SpiderMan IronMan

The introduction to the 12th issue of The Amazing Spider-Man informs readers that Peter Parker has returned to New York City to “breathe a sigh of relief” after his recent showdown with the Zodiac terrorist organization. Indeed, writer Dan Slott then goes on to provide a palate-cleanser in the form of an old-school team-up between Spider-Man and Iron Man. It’s generally a fun tale that includes the return of Mary Jane, plenty of action and humor, and set-ups for Marvel’s Civil War II and the return of Regent. Mr. Slott’s fundamental misunderstanding of who Peter Parker is, however, needlessly produces a character who is socially impotent and politically aligned with his adversary.

The story goes as follows:

  • Parker Industries is hosting a black tie event to raise money for the Uncle Ben Foundation.
  • Tony Stark and his personal assistant, Mary Jane, are in attendance.
  • Augustus Roman (aka, Regent) of Empire Unlimited shows up.
  • Corporate saboteur “Ghost” crashes the party.
  • Spider-Man and Iron Man team up to save the day.
  • Roman’s facility for super-powered criminals, The Cellar, is introduced.

If you are the type of reader who mindlessly consumes comic books like I devour chocolate-covered raisins before a big-budget movie, then stop reading now and buy ASM #12.

If you are the type of reader who wonders why Peter Parker so often does not seem right under Mr. Slott’s direction, then read on. You may want to save that $4.00 for another book — perhaps the next issue of Charles Soule’s Daredevil.

ASM #12 demonstrates from the very first panel that Dan Slott does not know how to strip his own politics from the book to provide a superior (no pun intended) product.

If you, dear reader, were to become the CEO of a major company, then you would have no problem buying a nice tuxedo for black tie events. If attending charity fundraisers was a recurring obligation you had as CEO of “Successful Business Dude Inc.,” then taking time out of your schedule to rent and return cheap suits would be bizarre.

Dan Slott’s Peter Parker, however, embraces the bizarre and as a result becomes, for all intents and purposes, politically aligned with corporate saboteur Ghost.

ASM12 Parker Harry

Only moments before Ghost attacks his fundraiser, Parker equates buying cheap suits with doing business “right.” Instead of being a CEO who finds a proper balance between thriving in a cutthroat industry and giving back to local communities, he possesses a mentality that is one step removed from the villain calling him a “fat cat” member of “the one percent.”

In short, Peter Parker can be a CEO without becoming self-loathing about it. I suggest Dan Slott read up on Tony Robbins if he wants a good blueprint for how to write about business and finance.

ASM12 Ghost

Finally, one cannot talk about ASM #12 without covering the return of MJ.

ASM12 Stark MJ

“I can face Doctor Doom or the Juggernaut. Easy,” says Peter Parker. “But knowing you’re right there, MJ … and with Tony Stark? Everything’s wrong. It shouldn’t be like this,” (emphasis added).

Indeed, long-time fans of ASM would concur that MJ locking arms with Tony Stark at a party is wrong. Likewise, seeing Stark cradle her head while asking if she is okay during an attack feels gross. Dan’s Slott’s decision is to have Peter react to the meeting by a.) first freezing up at the podium, and then b.) calling Pepper Potts and offering her a job at Parker Industries. She rejects the offer without hesitation.

Question: Is that really how Peter would react?

Answer: He would obviously be upset at seeing MJ with another man, but it seems sad and unacceptable to have him respond with a kind of impotence and immaturity that would signal she is better off with Stark.

One shudders to think of the indignities to come as Marvel writers explore the professional (as of now) relationship between MJ and Tony.

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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.

38 comments

  1. Nice review, When I read this is what I noticed (SPOILERS)

    Mary Jane
    ————-
    How she’s drawn, awful simply awful, it’s as if the artist just didn’t care about the end result, really I would have to say that it is the worst depiction of Mary Jane I have ever seen, so much so I’d take Erik Larsen depiction of her over this one.

    -This is the first time Mary Jane and Peter meet after Superior Spider-Man #31
    -She is definitely working for Tony as his personal assistant
    -Tony doesn’t remember Peter living in the tower with MJ
    -Looks like she not only wanted to cut ties with Peter, but with everyone her life in New York, when she corrected herself by first about to introduce Harry as her —- Peter’s best friend.
    -She kept giving Peter the cold shoulder and dagger eyes and taking word jabs at him about his “tux”, giving the -impression she’s disappointed in him
    -She seems to have feeling of knowing Regent, although he’s in his civilian persona.
    -She called “Regent” Tiger

    As for Peter, oh boy where do I start
    ———————————————-
    -He and Tony begin squabbling like a couple of school kids saying mine is bigger than yours and over who Ghost should attack.
    -Peter, also behaves like a high-school kid or even a six year, saying you take my toy, meaning, my girl, well ok I’ll do the same and tries to offer Pepper Potts a pay you anything job, at least she was smart enough to say NO.

    -Really, the only effort Slott put into the book was the Regent, and although we already know he’s now going after superheroes

    1. Oh and before I forget, I’m just so glad I’m not reviewing this, because I don’t think I’d have the strength to do it, it was that bad.

    2. “Oh and before I forget, I’m just so glad I’m not reviewing this, because I don’t think I’d have the strength to do it, it was that bad.”

      This one was certainly a bitter pill to swallow for MJ fans.

    3. “Peter, also behaves like a high-school kid or even a six year, saying you take my toy, meaning, my girl, well ok I’ll do the same and tries to offer Pepper Potts a pay you anything job, at least she was smart enough to say NO.”

      This was a very interesting decision by Slott to write that scene. I think it was supposed to be funny, but it just really came across as immature and pathetic. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Pott’s slammed the door in Peter’s face. Again: He is impotent while Stark is the Alpha Male.

      Perhaps the only way this could have been worse would have been if Peter came across the two of them kissing for some reason. Maybe readers will be forced to deal with that sometime next year. Sigh.

    1. ” 😯 … My response as someone who doesn’t really follow comics but just now found out that Tony Stark and Mary Jane are quasi together.”

      Heh. You’re not alone.

      Side note: Your emoticon wasn’t showing up and I messed around to try and get it working. I think that’s the emotion you wanted to convey.

  2. You know, when most people realize that they’re in a hole, the first thing they do is stop digging. Dan Slott is the type of person who, realizing that he’s in a hole, not only keeps digging, but does it twice as hard and fast, hoping that he’ll come out the other side of the planet.

    I haven’t read any of these Dan Slott, but from your description they sound mind numbingly stupid. May god keep your sanity when you read these.

    1. “You know, when most people realize that they’re in a hole, the first thing they do is stop digging. Dan Slott is the type of person who, realizing that he’s in a hole, not only keeps digging, but does it twice as hard and fast, hoping that he’ll come out the other side of the planet.”

      That is an incredibly accurate description of Dan’s modus operandi. 🙂

      “May god keep your sanity when you read these.”

      Haha. Well, like I said, it helps that Soule is doing great work on Daredevil and Bendis often delivers on his projects.

    1. “Tony has carried his resentment to Peter from invincible iron man to asm.”

      I think Dan has a weird definition of “Parker luck” that often results in Peter being neutered, emasculated, etc., — in his own book. He’s supposed to be the “superhero who could be you.” He is not supposed to be “the socially awkward super-chump who could be you.”

    1. “Doug, I think the best way to describe Dan Slott’s Spider-man run is ‘A series of increasingly stupid ideas.'”

      You’re on a roll, GoldenEye! 🙂 I laughed out loud after reading both of your comments.

      I didn’t even concentrate this review on the return of Regent, who was ill-received during “Renew Your Vows.” He was a lame villain, and now they’re bringing him back to basically do the exact same thing he did in the RYV universe. He wasn’t exciting the first time around, so I’m not sure why they’re giving it another go.

  3. It’s getting to the point where I’m really starting to wonder if all us spider-man fans committed horrible acts in different lives and we’re being punished for it.

    1. “It’s getting to the point where I’m really starting to wonder if all us spider-man fans committed horrible acts in different lives and we’re being punished for it.”

      The comments section is cracking me up today. I’m trying to write my review for Invincible Iron Man #9 and you guys keep making me laugh. Must…focus. Heh.

  4. You know…I hate to take personal jabs at a man I do not actually know where he is not present to defend himself but at this point it seems impossible not to assume that Peter’s social impotence and complete misunderstanding of women is a direct (even if unintentional) reflection of Dan Slott’s own shortcomings. Once again, I don’t know Dan. It’s entirely possible that hidden behind his childish twitter rants and uncompromising sense of self-importance is a charismatic lady-killer. I think we’ve seen enough bizarre male-female interactions and borderline-creepy, “psycho-beta” male behavior (which is how I would categorize the call to Pepper) to reasonably conclude that Dan doesn’t write a socially awkward Peter with a fundamental misunderstanding of females because that’s the Peter he wants to portray, but rather it is the only way a person as self-important (and likely socially inexperienced) as Dan Slott can conceive of a person reacting in the situations he subjects him to.

    Once again…I don’t know Dan Slott. Also…I’m not Sigmund Freud, but I am prepared to defend my logic if anyone thinks I’m being unfair by essentially assuming that Dan Slott himself is the socially impotent, “psycho-beta” character he has been dressing up as Peter Parker.

    Also, I hate the MJ/Stark bit. I knew the instant that I saw MJ would be appearing in Iron Man that Marvel would take it in this direction. When/if Tony & MJ begin sleeping together (which I assume is inevitable at this point) I think I will have to walk away from mainstream superheroes forever.

    The Marvel/DC universes of today seem more like episodes of (insert Jersey Shore or similar meritless reality-TV series) than anything else that I care about. They follow the exploits of a highly-exclusive, pseudo-incestuous community of people where everyone has slept with everyone. Everyone has been defeated, shamed, betrayed or destroyed by everyone and although nothing has any impact anymore because none of it matters…the show just goes on.

    1. I’m appalled by Peter in this issue First, the 14th Amendment outlawed owning other people, so MJ isn’t “his.” And Pepper isn’t “Tony’s.” But I guess to Dan Slott, women are fungible possessions. Hey, if you can’t possess one redhead, another one will do. Also, last I checked it takes two to be a relationship, so Peter? Kudos on acknowledging you may have screwed up, but MJ gets a say in who she is with, too. It’s not your decision and your decision only.

      Also, look at how Peter and Tony reacted to the situation. Peter: “Oh good, big strong Tony is here to protect helpless little MJ because I can’t – I must go off and do my thing!” (and this is with Peter knowing full well Tony is Iron Man and thus has the same power and responsibility he does). Tony: “Watson’s all over this.” So Tony Stark, of all people, turns out to be more respectful of women than the titular hero. And this despite Peter knowing (or should know) full well MJ is more than capable, as there are dozens upon dozens of issues featuring MJ taking care of herself and others, before, during and after the marriage. Awesome job, Slott!

      Then as Animehunter points out, the two men act like five year olds on the playground, squabbling over whose is bigger while the Ghost literally stands there in disbelief. When your villain is embarrassed by the heroes’ behavior…that takes some doing, Dan. Again, big thumbs’ up!

      Meanwhile, there’s that weird “Do I know you?” moment between the Regent and MJ, but in Regent’s flashback memory his family was killed during Avengers: Under Siege – and the Avengers pictured are those of 616, not the Regency. So at least so far the evidence points this to being a 616 Regent without knowledge of the other world. And yes, I’m falling asleep as I type these words, because that’s how interesting this story is.

      Also, I generally like Camuncoli’s artwork, but what’s with all the men and their no-neck football player physiques, while MJ, Liz and Betty have the exact same eyes as Lien/Lian. Also, MJ insults Peter’s tux, but he and Harry are depicted wearing identical outfits.

      I agree with your points about Peter’s/Slott’s hypocrisy re: renting tuxes. If he was so concerned about resources, the cost of that party alone would probably feed several villages in impoverished areas. Plus there are all sorts of corporate ax advantages to having a charitable foundation, and personal tax advantages in drawing a small salary but using your company’s perks to your benefit. In some ways, Peter is actually cheating the IRS out of its due, which seems to be a contrary thing for Dan Slott to advocate.

    2. “I’m appalled by Peter in this issue First, the 14th Amendment outlawed owning other people, so MJ isn’t ‘his.’ And Pepper isn’t ‘Tony’s.’ But I guess to Dan Slott, women are fungible possessions. ‘Hey, if you can’t possess one redhead, another one will do.'”

      Zing! Dan’s Twitter feed generally stays within the “correct” political lane, so I will be shocked if certain websites take him to task for his handling of that situation.

      “Look at how Peter and Tony reacted to the situation. Peter: ‘Oh good, big strong Tony is here to protect helpless little MJ because I can’t – I must go off and do my thing!’ (and this is with Peter knowing full well Tony is Iron Man and thus has the same power and responsibility he does). Tony: ‘Watson’s all over this.’ So Tony Stark, of all people, turns out to be more respectful of women than the titular hero. And this despite Peter knowing (or should know) full well MJ is more than capable, as there are dozens upon dozens of issues featuring MJ taking care of herself and others, before, during and after the marriage. Awesome job, Slott!”

      It was certainly a delicate balance to get that scene right. One blast from Ghost’s “hyper-density waves” of air “as hard as solid steel” and MJ would have been dead. She was literally sitting next to Augustus Roman when it happened. Given that MJ does not have spider-powers or a suit of armor (yet), it makes sense for both men to initially worry about her safety.

      “Then as Animehunter points out, the two men act like five year olds on the playground, squabbling over whose is bigger while the Ghost literally stands there in disbelief. When your villain is embarrassed by the heroes’ behavior…that takes some doing, Dan. Again, big thumbs’ up!”

      It seems as though Dan will often take something that makes sense (e.g., superheroes fighting during a “team-up” that is forced upon them by circumstances), but then he always takes it to “whacky” level. Any time someone gets a “whacky hijinks” feel from most comics, television shows, or movies … it’s not good.

      “I agree with your points about Peter’s/Slott’s hypocrisy re: renting tuxes. If he was so concerned about resources, the cost of that party alone would probably feed several villages in impoverished areas.”

      Again, that is the problem with writers who try to infuse their own politics into the books instead of trying to stay above the fray. It all sort of falls apart. The tuxedo scene was annoying to me on a personal level because there was a period of time in my life where I actually had to attend fancy-pants events in Washington, D.C., — on a laughable salary. I still purchased the clothes I needed to do the job. You just do what you need to do. I think a CEO who runs a multi-billion dollar company can buy a few nice suits. There’s a difference between buying the clothes you need for work and taking a private jet to Paris for lunch … because you’re bored.

      Anyway, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

    3. “You know…I hate to take personal jabs at a man I do not actually know where he is not present to defend himself…”

      Dan, who has personally attacked me for years (He’s called me a “bad” person, and I think “evil” has showed up a few times), has an open invitation to comment here any time he wants. These days he usually reads the blog around 1:00 a.m. EST. Sometimes he’ll make a veiled reference to me and lies about what I believe about climate change. Your comment certainly dances around the third rail of ASM criticism, though.

      “Once again…I don’t know Dan Slott. Also…I’m not Sigmund Freud, but I am prepared to defend my logic if anyone thinks I’m being unfair by essentially assuming that Dan Slott himself is the socially impotent, ‘psycho-beta’ character he has been dressing up as Peter Parker.”

      I think as long as you’re able to cite specific instances of outrageous online behavior, it seems fair game to play Sigmund Freud.

      “Also, I hate the MJ/Stark bit. I knew the instant that I saw MJ would be appearing in Iron Man that Marvel would take it in this direction. When/if Tony & MJ begin sleeping together (which I assume is inevitable at this point) I think I will have to walk away from mainstream superheroes forever.”

      I’m not sure why so many writers fail to realize that just because they can do something it does not mean that they should.

      “The Marvel/DC universes of today seem more like episodes of (insert Jersey Shore or similar meritless reality-TV series) than anything else that I care about. They follow the exploits of a highly-exclusive, pseudo-incestuous community of people where everyone has slept with everyone. Everyone has been defeated, shamed, betrayed or destroyed by everyone and although nothing has any impact anymore because none of it matters…the show just goes on.”

      That is a scathing indictment of Marvel, but one that certain rings true. That was a brutal blow. You drew blood on that one. My guess is that if this were Marvel-run boards that your comment would be down the Memory Hole within minutes.

      Side note: I made one small edit to your previous comment. That was the only place where you touched the third rail…

    4. “I think we’ve seen enough bizarre male-female interactions and borderline-creepy, “psycho-beta” male behavior…”

      Funny you should say that emmettfowler because let’s look at some of the stuff that we have received since Brand New Day:

      The Chameleon, impersonating Peter, and having sex with a girl, Michelle = Rape;

      Dr Otto Octavius, in Peter’s body, and having sex with Anna Marie Marconi = Rape;

      Cindy “Pheromone Attraction” Moon a.k.a. Silk being a love interest for Peter = Creepy and Sick;

      Lien trying to kill Peter but now she’s now forgiven for everything that she has done after working for a terrorist organization = Idiotic

      Not firing Sajani when she first tried to sabotage the company only later when she was innocent for something she didn’t do = Setup for failure

      Peter Parker, saying that Redheads are interchangeable and “Two can Play at that Game” by trying to get Pepper to work for Peter = Objectification of Women and that makes me say that has to be one of the most pathetic thing that Slott has ever done to the character of Peter Parker, I know Slott was trying to be funny and “whacky”, however I just look at this with sadness and say that this is a pathetic thing for a man to do in bitterness.

    5. “The Chameleon, impersonating Peter, and having sex with a girl, Michelle = Rape; Dr Otto Octavius, in Peter’s body, and having sex with Anna Marie Marconi = Rape; Cindy “Pheromone Attraction” Moon a.k.a. Silk being a love interest for Peter = Creepy and Sick.”

      You do know that leveling this kind of criticism towards Dan’s work is like waving a flag in front of a bull, right Berna? Haha. Be careful. There may be veiled attacks against you in his Twitter feed sometime over the next couple of days. 😉

  5. Hey Doug, don’t know if you were ever aware of this, and the news is a couple weeks old, but I thought I’d share it anyway. It would appear that even some of the higher ups at Marvel are starting to get a little fed up with Slott’s online behavior:

    http://www.theouthousers.com/index.php/news/135165-dan-slott-reprimanded-for-reckless-tweeting-in-lame-attempt-to-discredit-berganza-reports.html

    All I can say is that if Brevoort is actually coming out and telling you to smarten up, maybe you should start making some changes. I especially loved Fabian Nicieza’s reply. LOL!

    1. “It would appear that even some of the higher ups at Marvel are starting to get a little fed up with Slott’s online behavior…”

      A friend of mine sent that link to me and I debated whether I should write something or not. I decided to make a mental note of the fiasco and move on because I’m not too up on the situation over at DC Comics. Dan’s tweets do show once again that his judgment as some of these online situations unfold is not the best.

      “All I can say is that if Brevoort is actually coming out and telling you to smarten up, maybe you should start making some changes. I especially loved Fabian Nicieza’s reply. LOL!”

      I wish I could say that I feel sorry for Brevoort, but the guy has been an enabler for immature online antics for a long time. It would be nice if he pulled Dan off to the side and said, “Seriously, clean up your act. Be a professional. Stop being a magnet for unnecessary drama.”

  6. I had no internet connection for 24 hours so missed the opportunity to comment earlier on this

    First off, MJ insulting Peter’s tux does’nt bother me, she’s just teasing him and you know the saying “you don’t tease someone you don’t like”, not to mention we know MJ always hides her true feelings behind a facade before eventually showing her true self later (well, as “true” as the post-OMD version can get, we all know this still is’nt the “real” MJ just as it is’nt really the “real” Peter, and never will be until OMD is reversed)

    Second, Peter is a real heel trying to get Pepper to be his assistant out of “revenge” for Tony taking MJ, this contradicts Peter respecting that MJ needed space to sort out her own life, if he’s going to react this way to her choices all the time, it shows he has little respect for her at all…but then, a lot of his choices from OMD onwards have always been self-centered.

    Meantime, I’m just enjoying the daily strip, where MJ can be taken to a whole other tentacled-filled dimension and still make wise-cracks about wanting to head back home, and Peter can take jabs at the NSA while on the lookout for his wife’s whereabouts. Familiar, amusing, and reliable Spider-Man, and I don’t have to pay a penny for it!

  7. The Revenge hiring was just knee jerk reaction. Pepper did Peter a favor by saying no. I think after power play, MJ will be back in Invincible Iron Man, and this Peter /Tony rivalry will be forgotten or at least put on the back burner.

  8. Also, it has to be stressed that Tony and MJ aren’t going to be sleeping around. Bendis doesn’t want to do it, and on top of that Tony already has a girlfriend.

    1. “Also, it has to be stressed that Tony and MJ aren’t going to be sleeping around. Bendis doesn’t want to do it, and on top of that Tony already has a girlfriend.”

      Tony has a “girlfriend” who was infatuated with Doctor Doom a few issues ago and just seduced by him to begin illegal human trials of an experimental drug. I’m not sure how long that relationship will last.

      If Bendis comes up with something he thinks is a cool idea that would require Tony sleeping with MJ, I have no doubt in my mind he would try and make it happen. The same people who killed the marriage between Peter and MJ — the same people who go out of their way to rub the fans’ faces in it — would allow her to be with Stark.

    2. “If Bendis comes up with something he thinks is a cool idea that would require Tony sleeping with MJ, I have no doubt in my mind he would try and make it happen. The same people who killed the marriage between Peter and MJ — the same people who go out of their way to rub the fans’ faces in it — would allow her to be with Stark.”

      Well to be fair, I don’t think Bendis is quite like the other people who work at Marvel. He seems to be much more professional and doesn’t do things just to piss people off. And if I’m not mistaken, I also thought Bendis was a fan of the Peter/MJ relationship and wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of OMD even though he still had to go along with it? I mean I could be totally wrong, these are just things I’ve heard over the years.

    3. “Well to be fair, I don’t think Bendis is quite like the other people who work at Marvel. He seems to be much more professional and doesn’t do things just to piss people off.”

      I would agree with you, but I think Bendis’ “writerly” instincts could overcome any reservations he has about upsetting the apple cart. My feeling is that he’s a “writer first and foremost,” and if he comes up with a story that he believes in I think he would want to take the shot. I don’t think he would ever go into that realm lightly, but I’m not willing to completely rule it out.

      Bendis didn’t seem to have any problem making Iceman gay out of the blue, which seems much more bizarre to me than a technically single MJ getting romantically involved with her boss. Former supermodels and billionaires sleeping together makes much more sense to me than Bobby Drake just turning gay one day after decades of heterosexual relationships.

  9. Well, Doug, I must admit I had a different interpretation of how Slott characterized Peter in this issue, which I go more in-depth in my WASC review. The way I saw Peter opting to rent a tuxedo instead of buying one was an indication that Peter isn’t just uncomfortable about showing off his wealth, but that Slott wants to show that Peter is still the same hard luck, awkward nerd of old. Yet when Tony Stark arrives, Slott turns this on its head. Notice at Tony, who I now cannot read without hearing Robert Downey Jr.’s voice, tells Peter how he shouldn’t be ashamed of being rich, that he should enjoy himself while he’s “still on top.” Peter then retorts that he’s not some guy who “throws his money around.” And that’s when Tony points out that Peter’s company is literally spending billions with no return on funding Spider-Man, building his gadgets, and paying for any damages caused. In other words, Peter is “throwing his money around” just to keep on being Spider-Man. In other words, Peter’s projecting a false sense of humility which Tony, a guy who is not ashamed of being rich or self-loathing about it, calls him out on it.

    And for me, that’s an indication that this comic is as close to admission by Slott that yes, Peter really has become a “poor man’s Tony Stark” out of sense of inferiority and jealousy. Seeing Mary Jane again and that’s she’s with Tony only makes it worse. Because what does Peter do all through this issue? He keeps accusing Iron Man of stealing from him, whether it be “his girl” Mary Jane (even though they’re no longer in a relationship) his “bad guys” (even though the Ghost is a long-time Iron Man villain as old Shellhead point out) and even his one-liners. And how does Peter try to get back at Tony. By trying to hire Pepper Pots. For me, and why I think I appreciate this issue a lot more, is that it seemed as though Slott was acknowledging that Peter is trying to emulate Tony Stark but instead of growing into his own man, he’s turned himself into a second rate version of someone else. At least, that’s what I took away from it.

    http://whateveraspidercan.com/2016/05/05/stillanerd-reviews-amazing-spider-man-2015-12/

    1. “Well, Doug, I must admit I had a different interpretation of how Slott characterized Peter in this issue, which I go more in-depth in my WASC review.”

      I don’t think your interpretation is much different from mine at all. The only thing this issue proves is that Dan Slott is much more attuned to the fact that your reviews and this blog exist — and that a good number of ASM readers make time for both. Just because he acknowledges via Tony that something is weird (just as in retrospect he acknowledged via the pages of ASM that “No One Dies” was silly), it doesn’t make bad decisions right.

      “Tony points out that Peter’s company is literally spending billions with no return on funding Spider-Man, building his gadgets, and paying for any damages caused.”

      Do you honestly think that if your reviews and my blog did not exist — two places where that kind of point has been hammered since the beginning — that “Tony” would have made such an observation? I do not think so for one second.

      “And for me, that’s an indication that this comic is as close to admission by Slott that yes, Peter really has become a ‘poor man’s Tony Stark’ out of sense of inferiority and jealousy.”

      But that is what I’m saying — we should have never been at this point to begin with. Haha. Peter Parker would have never acted like a “poor man’s Tony Stark.” He only turned into an immature man-boy because Slott took him there. After years — literally years — of fans exposing Slott over these traits (sometimes being accused of douglasernstblog.com brainwashing in the process), now I’m supposed to believe he’s sitting there in his bedroom rubbing his hands together like the Joker while saying, “It’s all part of the plan…”? Nope. I don’t buy it.

      Did you ever see the “Honest Trailers” interview with the Russo brothers where the directors admit they try to “Honest Trailer”-proof their work? On some level, I think Dan knows and is resigned to the fact that there are honest reviews out there for his work on a regular basis — finally — and that he will be called to the carpet for laziness, inconsistencies, political pot-shots, etc.

      Again, I don’t think our views are as far apart as you may think. Thanks for sharing your work, as always! 🙂

    2. @Douglas Ernst
      “Just because he acknowledges via Tony that something is weird (just as in retrospect he acknowledged via the pages of ASM that “No One Dies” was silly), it doesn’t make bad decisions right.”

      Very true.

      “Do you honestly think that if your reviews and my blog did not exist — two places where that kind of point has been hammered since the beginning — that “Tony” would have made such an observation? I do not think so for one second.”

      I would hope he’s acknowledging some criticism. After all, he did have a “YouTube comment” in the issue asking why Spider-Man now has a glowing chest symbol. Though there’s always the possibility that just because he calls attention to something doesn’t automatically subvert it.

      “But that is what I’m saying — we should have never been at this point to begin with. Haha. Peter Parker would have never acted like a ‘poor man’s Tony Stark.’ He only turned into an immature man-boy because Slott took him there. After years — literally years — of fans exposing Slott over these traits (sometimes being accused of douglasernstblog.com brainwashing in the process), now I’m supposed to believe he’s sitting there in his bedroom rubbing his hands together like the Joker while saying, ‘It’s all part of the plan…’? Nope. I don’t buy it.

      Did you ever see the “Honest Trailers” interview with the Russo brothers where the directors admit they try to “Honest Trailer”-proof their work? On some level, I think Dan knows and is resigned to the fact that there are honest reviews out there for his work on a regular basis — finally — and that he will be called to the carpet for laziness, inconsistencies, political pot-shots, etc.”

      Which again, I think is valid criticism. However, I do think Slott does have some kind of plan in mind when it’s come to his work on Amazing Spider-Man. After all, this is someone who uses the “Marvel Method” when writing, in that he outlines his stories first, hands them off to the artist to draw the scenes, then fills in the dialogue and narration afterwards. Which does explain why his stories are far more plot-driven than character-driven. Moreover, there was a purpose behind have Doc Ock take over Peter’s body during Superior Spider-Man, as the central concept behind that comic was “Why is it important for Peter Parker to be Spider-Man?” With this current run, the question he seems to be asking is “Why can’t Peter be successful?”

      So for me, the problem isn’t so much that Slott doesn’t have a plan, because I think he does–it’s how he executes that plan is where he often stumbles. Because while the end goal with Superior Spider-Man was to have Peter Parker return, it didn’t help the fact that SpOck, a outright villain, was written to look like a hero, or that everyone around him took, as Peter called it, “stupid pills” in order for the story to last as long as it did, or that Carlie Cooper was apparently the only person who could figure out something was wrong. Likewise, I’m sure the plan behind Peter being a wealthy CEO is that not only is he overcompensating and trying to be like someone he’s not, but that he’s oblivious to the real threats which are happening within his own company, like Doc Ock being in the Living Brain. But yes, in order to get Peter to this point, Slott has made him into an immature man-boy, someone who doesn’t consider that he didn’t actually make on his own steam. Or as I’ve joked in the past, when President Barack Obama once infamously said, “If you got a business, you didn’t build that,” he might as well have pointed to Peter Parker.

      Which I do think goes to your point about just because Slott acknowledges he took Peter to a certain point, does it mean he should have. Maybe not. We’ll have to see what Slott is planning for the aftermath of the Parker Industries era…should he be on the book for that long, that is.

      Also, haven’t seen that Honest Trailers interview with the Russo Brothers before, and I have to say, they’re being good sports and welcome to answer whatever nitpicks are thrown their way. Also get me even more pumped up for Captain America: Civil War.

      “Again, I don’t think our views are as far apart as you may think. Thanks for sharing your work, as always!:)”

      You’re welcome, Doug!

    3. “However, I do think Slott does have some kind of plan in mind when it’s come to his work on Amazing Spider-Man.”

      Oh, I know he has plans — but they’re horrible plans. I will now quote your own review. Heh.

      “It’s as close to an admission by Slott that those who have criticized him over turning Spider-Man into a ‘poor man’s Tony Stark’ are one-hundred percent correct, that instead of Peter achieving his full potential, what he really did was overcompensate for his own deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy. Or, to borrow Dan Slott’s own Looney Tunes‘ ‘Rabbit Fire’ reference in this issue, Spider-Man has become the Daffy Duck to Iron Man’s Bugs Bunny.”

      Peter Parker fans should be furious that Dan Slott has turned Peter Parker into the Daffy Duck of the Marvel Universe (i.e., the oblivious butt of other characters’ jokes). You say that you have taken issue with the execution of Dan’s plans. I feel the same way, but I think it is important to stress how rotten the original premise is to begin with.

      If Peter Parker were to become a CEO, then he would not turn into a bumbling goof who forgives corporate espionage and attempted murder.

      If Peter Parker were to become a CEO, then would not have multiple moles running around his inner circle for months on end. (Shouldn’t his spider-sense kind of clue him in on that sort of thing since they want to destroy his livelihood?)

      If Peter Parker were a CEO, he wouldn’t spend billions of dollars on Arachno-Rockets and then buy rental tuxedos meant for teenage boys working at the local grocery store.

      The list goes on and on.

  10. If Peter remembers his time on Avengers Tower shouldn’t Mary Jane also remember that she lived there too and if she did shouldn’t she remember that Tony Stark nearly destroyed her life by branding her as criminal for siding with Peter. And if she did, why in the flying F@#$ would she ever work for that guy without stabbing him in the eye?

    1. “If Peter remembers his time on Avengers Tower shouldn’t Mary Jane also remember that she lived there too and if she did shouldn’t she remember that Tony Stark nearly destroyed her life by branding her as criminal for siding with Peter. And if she did, why in the flying F@#$ would she ever work for that guy without stabbing him in the eye?”

      Do you mix up your routes from work on a daily basis, Berna? I think Marvel’s “Men in Black” are going to be tailing you from here on out. That kind of observation can be dangerous to share. Be careful! 😉

  11. Hello Doug it’s been awhile.

    Okay deep breath before I start my rant. Really, seriously?1? Is Dan really that lazy, and incompetent? The man makes no attempt to develop a solid story line, nor does he take the time for good character development. Nah he just made Peter Parker into Tony Stark light. He’s a joke in the Marvel Universe. It’s just easier to do this than being a good writer. To make matters worse MJ is now working with Stark, and what does Peter do when he see’s the two of them together? He acts like a sophomoric teenager. “I’ll show you. Steal my girl will ya? Well I’m going steal yours. Hey Pepper you want a job?”

    Wow Dan solid writing. Hey here’s a thought why don’t you spend less time writing on your Twitter account and more time trying to write a decent story for Spider-man. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that as long as this hack continues to write Spider-man it will always be awful.

    Thank you Doug for your reviews, as always you are right on the mark.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Derek. I appreciate it.

      “To make matters worse MJ is now working with Stark, and what does Peter do when he see’s the two of them together? He acts like a sophomoric teenager. ‘I’ll show you. Steal my girl will ya? Well I’m going steal yours. Hey Pepper you want a job?'”

      As you rightly point out, that is immature behavior and not something that is believable for Peter to do at this stage of his life. It’s embarrassing. If that happened in real life my guess is that Pepper would get word back to Tony and everyone would laugh at Peter’s expense. Sigh…

      “Thank you Doug for your reviews, as always you are right on the mark.”

      Thanks! As long as guys like you keep reading my reviews, then I’ll keep writing them. 🙂

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