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Subj: Eh... You know Spider-man sort of sucks.
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 04:26:24 pm EDT
This is a weird post to write because, with all the drama and negativity that goes down here, it's easy to become galvanized for something you really don't enjoy. And that thing now is the current direction of Spider-man.
Now, let my clarify:
I think OMD, as a story, was pretty terrible. I thought it felt forced and the ends could have been reached through several, more reasonable, means.
I don't dislike the premise of Brand New Day on principle. I don't hate a single Spidey. I don't even think the current characterization of Peter Parker as someone who can bring bad things upon himself through negligence as much as bad luck is as appalling as some here do.
But I think the book is sort of bad at the moment. Which is weird since alot of people here seem to be loving New Ways to Die... and I quite enjoyed the first issue of the story. However, as it progresses, it seems to me that embodies alot of what is wrong with the book.
Now, alot of this is not necessarily Dan Slott's fault, but its a symptom of what he has brought to the table.
Remember when Stever Wacker told newsarama that the next spidey team was in his initials? Half the internet called Slott/Weiringo. Slott came in on this franchise like someone who was going to take it back to the good old days. And, to his testament, he had written a great, heartwarming mini called Spider-man/Human Torch to tout that he knew alot about Spider-man.
So, no matter what, Slott is sort of the golden boy here. He's the head writer. And it shows because, while the other writers may build on some subplots or stick in something or the other, it was Slott who introduced most of the supporting cast, touched up on MJ, and now, with NWTD not only is he playing with the BIG toys, but he's using almost EVERY SINGLE SUBPLOT to do so.
Daily Bugle? Check
Memory Wipe? Check
Mr Negative? Check
Peter's Job situation? Check
Norman Freaking Osborn? Check
Harry Freaking Osborn? Check
Spider Tracer Killer? Check
Ok, so we haven't seen Carlie. Or Vince. Or JJ (and what the hell? that's like the best subplot of them all). Or the Bookie? That's still almost everything.
And it would be great... except Dan Slott isn't a strong enough writer to pull it of. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION. I think alot of it comes off rushed and obvious. It's not intelligently written. Anti-Venom either yells something about CURING SOMEONE or CANCER in almost all of his dialogue. He's almost as Bad as Freak, who showed up again in the latest issue. And what was the one thing he did? Ask for drugs. And what was the one thing Osborn told him? No More drugs. You CANT GET HIGH ANYMORE! NOOOOoooOOOooooo.
And then the whole Scorpion thing wasn't THAT bad but if the editorial thinks we're smart enough to remember that Scorpion Armor from Marvel Knights Spider-man, I don't see why they needed that throwaway line about drugs from Freak.
Same with alot of this stuff.
Soooo many mentions of MIRACLES at the FEAST shelter. SO MANY. Are you here to do a story about the MIRACLES? Oh, I always say there are MIRACLES about this place. Oh Eddy, its another MIRACLE.
Slott CAN write some good comics, but there have been some major problems with his arcs (except the Marcos Martin one, which I enjoyed) MOSTLY because he seems to be playing with almost all the toys at once. He was setting most of them up in the McNivan arc, and here he is again Playing with them. And More.
And the problem is that almost nothing gets developed in the non-Slott arcs. Things can get introduced. Menace, Freak, Jackpot, ect. They all came in, but we're not seeing the payoff until now. The stuff that gets developed is really slow and vague.
And to top it off, 2 of the 4 starting arcs felt stretched thin to meet the Story a Month quota (Slott's felt too dense. Wells was just right). Gale's stuff has been sort of lame through and through and I'm glad he's sort of done his share. I don't much care for Guggs' stuff. I thought it was just the rushed LaRocca art in the Menace/Jackpot arc, but the Kraven arc didn't wow me.
I loved the hell out of the Brand New Day EXTRA! special.
MEANING for the next month of so, it looks like this:
1) I'll probably pick up Joe Kelly and Bachalo's Hammerhead 2-Parter. And enjoy the hell out of it.
2)I'll definitely pick up the Waid/Martin 2 Parter. And enjoy the hell out of it.
3)Roger Stern gets an auto-buy. I'll probably like that as well.
4) The Harry Osbourn story acutally looks good because if there's one thing Slott can do, its explain complicated backstory and use past continuity. Maybe the reason he's been flopping for me here is because he's had to use his own stuff.
So Its sort of an empty post. Because I'm not going to quit buying the book.
It just seems like there's not much of a point to it. It's not very stimulating. But maybe I'm spoiled from Ultimate Spider-man. These characters don't have giant sentimental value to me. I didn't read Spidey as a kid.
I love the Steve Ditko stuff. Dislike alot of the Romita Sr Stuff and then like the Roger Stern stuff. But I've only reads bits and pieces.
THE BOY WHO COLLECTS SPIDER-MAN WAS A TERRIBLE STORY. SORRY. yes, i know it was written by Stern.
I remember getting the Wizard: Best of Spider-man HC and being thoroughly unimpressed. These stories were pretty lackluster. And these are the BEST?
Sorry, this is getting rambly. I think the point is that I'm railing on BND for being a sort of awkward assembly of subplots and predictable outcomes when, from what I've seen, that's all this series has ever been...
Maybe that's just Spider-man.
And if that's the case, then no one should ever complain about anything written by Paul Jenkins (Except the issue where he turns into a spider), JMS (except AFTER JRjr left), Bendis, or Millar on the character. Because those are the creators that tricked me into thinking Spider-man was actually... complex? Good? I don't know. Something other than what the reprints actually showed.
Anyhow, no hard feelings. Joe Kelly is a fun, spirited writer and Bachalo is one of the best, unique talents in the industry. Should be a fun month or so. I'll go issue by issue after that.
Its still a good comic to read on the toilet, but you'd think that would get dull after so many years.
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