Dan Slott’s moral relativism takes Peter down Otto’s path in Amazing Spider-Man #26

Moral relativism is a problem in Marvel comic books these days. If you ever wanted to see what it can do to a good character, then look no further than The Amazing Spider-Man #26 by writer Dan Slott. The character who recently resorted to corporate espionage to gain access to another company’s intellectual property rights now has decided to risk everything to topple a sovereign nation.

Yes, that’s right, Parker Industries is supposed to be a technology empire worth billions, but its CEO is willing to risk it all — the jobs of his employees, the Uncle Ben Foundation, the livelihood of his shareholders — all for some out-of-the-blue quest to take down Norman Osborn. Peter Parker under Dan Slott has turned into a Captain Ahab-ish character who is on the hunt for an elusive green whale. And to find the mysterious Goblin Whale he will do anything — no matter what the costs or who he hurts in the process — to make it happen.

In short, when Doctor Octopus calls Spider-Man a “self-righteous twit” in an issue of ASM, the reader should never side with the villain. Sadly, that is exactly what happens in ASM #26.

For more details, I invite you to check out my latest YouTube video. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments section below, as always.

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Amazing Spider-Man #25: Dan Slott’s Peter Parker wonders if punching Asian criminals is racist

It’s a rare occurrence when a Marvel comic is worth multiple blog posts, but The Amazing Spider-Man #25 has managed to pull off the ignominious feat. The anti-faith claptrap that was shoved into Peter Parker’s mouth was covered yesterday, but today I would like to address writer Dan Slott’s decision to turn criminal beatdowns into an occasion for political correctness.

Mr. Slott’s version of Peter Parker literally wonders if there is something wrong with punching Asian thugs while in China.

“Doesn’t it feel weird that we’re only beating up … Asian people? I’m just used to beating up people of all races and creeds,” Peter says after an interrogation. When Mockingbird asks if he would feel better fighting masked criminals he says, “I know it’s a cop-out, but yeah, it would.”

Yes, that’s right, an entire page of of creative real estate was dedicated to the racial dynamics of beating up Asian criminals in China. That, my friends, is Marvel Comics in 2017. Writers like Dan Slott are so concerned about shoring up their PC credibility that they will sacrifice character and plot development in favor of racial diatribes.

There is much more to say, but for that I would like to point you to my latest YouTube video. Make sure to hit the subscribe button if the format is up your alley, and feel free to share your thoughts on all-things Spider-Man in the comments section below.

 

Editor’s Note: I plan on doing a live discussion on YouTube on March 25th at 3:00 p.m. EST. with Mike McNulty (Stillanerd) from Whatever a Spider Can. The topic of the day will be the craft of writing — with ASM as our creative backdrop.

Also, consider this recent tweet by Mr. Slott if you doubt that the ASM creative team was thinking about Richard Spencer when they were thinking about Doc Ock’s new look, haircut, etc., as part of Hydra. When will someone conduct an intervention and tell these people that their obsession with politics is unhealthy?

Spencer

Related:

Dan Slott shoves anti-faith bilge into Peter Parker’s mouth in ASM #25 because reporters shouldn’t believe in God … or something

Amazing Spider-Man #14: Dan Slott puts ‘lipstick on a Regent-pig’

Regent SheThor

Marvel scribe Dan Slott hit a home run with 2015’s Renew Your Vows, but the feat happened despite the creation of a lame villain — Regent. ASM #14 attempts to once again elevate the character into upper echelons of evil, but one cannot help but think of the old line about putting “lipstick on a pig” while reading. Giuseppe Camuncoli puts forth a worthy effort to make the character look cool in costume (don’t ask about supporting cast), but readers care more about the side-stories than the main event.

Here is what you need to know about ASM #14.

  • Ms. Marvel, Nova, Captain America, Vision, and She-Thor are all captured by Regent.
  • Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and MJ tell Miles Morales’ parents that their son (also taken hostage) won a science contest, but is safe … somewhere … with no internet access … on purpose. (Note: This kind of idea only worked in Captain America: Civil War because Peter Parker wasn’t missing.)
  •  MJ tells Peter, “You have no idea how glad I am to have all of this ‘secret identity’ nonsense out of my life. Tony’s not perfect, but with him everything is out in the open.” (Don’t tell Dan Slott, but that is 180 degrees from the truth — Bendis’ Tony Stark disappears for weeks at a time for undercover missions, and no-one knows if he’s dead or alive.)
  • Aunt May coughs up blood and keeps it from her husband.
  • Harry Osborn Lyman calls for a meeting with Augustus Roman and reveals that he knows the businessman is Regent. Harry says he knows Betty Brant was kidnapped, and then uses webware to warn Spider-Man that he is in danger.
  • Spider-Man and Iron Man are crushed by Regent, whose suit was pushed to its limit.

Even if one were to take the position that Regent is an exciting new character, it doesn’t change the fact that readers are getting a rehashed version of Renew Your Vows less than one year after its publication. At least when Marvel does something as tired and worn out as Aunt May dying…the company waits a few years before hitting the “recycle” button. This is like a rerun of your favorite television show after the first three episodes of its new season.

Aunt May

As is often the case with Mr. Slott’s work, there are a lot of pieces shuffled around the chessboard while ultimately not a whole lot goes on. The story bounces from setup to setup (You’re going to love how this comes together in Dead No More, kids!) while ignoring the attention to detail that makes single issues soar.

For instance, Regent dispatches with heavy-hitting heroes like Vision and Captain America in a single panel. He battles She-Thor in what is teased as an epic clash, only to show her captured in an energy bubble two pages later. It’s jarring. It’s strange, and it just isn’t enough for a relatively new character who is met with indifference by most fans.

Regent

If you are the kind of Marvel fan who has collected ASM since 1975 and don’t want to break up your complete set, then make sure to head on out to your local comic book shop this week. For everyone else, I suggest waiting until the reviews for Dead No More are published before you consider opening up your wallets.

‘Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #1’: Gage offers reprieve from Slott fare

Civil War II ASM 1

Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #1 came out on Wednesday, which gave Marvel fans an opportunity to see how everyone’s favorite wall crawler reacted to the Inhuman prognosticator at its core.  It is safe to say that writer Christos Gage offered more intrigue in a single issue than ASM writer Dan Slott in months.

Here is what you need to know for Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #1:

  • Peter Parker lands in New York City after a long flight from Shanghai. He crawls into bed at Parker Industries headquarters to take a quick nap and is shocked to find Johnny Storm — naked. He tells Johnny to put some clothes on or “flame on” so he can turn around. The Human Torch reminds Peter that he is scheduled to spend time with Ulysses, the Inhuman who can see and “experience” possible futures.
  • Spider-Man takes down the Vulture and the “Vulturions” over New York City. Ulysses is with the hero.
  • The two men make their way to Chinatown and stop a rage-filled man who was going to murder his ex-girlfriend.
  • Spider-Man tells Ulysses that if he hones his power, then he can help Parker Industries narrow down projects that will make it through the research and development phase — and therefore help a greater number of people.
  • Ulysses takes a tour of Parker Industries and meets Harry Osborn  **cough**Lyman**cough** and Clayton Cole.
  • Ulysses tells Spider-Man that Clayton Cole, aka Clash, will likely revert to his old ways. The Inhuman tells Spider-Man to prepare for an attack.

As I mentioned in the comments section of my review for Civil War II #1, there is incredible danger in fully embracing a man who only sees possible futures. Ulysses actually admits in the issue that his predictions “almost” always come true, but not 100 percent of the time.

What if, simply by allowing doubt to creep into his mind over his employee’s integrity, Peter Parker inadvertently plants the seeds for Mr. Cole’s recidivism?

What if Ulysses is unknowingly a harbinger of doom that can only transpire if heroes alter the “future-dominos” for him?

These are all very interesting questions, the kind of which are sorely lacking in The Amazingly Immature Spider-Man these days.

Clayton Cole Cvil War II ASM 1

Perhaps the only odd note the issue hits is the opportunistic way that Peter latches onto Ulysses and his ability. He rightly tells the young man that he can probably use his powers to affect more lives than he realizes, but the moment is ruined with a hasty job offer at Parker Industries. Readers want to believe Peter is not exploiting the situation, but it’s hard not to wonder given how petty and immature the character is under Slott’s direction.

Overall, if you’re looking for a book that gets the Civil War II ball rolling, then check out Christos Gage’s work. His effort also serves as a good audition for the role of lead ASM scribe. For the first time in many months I have not felt embarrassed for the title, and that is a good thing. I look forward to buying Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Civil War II ASM 1 Spider-Man

Exit Question: Is it me, or did this issue highlight how Peter Parker filled his entire inner circle at the company — courtesy of Dan Slott — with back-stabbers, criminals, and super villains?

  • Anna Maria Marconi: Doc Ock’s girlfriend. She went behind Peter’s back with Sanjani on Doc Ock’s nano-technology project.
  • Sanjani: She tried to strike a deal with The Ghost — a corporate saboteur — to destroy Parker Industries.
  • Lien Tang: Peter’s girlfriend tried to murder Spider-Man and traded company secrets to a terrorist organization.
  • Jacob Fury, aka Vernon Jacobs: Parker Industries’ biggest shareholder — and Peter’s “secret Santa” at the company Christmas party — ended up being the terrorist mastermind Scorpio.
  • Clayton Cole: Mr. Cole was formerly the villain known as Clash.
  • Harry Osborn: It’s really only a matter of time before Harry falls off the Green Goblin wagon. We might as well get it over with.
  • Living Brain: The robot is Doctor Octopus.

Confront Moral Relativism and…Do it Live!

Over the past few years we’ve heard a lot about “corporate greed.” Apparently, all those guys inventing technology that raises the standard of living for tens-of-millions of people around the globe are also going to be the cause of America’s ultimate demise. (For those nerds out there, this is like Marvel Comics’ reverse claim that the same serum that killed Harry Osborn…saved him.) But I digress. And I’ll put aside the blog post that explains how it’s really Christmas holiday public policy drops and the ideas floated about by boneheads in Congress that warp market incentives and exacerbate human beings’ base instincts. The market harnesses human “greed” and redirects it in ways that benefit society. For further reading I suggest Dinesh D’Souza’s fabulous book The Virtual of Prosperity: Finding Values in the Age of Techno-Affluence.

Today, I’d like to focus more on what for now I’ll just deem Spiritual Greed. This is something that is much more dangerous to society than a corporate CEO giving himself and his buddies a “golden parachute.” And it’s most-readily planted inside you by the moral relativism espoused by liberals.

If you don’t believe there are objective truths that can be self-evident, you find yourself in a world where fellow Americans actually make the case for a “living Constitution” (or as Thomas Sowell notes, a dying Constitution.

Multi-culturalism, moral relativism, and a me, me, me, mentality pushed by the entertainment industry come together in a toxic soup to produce things like Bush-Hitler elementary school projects, chat room users who encourage suicide like crazed-sideline sports fans, and large swathes of society asserting “all cultures are the same” when that is certainly not the case.

Corporations do have responsibilities to surrounding communities. I don’t dispute that. But when the moral fabric of society falls apart like Weezer’s sweater because its left flank is okay with being a nation of narcissists, they shouldn’t be surprised by the wreckage left behind.

Whenever a liberal politician tries to split the nation into “Two Americas,” – private sector vs. public sector – before demonizing entrepreneurs and businessmen, take a real close look before making any decisions.

I’m not an angel (the Lord knows that). I’ve made my mistakes. But the difference between a liberal and a conservative is that deep down the conservative knows when he’s wrong. The conservative acknowledges that he’s fallible and tries to rise above it. Liberalism, by contrast, encourages you to sit in a cesspool of self indulgence and depravity without even knowing it.

We need to fight this. And all of the outgrowth spawned from it. And we need to do it live.