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  1. #1
    All-New Member RonG's Avatar
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    Question thought and question on DeMatteis Spider-Man run (SSM & ASM)

    JMD's Spectacular Spider-Man run (178-200) is probably my favorite short-term Spider-run and while recently re-reading it, I thought that the (then-parallel to SSM) plotline in ASM with Peter's parents had a thematic connection with JMD's 'The Child Within' - JMD bringing up Peter's trauma regarding his parents, while a short while later they turn up in ASM.

    Of course, JMD's run is concluded with #200, and that's where his run gets a curious 'post-script'.
    After JMD goes to ASM he first deals with the climax of Spidey's search for the mastermind behind his parents' "new death" and finds that person to be Harry (pre his death / redemption in #200). Basically, ASM #389 & 390 deal with Peter's renewed anger towards Harry, even after they made peace in SSM #200.

    I understand that this plot thread gets dealt with in SSM Annual #14 and I was interested to read your feedback and input on this issue and 'Harry's last plot' plotline, as relating to JDM's SSM run.
    Also, any thoughts on JMD's later ASM (during the Clone Saga)run?

  2. #2
    All-New Member RonG's Avatar
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    One thing regarding SSM Annual #14 -
    I can't seem to understand its placement in chronology:

    the storyline that goes from 'Lifetheft' to 'Pursuit' to 'Shrieking' ends with Peter angry with Harry and into his 'I'm the Spider' phase, which lasts well into the beginning of the Clone Saga.
    SSM Annual #14 shows Peter still angry (and ends with him making peace with the Osborns), while no mention of the Clone or what he goes through with 'The Spider' - this came out before Peter pulled himself together, but the events don't line up.. or am I missing something?

  3. #3
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    Yeah. I also think JM’s early 90s Spec run is one of the best and most underrated Spidey runs of all time (even though I’m not crazy about the Buscemi artwork as others). Nothing more I can add that hasn’t already been said, just that I love it (but I lost my back issues a while ago, and now I can’t seem to track down the run in trade or on comiXology unfortunately. Marvel is nuts for not collecting this).

    His ASM run is a mixed bag, mostly because of editorial forcing contrived clone saga plot developments on him, but he makes the most of it and understands Ben Reilly the best of all the writers during that time. Still, there’s some pretty silly issues here and there. His work before that, from the end of Pursuit to the I-am-the-Spider craziness is…. well…. let’s just say JM was going for something deep and didn’t quite pull it off. Peter’s six month mental breakdown in the books is both hard to take and exhausting to read. It’s overwrought and clearly intended to copy the grim and gritty tone of ‘Dark Knight’ and the Image books… but that doesn’t work with Peter (maybe in shorter and slightly more restrained doses like ‘Back in Black’ with JMS a decade later). The spider cocoon was probably the nadir of this era. As misguided as this era was, at least JM somewhat gets his psycho babble… when DeFalco and Mackie try to incorporate the grim Peter in their books it seems even more out of place. That said, there’s gorgeous artwork from Bagley throughout. Probably even prefer it to his USM art, and it’s miles ahead of his output now. So that alone makes it worth it. Also, his ‘Lost Years’ and ‘Redemption’ minis are awesome and definitely worth picking up from this time.

    JM also had a short run on Spec in the late 90s after the clone saga ended. It’s good, not great. There’s some compelling issues, especially Spec #250 when Norman returns. He also shows he can do comedy with his ‘Legion of Losers’ issues (and they’re genuinely funny). There’s also a decent Chameleon storyline. But other than that, nothing too memorable from this era. Luke Ross’s pencils are decent as well; some aren’t a fan (they think it’s too cartoony to fit with JM), but I think he did well.

    So, those are my thoughts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonG View Post
    One thing regarding SSM Annual #14 -
    I can't seem to understand its placement in chronology:

    the storyline that goes from 'Lifetheft' to 'Pursuit' to 'Shrieking' ends with Peter angry with Harry and into his 'I'm the Spider' phase, which lasts well into the beginning of the Clone Saga.
    SSM Annual #14 shows Peter still angry (and ends with him making peace with the Osborns), while no mention of the Clone or what he goes through with 'The Spider' - this came out before Peter pulled himself together, but the events don't line up.. or am I missing something?
    I haven't reread the annual for a couple of years, but my memory of it is that it fits sometime before "Lifetheft"/"Pursuit", even though it was released a few months after that storyline. Given the fact that the story was co-plotted by DeMatteis and Tom Lyle and scripted by Ann Nocenti and another person that I can't remember without the issue in front of me, I always thought it was something that might have been intended for earlier (possibly DeMatteis started plotting it before he left the book following Maximum Carnage--it feels like it fits in shortly after Spectacular 200) and by the time it was drawn JMD didn't have the time to script it.

  5. #5
    All-New Member RonG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJT View Post
    I haven't reread the annual for a couple of years, but my memory of it is that it fits sometime before "Lifetheft"/"Pursuit", even though it was released a few months after that storyline. Given the fact that the story was co-plotted by DeMatteis and Tom Lyle and scripted by Ann Nocenti and another person that I can't remember without the issue in front of me, I always thought it was something that might have been intended for earlier (possibly DeMatteis started plotting it before he left the book following Maximum Carnage--it feels like it fits in shortly after Spectacular 200) and by the time it was drawn JMD didn't have the time to script it.
    Annual #14 specifically deals with Peter dealing with and forgiving the Osborns (Liz and Normie) for what Harry did & revealed in ASM 389-390 (about a year after SSM 200).
    Also, SSM 200 ends on a 'positive note', at least for Peter and Harry's relationship.. which then comes undone due to what Harry did (before, only to be revealed later) in AM 389, so Annual 14 can't be right after SSM 200..

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    My short answer is that the Spectacular Spider-Man run is really good. The Harry Osborn arc might be the best mega-arc in the Spider-Man comics.

    His Amazing Spider-Man was okay. There were way too many crossovers, but these were the best chapters of the crossovers.

    For any of his fans, I'd recommend his Marvel Team-Up, much of which is followed up on in Spectacular Spider-Man.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  7. #7
    Incredible Member Spidey_62's Avatar
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    His later 90s Spectacular Spider-Man post clone saga run is really good, too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey_62 View Post
    His later 90s Spectacular Spider-Man post clone saga run is really good, too.
    Especially that Chameleon story where he was suffering from a mental breakdown and impersonated Peter while attempting to rape MJ. Of course, she smashed his head in with a baseball bat. Quite liked that arc because the Chameleon saw Peter/Spider-man as the man he never could be and wanted to take that life for himself.

  9. #9
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    It's Criminal why the Spectacular spider-man from child within to Spec 200 hasn't been collected in a Omnibus.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rzerox21xx View Post
    It's Criminal why the Spectacular spider-man from child within to Spec 200 hasn't been collected in a Omnibus.
    Or Epic Collections, Complete Collections, etc. There's no damn way to get it on a shelf
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  12. #12
    All-New Member RonG's Avatar
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    I've also been wondering what was JMD's involvement in the parents plotline in ASM.. was he part of the creative decision to have Harry involved, and how early did that decision go?
    Was the ending of SSM written with the parents development in mind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonG View Post
    I've also been wondering what was JMD's involvement in the parents plotline in ASM.. was he part of the creative decision to have Harry involved, and how early did that decision go?
    Was the ending of SSM written with the parents development in mind?
    That is a interesting question.

    The Life-Theft arc was Micheline's last on Amazing. There they were revealed to be Simulacrum's. I believe he likely created them on his own/or had his own plans for "Mary and Richard" since he had been building that story long before JMD took over Spectacular.

    I think Harry's involvement was likely worked in independently by JMD himself. It is no wonder that whole thing was cleared up in the Pursuit arc that followed. He may have told Micheline that before he took over formally.

    The real question I have is: did Micheline intend for Chameleon to be the mastermind behind that? If so, why didn't he address it himself? I think he may well have told JMD that he planned on having Chameleon revealed to be the mastermind and JMD continued it on (that chance would have been too good to pass up as he could tie it back to Kraven's Last Hunt).

    The Spidey books at that time weren't as cohesive across the line as they ended up becoming. Maximum Carnage had been such a sales success that more of a effort was placed upon having the entire Spidey books becoming tighter (there had been a few instances before that such as KLH). Plus nearly every department was trying to emulate what the X-books were doing. But ASM was still the main title and the satellite's danced around it. The books still referenced developments from each other.

    At the end of the day bringing the parents back was Micheline's idea. But having Harry involved was likely a decision reached by JMD once he finally got in the driver's seat himself.

  14. #14
    All-New Member RonG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somecrazyaussie View Post
    That is a interesting question.

    The Life-Theft arc was Micheline's last on Amazing. There they were revealed to be Simulacrum's. I believe he likely created them on his own/or had his own plans for "Mary and Richard" since he had been building that story long before JMD took over Spectacular.

    I think Harry's involvement was likely worked in independently by JMD himself. It is no wonder that whole thing was cleared up in the Pursuit arc that followed. He may have told Micheline that before he took over formally.

    The real question I have is: did Micheline intend for Chameleon to be the mastermind behind that? If so, why didn't he address it himself? I think he may well have told JMD that he planned on having Chameleon revealed to be the mastermind and JMD continued it on (that chance would have been too good to pass up as he could tie it back to Kraven's Last Hunt).

    The Spidey books at that time weren't as cohesive across the line as they ended up becoming. Maximum Carnage had been such a sales success that more of a effort was placed upon having the entire Spidey books becoming tighter (there had been a few instances before that such as KLH). Plus nearly every department was trying to emulate what the X-books were doing. But ASM was still the main title and the satellite's danced around it. The books still referenced developments from each other.

    At the end of the day bringing the parents back was Micheline's idea. But having Harry involved was likely a decision reached by JMD once he finally got in the driver's seat himself.
    That's an interesting take and I wouldn't be surprised if it went that way.

    That said, the start of the parents plotline (ASM 364-365) was published in mid 1992 (June or July), concurrently with SSM 189 (the 30th anniversary issue) - that was about a year after JDM came to SSM, and I'd be very surprised if such a development (Peter's parents returning) wasn't shared with the other writers of the Spider-line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonG View Post
    That's an interesting take and I wouldn't be surprised if it went that way.

    That said, the start of the parents plotline (ASM 364-365) was published in mid 1992 (June or July), concurrently with SSM 189 (the 30th anniversary issue) - that was about a year after JDM came to SSM, and I'd be very surprised if such a development (Peter's parents returning) wasn't shared with the other writers of the Spider-line.
    I would very much enjoy a Life of Reilly-esque oral history of this time period (especially if everyone was candid) before the Clone Saga - I don't think anyone really had their heart in Maximum Carnage, and I would love to hear what Michelinie really intended with the parents (it's hard to imagine his plan all along was to reveal them as robots and then leave the book). I can imagine that with Death of Superman in full swing, Image selling well, etc., etc., that there was a lot of pressure going on even before the Clone Saga was formulated
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