Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Will the real Spidey please do what a Spider can! (pretty please)

I just finished reading Ultimate Spider-Man 121. Prior to that, I read Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #38, and in both books the 15-year-old Spider-Man, acted responsibly, intellectually, and heroically, three things that are inexplicably lacking in the post BND-Amazing Spider-Man.

In Marvel Adventures #38, the young Peter used his scientific knowledge to defeat Swarm, and in Ultimate Spider-Man he (in seven short pages) beat the stuffings out of Omega Red (who, I believe, in the Main Marvel Universe has given the X-Men a serious run for their collective monies). Meanwhile, in Amazing, Spidey has let a pair of non-powered street muggers escape, hasn’t had a solid win over a single bad guy, torn his uniform, lost his web shooter, and, well, you get the point.

It isn’t that either of these books are being written brilliantly (which is not to say that they are not being well-written, they are), it is to say that there is way too much editorial interference being exerted on Amazing. What we are seeing in Amazing is a perfect example of the old adage that too many cooks spoil the broth. Management should see this, step back from the mix, and trust the very talented creators that they’ve hired to work their magic.

I realize that this current approach — at its core — is supposed to be a “Back to Basics” approach, but it simply isn’t. It is the worst sort of fixing what ‘ain’t broke. I still say that I would have loved to have experienced a Post-Civil War Marvel Universe where Spidey was on the run. I still feel that we were cheated out of a slam-bang punch-out between Iron Spidey and Iron Man (Stark wouldn’t have had a chance). I still think that Dan Slott’s most amazing “fix” to the Spidey’s identity woes (as depicted in the brilliantly-written Avengers Initiative #7) was inappropriately and cavalierly tossed aside too quickly (although I spoke briefly with Dan at the recent NY Comic Con and he told me that that will still figure largely into what is to come, I can hardly wait).

Finally, lest someone read the above and think that I’m mean-spirited or simply a nay-sayer, that is so not the case. I love this character. I have always had (and still do) a huge fondness for Spider-Man, and I really don’t need him to be written “my” way. I would love for him to grow and evolve as a character. What I object to is that the current editorial team simply won’t allow that to occur. It is as if they that want to see him stuck in some weird 1960 time loop that will simply not allow the character to evolve and achieve his true potential.

I can only hope that editorial and/or management will ultimately see that allowing this travesty of a storyline to end, and let Peter Parker come back from whatever pocket-universe Limbo/Hell in which he is currently trapped. For I know the truth. The Peter Parker I know would NEVER had made a deal with the devil, not to save Aunt May, not to save MJ, not to bring back Gwen from the dead. He is one of the most morally straight characters ever conceived; and the deal with the Mephisto so completely goes against the fundamental core of what drives this character — “With Great Power, comes Great Responsibility” — there is nothing responsible about dealing with the Prince of Lies, for any reason. Ever.

Think I’m wrong? then pick up a copy of Avengers Classic #11, read the back-up story (an encounter between a young Spidey and a newly-revived Captain America) and then tell me I’m wrong. You won’t be able to do so. This short piece is as wonderful a story about Spidey as I’ve ever read, and supports my own personal theory that Spidey is my generation’s Captain America.


Tommy said...

A major fight would have been nice.

I do know that if Pete punched Stark's exposed face the way he did his helmet, well...that would just be wrong. But still...!!! (This is from OMD Pt. 1)

Anyhoo, if you haven't seen the new Spidey cartoon yet, do so, get a big spider-boner, and enjoy the benefits of being married. Q_o

Reggie White Jr. said...

Here, here! I've been saying for months now that the Spider-Man in USM and MASM behaves so much more responsibly than Spider-Jughead or whatever peon that is in ASM.

I went to my comic shop to find that issue of Avengers Classic and I couldn't find it!!