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  1. #1

    Default The Most Important Spider-Man Stories of the 1990s

    Earlier, I did a thread about the most important Spider-Man stories of my favorite decade: the 1980s. And this got me thinking about my least favorite decade: the 1990s, which I know people here have passionate opinions about.

    So, here's my guess for the most important stories of the decade.

    10. Venom: Lethal Protector #1-6: Successful Venom spinoff that paved the way for solo projects including multiple mini-series, an on and off (currently very "on" monthly title) and even the film.
    9. Spider-Man/ Spider-Man 2099: Early crossover between different universes, which established Spider-Man 2099 as part of the regular Spider-Man comics.
    8. Amazing Spider-Man #334-339: The Sinister Six return in an early TPB-friendly arc. But this was also Erik Larsen's defining arc as artist.
    7. Web of Spider-Man #118-119/ Spider-Man #52-53: This arc made it official that Ben Reilly would be the protagonist of many Clone Saga stories, while also featuring the debut of Kaine.
    6. Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1: The past becomes fair game.
    5. What If? #105: First Spider-Girl
    4. Spider-Man #75: Return of Norman Osborn/ Clone Saga ends.
    3. Spider-Man 2099 #1-3: A new world is introduced with its own version of Spider-Man, paving the way for other alternate universe titles.
    2. Spectacular Spider-Man #216: Return of the clone.
    1. Amazing Spider-Man #361-363: It's both the debut of Carnage and Venom becoming an ally of Spider-Man's changing him from a popular antagonist to a lead in his own right.

    So, what do you guys think? What have I overrated? What have I forgotten?

    Ill note that the importance of an arc can change. If the next movie is about Shriek, her Maximum Carnage debut will matter more.
    The increased role of Spider-Man 2099 in the Amazing Spider-Man comics has made that character more significant (as well as various media appearances.) The Death of Harry Osborn has been reversed, so that isn't as consequential any more.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    So, what do you guys think? What have I overrated? What have I forgotten?
    Maximum Carnage, biggest Marvel event until Civil War. Not a great story but certainly a very important one. Nothing screams 90s like that book.

    Ill note that the importance of an arc can change. If the next movie is about Shriek, her Maximum Carnage debut will matter more.
    Maximum Carnage will still matter owing to its big sales and cultural impact, the fact that it directly spun into its own game and Carnage becoming a major villain (the major villain of the 90s).

    The increased role of Spider-Man 2099 in the Amazing Spider-Man comics has made that character more significant (as well as various media appearances.)
    Spider-Man 2099 is the first major line-wide AU Marvel launched, setting the stage for MC2, and Ultimate Marvel. So it's still pretty significant and important regardless of whatever's happening in ongoing. Miguel O'Hara is Peter Parker's first legacy character in publication history.

    The Death of Harry Osborn has been reversed, so that isn't as consequential any more.
    It was adapted into live-action film in Spider-Man 3 largely beat-for-beat, and it did last for a significant length of time and it's still more or less the last really great story with Harry Osborn. So it's definitely been consequential.

    Consequential, influence, and impact aren't tied to stuff that happens in the monthly ongoing du jour. It has to be lasting.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    I think J.M. DeMatteis' writing is noteworthy enough, such as The Child Within and Funeral Arrangements.

  4. #4
    Amazing Member
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    No mention of Best of Enemies from Spectacular vol. 1 #200 where Harry Osborn dies? I'd say that is pretty darn important.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Inversed's Avatar
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    I would probably say the 2099 crossover and the 2099 series could probably be combined into one point. I'd also remove the Sinister Six returns, and for Ben being clarified as the new protagonist, replace that with the first appearance of his as Spider-Man.

    For the 2 replacements, I'd probably say what the others said, Maximum Carnage, and then in a tie the Deaths of Harry Osborn and Aunt May, because even though they were reversed, they were still pretty important at their time and for the decade.
    Current Reading List: Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider, Sonic The Hedgehog, Absolute Carnage, Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man, Gwenpool Strikes Back, Runaways, The White Trees

  6. #6
    Condescending Member manymade1's Avatar
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    Yeah, Maximum Carnage should be on there. It doesn't get more 90's than that and the Clone Saga.

    Other than that, solid list.

  7. #7
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I'd put Torment in there. Conceived in the 1980s, but published right at the beginning of the 1990s. First new Spider-Man title in a while (since Web?) and with the hottest new artist at the time. I like to think that it set the tone for quite a bit of the 1990s, all bluster and very little depth.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Earlier, I did a thread about the most important Spider-Man stories of my favorite decade: the 1980s. And this got me thinking about my least favorite decade: the 1990s, which I know people here have passionate opinions about.

    So, here's my guess for the most important stories of the decade.

    10. Venom: Lethal Protector #1-6: Successful Venom spinoff that paved the way for solo projects including multiple mini-series, an on and off (currently very "on" monthly title) and even the film.
    9. Spider-Man/ Spider-Man 2099: Early crossover between different universes, which established Spider-Man 2099 as part of the regular Spider-Man comics.
    8. Amazing Spider-Man #334-339: The Sinister Six return in an early TPB-friendly arc. But this was also
    7. Web of Spider-Man #118-119/ Spider-Man #52-53: This arc made it official that Ben Reilly would be the protagonist of many Clone Saga stories, while also featuring the debut of Kaine.
    6. Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1: The past becomes fair game.
    5. What If? #105: First Spider-Girl
    4. Spider-Man #75: Return of Norman Osborn/ Clone Saga ends.
    3. Spider-Man 2099 #1-3: A new world is introduced with its own version of Spider-Man, paving the way for other alternate universe titles.
    2. Spectacular Spider-Man #216: Return of the clone.
    1. Amazing Spider-Man #361-363: It's both the debut of Carnage and Venom becoming an ally of Spider-Man's changing him from a popular antagonist to a lead in his own right.

    So, what do you guys think? What have I overrated? What have I forgotten?

    Ill note that the importance of an arc can change. If the next movie is about Shriek, her Maximum Carnage debut will matter more.
    The increased role of Spider-Man 2099 in the Amazing Spider-Man comics has made that character more significant (as well as various media appearances.) The Death of Harry Osborn has been reversed, so that isn't as consequential any more.
    I'd throw Hobgoblin Lives on there as well. Purely because it finally set the record straight on the matter of his identity once and for all. It also had the added effect of vindicating Ned Leeds (whose death was still haunting Peter and Betty). Did away with Macendale, too.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Maximum Carnage, biggest Marvel event until Civil War. Not a great story but certainly a very important one. Nothing screams 90s like that book.



    Maximum Carnage will still matter owing to its big sales and cultural impact, the fact that it directly spun into its own game and Carnage becoming a major villain (the major villain of the 90s).



    Spider-Man 2099 is the first major line-wide AU Marvel launched, setting the stage for MC2, and Ultimate Marvel. So it's still pretty significant and important regardless of whatever's happening in ongoing. Miguel O'Hara is Peter Parker's first legacy character in publication history.



    It was adapted into live-action film in Spider-Man 3 largely beat-for-beat, and it did last for a significant length of time and it's still more or less the last really great story with Harry Osborn. So it's definitely been consequential.

    Consequential, influence, and impact aren't tied to stuff that happens in the monthly ongoing du jour. It has to be lasting.
    Influence should be lasting, but it is possible for it to peter out or for something that didn't matter becoming more important.

    The pros and cons of Maximum Carnage as being one of the most influential stories of the decade.

    Pros- It was adapted into a video game.
    It paved the way for a really crossover-heavy few years.

    Cons- It would've been influential if it had led to similar 12+ issue crossovers. That didn't really happen.
    Carnage's next appearances lacked the same impact. He shifted to a popular villain that creative teams don't care for. His next appearances were an annual and a Venom mini-series. He would often be secondary to other bad guys like Traveller in Power & Responsibility, or the Joker in Spider-Man/ Batman.
    Crossovers were probably going to happen no matter what. The Death & Return of Superman, and Knightfall saw to that, as well as major X-Men crossovers like X-Tinction Agenda and X-Cutioner's song.

    The pros and cons for Spectacular Spider-Man #200.

    Pros- It influenced Spider-Man 3 and served as the spine for Harry's arc in the three films. That might've even led to the decision to reboot the films since it limited where the story could go next.
    It came after several years post-marriage when nothing else major had changed, and marked a big departure. This paved the way for other big changes (the pregnancy, the death of Aunt May, the clone saga) and even though those were reversed, it is arguably the fundamental debate of the Spider-Man comics.
    It set up the return of Norman Osborn, and shook up the goblin saga.

    Cons- It hasn't been reprinted much.
    Harry did eventually come back.
    There haven't been that many similarly structured mega-arcs.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inversed View Post
    I would probably say the 2099 crossover and the 2099 series could probably be combined into one point. I'd also remove the Sinister Six returns, and for Ben being clarified as the new protagonist, replace that with the first appearance of his as Spider-Man.

    For the 2 replacements, I'd probably say what the others said, Maximum Carnage, and then in a tie the Deaths of Harry Osborn and Aunt May, because even though they were reversed, they were still pretty important at their time and for the decade.
    The story where Ben became the protagonist made my list mainly as the first appearance of Kaine.

    As for Return of the Sinister Six being important.
    Pros- It brought back the Sinister Six after a lengthy hiatus, turning them into a permanent fixture of the series.
    It was the standout arc of Erik Larsen allowed him to come to his own after McFarlane, which led to him being one of the Image founders.
    It was one of the first stories collected in trade form, and part of an annual tradition for a while with Round Robin Sidekick's Revenge and Invasion of the Spider Slayers soon following, as well as clearly identified lengths for arcs in other books (Torment, The Child Within, The Name of the Rose)

    Cons- Assassin Nation Plot was an earlier six issue arc, also collected in TPB form.
    Killing off Jonathan Caesar and Nathan Lubensky isn't that big a deal.
    There weren't that many TPB-length stories for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Hmmm, I'd put Torment in there. Conceived in the 1980s, but published right at the beginning of the 1990s. First new Spider-Man title in a while (since Web?) and with the hottest new artist at the time. I like to think that it set the tone for quite a bit of the 1990s, all bluster and very little depth.
    I could see the points on Torment.

    Pros- It was the best-selling Spider-Man comic ever.
    It established McFarlane as an even bigger superstar, setting up room for Image.
    It arguably represents a victory of style over substance, or the emergence of a modern approach that spoke to Generation X.

    Cons- From a continuity perspective, the impact on later stories is limited.
    While it shows the strength of a hook for Spider-Man books, the impact of that has been limited.
    We haven't really seen many writer/ artists given the opportunity to tackle Spider-Man.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by manymade1 View Post
    Yeah, Maximum Carnage should be on there. It doesn't get more 90's than that and the Clone Saga.

    Other than that, solid list.
    Not so sure about Maximum Carnage. I mean, it is fondly remembered for the video game adaptation by those who were at an impressionable age (such as myself). Something that wouldn't have happened without the story to begin with. But it added very little in terms of lasting story implications. Carnage hit a high with the storyline and then plateaued afterwards.

    If you mean by the fact that its success led to further Spider-man "event" storylines? Possibly. But those would have happened regardless. DC was riding high due to Death Of Superman and Knightfall and Marvel had had annual X-Men "events" running since Inferno (although they really took off with X-Cutioner's Song). The successes there caused Marvel to implement a policy where every line had to have events.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Influence should be lasting, but it is possible for it to peter out or for something that didn't matter becoming more important.
    By that metric nothing can be influential and lasting.

    Cons- It hasn't been reprinted much.
    Which is irrelevant in terms of impact and importance of a story. The original Fawcett Story, "The Monster Society of Evil", hasn't been reprinted greatly either but that doesn't diminish it's importance and impact.

    Harry did eventually come back.
    So did Jean Grey. I guess The Dark Phoenix Saga is an unimportant, useless, and dated story too, since practically every single element in that story has been reverse, overturned, and undone. I mean Jean Grey returned to life in a far shorter timeline than Harry Osborn did but that doesn't discount the importance of that story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    Not so sure about Maximum Carnage. I mean, it is fondly remembered for the video game adaptation by those who were at an impressionable age (such as myself). Something that wouldn't have happened without the story to begin with. But it added very little in terms of lasting story implications. Carnage hit a high with the storyline and then plateaued afterwards.
    I doubt that. Carnage was established and confirmed in that story as a major Spider-Man villain, and he showed up in practically everything. The Fox cartoon, the Activision games, Ultimate Comics, and so on and so forth. And one of the biggest comic events this year -- Absolute Carnage -- is a sequel in spirit to Maximum Carnage. And it's definitely going to influence the upcoming Venom sequel.

    If you mean by the fact that its success led to further Spider-man "event" storylines? Possibly. But those would have happened regardless.
    Fact is, in hard sales terms, this was Marvel's biggest ever event until CIVIL WAR, i.e. it was the biggest event storyline of the '90s. Bigger than Age of Apocalypse, bigger than Heroes Reborn, bigger than what-have-you.

    That is enough for importance.

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    i'd vote "maximum carnage" over "untold tales" despite liking the latter more
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  14. #14
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    accept maximum carnage into your hearts, no matter how much it totally sucks
    Quote Originally Posted by Franklin Richards
    Fragile creatures, we are taught to fear the Reaper!
    Ever running, we are dead before we meet Her!
    Quote Originally Posted by Valeria Richards
    Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper!
    Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her!

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member boots's Avatar
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    this is why i am still alive even though i’ve never been vaccinated for anything


    maximum carnage thank you
    Last edited by boots; 12-10-2019 at 05:48 AM.
    troo fan or death

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