’s often stressed out, brainy brilliance.

    Doc Ock, on the other hand, was a narcissist that used his ego to cover up deep-seated insecurity issues. He constantly over-estimated his brilliance because he could not bear the thought of anyone being more intelligent than he was and thereby exposing his inferiority.

    The appreciation of beauty is not love. Peter Parker and MJ were in love and it resonated through the pages and that was beautiful.

    The way I see it, Dan Slott probably also hates babies and puppies, and he probably spent the holidays stealing people Christmas trees and Menorahs to make their season more “f***ed up.”

    1. “Peter Parker and MJ were in love and it resonated through the pages and that was beautiful.”

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, hawki87. I appreciate it. My guess is that Dan is now in the process of finding out who you are on Twitter so he can block your account. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s