ASM Scorpio

At some point in time fans of The Amazing Spider-Man have to wonder if writer Dan Slott has a thing against women. Every woman Peter Parker brings into his inner circle at his company seems intent on destroying the operation. A similar conversation can be had on Silk and her embarrassing sex-pheromones, but I digress.

The seventh issue of ASM moves the plot along as it is revealed Mr. Negative wants to take down “China’s favorite son, Shen Quinghao” by having Peter slip him the designer drug Shade. Luckily, the villain’s “corrupting touch” only works once, so he is unaware that when he previously took control of Spider-Man during Dark Reign: Mister Negative Miniseries, he lost his chance to do the same to Peter moving forward.

The real reveal of ASM #7, however, is that once again another woman is actively trying to sabotage Parker Industries.

Let’s look at the history:

  • Anna Maria Marconi went behind Peter’s back with Sanjani on Doc Ock’s nano-technology project.
  • Sanjani tried to strike a deal with The Ghost — a corporate saboteur — to wreck Peter’s top projects “beyond repair.”
  • Lien Tang, who is “very close” with Peter and feeds him dumplings on the roof of Parker Industries, never told him her mother was sick with cancer. Instead of telling him while they were “close” one night, she decides to work with an international terrorist organization. The Zodiac gives her experimental treatments in exchange for sensitive information.

Peter Parker Sajani

The problem with the whole set-up is that Lien has barely made any appearances. Readers were told she and Peter were “close,” but yet none of it was shown in the actual book. No one cared about their relationship — or her character in general — and yet they’re supposed to be floored by her betrayal. The scene falls flat because Dan Slott never put in the work to credibly establish her character. It’s a repeat performance of Sanjani’s fall from grace. She couldn’t “fall” because she never had a pedestal to stand on to begin with.

ASM Normie

Two other scenes worth mentioning are the return of Regent — one of the few low points of Renew Your Vows — and Dan Slott’s continued insertion of the the perfect technology for any jam Peter finds himself in.

Last issue it was Quick-drying web-cement webbing and Acid-webbing. Now it’s “Micro Spider-Tracers.” Before that it was a Spider-plane that shot non-lethal web rounds, a Spider-submarine, and a handy-dandy Spider anti-toxin.

Question: At what point in time will fans be introduced to the Spider-Tank, and when will Peter introduce the Single Cell Spider-tracer?

If these are the ASM stories you’re looking for, then more power to you. However, one still can’t help but wonder: Where is all the feminist rage over the way Dan Slott writes female characters?

ASM mini tracer

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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.

39 comments

    1. My question for people who are on the fence would be: Does this feel like inspired writing? If not, then why?

      At this point it seems like Dan is in a “comfortable place” with ASM, and when people get too comfortable they get lazy. It feels like he’s got his little Spider-Mobile and he’s put it in cruise control.

  1. You’re not wrong Doug. Not at all. I myself have actually had enough of this treatment of the women in Peter’s life, so much so I started this thread over at Comicvine: Anyone tired of what’s happening to women in Peter’s life?

    http://www.comicvine.com/spider-man/4005-1443/forums/anyone-tired-of-whats-happening-to-women-in-peters-1710623/

    Where I posted this exactly after reading the issue:

    Well, it’s been MONTHS since I started this thread and now, thanks to ASM #7 that came out this week, it’s being brought back to life.


    Just to warn you Spoiler Alert

    So Marvel has once again decided to ruin another relationship between Peter and another love interest, that love interest being Lien Tang, and while I can understand the reason for her actions. Those Actions being that she’s the MOLE Peter and SHIELD has been trying to locate, yes that mole we’ve been hearing about, the one Sajani was accused of being, has all this time been Peter’s now, I’m assuming, Ex-Girlfriend and future resident of China’s prison system, and for non other than Scorpio and why did she do it, as I said I can understand why, it’s because her mother is dying of cancer and Scorpio was treating her in exchange for information and security codes and now, due to the fact that Peter has put a hold on the cancer research which could have helped her mother in order to find a cure to “The Shade” and that she is no longer needed by Scorpio, she offers to kill Spider-Man for Scorpio in exchange for future treatment of her mother.

    It should also be noted that Lien only appeared in 3 issues 1, 6 & of course 7, with no hint of her being the mole until we are told she is in today’s issue

    So I’ll ask again, just what is Marvel’s issue in giving Peter a stable relationship, why are they so hell bent on keeping him single, at this rate he’ll never trust another woman again, with the exception Mary Jane and Silver Sable I’m hoping, because apparently every time he gets close to someone and cares for them, they either leave because they can’t handle it any more, or so they say, or they stab him in the back, So, was I right when I said, could this “Mephisto Deal” not only have wiped out the marriage but also made it so that Peter can no longer form a meaningful relationship with anyone of the opposite sex. I mean really what’s Marvel’s issue with this.

    And you know what, I am now fully expecting Anna Maria to betray him as well, because one, it never sat right with me that she just accepted when Peter told her the truth about him and Ock and the mind swap and two, we still don’t know what was written on the piece of paper that was with the ring Ock was going to propose with.

    ===

    BTW, have you seen my latest posts at Crawlspace
    http://www.spidermancrawlspace.com/2016/02/04/dan-slott-co-writer-of-dead-no-more-event/
    http://www.spidermancrawlspace.com/2016/02/03/no-mary-jane-centric-review-this-month-but/

    1. Just to add to the number of appearances of Lien
      Lien only appeared in 3 issues 1, 6 & of course 7, with no hint of her being the mole until we are told she is in today’s issue and now all of a sudden we are told she the mole, honestly does Slott not know how to develop/grow character, because from looks it, he really doesn’t.

      I saw the preview for next months Invincible Iron Man #7, which shows what we all knew Mary Jane taking the job and not only that, expect a reunion between Mary Jane and Peter, I should have one doozy of a review, hope I can pull it off.

    2. “I saw the preview for next months Invincible Iron Man #7, which shows what we all knew Mary Jane taking the job and not only that, expect a reunion between Mary Jane and Peter, I should have one doozy of a review, hope I can pull it off.”

      I’m sure you’ll do a great job. I’m looking forward to it!

    3. I myself have actually had enough of this treatment of the women in Peter’s life, so much so I started this thread over at Comicvine: Anyone tired of what’s happening to women in Peter’s life?

      I’m glad to see we’re on the same page with this one, Animehunter. Thanks for sharing the links. I haven’t had a chance to get over to Crawlspace lately, but I should be able to once the weekend hits.

      “So, was I right when I said, could this ‘Mephisto Deal’ not only have wiped out the marriage but also made it so that Peter can no longer form a meaningful relationship with anyone of the opposite sex. I mean really what’s Marvel’s issue with this.”

      That’s actually a rather interesting angle to take. 🙂 I would hate if Marvel stole the idea from you and didn’t give you credit, but at the same time it would explain quite a lot.

      It is baffling to watch Marvel as year after year it seems determined to destroy Peter Parker via strange editorial decisions.

    4. “That’s actually a rather interesting angle to take. 🙂 I would hate if Marvel stole the idea from you and didn’t give you credit, but at the same time it would explain quite a lot. … It is baffling to watch Marvel as year after year it seems determined to destroy Peter Parker via strange editorial decisions.”

      Yeah, I figured if anything this was the most likely reason for Peter so called bad luck with the women in his life. Also, I’d actually be surprised if Marvel stole idea.

      One quick note about Lien. I actually had the theory, I believe Zariusii mentioned it to you. Lien will be the one in the Spider Mobile on the cover of issue #8, and turns out I was right, just not about the reason she was driving it.

      And about the review for Invincible Iron Man #7, I’ll be sure not to disappoint.

  2. I’m reading a lot of Old Marvel at the moment (just finished Warlock) and each old comic has more story in it that a whole 5 or 6 issue arc does nowadays.

    Today’s comics seem obsessed with giant splash pages of fight scenes and this has left the industry in a situation where it doesn’t have the time to tell stories anymore. Relationships cannot be developed. Look back at the early Spider-man comics and the relationships felt real because time was invested in making them matter. We now skip from event to event changing the sex/race/religion/shoe size of characters to cause sales bumps that are rebooted as soon as the next film comes along.

    The storytellers are not here anymore.

    1. “Look back at the early Spider-man comics and the relationships felt real because time was invested in making them matter. We now skip from event to event changing the sex/race/religion/shoe size of characters to cause sales bumps that are rebooted as soon as the next film comes along.”

      Boom. You nailed it on that one, Andrew. These so-called twists are not really felt by readers because the time wasn’t put in beforehand to make sure they were invested in the outcome. Like you said, it’s all about events and reboots and gimmicks for sales jumps. It’s really sad to see it all unfold.

    2. So true. I consistently find Marvel comics devoid of much real talent. It seems like fanboys writing fanfics at times.

  3. Another spot-on review Doug. It seems Slott truly wants Peter to be cast adrift in a sea of women who do everything to break his trust, with him being either oblivious to it, or too easily forgiving of it (unless the opportunity arises for the plot to once again take priority over a character’s common sense).

    I said this on Comicvine, but I found this to be a bad Spider-Man issue, but at the same time, there were things to like about everything else that pushed the plots forward for future issues, such as Liz and Harry bonding together again. I grew up with their relationship in the 1990s during the height of the DeMatties Green Goblin saga in Spectacular Spider-Man, so to see them on good terms again was very welcoming. The Regent popping up and declaring himself a new hero for the city was a bit corny for my tastes. This kind of concept has been done to death in thousands of corny Saturday morning plotlines, and not even good ones.

    Regent’s presence hinges on only one real quandary..mainly how a “swinging single” Peter Parker can overcome him as his last defeat came at the hands of a married one coping with fatherhood. Will there be that “drive”, that “push” for Mephistoverse Peter when he is defined by a poor and unstable love life with no legacy or future to call his own. These are strong questions, creative questions, and I don’t think, as usual, Dan will be up to answering them.

    1. “I grew up with their relationship in the 1990s during the height of the DeMatties Green Goblin saga in Spectacular Spider-Man, so to see them on good terms again was very welcoming.”

      What did you think of little Normie saying One of his boys,” after Harry shielded the family? It had this weird forshawdowing like he was Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son.

      “Will there be that ‘drive’ that “push” for Mephistoverse Peter when he is defined by a poor and unstable love life with no legacy or future to call his own.”

      I think we need to find an artist and then just start putting out guerrilla comics… I see some really cool ideas in the comments section whenever I write reviews. I think some of the anger that is sent the fans’ way is rooted in jealousy. You guys ask really probing questions and come up with story ideas with a lot of potential.

    2. Yeah several sites have recently had if you could write ASM threads. I haven’t had time yet to post all of my omd undoing story yet but I have almost a complete run to outline at crawlspace when I do. And well there are plenty of people there with the exception of Metts with fantastic ideas of their own. You never know maybe a singular vision could evolve among pro marriage fans and a guerrilla comic could be made with one or two writers writing their own ideas while also acknowledging and partly utilizing the best of those in our camp.

      An artist would be needed but at this point even bad fanfiction would be more readable than Marvel’s output.

      My run would open with an event that would essentially firewall Mephisto out of OMIT continuity would reset and be very similiar to Pre OMD but there would be a butterfly effect one that would be addressed/acknowledged/examined throughout the run as opposed to “it’s magic we don’t have to explain it”.

      The themes of family and responsibility would be mined quite extensively as Peter being a parent is more unique than Peter being a husband.

      Anyway I’m still holding out hope on developing that animated project but I have little news to share. I was thinking Crawlspace gets many thousands more viewers than buy ASM so with visitor support they could totally revive or reboot the Crawlspace comic.

    3. Yep, I did notice Normie’s behaviour…foreshadowing possibly, and it would be interesting to see him become somewhat abusive to Stanley and create a fresh inner rivalry that again threatens to undo the hard work Harry and Liz are putting into reconciliation.

      Oh, btw, Slott decided to take a crack at the Crawl Space again after they made the cardinal sin of…correcting a mistake they made and thanking Dan for pointing it out

    4. Dan Slott lectures Crawlspace on “how to do fandom right.” Haha! The guy who stalked The Main Event? The guy who lied to his Twitter followers and exploited a charity event to do so? The guy who trolled some random woman on Twitter and then insulted her life when she wasn’t even talking to him? Classic! Seriously, that’s a good one, Dan Slott. Whew. I need to catch my breath.

      Thanks for the laugh, Mr. “Everyone Peter falls in love with is so classically beautiful, and to me that is anti-Marvel.”

  4. Well, Doug, let’s remember that when it comes his depiction female characters under Slott, some have gotten favorable treatment compared to others. Carlie Cooper and Silk, for example, couldn’t do no wrong no matter what they did. And despite going behind Peter’s back on developing Doc Ock’s nanotech, Anna Maria was still portrayed as being in the right as opposed to Sajani. As for long-established fan favorite love interests, look no further at the fall from grace of the Black Cat and the way Mary Jane broke things off with Peter during Superior Spider-Man.

    Also, I definitely agree with your take on Lien Tang being Scorpio’s mole and for the reasons it flopped so hard. Anyways, as I’m sure you’re curious to see my own take on Amazing Spider-Man #7. And, as a means of comparison, what I thought of the first issue of Bendis’ new Miles Morales Spider-Man series.

    http://whateveraspidercan.com/2016/02/04/stillanerd-reviews-amazing-spider-man-2015-7/
    http://whateveraspidercan.com/2016/02/04/stillanerd-reviews-spider-man-1/

    1. Thanks for sharing the links, Mike! It looks like we’re on the same page with Bendis’ Spider-Man. 🙂

      It also looks as though we’re on the same page with ASM #7:

      “Yet no matter how hard the comic tries, there’s no emotional connection to what’s happening on the page. Instead, it feels as though Slott is just checking off items on a list and presumes the readers will automatically be invested in these characters because they’re already “familiar” with them. This assumption even applies to the new characters, as well.”

      Thank you!

      In terms of the women in Peter’s life, I will concede that Carlie Cooper could apparently do no wrong. Was it me, or did it feel like Dan Slott and Marvel were sending out strange, “Like her, damn it! Like her!” vibes throughout her run?

      I still think the “spider pheromones” was horrible editorial choice and shocked it did not generate more of a reaction from Tumblr’s professional-outrage machine.

      With Anna I’d have to go back and look, but even if it was portrayed as “eh, let it slide” that she went behind his back on nanotech, that’s not someone I would want in my inner circle. Heck, even in ASM #7 she just hangs up on him — the CEO — and he takes it. Sigh.

  5. Perhaps Marvel is steering Peter back to MJ. Or perhaps Gwen if she is part for the dead no more storyline. It looks like PI may crumble this year, but then again we all thought PI was done for in ASM#18 vol.3. So for all we know, PI could be around for another decade or so. I don’t think Peter wanted to be a CEO in the first place and is just trying to make the best of his current situation. Peter seemed a lot more happier as a scientist in Horizon Labs. So far, Aunt May and Mockingbird seem to be the only women in Peter’s life who is not plotting against him in any way. The Lian betrayal would be more compelling if they developed her character more.

    1. “I get the feeling that w when doc Ock retuurns, Anna Maria will betray Peter.”

      I agree with you. She originally fell in love with Doc Ock, so it would make sense. I suppose she could “choose” Peter professionally and tell Ock it’s over because he isn’t a real hero — giving him one more reason to hate Parker — but I think your idea has a higher probability of happening.

  6. I wonder if dead no more could involve Peter and MJ’s stillborn baby. The Regent being here seems to indicate that. After all, it took the entire Parker family to defeat the Regent the last time.

    1. This year actually marks the 20th anniversary of the miscarraige…although OMIT indicated that MJ and Peter did’nt even try for a baby after Mephisto altered history.

    1. “How far do you think Lian will go in killing Spider-Man?”

      I don’t see her succeeding at all because the argument will be that she’s really only desperate to save her mother. I’m assuming Spider-Man will have enough time to talk some sense into her, and then who knows how it will go from there. Will she too just be given a “talk”? I hope not. But then again, she’s the one who created the Spider-Mobile. Would he really be that stupid to keep her on after she was selling trade secrets to an international terrorist organization? Magic 8-Ball says, “The chances are good.”

  7. Yeah currently I’m looking into using an Indian videogame company for a 6 part mini-series to open up the project I’ve sent them a script but communication is slow and I need an estimate at least for the pilot cost before I can do anything. I’m going to decide whether or not to keep pursuing this route or try another company in the next week.

  8. In regards to the idea of the organized fan fiction movements, I wish everyone well. I’m not a big fan fiction person myself (although I do run tabletop RPGs based on licensed franchises, which is a form of fan fiction, I suppose), but I do get why fans enjoy creating and reading them, and would be curious to hear about what people come up with.

    Personally, if I was going to do Spider-Man fan fiction, I’d put together a continuation of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. Although the trilogy had enough closure to stand on its own, there is plenty of stuff that could’ve been built on; for example, I’ve always wondered what the Jamesons’ reactions where when they learned that MJ had broken up with John Jameson to be with Peter. Something based off of “Renew Your Vows” would also be something I’d want to work with. As I said multiple time here, I really want a regular series based on that (even more than I want MCU Spider-Man movies) and I might have to make my own to get it!

    Now, in regards to the assessment that Slott is writing female characters badly, I would point out that he did write a good Mary Jane in the “Renew Your Vows” series. While there were a couple weak points (like her sudden shift on Annie’s wish to join the superhero fight in #4), I think those were pacing problems with the plot, not flaws with characterization. Everything else really worked.

    In fact, not only did it highlight how well she worked as Peter’s wife (and not only showed why fans embraced that aspect of the character, but also gave decent counterarguments for the majority of explanations why “One More Day” was necessary), the fact that she really took to being a mom makes it outright criminal that she wasn’t allowed to do that in 616.

    RYV does seem to be a bit of an anomaly; characters fans complain are written out of character in Slott’s main work were praised as being completely accurate. So, my big question for Slott is: “Why did you write your regular ASM stuff so differently?” Is it some kind of self-discipline problem, or is it connected to the fact that Slott’s Spider-Man work is inherently a distortion of the mythos’s source code?

  9. I wonder if Lian was just pretending to like Peter to get info for Zodiac . she was betraying Peter even before he interrupted the cancer research to deal with the Mr negative situation. Makes me wonder if even if PI doesn’the crumble, Peter would want to quit the CEO Thing after the Scorpio rising storyline.

  10. Well, the Regent storyline will come to a head in May in an event called “Power Play” which sees Peter team up with the All-New Avengers (Miles group) and Iron Man…and yep, Tony’s bringing along Mary Jane

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/02/06/16-of-marvels-solicitations-for-4th-may-2016-daredevilpunisher-new-wasp-and-deadpool-masacre/

    While Slott writing 616/Mephistoverse MJ does’nt thrill me, it again shows the deceptive side of Marvel…remember when Bendis said the Spider-Office had NO plans for Mary Jane prior to him snagging her up? Right up there with Slott saying Peter was definitely dead in Superior once Ghost Pete was eliminated.

  11. wow, you know is pretty interesting to always see the same guys talking trash about Slott work in every forum there is XDDDD is like you all don’t have better things to do, come on, the guy is not perfect that’s true, but he is not the monster that all of you make him, I have been reading Spider-Man for years now, and compared to arcs like the Clone one slott work is art, have you forgotten the OMD thing? or maybe the Norman Osborn Impregnates Gwen Stacy one??? XDDD I have to agree with all of you about the Women in spider-man life but you know what? I think that’s more a Marvel problem than a Slott one, I mean, we all know that Joe Quesada was the mind behind the monstrosity that was OMD, the guy may not be the chief editor anymore but he still have a lot of command voice inside Marvel, he was the one who did not like peter being in a serious relationship because he wanted Spider-Man to be like the one he grew up with, the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko one, in a way you all are like Joe Quesada, you all grew up with Peter Parker being married with MJ and want the status quo to return to that point, I will said it again, he may not be perfect but Dan Slott run as Spider-Man have been a good one, I Liked Spider-Island, I liked End of Earth, I loved Superior, i had fun with Spider-Verse and I find the new Spider-Millionaire really cool…

    1. “Wow, you know is pretty interesting to always see the same guys talking trash about Slott work in every forum there is XDDDD is like you all don’t have better things to do.”

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Kite. First I must clarify that I blog on a wide range of topics: Tonight I blogged on the new Deadpool movie. Sometimes I address religious issues. On some days I might review work by a writer like Brian Michael Bendis or discuss America’s cultural landscape. On other days I’ll share an inspirational post about Chris Pratt. My readers may comment on Dan Slott’s work, but I’m not sure why you’re insinuating it’s somehow a problem for them to share opinions that happen to differ from your own.

      On a similar note, are you asking me not to defend myself when Dan Slott blatantly lies about who I am and what I believe? If Dan Slott comes across as a “monster” for stalking people like The Main Event or lying about me, then he has no one to blame but himself.

      “I will said it again, he may not be perfect but Dan Slott run as Spider-Man have been a good one, I Liked Spider-Island, I liked End of Earth, I loved Superior, i had fun with Spider-Verse and I find the new Spider-Millionaire really cool.”

      I’m glad that you feel that way, Kite. My blog, unlike other websites, allows people to offer a wide range of opinions without fearing their comments will be weirdly erased for offending Dan Slott. I’m happy to have you here as long as you’re respectful of the other readers. The more the merrier.

    2. What I mean was that I have only read bad things about Slott work in the blog when you write about his work, I think is best to be objective, yes it may not be perfect and he could be better especially in the relationships that peter have, but is not the trash that some say, sorry if I was disrespectful, it was not my intention, X.X

    3. with the coming of Miles Morales to the 616 universe I think the gap that is the “child with powers that have to balance the problems of an adolescent and the life of a hero” that Marvel want to sell should be filled, hopefully we will see a more mature Peter Parker, like the one we see in Renew your Vows, in the end it all depends in Marvel editors more so than in Slott, personally I would prefer to see Peter not with MJ or Black Cat but with someone like Carol Danvers XD (fan dream of mine jajaja)

    4. What was wrong with the Clone Saga exactly? I’ve went back and re-read it several times over the years and it stands up as a pretty enjoyable story which did more to grow Peter in a natural way than all of the other attempts to do so.

      Our problem with Slott ranges from his inconsistencies as a writer to the fact he’s just an outright public relations disaster online. The man can deliver on his promises sometime (I enjoyed his pre-OMD and BND era stuff and bits of Spider-Verse and Renew Your Vows), but in between he seems to get a bit lost. There is nothing wrong with pointing out his flaws, it’s just Dan takes it personally a lot of the time and calls us out for not being perfect soldiers.

      If you’re enjoying all of it, well done.

      As for growing up with the marriage…that is true, but the marriage actually hasn’t went anywhere since OMD. You can still find the pair married in the newspaper strip (which, while a bit corny and ridiculous, remains more of an authentic representation of Spider-Man than anything under Slott’s pen outside of a few stories) and stories that require the marriage to be a strong component of the storylines still impact the books (Spider-Verse with how important the son of Peter and MJ was to the Inheritors, and the involvement of Regent in the forthcoming Power Play)

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