[Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #698-700 and The Superior Spider-Man #1].
(Can I call you Dan? The only reason I ask is that these open letters usually start that way, with the writer asking if it’s okay to be on a first-name basis with the recipient. And I hate to buck a trend.)
You probably know why I’m writing. I’m writing because you have thoroughly desecrated, trashed, maimed, and destroyed Spider-Man. Trust me — even before I read The Amazing Spider-Man #700, I knew you had done it. Heck, I didn’t even need to read #698 to know that you were the Worst. Spider-Man Writer. Ever.
So, when I actually read those issues, my worst fears were confirmed. You had no idea what you were doing. You were a hack writer doing a hack job with my favorite character, and there was no way — okay, I can’t keep this up. I also didn’t want to buck the trend of the “Fake Outrage But Actually Enjoyed The Issue” letter, either.
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Like you, I like Spider-Man. I mean, I’ve liked him ever since I was a little kid, watching reruns of the 1960′s cartoon on TV. I’ve been a fan ever since I sat on Santa’s lap one December and asked him for a Spider-Man doll. I’ve been a fan ever since I was in Kay-Bee Toys in the 80′s, thoroughly convinced that I had seen Spider-Man webshooters on sale, but neither my mom nor the salesperson could find them. (I obviously had imagined that they existed, but that didn’t stop my mom from eventually buying the suction-cup webshooter some time later).
When I got into high school, this guy named Todd McFarlane got me into buying comics other than Transformers. I bought every single issue of every single Spider-Man comic out there for years.
Until the Clone Saga. When Peter finally said goodbye and Ben Reilly took over, I stopped reading. It pained me, but I stopped buying Spider-Man comics. I was part of that Internet group of Spider-Man fans who were boycotting the books until Peter returned. (I forget what our name was, and Google hasn’t been helpful.)
When Peter returned in Peter Parker, Spider-Man #75, so did I. And I’ve enjoyed Spider-Man comics off-and-on ever since.
So, when you said that Peter wasn’t going to be The Superior Spider-Man, my first instinct was to boycott.
Well, no. My first instinct was to say “Huh. Well, that could be interesting. Because it can always be fixed later on.” You see, I have mellowed since my Boycott The Clone days. I realize that these are stories that can have a myriad of paths to follow, and one of those paths will always be back to What I Love.
So, I eagerly read The Amazing Spider-Man #698-700, and I was thoroughly thrilled to see how Otto Octavious was now Spider-Man. It actually worked.
Until I read other people’s reviews and comments, and I had this bad feeling that they were right. There’s a bit of a very creepy-in-a-bad-way feeling to see Mary Jane and Peter Poctavious (see what I did there?) talking and rekindling their (well, not really his) romance. There’s something unsettling about having Otto pretend to be Peter and mislead MJ. And there’s something very wrong about having a murderer being the #1 hero of Marvel.
Yes, I understand that the entire point of The Superior Spider-Man might be that of redemption. But these past couple of weeks have left me feeling quite uneasy reading Spider-Man again. I decided I would give the new character a few issues to see if my mind could be changed. Or else, I would drop the title and boycott Spider-Man again.
And now? I just read The Superior Spider-Man #1.
Dan. Dan, Dan, Dan. You got me. That last page. I figured out that there would be a way to get Peter back, especially after seeing how #698-700 played out, but never did I think you’d start the fight immediately.
Bravo, Dan, bravo. You have got me fully on-board with Otto in the driver’s seat, because now we know that Peter just won’t let a murderer besmirch his good name for long.
I’m ready to see where this goes. Thanks for making it worth the time so far.
(Just don’t drop the ball. I still know how to boycott. :) )