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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Default The Intermediate Era After the Clone Saga Before the Volume 2 Relaunch



    A former poster here referred to the two years between the Clone Saga and before the 1998 Mackie/ Byrne relaunch as the intermediate era, and I think it's a good name.

    In about two weeks I'm going to start a read-through. I had some fun last year checking out Nick Spencer's run, and this summer I got caught up with Wells & co. In a few days, I'll get to a logical stop point with the combination of this year's Amazing Spider-Man annual, the super-sized Amazing Spider-Man #31 and the super-sized Spider-Man #11.

    This time I'm going to go with older material. I was thinking about the aftermath of Secret Wars, the marriage, the Clone Saga (or Maximum Carnage), the Relaunch, Quesada making his mark as EIC or Brand New Day as start-points. The intermediate era just made the most sense. I've read most of the comics, but not in a particularly organized way and so much of the Clone Saga and relaunch is kinda bad, while other eras build on earlier runs (Wells & Slott had written Spider-Man before Brand New Day, Michelinie had a stint on Web of Spider-Man before coming to Amazing Spider-Man.) It feels like an underexplored stretch of Spider-Man comics.

    Do any of you have any thoughts about this time period?
    Last edited by Mister Mets; 08-30-2023 at 05:31 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member CaptainUniverse's Avatar
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    I liked it a lot, especially how Tom DeFalco was clearly building up to Peter and Mary Jane getting Mayday back which, while we didn't get to see it play out in 616 due to Byrne wanting to roll back Aunt May's death for the relaunch, we did get the payoff for that subplot over in Spider-Girl (which builds off both The Clone Saga and Intermediate Era thanks to DeFalco's excellent writing). Some of my favorite Intermediate Era stories are Carnage possessing The Silver Surfer to become THE CARNAGE COSMIC, Peter and Synch fighting Plantman, Peter and X-Man fighting a souped up Electro, Mary Jane defeating The Chameleon with a baseball bat, the story about the future historians trying to guess what Spider-Man's life was like 1000 years ago and Identity Crisis which set the stage for Slingers.
    Last edited by CaptainUniverse; 08-13-2023 at 07:50 PM.
    "The Enigma Force is not a tool to be manipulated by mortals. The Enigma Force comes to those it deems worthy. What temerity, what arrogance, makes you think you are worthy? Have you not all made mistakes? Unforgiveable ones?" - Captain Universe

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    A former poster here referred to the two years between the Clone Saga and before the 1998 Mackie/ Byrne relaunch as the intermediate era, and I think it's a good name.

    In about two weeks I'm going to start a read-through. I had some fun last year checking out Nick Spencer's run, and this summer I got caught up with Wells & co. In a few days, I'll get to a logical stop point with the combination of this year's Amazing Spider-Man annual, the super-sized Amazing Spider-Man #31 and the super-sized Spider-Man #11.

    This time I'm going to go with older material. I was thinking about the aftermath of Secret Wars, the marriage, the Clone Saga (or Maximum Carnage), the Relaunch, Quesada making his mark as EIC or Brand New Day as start-points. The intermediate era just made the most sense. I've read most of the comics, but not in a particularly organized way and so much of the Clone Saga and relaunch is kinda bad, while other eras build on earlier runs (Wells & Slott had written Spider-Man before Brand New Day, Michelinie had a stint on Web of Spider-Man before coming to Amazing Spider-Man.) It feels like an underexplored stretch of Spider-Man comics.

    Do any of you have any thoughts about this time period?
    After this, I think it might be interesting to revisit Web of Spider-Man before the wedding because Web was meant to be the book showing Peter going on adventures on the dime of NOW Magazine

  4. #4
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    It's an underrated era that, while it has it's issues in places, I think is deserving of getting an Epic at some point.

  5. #5
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    It's a solid era. There were some great stories, like Hobgoblin Lives, Goblins at the Gate, and JMD's new Kraven arc. I remember Freefall from (PP)SM #95 being exceptional.
    "Has Sariel summoned you here, Azrael? Have you come to witness the miracle of your brethren arriving on Earth?"

    "I WILL MIX THE ASHES OF YOUR BONES WITH SALT AND USE THEM TO ENSURE THE EARTH THE TEMPLARS TILLED NEVER BEARS FRUIT AGAIN!"

    "*sigh* I hoped it was for the miracle."

    Dan Watters' Azrael was incredible, a constant delight and perhaps too good for this world (but not the Forth). For the love of St. Dumas, DC, give us more!!!

  6. #6
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    I'm really hoping Marvel Epic Collections get to this era soon - Ock's rebirth is important, Spider-Hunt + Identity Crisis + Slingers is fun, etc. JMD on SSM and the Goblin stuff (Hobgoblin Lives, Goblin at the Gates) is fantastic.
    Blue text denotes sarcasm

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Alex_Of_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    A former poster here referred to the two years between the Clone Saga and before the 1998 Mackie/ Byrne relaunch as the intermediate era, and I think it's a good name.

    In about two weeks I'm going to start a read-through. I had some fun last year checking out Nick Spencer's run, and this summer I got caught up with Wells & co. In a few days, I'll get to a logical stop point with the combination of this year's Amazing Spider-Man annual, the super-sized Amazing Spider-Man #31 and the super-sized Spider-Man #11.

    This time I'm going to go with older material. I was thinking about the aftermath of Secret Wars, the marriage, the Clone Saga (or Maximum Carnage), the Relaunch, Quesada making his mark as EIC or Brand New Day as start-points. The intermediate era just made the most sense. I've read most of the comics, but not in a particularly organized way and so much of the Clone Saga and relaunch is kinda bad, while other eras build on earlier runs (Wells & Slott had written Spider-Man before Brand New Day, Michelinie had a stint on Web of Spider-Man before coming to Amazing Spider-Man.) It feels like an underexplored stretch of Spider-Man comics.

    Do any of you have any thoughts about this time period?
    Oh lord, the dark and dreary days

    Peter dealing with juiceless foes like Delilah and Black Tarantula (who at least looks cool). The book remained mired in the clone saga reading structure--ie you gotta read all four titles, or you're toast. An overall sad affair

    Thru it all, two shining lights: JRJR and the late great Mike Wieringo. The former, in particular, will carry the fracnhise forward on his wide Italian shoulders all the way to the oasis of the JMS run

  8. #8
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    Peter dealing with juiceless foes like Delilah and Black Tarantula (who at least looks cool).
    Chameleon, a new Kraven, the resurrected Norman Osborn (as post-Crisis Lex Luthor), a new Green Goblin, super-charged Electro, Doc Ock, Carnage, Shocker. Black Tarantula was great, he could have been Spider-Man's Bane. This era was rock solid for threats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    The book remained mired in the clone saga reading structure--ie you gotta read all four titles, or you're toast.
    That's just inaccurate. While some threads tied between books, and there were rare crossovers, this era kept the books far more separate with each creative team writing their own stuff for the most part.

    That said, it did die perhaps the saddest death of any era with the woeful Gathering of Five and Final Chapter.
    "Has Sariel summoned you here, Azrael? Have you come to witness the miracle of your brethren arriving on Earth?"

    "I WILL MIX THE ASHES OF YOUR BONES WITH SALT AND USE THEM TO ENSURE THE EARTH THE TEMPLARS TILLED NEVER BEARS FRUIT AGAIN!"

    "*sigh* I hoped it was for the miracle."

    Dan Watters' Azrael was incredible, a constant delight and perhaps too good for this world (but not the Forth). For the love of St. Dumas, DC, give us more!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post

    That's just inaccurate. While some threads tied between books, and there were rare crossovers, this era kept the books far more separate with each creative team writing their own stuff for the most part.
    I just reread this run a few weeks back, and you're correct. Certain subplots get mentioned in all four books, but outside of the "Spider-Hunt" crossover (and then the aforementioned "Gathering of the Five/Final Chapter" storyline the last two months before the relaunch) stories began and ended in the same title. Sensational had a three-part story where Spider-Man was in the Savage Land while at the same time the Chameleon had him trapped in an asylum in Spectacular. Each title even had its own more-or-less exclusive supporting characters. Gwen Stacy's uncle and cousins tended to show up in PPSM, Dr. Kafka and Flash Thompson were mainly in Spectacular, Robbie Robertson was featured heavily in Amazing, and Sensational introduced a young intern at the Bugle who was shadowing Peter.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Alex_Of_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJT View Post
    I just reread this run a few weeks back, and you're correct.
    alright then. Chalk it up to faulty memories circa 2012. My reading was ASM focused, and I recall basically going 0 to smack dab into Identity crisis, part something, sans the inciting incident, and very lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    That said, it did die perhaps the saddest death of any era with the woeful Gathering of Five and Final Chapter.
    *shudder*

  11. #11
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    *shudder*
    I remember buying the books at the time and loathing it, then years, later getting the TPB as it was stupid cheap and it's even worse than I remembered. That "May" reveal. JFC. Lol.
    "Has Sariel summoned you here, Azrael? Have you come to witness the miracle of your brethren arriving on Earth?"

    "I WILL MIX THE ASHES OF YOUR BONES WITH SALT AND USE THEM TO ENSURE THE EARTH THE TEMPLARS TILLED NEVER BEARS FRUIT AGAIN!"

    "*sigh* I hoped it was for the miracle."

    Dan Watters' Azrael was incredible, a constant delight and perhaps too good for this world (but not the Forth). For the love of St. Dumas, DC, give us more!!!

  12. #12
    Spectacular Member JTait's Avatar
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    In lots of ways I think it's the blueprint for how the Spider-Man line should be managed. During this era there were four Spider-Man titles, each with its own distinct style and tone. PP:SM told gritty, crime stories. Spectacular focused on intense, psychological drama. Sensational leaned into classic, 1960s theme superheroics an ASM focused on Spider-Man's struggles with the underworld and the Hand. The four series' all referenced each other, but could also be read on their own. They crossed over every so often, without it getting annoying. And each title had a pretty stellar, consistent creative team.

    In fact, the quality of the writing and art was consistently excellent during this period. The stories were remarkably free of baggage, considering the era that they had just followed, and really felt like they were building towards something, particularly in Spectacular where you had Norman taking control of the Daily Bugle and Mad Jack mystery gathering momentum.

    Not all of it was a hit, and I can remember a fair few unmemorably or sloppily executed stories. It ended in a massive damp squib, with possibly the most disappointing Spider-Man story of all time. Very few of the subplots were resolved in a satisfactory way, which still frustrates me to this day. I think it is definitely worth revisiting though. When I've got more time I will jot my down my favourite stories from the era.

    It is worth the caveat that I read this era when I was around 13-15 years old and probably the most invested in Spider-Man that I have ever been.

  13. #13
    Spectacular Member JTait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    Oh lord, the dark and dreary days

    The book remained mired in the clone saga reading structure--ie you gotta read all four titles, or you're toast. An overall sad affair
    This isn't really true though is it. As I referenced in my post, there were relatively few crossovers. The first year was totally crossover free, for instance. You then had Spider-Hunt and Identity Crisis (which from memory wasn't a hard crossover where you had to read all four titles to get the whole story.) It wasn't anywhere near as bad as the Clone Saga was.

    EDIT: I've just seen this was dealt with in an earlier post - apologies!

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Of_X View Post
    alright then. Chalk it up to faulty memories circa 2012. My reading was ASM focused, and I recall basically going 0 to smack dab into Identity crisis, part something, sans the inciting incident, and very lost.



    *shudder*
    From my recollection, there are plot threads that carry through titles like Spider-Man's vertigo, or the response to beating the tar out of Norman Osborn. In both cases, these are events occurred outside of Amazing Spider-Man.

    It's not as severe as in the Clone Saga days.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  15. #15
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    This era is a mixed bag. Nothing classic, but nothing too bad until you get towards the end when John Byrne started stuffing everything up. The best stuff is probably Norman messing with Peter as owner of the Daily Bugle. JM DeMatteis and surprisingly Howard Mackie wrote him the best. During this time, I’d rank the titles in this order:

    1) SPEC: some good psychological stories with Chameleon, Norman, and fun stuff with the League of Losers. DeMatteis is almost always good. Plus, I liked Luke Ross on art.

    Best issue: #250… the return of evil… aka Norman Osborn.

    2) Adjective-less: Surprisingly solid stuff with Mackie churning out some nice mobster arcs with Hammerhead and a new character named SHOC. Nothing amazing, but much better than the stuff he’d be doing during the relaunch with Byrne. He also wrote quiet moments between Peter and MJ really well. And had the second best take on Norman after DeMatteis. His story with them stuck in a destroyed elevator together is a tense read.

    Best issue: #95, the one where Nitro blows up the elevator with Peter and Norman stuck inside.

    3) Sensational: This run was always fun with Dezago’s lighthearted stories and the late Wieringo’s fluid art working so well together, but to be honest their stories with Ben Reilly were much stronger than and more memorable than anything they did during this period. Their Savage Land arc was a snoozefest, and there’s nothing else that memorable either. I remember some arc with the Prowler and one with Spidey fighting some arcane wizards or necromancers. Nothing on par with the Looter or Swarm stories they did with Ben, which is a shame as I really think those are late Clone Saga highlights. The run gets points for being the one to most address Peter mourning for Ben, which the other books mostly sidestepped.

    Best story: The backup story where Peter tells DK he knows what it’s like to lose a “brother”

    4) Amazing: I like DeFalco but this was his weakest stint on Spidey by far. “Green ninjas” became a joke reference at the time for how mediocre the stories were, the Carnage Silver Surfer arc was also ridiculous, and the inconsistent art didn’t help. One month we’d get Steve Skroce who was a bit weird for my tastes, then fill-ins for two months, then Skroce again, then fill-ins, etc. This run did have one great issue though and that was ASM#425 with Spidey and X-Man taking down Electro… but that’s not enough to redeem a run filled with Green Ninjas, Cosmic Carnage, the Jacob Connover Rose, etc.

    Best issue: #425

    As far as the big crossovers, Spider-Hunt and Identity Crisis are okay, but nothing great unless you’re curious about where the Slingers come from. Gathering of Five and The Final Chapter (no, not the Lee/Ditko classic that it steals its name from) are complete garbage. But I almost count those last months as separate from this period as they were setting up the relaunch.

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