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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Default How important is Spidey's corner to the MU's worldbuilding overall?

    While most people were understandably upset that Sony pulled the plug on Spider-Man in the MCU for no good reason, I have seen an outlier who defends it by saying that Spidey's stories work best when he's alone, when it's just him against the world, and his corner is better as a isolated setting as it's already self-contained.

    Personally, I find the argument that Spider-Man exists in a vacuum to be completely untrue, but I'd like to see what you guys think?

    Here are some of the facts about Spider-Man and his verse that have had large effects on the Marvel Universe:

    • Spidey is often characterized as a loner, and while he often avoids being a full-fledged team member, he has been a member either officially, honorarily, or temporarily. He's had a close association with the Fantastic Four since the early days of Marvel, as the "Fifth Beatle". He's both helped the Avengers and been an Avenger himself. He's even been an X-Man (despite not being a mutant), as he had a stint as a teacher as Jean Grey's School of Higher Learning (on top of their many adventures together).
    • He's also helped out other teams, like the New Warriors, the Power Pack and the Defenders.
    • Spidey headlined a longstanding series called Marvel Team-Up, where he would team up with a different hero each issue. The premise was seeing Spidey play off all kinds of heroes.
    • Several different characters, such as Punisher, Cloak and Dagger, and Monica Rambeau made their debut in Spider-Man. Also, Jessica Jones was inserted in the universe as a former classmate of Peter Parker.
    • Several Spidey-related heroes have made their mark elsewhere. For example, the New Warriors (seen as an Avengers-adjacent team) had both Ben Reilly and Kaine as members in the past. Anya Corazon, another Spider-character, had a close association with Carol Danvers when she was Ms. Marvel. Miles Morales was both an Avenger, and founded the Champions. Morbius is also a founder of the Midnight Sons, a major supernatural team. Let's not forget the impact Venom and the Symbiotes have had on the wide universe as well.
    • Spidey has had longstanding partnerships with several Marvel heroes, including Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Prowler, among others.
    • His supporting cast have also impacted the wider universe. J. Jonah Jameson has shown up in multiple Daredevil comics, due to reporter Ben Urich being a key DD supporting character. Liz Allan, Peter's old friend, dated key Daredevil supporting character Foggy Nelson. J.J.'s son John Jameson was a part of Captain America's supporting cast. Flash Thompson, the bully-turned-friend of Peter, eventually became Agent Venom and served both the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Mary Jane Watson also became a PA to Tony Stark, thus showing up as a recurring character in the Iron Man comics.
    • His extensive rogues have also made their presence felt. Rhino often fights Hulk, Kraven fought Hulk and Black Panther, Kingpin started as a Spidey rogue before becoming Daredevil's archenemy, Electro and Mysterio have also fought DD (the former being his first supervillain fight), Sandman spent 10 years fighting the Fantastic Four as part of the Frightful Four after his Spider-Man debut, and in the '90s he had a pretty good stint as an Avenger. The Masters of Evil, longstanding Avengers foes, have included Spider-Man villains, and one iteration was even led by Doctor Octopus. Shocker also recently joined Kamala Khan's rogues gallery. Also, the Thunderbolts have included many Spidey villains throughout, notably Beetle was a founding member and turned a new leaf as Mach-1.
    • Finally, there's Norman Osborn, the archenemy of Spider-Man. He spent the '00s and the '10s as a widespread general Marvel big bad, menacing just about everyone both directly and indirectly including the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men, and everyone in-between. Keep in mind the Green Goblin spun off the pages of Spider-Man to begin with.

    So all in all, I'd say Spider-Man's corner is a very important pillar of Marvel. However, I'm interested in seeing what you guys think of his status and relation in regards to the wider universe.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Hybrid; 09-01-2019 at 03:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Spider-Man shows up in other titles a lot, but doesn't really enrich them on a fundamental level. They're just fun guest appearances.

    Some of the villains have proven popular elsewhere - Kingpin in Daredevil, Sandman in the Frightful Four. The Daily Bugle is a useful fixture for any Marvel heroes based in New York City. But overall, the other Marvel properties can get by just fine without Spider-Man, and Spider-Man can get by without the other Marvel properties.

    The Avengers movies, on the other hand, wouldn't have felt right if Captain America, Iron Man or Thor were missing.

  3. #3
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    His place in the universe is important because his corner is the most active representation of New York, the capital city of the Marvel Universe. While you could hypothetically remove him without much changing and have that role fulfilled by other street heroes, he's just too popular. So his influence starts to bleed into other areas more as the Spider franchise itself expands and adapts to be more flexible and tell stories in every genre under the sun so more stories can be told to meet the demand birthed from the popularity.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Vortex85's Avatar
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    As far as Spider-Man in the MCU goes, thatís fine for me as long as Spider-Man is done correctly within it first and foremost. I felt Spider-Man was too much the Tony Stark successor and didnít have his own identity intact. Further I donít like the fact that Marvel canít get all the Sony characters. For example, a made up character Michelle Jones is replacing Mary Jane because Sony apparently wouldnít let Marvel have that character. So basically you get a half assed version of Spider-Man just to world build the MCU. As a Spider-Man fan first, for me itís not worth it. I need Spider-man done right first. Then and only then can you look at world building with other characters and properties.
    Last edited by Vortex85; 09-01-2019 at 02:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    The times Spider-Man was a loner are already prehistoric. Even when he helped Marvel's most important teams (Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men...), he has formed his own team composed of all the Spiders through the Universe AND the Multiverse. So, he's no longer a loner.

    Besides, the role of Spider-Man in the MCU is really important, as they have presented him as the inheritor of Tony Stark/Iron Man's legagy. Not to mention there's no way that the cliffhanger of "Far From Home" will be left unsolved.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member tbaron's Avatar
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    As much as I love Spiderman, he is one of my favorite characters I dont feel he is that important to the MU overall. Ye he has been on The Avengers but that was not an essential spot that needed to be filled. What I mean by that is that The Avengers didnt need Spiderman to function as a team. Even more so because he has been the comic relief on the team. Yes he did Marvel team up but none of those stories really had much of an impact. When Doc Ock first appeared it was The Human Torch who was asked to stop him. Spiderman just beat him to the punch because he wanted to gets pics. If there was no Spiderman Doc Ock would have become a Fantastic Four villain.
    Favorite teams. Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Justice Society of America, Legion of Superheroes.

  7. #7
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    Dear OP, not to sound dismissive, but ask yourself


    "How many times has Spider-Man been of vital importance to Marvel's overall lore?"


    How many crossover events gave Spider-Man the right position, spotlight and importance? How many times did Spider-Man manage to be the high-light of the Avengers or some other group of heroes?


    Yeah, Spider-Man has been an on and off Avenger for some time, but how often did he save the day? How often he managed to do things better or on par with Thor, Captain America and Iron Man?

    Almost never, and those few times were on Spider-Man issues/sagas, not on Avengers volumes or Crossovers.

    From a lore standpoint, Spider-Man is a strong hero on a street level scale, but almost useless in cosmic scenarios.

    Spider-Man has had his bright moments in the larger Marvel Comics Universe, but those were mostly circumstantial and isolated.

    Spider-Man works better alone. This does not mean that he CANNOT work within a group or a crossover event, but that requires a lot more time and creative effort than write the usual 24 pages Spidey stories.

  8. #8
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    I'm asking in general how much you think the Spidey mythos impacted the large-scale Marvel Universe. I mean, I'd say Norman Osborn going from Spidey rogue to general Marvel supervillain who antagonizes everyone is a pretty big deal. Just an example.

    I never asked if Spider-Man himself was ever vitally important to a company-wide event, but how much him and his elements have made their impact as a whole? How would you put Spidey's impact on the overall scale of the MU?

    Just what I had in mind. I also think the X-Men have been important to worldbuilding the MU, because of their massive size and many elements, despite some arguing how disconnected they were. Long story but it's because the X-Men were far more popular and beloved than the Avengers for many years. People often forget that the Avengers were a dumping ground and the idea of them being core to the MU is a recent development.

    Overall, I'd say any part of the MU will all contribute worldbuilding that make up the setting as we know, but to varying levels.

  9. #9
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    I think the big difference is that Spider-Man and X-Men were individual series, whereas Avengers was a crossover series.

    So whereas the Avengers would draw from all across the Marvel Universe, the X-Men titles mostly existed in their own bubble, as did Spider-Man (excepting Marvel Team-Up, which usually didn't feed into the ongoing narrative in Amazing Spider-Man).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    I'm asking in general how much you think the Spidey mythos impacted the large-scale Marvel Universe. I mean, I'd say Norman Osborn going from Spidey rogue to general Marvel supervillain who antagonizes everyone is a pretty big deal. Just an example.
    .

    Even in that case, the Norman Osborn that appears during the Dark Avengers-Siege arcs is so different from the one saw in earlier Spider-Man stories (and even few of the more recent ones, like Marvel's Knight) that I wonder if your example really fits the bill.

    Yes, during a very specific Marvel event Norman Osborn was a global threat rather than a street level one.
    But it was an ineffective change, as almost immediately after Norman came back as a mostly Spider-Man villain and even merging Himself with another Spidey villain (Carnage).



    The closest thing related to Spider-Man that managed to somewhat influence the greater Marvel universe was Venom in the 90s. By that time, Venom was basically a fixed guest star in Spider-Man comics, he had his ongoing series and has fought against Wolverine, Daredevil and Captain America in their pages. Even in that case, I think it was due more of the Venom craze of the 90s than Spider lore influencing the greater Marvel Comics Universe.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    It's important to separate Watsonian and Doylist reasons.

    On a Watsonian level, yeah Spider-Man seems marginal and unimportant to the Marvel Shared Universe.
    On a Doylist level, the reason for that is that Spider-Man is inherently interesting by himself compared to say, Iron Man.

    Until Civil War and the start of Marvel's ridiciulous event-fetishes, the understanding was that Marvel's shared universe was by and large a kind of gentleman's agreement. Everyone knew that shared universes were largely to the benefit of characters and parts of the MU who couldn't carry a comic by themselves.

    So the reason Spider-Man is marginal to the Shared Universe is that he can exist on his own, independently from the Shared Universe, and everyone knows it. The same is true of the X-Men.

    Even then, Spider-Man has historically played a big part in the shared universe.
    -- Doctor Doom's first appearance outside the pages of Fantastic Four is ASM #5. So Spider-Man played a part in establishing Doom as a Marvel-wide villain.
    -- Amazing Spider-Man is the title that has seen the debut of The Punisher and Monica Rambeau. The Spectacular Spider-Man likewise had the debut of Cloak and Dagger.
    -- Spider-Man's supporting cast played a major part in the Marvel Universe: Jameson has appeared in numerous titles, and had prominent scenes in Frank Miller's run on Daredevil. Mary Jane was Carol Danvers' first supporting character and later became Iron Man's for a brief spell. John Jameson, son of Jonah, was a supporting character in Captain America comics, serving as Steve's pilot. Flash Thompson became Agent Venom and was on the GOTG.
    -- Spider-Man had a major supporting role in two of Marvel's biggest events -- Secret Wars (1984) and CIVIL WAR. The latter is currently the record holder for Marvel's biggest selling event (though adjusted for inflation, Secret Wars probably still has it beat).

  12. #12
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Spider-Man is a street level hero with a very developed corner of Marvel's New York setting and the people who live in it.

    He is the source for the biggest sources of news in the setting.

    His Rogues Gallery is so large and widespread that other heroes usually fight at least one or two throughout their career.

    Most major crime boss figures in the Marvel Universe originate from him. Practically every major crime figure in New York can say they have tussled with Spider-Man at some point.

    Like, assume the Spectacular Spider-Man was canon to Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (like the creators were maybe/sorta trying to go for when they brought back some of the Spec VA's before the recasting happened). The stuff Spidey deals with isn't necessarily on the scale of The Avengers but it still has value and enriches the setting on its own individual level.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    It's important to separate Watsonian and Doylist reasons.

    On a Watsonian level, yeah Spider-Man seems marginal and unimportant to the Marvel Shared Universe.
    On a Doylist level, the reason for that is that Spider-Man is inherently interesting by himself compared to say, Iron Man.

    Until Civil War and the start of Marvel's ridiciulous event-fetishes, the understanding was that Marvel's shared universe was by and large a kind of gentleman's agreement. Everyone knew that shared universes were largely to the benefit of characters and parts of the MU who couldn't carry a comic by themselves.

    So the reason Spider-Man is marginal to the Shared Universe is that he can exist on his own, independently from the Shared Universe, and everyone knows it. The same is true of the X-Men.

    Even then, Spider-Man has historically played a big part in the shared universe.
    -- Doctor Doom's first appearance outside the pages of Fantastic Four is ASM #5. So Spider-Man played a part in establishing Doom as a Marvel-wide villain.
    -- Amazing Spider-Man is the title that has seen the debut of The Punisher and Monica Rambeau. The Spectacular Spider-Man likewise had the debut of Cloak and Dagger.
    -- Spider-Man's supporting cast played a major part in the Marvel Universe: Jameson has appeared in numerous titles, and had prominent scenes in Frank Miller's run on Daredevil. Mary Jane was Carol Danvers' first supporting character and later became Iron Man's for a brief spell. John Jameson, son of Jonah, was a supporting character in Captain America comics, serving as Steve's pilot. Flash Thompson became Agent Venom and was on the GOTG.
    -- Spider-Man had a major supporting role in two of Marvel's biggest events -- Secret Wars (1984) and CIVIL WAR. The latter is currently the record holder for Marvel's biggest selling event (though adjusted for inflation, Secret Wars probably still has it beat).
    For me I always thought the inherent appeal of Marvel's shared universe was that you'd get all these vastly different settings that could be classed under different genres (besides superhero of course), and they all exist under the same roof with the full ability to meet each other. Ideally, a superhero's setting should have at least some ability to stand on their own, but them being able to play off other settings is part of the fun. For that reason, I always preferred Marvel's shared universe to DC's, as it feel better integrated and connected by virtue of having been intended as a shared universe from the start.

    That's where I think Spider-Man should always be. He may be able to hold his own franchise, but the fact is that any Marvel property works best when access to the other parts of the universe (in my opinion). I think even Sony ran into that issue with their Amazing Spider-Man Universe, as they were greatly limited by not having access to the rest of Marvel (makes me wonder how they're going to try it again...).

  14. #14
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    The moment Hydra Cap happened the whole Marvel Universe kinda stopped.

    When Captain America died after Civil War the Marvel universe almost stopped.


    When Spider-Man died during "The Other" or when Spider-Island happened almost nobody outside of the main Spider-Man lore cared and when they did, it was on Spider-Man pages.

    Spider-Island was supposed to be an apocalyptic event for the whole Marvel universe, it transformed Cap into a giant spider and, despite all this, the event was confined in Spider-Man's pages.

    In my humble opinion Spider-Man will impact the Marvel lore the moment non-Spidey characters (Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Cap Marvel, Wolverine, etc) will start caring about him on their pages/stories/ongoing series outside the occasional team up or cameo.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    For me I always thought the inherent appeal of Marvel's shared universe was that you'd get all these vastly different settings that could be classed under different genres (besides superhero of course), and they all exist under the same roof with the full ability to meet each other. Ideally, a superhero's setting should have at least some ability to stand on their own, but them being able to play off other settings is part of the fun. For that reason, I always preferred Marvel's shared universe to DC's, as it feel better integrated and connected by virtue of having been intended as a shared universe from the start.
    The Marvel Shared Universe has its charms when you have a character like Doom. Doctor Doom is the most versatile character there is. Doom can work against any hero, any genre, any setting. He can get in anyone and everyone's face from no-powered nuts like the Punisher all the way to the Mighty Thor. From Luke Cage to Doctor Strange. Doom works brilliantly in Spider-Man's corner the few times he has crossed over.

    But most Marvel characters don't have that versatility, among both heroes and villains.

    --Iron Man for instance would not be interesting if you put him against street criminals and gangsters. Dude with the arsenal and ordinance of an entire aircraft carrier versus street punks, not so interesting. Iron Man also doesn't work well when you have him deal with X-Men related stuff since aside from throwing money, there's not much Iron Man can do, aside from getting wasted by Magneto with a single sway of his hand.
    --Captain America works well in street settings, political settings, and cosmic settings. But put him in an X-Men story where you have the loyalty to nothing but the dream confront the fact that he doesn't seem to do much for mutants. I am not sure if that's an issue with him or the X-Men since the X-Men's entire issue of mutant persecution and being on the margins rests awkwardly within the Marvel Universe for reasons many people have pointed out.

    Spider-Man's a fairly versatile character in a lot of respects I'll say. Spider-Man's run has worked well when squared off with the street criminals, with super-criminals, and even cosmic and supernatural stuff. Spider-Man becoming Captain Universe is a classic story, as is JMS' Spider-Totem saga.

    That's where I think Spider-Man should always be. He may be able to hold his own franchise, but the fact is that any Marvel property works best when access to the other parts of the universe (in my opinion).
    If you look at Spider-Man's publication history. His major shared universe events and stories is stuff like "Nothing can stop the Juggernaut!", "Spider-Man Versus Firelord", the "Captain Universe Saga", "Doomed Affairs", "The Death of Jean deWolff", Slott's 'Spider-Man/Human Torch". I'd also add that wonderful and charming two-parter with Loki that Fiona Avery co-worked with JMS, where Spider-Man and Loki prove to have better chemistry than Spider-Man and Thor ever did. From Ultimate Spider-Man, you have the romance with Ultimate Kitty Pryde.

    But aside from that, there's not much. The majority of Spider-Man's stuff works best with him as a solo hero.

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