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  1. #61
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Well I don't got anything new to add, count me in the list of those saying the Spectacular cartoon and Into the Spider-Verse.

  2. #62
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Spectacular Spider-Man was incredible. Really, the only fault was one that couldn't be controlled: No access to the wider Marvel Universe, which meant no elements like S.H.I.E.L.D, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men or any indication that there's more out there, because it was a Sony creation independent of Marvel. I know the shared universe can be mishandled, it has been mishandled (just look at the MCU), and in fact someone like Loeb would mishandle it (just look at the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series). But the one behind it was Greg Weisman, who has made a career out of incredible shows, including Young Justice (which had free reign of DC and is one of the best animated shows out right now). I think he'd know what moderation is and go for the right amount.

    He likely would've only used those elements to make it better, like having Kingpin (which they couldn't use because he was legally a Daredevil character) as a mob boss, have Spidey and DD team up, portray his adventures with the Fantastic Four and X-Men, and having an episode called "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" where he teams up with Iceman and Firestar, an episode where the Juggernaut causes trouble and Spidey has to stop him, being summoned to Battleworld alongside the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Avengers for an adaptation of the Secret Wars, and so on. However, the focus would still be on Spider-Man, his own cast, his rogues and story elements overall.

    We totally would've gotten a recreation of this:



    I only lament the fact because Weisman did such a great job making due with what they had. It was based on the Lee-Ditko era (to the point where Weisman insists that they created the show, and he merely "adapted" it), but modernized to feel like a fresh take, while also bringing in elements from later runs, the Raimi films, Ultimate Marvel, and even some elements of TAS. With such a great craft, you can imagine what he'd do with a full deck.

    Alas, it got cancelled because of outside factors. Between this, the Raimi films, TASM, and now MCU Spider-Man, I'm starting to think the Parker Luck affects his adaptations.

  3. #63
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    I think part of the hate was as you described, he "micro-managed" the staff by forcing them to work on a professional level.
    Christopher Priest, then Jim Owsley, had this to say about Shooter (who he admired): "Jim was very good at being the boss...Coming from the Mort Weisinger school of Screw 'Em If They Can't Stand The Heat...Jim made deals and threw money at people who couldn't stand him. He routinely bought big-ticket Christmas presents for staffers he knew were plotting behind his back. He didn't care about being the heavy: somebody had to be the heavy. But, for Marvel to survive and grow, the kids would have to grow up. And Shooter became the avatar of our painful adolescence."

    Really, the only fault I have with Shooter as far as the stories under him go is that he apparently enforced a blanket ban on swearing even as comics weren't really kids stuff anymore. It's why Chris Claremont had to come up with all sorts of creative words and insults, because Shooter wouldn't let him swear. Not really a "bad" thing, but rather arbitrary when you think about it. When you consider how mature, violent, and sexual the comics under him could get at times, especially in the X-Men books (which always seem to be the area of Marvel where writers and artists can explore their fetishes without judgment), the ban on saying "damn" or "ass" seems rather silly.
    Shooter wasn't always right, and not everything he did was for the best. As a writer he could be uneven...he could write Secret Wars '84 but then write outright bad stuff like the second Secret Wars. He did have a sense of "protecting" the characters and that meant taking a moral stance. In one instance, Bill Mantlo came to Shooter with a pitch to do a story where Felicia gives birth to Peter Parker's child out of wedlock, Shooter told him flat out not happening because Marvel's licensing of Spider-Man to other brands had moral contracts that specified no controversy, nothing that would bring the Bible Belt down on Marvel for making them like a hero who knocks up girls and swings away.

    At the same time, Shooter did encourage progression, growth and change in the Marvel continuity. I don't know if he gave lip service to "illusion of change" but he certainly didn't seem to practice it. He wrote the "Hank Pym slaps Janet saga" (Avengers #211-230 albeit some fill-ins were by Michelinie and the conclusion was done by Roger Stern) specifically because he saw the set-up of how Hank had been treated and the stories of their relationship that had happened and he did it because...he wanted Janet to come into her own and become team leader. A lot of Hank Pym denialists and so on tend to be sleeper MRA types and it's not an accident that attempts to fix Hank from the "slapping" (which happens to be the single greatest story with Hank Pym) tend to come at Janet's expense. Take the movies. Movie Hank Pym doesn't have the baggage and so on, but for that to work, Janet van Dyne is missing for the first movie and shows up in the third act of the second movie.

  4. #64
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    What you said about Jim Shooter's little inconsistencies and how he wrote Secret Wars '84 before going downhill with Secret Wars II reminds me of what I've been thinking for a while. When you get down to it, I don't think even the best creators can hit the mark every single time. Overall, I'd say it's important to judge a creator more for their successes than their failures.

    For example:
    • Frank Miller is one of the most important comic creators ever, especially in the '80s where he redefined Daredevil to a level that Claremont was for X-Men, wrote some of the most definitive Batman stories, and helped to ushered in an era of mature comic book storytelling. He also wrote All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder and Holy Terror, which are both terrible and I'd prefer to forget when possible.
    • Chris Claremont, as we know, created the X-Men as it is today, turning them from a poor man's Fantastic Four and into one of the biggest cash cows for Marvel and celebrated franchises. After his epic run, much of his non-X work was rather so-so. One that stands out as particularly bad was his run on Gen13 in 2002, which featured characters acting as total stereotypes before getting cancelled.
    • Tom DeFalco has consistently been good throughout his career, like in the '80s with his run on Spider-Man, creating Spider-Ham, Dazzler, writing the Firestar mini, introducing the New Warriors through Thor, and his Thor run itself being pretty good (not quite on Simonson's level, but is any Thor run comparable?), and remains a fan-favorite to this day... barring the blight where he wrote one of the worst Fantastic Four runs during the '90s. Reed Richards died, Johnny's wife Alicia was retconned into being a Skrull, and that infamous stripper costume for Sue was under his pen.
    • Brian Michael Bendis, for all the hate he gets today, was one of the hot new writers of his time and looking back it's easy to see why. Going from his early indie stuff with Jinx and Powers, then making the redefining take on Spidey with Ultimate Spider-Man (which especially stands out given that everyone else in UM was made into jerks, insane, or both, to be more "realistic"), then his modern run on Daredevil, and his MAX creation Alias (bringing us Jessica Jones), he was on a hotstreak. I think the main issue was that Marvel became reliant on him to a fault, where he became the creative lead that everyone had to answer to, thus causing the line to suffer. They developed an addiction to Bendis that was as strong as event comics. He may have suffered from creative burnout, because Riri Williams was nothing short of crappy writing and him trying to force his pet character on us (I heard she's gotten better under new writing which also completely divorces her from Tony, but never read the post-Bendis Riri). When he left for DC, I think we were relieved. I hear his DC stuff is doing pretty good, too.
    • Nick Spencer wrote the hilarious Superior Foes of Spider-Man (which is honestly a lot better than Superior Spider-Man, the story it was meant to tie in to), and brought back much of the fun and freshness of Spidey starting in 2018. It's easy to forget he was the one who wrote Secret Empire, which honestly was the epitome of everything wrong with Marvel during the mid-'10s.

    There are plenty more. Not everyone hits the mark all the time, and I think people have different strengths (Spencer for example is much better writing Spider-Man stuff than anything Captain America-related), it might be due to burnout or circumstances dampening creativity, or they just mess up. Some examples, however, have such a difference in quality between their best and their worst that it can be hard to believe they were made by the same person.

  5. #65
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    When you get down to it, I don't think even the best creators can hit the mark every single time. Overall, I'd say it's important to judge a creator more for their successes than their failures.
    I agree. Consistency is pretty rare even among terrific talents. In comics, Alan Moore has been consistent producing masterpieces per decade. Grant Morrison likewise did terrific stuff, after the 80s stuff at Vertigo, he did Invisibles in the '90s and then followed that with defining runs on X-Men, followed by a defining run on Batman. In-between you had All-Star Superman.

    But they are exceptions. Most writer/artists have a few good years before plateauing or they burn out.

    [*]Tom DeFalco has consistently been good throughout his career, like in the '80s with his run on Spider-Man, creating Spider-Ham, Dazzler, writing the Firestar mini, introducing the New Warriors through Thor, and his Thor run itself being pretty good (not quite on Simonson's level, but is any Thor run comparable?), and remains a fan-favorite to this day... barring the blight where he wrote one of the worst Fantastic Four runs during the '90s. Reed Richards died, Johnny's wife Alicia was retconned into being a Skrull, and that infamous stripper costume for Sue was under his pen.
    I actually think retconning Johnny's marriage to Alicia was the right call. Alicia was always intended by Kirby and Lee to be Ben Grimm's love interest and not Johnny's. The original relationship was put forth by John Byrne as a way by him to torpedo the Ben-Alicia romance. I know this sounds hypocritical, but while I am absolutely for Spider-Man getting his marriage back...I just don't think Johnny Storm is the marrying kind and that he's more interested as the Joey Tribbiani of the FF.

  6. #66
    Fantastic Member RD155's Avatar
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    Haven’t read the entire thread so sorry if I’m just repeating what’s been said but best version outside the 616 comics is by far the PS4 version of the character. It’s not even remotely close. I think what holds it back is the fact that it’s a video game so it might get passed up by people who aren’t gamers. It’s a shame because any Spider-Man fan that misses out on that story is doing themselves a huge disservice. It’s far and away better then anything we’ve seen in the present day MCU version. They managed to perfectly capture the tone and spirit of the character. The fact that it was one of best depictions of the Peter/MJ relationship didn’t hurt either.....

    The PS4 video game depiction even goes toe to toe with some of the best 616 depictions as well. It’s that good.

  7. #67

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    Whoever wrote the quoted text from the start is wrong. Spider-Man's main thing is that he's the loser superhero: the one who has to sew his costume, is short on money, gets sick, gets grounded, has to fight in embarrassing conditions, has a newspaper that hates him and distorts everything he does, etc. As a teenager living with a parental figure, that works like a charm. As an adult, it looks a bit ridiculous. So yes, the best Spider-man ever is the Ultimate one.

  8. #68
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    You realize Spidey being a teen is a brief part of his history, and it only feels longer because all the adaptations go with that right?

  9. #69
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    Whoever wrote the quoted text from the start is wrong. Spider-Man's main thing is that he's the loser superhero: the one who has to sew his costume, is short on money, gets sick, gets grounded, has to fight in embarrassing conditions, has a newspaper that hates him and distorts everything he does, etc. As a teenager living with a parental figure, that works like a charm. As an adult, it looks a bit ridiculous. So yes, the best Spider-man ever is the Ultimate one.
    Except for being grounded, I don't see how the hardships you've listed would look any more ridiculous for an adult than a teen. Lots of people struggle with finances, health, embarrassment and mischaracterization.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    Spectacular Spider-Man was incredible. Really, the only fault was one that couldn't be controlled: No access to the wider Marvel Universe, which meant no elements like S.H.I.E.L.D, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men or any indication that there's more out there, because it was a Sony creation independent of Marvel. I know the shared universe can be mishandled, it has been mishandled (just look at the MCU), and in fact someone like Loeb would mishandle it (just look at the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series). But the one behind it was Greg Weisman, who has made a career out of incredible shows, including Young Justice (which had free reign of DC and is one of the best animated shows out right now). I think he'd know what moderation is and go for the right amount.
    Honestly, I feel that the "restriction" to Spider-Man's corner of the Marvel universe was one of the best parts! The team went and maximized what they were working with, pulling from various runs and alternate universes. Sure the fact that they couldn't use Kingpin was a CRIME, and there were some good ideas that could have never been realized (the team thought that Ben Paker would have had a lot of Captain America memorabilia, which indirectly inspired Peter [which is hilarious since nowadays it would be Tony Stark to be that inspiration]), but they found ways to work around it and make the most of Spider-Man's corner of the Marvel Universe. I feel that we would be more likely to see characters like Crime Master and the Lobo Brothers before Dr Doom, Bullseye, and larger name characters. We already got that by using Stephanie Briggs and Joseph Wade of Scarlet Spider's FBI over the shared universe take of using Maria Hill and Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D (as you KNOW that is exactly what would have happened with the Master Planner adaptation), sure they didn't have big parts, but it did encourage looking up who these characters were. It shows that Spider-Man's corner is rich in content to use. I find it funny as the MCU has tried to use minor characters from the comics as well [Monica Warren, Brad Davis, etc]...but you kind of forget that they are there with much bigger names in the mix.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistah K88 View Post
    Honestly, I feel that the "restriction" to Spider-Man's corner of the Marvel universe was one of the best parts! The team went and maximized what they were working with, pulling from various runs and alternate universes. Sure the fact that they couldn't use Kingpin was a CRIME, and there were some good ideas that could have never been realized (the team thought that Ben Paker would have had a lot of Captain America memorabilia, which indirectly inspired Peter [which is hilarious since nowadays it would be Tony Stark to be that inspiration]), but they found ways to work around it and make the most of Spider-Man's corner of the Marvel Universe. I feel that we would be more likely to see characters like Crime Master and the Lobo Brothers before Dr Doom, Bullseye, and larger name characters. We already got that by using Stephanie Briggs and Joseph Wade of Scarlet Spider's FBI over the shared universe take of using Maria Hill and Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D (as you KNOW that is exactly what would have happened with the Master Planner adaptation), sure they didn't have big parts, but it did encourage looking up who these characters were. It shows that Spider-Man's corner is rich in content to use. I find it funny as the MCU has tried to use minor characters from the comics as well [Monica Warren, Brad Davis, etc]...but you kind of forget that they are there with much bigger names in the mix.
    I know!!

    Spider-Man has enough characters even with the liberties that the show took. That’s why I never understood why Spider-Man had to have so many appearances with other heroes. It’s fun to see him interact with Torch, Hulk and others but his supporting cast is enough for him to have interesting people to talk to.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    You realize Spidey being a teen is a brief part of his history, and it only feels longer because all the adaptations go with that right?
    You initial question was "Outside the mainstream comics continuity, what telling of Spider-Man captured the essence of both the character and his mythology the best while also giving a different interpretation of the lore?" So yes, I know that Spider-Man was a teenager for a brief time in 616. Regardless, it's what work best for his kind of character. 616 is not the ancient tome of sacred perfection: it is the first and longest portrayal of Spider-Man, but that doesn't mean that it will be the best.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Except for being grounded, I don't see how the hardships you've listed would look any more ridiculous for an adult than a teen. Lots of people struggle with finances, health, embarrassment and mischaracterization.
    In the case of a teenager, it makes complete sense. In the case of an adult... Superior Spider-Man couldn't have said it better.


  13. #73
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    Regardless, it's what work best for his kind of character. 616 is not the ancient tome of sacred perfection: it is the first and longest portrayal of Spider-Man, but that doesn't mean that it will be the best.
    I love Bendis' Ultimate, but I can't think of stories there that are as good as Master Planner Saga, Kraven's Last Hunt, The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man, The Owl/Octopus War, none of which really work with a teenage high school Spider-Man.

    And in any case, I doubt very much if Bendis' USM was really a loser...or even entirely sensible as a teenage kid.

    In the case of a teenager, it makes complete sense. In the case of an adult... Superior Spider-Man couldn't have said it better.
    In other words, the Randian-than-Rand and Trumpier-Than-Trump idea of 'If you're so smart why aren't you rich"

  14. #74

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    He does not need to be rich as in Beverly Hills 90210, but there's no excuse for him to be in his usual condition. Reed Richards, useless as he may be, does not have to live under those problems.

  15. #75
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    He does not need to be rich as in Beverly Hills 90210, but there's no excuse for him to be in his usual condition.
    Beverly Hills 90210?! Boy that sure does date you.

    Peter's condition in USM was poor high school student. His consistent in 616 is mid-20s grad student. With luck and pluck, and help from family and friends, he's managed to stay in New York...which makes him a fairly accurate portrayal of the average millennial which sliding timescale wise, is what he is now, especially as seen in the Spider-Man PS4 game.

    Reed Richards, useless as he may be, does not have to live under those problems.
    Reed Richards is in his 40s. It's not fair to compare someone in his '40s to someone in his mid-20s.

    Likewise, I don't get this sense of scale. Peter's a great mind and smart inventor but he isn't Reed Richards, nor does he need to be. And I know this might be hard for some people to grasp...but science isn't a deathmatch. Albert Einstein's greatness doesn't negate say Preston Tucker, a little known obscure automobile inventor and scientist.

    Peter's story resembles a lot of real-life inventors from poor backgrounds and so on.

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