Dan Slott Renew Your Vows

Marvel’s release of Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy this week brought with it an obligatory round of promotional interviews. Therefore, it was reasonable to conclude that writer Dan Slott of The Amazing Spider-Man would say something to prove how he fundamentally misunderstands Peter Parker. A recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter was all it took, as he said his favorite Spider-Man “villain” is, in fact, Peter Parker.

Regular readers of this blog remember how an October 2015 entry — Dan Slott: Peter Parker’s love for Mary Jane is ‘anti-Marvel’ — was accused of being taken “out of context,” despite the fact that full context (and an hour-long embedded YouTube video) was provided.  Therefore, your friendly neighborhood blogger will preemptively draw attention to the fact that I am linking to the full Hollywood Reporter interview, asking you to read it in its entirety, and going out of my way to provide full context.

THR’s Graeme McMillan and Mr. Slott had the following exchange:

Graeme McMillan: You have fans complaining that you don’t “know” Spider-Man.

Dan Slott: Despite the fact that I’ve written one out of every five issues of Amazing Spider-Man, which is kind of scary. But, to me, the fun of it is, at his basic core, even if you strip away ‘with great power must come great responsibility,’ what makes Peter Parker this character that resonates with all of us is that he’s really the first character who’s you. He’s the guy you know. He’s not a wealthy billionaire playboy, he’s not an alien from another planet, he’s not a god from a pantheon. He’s the guy down the block who trips and falls, who screws up in every way that you screw up. All the self-destructive traits that you have, and your friends have, he has. People say to me, ‘Who’s your favorite Spider-Man villain?’ and my answer is Peter Parker, because no-one can mess up Spider-Man’s life like Peter Parker can.

One of those fans who “complains” that Dan Peter’s-love-for-MJ-is-anti-Marvel Slott does not “know” Spider-Man (or, rather, Peter Parker) is right here, so let us begin.

Words mean something. The words we use have consequences. There is great power in words, and with that comes great responsibility. Therefore, it stands to reason that being imprecise or flippant with a word like ‘villain’ can lead to terrible results — even if we have good intentions.

Mr. Slott says “no-one can mess up Spider-Man’s life like Peter can,” but we know that his rogue’s gallery is filled with homicidal monsters, megalomaniacs with a desire for genocide, at at least one literal demon who successfully severed the bond between he and his soulmate, Mary Jane.

Question: Why on earth would a writer pretend that “villain” is synonymous with “fallible human being”?

Answer: Because a writer like Dan Slott is the kind of person who publicly admits he wants a hero like Peter Parker making deals with a devil.  Heroes do not consciously make deals with devils — villains do. If Peter Parker is described as a guy who tries his best but isn’t perfect, then Mr. Slott’s vision cannot be realized. The language needs to change. Readers need to be convinced that their hero is simultaneously a villain, and that it’s acceptable.

That is perverse. That is sick. That is naked moral relativism, and it is propagated by a man who mistakes writing a character for a long time with doing it well (i.e., Saying, “I’ve written one of every five issues of Amazing Spider-Man,” in response to charges of not knowing Peter Parker).

Let us return to his THR interview:

Dan Slott: The Jackal has expanded his science. He’s not getting it from a blood sample, he’s getting it from a corpse. It’s all the memories, all the way up to your death —

Graeme McMillan: So they’re complete copies.

Dan Slott: Yes! They remember everything, all the way up to that last moment. It’s less a clone — I wanted to brand them, and the Jackal brands them, ‘re-animates.’ It’s different than a clone, it’s better than a clone. And in that moment, the Jackal becomes the ultimate devil you can make a deal with. He becomes the person who says, ‘If you’ve lost anyone, I can give them back to you. Whatever person you’ve loved or lost, or maybe someone who tormented you and lost, I can bring them back to you.’

Ignore the fact that clones would know that they are clones and immediately branch off into a completely different life-path than his or her progenitor. What matters here is that Mr. Slott a.) attaches a very specific word — ‘villain’ — to the hero, and b.) admits that he wants said hero/villain making deals with an “ultimate devil.”

If you are a long-time reader of The Amazing Spider-Man, look at Mr. Slott’s track record and ask yourself if he was being glib or if he says what he means and means what he says. It is this blogger’s contention that when he says Peter Parker is a villain, he means it. And he gets away with it because many people who are repulsed by such a premise buy ASM out of their life-long love for the character.

Things will only change when enough readers vote with their wallet. (Exacerbating the problem are access-addicted comic book websites that are terrified of offering legitimate criticism, but I digress.)

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the “villainous” Peter Parker and the writer behind his reign of terror. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Update: Dan Slott is now unblocking people on Twitter who discuss this blog post, and then trying to hide behind some weird excuse that Stan Lee would have called Peter Parker a “villain.” You can’t make this up. Classic! (Hat tip to reader JB for the catch.)

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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.

42 comments

  1. Reposting (and editing) my reaction to this article from the other post:

    Wow, you could write a week’s worth of articles about that interview. What a confused mess! “He’s you, the ordinary schlub loser! That’s why he’s a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist!” How do you say, with a straight face, “He’s not a wealthy billionaire playboy” when you made him a wealthy billionaire playboy?? Seriously, what the hell?

    I wonder, is Slott really so shallow that he can only see the cloning thing from the perspective of “you can have something you want”? Does he see it as tempting because the loved one’s place can be filled and it can make the grieving person feel better? Like The Sixth Day where they cloned people’s dogs so they could have their pet back?

    “…the Jackal becomes the ultimate devil you can make a deal with. He becomes the person who says, ‘If you’ve lost anyone, I can give them back to you. Whatever person you’ve loved or lost, or maybe someone who tormented you and lost, I can bring them back to you.'”

    Does he really not understand that no one (sane) would feel that way, because this is just a clone with all the loved one’s memories and not the original person?! We want our loved ones to not be dead! It isn’t about us feeling sad that they’re gone! If my grandpa could be alive, but I’d never get to see him, that would make me happy. If there was a clone grandpa who had my grandpa’s memories up until his death, who is he to me? That just means you created a new person who unfortunately is already really old. I would want to get him some help to get going in life I guess, but he’s not my grandpa. I would just be doing that because I value life, not because he’s my grandpa.

    The old clone stuff was emotionally damaging because you didn’t know who was real; there could’ve been some kind of resurrection of Gwen for example, so who knows if that’s really her or not. And of course it wasn’t clear which was the real Peter. That was the real problem — not knowing who was the original. Once they knew that it was clear that Ben was his own person and should go his own way.

    It’s like an alien is writing this. He doesn’t seem to get how people actually feel about things. I recommend he go read Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, A Tale of Two Cities, and other great works of literature, stat, so he can understand human emotions.

    1. “Wow, you could write a week’s worth of articles about that interview. What a confused mess! ‘He’s you, the ordinary schlub loser! That’s why he’s a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist!’ How do you say, with a straight face, ‘He’s not a wealthy billionaire playboy’ when you made him a wealthy billionaire playboy?? Seriously, what the hell?”

      So you’re picking up on Dan’s cognitive dissonance, then? Someone at Marvel has a bad case of the Doublethinks! 😉

      “I wonder, is Slott really so shallow that he can only see the cloning thing from the perspective of ‘you can have something you want’? Does he see it as tempting because the loved one’s place can be filled and it can make the grieving person feel better? Like The Sixth Day where they cloned people’s dogs so they could have their pet back?”

      That is an excellent question, because like you I am not seeing the draw to having my own clone of deceased loved ones.

      “Does he really not understand that no one (sane) would feel that way, because this is just a clone with all the loved one’s memories and not the original person?! We want our loved ones to not be dead! It isn’t about us feeling sad that they’re gone! If my grandpa could be alive, but I’d never get to see him, that would make me happy. If there was a clone grandpa who had my grandpa’s memories up until his death, who is he to me? That just means you created a new person who unfortunately is already really old. I would want to get him some help to get going in life I guess, but he’s not my grandpa. I would just be doing that because I value life, not because he’s my grandpa.”

      What’s going on with you, Eidolon? You need to watch yourself. You’re making too much darn sense. You’re supposed to be psyched because these aren’t clones — they’re “reanimations,” baby!

      “It’s like an alien is writing this. He doesn’t seem to get how people actually feel about things. I recommend he go read Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, A Tale of Two Cities, and other great works of literature, stat, so he can understand human emotions.”

      That is true, which means that it is also sad. I hope he can somehow recognize and then erase this disconnect one day. It all ties back to the moral relativism I mentioned. I honestly think that is a huge contributing factor.

    1. “Six years he’s been on the title. Is no one at Marvel thinking, ‘Maybe it’s time for a fresh change?'”

      It’s longer than that:

      “But on Amazing, yeah. I’m on year nine. But it’s not just year nine. With Brand New Day [Slott was part of a writing team on the book for two years], we released three books a month, and when I got the book solo, we double-shipped. Most comics come out 12 issues a year, and we usually come out with 24. It means that, even if they wanted to fire me, they don’t have a good chance. We work on so many stories with so many artists, I have to write stories out of sequence constantly. There’s a story that doesn’t come out until next May that I’ve just turned in a plot for. I go to sleep and I dream of Spider-Man.” — Dan Slott.

      It’s getting a bit ridiculous. Once again I ask since Dan preaches from the gospel of social justice: Why doesn’t the very white Dan give up his ASM gig to a minority…because “white privilege”? Oh, wait, that would mean putting his money where his mouth is. Never mind.

  2. If he literally did confirm that Peter Parker is a supervillain, I would probably react like when they made Captain America a supervillain after saying “Hail Hydra”, Peter Parker was suppose to be equal to Spider-Man, but with different characteristics. Sometimes I hate Dan Slott, a-slott. (pun intended)

    1. “If he literally did confirm that Peter Parker is a supervillain, I would probably react like when they made Captain America a supervillain after saying ‘Hail Hydra.'”

      Ah yes, Hydra Cap. That’s another book I considered buying, but writer Nick Spencer is the type of guy who goes out of his way to call Republican comic book fans “evil.”

  3. Slott: “No-one can mess up Spider-Man’s life like Peter Parker can.”

    Ok, two ways I’m going to address this.

    1. The literal monsters who have held city-wide killing sprees, the list of stuff the Green Goblin(s) (Norman and Harry) have done, the time he died and and his entire life taken over for a substantial period of time by a genocidal maniac and no one really believed him afterwards that it even happened, are not worse than anything Peter may have done to him self? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what has been done to him.

    2. Let’s take the ACTUAL Peter before he was twisted by Slott. Everything he had ever done that resulted in failure or resulted in damage to his life was done because Peter was trying to do the right thing. He does the right thing, and lives with the consequences. Whether or not he knows what those consequences will be, he will always take them on because he knows he did what was right. He takes responsibility for his actions, and the screw-ups he creates for himself if they do occur.

    Slott is kind of saying that by Peter doing what he believes is the the right thing, possibly to his own detriment, this makes him a villain to himself.

    But, let’s take Slott’s Peter, a man who has regressed to a petulant teenager, justifying clearly wrong actions as “for the greater good” and acting so idiotic and blind to everything around him, never having a moment of real self-reflection or realizing what he is doing. But this isn’t really Peter. This is a perverted mockery of the character. The real Peter Parker is never Spider-Man’s greatest villian, Dan Slott is. He has wrecked Peter more than any of his costume-clad rogues could ever hope to do.

    1. Your entire comment is a thing of beauty, Carnage707. There is much I can say, but I’ll keep it short for now.

      “Slott is kind of saying that by Peter doing what he believes is the the right thing, possibly to his own detriment, this makes him a villain to himself.”

      Odd, isn’t it? If Peter has a functioning moral compass, then he could never be a “villain” unto himself. There may be tough choices — painful choices — along the character’s road of life, but the thought, “Peter is his own greatest villain” should never enter a reader’s mind.

      Only if Peter had a broken moral compass that spun in circles, and he was just forging on in some direction that he hoped was right, would the “villain” theory be plausible.

      “But, let’s take Slott’s Peter, a man who has regressed to a petulant teenager, justifying clearly wrong actions as ‘for the greater good’ and acting so idiotic and blind to everything around him, never having a moment of real self-reflection or realizing what he is doing. But this isn’t really Peter. This is a perverted mockery of the character. The real Peter Parker is never Spider-Man’s greatest villian, Dan Slott is. He has wrecked Peter more than any of his costume-clad rogues could ever hope to do.”

      If this blog handed out diplomas, then you just earned your B.A. in Slott Studies.

      I don’t hand out diplomas, but I do give out free stuff on occasion. If you don’t mind, then I will contact you via the email address you’ve provided WordPress. I’d like to come up with a “Doug Prize” for you and send it out sometime in the near future.

  4. Marvel want you to think a lot of their heroes are villains, it’s precisely the kind of thing that plauged Tony for years after the original Civil War (and before that, The Crossing), and in both instances they had to restore Mr.Stark to basic factory settings via some contrived mind-fiddling so he can be absolved in universe of all that, but long-term readers are like distant elephants to these characters, and we never forget.

    Peter as a villain is occasionally toyed with in certain adaptations. Peter David wrote in a twisted billionaire version of Peter in the “Edge of Time” video game, someone driven by a lot of tragic circumstances, and one that you, as the present day Peter, had to stop in his tracks. Same with Spider-Carnage in the series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated Series (it was ambigious whether or not he was a clone, but just let it slide), again, these Peters exist to be a dark reflection, and one you expect the nobler ones to take down. The solution, with Peter using Uncle Ben to convince Spider-Carnage to stop, is one of the most touching and heroic moments for any sort of Spider-Man, and it says a lot Slott apparently jobbed out the 90s Spidey like a WWF Sunday Night HEAT extra in Spider-Verse rather than touch on his legacy as the Spider that saved all of reality in that particular instance, way ahead of his one true idol Ock.

    Peter as a villain is the crack in the mirror, you’re meant to repair the crack, and give us all a reflection to value. Keeping the crack distorts the imagery, disrupts our gaze, and taints our image. Why Marvel want to promote distortion and imperfection shows how much they value the world, and how much they want to take it for granted.

    1. “It says a lot Slott apparently jobbed out the 90s Spidey like a WWF Sunday Night HEAT extra in Spider-Verse rather than touch on his legacy as the Spider that saved all of reality in that particular instance, way ahead of his one true idol Ock.”

      Ouch. Yeah, don’t get me started on Spider-Verse… 😉

      “Peter as a villain is the crack in the mirror, you’re meant to repair the crack, and give us all a reflection to value.”

      And that’s the thing, a man can be fallible and not be considered a “villain.” Peter can stumble and fall and let his anger get the best of him at times, but that is a far cry from being a villain. Dan Slott used that word for a very specific reason, and anyone who loves the hero Peter Parker should be up in arms about it.

  5. Okay then let me start with this:

    First: It’s not “With Great Powers Comes Great Responsibility”, it’s “With Great Powers There Must Also Come Great Resonsability”. There is a big difference between the two that Dan Slott doesn’t seem to understand because in his run/mind everything is Peter’s fault!

    The second phrase means that Peter chooses to be Spider-Man and he does this because it’s right thing to do. The other represent that Peter has no choice on the matter. He has to be Spider-Man and end of story. Which is clearly not the freaking case!

    Second: Why does he like to break the character apart ? Does he think he is clever when he breaks something ? I mean is this a weird thing that Dan Slott likes to do in his private time ? Because say whatever you want about other writers takes on Peter, he may be a screw up however he always did something right at the end that shone a big light upon the character that made him look awesome. But Slott…

    The character is a constant screw up, who is hated by some and is an annoyance to all, has all of his achievements done by a man who stole his life, is guilt tripped by all, has all of the women who ever loved him hate him and blame him for the actions of another man, can’t fight his own villains without assistance of others and has no emotion towards the fact that his body was used (Otto masturbated using Peter’s body and Private Memories while Peter was watching the whole thing happen, isn’t this F***ing creepy to anyone else ?) and his life was shaped to another man’s will!

    Third: The only reason Peter is a villain to Slott is because Otto Octavius is Slott’s true hero.

    The reason why Peter is SO s****y is because Dan Slott is butt-hurt over the fact that Superior Spider-Man was supposed to last longer than it did.
    Spider-Verse was supposed to be a Superior Story, not Amazing. That’s why the scene with Uncle Ben was resolved with Otto and not Peter.

    When someone recently said that Dan Slott is Peter Parker, it honestly made me gag a little bit. However I started to laughed because I realized that Dan Slott is being compared to Post-OMD Peter Parker.

    A man-child who can’t do his work without someone else’s help (Christos Gage), can’t win a fight without someone else’s help (Twitter Fans).

    Honestly, I feel apathy at this point when I read these interviews because I can’t care anymore of whatever the F*** Dan Slott is going to do next to the franchise. I hope, just really out of spite, that when OMD is undone, so does every story that Dan Slott has done.
    I also hope that Clone Conspiracy bombs and Renew Your Vows wins in sales!

    Just to show how sick and tired ALL of us are of Dan Slott!

    PS: To Doug and Everyone who read this: Clone Conspiracy touches on a subject that I have been debating for a while with some of my friends after we played a game called SOMA.This game touches upon the subject of individuality and a lot more. So please, play or watch that game. It provides a better discussion than whatever Dan Slott is going to write in Clone Conspiracy!

  6. You know if Dan Slott wants to write a hero who makes a deal with the devil…then how come he isn’t writing Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider? I mean there is a hero who ruined not only his life but the lives of his loved ones because yeah he became a supernatural superhero but he made a deal with evil and he has been paying for it since.

    No one wants to read that kind of Spider-Man, and I think it is stupid he mentions Spider-Man is an every man yet he has Peter Parker is a billionaire! This is what I hate about modern Spider-Man and Marvel Comics in general is that they create this illusion of change like Peter being rich. Problem is personality wise they don’t change and make the same mistakes if not worst than past mistakes.

    This is something I have to say about Spider-Man is that they make dumb choices a lot of time with the character because they are out of touch or they over think what to do. If they didn’t want Spider-Man to be married to Mary Jane why not just divorce them back then? It is sad to say but many couples can’t stay together because they lost a child and the loss is too much to handle (the original idea was they found out the baby was alive and they rescue her but Marvel decided to bring back the Crypt Keeper I mean Aunt May aka the undying one) and they do get a divorce. It is also common among young couples. But Marvel took the complicated route by having Mary Jane act like a b***h so fans will hate her then kill her off and bring her back only to leave Peter on a break from their marriage then get back together then have Mephisto make a deal with Pete and then get rid of the marriage.

    They have no idea what to do with him. If they are going to have progression just have Peter be married and have a kid. Hell if Marvel wants to be diverse why not have Mayday take over for her father or have Peter retire (you would of had an excuse to retire if he is trying to raise a family) and give the reins to Miles. But no Marvel doesn’t care. They are running around like headless chickens. Squirting blood all over the industry. At this point you just wish the wolves will show up and put an end to this headless chicken.

    I was reading old Spider-Man comics and I noticed they did a lot of interesting things such as how Spider-Man was afraid of being considered a coward, he dealt with real human emotions like resisting the urge to beat up Flash Thompson, Betty Brant doesn’t stay with Peter because what attracted him to her was he was not adventurous and played it safe but as Peter grew he became more forward and confident so he became less willing to play the side lines, or how Mary Jane was a stepford smiler that she had a shitty home life and coped with it by being a party girl.

    Sorry this was long winded yet but after reading all this good Spider-Man comics and then I see this stupid crap.

    One last thing and really has nothing to do with this but is Anne Parker an alternate version of Mayday or is she her sister in that she was from a second pregnancy (if in that timeline Mary Jane had a first pregnancy) and do you think if she is the product of a second pregnancy will they tackle how Norman Osborne technically killed her older sister?

    1. “Sorry this was long winded yet but after reading all this good Spider-Man comics and then I see this stupid crap.”

      It’s no problem at all, ChibiDingo. All I ask is that you make mental notes of these kind of comments by Mr. Slott. Then, when it naturally comes up, you can remind friends that he thinks the hero is actually a “villain” and that Peter’s love for Mary Jane is “anti-Marvel.” I think most objective comic books fans would recoil at both propositions.

  7. “One last thing and really has nothing to do with this but is Anne Parker an alternate version of Mayday or is she her sister in that she was from a second pregnancy (if in that timeline Mary Jane had a first pregnancy) and do you think if she is the product of a second pregnancy will they tackle how Norman Osborne technically killed her older sister?”

    Based on the original RYV comic, I think Annie was born early in the Parker’s marriage (before the Clone Saga timeframe) and Mayday was never born period. While Conway has gone on record that the RYV ongoing is treating the original miniseries like an altered timeline that was corrected (e.g. the Parkers stopped Regent, but under different circumstances), this point would still seem to hold; the estimate is that Peter and MJ have been married about ten years when the series starts, and Annie is eight, so she was born pretty early on. So, I doubt we’re going to meet a RYV Mayday.

    1. Thanks for clearing that up for me, I do think that Gerry Conway who while is very out spoken liberal on twitter from what I seen of his work he is not overt about it in his writing and as long he is not pushing an agenda in his work I am ok with getting Renew your Vows. But as soon as I see him trying to pull some SJW crap I am dropping it like a rock.

      But I think they could use this as an opportunity to address dangling plot lines. Plus I hope they take advantage of Spider-Man’s rogue gallery. Nothing annoys me more when writers try to create new villains or barely use his established enemies. I liked JMS’ run but damn would it of killed him to maybe do an Electro or Scorpian story?

    2. “Thanks for clearing that up for me, I do think that Gerry Conway who while is very out spoken liberal on twitter from what I seen of his work he is not overt about it in his writing and as long he is not pushing an agenda in his work I am ok with getting Renew your Vows. But as soon as I see him trying to pull some SJW crap I am dropping it like a rock.”

      No matter how it turns out, ChibiDingo, I’ll be reviewing the book. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts. 🙂

  8. This proves Slott does not understand Peter Parker. Peter Parker IS the hero. Peter Parker is the person who’s life is interupted by Spider-Man. Peter Parker gives up his life to help others.

    1. “This proves Slott does not understand Peter Parker.”

      The words are right there for everyone to see, and there is no way he can say he was taken out of context. Instead, he claims it’s the “same kinda” thing Stan Lee “would’ve” said in the 60s. Really? I’ve read Marvel comics for well over three decades and I don’t see Stan Lee ever calling Peter Parker a “villain.” We’ve reached a point where Dan is projecting his own weird ideas onto Stan Lee…

  9. I’ve said this before, but this is somehow the same person that wrote a terrific 5 issue mini-series where Johnny Storm and Peter team up and reminiscence about life and it ends with Peter taking MJ (still married then) and Aunt May to Four Freedoms Plaza to have dinner with the Fantastic Four and family. Something had to have happened along the way to turn him into this. The basic fact he completely misunderstands why Peter has resonated with generations of fans shows he needs to step aside. And to borrow a phrase from sports, Dan no one is bigger than the character. Don’t worry if you step aside/fired/resign/etc. there are 100 writers waiting to take up the mantle. Hopefully they get the character better than you.

    1. “Something had to have happened along the way to turn him into this. The basic fact he completely misunderstands why Peter has resonated with generations of fans shows he needs to step aside. And to borrow a phrase from sports, Dan no one is bigger than the character.”

      I think Dan does his best work when he’s on a tight leash. It appears as time went on that he a.) was given more leeway within Marvel’s “good old boys club” to do whatever he wanted, and b.) felt the need to leave his own imprint on the character. (Again, note how quick he is to assert how long he’s worked on the book after it’s mentioned that many fans say he doesn’t “know” the character.)

      At some point in time I think the thought process becomes, “How do I differentiate myself from the greats?” That is the wrong question, however. A writer just needs to worry about telling good stories, and history will be the judge.

      If you read the Hollywood Reporter story you’ll note that Dan concentrates on how to do things Spider-Man hasn’t done before. It’s very telling. What ends up happening in his case is that he focuses so much on weird hooks like, “Hey, what if there were like 10,000 spider-men running around?! That’s new!” instead of asking, “What is the next logical experience Peter needs to have to truly grow into a stronger and wiser hero?”

      Dan seems preoccupied with doing something different for the sake of being different instead of doing the right story for the right reason at the right time.

      When he reads my commentary he becomes angry — not because I’m wrong, but because I am right. He keeps coming back because he knows, deep down, that I take the craft of writing very seriously. He respects that, even if he would never publicly say it.

    2. “…you’ll note that Dan concentrates on how to do things Spider-Man hasn’t done before. It’s very telling.”

      Indeed. This has a lot to do with the diseased output of our academies. Being the 9273819th person to write about how Les Miserables has excellent characterization and its strong focus on moral virtue resonates with people throughout time isn’t going to make you stand out. So you end up writing a paper on how it’s racist or sexist or xenophobic or homophobic or whatever other shocking claim you can think of to get attention and make a name for yourself.

      Everything with Spider-Man for many years, and I note that pretty much all of this was under Slott now that he pointed it out, has been stuff that they hadn’t done before because it wasn’t a good idea. It reminds me of Peter unmasking during Civil War. It was surprising and different, but the reason nobody did it before was because it wasn’t a good idea. It had to be walked back in a stupid and unsatisfying way, as I expected.

      Doing things just because they haven’t been done leads almost inevitably to doing stupid and evil things, because the good and efficacious things are the first things people do. So if you focus on that, you’ll pretty much ruin whatever you’re working on for sure.

    3. “Indeed. This has a lot to do with the diseased output of our academies. Being the 9273819th person to write about how Les Miserables has excellent characterization and its strong focus on moral virtue resonates with people throughout time isn’t going to make you stand out. So you end up writing a paper on how it’s racist or sexist or xenophobic or homophobic or whatever other shocking claim you can think of to get attention and make a name for yourself.”

      I think I may have mentioned this before, but I think this is one of (many) reasons Hollywood generally does not like biblical movies. It’s a story that has lasted for thousands of years for a very specific reason — whether one believes it or not — but the instinct by a lot of writers is to be like, “Well, what if we set it in 2016 and he’s like this edgy Tumblr kiddie and he’s all about social justice and there’s this supernatural element to it?” It doesn’t work. Everyone wants to prove that they’re a genius and that they can improve on the original material, but what do you do if the original was excellent to begin with?

      “Doing things just because they haven’t been done leads almost inevitably to doing stupid and evil things, because the good and efficacious things are the first things people do. So if you focus on that, you’ll pretty much ruin whatever you’re working on for sure.”

      Agreed.

  10. Some random comments:

    Pretty much agree with people here on the inanity of calling Peter Parker the number one Spider-Man villain. Interesting thing, though, Slott’s response almost reads like he considers Peter and Spider-Man two separate entities and the latter to be the core character. If so, he working against pretty much everything ever written about him. For example, “Spider-Man 2,” considered to be one of the greatest comic book movies of all time made Spider-Man stopping the villain the B plot, and put Peter struggling with his calling as the A plot. I’ve frequently seen “Ultimate Spider-Man” #13 deservedly listed as one of the best issues of its series (and even do pretty well in fan listings from the whole franchise, too). The only plot that issue has is Peter telling Mary Jane he’s Spider-Man and the resulting conversation (why he’s keeping the gig a secret, why he wants to tell her, them admitting they’re in love with each other, etc.). Even the Mark Webb movies, as flawed as they are, tried to center the stories around Peter, not Spider-Man.

    When asked about him not understanding the character, I wish Slott had elaborated beyond just stating that he’s written a lot of comics (Sam Raimi and Greg Weisman had short runs with their stories in the franchise, but there’s no question that they understood the character). I’m being serious here; I’ve heard a lot of people express the opinion that Slott understands Spider-Man and writes him well, but I rarely hear any reasons why, and I’m curious what the evidence there is. (Besides, agree or disagree with them, it’s interesting to hear authors talk about their creative processes and how they approach their material.)

    I found it kind of funny that Brian Michael Bendis and his “Ultimate Spider-Man” series came up when discussing if there were other candidates for “pre-eminent” writer — by Slott himself, ironically; Of all the complaints I’ve seen about Slott’s Spider-Man — he doesn’t understand Peter Parker and writes him badly and immature for his age, flat supporting characters, weak story endings, lack of basic human emotions in regards to traumatic events, etc. — those are all things that Bendis did very well on USM, esp. in regards to getting the characters and giving them depth and emotions in light of the stuff that happened in the stories. On top of that, Bendis wrote funnier jokes and humor than Slott does and knew how to incorporate into the story.

    Comparing the interviews Slott and his creative partners on “Clone Conspiracy” and the ones that Conway and Stegman have been giving for “Renew Your Vows,” the latter come across a lot better. They seem to have taken more care in their project, took time to think out how the series and characters will work, and even offer concrete reasons for the series existence and why people should check it out.

    I don’t see the Jackal’s offer to clone dead family and friends for you being that great an offer. It seems like this should’ve been better thought out (either by having a villain who could actually resurrect the dead for a price, or have the Jackal keep the cloning part a secret and convince people he really was resurrecting people, or even explore the ramifications of creating clones and then basically brainwashing the people that are born from the process into thinking they’re someone else, or something).

    1. “Pretty much agree with people here on the inanity of calling Peter Parker the number one Spider-Man villain. Interesting thing, though, Slott’s response almost reads like he considers Peter and Spider-Man two separate entities and the latter to be the core character. If so, he working against pretty much everything ever written about him.”

      Yep. It may have been said in some old posts before you were reading, but I have always maintained that when Slott saves he loves “Spider-Man,” he isn’t lying — or, rather, he is telling a lie by omission because what he doesn’t say is that he thinks Peter Parker is lame.

      Remember: His favorite DC characters — by his own admission — “are the most f***ed-up ones.” There seems no reason to assume, especially after seeing the linked interview, why that would not apply to Marvel’s stable of heroes. But the problem for Dan is that Peter is not “f**ked up.” He has issues (don’t we, all?), but in general he is a well-adjusted human being.

      This is why Peter Parker must become a “villain.” Writers often say villains are more fun to create because they’re free to do so much more. Well, okay. But doing anything you want is easy. You are more boxed in as a hero, but that’s because it’s more difficult to choice the “hard right” instead of the “easy wrong” in a world that celebrates the latter.

      Writing The Amazing Spider-Man should be a rewarding experience, but it should be hard. It should be hard because there is a responsibility to craft tales for an iconic hero — not a villain. So, in short, what you are seeing when Dan Slott calls Peter Parker a “villain” is a selfish take on the character that on some level is done to make his job easier. Dan does not appear to possess the self-awareness to know this, but that is the situation.

  11. I just uploaded my latest YouTube video. It covers a lot of the same ground seen in this blog post, but I figured I’d share in the comments section for anyone who is interested.

  12. Slott is the Donald Trump of comics.

    His claim that he’s written one of every five ASM comics–well, Christos Gage probably wrote or co-wrote a fifth of those. So shouldn’t we be calling it the Slott / Gage run on ASM?

    This whole stance that Marvel would have a hard time firing him at this point, it’s like a new level of arrogance. But it also seems like one born out of super-paranoia. Hey Slott, you write an IP of a major publishing company, owned by one of the biggest companies on Earth. If they want to swap you out with another writer or end your run, they’ll do it. It’s not your character, you didn’t create Spider-Man and you don’t own him. Nobody owes you anything at this point.

    It’s astounding to see his fevered ego run amok. He is the Donald Trump of comics–just look at the tweet storms, the list of enemies, the paranoia and public grudge matches, the blowhard attitude, the depthless arrogance and ego. The GOP paired up Trump with the wrong running mate. Slott would’ve bee the perfect choice.

    He doesn’t care about Peter Parker or Spider-Man or the character’s fans, he only cares about Dan Slott. It’s been clear for awhile in his writing, but it’s even more clear now from this interview.

    1. “This whole stance that Marvel would have a hard time firing him at this point, it’s like a new level of arrogance. But it also seems like one born out of super-paranoia. Hey Slott, you write an IP of a major publishing company, owned by one of the biggest companies on Earth. If they want to swap you out with another writer or end your run, they’ll do it. It’s not your character, you didn’t create Spider-Man and you don’t own him. Nobody owes you anything at this point.”

      Boom. I can not imagine ever having a job where I essentially call myself professionally bulletproof. Thank you for bringing it up. That entire interview is a gold mine of blogging material, but I don’t want to write about five Slott posts in a row. Heh. Between the regular ASM, Cone Conspiracy, and Renew Your Vows coming out I’m already going to have my hands full in terms of Spider-Man coverage…

      “It’s astounding to see his fevered ego run amok. He is the Donald Trump of comics–just look at the tweet storms, the list of enemies, the paranoia and public grudge matches, the blowhard attitude, the depthless arrogance and ego. The GOP paired up Trump with the wrong running mate. Slott would’ve bee the perfect choice.”

      That is one blistering critique, Cheesedique — because you’re correct. I have read many of his Twitter rants and wondered how he doesn’t see just how much he has in common with the presidential candidate.

  13. This was a very good article, and I did appreciate your analysis of why Dan Slott calling Peter a “villain” is too strong. Thank you for adding my tweet to this, as I do want to get the word out about this, especially after several of his fans swarmed my Twitter feed. I believe you wrote an article a while ago where Slott realized something like “It was wrong of me to quote that user when I have so many followers”? Well, it seems he didn’t learn his lesson from then.

    I have some suspicions about why exactly he’s citing Stan Lee, but I believe it’s an appeal to authority. So you don’t like it when Slott says something? Oh, then you *MUST* accept it if Stan Lee would have said the same thing! And yes, I did make a mistake on the Crawlspace when I said that Slott claimed Stan Lee said the same thing, but one of his fans even asked me “You do realize Stan Lee said the exact same thing, right?” So I have to wonder if that user already believed that or was just saying that because Slott did.

    For anyone trying to read the tweet linked or anything else related to this subject, I do apologize that my account is set to private at the moment. I’m grateful that this subject is making the rounds, but I don’t want Slott’s fans (Or, as he so adores calling everyone who criticizes him, “zealots”) to continue going after my Twitter feed.

    The comparison to Trump is very apt, and a couple of my followers made a similar comparison. After all, think of how various Trump receives praise from his supporters because he “Says what he means”, but when he makes an inappropriate comment, his supporters are just as quick to say that he didn’t really mean that, or Trump himself claims that he was just joking. That habit of Trump’s seems to match the reaction Slott and his followers have had to this article. If you disagree with the “villain” part, then either they say what Slott REALLY meant, or as some of his followers told me, I’m just some “kid” and maybe I’m the one who really doesn’t understand Spider-Man.

    1. “This was a very good article, and I did appreciate your analysis of why Dan Slott calling Peter a “villain” is too strong. Thank you for adding my tweet to this, as I do want to get the word out about this, especially after several of his fans swarmed my Twitter feed. I believe you wrote an article a while ago where Slott realized something like “It was wrong of me to quote that user when I have so many followers”? Well, it seems he didn’t learn his lesson from then.”

      Thanks for commenting, Patrick. And yes, Dan did apologize to the girl he insulted on Twitter. Will he apologize to you? We shall see.

      “I have some suspicions about why exactly he’s citing Stan Lee, but I believe it’s an appeal to authority. So you don’t like it when Slott says something? Oh, then you *MUST* accept it if Stan Lee would have said the same thing!”

      Exactly. It’s a way to shut down debate. Dan always has a distraction in his bag of tricks.

      “And yes, I did make a mistake on the Crawlspace when I said that Slott claimed Stan Lee said the same thing, but one of his fans even asked me “You do realize Stan Lee said the exact same thing, right?” So I have to wonder if that user already believed that or was just saying that because Slott did.”

      I would love for someone to show me where Stan Lee said that. Even Dan did not make such a claim. Dan said it was the “same kinda thing” that Stan “would’ve” said. That is pure conjecture.

      Regardless, my argument about the importance of words and the detrimental effect of moral relativism would stand whether Dan, Stan or both men called Peter Parker a “villain.” Let’s see Dan try to argue that I am wrong. He can’t.

      “For anyone trying to read the tweet linked or anything else related to this subject, I do apologize that my account is set to private at the moment. I’m grateful that this subject is making the rounds, but I don’t want Slott’s fans (Or, as he so adores calling everyone who criticizes him, ‘zealots’) to continue going after my Twitter feed.”

      Just tell everyone you’re a black, lesbian, and Muslim gender-fluid person and you’ll probably get an apology from Dan within five minutes. 😉 If you’re a white male, then don’t expect Dan “Captain White Privilege” Slott to address your concerns.

      If you really want to know why Dan did that to you, it’s because you shared something I wrote and he’s taking out his frustration with this blog on you. I’m not joking. If you were just randomly venting, he would have done his passive-aggressive thing where he just referenced your tweet without tagging you. Since you actually had text to this blog in your tweet, his emotions got the better of him.

      “The comparison to Trump is very apt, and a couple of my followers made a similar comparison. After all, think of how various Trump receives praise from his supporters because he ‘Says what he means’, but when he makes an inappropriate comment, his supporters are just as quick to say that he didn’t really mean that, or Trump himself claims that he was just joking. That habit of Trump’s seems to match the reaction Slott and his followers have had to this article. If you disagree with the ‘villain’ part, then either they say what Slott REALLY meant, or as some of his followers told me, I’m just some ‘kid’ and maybe I’m the one who really doesn’t understand Spider-Man.

      Don’t let the “kid” argument deter you. If you’re making a sound argument, then your age is irrelevant to the discussion. Especially when it comes to a debate that does not require you to know more than the definitions of “villain” and “hero.” 😉 You don’t need to be an ASM historian to know that calling Peter Parker a “villain” and then talking about him making deals with “the ultimate devil” a few sentences later is wrong for the character.

      It’s interesting that Dan’s minions do not step into this arena, but instead try to bully random strangers on Twitter. Direct them here if they keep bothering you. Just respond with a link to this blog and say no more. I’m happy to have this debate because there is no way they come out on top. Mixing moral relativism and ASM is a sure loser.

  14. Oh, I’m a straight white male, so I doubt he would apologize to me. Plus, he and I have argued MANY times over the years, so the idea that he would apologize to me would likely horrify him. He already had plenty of reason to take frustration out on me, and I was directed to this article from the Crawlspace. So you have me, and then I go from what I read on the Crawlspace, which he already has a grudge against, and I’m responding to your article. That is a trifecta of people that Slott has animosity towards.

    The “Stan Lee would’ve said the same kinda thing” distraction vaguely reminds me of how he claims Stan Lee would have preferred if Peter never even graduated. Usually that comes up when people criticize One More Day, but from what I understand, if anyone would have preferred if Peter never graduated, wasn’t it Steve Ditko? In any case, Slott doesn’t really care what Stan Lee would have said. He just invokes Stan’s name to intimidate anyone who doesn’t like Slott’s work.

    If you’re willing to debate with people, then thank you. For the few I did respond to, I basically just asked them if they even knew who I was, and if they were just targeting me because Slott told them to. One even said that how he found me was totally irrelevant, and then immediately said I was avoiding his questions. They would only come out on top ~in their heads~ (As Slott seems to love saying), and would probably just ask why they should care about this site. Or, in other words, they’re not interested in going to where someone else points to. Unless it’s Slott. Only when Slott points them in a particular direction will they charge in without question.

    1. “That is a trifecta of people that Slott has animosity towards.”

      He even has his own Nixonian enemies list. 😉

      “From what I understand, if anyone would have preferred if Peter never graduated, wasn’t it Steve Ditko?”

      That’s what I thought. I always heard Ditko was the one who didn’t want him to leave high school. I can understand a writer not wanting to age his character too quickly, particularly if he had a lot of material for that age range he wanted to cover. Ultimately, however, I think some form of (delayed) aging is the way to go.

      “They’re not interested in going to where someone else points to. Unless it’s Slott. Only when Slott points them in a particular direction will they charge in without question.”

      He’s done a nice job creating a giant safe-space by blocking anyone who disagrees with him. Heh. If he wanted to talk with you, a.) he should have never have blocked your account, and b.) he should not have shared a link to your page that would result in a swarm of attacks. He knows that most of his followers had no intention of having a real debate, but decided to sic them on you anyway. That’s rather sad to send minions to do his dirty work.

  15. I agree that a delayed aging suits the character. I believe the particular argument that Slott cites is that Peter would have *NEVER* left high school. Slott never seems to indicate if he disagrees with that, just that marriage is wrong. I guess it’s wrong for Peter to earn money from his supermodel wife, but it’s okay if Peter is a financially stable CEO of a leading tech corporation whose influence allows Parker Industries to act as the Marvel Universe’s substitute for Apple without having to risk copyright infringement.

    Bye the way, here’s a surprise: Dan Slott apologized!

    And by “apologized”, I mean that he continued to double down on his attitude, and only apologized by emphasizing that he only responded to one of my tweets.

    http://community.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?86623-Would-Stan-Lee-view-Peter-Parker-as-quot-a-villain-quot/page2&p=2350987#post2350987

    At the bottom of the page, I chose to simply thank him for his apology rather than fall for more of his bait. However, I do expect Slott to look on this site and view the comments here, because he must be anxious to see what else I’m saying. After all, he’s indicated on CBR that he follows what I say on here, Twitter, Tumblr, and the Crawlspace. Because why not add “stalking” to the list of problems with his online behavior? Perhaps I missed something (After all, Slott once claimed that I lack reading comprehension, but I have since obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University), but Slott not once mentions that people went after me because of him. Am I to assume that it was included in that “way” he responded?

    He’s not owning up to what he did wrong. It sounds like “You want to hear an apology, and although I don’t believe you actually deserve one, I’ll perform the gesture of giving you an apology so you can stop asking for one.” It has about as much sincerity as Donald Trump quantifying his boasts of sexual harassment as a “more-than-a-decade-old video”, as if making gross comments has an expiration. Slott, like Trump, believes that it’s your fault for obsessing over what he says, and that means he doesn’t believe he’s accountable for having said it in the first place.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about the importance of words. Dan Slott, however, would sooner chastise you for doing something as silly as actually forming an understanding of what he meant. At least, an understanding that doesn’t conveniently match his own.

    1. “And by ‘apologized,’ I mean that he continued to double down on his attitude, and only apologized by emphasizing that he only responded to one of my tweets.”

      He also ignores the fact that he blocks people but then still reads their tweets. What moral authority does he have to lecture you about commenting on his promotional gigs when he’s engaging in downright bizarre and unhealthy behavior like that?

      I really like that he’s sticking to the “Stan [practically] said it!” defense (itself a red herring), while simultaneously not giving the exact quote. My guess is that he doesn’t do that because the word ‘villain’ was never used. That is the key to this entire discussion — words mean something. A “villain” is completely different than “guy whose life is complicated and at times painful because he has chosen to be a hero.

      Fact: Dan Slott gives promotional interviews to The Hollywood Reporter and countless other entertainment websites for the book.

      Fact: Dan Slott goes on all sorts of rants to nearly 100,000 Twitter followers.

      Given those facts, it is borderline psychotic to unblock a Twitter user he has blocked and then comment in a way that will direct 100,000 fans to berate said [formerly blocked] user.

      And yes, his apology rings hollow given that it is laced with sarcasm. He also pats himself on the back for not going off on CBR commenters in 2016.

      Translation: “You guys don’t even get it — I should be laying into you more often, but I haven’t.”

      Okay, Dan. Bravo. You managed to not act like a moron on the CBR boards in 2016. Here’s a lollipop.

  16. Apparently because I told him to “F*** off” and I criticize him on a regular basis, that justifies his own behavior. Never mind that I’m only hostile to him because his own aggressive behavior has frustrated me, but I think at this point, the back and forth between him and I is less about who threw the first punch years ago.

    At most, I would say the relationship between Peter Parker and Spider-Man is that Peter is an *ENEMY*, not a villain. “Enemy” captures the opposition between the two aspects of his life, but is not quite as loaded as “villain”. Or, as you said, Peter’s life is complicated as a result of his choice to be a hero. Another option would be to retain the “Who is your favorite villain?” question, and then begin your answer with a specific qualifier: “I believe calling him a villain may be too strong of a word, but…”, and then continue to answer with Peter.

    A couple of my followers did tag Slott and his own followers after I went on my rant. As soon as I noticed that, I IMMEDIATELY told everyone to not engage with either Slott or his followers. The most I wanted them to do was either report people they saw, or just Retweet/Like a tweet I made asking Marvel to stop Slott. I didn’t imagine that it woudl work, but I figured I would say it just for the sake of it.

    Besides, this isn’t the first time Slott has sent his followers my way after blocking me. You’ll have to scroll down a bit to get to where I’m involved, but feel free to read the whole thing: https://storify.com/AliasJones/here-we-go-again

    Dan has a habit of bragging about how he’s absolutely not going to bother with CBR, such as saying that he was happy to let his account go away when CBR reset its forums. And yet, he makes a new account anyway, and his very first posts are about insulting reading comprehension. Slott really loves to insult people’s mental faculties, calling them crazy, saying they “post religiously”, or just about anything to give the impression that if you don’t like his work, you’re some anti-OMD zealot or something.

    1. “Apparently because I told him to “F*** off” and I criticize him on a regular basis, that justifies his own behavior. Never mind that I’m only hostile to him because his own aggressive behavior has frustrated me, but I think at this point, the back and forth between him and I is less about who threw the first punch years ago.”

      Here’s a personal anecdote to put Dan Slott’s unprofessionalism into perspective. I work for a newspaper. I used to work for a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. But job required me to open up my inbox on a regular basis to see people calling me all sorts of mean and nasty names. One of my “favorite” ones asked me a question about my mom that shall not be repeated here… The point is this: I didn’t look these people up on Twitter and start arguing with them. I hit the delete button. Or if they were hostile towards religion I said I would pray for them. Heh. (I did pray for them, but in hindsight I should not have poked back in that way.)

      If Dan Slott didn’t want to associate with you and he blocked your account, then his decision ton continue acting with you is weird (and that’s putting it kindly.) Don’t let people who harass you on Twitter bother you because people who do that are not worth your time. Life is too short to get worked up over some loser who gets enjoyment out of making others cry.

      “Slott really loves to insult people’s mental faculties, calling them crazy, saying they “post religiously”, or just about anything to give the impression that if you don’t like his work, you’re some anti-OMD zealot or something.”

      Dan does not seem to like that putting your writing out there for the world to see — and doing promotional interviews for it — means that not everyone will like it. Some people will hate it. That just comes with the territory. It is extremely telling that he would rather bug someone he has blocked on Twitter over my articles than, you know, confront me.

      Dan doesn’t do that because he knows I’d take his “Stan Lee [practically] said it!” arguments to the woodshed.

      Doug: Marvel writer is wrong to conflate “villain” with “fallible hero.” Moral relativism is incompatible with Peter Parker.

      Dan Slott: Famous Marvel writer practically said the same thing!

      Doug: You’re not addressing my argument. In fact, you’re just making yourself look stupid.

      Dan: Raaaaargh! Attack, minions! Attttttttack! Co-bra-a-a-a!

  17. This article explains a lot. It explains exactly why Dan Slott doesn’t understand Peter Parker. It also explains why 99% of Dan Slott’s storylines feel like they came from a bad soap opera (the kind where every problem is due to a misunderstanding or contrived plot situation).

    The fact that he’s willingly writing a clone story also explains that he’s run out of ideas (badum tish).

    1. “This article explains a lot. It explains exactly why Dan Slott doesn’t understand Peter Parker.”

      Anyone who has wondered why Peter Parker has acted like an immature man-child who barely functions as a superhero under Slott needs to really hone in on his decision to use the word ‘villain.’ His fans seem to be downplaying his word-choice as if it doesn’t really mean anything, but I think it is incredibly informative.

      Either Dan Slott is a writer who is sloppy with loaded words, or he was being precise and we really need to analyze what it means to be a “villain.” One could argue that he’s just a giant troll as well, I suppose. Any one of those three options is not something that should inspire confidence in Peter Parker fans.

  18. I’ve wasted far too much time for Slott. I know it would be better to just drop it, but I keep hoping to get some resolution to this. That’s not a healthy desire, though. Slott has a hard time accepting criticism. I have to wonder if he was thinking “Hey, now that Clone Conspiracy has started, I wonder what Phantom Roxas thought about this?”

    Slott hides behind Stan Lee because he either can’t back up his own arguments, or he doesn’t think I’m worth the effort. So instead of hiding behind an authority he follows, he hides behind the people who follow him instead.

  19. I remember hearing an idea about theology, expressed by G.K. Chesterton that the interview reminds me of: “A heresy is at best a half-truth, but usually even less than that. A heresy is a fragment of the truth that is exaggerated at the expense of the rest of the truth.”

    There are quite a few points in that interview that I think are accurate. Spider-Man’s popularity is largely because he deals with the same things readers do, the way his superhero and personal lives intersect and complicate each other make for good storytelling, running him through the wringer does make for good drama, and I’d even argue that trying to find new kinds of stories to tell is the correct decision.

    The problem, IMHO, is that Slott draws the wrong conclusions from these things, like thinking Peter is the “villain,” or not working on new ideas that actually fit into the franchise (like, why did Slott make Spider-Man the new Iron Man, if he claims to believe the character isn’t an Iron Man-type?). In a lot of ways, if Slott’s Spider-heresies are “fragments of exaggerated truth,” it makes it harder to argue against. For example, a lot of people defend the Parker Industries angle by saying how Peter was always good at science, so him becoming Tony Stark is something that makes perfect sense.

    But does it really? I’m not that familiar with 616, but I do know a lot of other versions, and most of those (generally considered to be faithful to the spirit of the character) don’t really show him as a future Iron Man-type or even offer concrete evidence that he would not become one. And that’s not even going into the question how the heck the Iron Man setting reflects the main theme of the character (responsibility). But, since the connection between “good with science” and “industrialist” seems to work on paper, people can point and claim that this is a good story-telling decision, regardless of the fact that it has precious little to with the Spider-Man franchise’s themes and contradicts the basic premise of the story (a superhero who has a normal life when off-duty, is the underdog when on-duty, and has fewer resources than his peers).

  20. Peter was always purely a scientist, but not a businessman. In fact, several of his greatest enemies were businessmen (Osborn, Toomes), which gave classical ASM something of a populist color — poor young guy from Queens battles the Suits. So no, there was no obvious trajectory for Peter to become a major rich guy. It’s more likely Peter would end up being self-employed (patenting clever but medium-sized inventions), or working for someone else. You can see a scenario where Peter works for a think-tank where the big boss kind of knows who he is, and wink-wink sends Peter out on “assignments” whenever Spider-Man is needed.

    Slott has driven the “his own worst enemy” thing well into the ground. That is a Slott writing characteristic — he takes one character feature then balloons it up grotesquely. That’s how comedy writers think, and Slott is a comedy writer. He’s sort of the Mirror Universe J.M. DeMatthies.

    1. “Peter was always purely a scientist, but not a businessman. In fact, several of his greatest enemies were businessmen (Osborn, Toomes), which gave classical ASM something of a populist color — poor young guy from Queens battles the Suits. So no, there was no obvious trajectory for Peter to become a major rich guy. It’s more likely Peter would end up being self-employed (patenting clever but medium-sized inventions), or working for someone else. You can see a scenario where Peter works for a think-tank where the big boss kind of knows who he is, and wink-wink sends Peter out on ‘assignments’ whenever Spider-Man is needed.”

      Can you write ASM, Jack? Please?!

      “Slott has driven the ‘his own worst enemy’ thing well into the ground. That is a Slott writing characteristic — he takes one character feature then balloons it up grotesquely. That’s how comedy writers think, and Slott is a comedy writer. He’s sort of the Mirror Universe J.M. DeMatthies.”

      There is so much “win” with this comment I don’t even know where to begin… 🙂 I mentioned in the YouTube video that Peter has become a “fun-house mirror” version of himself under Slott, so we’re on the same page.

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