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  1. #1

    Default CBR Spider-Man Forum FAQ

    We had one of these on the old boards. As a result, many of the questions and answers are copied and pasted from there.

    If you have any thoughts on the FAQ, feel free to post it in the Community Q and A.

  2. #2

    Default What the hell happened to my posts?

    There have been a few significant changes to the CBR forums. We're starting over and everyone has to reregister.

    Publisher Jonah Weiland posted his explanation for the changes.

    Take the new rules seriously.

    Every now and then you guys may notice that some of your comments are no longer in the thread in which you made them. To make navigation a bit easier, I figured I'd have one thread where all major moves would be discussed.

    Sometimes I will decide a topic that comes up in a thread (and often threatens to derail it) merits its own thread. Or I may decide that some off-topic posts belong in another thread. Or for whatever reason, I may have to delete an entire thread, and many posts on a subject.

    Check out this thread, updated whenever I or ShaggyB make any significant changes.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Default What do the various acronyms mean?

    616: Earth-616 or Earth 616 is the name used to identify the primary continuity in which most Marvel Comics titles take place. It was a joke by Dave Thorpe in his Captain Britain run, because he thought it was unusual that superhero worlds were always designated with smaller numbers, such as DC's "Earth-1" and "Earth-2." Although it may also be a reference to the number of the Beast (theological scholars debate whether or not it's 616 or 666.)

    AMZ or ASM generally refers to the title Amazing Spider-Man. FNSM refers to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. SSM usually refers to Sensational Spider-Man. MKSM refers to Marvel Knights Spider-Man. USM refers to Ultimate Spider-Man. MASM refers to Marvel Age Spider-Man or Marvel Adventures Spider-Man. MTU refers to Marvel Team Up.

    OMD refers to the storyline One More Day. BND refers to Brand New Day, a period of the Spider-Man comics that lasted from Amazing Spider-Man #546-647. KLH refers to the classic storyline: Kraven's Last Hunt, while KFH can refer to a three issue story which ran in Amazing Spider-Man #565-567. NWTD refers to New Ways to Die, a six issue storyline which ran in Amazing Spider-Man #568-573.

    PAD refers to writer Peter Allan David. JMD refers to writer J.M. Dematteis. JMS refers to writer J. Michael Straczynski.

  5. #5

    Default Did Spider-Girl represent a possible future for the Spider-Man comics?

    Tom Defalco's ultimately finite Spider-Girl run (and every other title set in the MC2 universe) was a spinoff of a very successful issue of What If?

    While set later than titles set in the mainstream Marvel Universe, it features a world in which things diverged from comics produced in the late 1990s, allowing Tom Defalco to build on developments from his runs on Fantastic Four, Thunderstrike, Amazing Spider-Man and Green Goblin.

    As such, it was never set in the same continuity as contemporary Spider-Man titles.

  6. #6

  7. #7

    Default How do I start a poll at CBR?

    When you start a new thread, there are a bunch of options on the new thread page including "Post a Poll."

    So, make sure to check "yes" and select the number of choices you respondents to have.

    Write your first post, and click "Submit New Thread." Your first post will be posted and at this point, you'll arrive on the page in which you create the poll.

    Do not press "Back" during this process, as this will mean you won't be able to add the poll.

    If you want people to have multiple options or if you want it to be a public poll (which means it won't be anonymous, but that there's more transparency) click those options.

    Make sure that the question is easily understood and that the possible answers cover all of the options. Recognize the middle ground between "Roger Stern is the best Spider-Man writer ever" and 'Roger Stern's Spider-Man is badly written."

    It's also preferable if the thread title "agrees" with the question in the poll. If the title of the thread is "Does Hammerhead suck?" the poll question should not be "Is Hammerhead awesome?"

  8. #8

    Default What exactly is a retcon?

    Short for "retroactive continuity" the term initially applied to untold tales set in a character's past.

    Now it's come to mean something slightly different. It's a somewhat new and insular term, but it already has a definition on

    Quote Originally Posted by
    /ret'kon/ retroactive continuity.
    The common situation in fiction where a new story "reveals" things about events in previous stories, usually leaving the "facts" the same (thus preserving continuity) while completely changing their interpretation. For example, revealing that a whole season of "Dallas" was a dream was a retcon.
    This term was once thought to have originated on the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.comics but is now believed to have been used earlier in comic fandom.
    [The Jargon File]
    Generally, a retcon is a story built on a continuity point that the original writers hadn't considered at the time. In Writing for Comics, Peter David described the three types of retcons. The first is when writers tie disparate story elements together to make the mistakes seem intentional, such as revealing that Ned Leeds's inability to fight the Foreigner's goons was proof that he wasn't really the Hobgoblin. Peter David also used the example of doing a story in which Captain Marvel recreated the universe, meaning that continuity goofs in titles like the Hulk were a result of the recreation, and would soon be cleared out. These are now in-continuity explanations for goofs.

    The second is when stories put modern spins on pre-existing continuity (IE- John Byrne's revelation that Lockjaw was an Inhuman.)

    The final category of retcons is when stories establish a new and distinct continuity, sometimes with the aid of an explanation in a continuity-altering event, such as The Crisis of Infinite Earths. This is the one most comic book fans think of when they read the word "retcon" but it's also weirdest to define.

  9. #9

    Default What do editors do?

    From some of the comments, it seems that there's a widespread impression that the primary purpose of the Editor is to be a continuity cop. That's one aspect of editing, and it's certainly noticeable if there's a continuity based error (IE- a villain returns from the dead without explanation), but editors do other stuff.

    The duties may vary from individual to individual, but the tasks can include assembling creative teams, making sure that everyone's working at the right pace, setting & readjusting deadlines, serving as a bouncing board for writers & artists, and more.

  10. #10

    Default What does Disney own? What does Sony own?

    Disney recently purchased Marvel. Marvel Studios became a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company.

    Marvel Studios did not own the film rights to Spider-Man. Sony did. So the Amazing Spider-Man movie and its sequels, are distributed by Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony.

    * Update- Sony and Disney cut a deal to allow a version of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and to allow Marvel characters to appear in those films.

    One reason for the cancellation of the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, following Disney's purchase of Marvel, was that the cartoon was produced by Sony's animation studio.

    The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon is produced by Marvel Animation, and airs on Disney HD.

    Sony does has ******action television rights to Spider-Man.

  11. #11

    Default Is that a photo of Stan Lee shredding a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #700?

    Nope, it's a photoshop.

  12. #12

    Default Why did Norman Osborn come back from the dead?

    The in-story explanation for Norman Osborn's return was that the Goblin serum came with a healing factor, which allowed Osborn to survive being impaled by the Goblin Glider. He then spent a few years in Europe, before returning at the end of the Clone Saga.

    Editor Glenn Greenberg explained in Life of Reilly why Marvel chose to go with that story...

    It was around the time that these stories were produced that Bob Harras told us who should be revealed as the master villain responsible for the entire clone saga. The reaction was not enthusiastic. I don't think ANYONE - from the writers to the editors to the assistant editors - agreed with Harras's idea, although his rationale certainly made sense to a certain extent. Harras felt that there was only one person who could have had the money, the resources, the connections, the knowledge, and the motivation to orchestrate the clone saga and disrupt Peter Parker's life to such a profound extent. Harras felt that the mastermind had to be Norman Osborn.

    I was one of the most vocal opponents to this idea. "But Norman's dead!" I argued. "I mean, there was a body! We saw his funeral! There was no doubt left in anyone's mind that he died. Beyond that, he died in one of the most powerful Spider-Man stories of all time. It was a key event in Spider-Man's entire history! We would be totally betraying the trust of the fans if we went in and undid that story!" I remember someone muttering, "Who are we gonna bring back next? Gwen? Or how about Uncle Ben?" But Harras felt that no other option would work, and he made it absolutely clear that he would not be bound to a story that had been published almost 25 years earlier. Harras felt that for the here and now, Norman was the only solution, continuity and history be damned.

  13. #13

    Default Whatever happened to Baby May?

    During the Clone Saga, Peter & MJ were expecting a baby. Alison Morgain, a woman working for Norman Osborn, poisoned MJ. It seemed she had a stillbirth.

    Though there were still clues indicating that Baby May was alive.

    During the story, Morgaine delivered something to Norman Osborn.

    She was doing something for Norman Osborn, and seemed to be taking care of something in a playpen.

    Except the thing in the playpen turned out to be her cat.

    A "package" was taken from Morgain.

    She later told Peter that May was alive. Except it turned out that she was referring to Aunt May, and not Baby May. The twist was that Osborn had faked Aunt May's death 40 issues earlier.

    So all the clues that pointed to Baby May being alive were set-ups to Aunt May's return to the series.

    It seems that Baby May was killed, although this was kept ambiguous so the readers wouldn't be too upset by the death of Spider-Man's child (which is also why this isn't referenced often.) It's something the writers wanted to sweep under the rug as quickly as possible.

    The only reason the editors and writers chose to give Peter & MJ a child during the clone saga was that with Peter revealed as a clone, this would provide an excuse for him to go off into the sunset, while Ben Reilly takes over as Spider-Man.

    Some readers interpreted Mephisto's taunt in One More Day as having something to do with Baby May, but it seems to reference a daughter who had not yet been born (or conceived.)

  14. #14

    Default Was MJ ever pregnant, if the marriage was retconned?

    In interviews, Joe Quesada suggested that the pregnancy never happened if Peter & MJ weren't married.

    Since the marriage was derailed, but so many stories hinge on these two living together, are you saying that Peter and Mary Jane were co-habitating? And that MJ almost had a baby out of wedlock, but (presumably) lost it? In the end, I still plan on enjoying 'Brand New Day,' but I'm curious as to what kind of history these two share now."
    The question sort of answers itself when you quoted my saying that "almost" everything happened. The funny thing about the pregnancy issue is that Marvel at the time scrambled to derail the story as quickly as possible. I don't know exactly how that story got as far as it did, but they ultimately realized it was a huge mistake. So, taking that into consideration, I personally feel that that's one that didn't happen, chiefly because Peter and MJ now not having been married, would have taken proper precaution to avoid getting in the family way in the first place.

    The truth of the matter is that we're committed to preserving as much of these stories as is humanly possible, but because the marriage is no more and now never was, there are going to be elements that have changed. It's inevitable. But we're striving to keep those ripple effects minor, and you can suss them out in most older stories if you just give it a moment's thought. So Jonathan Caeser stalked a single Mary Jane rather than a married Mary Jane, Norman Osborn and Venom once knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man but forgot along with the rest of the world, and so on.

    Look at it this way: Norman Osborn was dead for twenty years, and then was suddenly revealed to be alive. And that changed elements of all sorts of Spidey stories that had come before it, the entire Harry cycle, the stories where Harry's shrink becomes the Green Goblin, and the whole Hobgoblin cycle. But the details of how this could all work eventually got revealed, for good or ill, and today, nobody much questions the fact that Norman is back and never really died. What we're talking about here is the same kind of thing.

    In the case of MJ's pregnancy, that storyline was itself created to end the marriage -- the creators involved only made MJ pregnant because they were planning to reveal that Ben Reilly was the real Peter Parker, and then have MJ and her clone-Pete ride off into the sunset and out of the series together. And it's an element that hasn't even been mentioned in "Amazing Spider-Man" in close to ten years, so it's not an omnipresent element that's suddenly being taken away. It was a turn down a bad road, and some of the creators even realized it at the time (which is why Mary Jane was pregnant for something like two years, as the creative teams struggled to figure out how to write themselves out of the corner they were suddenly in.) So that's an area where we maybe need to squint a little bit more in terms of overlooking it. Or, hey, you can chalk it all up to Mephisto's motivation of preventing Peter and Mary Jane's child from coming into the world.
    This would mean that the Clone Saga happened slightly differently, although Ben Reilly still died, Kaine was still introduced and Norman Osborn revealed that he wasn't dead.

    In One Moment in Time, which explained how Peter & MJ decided not to get married, Mary Jane revealed that, as far as she was concerned, the main reason to get married was to provide stability for children. As she had decided not to have children with Peter, she didn't see a point to getting married.

    This suggests that had she found herself pregnant, she probably would have gotten married to Peter.

  15. #15

    Default Was Mary Jane pregnant in One More Day?

    This question comes up every now and then.

    The final chapter of One More Day began with Mary Jane standing by a bathroom, shortly after Mephisto offered to save Aunt May's life in exchange for Peter Parker's marriage. From this, some readers assume she was vomiting.

    After Peter & Mary Jane accepted the deal, Mephisto gloated and showed them a vision of the daughter they would have otherwise had.

    Comics is a medium which is heavily reliant on visual shorthand, and morning sickness is visual shorthand for pregnancy. So, some posters here believe that Mary Jane was already expecting the perfect daughter, and that One More Day constituted a cosmic abortion.

    From the issue, there was no reference to the future child having already been conceived (something Mephisto might have enjoyed gloating about.) Nor was there any indication that Mary Jane was aware of any pregnancy. She could easily have just been throwing up due to the stress.

    In my opinion, there isn't sufficient reason to conclude that she was pregnant. But it's technically possible. And it doesn't even matter what Marvel's planning at the moment.

    The next EIC and writers could always reveal that MJ was pregnant, even if that wasn't the intent of Quesada or JMS.

    Likewise, if Quesada and JMS intended to reveal that MJ was pregnant, those plans could very easily change.

    It is worth noting that the same art (and much of the dialogue) was reused in One Moment in Time, in which Peter and MJ were explicitly not married.

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