Marvel writer Dan Slott has a big problem — besides the fact that he is a habitual liar. That problem: The internet exists, which means that his lies are easily exposed. Once again yours truly will demonstrate the pathetic lengths The Amazing Spider-Man writer will go to in order to get sympathy tweets from his followers.

An old blog post I wrote — one where I exposed Dan Slott’s lie that I deny climate change — has seen a spike in traffic. I thought that was odd, so I investigated. Low and behold, the writer is again taking veiled shots at this blog, which of course always results in people trying to figure out who he is talking about.

You see, dear reader, Dan Slott is terrified of addressing me in a forum he doesn’t control. That is why he uses red herrings about global warming when all of my ASM reviews focus on the craft of writing and editorial decisions.

Mr. Slott was back to his lying ways Feb 5: “I’m so happy one of my loudest critics also happens to be a climate change denier. Because it’s nice to know he’s objectively an idiot.”

Dan Slott Twitter lie

Dan Slott is a liar. He lies about my position on climate change, and he was grossly dishonest after stalking Philly YouTuber The Main Event.

Dan Slott Main Event stalk

If you haven’t seen The Main Event’s reaction, then I highly suggest checking it out. It is one of the most brilliant take-downs of a thin-skinned comic book writer you will ever see.

Main Event Slott

Once again, for all the world to see, here is my position on Climate Change:

There is no doubt that the climate ‘changes.’ The question is: How big of a role does man play? Is it big enough to warrant the redistribution of wealth — to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars — from the private sector to a bureaucratic Leviathan? Answer: No. Is shaving a few degrees off computer models that even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now admits are flawed worth the price in individual liberty? Of course not.

Do you remember when Al Gore predicted a Global Warming apocalypse would unfold over the course of ten years — in 2006? I do. It was the Dan Slotts of the world who actually believed him.

Actor Ted Danson claimed in the 1980s that the world’s oceans would be polluted beyond repair by the late 90s. It was the Dan Slotts of the world who actually believed him.

Dan Slott despises this blog because every year he sees that more and more people read my reviews. He sees people sharing them on Facebook and Twitter. He knows that every single day people read through my old work — including the time he randomly trolled a young woman and then mocked her life.

This bothers him to no end, so to deal with it he makes up lies about what I believe on issues unrelated to comic books. He’ll never actually quote me (ironic, since he cries about his critics taking him out of context on a regular basis), and he won’t come here to challenge my assertions head on. Instead, he will continue to fish for compliments from fans who blindly accept his lies and tell him that he is awesome.

In truth, he is not awesome. He is not even awesome at lying, which is sad since he has so much practice at it.

If you want to see the review Mr. Slott is bent out of shape about this week, here it is: Dan Slott’s lesson for Peter Parker: Don’t hire women.

If you want to see The Main Event expose Dan Slott as the liar he is in grand fashion, then watch the video below. It’s a classic.

UPDATE:

Dan Slott is talking about me on Twitter — again.

Note: The guy who blocked me and Hube over at Colosus of Rhodey is taking screenshots over our conversations. Interesting, isn’t it?

Apparently, Dan Slott thinks it’s “stirring the pot” to let The Main Event know that he has been stalked for years on social media by the writer of The Amazing Spider-Man. Apparently, it’s stirring the pot to let The Main Event know that Dan Slott exploits a charity event to get retweets by his followers. Good luck with that argument, Dan.

Dan Slott stalk screenshot

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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.

40 comments

  1. Just a question, out of curiosity. Why is Doug and Dan even bothering making predictions for or against climate change? Doesn’t that task fall into the area of scientists, scientific investigation and scientific experimentation? In other words, it belongs to the area of science and scientists. And it’s up to them – in their scientific publications – to persuade the rest of the scientific community. Then we – as amateurs – can jump on the scientific bandwagon of collective scientific consensus.

    1. I’m not sure what predictions you’re ascribing to me, Randy. To the extent I focus on climate change, I have written on public policy that has been pushed by men in positions of power. If Al Gore says the only way to stave off the climate change apocalypse is to give the federal government massive amounts of power, then it is totally within bounds for me to write on the issue.

  2. He also publicly mocks people for errors… they didn’t commit. See Slott’s recent snotty tweet toward Crawlspace regarding whether “Dead No More” is a Spider-Man-centric story. Slott ridiculed Brad for (a) taking the same conclusion that every other fan site had, and then (b) within 24 hours Alex Alonso confirmed that BD’s guess was correct. I suppose making fun of people for “hilarious mistakes” they don’t actually make is a kind of lying.

    1. It’s funny you should mention that since Dan once sent weird legal threats my way: “If someone, like you, who is in the habit of spreading gross falsehoods about me online, I am interested to see if any of them rise to the level of being liable and actionable.”

      I’m not sure if ComicVine took down the post or not, but it was quite hilarious. Let’s see…I review ASM, but because Dan can’t separate criticism of a particular issue with criticism of him as a human being, then he needs to look into legal options. Meanwhile, he stalks The Main Event, trolls random women, and lies about this blog and it’s no big deal. Gotcha, Dan.

    1. “In all seriousness, Slott should seek out a competent psychologist.”

      I’m looking at my WordPress stats and thinking, “Why the heck is my post on Slott imagining himself as Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap suddenly spiking in traffic? I wonder if Dan is taking weird shots at my blog again. … Yep!”

      What makes the whole thing so bizarre is that people are literally searching to figure out who he is talking about and then reaching posts that expose him as a liar.

  3. Is it just me or does it look like Dan had to go back and delete some tweets again to cover his butt about a new tiff he has with the Spider-Man Crawlspace?

    1. Slott seems to need nemeses. And yet they are all unnecessary enemies. You can tell from Crawlspace podcasts that they looked forward to a friendly relationship with Slott when he first started posting on the site. Then he suddenly turned abusive, and they had to ban him! It’s obvious Brad Douglas was disappointed that happened (even though at this point they’re all tired of Dan Slott, Detention Class Middle Schooler.)

      I never see Busiek, Bunn, Hickman, any of those guys deliberately trying to pick fights with review sites. Is this part of some sort of bizarre “Negative publicity is still publicity” tactic, I wonder. Axel Alonso must be OK about Slott acting so toolishly, or maybe editorial just figures the guy earns them money so they just throw up their hands.

    2. “Slott seems to need nemeses. And yet they are all unnecessary enemies. You can tell from Crawlspace podcasts that they looked forward to a friendly relationship with Slott when he first started posting on the site. Then he suddenly turned abusive, and they had to ban him!”

      Dan interprets anywhere that isn’t a “Slottian Safe Space” as hostile, when in reality a forum like Crawlspace is what he should expect — some people will like his work, and others will not. He’s so used to be coddled by the moderators at other websites that honest pushback is unbearable.

      “I never see Busiek, Bunn, Hickman, any of those guys deliberately trying to pick fights with review sites. Is this part of some sort of bizarre ‘Negative publicity is still publicity’ tactic, I wonder.”

      What’s hilarious is that he obviously wants to lash out, but he’s painted himself into a corner. He’s blocked me on Twitter, but yet he still reads my reviews. He has said he wants nothing to do with my blog, but then obviously references me, Hube and Avi in his Twitter feed. Deep down he badly wants to comment here, but he knows there is no moderator to save him and no way for him to delete comments when he goes off the rails.

      Lying about this site and others in off-hand remarks on Twitter serves the dual-purpose of venting and fishing for compliments.

    3. AND as a CS defender let me point out that there was no real “tiff.” Slott deliberately tried to bait Brad Douglas into an Internet fight, and Douglas wisely brushed him off.

    4. “Is it just me or does it look like Dan had to go back and delete some tweets again to cover his butt about a new tiff he has with the Spider-Man Crawlspace?”

      Haha. I wouldn’t be surprised. Dan is known for deleting tweets, YouTube replies, etc., after he realizes his impulse-control problems have made him look unprofessional yet again.

  4. I just checked out Dan’s twitter, he is taking a beating. Granted some of the stuff is rude, and crap, but it seems that more people are getting tired of his hypocritical BS.

    1. “I just checked out Dan’s twitter, he is taking a beating. Granted some of the stuff is rude, and crap, but it seems that more people are getting tired of his hypocritical BS.”

      It’s good to know some people are willing to hold him accountable for his online behavior, even if the result is that he’ll immediately block them and their extended family. 😉 I agree with you that people should be tactful. It’s best not to give him any opening for distractions.

  5. I actually came here because of Bendis turning Iceman gay, subverting the story to social justice causes in order to score cheap points with the right people.

    But you seem to like him quite a bit. Well, hey, different tastes.

    Since then I ‘ve found a lot more to enjoy about your work other than your opinion of Bendis’s writing, and I must say I’ve become a fan.

    The whole entertainment industry could use more critics like yourself, who are not in perpetual hate mode toward popular culture, but is willing to hold it up to criticism for it’s base assumptions about human nature and tradition.

    1. “The whole entertainment industry could use more critics like yourself, who are not in perpetual hate mode toward popular culture, but is willing to hold it up to criticism for it’s base assumptions about human nature and tradition.”

      It’s really hard to convey how much I appreciate this comment, because in many ways I think it is an accurate assessment of how I would like readers to interpret the blog. It’s reassuring when someone gets it.

      Years ago I had a job that put me into close contact with many social conservatives. They absolutely shunned popular culture and wanted nothing to do with it (I apologize if you’ve read similar comments from me before). Anyway, they would turn their backs to music, movies, comics, etc., that didn’t promote their worldview, and then wondered why the culture continued to slip away from them. It was incredibly frustrating.

      Take someone like Bendis, for example. I think he is a great writer, but he is obviously a liberal guy. When he essentially makes the case for separate but equal superheroes, I will call him out on it. When he randomly turns Iceman gay and expects people to just accept it, I will call him out on it. But I would never be able to have conversations with comic book fans who are trying to make sense of it all if I just walked away from popular culture.

      I never want to be legitimately accused of being the guy who does the spiritual equivalent of “I ‘get it,’ but you can fend for yourself.” In order to convince people that there is a better way, I need to speak their language.

      Thanks again for the kind words.

  6. I kind of wonder what Slott will do when he retires from Spider-Man for good. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the run isn’t going to make that much of an effect on the franchise at large. I mean, has he really written any stories that have been considered “great?” You can have long discussions on wether he writes good Spider-Man or not, and pull up examples of bad stories or ones that don’t work very well, but did he write any classics?

    I suspect (based on the way comic books work in general) that, eventually, Spider-Man will be retconned to be closer to his working class self. So far, all the movies made are taking inspiration from “Ultimate Spider-Man” — which filtered the pre-“One More Day” version of Spider-Man through a high school setting — and film is where the general public form their opinions about these characters nowadays.

    So, if Slott is remembered as anything less than one of the masters (or as a hack) will he still be complaining about how he was misunderstood online years after the fact? I don’t know, for a guy who claims to be a Spider-Man fan and loves his job, he seems to focus on the negatives that come up and seems to have really odd choices about the parts of the franchise he likes, given that he seems to hate the stuff the readers love and likes things that really don’t fit into the franchise.

    1. “Has he really written any stories that have been considered “great?” You can have long discussions on wether he writes good Spider-Man or not, and pull up examples of bad stories or ones that don’t work very well, but did he write any classics?”

      Classics? No.

      One some level Dan Slott’s longevity forces people to remember his work because there simply was no one else at the ASM helm. My guess is that people will obviously remember “that time Otto killed Peter and was the Superior Spider-Man,” but if you were to ask them their favorite issues from that run they’d say, “Ummmm. You know. Otto was in Pete’s body. And he did Spidey stuff…but he was obviously still Otto.”

      I sort of look at Slott’s ASM like Burton’s nostalgic take on alien movies with Mars Attacks!

      Slott does quirky and weird stuff just like Burton, but at the end of the day no one remembers Mars Attacks! as a classic film. They want James Cameron’s Aliens.

    2. Slott’s stories are nothing more than video-game fizz-bang. The reason they don’t carry any weight is because he doesn’t develop touching character relationships that make you feel attached to the characters, and he himself has no meaningful big ideas — he spouts whatever politically-correct debris happens to be floating by in the media stream. Ditko might be a bit of a kook, but at least he has a point of view. Even Hickman’s conclusion of Secret Wars ended on a cosmically optimistic note. Slott? Wham, boom, pow, snark, kaboom, fizzle, rinse, repeat.

    3. “He spouts whatever politically-correct debris happens to be floating by in the media stream.”

      Heh. Agreed. One looks at his Twitter feed and wonders, “When was the last time this guy read a book? A good book. Maybe a classic. Not another comic book. Not a magazine. Not watching Dr. Who. Not watching cable news. Reading a book. Perhaps Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Or Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

      One needs to simply read Bendis and then Slott to see the intellectual food each man consumes. One reads a lot of good books. The other primarily reads comic books, watches sci-fi on television, and scours the internet looking for critics to complain about to Twitter followers.

    4. “I sort of look at Slott’s ASM like Burton’s nostalgic take on alien movies with Mars Attacks! Slott does quirky and weird stuff just like Burton…”

      The only Burton movie I saw was “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” so I kind of get what you’re saying. It seems to me like “Gauntlet” and “Spider-Island” seem to be Slott’s most praised works. “Superior Spider-Man” has its fans, too, I guess, but even excusing the fact that I hated the basic premise, I’m not sure. I tried reading it, and it had an icky, joyless feel. Not everything needs to light and happy, of course, but that was a really cynical piece of work. I suspect the main reason it was as popular as it was was just because of the novelty of it being something different, not because of any real inherent value it had.

      I’d argue that “Renew Your Vows” is the closest Slott got to a classic, except that it’s too early to tell and I’m suspicious that it “missed it by that much”; On one hand, I think it was his best received story and something that was universally praised by critics and readers regardless of where they stood on the post-“One More Day” era. It also benefited from it’s stand-alone nature, in that you didn’t need to read a bunch of back issues to understand the setup. It was also simply a good story that manage to capture why people love these characters so much.

      On the minus side, since it was a tie-in to a comic book event, I wonder if future readers will just glob it into the “Secret Wars” mix rather than examine it on its own. There was also the fact that the villian was creaky and the ending had several pacing issues. So, despite being a fan favorite, I think the flaws hold it back from the top, leaving it like a candle that burned brightly, but got to the end of its wick before it could be relit. But, like I said, it’s too early to tell for sure.

      I guess the really funny thing is, I wonder if under different circumstances, Slott might actually be better regarded among the Spider-Man fanbase. Most of the complaints centered around him are that he’s a cyberbully, his comics are set in the “One More Day” iteration of Spider-Man (this may not be his fault entirely) and make a mockery of the characters and push them far away from their core concepts, and he tends to have weak resolutions.

      However, RYV showed that he could actually work really well in the classic Spider-Man setting. If Slott used his manners on social media, wrote within the pre-OMD guidelines, and saved the crazy ideas for one-off “what-if?” comics, he might have actually have been able to achieve the universal praise that he seems to expect. I mean, that would take care of the deal breakers that lead me to decide to personally boycott his 616 stuff.

    5. “I’d argue that ‘Renew Your Vows’ is the closest Slott got to a classic, except that it’s too early to tell and I’m suspicious that it ‘missed it by that much’; On one hand, I think it was his best received story and something that was universally praised by critics and readers regardless of where they stood on the post-‘One More Day’ era.”

      I agree with you that Renew Your Vows was a good story and, overall, Slott’s writing was the strongest I’ve seen in a long time. However, there is no way I ever see it as a “classic” unless we’re really lowering the bar for what constitutes greatness. It’s kind of like a man who hasn’t had a good meal in a long time who is suddenly given a ham sandwich. Under normally circumstances he would eat it and say, “Okay. Not bad,” and nod his head, but after being deprived of delicious food the sandwich causes his mouth to water in anticipation.

      RYV had two huge things in its favor: 1. Fans craved a story with Peter and M.J. together again. 2. Slott could also pull out the nostalgia card. Creatively stuck? Sprinkle in a few details give those same older fans the warm-and-fuzzies and they’ll be in a very forgiving mood.

      “I guess the really funny thing is, I wonder if under different circumstances, Slott might actually be better regarded among the Spider-Man fanbase.”

      In many ways, yes. People would ultimately have the same gripes about the writing, but many would mute their criticism. They would turn a blind eye to certain editorial decisions. He would have good will built up with guys who were on the fence, whereas now he has a very specific reputation and people see no reason to bite their tongue.

  7. “However, there is no way I ever see it as a “classic” unless we’re really lowering the bar for what constitutes greatness.”
    Fair enough and I did add the qualifier as “classic in comparison to the rest of Slott’s work.” I’m a very nominal comic reader, at best (Select “Spider-Man” material, canonical “Star Wars” comics, and that’s about it), so I’m not claiming to be an expert. The problems with the Regent character, the occasional clunky dialogue, and the points that got glossed over to keep the story on track (for example, MJ shifting her stance on letting Annie help in the rescue needed more time to work properly) are well documented. Was there anything else that you thought held it back from true greatness? Also, for reference point, what would be considered a great comic? (I already know about “Maus,” but have gathered that it’s an unique part of the genre.)

    “It’s kind of like a man who hasn’t had a good meal in a long time who is suddenly given a ham sandwich.”
    I’ll buy your “ham sandwich” argument (even though I hate ham). The one sticking point I’d wonder about though, it that the comic did appeal to fans who either had not emotional attachment to the Peter/MJ marriage and/or were completely onboard with the post-OMD direction of the franchise. Yeah, something can be good without being great, but the fact that RV was even accepted outside of its niche market would suggest that it had more than nostalgia going for it.

    Unlike other readers, I never got into 616 and was an “Ultimate” exclusive person, so I wasn’t quite in the “craving a story like this,” since the “Spider-Man” material I was reading already had it (or the thematic equivalent), and I have a different set of nostalgia. I think the factor for me was that I didn’t trust Marvel not to turn RYV into a propaganda piece of why OMD was needed and saved the franchise, etc. So, me being in a forgiving mood was more of expecting to hate it and being pleasantly surprised. On a second re-read, I still loved the thing, but it seem better the first time through, so I think you’re right about it not being a future classic. Maybe a cult classic, but even that seems like a stretch.

    1. “Also, for reference point, what would be considered a great comic?”

      I guess for the purposes of this conversation, I’ll say “The Conversation,” no pun intended, fits the bill: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #38.

      Also, I’d add “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” to that list: The Amazing Spider-Man #248.

      There are so many elements that need to come together to make a “classic” story that it’s really hard to say, “Well, this is the formula…” but to me the action scenes in an issue of ASM mean nothing if we don’t establish that human connection to Peter Parker — something that J. Michael Straczynski and Roger Stern nailed with the issues mentioned here.

      Dan Slott’s weakness is character development, and on top of that he’s spent years writing Peter as a bumbling man-boy. And then he’ll occasionally write some scene that harkens back to The Amazing Spider-Man #31-33, where Peter exhibits great strength to save his loved ones (e.g., Renew Your Vows). But it falls flat because he never lays the foundation in terms of making us care for his version of Peter. It’s all predicated on your emotional ties to Lee’s version, or Stern’s version, or Straczynski’s, etc.

      With Slott, the way he recently tried to pull off a “Stan Lee” failed because it simply made no sense. Regent controlled Peter with telekinesis. The villain was essentially a god, but Peter used “the power of love” — Huey Lewis-style, to break free of Regent’s bonds.

      If a writer is going to go there, then he needs to go the extra mile in terms of figuring out how to credibly sell it. Slott didn’t. It’s just like, “Well, he’s Spider-Man. He’s awesome.” No. You’re the writer. You need to meet the readers half way, and you didn’t do that.

      “It might just save your liiiiiife. That’s the power of Slott’s love!”

    2. This is very true. Power of love endings are also a commonly criticized aspect of Dan Slott’s favorite show Doctor Who as it has been under 2010-2017 showrunner Steven Moffat. Constant character revivals and those kind of endings have done a lot of damage to the series for many people (except the fanboys and girls for certain companions), even the tragic fate of the Ponds is kind of marred by the fact they are sent back in time and left there to die old together raising an adopted kid. As a result, the Weeping Angels have not aged well as an endearing DW villain and are now just a joke who have lost all substantial worth, much as the Daleks have.

      The recent Sub-Mariner arc in the ASM newspaper strip used the “power of love” element in it’s concluding chapters, but, interestingly, subverted one version of the ending associated with it for another that spared the main characters awkwardness and humility. It had Namor turning down Mary Jane’s offer to become his princess in order to spare Peter’s life, and he instead is swayed by the family of his former love from the 40s to stand down instead. Peter’s pretty ineffective in these chapters, and he doesn’t even think he would stand a chance if he took on Namor afterwards, but things like that I appreciate because it’s more an honest depiction of a superhero pushed to his limits and reveals how vulnerable the characters be pushed into being. People critique this strip a little unfairly, but I feel this particular angle was compelling and definitely elevated my opinion of the long arc.

  8. Power of love endings are a very firm and established element of Spider-Man stories dating back to the master planner arc. While RYV wasn’t the best execution (how could it be with Slott?) I didn’t find his escape as impressive as what he did in The Final Chapter with far less motivation. Peter being stronger/holding back less when he has family was explored surprisingly effectively throughout the story whether or not under duress Slott produced a story that genuinely argued the superiority of Peter being a husband and father and outright confessed there was literally no reason for us not to have been regularly reading these kinds of stories for the past twenty years. Amazingly as far as modern stories go it was refreshingly free of spiteful attacks on readers favoring this status quo the worst Slott was able to do was downplay the actual relationship between Peter and MJ giving excessive focus to their status as parents which didn’t affect the work as much as it should have because 1. Peter being a father is fresher and more unique than Peter as a husband and 2. Annie is the one pet character of Slott’s readers are willing to accept.

  9. Thanks for the examples of the really good comics. I’ll have to see if I can find them myself. My personal favorite comic is the “Learning Curve” story arc from “Ultimate Spider-Man” (issues 8 – 13). Not sure how it compares to the others, but I do like the plot and characterizations, and the fact that there’s an underlying theme to it all (he’s trying to learn, both how to be a superhero and how to handle a relationship that’s evolving into something different), so it’s not just fun stuff for its own sake; the two stories are given reasons to matter.

    While I very much agree with you that “the action scenes in an issue of ASM [or any Spider-Man series/story/whatever] mean nothing if we don’t establish that human connection to Peter Parker,” I don’t know if I entirely agree with everything else, or more like I agree with your sentiments, but I think some of the examples you brought up may actually work, IMHO.

    “It’s all predicated on your emotional ties to Lee’s version, or Stern’s version, or Straczynski’s, etc.”

    In a serial series with different authors working in succession on it, aren’t we kind of by default doing this? I can see what this might be inherent with RYV, but I think it works here for one reason: the RYV Perter Parker and Mary Jane are the same character that originally appeared back in the ‘60s. The characterizations (as far as I know) match, and there are enough references to actual past issues to put a divergence point in the 616 timeline. So, you could read the original comics and then shift to RYV and have a legitimate continuation/ending to the series. On the other hand, Slott’s other writing doesn’t work that that way since his post-OMD Spider-Man is not the same character that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created, either in writing, internal chronology, or any other piece of evidence usable.

    Even if we were required to only use the information in RYV to become attached to these characters, I’d counter argue that the first two issues where that groundwork is laid out, although your mileage may vary.

    “With Slott, the way he recently tried to pull off a “Stan Lee” failed because it simply made no sense. Regent controlled Peter with telekinesis. The villain was essentially a god, but Peter used “the power of love” — Huey Lewis-style, to break free of Regent’s bonds.”

    Okay, in regards to Regent loosing the battle to the Parkers, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that he initially won largely because he had the element of surprise (the Avengers suspected that he was the one killing the superheroes, but they had no idea he was harvesting their powers, much less how to counteract that). Captain America’s overconfidence played right into his hands, as well. Regent had a finite number of superheroes to use and some of them had run dry by the last issue. All of them depended on both his ugly armor and tanks working properly and the Avengers had no way to get into the skyscraper to sabotage them.

    So, in that final battle, unlike the first, the Parkers (and S.H.I.E.L.D.) had a way to get into Regent’s base and started the fight by smashing many of the tanks, meaning that Regent was fighting with fewer and fewer powers). The big game changer was the new inhibitor chip arrow, which destroyed his suit, meaning he no access to his stolen powers. By the time the Parkers were facing off, all he really had was enhanced strength (probably), so it was a much more level playing field than the Avengers had.

    It’s basically the same as “Star Wars 7,” where Rey, a Force/lightsaber novice beats Kylo Ren, a practiced Force-user who’s used some really powerful tricks early in the story; all the pieces are set up for the underdog to win, but you’re not spoon-fed them and some of them could have used more development and exploration.

    I think I generally agree with Ryan Knight in regards to the ending of how Peter broke out of his tank (and that it did fit both the story and the character), but with a slightly different perspective. First of all, while love was a factor, I think responsibility was his main motivation; the thought on Peter’s mind as he’s breaking out is literally: “They [MJ and Annie] need me.”

    Also, when I hear the term “power of love ending” (love the Huey Lewis song, incidentally), I intemperate that to mean when someone does something impossible. (I’m not forgetting that Regent said it was impossible when he saw that Peter was free, but I think he meant it figuratively, in disbelief.) I interpreted the scene as that, up till that point, Peter had given up.

    From Peter’s perspective, he’s trapped in a fortress with no way out, with a seemingly invincible madman and his cronies guarding everything, his family’s either been captured too, or will be in the strike ordered on the S.H.I.E.L.D. base. So, I could see him thinking that he had lost. Then, when he sees that his family is right there and cornered, it gave him the motivation to try and break out of the tank, and discovered that he could.

    “And why couldn’t any of the other superheroes have broken free before under similar circumstances?” is a common counter argument. Well, first of all, how many were actually put in tanks alive in the first place? There’s also the question of how much strength was needed to break the glass and how many superheroes could actually do it (adult Spider-Man is usually assumed to be able to lift five tons). Finally, he made his breakout in the midst of commotion and was facing a Regent who was loosing powers thanks to Annie and MJ’s sabotage and was not expecting any of this.

    1. “In a serial series with different authors working in succession on it, aren’t we kind of by default doing this?”

      I think you’re missing my point because you’re not looking at it within the context of the conversation. Yes, obviously, the love for Spider-Man people have and continue to have is based on the work of many writers who came before — but that isn’t enough for the guy who has the job now.

      My point is that character development is Dan Slott’s weak point and this has been going on for almost a decade now. As Stillanerd’s reviews point out, it’s basically like you’re not even reading about Peter Parker when you can just insert [random SHIELD agent x] and it would be the exact same story. Any attachment I and many others have to the character at this point is not because of Slott’s work on the character. That is not a situation an ASM writer should find himself in.

      In regards to RYV Peter breaking free from that holding tank, made by a near-god who also destroyed the Hulk within seconds, then more power to you if you think that was written well.

      Side note: You seem to be implying that because I don’t think RYV was a “classic” tale that I didn’t enjoy it. Overall, I did. My reviews made that clear. But “good” and “refreshing” does not equal classic.

    2. “I think you’re missing my point because you’re not looking at it within the context of the conversation.”

      Okay, I’ll take a second look.

      “…the love for Spider-Man people have and continue to have is based on the work of many writers who came before — but that isn’t enough for the guy who has the job now.”

      I guess my main confusion is that we’re talking about both Slott’s writing career in general and his writing on this story. I guess that I’ve somewhat compartmentalized them. For example, in a earlier comment, you wrote: “Dan Slott’s weakness is character development, and on top of that he’s spent years writing Peter as a bumbling man-boy. And then he’ll occasionally write some scene that harkens back to The Amazing Spider-Man #31-33, where Peter exhibits great strength to save his loved ones (e.g., Renew Your Vows). But it falls flat because he never lays the foundation in terms of making us care for his version of Peter.”

      I guess I get thrown by the part where you talk about how Slott’s character writing is bad and undermines his better moments. If RYV had been in continuity with the post-OMD comics, I think I’d get your point exactly; in a case like that, it would be an inconsistent characterization through the series (which I agree ASM has suffered from). Since the RYV comic had a consistent characterization within its own series (and one that matched and was organic to the source material), and was its own thing that built off of the pre-OMD continuity, not Slott’s continuity, I guess I was approaching it though the question: “does the writing work in the context of this specific story and in the context of a continuation of pre-OMD ASM?” and thought it worked.

      So, I think the point of confusion is that you see Slott’s bad writing undermining everything he writes, and examine everything in comparison to it (as if everything was part of the same series) while I see RYV as a stand alone, and assessed it by itself. If that’s accurate to how you think about it, I guess that we came to it different ways, and that meant that stuff that you were considering wasn’t even on my radar (hence why Slott’s past writing wasn’t so much baggage for me and why I wasn’t as bothered by the tank incident, I guess).

      (I was not defending Slott as being a great character writer. I’ve seen a few RYV reviews that will say something to the effect of “Dan Slott has always understood how important responsibility is to Spider-Man and writes it well.” I find those suggestions hysterically funny — even if he did capture that in RYV. I only think that RYV is the only time in his career that he had success in getting the franchise correct, and I’m suspicious that it happened in spite of himself.)

      “As Stillanerd’s reviews point out, it’s basically like you’re not even reading about Peter Parker when you can just insert [random SHIELD agent x] and it would be the exact same story.”

      I’ll second that. If someone at Marvel was to ask me what I though of the current ASM comics, I’d tell them that I don’t read them, since “Iron Man” comics don’t interest me.

      “You seem to be implying that because I don’t think RYV was a “classic” tale that I didn’t enjoy it.”

      That wasn’t my intent; I read your your initial reviews (I did like the first issue more than you did), but you were fair about what you didn’t like and did like. I’m also pretty sure any ideas I have of it being a “classic” or like one are just wishful thinking on my part. I just enjoy discussing Spider-Man material I like more than material I dislike.

    3. “So, I think the point of confusion is that you see Slott’s bad writing undermining everything he writes, and examine everything in comparison to it (as if everything was part of the same series) while I see RYV as a stand alone, and assessed it by itself.”

      If that was the case then I would not have said I enjoyed RYV.

      You seem to be equating Slott’s ability to write Peter Parker in character — in a single, stand-alone story — with character development. Was Peter “in character” in RYV? Yes. Was it the kind of writing that would make it a classic — (e.g., “The Conversation”)? No. One needs to simply look at Slott’s Twitter feed to realize why that is the case…

      I said during my reviews that Slott seemed more focused during RYV than at almost any other time in his ASM run. The word ‘focused’ is key. He did it for a stand-alone story. Bravo. I give him a pat on the back for that. I even called one issue a “home run.” Perhaps if he dropped Silver Surfer and really put his mind to it, then he could reach the rarified air experienced by Lee, Stern and Straczynski on ASM.

      My opinion is that he lacks the maturity and self-awareness needed to write truly inspiring characters. Until he grows up, I don’t see “classic” in the cards for him. Maybe I’m wrong.

  10. “’So, I think the point of confusion is that you see Slott’s bad writing undermining everything he writes, and examine everything in comparison to it (as if everything was part of the same series) while I see RYV as a stand alone, and assessed it by itself.’

    “If that was the case then I would not have said I enjoyed RYV.”

    Okay, I misunderstood what you were saying on that point. On a second read-through, I don’t think I described myself very well either.

    “You seem to be equating Slott’s ability to write Peter Parker in character — in a single, stand-alone story — with character development.”

    Didn’t realize that was what I was saying. I didn’t think that whatever Slott did with RYV Spider-Man had any effect on what he did with the current ASM Spider-Man, and vice versa, which was why I originally typed that comment about .

    When reading your previous posts, it seemed like you were jumping from talking about the ASM comics to the RYV comics, which really threw me off, since I had compartmentalized them in my mind (for good or bad). But, if you line all his work together and look at it as one meta series of how a single author interprets a character, I think I can see why RYV doesn’t represent any character development, since it’s existence is ignored by the rest of the series and Slott doesn’t appear to be taking any lessons learned from it into the other comics. (Kinda funny how Slott was smart enough to have that scene in the last issue which stated that the stuff Peter did with his family outside of being Spider-Man was the part of his life with the most meaning, but then writes stuff that’s only interested in making the character seem like a cool super spy.)

    (If I still haven’t gotten what you’re saying, I’m sorry. We may have experienced this comic in very different ways, so that might be contributing to communication difficulties, which I am sure are on my end of things.)

    “I said during my reviews that Slott seemed more focused during RYV than at almost any other time in his ASM run. The word ‘focused’ is key. He did it for a stand-alone story.”

    I’ve always wondered about that. Why, for this story, did Slott try to recapture the the pre-OMD versions of the characters, instead of writing his versions in the marriage status quo? (Or, to put it another way, if Slott could write the more mature Peter Parker, why not write him like that in his main writings?) While Slott does seem to like tinkering with the Spider-Man “formula” (for lack of a better word), which could explain why he was so respectful to a iteration of Spider-Man he’s belittled elsewhere (since it’s something new for him). But still, why would he throw so much effort into a story who’s target audience Marvel doesn’t really care for and is a diversion from whatever weird and non-Spider-Man stuff he’s been building ever since he started writing the series?

    1. “If I still haven’t gotten what you’re saying, I’m sorry.”

      I’ll give this one more shot. No one can say I didn’t give it the old college try.

      1. Slott’s weakness is character development.
      2. In a stand-alone tale like RYV, which at the end of the day was not pre-OMD Peter but some random Peter that was sorta-kinda like him, the audience draws from its psychological well all that we know and love about pre-OMD Peter. We project our own favorite aspects of the character onto him. Slott essentially had zero work to do in terms of establishing that iteration of the character. This allows him to hide said weakness.
      3. The one serious attempt at character development — Peter killing Venom — falls flat because he did what any good father would do in that situation. It was framed like, “Noooo! Peter passed the rubicon!” but most readers are going to say, “Ummm, makes sense given the situation. Peter may have been distraught over it, but he would not have walked away from the webs forever.” But again, this is an alternate version of Peter on top of everything else, so at the end of the day we don’t even really know the guy. We have a glorified “What if?” tale, and that’s pretty darn difficult to turn into a classic with an established character.
      4. Look at Slott’s dialogue throughout his entire ASM run. Then look at how he conducts himself online, his language, the things that interest him, etc. He regurgitates whatever politically correct pap is making news at the moment, he issues college freshman-type partisan insults as if he’s a public policy wonk, and he slings petty insults at anyone who gets under his incredibly thin skin. It is my opinion that those character traits and that kind of immaturity does affect all of his work. Yes, I admit that. But, with Renew Your Vows, it appears as though he hunkered down, focused, and tried to really knock one out of the park. He played up his strengths and minimized his weaknesses. Again, Bravo.
      5. It is my contention that the focus seen in RYV is not something Slott can sustain for any length of time. Political insults on Twitter need to be made. Online stalking calls. Other work responsibilities (i.e., Silver Surfer) demand his attention. And so, we now have Peter Parker-Wayne-Stark-Bond for the foreseeable future.

    2. “In a stand-alone tale like RYV, which at the end of the day was not pre-OMD Peter but some random Peter that was sorta-kinda like him…”

      Honestly, I took it to be that the RYV characters were the pre-OMD Spider-Man characters who’s lives had different events; “a difference with no differences is no difference at all” and all that. The best argument I can think of is if the RYV timeline branched off 616 at some point after the first “Spider-Man” comic, then the Peter Parker that appeared in ASM #1 had to be the RYV Peter Parker as well as the pre-OMD Peter Parker, since both timelines are identical then (like the quantum realities in the “Star Trek” multiverse).

      But that only works if that’s the way RYV was intended to be, and it’s not a free-standing universe where events happen to follow a similar pattern to 616, like the Ultimate universe, except far closer (which is how I would explain your position “in-universe.” And, while exact scenes from the 616 ASM comics are shown or mentioned (like Gwen Stacy’s dying, the memories of Peter and MJ’s courtship, etc,), other stuff, like Captain America’s different costume and the fact that “Kraven’s Last Hunt” never happened in the RYV world (although the 616 incident with Venom that lead to Peter abandoning the cloth black suit still happened, despite it being post-“Last Hunt”).

      While those could be still explained away using my branching off model, they are stronger evidence for your version. Unless someone at Marvel ever decides to say how RYV is supposed to connect to 616 (and if we chose to believe them instead of assuming “death of author”), I guess it’s inconclusive, although your position is probably more defendable then mine, since it has fewer suppositions and assumptions (and would be the way I’d find most likely for Marvel to use).

      “…the audience draws from its psychological well all that we know and love about pre-OMD Peter. We project our own favorite aspects of the character onto him.”

      Since I became a fan through the movies first, picked my comic of choice largely on how close they were to the movies, and have been more of a fan of the non-comic media then the comics themselves, I guess I’ve always projected onto Spider-Man. That may be why I didn’t take it into account and am not really bothered by that approach. However, that isn’t a very critical way to look at it, so I think you’re right to point out that any material should be judged aside from it.

      “Slott essentially had zero work to do in terms of establishing that iteration of the character.”

      That’s a good point. You’ve convinced me, (even if I still like how the RYV characters turned out).

      You definitely gave it the old college try and scored. I think I understand where you’re coming from now, thanks. There’s always the element of subjectivity with these things and that may remain different between us, but you built a fair case and I don’t disagree with your reasons for holding it.

    3. “You definitely gave it the old college try and scored. I think I understand where you’re coming from now, thanks. There’s always the element of subjectivity with these things and that may remain different between us, but you built a fair case and I don’t disagree with your reasons for holding it.”

      No problem. It’s always tough to tell where that point is where it’s like, “Well, I guess we’ll agree to disagree.” 🙂 You’re polite and well-spoken, so I’m generally happy to hash a lot of this stuff out as long as you’d like.

      “You’ve convinced me, (even if I still like how the RYV characters turned out).”

      Again, I don’t want it to be lost that I did, overall, enjoy RYV. I don’t think anyone should interpret our positions on this issue as that far apart.

      The difference between your inquiries and others (particularly in political blog posts), is that you always come across as sincere. It’s nice when someone wants to have a real discussion, as opposed to just back-and-forth bickering for the sake of bickering.

  11. One huge difference with Slott’s RYV Peter Parker was that RYV Parker wasn’t an adult adolescent who couldn’t think further than two steps ahead. Which lets us know that Slott has been writing Peter in ASM that way *on purpose*, Maybe because, in Slott’s fractured prism, that “re-captures” the youthful Peter of old, even though in reality Peter never acted like that, even thirty years ago.

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