Blah Blah Blog – Spidey Answers 7

Another post from my long-ago marvel blog, part of a sequence in which I answered questions from the fans about the post-One More Day AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Spidey Answers pt. 7

October 21, 2008 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Okay, I think we’re just about finished with our Spidey Q & A today, assuming I can blow through the last of the outstanding questions. And just in time—I get the sense that most people are as sick of talking about this at this point as I am. Still, depending on how I feel tomorrow, I may yet respond to a couple of points from the response threats. Or I may not—we’ll see.

>1) how much before the final battle in SI is amazing at this point? >

It’s all Marvel Time, so I can’t give you a definitive answer until both of these stories are done. But they’re both vaguely contemporaneous, as you should be able to tell from the SECRET INVASION: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series.

>2) When will Amazing Spider Man start to pick up after the final battle in SI? Ok I gather their maybe story points you can’t get in to in these. So if you could just bast time line on current amazing spider man please?

Posted by s-i-d-e-r-m-a-n on 2008-10-09 15:26:42>

This is pretty much the same question, and I’ll have to give you the same answer—the same as I would give you for THOR or IRON MAN or CAPTAIN AMERICA or whatever: I can’t tell you about this until after SECRET INVASION ends.

>ok um I did have a another question. I’m interested in x men/spider man mini coming up my question about it is. Is it 616 or is set out of continuity?

Posted by s-i-d-e-r-m-a-n on 2008-10-09 16:14:11>

This is three questions, but I’ll give you an answer (provided you stop using that dopey 616 tag when referring to the mainstream Marvel Universe). X-MEN AND SPIDER-MAN is set within regular continuity, yes.

>Will Brian Bendis, Mark Millar, or Terry Moore ever write “Amazing Spider-Man?” >

Probably not while it’s coming out three times a month, no. (Well, maybe Terry…) But beyond that, never say never.

>Will Steve McNiven, Todd McFarlane, or John Romita Sr. ever return to penciling “Amazing Spider-Man?” Could Terry Moore pencil ASM?

Posted by pineappleprotein on 2008-10-09 16:28:09>

JRJR will be back for another extended storyline in January. Steve is always welcome, but still has the rest of “Old Man Logan” on his plate, and Todd’s made it very clear over the years that you’re not likely to see him return to penciling anything regularly, particularly not anything for Marvel. And Terry’s not out of the question, but there aren’t any plans for it at the moment.

>I know from previous statements that you have made that you feel OMD/BND had to happen. I don’t agree, but I respect your opinion. Would you personally have done it the way it was eventually done with Mephisto, everyone forgetting Pete’s identity, etc or is there a different plot device you would have liked to have seen used to “remove” the marriage? >

This all falls under the realm of “coulda-woulda-shoulda.” As I mentioned in an earlier answer, different guys working on different books at different times produce different results. If I had directly edited “One More Day”, it would have been different in some ways from what wound up seeing print. I can’t tell you if it would have been better or worse, more or less beloved—but it would have been different. And yet, it would also have been largely the same, assuming that JMS and Joe Q was still the creative team, since the story that was told was ultimately of their devising, so in all likelihood Mephisto would still have been the prime mover.

>If you were a fan who were opposed to BND, apart from dropping Spider-man completely, what do you think the most efficacious way to get the powers that be at Marvel to reverse their decision would be? Maybe, to try and get all the opponents of BND to refuse to buy a particular forthcoming issue?

Posted by cjmcaree on 2008-10-09 16:28:26>

I don’t mean to put a damper on your activism, but quite honestly, I’m not sure that there is anything more you can do to affect change other than not buying the book—and I’m not sure any great good is served by trying, other than a lot of wasted effort. At the end of the day, the series is going to remain the way it is until and unless the sales cause us to re-evaluate what we’re doing on it—and as I mentioned in an earlier response, even then, the changes we’re likely to make aren’t those that would result in reversing OMD. I suspect that the only thing that would accomplish this would be a wholesale changeover in the people who own and run Marvel, and I don’t see that happening any time soon either. I’m sorry to be so negative about this, since fan activity can actually accomplish many things, but I just don’t think this is one of them. At this point, the hard work is done, the band-aid has been pulled off, and you’d have to be a particular kind of stupid to go back to a status quo that people have spent twenty years trying to undo. It’s not impossible, of course, but I think it would require such a change-over in staff as to be incredibly unlikely. Heck, at this stage, it’s possible that the Spidey movie people might have objections were we to try to reunite Peter and Mary Jane, so that’s a whole other contingent to deal with.

I actually think Fan Activism works best and stands the best chance of success when it’s trying to build something rather than destroy something, because it’s easier to get people on board. If I’m a Spidey reader who’s bought AMAZING through think and thin for however many years, you’re going to have an incredibly hard time getting me to stop, even for a single issue. Whereas you’re much more likely to be able to, say, get me to sample SPIDER-GIRL. (Whether I’ll like it enough after that to keep buying it is perhaps another story.)

>I feel a little robbed on this one. I thought we had a week and I was afraid some schlub was going to veto anything I put up because that’s the pseudo-power given to them. >

I never said anything about a week, Dave, so if you assumed that, that’s really on you. But I’m going to go ahead and answer your questions anyway (though perhaps you’re not around to see the answers after your latest flame-out—though I suspect you are.) I do think that it shows a certain lack of confidence in the points you want to address and how the audience feels about them as a whole if you saw a need to “bid-snipe” them in just under the wire. But let’s see what they entail:

>As a figure of power in the Marvel Universe, do you believe that the characters you take over are malleable to be shaped at your discretion, to add your creative talents to and make it your own for as long as you’re there OR do you see yourself as a steward of these characters and they are a baton that is handed to you in trust to nurture and someday hand off again to a new group? >

The answer here is both, one from column A and one from column B. You present this question as though it’s an either-or proposition, but it really isn’t. The best way to keep these characters exciting and vital and interesting to an audience over the long haul is to do things with them—as soon as you encase any of them in masonite and make them forever-unchanging, they stop being interesting. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible to push these characters in directions that are detrimental to their long-term health and survival. So you need to be able to “break the toys” as Joe Q has said on occasion, but you also have to be self-aware enough to know what not to break. The good part, though, is that these characters are all extremely durable, and it takes an awful lot to damage them permanently—almost anything bad that’s done can be fixed by another story. Part of my responsibility is to make these characters engaging and sales-generating to a contemporary audience, and part of it is to make sure that they’re all in good condition when I inevitably hand them off to somebody else to look after.

>What storyline from the Spider-Man canon would you like to erase from existence without any consequences to current sales or current storyline?

Posted by coolhanddave on 2008-10-10 12:18:28>

Spider-Man’s secret agent super-spy parents. Not really Stan and Johnny’s finest hour, and a backstory that takes Spidey away from his roots as an everyman. His father was James Bond for crying out loud! I can see how that would have made for an appealing story back in 1968 at the height of the spy craze, but it’s not really Spider-Man. That all having been said, it’s a Stan story, so I wouldn’t kick it out of continuity. I just try not to think about it too much.

And that’s a wrap! Tomorrow, either more of the same, or something different!

Tom B

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