The Amazing Spider-Man #28 sounds on the surface like it would be a great book. It features classic bad guy Norman Osborn going face-to-face with Peter Parker in a “no holds barred” brawl. Neither man has his powers to rely on, which means it’s just a gold old fashioned slugfest — the winner will likely be the guy with a deeper reserve of intestinal fortitude. Sadly, writer Dan Slott once again over-promised and under-delivered.

If you ever wondered what Marvel’s editors like Nick Lowe do these days, ASM #28 provides the answer: not much.

  • This is the kind of comic you get when you use nostalgia as a crutch to hide a lack of character development.
  • This is the kind of comic you get when you want to be buddies with your writer instead of his editor.
  • This is the kind of comic you get when you, as the writer, create a digital echo chamber and block anyone who offers intelligent criticism of your work.
  • This is the kind of comic you get when you think that giving a tacit nod to your critics somehow erases the legitimacy of their claims.

Aspiring writers should read ASM #28, if for no other reason than to see what happens when a decent idea crashes head-first into a wall of hubris.

Listen to your critics. Learn from them. Humble yourself before the collective wisdom of your fans and then adjust to what you’re hearing because if you don’t then you will write stories that fall flat.

For more on this topic, I invite you to check out my latest YouTube review. As always, make sure to subscribe if it’s up your alley and leave any feedback you have in the comments section below. Whether it’s on YouTube or this blog, I read them all and try to respond to as many as possible.


  1. I don’t know if you are reading Aquaman, but if not you should collect the current story arc that started in issue 23, as it is a clear allegory for the our modern political discourse. I won’t get into specifics other than to say that while I am sure I am meant to side with Arthur (he is the protagonist), I find myself agreeing ideologically with the antagonist. Now as the reader I can see that the antagonist is going to take their plans to the extreme and do things I would never support or condone, but their reason for them to oust Arthur is one I agree with.

    The point of all that was to say, that while I can almost guarantee this will go in a direction I politically disagree with, Dan Abnett is such a great writer and the story is so well told, I am enthralled by it. Same thing with Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run, he politics in that book where atrocious, but the story was so well written it made for a good read.

    I think too often these writers think so little of their readers they can’t fathom someone would like a story they ideologically disagree with, so they basically just go full ham and stop trying.

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