Now, I’m sure that most good Spidey fans have been following the debate during the last few months over Spidey’s status, and if you haven’t been – well then you’re probably one of the smart ones who’s paying attention to the more important things in life, that’s for sure. But for those of us who live our lives vicariously through superheroes – let me toss a few quotes at you from the powers that be:
”Meanwhile, Peter’s life will be going through some changes as well. There will be a re-exploration of some of the old Daily Bugle supporting cast and an introduction of some of the new supporting cast members.”
”The Spider-Man books need an influx of new blood in terms of villains that Spidey goes up against, and we’ve got a storyline cooking that will give us just that.”
”I want readers to put down the first couple of issues and say “This is fun again.” That’s pretty much it. I want it to be fun. I want to put back in the sense of wonder.”
”So we’re trying to get back to the essence of who the character is. We’ve had a lot of distractions over the past bunch of years. It’s not really a reboot or a revamp, but a refocus. Refocusing on what made Spider-Man Spider-Man.”
”Re-reading the earliest issues of Spider-Man, the thing that always made Spider-Man unique was that so much of it was about Peter Parker. Three quarters of the book was just Peter Parker soap opera stuff with high school or Aunt May, and then Spider-Man had to get into the costume, pop off and do the superhero thing.”
”I think marriage aged Peter and MJ instantly. They’re suddenly being portrayed as a married couple, as opposed to a young couple. It took away the chances for any sort of romantic tension. That’s part of what defines Peter Parker.”
Who said this?
(a) Joe Quesada in 2007
(b) Steve Wacker in 2007
(c) Dan Slott in 2008
(d) Tom Breevort in his “manifesto” in the Swing Shift Director’s Cut, or
(e) Howard Mackie in 1998.
The winner is…..
Drum roll please…..
HOWARD MACKIE IN 1998!
Yes, that’s right boys and girls. The first three quotes were from the November 1998 issue of Marvel Magazine, and the latter three were from the Wizard Spider-Man Special issued around that same time, 10 years ago!.
Oh, and let’s try this on for shits and giggles:
”The biggest problem with Spider-Man is that he’s been broken for so long there’s a whole generation that doesn’t know he’s been broken. That’s been the real challenge of doing this – fixing a character that current readers don’t realize isn’t what he was intended to be.”
That, my friends was from John Byrne, in the same aforementioned Wizard special.
I find this all pretty interesting in light of the last few years of Amazing Spider-man, since Slott took over and it became 2 times a month.
- The series became overrun by guest stars, from the Avengers to the Fantastic Four to Avengers Academy.
- Peter, his 50th anniversary and his story were brushed aside for the likes of Alpha, SpOck, Silk and now "every Spider-man EVAH!!!".
- Peter is now often acknowledged by readers as acting like an incompetent, immature buffoon. Not unlike the very start of BND and Slott's first Mr Negative arc.
- Mary Jane appears sporadically, if at all.
So, I ask--is ASM really any better over six years on from OMD/BND/OMIT? Is the franchise any less "broken" now than it was? Is the focus really on Peter Parker as Spider-man, and has he shown any significant character growth or been affected by anything he's gone through?
I'd be interested to hear your opinions.