Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Goodbye Web-head"

I've had readers ask me why I'm not much of a Marvel Comics fan these days. Well...Here is yet another reason.

Really this comes as no big surprize. Marvel has been trying to destroy Spider-man's continuity for quite some time. The Ultimate Spider-man series is a prime example. Now they will be getting all of their Spidey titles in tune with one another. They think this will help the character and avoid confussion among their readers. They don't care, actually, about anyone that's been a long-time reader and follower of this character's adventures.

My own disenchantment with Spider-man goes even further back to the 1980's when the "black costume" was introduced. To me, this was a somewhat noval idea which should have lasted about 5 months and been over. When they reverted back to his original dark and red togs, I was pleased.

Then the whole clone storyline began which lasted a few years and by that time they had lost me (as well as many other older fans) entirely. The movies I didn't mind. To me, film versions of super heroes are totally apart from any continuity of the comic book versions. Superman, Batman, The Hulk, Spider-man, The X-Men, all are different from the current running stories in their comic titles due to the wide audience they encounter, many of which have never read any of their titles and would be totally clueless without these films building in sequence an understandable outline for them to follow.

But you don't mess with their main titles.

Renumbering with new volumes and new origins destroyed all of what I considered Marvel's continuity. They did it with the Fantastic Four, Spider-man, The Hulk, Daredevil, Captain America, The Avengers, Thor, etc., which marked the end of my buying Marvel titles in any large numbers, even if later on, they reincorporated many of those numbering sequences back into the run of the original titles.

DC Comics aren't so bad with this, even though they did jumpstart Superman back to a #1 some years ago and have only recently reincorported the numbering back to its original title. At least they left the premise of the character intact.

It's no small reason "why" Steve Ditko wouldn't talk about Spider-man after he left Marvel. Not just because he's a very private person, but who would want to after the way other writers have destroyed any resemblence to the early issues? And one may argue that the original tales of the character are very dated (which they are), but that just adds to a "old timer" like myself that grew up reading a character with some sort of "building history" a fonder memory of how great an idea this once was, and now shows "How the mighty have fallen."

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