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Author Topic: That Spider-Man Thread  (Read 2784 times)

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Mongrel

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2012, 09:53:50 PM »

Spider-Man's victories were always bittersweet and lonely

I know I gripe about Marvel/DC/etc., but there's a part of me that has always felt that that quintessential lonely teenage hero Spidey, the Spidey who fought villains that were barely one step above everyday burglars or enforcers (I actually really liked that throwaway gag about the poser supervillain), was... crucial somehow to superhero comics. Even if I had given up reading them, it was vaguely comforting to know he was out there, getting new kids excited about heroism or comic books.

I think that long-gone Spidey was one of the most quietly powerful validations of the superhero genre, a masterfully understated character who was accessible in a way very few other superheroes were. I really do miss him.
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Thad

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2012, 10:24:26 PM »

There's been plenty said about Spider-Man's appeal as the quintessential teen character -- a shy nerd who puts on a disguise and becomes gregarious and popular, a kid whose enemies are mostly middle-aged men, a guy who has a pure heart and always tries his best but always ends up hurting the people he loves in some way, and who has guys like Flash Thompson and J Jonah Jameson who each like one aspect of him and hate the other.

And while he DOES have his share of mad scientist villains, most of them (Doc Ock, Green Goblin, the Lizard) are victims of circumstance, basically good guys who were corrupted in some way by an accident (I guess Vulture I would be the exception).  And then there ARE the guys who are just low-level thugs who luck into superpowers (Sandman, Vulture II) -- or, occasionally and brilliantly, regular dudes who lose their way (Ditko's very last Spider-Man story, Just a Guy Named Joe, is a fucking masterpiece and I defy anyone to disagree).

Flashing back to 2008, what I said when I first saw Spectacular Spider-Man:

This cartoon is good.  Really good.  Within the span of the first minute, we see a shot of a gargoyle (oh yeah, Weisman is the creator of Gargoyles), and Spider-Man reminds the audience that his name is hyphenated.  Within minutes of that, we've got shots of Flint Marko, the Spider-Signal, and, no shit, the Enforcers.

That was pretty much the moment I knew I was going to love this thing.  It's one thing for somebody to SAY their favorite version of Spider-Man is the Lee-Ditko-Romita era -- it's sort of a given; it's not like Superman, Batman, or X-Men where there are a huge number of classic periods to pick from, it's more like Fantastic Four where there's only one right answer -- but to actually bust out with throwbacks like the Spider-Signal and the Enforcers is putting your money where your mouth is.

Hell, really that whole thread has plenty of examples of me saying what I love about 1960's Spider-Man.
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Brentai

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2012, 10:41:37 PM »

There comes a point when you really just get fatigued with The Big Two's efforts to "shake things up" and "change everything FOREVER". Eventually another writer's going to come along and want to write something that requires the Way Things Were, and things will go back to that.

I see it kind of like wrestling.  You know it's fake as shit, but it's entertaining in its execution, so just go with it.

I know I gripe about Marvel/DC/etc., but there's a part of me that has always felt that that quintessential lonely teenage hero Spidey, the Spidey who fought villains that were barely one step above everyday burglars or enforcers (I actually really liked that throwaway gag about the poser supervillain), was... crucial somehow to superhero comics.

I actually read that thing (without any context, of course) thinking at first, "Why the fuck is Doc Ock treated like some kind of machine god?"

I mean, obviously it's because he's some kind of machine god, but that's the point.  Seeing Spidey and his rogue's gallery elevated to epic level status feels pretty wrong.  Parker's a schlub, his villains are a joke, and even the whole spider theme is sort of goofy, and that's why we love him - because when he DOES get whisked off to do battle with the Spider-Emperor of All Magic or whatever you've got a real underdog to root for, not "Oh look it's Thor the God battling Death, how metal."

And that's probably why Spider-Man is doomed to be the whipping boy for eternity.  Things just CAN'T go right for him for very long, or, well, he ain't Spider-Man, now is he?  So the poor kid's got two choices: lose forever, or pepper his victories with a series of VERY unfortunate events.

So they went with the second one, and that's cool, because it means that every time Parker's world is destroyed we get to watch him get back up, brush himself off, and hit the jackpot all over again.
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Thad

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2012, 10:49:42 PM »

I don't think I've read an issue since #600, but it was a fan-fucking-tastic Doc Ock issue.

The setup: it starts out with a flashback to Doc Ock's first appearance, complete with his original lab coat and the Stan Lee dialogue.

Then he gets punched in the head.

And then it's a montage of him getting punched in the head a bunch of times over the course of the past 45 years.

And then the story is about him finding out he has serious head trauma and is dying.

So he tries to do something special, really make a difference, redeem himself -- and he tries to perfect New York City with technology, usher in a new age using his scientific genius.

Unfortunately his subconscious mind gets in the way and even as he's doing his best to help, he's unconsciously trying to kill Spider-Man and ruin Aunt May's wedding and other assorted petty supervillain things.

Anyway.  Like I say, I haven't been keeping tabs in the meantime, but that was kind of the beginning of Techno-God Doc Ock -- but it was really a wonderfully bittersweet character piece, as well as legitimately damn funny (in addition to the punch-in-the-face montage, it's a Spidey/Torch teamup issue).

I've said before that I've been a fan of Slott since he wrote the Ren and Stimpy comic when I was a kid.  Again, I haven't been keeping up, but I hear good things.

I haven't read the spoilers yet so I don't know what the big deal is in 698 -- I expect Marvel will leak it to all the papers Wednesday anyway.  But I suppose in answer to the question of "How can you care if you know it's all going to be Reset Button'd anyway?", well, you evaluate each story and arc on its own merits.  Yes, we all knew Bruce was going to be back in the cowl sooner rather than later, but that doesn't take away from the Dick-and-Damian Batman and Robin being completely fucking awesome.

Maybe it's another example of the readers identifying with the heroes: we take our small victories even though we know nothing's ever really going to change in any significant way.
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Romosome

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2012, 04:35:55 AM »

Without spoiling too much for Thad or getting into quote ziggurats: Yes, it's absolutely stupid to think either way that this story is going to have any kind of longtime effects. Amazingly, I'm not absolutely stupid, so I was excited for the specific themes and writing of this story rather than wondering if it's really going to change this fictional character "for real".

My particular bristling here is that isn't not being sold as a permanent change, at all. It's abundantly clear to pretty much everyone that, while it is a Big Deal, it's the struggle of the day. It's a story arc. I hate the "EVERYTHING CHANGES FOREVER" hype as much as everyone else. They're not trying to pull one over on me this time. So really, jumping at a story that never claimed to be some kind of groundbreaking ultimate change for keeps with "IT'LL JUST GO BACK TO STATUS QUO WHEN IT'S OVER" comes off as needless. We're aware.

What we have here is suspense and mystery, and I want to see where it goes. Ultimately the entire thing will probably end with our hero overcoming insurmountable odds and saving the day. I would like to see precisely how he does it, and Slott has proven within the span of one issue that he's capable of making such a process of discovery entertaining and engaging.
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Romosome

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2012, 04:38:48 AM »

By the way, Thad, this is in fact a sort of culmination of what Slott started in #600. You could read nigh 100 issues straight from there up to where we are, since it's all Slott and features his take on Spidey and his characterization.

The briefer reading order for catching everything related to this climax is issue 600, then issue 648 to present.
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the asshole you hate

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2012, 04:50:02 AM »

It's a pretty great idea. Maybe I don't read enough comics to be unimpressed, though.
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Romosome

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Re: Re: Comics for People Who Don't Read Comics
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2012, 12:14:13 PM »

Oh, THERE'S my fucking problem, this should've gone in the Funnybooks thread. I thought this thread looked rather sparse.

My bad! Please keep not reading comics and sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Thad

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2012, 08:53:29 PM »

Moved here.

Debating whether to ask if there's somewhere else I can find it now that the 4chan scan's down, since I'm curious but expect it to be sold out by the time I make it to the comic shop tomorrow.
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Royal☭

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2012, 08:57:13 PM »

Here you go

Don't really think I should append that with a spoiler warning, but, you know.

Thad

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2012, 09:11:07 PM »

...was kinda hoping to see the whole thing, actually, but that's okay I guess.

Out of context I guess it's interesting but not terribly exciting.  Still, a logical extension of the likes of [spoiler]Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers[/spoiler]; it's got potential.

I actually thought [spoiler]Dark Avengers was a great premise that went fucking nowhere, because Bendis just wrote his usual talking-heads blather and nothing much happened until I finally quit reading.  But "Thunderbolts, except instead of the public thinking they're new heroes they think they're ESTABLISHED heroes" was a pretty neat high concept.[/spoiler]

Still, Doc Ock has always been my favorite Spidey villain and I loved what Slott did with him back in #600, so this could definitely get plenty interesting.
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Thad

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2012, 09:56:18 AM »

Kinda wish I hadn't read the twist first; my thing got out early today, I picked up the issue with plenty still left on the shelf.

It's a very good jumping-on issue that hits all the beats with the current status quo and major characters, and drops plenty of clues along the way.  Slott does a good job with it.

Potential reset buttons:

[spoiler]1. Nobody actually confirms Octavius's death.  He flatlines and they grab the paddles; that's the last we see.
2. We see one of the octopus/spider robots saying "Peter Parker" at the beginning of the issue.  He's still controlling them in some way.  Meaning he could be beaming his entire brain into a machine somewhere.
3. Though neither of those things is even entirely necessary -- if Ock has all of Peter's memories, that means Peter's still there, in his own body, in a pretty damn meaningful way.
4. Doc Ock, like most characters in superhero comics, has come back from the dead before.[/spoiler]

The most interesting hook:

[spoiler]A dying man in a young, healthy man's body.  He keeps talking about how he's not going to waste his life anymore and all the great things he's going to do.

He means it.

So what happens now?  Does he really do it?  Is he going to make the best of a new body and a new lease on life?

Or is it going to be like the old saw of how Luthor blames Superman for all his problems but would still find a way to fail even if Superman were removed from the equation?  Will Doc Ock continue to fall short as a scientist?  Will he turn back to crime?

But if we're to go back to the origin story, there's something a bit different at work there, too -- Ock WAS a successful scientist, right up until his accident.  His accident really DID cause him to become a different person.

So who is he now?

It's not quite the same thing as Thunderbolts.  Thunderbolts was about a group of villains pretending to be heroes and waiting for their moment to strike, only to find that some of them enjoyed being heroes.

I don't think that's what Ock is doing.  I think he's sincere in wanting to work for the betterment of mankind from the get-go -- that's what he was doing in #600, anyway, trying to leave a legacy that erased all the bad things he'd done.  Granted, I haven't picked up the last 97 issues.

Will he backslide?  Or will he really start to step up as a hero?

If he does, sooner or later he's probably going to have to deal with that whole thing about murdering the real Peter Parker being less than entirely heroic.[/spoiler]
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BŁge

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2012, 06:41:50 PM »

Welp. Issue 700 got leaked.

[spoiler]He's dead.[/spoiler]
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Bal

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Re: Funnybooks
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2012, 10:25:41 AM »

So fuck Dan Slott, if anyone was wondering how all this ASM #700 hullabaloo was going to turn out. Spider-Ock is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and it's wretched.
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Royal☭

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Re: Re: Funnybooks
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2012, 10:39:40 AM »

That sure sounds like something that's going to be permanent and never change at any point in the future. I mean, I understand. I was so angry when DC made Azrael Batman.

Thad

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2012, 10:56:40 AM »

Haven't read 700.  Or 699.  I liked 698, but not enough to justify an ongoing $4-a-month purchase.  (Tempted to just sell the digital code for $1 and bring it down to a more reasonable $3, but I still have a powerful instinct against pulling tabs off things inside my comics.)

We already knew this was going to be running for awhile; we knew there was going to be a new guy under the mask in Superior Spider-Man before we knew who it was.  As Constantine points out, it is obviously not permanent; I've already listed off several of the possible escape hatches.

I think it's a perfectly decent premise and am curious to see how it plays out.  What was it about #700 that soured you (spoiler-tag as necessary)?

For my part, I wish Dick had gotten to stay Batman for awhile longer.
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Bal

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2012, 11:42:19 AM »

Well of fucking course it's not permanent, this is comic books, but it is going to last for awhile, it was terribly written, and I have dropped the book until it goes away.
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BŁge

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2012, 11:45:17 AM »

Well, the problem is that [spoiler]you've already got a canon death of Peter Parker over in USM to compare it to. And I think the consensus is that death was far better than this one.[/spoiler]

I'm not invested in Spider-Man enough to really have my jimmies rustled by this development, but I still think it could have been handled better.
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Thad

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2012, 12:06:45 PM »

...was hoping for something a little more specific than "it was terribly written".

Buge's post is a little better but I still don't know what on Earth you guys are talking about.  Am I going to have to find an illicit download of the thing?  Can't even thumb through it in the store for another week.

From a macro perspective, the inherent problem with relaunches is that any jumping-on point is also a jumping-off point.

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Bal

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Re: That Spider-Man Thread
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2012, 12:34:29 PM »

[spoiler]Dock Ock trades bodies with Peter. Peter makes a last ditch effort to get his body back using Ock's body and some of his nefarious contacts. They fight, Peter-Ock's body gives out, and as he's dying he implores Doc-Peter to do good and great power and so on and then he goes and sees uncle Ben and Gwen and barf[/spoiler]
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