Marvel’s Spider-Joke: Predictable Chip Zdarsky makes critics look like prognosticators

Your friendly neighborhood blogger does not make predictions very often, but when I do they tend to come true. Take, for instance, the time I predicted that “Spider-Rockets” would grace the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man and it came true within months. I took no glee in the development, but at the same time I am grateful to have it as a data point when people question my judgment on Spidey-related matters.

Sadly, we now have another instance of yours truly playing the role of the successful prognosticator when it comes to Marvel Comics. I said in June with the launch of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man that there was a 75 percent chance he would wind up doing standup comedy with his mask on by issue 12.

Note: I was ahead of the game by eight issues.

Check out my video below for more on the damage that writer Chip Zdarsky is doing to Peter Parker’s credibility, and as always feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Update: It appears as though Diversity & Comics is finally coming around on ASM’s Dan Slott. That means it is now time for me to give him some good-natured mockery: Vindicated!

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Marvel’s ‘Clerksification’: Dante Spencer’s and Randal Zdarsky’s effect on comics

Over 20 years have passed since director Kevin Smith made Dante Hicks and Randal Graves famous. Clerks put him on the Hollywood map and endeared him to a generation of young writers, but there is no doubt that many of them learned the wrong lessons from his 90s “slackers.” Two contenders include Nick Spencer and Chip Zdarsky, who are guilty of what I’ve deemed the Clerksification of Marvel Comics.

To give you an idea of what my latest YouTube video is about, consider the tagline for Clerks, which goes as follows:

“Just because they serve you doesn’t mean they like you.”

Indeed, Marvel creators these days make no secret of their disdain of long-term customers, and will even tell fans not to buy the product during political disagreements. To better understand what’s going on, we must examine Mr. Smith’s work and how its sensibilities continue to reverberate in the minds of Marvel’s employees.

If you read through Secret Empire and Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, then you should see the creative fingerprints of Mr. Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and a slew of others. Unfortunately, instead of Pulp Fiction-quality work fans received Hydra-Cap and Hipster Spider-Man.

‘Peter Parker: The Chiptacular Zdarsky-Man’ more clown than hero

There was a time not too long ago when I was excited about Chip Zdarsky’s take on everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man gave fans hope that Marvel would get back to basics and away from Peter Parker: The Not so Spectacular Tony Stark Clone.

Sadly, it appears as though Mr. Zdarsky’s take on Spider-Man continues Marvel’s obsession with turning the character into an immature man-boy. The superhero is most certainly a funny guy, but he isn’t a total goofball.

Readers should never wonder if Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive clown instead of a radioactive spider, but that is unfortunately the case with PPSSM #2.

Check out my latest YouTube video for a more extensive run-down, and be sure to subscribe if you enjoy the video format.

Editor’s Note: A YouTube subscriber asked me to share this image on the blog for future reference. Critics often say that guys like me are imagining things when we say Marvel writers and editors use the books to push an agenda. 

Spectacular SpiderMan 2

Spectacular Spider-Man #1: Chip Zdarsky’s joke machine debuts with slew of extras

Peter Parker fans had high hopes for the past few months as Chip Zdarsky’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man neared its released date. Dan Slott’s The Amazing Spider-Man, even for those who enjoy his work, is like eating a ham sandwich every day for roughly 10 years. Therefore, you can’t blame a guy for grabbing peanut butter and jelly at the first opportunity.

But was it any good? The short answer: It’s complicated.

If you think Peter Parker should be a joke machine, then this book may be for you.

If you think Spider-Man must constantly have an ensemble cast around him in order to truly shine, then this book may be for you.

If you think Peter Parker would have a hard time trouble-shooting his own web-shooters, then this book may be for you.

There is more to say, but for that I invite you to check out my latest YouTube review. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’m interested in hearing your take.