2007 Year in Review Part 2

Discuss your thoughts on the articles written by J.R. Fettinger from the www.spideykicksbutt.com website.

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2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby MadGoblin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:07 am

http://www.spidermancrawlspace.com/wordpress/2010/07/27/spidey-kicks-butt-com-spider-man-2007-the-road-to-hell-pt-2/#more-11834

And thanks to Brad for adding all of the images (except for JMS holding the "I love the Crawlspace" sign.

Read at your peril.

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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby Donomark » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:14 am

http://cbfrevue.libsyn.com/ The Comic Book Film Revue Podcast!
http://dbznextdimension.libsyn.com/ EPISODE 32! Super Saiyan 3!
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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby CrazyChris » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:09 pm

Great article, JR. This is actually one of the better year in review segments you've done. You did a very fair appraisal of JMS' run, and your thoughts on various topics like the totem arc, JMS's politics, and the 9/11 issue were noticibly more fair-minded than your original reviews back when we were in the midst of it. I don't think there's a single point I can argue with. You're on the money about pretty much everything, and, even though it was a relatively brief article relative to the scope of material you covered, it seems like you saw all the angles on the topics you brought up.

The only place I would differ with you is that I actually do think JMS' run was "great." It wasn't perfect, it wasn't consistent, and not every idea worked in the long run, but I was never bored with his run. He broke new ground with the character of Spider-Man, and there are only a few writers who have managed to do that. When I read a JMS Spider-Man issue, it really does seem like I'm reading about someone who is a little smarter and a little wiser from the experiences depicted over the 40 years of Spider-Comics leading up to his run. It seemed like Peter was going where he needed to go next. Marvel has become so reactionary with all of their characters, lately, that I don't know when we'll see a run this forward-thinking again.

Thank you for such a well-though-out and fair analyses. I can't wait for your next segment! [smilie=spidey_clap.gif]
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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby raddude » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:52 pm

Great read as always JR and an interesting perspective. I had no idea that JMS had one of the 3 longest runs in Spidey history. I actually missed most of his run, but what I have read I liked a whole lot.

As I mentioned before Clone Saga drove me from comics completely for 10 years until I read in USA Today about Spidey unmasking and figured that was something I had to read. That said the state of the new Marvel that I foundd left me woefully underwhelmed with the lone exception of the cosmic titles (but then I've always loved Cosmic Marvel as back in the 90s was Quasar was my favorite title Marvel published), and after about year (from Civil War to World War Hulk) I was getting ready to bail again when I was Wikipediaing some of the old 90s characters I remembered and found a link to your site (The Carnage page links to you as an authority on Maximum Carnage being considered one of the worst Spidey stories ever published). Anyway your articles reminded me of how much I liked Spidey and inspired me to pick up some discount trades. The first one I grabbed at the $5 bin ended up being the initial Morlun story, which I found to be an absolute epic-level instant classic with big ideas (I like the idea of the mystic destiny stuff), intense stakes and really some of the most gorgeous art I've ever seen in a Spidey tale.

Needless to say liking that story that much inspired me to go back about a week or two later and pick up a few more discount Spidey trades, including the follow-up with Aunt May finding out the secret (a really well-done quiet human tale in contrast to the big action Morlun epic) (I also got a few non-JMS $5 spidey trades that weren't half as good involving some yellow dude blowing up a building and Osborn's old partner turning into a suicidal computer-but hey it was only $5)

The other JMS trade I eventually tracked down was the Spider-Totem sequal with Spidey and Ezekial on the cover and I loved that too with Spidey and Loki sharing a hot dog being a literal laugh out loud scene and the banter with Ezekial at dinner with Spidey and MJ being perhaps the most likable I've ever seen MJ written (I freely admit to not being much of an MJ fan, which is why I generally like Brand New Day; even though they way that got to that point is just about the worst possible way I could imagine doing it).

Overall from the sampling of tales I read I think JMS really got Peter, May and MJ as fleshed out human characters; given the latter two more depth than I saw in most of the decade plus prior to Clone Saga that I read way back when.
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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby raddude » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:24 pm

btw only slightly related but did anyone read the new Superman by JMS? I thought it was astonighingly excellent with JMS showing a lot of the same touches I liked in Spidey (fun banter between Supes and Lois, nice humorous touches, a feel for a how a hero and the people helps see each other). Now admiteddly I can count on one-hand the # of Superman stories I've purchased (and probably on two hands the # of DC stories in general) But this was as excellent portrayal of Supes as I could imagine. Of course I also consider Thoreau the single greatest thinker that ever lived, so a Superman who quotes Throreau is going to be right up my alley but even before with the final speech I found the whole story enthralling

Plus was it just me or was that Peter Parker cameo on page 7
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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby Spider-Dad » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:11 pm

JR, it has taken me awhile to read this and decide to comment, but I can say I am very pleased to read your stuff again. Overall, I must admit that I agree strongly on where JMS succeeded, (Aunt May, MJ and trying new things...teaching) but his failures also were just as strong, (Sins Past, too much Dr. Strange, etc...). But what surprised me is a fairly significant moment that you left out, and that is the return of Uncle Ben, albeit briefly. In issue #500 is Peter gets the "gift" of talking to Ben again, and it is one of the best parts of that issue and one of my favorites during the JMS era.

For me, I had just returned to comics with JMS, so I enjoyed his totem "crap". Especially the fact that Peter was not sure Ezekial was right and I interpreted that Peter somewhat rejected he was part of a grander plan. I also felt the series took a fall in quality when JR JR left the book. I was not happy win Sins Past, (Norman did Gwen, but Peter never did???? WTF?) or with him joining the Avengers, since I always saw him as a loner. Civil War seemed forced and his unmasking to this day still does not make sense, (registering with the government I got, unmasking to the public???), which inevitably took us down the dark Back in Black\OMD path...blech.

So, do I think JMS' run was terrible? Not at all. It got me interested in Spider-Man again, he did some bold things and made Aunt May relevant for the first time EVER. Most importantly, you nailed it on the head, Peter did seem smarter during his run. However, I also felt that Peter was also more responsible, caring and his inner thoughts seemed like someone that was the sum of all his experiences. You are right that other writers, (most notably Bendis and the BrainTrust) too often portray Peter as a doofus and Spider-Man as comedy relief. For those reasons, I miss JMS on the title. For me, I always wondered how much time JMS really devoted to the execution of each arc and fleshing out the parts. That may explain why some of the ideas are so grand, but never really gelled...

Looking forward to reading more...
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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby MadGoblin » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:08 am

Spider-Dad wrote: But what surprised me is a fairly significant moment that you left out, and that is the return of Uncle Ben, albeit briefly. In issue #500 is Peter gets the "gift" of talking to Ben again, and it is one of the best parts of that issue and one of my favorites during the JMS era.


Uh, I had very mixed feelings about that scene. It kind of annoyed me that it was precipitated by an act of Dr. Strange's, which may neither be here nor there, and something that bugged me and no one else. Plus, was he really talking to Ben, or was it an illusion that Strange concocted to give him a moment's happiness, since Strange knows who he is (or did until the mindwipe which was Mephisto's originally,but due to the linear theory of time couldn't have been because...eh, I'll get into that later) and how tortured he is? I think Nate Grey did something similar for Peter once, giving him a memory of Aunt May while in his sleep. And you'd think I could relate to a scene where someone gets to speak with a long-dead parent and essentially "close the book," but it did nothing for me. Yet the dialogue-free last panel of one of Paul Jenkins' stories totally tore me up. Can't explain it.

Spider-Dad wrote:For me, I had just returned to comics with JMS, so I enjoyed his totem "crap". Especially the fact that Peter was not sure Ezekial was right and I interpreted that Peter somewhat rejected he was part of a grander plan.


I liked the idea in principle as well, but thought it was ill-timed and not particularly well executed. But everyone's mileage varies...

Spider-Dad wrote:I was not happy win Sins Past, (Norman did Gwen, but Peter never did???? WTF?)


I never saw Peter as particularly sexually aggressive until Mary Jane "turned on the switch," so to speak and then Felicia set it to "turbo charge." After that, with greater power comes greater ambitions and appetites....As far as Gwen's pursuing of sex, Lee/Ditko Gwen - very possible, Lee/Romita Gwen - not so much. So that's a tough call, particularly since Stan started running out of gas about this time and (I thought) began to put the series on autopilot (with the exception of the drug issues - but that came as a request of the govt). But, taking the retcon into account, considering that when her releationship with Peter began to heat up, she would probably have also discovered she was pregnant with another man's children, that might have impacted on whether or not she made any advances or how she responded to advances Peter might have made. To this day I can't tell you with ANY degree of certainty how a woman will react, pregnant, not pregnant, during the 5 days or not....and that's even after 21 years and two kids...
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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby Donomark » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:15 pm

MadGoblin wrote: To this day I can't tell you with ANY degree of certainty how a woman will react, pregnant, not pregnant, during the 5 days or not....and that's even after 21 years and two kids...


Preach it brotha man...
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Re: 2007 Year in Review Part 2

Postby Spider-Dad » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:18 pm

MadGoblin wrote:
Spider-Dad wrote: But what surprised me is a fairly significant moment that you left out, and that is the return of Uncle Ben, albeit briefly. In issue #500 is Peter gets the "gift" of talking to Ben again, and it is one of the best parts of that issue and one of my favorites during the JMS era.


Uh, I had very mixed feelings about that scene. It kind of annoyed me that it was precipitated by an act of Dr. Strange's, which may neither be here nor there, and something that bugged me and no one else. Plus, was he really talking to Ben, or was it an illusion that Strange concocted to give him a moment's happiness, since Strange knows who he is (or did until the mindwipe which was Mephisto's originally,but due to the linear theory of time couldn't have been because...eh, I'll get into that later) and how tortured he is? I think Nate Grey did something similar for Peter once, giving him a memory of Aunt May while in his sleep. And you'd think I could relate to a scene where someone gets to speak with a long-dead parent and essentially "close the book," but it did nothing for me. Yet the dialogue-free last panel of one of Paul Jenkins' stories totally tore me up. Can't explain it.


With Dr. Strange making more than his usual appearances under JMS, I can see how that could have bugged you. Myself, I enjoy Dr. Strange and found this scene touching, especially when compared to the House of M storyline the following year.

As for the mindwipe, don't go there. We all know that "everything" still happened, so Dr. Strange did know who Peter was...and so during that "moment in time", he would have known his identity...
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