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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,072
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Grey Gargoyle

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Re: Jumping the shark ...
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 02:58:35 am EST (Viewed 170 times)
Reply Subj: Jumping the shark ...
Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 06:29:48 am EST (Viewed 198 times)

Interesting post. I agree with quite a bit of it, but not all of it.


      Many fans on this board seem to talk fondly of Ock's Clone Saga era death and his resurrection story. Osborn has come and gone

    I will speak only for myself, of course, but I hated the death of Doc Ock at the beginning of the (in)famous Clone Saga of the 1990s and I hated the 'resurrection' of Osborn at the end.

    Of course, it was a long time ago and we are talking about fictional characters ... So, well, many things happened in my real life and I don't care much about it, nowadays.
    I still remember my old feelings about it.

    Both the death of Ock and the 'resurrection' of Osborn : that's truly when the comic book started to jump the shark in a big way.
    Curiously enough, many fans didn't realize it, back then.
    I was one of the few to have noticed it and the future proved me right.

    That's how I stopped reading ASM on a regular basis (before that, I was a collector).

Well, I also was an avid collector (since the mid-1970s, and re. ASM I tried to be a completist) who stopped buying the mainstream Spider-Man books around that time (at the ending of the Clone Saga to be precise), but the fate of Doctor Octopus had nothing to do with it. What made me stop ASM and the secondary titles after more than two decades was the resurrection of Norman Osborn and Aunt May in quick succession and concurrent with the deaths of Ben Reilly and baby May. That plus the reboot made it clear that Spider-editorial was hell-bent on recreating what had been instead of allowing Peter's story to progress. But it was a valuable lesson for me: From then on I no longer felt obliged to continue buying ASM if I didn't enjoy it in the hope that things would eventually get better. This made it much easier for me to make a clean cut after OMD after JMS had made me return to the Spider-franchise because of the quality of his writing.

    I really disliked both how Ock died and how he came back. Octavius was a classic Silver Age villain and I thought that he never should have died like this. Curiously enough, except the ending, Web of Death is an excellent storyline (by two of the great writers of the time : JM Dematteis and TomD).
    His resurrection by a splinter group of the Hand (the "True Believers") was as ludicrous as his death.

    About Osborn, I still think that his convoluted return has been a big mistake. It was only done to 'clean the mess' of the Clone Saga.
    Back then, most fans were angry with the Clone Saga and Marvel gave them the return of Osborn as some kind of compensation.

Fans were discontent with the ending of the Clone Saga for different reasons, but nobody was completely happy with the outcome. There the return of Norman served as a shiny distraction.

    Curiously enough, Marvel editors didn't understand what was totally obvious : Ock & Osborn are the two longtime nemesis of Spider-Man but they are different.
    The curse of the Goblin legacy, not the first Green Goblin, is the true archenemy of Spider-Man.
    Harry Osborn and Hobgoblin 1 have provided more interesting stories than Norman Osborn has since his return.
    Ock is the true 'Dark Mirror' of Spider-Man, he is Peter Parker without a moral compass.
    If there is no Ock, there is no Peter Parker (and that's what happened during the Clone Saga, Peter & Octavius were replaced by Ben & Kaine).

I would say with reference to Doc Ock that a lot of this is ex-post reinterpretation. I never saw him as THE dark mirror of Spider-Man (as far as I can see that idea did not gain traction before the last ten years), there are so many Spider-villains you could describe that way, as a lot of them are scientifically or technically talented and lack a moral compass, e. g. the Vulture, the Jackal, the Smythes. And in the Ditko era Mysterio was the most obvious "Anti-Spider-Man". And I reject the notion that "if there is not Ock, there is no Peter Parker".

    I still believe,in 2014, that the death of Ock and the return of Osborn were the first two big mistakes which changed Spider-Man forever.
    Since then, every subsequent 'bad stories' have been variants of these two mistakes.

For me the return of Norman Osborn was more a symptom of the negative change the franchise was going through, in itself it did not prevent a return to greatness, as Straczynski's run demonstrated.

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