ArachnoRocket ASM

Your friendly neighborhood blogger correctly predicted months ago that Dan Slott was on a stupid-trajectory to write”Spider-Rockets” into The Amazing Spider-Man. “Arachno-Rockets” are officially part of Spider-Man history with the ninth issue of ASM. Sadly, it also includes Peter Parker’s “Nuke the Fridge” moment, which anyone remotely familiar with Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will understand.

Here is the set-up: Peter Parker and S.H.I.E.L.D. are desperately looking for an international terrorist organization known as Zodiac, more specifically its leader Scorpio. The group hijacked all of S.H.I.E.L.D.S. satellites to locate an artifact known as The Orrery. Peter thinks he can manually take back control of the satellites and use them to pick up the energy signature of the artifact, a plan that coincidentally eluded Zodiac’s soothsayers because he came up with the idea exactly “one second after midnight.” (Seriously.)

The issue begins with Spider-Man giving Nick Fury a spacesuit he happened to have on hand (it also makes digital logos “on the fly”), and the two literally take off from a launching dock connected to Parker Industries. After successfully locating The Orrey and fending off satellites doubling as battering rams (the “Arachno-Rocket” was destroyed in the process) Spider-Man tells Fury to “space walk” to the international space station while he turns himself into a human meteor and heads for Paris, France.

ASM web foam

It is hard not to read ASM #9 and wonder if Marvel has instructed Dan Slott to destroy all of Peter Parker’s credibility at any cost. Besides the jaw-dropping recklessness of turning himself into a meteor over Paris — without knowing if his plan would even work, where he would land, or how populated the area might be — one then needs to deal with the absurdity of “Spider-Suit Emergency Beacons, Spider-Back Spinnerets, and Emergency Web-Foam.

ASM Spider-Meteor

One must assume that it is only by the grace of God that Spider-Man only destroyed multiple vehicles (hopefully no-one was inside), instead of the nearby crowd of stunned citizens.

Spider-Man eventually pulls himself out of the wreckage like Indiana Jones from a refrigerator after a nuclear test, and the terrorist Scorpio appears. The villain says there is no way the Spider-Man will “make it to tomorrow,” but readers know that in many ways their hero is already dead.

Indiana Jones refrigerator

It is an absolute shame that the quality of Brian Michael Bendis’ “Spider-Man” towers over The Amazing Spider-Man. There is certainly room in the Marvel universe for fans of both Miles Morales and Peter Parker, but there is no excuse for allowing Dan Slott to “Nuke the Fridge” in the pages of ASM. At this point Nick Lowe is only nominally ASM’s editor because it appears there is little, if any, push-back against Dan Slott’s worst ideas.

The ninth issue of The Amazing Spider-Man should have been renamed The Atrocious Spider-Man. Do not buy it unless you plan on using it for toilet paper.

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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.

63 comments

  1. That bad huh, now I’m even more worried about Power Play and Slott getting his hands on Mary Jane again. Especially from what I’ve been told, Nick Lowe on the “Nick’s Notification” page at the end of the book, had her name in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS, indicating that the individual plays a big part in it.

    on a side note no thoughts on my review for IIM #7 left you the link on your post.

    1. “That bad huh, now I’m even more worried about Power Play and Slott getting his hands on Mary Jane again.”

      The cringe-factor is high with this one. It’s bad. Really bad.

      “On a side note no thoughts on my review for IIM #7 left you the link on your post.”

      I’m sorry about that. I’ve been pretty busy with work the past few days. I wanted to give it a proper response instead of just a quick reply. Hopefully I’ll get to it tonight after work or tomorrow morning. 🙂

    2. no worries, work before pleasure, although I can’t see much pleasure in reviewing ASM. that why I’m grateful to be reviewing IIM.

      Isn’t sad that looking forward to review a book for a Spider-Man dedicated site yet, it’s not a Spider-Man title. 😦 but yet awesome at the same time :), because it is such a wonderful book to read.

  2. This is starting, no I’m sorry it already is beyond ridiculous. I can’t stand Slott anymore on ASM because if I want to see a proper Amazing Spider-Man I go read fan-fiction from AgentG which are far better than what Slott ever put out at Amazing.

    Honestly I don’t see why they are treating the character like this by letting Slott do whatever the hell he wants because in the MU they are treating Peter like a joke, an after thought for the MU, a Super-Hero who can barely hold his own against his own villains and constantly needs helps from others to win something, being betrayed by his own friends and employees, Being irresponsible to his responsibilities of Spider-Man and Peter Parker, no one liking him or showing somewhat respect for him, always screwing up at what he does, being the end of every one of his jokes and he is not taken seriously by the others.

    1. “If I want to see a proper Amazing Spider-Man I go read fan-fiction from AgentG which are far better than what Slott ever put out at Amazing.”

      I have never really sought out fan-fiction. I couldn’t help but think as I was reading this issue that it is probably a lot worse than whatever random story I might find if I started looking.

    1. “[Peter Parker has] got a great, simple code that’s centered around not stopping the robber that killed his Uncle. He’s a guy who tries so hard, and will sacrifice everything in his life to do the right thing. To go out of his way to help anybody.” — Nick Lowe.

      On Nick Lowe’s watch, Peter recklessly goes out of his way to turn himself into a human meteor who prays to God that he doesn’t crash into a housing complex, a hospital, or a crowd of innocent bystanders. If we’re going by the “point” stories, then I guess The Amazing Spider-Atheist would pray to “science.”

      Peter also goes out of his way to legally protect a woman who tried to murder him.

    2. Seems like Lowe needs to spend more time actually editing what the spider-office is churning out, at least in the case of ASM, than waxing congratulatory with CBR.
      Seriously, where are the editors? How is ASM allowed to be this kind of sprawling, contrived mess? I blame the glut of spinoff titles that they’re clearly more worried about shilling, over putting out any kind of quality Peter Parker Spider-Man material. That, and clearly no one is interested in trying to rein in Slott’s worst excesses, which historically leads to bad stories.

    3. “Seriously, where are the editors? How is ASM allowed to be this kind of sprawling, contrived mess?”

      No matter how you look at it, it’s bad. He needs to take his “friend hat” off and put his “editor hat” on. If that doesn’t happen, then it’s still a man’s responsibility to look out for his friend and stop him from doing dumb things. That isn’t happening with ASM.

  3. This new version of Peter Parker Spider-Man makes no sense. Why not give the new Spider-Man this profile? Its almost as if they want Peter Parker to fail, leaving just Miles….

    1. “Its almost as if they want Peter Parker to fail, leaving just Miles.”

      I hear that more and more these days. That’s not a good position for Marvel to be in…

      They always give lip service to loving the character, and then they continue to contort him into funhouse mirror-versions of the Peter Parker that long-time fans know and love.

    1. “Looks like Anna Maria moved on from “Slick”.knowing Slott, Otto will blame this on Spider-Man.”

      Isn’t that another relationship that basically just formed out of the blue? Dan has a serious weakness when it comes to writing romantic relationships. “Hey, look, Peter and Lian are ‘very serious.’ Why? Because they are! Hey, look, Anna is officially over Otto. How did it happen, exactly? Don’t worry about it!”

    1. “So now Peter can reenter Earth’s atmosphere with just his webbing. To top it off, Spidey represents a secret sign of the Zodiac.”

      France relies quite a bit on nuclear power. I think they have five plants. Imagine Spider-Meteor in all his Zodiac-glory, crashing into one of those since he had absolutely no control as to where he would land.

      But hey, those superheroes don’t need to be regulated. That would be a violation of their “rights” to crash into large metropolitan areas as a human meteor. Heh.

  4. Remember when Slott wrote the Spidey/Human Torch mini-series and a lot of people said he could get a job on a main title? It actually is possible for Slott to write good Spidey stories, but it’s long been clear that he can only do so when his loopy ideas are reined in. Y’know, if Nick Lowe doesn’t want to do his job, I’d be happy to tell Slott that his current stories are full of crap and that he needs to get his act together. Heck, I’d do it for free. You hear that, Disney?

    “the terrorist Scorpio appears”

    I find Scorpio’s group so uninspiring and unthreatening that I’ve taken to hearing Albert Brooks’s voice whenever I read his dialogue.

    1. “Remember when Slott wrote the Spidey/Human Torch mini-series and a lot of people said he could get a job on a main title? It actually is possible for Slott to write good Spidey stories, but it’s long been clear that he can only do so when his loopy ideas are reined in.”

      I agree. “Renew Your Vows” was another example. He needs to be kept on a short leash or else readers get “Spider-Back-Spinnerets.” My goodness…

  5. Stuff like this just reiterates my belief that Slott doesn’t understand Spider-Man at all. He was never intended to be Tony Stark or the Marvel Universe equivalent of Elon Musk. I find it sad and pathetic how far the character has fallen.

    1. “Stuff like this just reiterates my belief that Slott doesn’t understand Spider-Man at all. He was never intended to be Tony Stark or the Marvel Universe equivalent of Elon Musk.”

      Elon Musk is currently working on his “Hyperloop.” I wonder if Dan Slott will have Peter working on the “Parker-Loop” in the near future. Ride in “Parker-Pods” … in the city of tomorrow. **groan**

    2. “Elon Musk is currently working on his “Hyperloop.” I wonder if Dan Slott will have Peter working on the “Parker-Loop” in the near future. Ride in “Parker-Pods” … in the city of tomorrow. **groan**”

      Shhh! Don’t give Slott any more bad ideas, Doug! 😉 You already predicted the Spider-Rockets.

  6. Somebody mentioned fan fiction, and that’s what this issue read like. “And then Spider-Man hangs out with Nick Fury, and he just gives him a spacesuit out of nowhere, and they get in his SPIDER ROCKET! And then the rocket blows up, and then he falls down, and he uses his webs to protect him while he falls. And then when he lands, the bad guy is there! And then…” Somehow I’m reminded of Axe Cop.

    I own this graphic novel called Revenge of the Sinister Six (I recommend it very highly). In it, Peter has to handle a reformed Sinister Six, and Doc Ock has received a huge power upgrade with adamantium arms. Going into a battle with the whole group, Peter comes up with the idea of a web cannon. He spends a few sleepless nights building this thing that will basically fire huge volumes of webbing, as a way to hopefully incapacitate at least a few of the six so he can try to fight the rest. He really works hard on this thing, and it’s a good idea. Ock ends up destroying it before he can use it, but it just reminds me of how far the character has fallen. That was a clever invention that took a lot of work to build. We see him with stubble looking exhausted because he really wore himself out building this new tool. It showed his dedication and the level of skill he had that he could put this together in a couple of days by himself. It showed that the situation was really serious, because typically he goes into battle with his usual set of tools but this time he didn’t feel like his usual approach was good enough.

    But now, Slott pulls random gadgets and types of webbing out of his rear end in such a casual way that it destroys any weight that these inventions could have and becomes a meaningless deus ex machina that makes every scene pointless. I don’t even feel like the times he used special webbing called for it; I felt like the Spider-Man I used to read would’ve been able to deal with those situations anyway.

    And now it’s become even more absurd. How much manufacturing goes into building a freaking rocket? Who built this thing? Why do the stockholders of Peter’s company bankroll rockets that couldn’t possibly be necessary for bodyguard duties? How long did it take to build it? How did they get permission from any government to let them fire off a rocket in a major city? The questions are endless. The answer to all of them is “Slott thought it would be cool, and gave it no thought past that.”

    On top of that, the fact that he has a rocket kind of invalidates all these gadgets. At least up to now I sort of assumed that he was building this stuff, but now it’s clear that he isn’t. He’s just paying people to build his stuff now. So it doesn’t even make him seem clever, it just seems like he’s a selfish jerk who is taking advantage of his stockholders to build him cool superhero toys.

    And finally, could Scorpio look any less threatening with his awkward, stupid-looking symbol weapon? It looks less dangerous than a keyblade. Blowing up a house key to that size would look more dangerous.

  7. Dan Slott has gone on record as being a Spider-Man fan. I have to ask: “How?” Since when was Spider-Man about gadgets and playing James Bond? The stuff that makes Spider-Man Spider-Man has been so discarded now, why is Marvel even still publishing it (beyond branding)? While some readers might like seeing crazy stuff happen and the apple cart get overturned, I wonder if the majority of readers are ones that came on after “One More Day,” so this funhouse mirror look at the franchise is the normal one to them.

    I know a lot of people here want to see 616 Spider-Man fixed, but I think we’ve reached the point of no return; HYDRA has compromised S.H.I.E.L.D., there’s nothing left to salvage. IMHO, the only thing left is to scrap 616 Spider-Man completely and start over, building a new Spider-Man that is actually consistent with the character originally created, the one that we see in the TV shows and movies. The “mainstream” version of the character is not the ones that those fans are fans of, any more than a forged dollar bill is legal tender.

    “Secret Wars” was probably the best place to do it (I was actually hoping that 616 Spider-Man would be erased from existence and replaced with the RYV version — family in tow — for the “All New, All Different” comics like “Old Man Logan,” but no one apparently thought I was worth consulting on the issue), so trying it now is going to be really clumsy. However, somewhere along the line, they’re going to have to revert things to normal. A status quo change this big never lasts forever (the alleged appeal of the comic is seeing Spider-Man do new things, which has the side effect of him acting out of character); the basics of the character are too ingrained in the franchise to remove. But the longer they wait, the worse the transition is going to be (even fans happy to see the Parker marriage gone usually hate OMD).

    Are we overreacting? Possibly, it’s not like it’s life and death, and the fans of the new comics should have the right to read them if they want. But why the heck did they have to take away the stuff the rest of us care about reading? Also, I’m just getting really sick of hearing Slott, his bosses, and the rest saying: “Hail, HYDRA!” and telling us that we’re wrong about taking offense about the “Project: Insight” they ran on the character.

    As for myself, rather than turning to fanfiction, I’m looking into finding old novels from the ’90s to get “new” Spider-Man” material. They’re probably a little dated, but I’ve gathered that most of them have decent characterizations and I won’t have to deal with any of the OMD crap that’s tainted the comics.

  8. Wonder if listening to music while launching the rocket was inspired by “Star Trek: First Contact”? Although it seems to be the “Hooked on a Feeling” song that “Guardians of the Galaxy” made famous rather then “Magic Carpet Ride.”

    Also, is the Nick Fury in the story supposed to be the Fury, Jr. version that 616 came up with, or has post-“Secret Wars” introduced an actual MCU-style Nick Fury into the comics?

    1. Short version, 616 Nick Fury is now the Watcher, and the Ultimate universe Nick Fury is the one you saw.

      It’s a bit convoluted. When they wanted to do a version of Nick Fury for the Ultimate universe, they based him on Samuel L. Jackson. Later, Samuel L. Jackson actually played Nick Fury in the Marvel cinematic universe. Now, they pushed the original Nick Fury aside and brought the Ultimate universe version to 616 (this actually happened a while before Secret Wars, I believe), who is now the Nick Fury that you usually see.

      While this does fit nicely with the trend at Marvel of replacing white or male characters with non-white and/or female versions of those characters, this character at least has existed for quite a while. I still find it annoying to use the Samuel L. Jackson version in 616, considering that the original had a long and interesting history already, but it’s a lot less objectionable than most of what they’re doing these days.

    2. “I still find it annoying to use the Samuel L. Jackson version in 616, considering that the original had a long and interesting history already…”

      Vice versa for me, I’m generally happy that Marvel is mainly using the Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury most of the time; I was introduced to the character through the movies, so from my perspective, a white Nick Fury is as strange an idea as a a female Thor. Everyone’s mileage will vary of course.

    3. “Vice versa for me, I’m generally happy that Marvel is mainly using the Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury most of the time; I was introduced to the character through the movies, so from my perspective, a white Nick Fury is as strange an idea as a a female Thor. Everyone’s mileage will vary of course.”

      When you were little my guess is that you’d go to a friend’s house to eat dinner and say, “My mom makes [insert favorite dinner here] this way. You should make it that way.”

      I’m joking around with you (seriously, I promise my tone isn’t jerky), but the underlying point is this: If you are introduced to a character in one medium (e.g., film), to me it’s not “good form” to show up into a community for another medium (e.g, comics) and then sort of look at them with raised eyebrows for their preferences.

      The films came after the comics. It makes much more sense for film fans to show deference to the comic book versions of a specific character than the other way around.

    1. This is such a telling exchange:

      “CBR: How do you view Black Cat? Is she good, is she bad, is she playing her own game?

      Nick Lowe: Black Cat is one of my favorite characters in comics, and she has been for some time. I love that she won’t be defined. Even from the very beginning she has walked that grey area. And now she’s on the dark side of that grey area in “Amazing Spider-Man,” and as we move forward. But what it comes down to is we are very much committed to her as “the Queen-pin of Crime.” We’re not done with her story on this side of things, and it’s given her new life with us as a character.

      So many times fans of a character get upset when changes are made, and I get that. I’m a fan first and foremost myself as well. But when a character is just one thing, they’re not as interesting to the writers and artists anymore.”

      This is how you get Peter Parker-Wayne-Stark-Jobs-Zuckerberg-Musk. If a writer or an artist isn’t interested in working with the character as he/she has been defined — even Black Cat — then they should not be working on the book.

      Notice how Nick Lowe puts the writers’ preferences over the fans. Here is how it translates: If Dan Slott wants me make Black Cat act in ways that enrage long-time fines, then that is okay because we need to keep her “interesting” to him. If Dan Slott wants to turn Peter Parker into a mish-mash of Bruce Wayne and Elon Musk, then it will happen. Because “interesting.” And stuff.

  9. MMM the real problem I read here is that you all cannot move on from the past status quo, I read the IGN Review and in the end it said “a great chapter to Peter’s new STATUS QUO” i have read other reviews and in general they are good, guys I said this several times already, the characters have to change, Jubilee became a Vampire, the new Thor is a woman, etc, comics have a dire need to change or they become repetitive… yes i loved a lot of spiderman old stories and i loved Peter and MJ being married and hate Joe Quesada for the OMD fiasco but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to become a hater of everything that doesn’t resemble what i grew up with…

    1. I know for me, and I’m pretty sure for Doug, this is a bit of a straw man. I don’t mind Spider-Man changing. For example, I was reading during The Other. I didn’t like The Other that much, but hey — if those changes lead to interesting new stories, fine. I can live with organic web shooters and a weird mystical background for Spider-Man if it leads to something interesting. It didn’t, as it turned out, but I could have accepted it if it did.

      Another example is Venom. I’ve always loved Venom, but you know what — Agent Venom is a good storytelling engine. The changes that happened in the aftermath of the Flash Thompson version of Venom were really different, but they were interesting. Agent Venom has been worthwhile, and Eddie Brock as Anti-Venom and now Toxin is fine. It’s not what I loved before, but Venom has grown into his own starring character and not a Spider-Man side character anymore, and I’m fine with that. Eddie Brock’s continuing story is worth following. He doesn’t always have to be Venom, and he doesn’t always have to do the same things for me to want to see what happens with him.

      Things don’t always have to be the same for me to enjoy them, but they do have to have some kind of continuity, and they do have to make sense for the characters. Spider-Man as Tony Stark-lite is not interesting. It’s a waste of Spider-Man’s history and uniqueness, it’s an insult to the character, and it doesn’t open up good stories. The core of the character is gone, and it’s hard to tell if it will ever return.

      The Odinson as exile has interesting storytelling opportunities, stupid as I think She-Thor is. He’s still who he is. There was a fantastic bit where he was wielding the hammer of Thorr, which bears the inscription “he who is unworthy may wield the power of Thorr.” He was using it in a hopeless battle against impossible odds, when suddenly its power died away — the irony was that by using it in that way, Thor had become worthy, and as such lost its power. Seeing the pathetic irony, Thor laughed in the face of his death, picked up a fallen foe’s weapon, and returned to the battle. That’s still Thor! The changes, however idiotic, haven’t lost who he is.

      This new “Spider-Man” is no longer the same character. Nothing of what makes Spider-Man who he is as a character remains. This new character retains no part of the greatness of my favorite superhero from when I was a kid, and I’m very sad to see it.

    2. “I know for me, and I’m pretty sure for Doug, this is a bit of a straw man. I don’t mind Spider-Man changing. For example, I was reading during The Other. I didn’t like The Other that much, but hey — if those changes lead to interesting new stories, fine. I can live with organic web shooters and a weird mystical background for Spider-Man if it leads to something interesting. It didn’t, as it turned out, but I could have accepted it if it did.”

      It is “a bit of a straw man” because it is a straw man. 🙂 Like you, I didn’t agree with everything that was in Straczynski’s run, but I respected him as a writer. He made me excited to go to the comic shop and pick up ASM because he understood Peter Parker and his writing was technically sound.

      Kite’s response, whether he or she knows it or not, is rather insulting. Magically giving Peter Parker “Arachno-Rockets” and “Spider-Back Spinnerets” out of nowhere is downright ridiculous and should be called out. I don’t give a rip what IGN says about this issue because I know good writing — and ASM at the moment does not have it.

      “This new ‘Spider-Man’ is no longer the same character. Nothing of what makes Spider-Man who he is as a character remains. This new character retains no part of the greatness of my favorite superhero from when I was a kid, and I’m very sad to see it.”

      Well said, sir. I tip my hat to you.

    3. The problem isn’t that it’s different, it’s that it’s all poorly done. Peter keeps pulling perfect tech out of a bottomless magic bag, he does absolutely brainless things like simply pat Lian on the head (for trying to assassinate him!), he’s broke all kinds of laws by not firing Sanjani back when, and for not having Lian arrested now. He’s breaking ethical codes by consorting with her in the first place, he is interfering with the internal politics of African nations, and he can’t handle any super-problems anymore without the Super Friends.

      And now Spider-Man parachutes down into Paris FROM OUTER SPACE. Slott’s stories all depend on impossible coincidences, deus ex machinas, smart characters acting in unexplainably stupid ways, and nonsense that goes so far beyond even comic-book logic that it busts up even the smallest amount of “suspension of disbelief.” All Slott knows how to do is build and pace one plot-machine one right after another, and inject some comedy here and there along the way.

    4. “And now Spider-Man parachutes down into Paris FROM OUTER SPACE. Slott’s stories all depend on impossible coincidences, deus ex machinas, smart characters acting in unexplainably stupid ways, and nonsense that goes so far beyond even comic-book logic that it busts up even the smallest amount of “suspension of disbelief.'”

      This is why I actually like having a Dan Slott fan comment here. You can see that Spider-Man becoming a Spider-Meteor does not even make them blink. Their response? To say that I’m just incapable of accepting changes to the status quo. Unreal.

    5. “The real problem I read here is that you all cannot move on from the past status quo.”

      Wrong. You are wrong. I have said before that Dan Slott sometimes has interesting ideas (e.g., Spider-Verse), but the execution of those ideas is incredibly shoddy. Someone like you will say, “Oh, you just don’t like Lian because you don’t want Peter to move on from M.J.” Well, actually, my main opposition to the “very serious” relationship is that it just appeared out of nowhere. Then Peter forgave his “very serious” girlfriend when she literally tried to murder him. That is bad writing.

      “I read the IGN Review and in the end it said ‘a great chapter to Peter’s new STATUS QUO’ i have read other reviews and in general they are good.”

      Of course the mainstream entertainment sites are going to rubber-stamp the vast majority of material Marvel puts out — they don’t want to lose access to the creators. On this website you get reviews from a writer who does not care what the creators think of him. I write good reviews for Bendis when he deserves them and I criticize him when he deserves it. I said Dan Slott hit a “home run” during “Renew Your Vows,” and on this review I blasted him for “Spider-Back Spinnerets.”

      For you to say that I simply can’t get over the “status quo” is incredibly humorous.

    6. MMM..looks like we have a troll here, one that cannot accept the fact that not everyone is onboard with Slott’s nonsense. And seriously, “haters?” This isn’t the 2000s.

    7. Oh we’re getting the “hater” card thrown on us now are we Kite? You are aware that’s the go-to insult used by people who are insecure about their own opinions and thus try to bully people into being quiet when they prove capable of demonstrating a little something called “critical faculties”. We have legit reasons to rag on Slott’s writing, and rag on writing that is of questionable quality of any kind (look at what Doug has said about Amazing Grace) if we deem it completely out-of-sync with how Spider-Man his world should be represented.

      Look at what we have said about Iron Man…look at the praise Bendis is getting with how he handles Mary Jane. Are we hating on it because we’d rather have MJ married to Peter and raising a kid? No, we’re praising it because it’s a well written book and Bendis has retrieved MJ from the bus that has been mowing down MJ for eight long years, where as previously you had to go to the daily newspaper strip to see an MJ with any dignity or recognizable and much appreciative traits.

      Why should we care about other people’s reviews? What’s wrong with being comfortable with our own opinions? Critics can be bought, and critics will do anything for a perk. There are loads of movies, including Marvel ones, that are critically praised but outright stink in my opinion…and eventually when the pasage of time goes and the nostalga goggles are taken off, I sometimes feel very vindicated when I see others go “yeah, Age of Ultron wasn’t that good after all.”

    8. “Oh we’re getting the “hater” card thrown on us now are we Kite? You are aware that’s the go-to insult used by people who are insecure about their own opinions and thus try to bully people into being quiet when they prove capable of demonstrating a little something called “critical faculties”. We have legit reasons to rag on Slott’s writing, and rag on writing that is of questionable quality of any kind (look at what Doug has said about Amazing Grace) if we deem it completely out-of-sync with how Spider-Man his world should be represented. Look at what we have said about Iron Man…look at the praise Bendis is getting with how he handles Mary Jane.”

      If one were to believe Kite’s logic, then I should be railing against MJ in Iron Man because I can’t get over the fact that she isn’t with Peter. I should be bashing it just because it would annoy the heck out of me if she ended up dating Tony. But I haven’t done that because, as much as I want her to be with Peter, I can appreciate Bendis’ writing. Heck, in “Spider-Man” I said I overall enjoyed the writing, but was annoyed at the way he elevates Miles at the expense of long-established heroes (i.e., a nuanced review).

      I’m always happy to hear what Kite has to say, but saying that I only criticize a book because I can’t accept the “status quo” is going to get shot down in a hail of fact-bullets every time.

    9. “the real problem I read here is that you all cannot move on from the past status quo…”

      In my case, changing the status quo from the one they had to the one they have now removed everything that I loved about the character in the first place. I’ve tried reading it. I loathe it. So, for me, it’s not worth trying to “move on,” since there’s nothing about the new stuff that I can say: “I may not like the new status quo, but I want to read to find out about XYZ.” Even as generic superhero stories, I find the stories Slott wants to tell are not one that I’m interested in.

      “…I said this several times already, the characters have to change…”

      Well, what kind of changes are good and when is it too much?

      “…that doesn’t mean that I’m going to become a hater of everything that doesn’t resemble what i grew up with…”

      If you’re enjoying the new stuff, good for you. A variety of opinions is good and I would be curious to know what you like about new Spider-Man.

  10. Stillanerd’s new review is up.

    My favorite part:

    “Yes, somehow Spider-Man is able to survive reentry without a space craft thanks to wearing ‘spider-armor’ under his space suit and using his webbing, first to create ‘balloons’ to slow his decent and later creating a ‘web-foam ball’ around himself. Never mind the precise mathematical calculations Spider-Man would have to do ‘in his head’ as he says to make a precise pinpoint landing on the Earth’s surface from orbit; or somehow survive temperatures up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit; or somehow not suffocate from oxygen deprivation after his space suit disintegrates; or somehow not passing out from the tremendous g-forces being pushed against his body as he accelerates to terminal velocity; even after all that, Spider-Man is hitting the ground from a height of at least 300 km—more than 186 miles—and, based on previous free fall records, is potentially approaching speeds of up to Mach 1 or above. Web-foam or no, Spidey would explode into jelly from the hitting the ground alone.”

    Sigh.

  11. “When you were little my guess is that you’d go to a friend’s house to eat dinner and say, “My mom makes [insert favorite dinner here] this way. You should make it that way.””

    Actually, when it comes to food, I’ve never been really fussy at all, but I get the analogy.

    I’m joking around with you (seriously, I promise my tone isn’t jerky), but the underlying point is this: If you are introduced to a character in one medium (e.g., film), to me it’s not “good form” to show up into a community for another medium (e.g, comics) and then sort of look at them with raised eyebrows for their preferences.”

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that I was being rude. I wasn’t trying to say that the comics should only be made the way I prefer. I intended it as an offhand: “Oh, you look at it that way. I see it differently, but to each their own.” The fact that this blog covers both comic book books and movies sometimes blur the lines a bit over when one medium should be left to the side of the road for specific discussion.

    “The films came after the comics. It makes much more sense for film fans to show deference to the comic book versions of a specific character than the other way around.”

    Well, movie Nick Fury was based off of Ultimate comics Nick Fury, so they did show deference to the comics. Now maybe they should’ve used 616 instead of Ultimate in this instance, but hasn’t the MCU always been a blend of 616 and Ultimate (like the Avengers being structured like the Ultimate version of the team, but with the 616 characterizations of the members)? It’s a fair point to consider, whether 616 or Ultimate Fury should’ve been the one to make it to the big screen.

    As far as us Marvel fans who see the movies as our main touchstones to the franchise, is it really fair to say that we should always give the comics the right of way? Marvel has gotten a whole lot bigger than the printed page, and is telling new stories across a variety of media. I’m not saying that one way is right or wrong, but it seems like something that could be argued both ways. I mean, the SHIELD comics are not in my interest range, but I’m really invested in the TV show version.

    Out of curiosity, what about characters that originate outside of the comics? For example, Phil Coulson was created for the MCU and was then added to the comics (as were SHEILD characters like May, Fitz, and Simmons). In that case, should comics Coulson be just like MCU Coulson? Or major characters that have really different backgrounds across different media? For example, MCU Skye is practically a different character than 616 Skye (who, as it turned out, was a pre-existing character under a different name).

    Just some conversation starters.

    1. “Sorry, I didn’t realize that I was being rude.”

      I wasn’t saying you were being rude. It’s more like a faux pas. It’s inadvertent. I reserve “rude” for trollish behavior. I totally understood that you were saying “to each his own,” but your underlying premise depends on a comic book fan giving equal weight to the medium of film when his primary driver is the comic.

      “As far as us Marvel fans who see the movies as our main touchstones to the franchise, is it really fair to say that we should always give the comics the right of way?”

      Yes. Haha. 🙂 That’s my point when it comes to someone who essentially says, “What is white Nick Fury doing here? This is kind of B.S. Nick Fury is black.” I’m saying this as someone who has always been happy with the on-screen portrayal of Fury by Samuel L. Jackson. Is there room for black Fury in 616? Sure. But if someone comes to me and, for all intents and purposes, says white Fury isn’t “the” Nick Fury then I’m going to laugh.

      This is a recurring theme. You said the same thing with 616 Peter Parker. In each case I pointed to the original creation and tipped my hat to its creator as having inspired “the” Peter Parker or “the” Nick Fury.

      Using your logic, some guy can come on this blog and say, “Well, MY Spider-Man is the one from the cell-phone APP game. I’m not sure why you stick with 616. It should just be scrapped in favor of APP-game Spidey. He’s cooler.”

      My response: Get the heck out of here, kid. Here’s a few bucks. Go buy yourself an ice-cream cone.

      Yes, I fully acknowledge this is the comic-nerd equivalent of “Get off my lawn!”… I’m okay with that.

      “Out of curiosity, what about characters that originate outside of the comics?”

      I think you will find that I am intellectually consistent. If a character is created in the film medium and he is transferred to the comics, I would expect the comic book writers to bend over backwards to stay as faithful as possible to the original creation. Obviously it would be difficult to make the origin story the exact same when inserting someone from MCU into 616, but that’s no excuse for not making the transition as smooth as possible.

    2. Okay.

      “This is a recurring theme. You said the same thing with 616 Peter Parker. In each case I pointed to the original creation and tipped my hat to its creator as having inspired “the” Peter Parker or “the” Nick Fury.”

      I guess I find it hard to appreciate 616 Peter Parker as THE Peter Parker after the all that Marvel and Slott have done to him, with “One More Day” and all. I mean, there are several pre-OMD “Spider-Man” comics on my to-read list and I would probably be a regular reader if OMD hadn’t happened.

    3. I mean, there are several pre-OMD “Spider-Man” comics on my to-read list and I would probably be a regular reader if OMD hadn’t happened.

      You mentioned before that you were going to get some 90s material, if I’m not mistaken. I’d go to the early 80s up to the early 90s. I’m biased because that’s what I spent my childhood reading, but there was some very cool stuff going on in the 80s.

  12. Can anyone clear this up for me? It was revealed in #5 that one of Peter’s shareholders is really a Scorpio double agent. So they’re basically paying for Peter to go up in a rocket, to find their location and spoil their plans? Is this a misread on my part or a big story hole?

    1. “So they’re basically paying for Peter to go up in a rocket, to find their location and spoil their plans? Is this a misread on my part or a big story hole?”

      Shhhhh! Just go with it, Cheesedique. The sooner you accept the absurdity the happier you’ll be. Resistance is futile. Join IGN and CBR and all the rest who say ASM is the crème de la crème.

    1. What should be next? Spider-Man flying into the sun?

      Spider-Man walks on the surface of the sun with a special suit he came up with while daydreaming. It’s the best he could do in one hour. 😉

  13. Well, looks like this issue was a big hit last week, cracking the number one spot (it helps that a certain trailer came out as well). It’s nice to see Doc Strange in there (and he’s getting a big part to play in the ASM newspaper strip this year ahead of his movie coming out), and Superman finally cracked the top ten again (barely)

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/03/13/bleeding-cool-bestseller-list-13th-march-2016-spider-beats-bat-and-turtle-combined/

    1. Here’s the key takeaway: “Two small release/low sales weeks in a row. Spider-Man took the top spot with no competition even close.”

      It will be interesting to see the sales numbers when the come in base on the trajectory Stillanerd has mapped out over at Whatever A Spider Can.

    2. “ASM could sell 10 issues total, and if everybody else sold 9, Slott’s defenders would still exult that he’s tops.”

      What frustrates me more than people who will blindly defend anything that shows up in ASM simply because it’s in ASM are the reviewers who say it stinks…and then give it a decent grade. Take the newest review at Crawlspace, for instance. The guy admits he no longer reviews it as a Spider-Man book, but instead gives it the “Superhero Schmoe” grading curve. What?! That’s not your job. Your job is to review its quality in terms of doing Spider-Man justice.

      This is how the review ends: “I’m wondering if I could trade places with Shaun for the week and review Silk, so I can appreciate reviewing a good Spider-title for once and he can feel my pain and suffering.”

      Grade, you ask? “B.”

      How is that possible? Is there a mandate to stop being “too negative”? If the book is good, then give it a good review. If it is causing you “pain and suffering,” then it certainly does not warrant a “B.”

  14. In defense of Neil’s B grade, I think that his job is to review the comic. He found it to be a fun read. Heck, I found it to be a fun read. Is it a good zany comic if you don’t take it seriously (and I do think that not all comics have to be taken seriously)? Sure! The guy jumps from a satellite and falls to earth without dying. Silly. Zany. Stupid. Fun. All those go into it. But Neil’s grade is not an endorsement of the current books. Look at his other grades and you’ll see consistent low grades which is how he views the justice this current writer and editor have given Spider-Man.

    This book stands out from the others because this time it is a fun stupid, largely because Peter Parker doesn’t appear in it. Since Peter doesn’t appear, you can sit back and read the Superhero Schmoe story and feel like you didn’t waste another $4.99.

    There is no mandate at the Crawlspace to give a review any grade, good or bad (the grades are all over the place there). Neil suffers in the long term, but he just had to laugh his way through this one.

    1. Fair points, Mark. However, if someone just showed me the text of the review and said, “What grade do you think this guy gave the issue?” then there is no way I would have said ‘B.’

      I read Crawlspace whenever I get a chance and listen to the podcasts. I enjoy everyone’s efforts. In this case I was just baffled by the grade given the text that follows. I also think it’s incredibly telling that we now are at the point where there is a “Superhero Schmoe” allowance given to Dan Slott. It’s a Spider-Man book. Period. The fact that such a conversation needs to even take place serves as sad commentary on Slott’s run.

    2. That’s fair enough. I do wish we could get a new writer on the title. It hasn’t felt like a Spider-Man book in years. I just found your blog. I’m looking forward to making it one of my regular reads.

    3. Thanks, Mark. I also review Bendis’ Iron Man and Spider-Man. I enjoy both titles, although Bendis sometimes makes some editorial decisions that I find annoying.

      A friend of mine recently asked why I haven’t been reviewing Daredevil. Answer: Comics aren’t cheap. 😉

    4. Neil B could give two grades! One called, “If This Was Spider-Man grade”, and one called, “Superhero Schmoe grade.” Then he could give an F to the first, and a B to the second, and everybody would get it.

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