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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Like Costume Heroes? Confidentially, we in the comic mag business refer to them as "Long Underwear Characters"! And, as you know, they're a dime a dozen! But, we think you may find our Spiderman just a bit...different!
    — The Narrator, Amazing Fantasy #15 the first words in any Spider-Man story ever. Written by Stan Lee

    The "long underwear" characters is definitely referring to Superman and Batman. I mean Superman and Batman are the only major examples of superheroes who wear their tights on the outside, patterned after circus and strongman performers. Even back then, the Flash and Green Lantern moved away from that. Both Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were definitely alluding to Superman and Batman in various ways. Steve Ditko growing up loved the Bill Finger era of Batman, and he studied under Jerry Robinson (Joker's co-creator) in the School of the Visual Arts, and there's no doubt that his design of Spider-Man's rogues gallery was made with Batman's in mind, as both inspiration and an example to avoid. Green Goblin for instance is very much Ditko's homage to the Joker. Peter Parker is definitely inspired by Clark Kent.

    Superman remember wasn't created or intended to be "the flagship character" of National Comics (later DC) either. His success was just as unexpected and little heralded. And remember that Superman changed repeatedly in the first two decades. It took a while for him to fly, took a while for Kryptonite to be a thing, likewise Lex Luthor wasn't intended to be Superman's arch-enemy out of the gate.
    Thank you! There are also quite a few ways Batman clearly influenced Spider-Man, but in arguing about Superman, I didn't even want to bother. And, again, this does not diminish any of the characters! In the same way that, like, a lot of the core aspects of The Beatles are heavily influenced by putting a new spin on Buddy Holly and the Crickets doesn't make them lesser for it.

    Don't be so offended. There's a certain cult of Spider-Man fans, some of whom have support from a few creators (and are likewise opposed by several other creators of considerable talent moreover), who are fixated and offended by the idea of characters changing or shifting from what they think, or rather what they select as "the version they were introduced". This group of people are offended by Mary Jane evolving and developing considerably from how she was introduced and most of them (not all of them mind you) are largely offended and or projecting some form of grudge or other at this. So you know you get inconsistency and so on. So some creator will attack Parallel Lives and say it departs from "how she was introduced" but on the same time make Dr. Octopus a hero based on backstory introduced in the 90s even if it's way bigger of a divergence from "how characters were introduced". The same group of fans will defend Corporate CEO Peter as in-character and so on.

    So don't expect consistency or good faith from such discussions. And yeah, "Gamergate" is not far from how some of them see things.

  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    But on the other hand, this is a genre of characters created by liberal Jewish socialists.
    Let's not go too overboard. Superman's co-creators Siegel and Shuster were from what I've read, solid urban Cleveland-to-NY New Dealers. Which isn't necessarily "socialist" and most of their Superman takes were populist-leaning.

    In the case of Spider-Man, he was co-created by Stan Lee, generally a conventional middle-of-the-road liberal who didn't take any stance against the Vietnam War or for Civil Rights in the '60s, and even then only in the most general and vaguest of senses, and only did so in the '70s when those opinions became mainstream. His other co-creator Steve Ditko was a Randian objectivist, albeit someone who only really radicalized, based on what I've read, after he quit Marvel and even then Blake Bell's biography states that Lee also liked Rand and recommended her works to Steve Ditko, which is the real-life equivalent of Batman dunking the Joker in a vat of acid.

    Superhero characters can be progressive and important and say something but at heart they are adventure stories.

    To get back to the JMS Run, I think you should re-read it because MJ has many strong moments throughout that run, and also many funny ones.

    And in any case, JMS Run was also accompanied by many good sister series, like Mark Millar's Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Paul Jenkins Spectacular Run, Roberto Aguirre Sacassia's Sensational Spider-Man which has many good MJ moments. And then you have Matt Fraction's To Have and to Hold, also Tom Beland's "Web of Romance".

    And another one I recommend is Dan Slott's Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries, easily the best Spider-Man story he ever wrote (though it's mostly about the Human Torch).

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    1) My statement is that Spider-Man was/is Marvel's answer to Superman -- not that he was necessarily created to be so consciously, but that he IS so -- or, was so (Superman isn't necessarily the flagship character of DC anymore, and it's debatable whether Spidey is for Marvel, as both have possibly been eclipsed by others in the post-superhero movie boom).
    Your initial assertion was that he was deliberately created to be Marvel's flagship character in answer to Superman.

    He wasn't. He was a throwaway character whose story was slotted into the last issue of a cancelled anthology.

    Did he become Marvel's #1 guy in the way that Superman was DC's? Yes, but that was due to reader response, not any master plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    You're underselling Superman's influence on Spider-Man... there is more Superman influence on Spider-Man than only that they are both superheroes with a "-man" suffix... I think the evidence is apparent if you look at both characters from a conceptual/bird's-eye view and (I guess) an open mind. Like, there just aren't a ton of heroes in red/blue outfits, whose alter egos are defined by nebbishness and work at newspapers, who operate(d) as the face of the publisher for several decades, both were married in the comics around the same time period, both were cosmically un-married in the same time period, etc etc... these two characters have a connection, and it's not entirely incidental. Somebody else pointed out that Spider-Man also had an influence on Superman, and that is ALSO true -- the Marvel effect on DC was obvious in some ways (the John Byrne "Man of Steel" reboot) and more subtle in other ways -- but there's always been a symbiotic relationship between the big two publishers.
    I wouldn't undersell Superman's influence. Every costumed hero after Action Comics #1 owes a debt to him.

    I just think that the similarities you're pointing out are not especially meaningful. They boil down to some parallels that may well have been deliberate (at least in part) or may have been entirely subconscious but either way, who can say?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    People generally seem to be comfortable comparing/contrasting Superman with Batman, but if you compare Superman with Spider-Man, it's almost like.... sacrilege? Is it because of fanboy/publisher loyalty stuff? I don't really get why the comparison is dismissed so effusively.
    Superman and Batman, as the World's Finest duo, are more clearly linked. Superman and Spider-Man, not so much.

    It seems like an argument that you have to reach to make so the whole topic seems wobbly at best.

    There are no statements from Stan or Steve to back up any notion that they were out to emulate Superman. If anything, they were simply out to subvert the stereotypes of superheroes that had been established thanks to Superman's popularity. And they weren't just making Spidey a contrast to Superman but also to Batman and every other square-jawed hero who seemed to have the whole hero game all figured out.

    He was a guy who didn't have a Fortress of Solitude or a Bat-cave to retreat to. He only had his Aunt's house in Forest Hills.

    You could come up with a much longer list of how Spider-Man was different from Superman (and every other hero at the time) than how they were similar.
    Last edited by Prof. Warren; 04-13-2019 at 09:39 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    It's part of the tendency to infantilize Spider-Man and so on. Superman for instance is an adult and fully formed hero, or at least that's how everyone sees him, but comparing Spider-Man to Superman requires people to accept him as an adult.
    No, it would require people overlooking how different they are.

    Which is why most people don't compare them. They're more a study in contrasts than in similarities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    So that's why you tend to get in some cases, very violent reactions.
    Huh? "Very violent reactions?" Your grasp on gauging temperament and emotion seems a bit off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    If you compare Peter to Jimmy Olsen for instance it doesn't matter because a group of fans feel that Spider-Man is a sidekick and below "everyone else's paygrade".
    You think that a group of fans feel that way but they actually don't.

    The fact that some people complain that they feel he's portrayed that way isn't the same as a group of fans believing that he is, or is meant to be, a sidekick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Even if the first and greatest crossover, Superman vs. TASM, directly equated them and made them of equal stature and importance.
    Well, that's what happens when you have two major publishers coming together who want ensure that each of their characters gets equal time and that one doesn't play second fiddle to the other. It's a pure business move.

  5. #20
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    There are no statements from Stan or Steve to back up any notion that they were out to emulate Superman. If anything, they were simply out to subvert the stereotypes of superheroes that had been established thanks to Superman's popularity. And they weren't just making Spidey a contrast to Superman but also to Batman and every other square-jawed hero who seemed to have the whole hero game all figured out.
    I remember at one point Stan Lee saying that Spider-man was specifically meant to contrast other teen heroes of the time.
    He wasn't anybody's sidekick. He wasn't the weaker version of any other character. He wasn't Spider-lad, or Spider-boy, he was a teenager that decided to call himself MAN and do his own thing.

    Even if the first and greatest crossover, Superman vs. TASM, directly equated them and made them of equal stature and importance.
    If you're trying to do a crossover story and and the two characters your crossing over aren't treated as equally important than you have failed as a writer.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Let's not go too overboard. Superman's co-creators Siegel and Shuster were from what I've read, solid urban Cleveland-to-NY New Dealers. Which isn't necessarily "socialist" and most of their Superman takes were populist-leaning.

    In the case of Spider-Man, he was co-created by Stan Lee, generally a conventional middle-of-the-road liberal who didn't take any stance against the Vietnam War or for Civil Rights in the '60s, and even then only in the most general and vaguest of senses, and only did so in the '70s when those opinions became mainstream. His other co-creator Steve Ditko was a Randian objectivist, albeit someone who only really radicalized, based on what I've read, after he quit Marvel and even then Blake Bell's biography states that Lee also liked Rand and recommended her works to Steve Ditko, which is the real-life equivalent of Batman dunking the Joker in a vat of acid.
    I think I read somewhere that Ditko started getting really into The Fountain and Atlas Shrugged toward the end of his Spidey run, but I don't remember exactly. Even so, middle-of-the-road '30s and '70s liberals probably count as socialists in today's climate... but yeah.

    Superhero characters can be progressive and important and say something but at heart they are adventure stories.
    Yes and no. They are, but they are also more than that. Separate from the Overton window political spectrum, it's interesting to read about the impact Judaism specifically (edit: particularly American East Coast Judaism) had on superheroes -- Superman, Batman, and the Lee/Kirby characters. "Up Up and Oy Vey" is one book in particular I'd recommend, written by someone who was a hardcore comics fan, then got in touch with his Jewish heritage, became a youth pastor or something, and then wrote about it from that point of view. If you grew up Jewish, it may all be obvious! If you didn't grow up Jewish -- I didn't -- it was pretty eye-opening. I was of course generally aware that the creators "happened to be" Jewish, and I'd read Kavalier & Clay and other things, but... well, it's just interesting when you look at the comic heroes from a broader social context. (I'll stop before this becomes another thread drift!)

    Regardless of the original intent, I'm not the first to point out that superheroes have become a secular religion for many -- and I think that's a good thing! Particularly as creators are becoming even more aware what a deep impact these characters can have -- on kids especially, but on everyone -- it's important to be mindful of what message is being codified in these adventure stories.

    To get back to the JMS Run, I think you should re-read it because MJ has many strong moments throughout that run, and also many funny ones.

    And in any case, JMS Run was also accompanied by many good sister series, like Mark Millar's Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Paul Jenkins Spectacular Run, Roberto Aguirre Sacassia's Sensational Spider-Man which has many good MJ moments. And then you have Matt Fraction's To Have and to Hold, also Tom Beland's "Web of Romance".

    And another one I recommend is Dan Slott's Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries, easily the best Spider-Man story he ever wrote (though it's mostly about the Human Torch).
    I haven't read the Slott miniseries (but I will read it now on your recommendation because the Peter/Johnny friendship is one of my favorite Marvel relationships), but I genuinely just re-read those runs a couple weeks ago... and while there's A LOT to love about that era, and it's frustrating that OMD cut it short, looking at it with regard to MJ's role in the mythos, imo, demonstrates the benefit of contriving ways for her to be a bit more involved in the Spidey side of things.

    Peter as a science teacher is a brilliant development, and I hope it returns, even if he's more of a regular substitute or something... I love seeing the compassionate side of the character emphasized. (It was also good fodder for Norman to taunt him with in Millar's Marvel Knights series -- "teacher" is a perfect double-edged sword because it's both selfless/compassionate and also can be seen as a "those who can't" loser role. So perfect for Peter!)

    The progression of Aunt May's character was awesome. The development of Peter's relationship with Tony Stark was good. I really enjoyed Ezekial and the Totem, and I thought JMS walked the line perfectly where it didn't ruin the original origin, but if you wanted to view it as an expansion, it was there.

    Even the "low" points of the run -- Sins Past, in particular -- I thought they were better than even JMS later gave them credit for (he undoubtedly was downplaying their quality in response to fan over-reactions), and added a layer of depth & complexity to Gwen/Norman/Peter that I appreciated.

    Mary Jane dealing with the frustrations of the entertainment industry was funny and good. I liked her standing up for herself. I really liked how she and Peter got back together (even if there were some mild sitcom contrivances leading up to them meeting up in Denver). I especially liked the moment where Peter is like, "But I love you. Isn't that enough?" And she explains why, as well-intentioned as that is, that it actually is not enough. Being introduced to Cap... there's a lot to like, yes.

    But what I would say is that you should go back and look again, because while it's "better than most," if the JMS run is the all-time best that MJ has been written, then there's still plenty of room for improvement. I don't think it's because JMS didn't care about MJ -- it's very clear that he did!

    Also, with his background as a TV showrunner in Hollywood, JMS was especially well-suited to give "MJ as an actress" storylines a level of depth that others maybe couldn't.

    I thought it was smart to have MJ move into off-Broadway acting, too... but again, look at how those stories play out. They are B and C-stories. There are times where Peter doesn't even think to ask her about it, or where her developments go ignored by Peter entirely, because he's so consumed with Spider-Man stuff.

    I don't think the intent was to make Peter look selfish, but the relationship does look one-sided, when the only thing that seems to matter is HIS work. Of course, from the reader POV, the only thing that DOES matter is the Spider-Man work... her stuff IS a side story and it IS largely unnecessary to the main narrative. So, tying MJ closer to the main narrative in some way will mean that MJ & Peter can speak in the same language. There just isn't enough page time for Peter to be a truly good partner to MJ -- and since we don't want to have Peter be a jerk boyfriend, the simpler resolution here is to make them kinda coworkers, or in the same field, so that they can better connect with each other.

    Here's an example. Right now ASM is setting up a rivalry with MJ and Black Cat (i'm a few issues behind from catching up entirely if this changed) -- obviously not the first time this has happened -- but check out how the PS4 version handled the "MJ is jealous of Felicia" story. We still get the same overall story beats either way (MJ and Black Cat are both jealous of the other's relationship with Peter) but the way MJ gets to interact with the developments is fairly different than it would be in her 616 role.

    Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BskIIdJKghU
    Last edited by gregpersons; 04-14-2019 at 12:38 AM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Superman and Batman, as the World's Finest duo, are more clearly linked. Superman and Spider-Man, not so much.

    It seems like an argument that you have to reach to make so the whole topic seems wobbly at best.
    This is just fanboyism, my man. "The World's Finest Duo" is marketing language. You're not seeing any connection because they are from different publishers. It's fine if you don't want to engage with it, but it's not me making this up -- it's you putting on blinders.

    There are no statements from Stan or Steve to back up any notion that they were out to emulate Superman. If anything, they were simply out to subvert the stereotypes of superheroes that had been established thanks to Superman's popularity. And they weren't just making Spidey a contrast to Superman but also to Batman and every other square-jawed hero who seemed to have the whole hero game all figured out.

    He was a guy who didn't have a Fortress of Solitude or a Bat-cave to retreat to. He only had his Aunt's house in Forest Hills.

    You could come up with a much longer list of how Spider-Man was different from Superman (and every other hero at the time) than how they were similar.
    I've already addressed this and I'm getting tired of repeating myself (and then having you tell me what I said or meant, on top of it). Steve Ditko, first of all, barely said anything about anything. He didn't do interviews and he didn't talk about his creations. Maybe you know of one that I don't. If so, I'd love to read it.

    When Stan talked about creating Spider-Man, he points to "The Spider" for the name, seeing a house spider on the wall, and the idea of subverting tropes as the main idea. Yes. Those can all be true, as well as pulling from the best parts of Superman and Batman. That he doesn't also mention Batman or Superman* by name does not mean that it isn't there.**

    I'm sorry if I am being pedantic here but I can't tell if you're being willfully obtuse in a fanboy kind of way, or if you are genuinely misunderstanding the way "inspiration" tends to work... hopefully you know that nothing is just invented out of thin air. Everything comes from "borrowing" from different sources -- you switch some things, you add in your original observation, mix it together, and you have something "unique." That's the story of every created thing ever made. Nothing is made out of whole cloth, not even our beloved Spider-Man.

    Maybe I'm wrong, because how could I ever know, but I don't find your case to be effectively dissuading me from seeing a link. Conversely, perhaps you'll forever see all parallels as "wobbly" unless Marvel's marketing materials literally draw the line, which is unlikely. So, who cares? I'm tired.


    *Although Stan did explicitly mention Superman being a reason why Spiderman became Spider-Man.

    **And, as Revolutionary_Jack pointed out, the very opening caption of Amazing 15 invites the Batman/Superman comparison... because they aren't afraid of it. They are taking the things you love about those characters, and rewriting/revising/improving them -- which is what I've been saying this entire time. I feel like I'm losing my damn mind having this conversation.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    I remember at one point Stan Lee saying that Spider-man was specifically meant to contrast other teen heroes of the time.
    He wasn't anybody's sidekick. He wasn't the weaker version of any other character. He wasn't Spider-lad, or Spider-boy, he was a teenager that decided to call himself MAN and do his own thing.
    Right. This is also true, and it's part of what makes Spidey unique (along with being the "average joe" superhero, which goes hand-in-hand with the teen thing -- the idea, of course, being to make a Superman/Batman style hero that would resemble the audience instead of an alien or millionaire).

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    He wasn't. He was a throwaway character whose story was slotted into the last issue of a cancelled anthology.
    This became a bit of an urban legend, something Stan misremembered and repeated over the years. Amazing Fantasy #15 was supposed to be a new direction for the series, with Spider-Man as a regular feature.



    It's been speculated that this is why Amazing Spider-Man #1 and #2 had two-stories each, because some/all of them were originally intended to run in Amazing Fantasy.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyOldHermit View Post
    It's apolitical, unless you ascribe to the ludicrous notion that people with different political beliefs are all automatically immoral monsters
    It depends what the political belief is, doesn't it? If someone has a pro-slavery political belief, then I would consider them an immoral monster.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    This is just fanboyism, my man. "The World's Finest Duo" is marketing language.
    Well, not just "marketing language." They appeared together for years, obviously, in World's Finest.

    So they're very much linked in fan's minds due to their close proximity to each other. It's natural to compare and contrast them.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    You're not seeing any connection because they are from different publishers. It's fine if you don't want to engage with it, but it's not me making this up -- it's you putting on blinders.
    But it is you making it up. No one would deny the occasional parallel like, gee, it's funny how Peter and Clark both work at newspapers. But how much meaning you want to ascribe to that is up to you. Most people look at it and shrug. What's really there to engage with?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I've already addressed this and I'm getting tired of repeating myself (and then having you tell me what I said or meant, on top of it). Steve Ditko, first of all, barely said anything about anything. He didn't do interviews and he didn't talk about his creations. Maybe you know of one that I don't. If so, I'd love to read it.

    When Stan talked about creating Spider-Man, he points to "The Spider" for the name, seeing a house spider on the wall, and the idea of subverting tropes as the main idea. Yes. Those can all be true, as well as pulling from the best parts of Superman and Batman. That he doesn't also mention Batman or Superman* by name does not mean that it isn't there.**
    Yes, but it also means that you're making assumptions rather than going by what the creators themselves said.

    You can't just say "well, it's obvious what they were going for here" when you don't have anything from Stan or Steve's own mouths to corroborate that.

    It's just a matter of idle speculation on your part and that's not something that other people are necessarily going to be eager to share in.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I'm sorry if I am being pedantic here but I can't tell if you're being willfully obtuse in a fanboy kind of way, or if you are genuinely misunderstanding the way "inspiration" tends to work... hopefully you know that nothing is just invented out of thin air. Everything comes from "borrowing" from different sources -- you switch some things, you add in your original observation, mix it together, and you have something "unique." That's the story of every created thing ever made. Nothing is made out of whole cloth, not even our beloved Spider-Man.
    Sure. Inspiration comes from everywhere. And, as I've said, no costumed hero created after Action Comics #1 was created without some thought towards Superman.

    But, again, you're no longer arguing your original point that Spider-Man was deliberately created to be Marvel's Superman.

    Now you're just saying that they must have been thinking of Superman in some way when they created Spider-Man.

    And the only answer to that is "Yeah, sure. Probably. Maybe." But how much or how little, no one can say.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong, because how could I ever know, but I don't find your case to be effectively dissuading me from seeing a link. Conversely, perhaps you'll forever see all parallels as "wobbly" unless Marvel's marketing materials literally draw the line, which is unlikely. So, who cares? I'm tired.
    You seem very hung up on your point so I can't imagine anyone would dissuade you from it. I don't think anyone is trying to dissuade you, they're just explaining why they don't share your belief and aren't inclined to perceive it as particularly valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    *Although Stan did explicitly mention Superman being a reason why Spiderman became Spider-Man.
    If you're talking about the addition of the hyphen, it seems like it was meant to differentiate the two names on the newsstand.

    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    **And, as Revolutionary_Jack pointed out, the very opening caption of Amazing 15 invites the Batman/Superman comparison... because they aren't afraid of it. They are taking the things you love about those characters, and rewriting/revising/improving them -- which is what I've been saying this entire time. I feel like I'm losing my damn mind having this conversation.
    When that caption refers to "long underwear characters", it's a catch-all phrase to refer to superheroes in general.

    I don't think Stan was being so pedantic that he specifically meant only those superheroes who actually wear long underwear, like Superman and Batman.

    Yes, Spider-Man, like the Fantastic Four, was created largely to subvert the conventions of the superhero genre. And Superman created many of those conventions so you could say that, on some level, Spider-Man was a response to Superman - or certainly a response to the landscape that he helped create. But no one's ever denied that. Spider-Man broke the classic mold of superheroes. It took the various conventions of the superhero genre and shook them up. He wasn't so much Marvel's answer to Superman specifically but an answer to the entire heroic genre that sprung from Superman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    This became a bit of an urban legend, something Stan misremembered and repeated over the years. Amazing Fantasy #15 was supposed to be a new direction for the series, with Spider-Man as a regular feature.



    It's been speculated that this is why Amazing Spider-Man #1 and #2 had two-stories each, because some/all of them were originally intended to run in Amazing Fantasy.
    Very cool! Although it still proves that, until the sales and the reader response on Amazing Fantasy #15 came back, no one had any inkling that Spider-Man could carry his own solo book, much less become the company's flagship character.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Very cool! Although it still proves that, until the sales and the reader response on Amazing Fantasy #15 came back, no one had any inkling that Spider-Man could carry his own solo book, much less become the company's flagship character.
    That is true for practically every superhero. Superman originated in an anthology comic (Action Comics #1), as did Batman (Detective Comics #27), as did Shazam (Whiz Comics #2). Steve Rogers was a little rare in that time for originating in his own self-titled Captain America Comics #1, a sign of Kirby and Simon's confidence.

    Most other solo Marvel hero opened in anthology, whether it's Thor, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, Iron Man. The exceptions are Hulk and Daredevil both of whom were launched with their own comics right out of the gate. And in the case of Hulk, was cancelled early.

    The fact that Spider-Man wasn't intended as a flagship character puts him on the same level playing field as everyone else. And it doesn't change the fact that he is a flagship character and what he became. Since obviously the 1:1 like-to-like comparison is between Action Comics #1 and AF#15. Remember that Ma and Pa Kent, or even Smallville isn't mentioned in AC#1, the comic implies that Clark and Superman were raised in an orphanage in the city. Going by original intent and pretending that AF#15 is the only Spider-Man story that counts is not a good response to Superman and Spider-Man being similar, having much in common, and for a lot of people having more or less the same problems.

    Take Superman 2000 a proposal by Waid, Millar, Morrison to end Superman's marriage by having him sell it to Mr. Mxyzsptlk after his identity was exposed, and in response Mxy gives Superman and Lois "one last, perfect day" (https://sites.google.com/a/deepspace...-2000-proposal). All of them got kicked out of DC a while after they made that, and got scooped up by Marvel, and Waid was an adivsor to Quesada and part of the BND team.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That is true for practically every superhero. Superman originated in an anthology comic (Action Comics #1), as did Batman (Detective Comics #27), as did Shazam (Whiz Comics #2). Steve Rogers was a little rare in that time for originating in his own self-titled Captain America Comics #1, a sign of Kirby and Simon's confidence.

    Most other solo Marvel hero opened in anthology, whether it's Thor, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, Iron Man. The exceptions are Hulk and Daredevil both of whom were launched with their own comics right out of the gate. And in the case of Hulk, was cancelled early.

    The fact that Spider-Man wasn't intended as a flagship character puts him on the same level playing field as everyone else. And it doesn't change the fact that he is a flagship character and what he became.
    The argument is about the original intent. No one thinks that Spider-Man didn't eventually become Marvel's flagship character. But was he created specifically to be an answer to Superman and to be to Marvel what Superman was to DC? No. It just happened. The fact that he started out on the same playing field as everyone else only confirms that there were no special hopes for his future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Since obviously the 1:1 like-to-like comparison is between Action Comics #1 and AF#15. Remember that Ma and Pa Kent, or even Smallville isn't mentioned in AC#1, the comic implies that Clark and Superman were raised in an orphanage in the city. Going by original intent and pretending that AF#15 is the only Spider-Man story that counts is not a good response to Superman and Spider-Man being similar, having much in common, and for a lot of people having more or less the same problems.
    Who's saying that AF #15 us the only Spider-Man story that counts?

    But it is the story that launched the character. So you do have to look to it for the original intentions.

    Spider-Man seemed intended to subvert the conventions of an entire genre, not be an answer to one specific character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Take Superman 2000 a proposal by Waid, Millar, Morrison to end Superman's marriage by having him sell it to Mr. Mxyzsptlk after his identity was exposed, and in response Mxy gives Superman and Lois "one last, perfect day" (https://sites.google.com/a/deepspace...-2000-proposal). All of them got kicked out of DC a while after they made that, and got scooped up by Marvel, and Waid was an adivsor to Quesada and part of the BND team.
    If you're saying that ideas get cross pollinated between companies, that's not exactly breaking news. Or that an idea shot down at one publisher might be implemented by another.

    No one would argue that point.

    But it doesn't really relate to Lee/Ditko creating Spider-Man.

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    Spider-Man and Superman have almost nothing in common beyond a similar color scheme and being generally upbeat franchises.
    Doctor Strange: "You are the right person to replace Logan."
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    Spider-Man and Superman have almost nothing in common beyond a similar color scheme and being generally upbeat franchises.
    Yeah, nothing in common... well, besides the color scheme, general tone, an "S-man" name, and...

    --Both alter egos defined by nebbishness (and Peter Parker wears Clark Kent-like spectacles in the original Ditko run)

    --Both work at a newspaper called "Daily..."

    --Original girlfriends work with hero at newspaper job; have alliterative names -- Lois Lane / Betty Brant

    --Both work for gruff-but-lovable editors

    --Both characters had big special Wedding issues in the same era

    --Both characters had their marriages ret-conned in the same era

    --Both characters became the face of their publisher

    --Both characters were adopted by elderly saintly people who taught the hero their morality

    --Both characters have a bald big bad kingpin -- Lex and Fisk (with the '80s reinvention of Lex very much borrowing from Kingpin)


    To prove how common these tropes are, let's name all of the other superheroes who fit these descriptions besides these two, who have nothing in common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    The argument is about the original intent. No one thinks that Spider-Man didn't eventually become Marvel's flagship character. But was he created specifically to be an answer to Superman and to be to Marvel what Superman was to DC? No. It just happened. The fact that he started out on the same playing field as everyone else only confirms that there were no special hopes for his future.
    I think you're arguing against a different point than is being made...? Like, nobody is saying that Stan & Steve literally sat down and literally said "We shall make the Marvel Superman." Similarly, Siegel and Shuster didn't literally say "We shall make a character who will become the face of the company." The creators can't control the popularity of a character at the point of inception.

    The point is that Spider-Man IS the Marvel Superman, and you can see it, regardless of whether the two ever shared a book called World's Finest or whether Stan ever said "Superman" in print... you're even arguing in favor of this point! Marvel's M.O. was subverting superhero tropes — specifically the DC superheroes like Superman and Batman— and thus, many of the core aspects of Spider-Man's mythos are similar to Superman's because of this conscious or unconscious influence.

    To put it another way, Spidey is sort of like a satirical take on Supes... and over the years, the two characters have influenced each other back and forth in a number of ways, because of their inherent similarities.

    Edit: To put it another 'nother way, Spider-Man is "what if Superman was relatable and interesting"
    Last edited by gregpersons; 04-14-2019 at 12:49 PM.

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