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  1. #76
    Fantastic Member Haquim's Avatar
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    While I forgive OMD (it was Quesadaphisto's fault) I cannot forgive Sins Past. That mess should never ever have happened!

  2. #77

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    Everything up to Sins Past (the infamous arc that reveals that Gwen Stacy had sex and became pregnant with the twins of Norman Osborne) is good-to-great, after Sins Past it goes downhill and never recovers. I do think JMS over stayed his run on the book.
    Last edited by Cyberstrike; 05-25-2020 at 01:51 PM.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The fact is that a 3-year old will come to know Spider-Man through toys, through song (the "Spider-Man" 1967 theme song is a good kid's song), through stickers, through labels, and so on. Not through stories. They will know Spider-Man far before they find out he is Peter Parker, long before they hear "With Great Power comes great responsibility" or listen to any of his jokes. I say that as an uncle to a three-year old kid.

    As for why Spider-Man appeals to kids, it goes to the core of Ditko's design for the character, for a small kid largely confined to their room and just starting to walk out and discover the world, the appeal of crawling around the walls and ceilings is more immediate and tactile than say "flying" or "throwing his mighty shield". I think you can also extend that to older readers and teenagers, people who are "shut-ins" who spend time staring at ceilings, whether they read a lot or are asocial nerds and so on. So a guy who crawls around walls is fairly immediate in terms of experience to them in terms of a fantasy. Small kids are also fascinated with insects, bugs and other stuff because those are often their first introduction to animals (at least in families where they don't have pets). So Spider-Man as a concept speaks directly and immediately to that, over and beyond him being Peter Parker. Fact is only a small part of the global Spider-Man fanbase reads comics books, or thinks of Spider-Man in terms of story. For most people, Spider-Man is simply the guy who cralws up walls and swings around. That Spider-Man 1967 song ("Spider-man, Spider-Man/Does whatever a Spider can") for instance has become a popular standard and was sung and known among people who never read the Spider-man comics and never will. Not once do those lyrics mention Spider-Man's real name and age.
    All good points, but I suspect Spider-Man's personality is a factor too. Every kid is exposed to Spider-Man either on film on television very soon after they learn to talk. Spider-Man's playfulness (something we tend to associate more with kids) arguably registers more with a four-year old than Superman or Cap's personalities do at that age. In that sense, Spidey being "young at heart" is one of the reasons kids are immediately drawn to him.

  4. #79
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    Best writer, on equal standing with dan as my favorite.

  5. #80

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    some of his arcs should be made into animated movies. He could also write the next live action film.

  6. #81
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberstrike View Post
    Everything up to Sins Past (the infamous arc that reveals that Gwen Stacy had sex and became pregnant with the twins of Norman Osborne) is good-to-great, after Sins Past it goes downhill and never recovers. I do think JMS over stayed his run on the book.
    I'm not sure if he over stayed because of how editorial started to interfere and meddle. I largely agree with your point after Sins Past, with the exception of the Back in Black arc, which was pretty good.
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  7. #82
    Spectacular Member Spidey_62's Avatar
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    I think it's pretty terrible that the Paul Jenkins/Mark Buckingham Peter Parker: Spider-Man run from the same time JMS/JRJR were on Amazing, and Bendis/Bagley were on Ultimate, gets overlooked so often. Jenkins/Buckingham started on PPSM 10 months before JMS started on ASM and they were like the first glimmer of revitalization for mainline Spider-Man comics.

    I think that whole 2001-2004 period roughly is a high point creatively for Spider-Man. That's not even counting Tangled Web (a type of book I wish would happen again with creators of all sorts leaving a mark on some aspect of Spider-Man's world).

    When I say 2001-2004 I'd say that starts with Ultimate Spider-Man being on fire and Peter Parker: Spider-Man bringing life back to the main universe's books by doing thoughtful stuff instead of convoluted stuff, and then JMS jumping on the main book and having some really different directions to take the character. In between that period sure there's some weaker stories interspersed but the overall thruline is very strong with each book offering something unique (USM a reimagining of Lee/Ditko Spidey for the 21st century, PPSM well-written, introspective smaller scale stories focusing on Peter, often giving us the classic rogues not found in ASM, ASM injecting big questions of mysticsm vs. science that hadn't ever been touched on before along with new rogues and a more mature status quo as a teacher, and Tangled Web giving us stories about the characters surrounding Spider-Man by talents that don't typically tackle Spider-Man.

    I'd say roughly that golden period ends around Avengers Disassembled tie-ins, and Sins Past. So basically weird editorial mandates stepping in.

  8. #83
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey_62 View Post
    I'd say roughly that golden period ends around Avengers Disassembled tie-ins, and Sins Past. So basically weird editorial mandates stepping in.
    You did have Mark Millar's MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN which came out in 2004-2005. And then of course Matt Fraction's "To Have and to Hold" came out in 2007, alongside Back in Black.

  9. #84
    Spectacular Member Spidey_62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    You did have Mark Millar's MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN which came out in 2004-2005. And then of course Matt Fraction's "To Have and to Hold" came out in 2007, alongside Back in Black.
    True! That run was starting just as JMS/JRJR was wrapping up, I forgot that book but that's something that definitely qualifies. It offered a really different tone from any other Spidey books at the time or before, really, and there's not many other Spidey runs like it that put Spidey through the wringer and have so many villains intertwined. I would say the cutoff period is that point because after that the Spidey books are all pretty mired in crossovers and tie-ins to events for years ( Sins Past, Sins Remembered, Avengers Disassembled, New Avengers, The Other, Civil War, Black in Black, One More Day).

    It's pretty nonstop from there on out and I think the quality dropped for JMS' work on the title pretty quickly as did his enthusiasm despite it feeling like he was trying his best. I think Civil War Spidey tie-ins and Back in Black have their fans but I don't think those stories were a great time for Spider-Man, they didn't really feel like good examples of Spider-Man stories. To Have in To Hold is definitely the big stand-out all-timer of that era that really got Peter and MJ in a great way. That's just one awesome issue in the middle of a bunch of consistently mostly mediocre stuff, though. Aguire-Sacasa on Sensational was probably the strongest title of the Civil War/Back in Black years.
    Last edited by Spidey_62; 05-31-2020 at 10:51 PM.

  10. #85
    Incredible Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey_62 View Post
    I think Civil War Spidey tie-ins and Back in Black have their fans
    It does, it's way better than, say, "Skin Deep", which is usually overlooked as part of the worst JMS stuff.

  11. #86
    Fantastic Member mikelmcknight72's Avatar
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    There are far more good and even great parts of his run than there are bad parts, but the bad parts or so bad. Blame for those parts largely falls on editorial mandates, as has been well documented by interviews with both JMS and Quesada. If I had been in charge, I'd have done the following:

    Keep the marriage intact.
    Keep May being aware he is Spider-Man.
    Sins Past would never have been published. If forced to write a "Gwen secretly had twins" story, I'd make Peter the father. Miles Warren would have gotten his hands on them, used his knowledge to effect rapid aging. The story would end with the twins' deaths due to Miles' experiments on them.
    Spider-Man would have started anti-registration and never unmasked. Utilize a telepath or Dr. Strange to erase knowledge of his secret identity from the pro-registration side.

  12. #87
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Blame for those parts largely falls on editorial mandates, as has been well documented by interviews with both JMS and Quesada.
    Some of them you can blame on editorial.

    I still the fault of Sins past is 100% JMS's. The twins being Peter's still wouldn't have been a good story, but when he was told not to do that, he chose to go with Norman and make the thing as horrible as it was.

    Plus there's all the spider-totem stuff, Peter growing claws, and eating a guys head...

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    J. Michael Straczynski, or JMS, is a sci-fi TV writer who's also been a lover of comics, and Spider-Man from 2001 to 2007 was his big comics impact. He was tasked with making Spider-Man relevant beyond just his name recognition in the '00s, after the infamous Clone Saga muddled him in the '90s.

    How good was his run overall?

    JMS' Spider-Man features several key retools such as the Spider-Totem, Aunt May learning Peter is Spider-Man, the inclusion of the Avengers elements (which was also a case of Bendis' New Avengers bleeding over), The Other (which gave Spider-Man new powers like stingers, telepathy with spiders, and organic web-shooters), and of course there's two very maligned storylines that came from his pen: Sins' Past and One More Day.

    Sins' Past was terrible, and he's fully responsible, to which he'll freely admit was his biggest regret. However, I can't really fault JMS for OMD considering the story was forced on him by Joey Q, he wanted nothing to do with it, he distanced himself from the story as it was being made, and I heard he only wrote it because he didn't want the next new Spider-writer to begin with that storyline (imagine if Dan Slott opened writing OMD... his rep would be damaged beyond repair from the start).

    There are some things I didn't like besides that. I wasn't fond of Peter's new powers, especially the organic web-shooters, which felt like a needless tie-in to the Raimi Trilogy, and I'm glad that part was undone.

    Overall though, the first 38 issues was solid and helped to keep Spider-Man relevant within the comics. I guess you take the good with the bad. I also liked the idea of Aunt May and Mary Jane living in Avengers Tower, something about that was neat. It only got screwed up because of Civil War, leading to OMD... but in the context as it was written I liked it.

    I was actually reading some of it the other day, and I liked this part where Peter thinks it'd be ridiculous if a movie about Spider-Man was ever made -- of course, it was a meta joke about the first Spider-Man movie at the time, and that made me nostalgic.

    What do you think?
    Back In Black and a more mature Pete and MJ prevents me from giving him an F. But Sins Past and OMD require a grade of D. He needs to be dinged a letter grade for each of those two stories. Is he better then Dan Slott? Yes. But ( so far) I put Spencer far ahead of him.

  14. #89
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    Plus there's all the spider-totem stuff, Peter growing claws, and eating a guys head...
    The Other was an editorial mandate and not from JMS. They wanted to pad out a crossover and asked him to bring back Morlun.

    Sins' Past though, yeah that's on him. And he has admitted as much.

    In any case, it's not beyond the realm of possibility for a writer to be capable of doing great work and weak work in the same run. And ultimately ongoings are judged on the strength of the best work, especially considering the length of time he stayed on Spider-Man.

  15. #90
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    The Other was an editorial mandate and not from JMS. They wanted to pad out a crossover and asked him to bring back Morlun.
    I acknowledge that the idea to bring back Morlun and pad out the crossover wasn't his call, but he's responsible for what we saw in the comic itself.

    He was given somewhat vague directions. The details and the quality of the work are all his.

    Plus, honestly, I never thought any of the totem stuff was a good idea to begin with (the exception being the first few appearances of Ezekiel where it was just an idea that was kept vague.)

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