ASM 10 Scorpio

Readers of The Amazing Spider-Man know that a recurring theme under writer Dan Slott’s watch has been Peter Parker’s Sudden Onset Idiocy (we’ll call it SOI), such as forgiving multiple women in his inner circle who allied with corporate saboteurs or terrorists groups to destroy his company. ASM #4 featured the time a child had to clue him in on how to stop a terrorist attack. Years from now, however, it appears at though ASM #10 will cited more often as the quintessential Slottian Spidey.

The latest issue of ASM takes place moments after the hero’s “nuke the fridge” moment — Spider-Man has fallen to earth like a meteor and survived. The terrorist leader Scorpio stands over Spider-Man ready to administer a death blow when his Gemini minions earn their deus ex machina badge. They tell Scorpio that he will miss “The Ascension” if he uses an extra second to blast through Frenchmen acting as a human shield for the hero.

Luckily for Peter, Anna Maria Marconi and Living Brain (i.e., Doctor Octopus) arrive in a flying car to help him locate the villain once he escapes. They eventually track him down to the Chunnel, where SOI rears its ugly head — Parker tries to spray his web-shooters forward on a train going 186 miles per hour and then somehow comes to the conclusion that Scorpio — who would be firing an energy weapon backwards — can’t get “a good shot either.”

Scorpio inexplicably decides to target Anna and Living Brain instead of Spider-Man, who can barely keep his footing on the fast-moving train and is rendered highly immobile. The terrorist escapes again.

With time running out before The Zodiac take control of the future, Peter needs to find clues as to where Scorpio might be. He’s stumped. SOI returns, but Doctor Octopus hidden within Living Brain jogs his memory regarding ways to track Scorpio’s movements.

“Brain. I’m an idiot. And YOU, are one smart robot!” Peter says for the intellectual assist.

ASM 10

The trio eventually wind up in the home of Vernon Jacobs, Parker Industries’ “biggest shareholder and investor.” After admitting that Jacobs (aka: terrorist Scorpio) was his “Secret Santa” for Christmas, Peter’s SOI kicks in and he asks Anna for help figuring out how Parker Industries’ technology was exploited.

Anna (who does not suffer from SOI) tells Peter to utilize his employees, calls them in for a hologram meeting, and harnesses their collective genius to quickly figure out what Scorpio has been up to for months.

ASM 10 Anna

The issue comes to a close with Scorpio appearing via a hologram and threatening to use his inside knowledge of Parker Industries to bring it all crashing down.

Spider-Man responds by saying Peter would still have “responsibility” if his company tanked, and that “losing it all” would be worth it if the end result were Scorpion’s defeat. Fans are asked to come back next month for a showdown that should have happened seven issues ago.

If readers are looking for a graphic analogy for ASM’s Zodiac story line, I will liken it to a bout of diarrhea I recently suffered while on vacation: It was funny at first for all the wrong reasons, annoying and embarrassing, repetitive, it went on for far too long, and in the end it was downright exhausting.

The stars are speaking, and this story needs to come to a close as soon as possible. Scorpio is a dud as a villain, which is always unfortunate, but he is now a failed foil who will have consumed at least eleven issues of ASM during its latest relaunch.

Do not buy this book unless you enjoy seeing Peter Parker repeatedly bailed out after outbreaks of Sudden Onset Idiocy.

Editor’s Note: Did anyone else find it odd that Peter Parker could run calculations in his head that would allow him to enter Earth’s atmosphere as a human meteor, but he doesn’t know how to convert kilometers to miles? There’s that SOI again…

Advertisements

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

22 comments

  1. Sorry to hear about your tummy troubles on vacation Doug…it did make for a rather “animated” analogy though….and, again, why isn’t Peter’s senses being set off by Living Ock, especially when at one point he trips over himself when saying how his body was a “perfect vessel”

    1. “Sorry to hear about your tummy troubles on vacation Doug … it did make for a rather “animated” analogy though.”

      I was telling my wife that even though I was miserable that on some level I had to acknowledge that it was funny. I figured the analogy fit and it might make someone reading it chuckle was well. Yes, joy can often be found in suffering! You just have to look harder depending on what you’re dealing with. 😉

      “Why isn’t Peter’s senses being set off by Living Ock, especially when at one point he trips over himself when saying how his body was a ‘perfect vessel.’

      Yes, when creepy robots start saying creepier-than-usual things, it might be time to pay a little more attention. Heh. 🙂

  2. So Dan Slott just confirmed that Doctor Octopus, the villain that wanted to be worse than Hitler and many others combined, is better than Peter Parker, the Hero of the Story, not just by being smarter but by being a better Spider-Man.

    At this point nothing should surprise however this in a way does because Dan Slott loves Ock more than Peter that is why we have Superior Spider-Man, that’s why we OSI Peter Parker and that is why I think that Dan Slott, IMO, is by the worst Spider-Man writer to be put on the book.

    It has come to the point where I think that Peter can no longer use the Red and Blue because I think it’s tainted by Slott’s idiocy in the book. The Black Suit (Venom or Not) has to return because I can no longer take Spider-Man seriously anymore.

    To this day I have problems with the narrative that haven’t been resolved yet on the book:

    Like no one apologizing for not recognizing Peter during Superior; MJ apologizing for leaving him after Superior; Peter presenting nothing like post traumatic disorder because of what he went through in Superior; Peter never showing any guilt for having a doctorate that he didn’t earn and a company that he didn’t earn; Peter never trying to help his former lover the black cat to come to the good side Peter trying to hooking up with any women (Lian Tay I think and another women in Spidy/Deadpool).

    When he finally gets off the book I hope it’s when One More Day is undone, in which Peter finally goes back to being married to Mary Jane and they have their daughter May, because when we look back at those 10 years we can finally say that that was the worst Era of Spider-Man ever.

    PS : I prefer the second Clone Saga or any of JMS Spider-Man bad stories over than Slott’s entire run on ASM because at the very least JMS understood the character of Peter Parker and treated the character with respect.

    1. “At this point nothing should surprise however this in a way does because Dan Slott loves Ock more than Peter…”

      Oddly enough, there are still people who will argue with you on that point, Berna. It seems to me that Dan Slott could easily write a story in which Oct takes up shop within Living Brain and not have Peter shower him with praise. (“Brain. I’m an idiot. And YOU, are one smart robot!”) In many ways, the story hinges on Doctor Octopus jogging Peter’s memory and prompting him to think about the energy signature of Scorpio’s weapon. It’s in many ways like the time Doctor Octopus was the one who inspired alternate-universe Uncle Ben to fight during Spider-Verse. Peter gave it a shot…and nothing. When Ock got angry, it was the thing that finally roused Ben out of his stupor.

      As you point out, the list of inconsistencies, problematic elements of the book, etc., continue to pile up. The only way you can really say, “Eh, it was an okay issue” is if you are brand new to the book. And even then it’s a stretch. In one issue Peter is doing calculations from space — in his head — on how to land in Paris, France as a human meteor. In the next issue he doesn’t know how to convert miles to kilometers.

      I think 7th grade Peter knew how to do that, and I’m positive that scientific genius Peter could do the same.

      “I prefer the second Clone Saga or any of JMS Spider-Man bad stories over than Slott’s entire run on ASM because at the very least JMS understood the character of Peter Parker and treated the character with respect.”

      Hmmm. I’d have to go back and read the Clone Saga, but that’s a tough call for me! I totally agree with you about JMS, though.

    2. Berna, I agree with your points. I can’t stomach Slott’s infantile writing. I think ASM has become one of the dumbest titles in the Marvel Universe by the most over rated (so called) comic book writer ever.

      The notion of any plausibility to Slott’s stories is non existent. I’m currently re reading ASM vol 3 from scratch and I cringe at virtually every page turn. Spider-Man deserves a lot better and fans shouldn’t have to put up with this ongoing tripe. 😎

    3. He’s over rated because of the sales on ASM because Spider-Man is one the greatest superheroes of all time (Two of them being Superman and Batman) and just the name sell a lot, now go ahead and ask him about his precious run on Silver Surfer and how well is doing.

      And now the rumor that is spreading is that Dan Slott was offered to write Superman and Batman which leads me to believe that if he is telling the truth, DC is wanting him to write the team-up book of Superman and Batman, not the two characters because unlike Bendis who can write 4 Books a month and an event, Slott has to write one issue per month of ASM and is already tired.

      But if he was offered to write both characters I will say this: You don’t go from Scott Snyder, who’s run has managed to not only develop the character of Batman but also his bat-family, his supporting cast, his villains and the city of Gotham itself even going as far to receive media coverage but also expend the lore of Batman, to Dan Slott, whose run consists of gimmicks like Spider-Island, Superior Spider-Man, Ends of the Earth, Spider-Verse and now Parker Industries which did not developed the character of Peter Parker but just made him unimportant to the whole “Spider-Verse” stating that anyone can be Spider-Man, which IMO, is not good because it makes the character of Peter Parker less unique and less important, giving favor to his own Pet Creations (Carlie Cooper, Anna Marie, Cindy Moon) instead of already great established characters (Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Felicia Hardy, Flash Thompson, JJJ, Robie Roberson, Betty Brant, Ben Urich) but just insulting these characters history (Queenpin and now Iron Jane) and making one of Spider-Man’s nemesis a better and more competent hero than Peter Parker himself.

      But something that Dan Slott will never be forgiven for in the Spider-Community is one thing that will always be on his back: “Peter Parker’s Love for Mary Jane Watson is Anti-Marvel.”

      PS: Loved the SOI factor as reference Doug. I forgot to put that in the original post.

    4. “He’s over rated because of the sales on ASM because Spider-Man is one the greatest superheroes of all time (Two of them being Superman and Batman) and just the name sell a lot, now go ahead and ask him about his precious run on Silver Surfer and how well is doing.”

      It might be worth asking Stillanerd what he thinks is the baseline sales figure for pretty much anyone who writes The Amazing Spider-Man. What is the number of books that would move off the shelf each month as long someone with a semi-decent grasp of the character was churning out stories? Stillanerd does some quality work with sales figures over at Whatever a Spider Can, so I’d like to hear his thoughts.

      “But something that Dan Slott will never be forgiven for in the Spider-Community is one thing that will always be on his back: ‘Peter Parker’s Love for Mary Jane Watson is Anti-Marvel.'”

      His attempt to say that he was taken out of context was pretty darn funny. I provided a giant block of text, linked to the video, and told people to watch the whole thing…but yet I was somehow twisting his words… In reality, he just didn’t like that I shined a giant spotlight on what he said.

      Anyway, good points on why it would be a bad move on DC’s part to let Dan take over Batman. I haven’t collected Batman since college, but I might have to reconsider if Dan were the writer, character assassination began, and websites like CBR refused to call him out on it. That last part is key. Heck, that’s one of the reasons why I started writing comic reviews in the first place. I’m so sick and tired of industry websites rubber stamping almost everything as awesome because they want to keep access to the creators going.

      “PS: Loved the SOI factor as reference Doug. I forgot to put that in the original post.”

      Thanks!

  3. Atheist Spider-Man can successfully hang onto the bottom of a jet rocketing at 20K feet in Molina’s horrible Santeria “point” series, but he can’t fight on a 186 MPH train. (I’m giving Slott credit for some superhero physics logic here). And it will make sense if post-SW Reed Richards was being nice to a friend and gave Peter a gift of a successful company — but if Peter didn’t personally “grow” in knowledge and skill along with the natural development of the company, then he could indeed fumble the management of its resources. Except PI’s success will probably turn out to be due to secret Ock/Brain machinations of some kind.

    1. Scorpio says at one point:

      “Parker Industries. The little company that couldn’t. The failing start-up that for no discernable [sic] reason suddenly spiked on one magic day when everyone else tumbled. Don’t know why. Don’t really care. All that mattered was that we were there to invest. And reap the rewards. All those dividends!”

      In short, PI’s success was due to Ock, some weird stock-market manipulation by Ock guaranteed its survival until he was able return, and in the meantime Peter has been cluelessly bankrolling an international terrorist organization. Sigh…

  4. As I mention in my own review, there’s another bit of SOI (man, I wish I came up with that acronym first) in the scene where Spider-Man asks Anna Maria how fast the high-speed rail is traveling. She tells him it’s moving at 300 km/h, to Spider-Man then responds with “in English” before she tells him it’s “186 mph.” Now remember, it’s been well established that Peter Parker is scientist, and as a scientist, he should be more than familiar with the metric system, including how to convert metric to standard US standard, as scientists and researchers use it as a universal measuring system. So why would he need to ask Anna Maria what 300 km/h was “in English?” After all, this is supposed to be the same Peter Parker who was performing complex mathematical equations in his head in order to pull off his free fall to Paris.

    1. It’s great to hear from you, Mike. I was just making that exact same point about the metric system to Berna. Haha! I’m glad that you added it in your actual review (I encourage everyone to check it out here).

      You put it well when you say:

      “Anna Maria herself also provides Peter so much aid that it makes it appears as though he’s incapable of functioning without her. … It’s one thing for Spider-Man to have allies and to ask them for help, but it’s quite another when it becomes such a crutch that he has no agency of his own anymore.”

      It is nice to be able to read honest reviews — you always give Dan Slott compliments when he deserves them — that don’t make excuses for shoddy writing, shortcuts, etc.

      If Dan ever gives you a hard time you can always point to this review of mine and say, “Have I ever likened your work to my own bouts with diarrhea? I don’t think so.”

      In my defense, I was still getting over 24 hours of misery as I was writing the review — it was all fresh in my mind as I was reading ASM #10. On any other day I would have saved that tale for the comments section…

  5. Thanks Doug, your review is on point as always. Love the SOI factor as a reference, it rings true to the OOC depiction of Peter. 👍

    1. “Love the SOI factor as a reference, it rings true to the OOC depiction of Peter.”

      I’m glad that you and Stillanerd both like Sudden Onset Idiocy, or SOI, as a way of accurately describing what is going on with the character. Sadly, I will probably be using that acronym quite a few times in my ASM reviews for the next couple of years.

  6. I’ve never been a fan when authors abuse plot convenience. One example that comes to mind is the second Speed film (the one with Willem Defoe). The movie was cringe worthy in that the villain defied being captured the entire film by unexplainable plot convenience (and nonsensically mashing a laptop keyboard).

    This issue sounds exactly like the Speed 2 film in that they make Peter Parker “extra stupid” to prop up the plot. It also serves the purpose of propping up (in Dan Slott’s eyes) the “cool factor” of the living brain and Anna Marcioni.

    There’s apparently going to be an event series called “Dead No More” which is supposed to have Doctor Octopus coming back from the dead. I’m guessing Dan Slott at the moment is stalling until the event launches (as well as trying build up Otto’s street cred).

    1. “This issue sounds exactly like the Speed 2 film in that they make Peter Parker ‘extra stupid’ to prop up the plot. It also serves the purpose of propping up (in Dan Slott’s eyes) the “cool factor” of the living brain and Anna Marcioni.”

      There really is no reason for Peter’s intelligence to suffer so that Otto’s and Anna’s can be highlighted, but that is exactly what happens. When I see good ASM reviews out there that downplay or fail to mention this, I cannot help but shake my head.

  7. I recall having a discussion on this site if the 616 “Spider-Man” could be still be legitimately considered the “real” Spider-Man. It’s stuff like that this that makes me say “no.” It’s the same thing only in the technical sense, like a HYDRA-conquered SHIELD would be technically SHIELD in that the infrastructure is the same; any sane person could tell you that it’s not the same. It’s like comparing the Disney “Jungle Book” (the animated movie) with the original novel. The former has its audience (myself included), but no one would insist that it should be viewed as a faithful adaptation.

    To carry the analogy further, Slott was basically tasked with writing a continuation of the original “Jungle Book” novel, but instead is writing a continuation of the Disney movie, and is insisting that it’s the same thing and those who complain are ignorant of the franchise, hate him already, or whatever. While his story could work as it’s own thing (just like the two Disney movies stand apart from Kipling), it’s really naive to assume that having such a sharp tonal shift and changes won’t have it’s critics.

    “Fake fan “arguments are impossible to prove and really pretensious, at best, but with stuff like this, I really wonder what, exactly, Slott is a fan of with Spider-Man (besides Doc Ock; give it a rest, please!); the stories have nothing to do with the basic premise and have to twist the characters into pretzels to make them sort-of fit.

  8. Seriously though, all this Parker Industries crap, and Peter cavorting around in a flying car with Otto’s ex-chick–at what point do we get back to Spider-Man stories that read like actual Spider-Man stories?

    They’ve allowed the character to get so far off track the last ten years, it pales in comparison to anything JMS tried to do with the totem origin.

    I’m not a fan of the comics trying to synergise with the films, but I can’t see them wanting this to be the status quo much longer for a character who’s about to breakout big in another series of films to a new generation of fans. Seems like the movies may soon get Spider-Man more right than the current crop of comic writers can, and that’s a pitiful shame.

    1. “They’ve allowed the character to get so far off track the last ten years, it pales in comparison to anything JMS tried to do with the totem origin.”

      I have often had very similar thoughts. I wasn’t particularly a fan of the “spider-totem” junk (to put it lightly), but at least I could relate to JMS Peter and those around him.

      If there were trailers for ASM on YouTube I half-imagine some guy would say, “Tune in next month for more whacky adventures with that whacky CEO wall-crawler, Peter Parker!”

    2. In a way, it’s fine, because I’m not buying or reading this crap anyway. But it would be nice to have a readable Spider-Man back at some point. to have the option.

      I look a bit jealously at Batman over at DC. Compare the Batman output of the last 10 years to Spider-Man: a seminal, epic run by Grant Morrison. A brilliant, redefining run by Scott Snyder, on both Detective Comics (which I just read) and the main title. Snyder has the good sense to step down and go out on a high note. We’re on year six and counting of one lousy, repetitive, noisy long Spider-Man run by the same lousy writer with no end in sight.

      It’s not just comics though, Batman has also had smash movies, video games, and comics that represented the best aspects of the character for the last ten years, while Spider-Man has had crap movies, comics, cartoons and video games that stand as the worst takes on the character.

  9. Update: Stillanerd’s Sales round-up has been published. He runs the gamut on all the Spidey-fare out there, so check it out.

    Mike McNulty reports: “Spider-Man #9 has no less than three different variant covers: a ‘Classic Variant,’ a ‘Story Thus Far Variant,’ and a ‘Women of Power Variant’ featuring the Black Cat.”

    Thoughts on ASM #9’s sales-order jump of 23 percent? It has to be the variant covers because there was nothing particularly captivating about the issue.

  10. I would like to preface this comment by saying that I am writing this as my own view of Dan Slott’s work and not as a means to “attack him”. I think it’s only fair to be honest about how I feel about his work because criticism can be a powerful tool when used constructively. =)

    Let’s get this out of the way. I would go as far as claiming that Slott’s run is less enjoyable to me than the “I am the spider” stuff written by JMD. I know that sounds crazy but stay with me.

    Slott’s run was the first time I have stopped reading since I started reading at the age of 4 in the 90s. (Yes. I consider it worse than Mackie/Byrne and the Clone Saga.)

    I’ve liked some of his ideas here and there. I think he has the ability to demonstrate decent execution in his writing. The problem is that I don’t think he completely grasps the character of Spidey as well as the writers of the past have. I dropped off for the first time during his Big Time run. I pick ASM back up every now and than but I did not realize what my problem was…until now.

    Dan Slott. I don’t know If you read this blog…but thank you for writing ASM#10.

    “Brain. I’m an idiot. And YOU, are one smart robot!”

    That quote. That quote specifically says everything about Slott’s take on Spider-Man that I do not like.
    This problem started as far back as that stupid paparazzi story line that he wrote Peter into. Harry (a former drug addict and crazy ass super villain) had to spell it out for a 28 year old Peter (THE GREAT RESPONSIBILITY HERO) that taking private pictures of people was bad. Oy.

    In my opinion the most important things about the character are his humor, his ability to figure out his enemies and his ability to problem solve while multitasking. I can ignore most flaws in story telling as long as the main character is written well…in character. That is why I said that I find his run less enjoyable than any of the poorly regarded Spider-man stories. At least during all else Spidey has always maintained a certain voice or respect to his character. The sad thing is that Dan Slott seems to think that this IS how Spidey should act. Peter Parker should make jokes he should not be the joke. He is the Bugs Bunny of Marvel. Slott writes Peter as Daffy Duck.

    I am a bit worried because this style of writing has seemed to influence the main stream audience a lot more than the classic Spider-man has. That is the main problem I have had with the Raimi. You want me to believe that he is a clumsy geek when you just gave me a scene 2 seconds ago where he is dodging bullets? Yeah right! lol.

    The other problem that I have is that Slott is starting to turn his run into a cheesy toy commercial. Scuba Spidey? Space Spidey? Flying Spider Car? His run often made me question If I am just too old for comic books and maybe it is my fault that I can not enjoy it. It reads a lot like he came up with these story lines when he was a child and he could not let go of them.

    It’s almost like the writing on the book is a cry for help. I could go on and on but I will stop here.

    At least I have found new love with Bendis’ Spider-Man. (Miles Morales). I think Bendis has found a great way to make Miles his own character and still make the book about “Spider-Man.”

    Say what you will about the man but Bendis has never lost what makes Spider-Man work as a concept. When Peter shows up in the book his intellect, his self doubt, his courage, and his humor all come through in the right ways. He always finds a terrific balance between Peter’s shy wallflower personality and his confident wisecracking alter ego.

    1. Dan Slott. I don’t know If you read this blog…but thank you for writing ASM#10.

      He definitely reads this blog. I would say a good time to expect him to read is around 1:00 a.m. EST.

      One particular post that stuck in his craw was: “Dan Slott: Peter Parker’s love for Mary Jane is anti-Marvel.”

      “‘Brain. I’m an idiot. And YOU, are one smart robot!’ That quote. That quote specifically says everything about Slott’s take on Spider-Man that I do not like. This problem started as far back as that stupid paparazzi story line that he wrote Peter into. Harry (a former drug addict and crazy ass super villain) had to spell it out for a 28 year old Peter (THE GREAT RESPONSIBILITY HERO) that taking private pictures of people was bad. Oy. […] Peter Parker should make jokes he should not be the joke. He is the Bugs Bunny of Marvel. Slott writes Peter as Daffy Duck.”

      It’s funny you should mention Looney Tunes because I have always felt that Dan Slott writers ASM with a “Looney Tunes” flair to it — and that is not a compliment. Do you remember the last relaunch when Slott chose to reintroduce Peter to the world by … having him run around in his underwear? Yeah…nuff said.

      “Say what you will about the man but Bendis has never lost what makes Spider-Man work as a concept. When Peter shows up in the book his intellect, his self doubt, his courage, and his humor all come through in the right ways. He always finds a terrific balance between Peter’s shy wallflower personality and his confident wisecracking alter ego.”

      I think that is a fair assessment of Bendis’ work on Spider-Man. Agreed.

      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it. I review Bendis’ “Spider-Man” on a regular basis, along with ASM, Invincible Ironman, Black Panther, and Daredevil. Feel free to check out those review and add your two cents. I’d be glad to hear what you have to say.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s