As then old sea charts used to say: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD
While the majority of Spider-Man controversy was going on due to JMS’ “sins past” storyline in Amazing Spider-Man involving the children of Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy returning to bedevil Peter Parker, a major change in Spider-Man has occurred over in Spectacular Spider-Man. Due to the changes Peter Parker underwent through the four-part “Changes” arc (#17-#20, part of “Avengers Disassembled”), he now has organic webshooters in his wrists – just like his film counterpart.
Yeah, let’s let that sink in.
Back before the first Spider-Man film was made, word of Peter Parker’s possible organic webshooters caused a furor among fans who felt that Spider-Man should have mechanical webshooters, just like in the comic. So strong was the opposition to the idea of Spider-Man having organic webshooters that several fans pooled their resources to create the (now defunct) website, www.no-organic-webshooter.com. The film came out, Peter had the organics, the comic version kept his mechanical ones (even though there were rumors of him getting organics), and the earth kept spinning.
More rumors of Spider-Man exchanging his mechanical shooters for organics continued to pop up now and then, only to not happen again and again. This time, the rumors were right.
“We came up with the story to give Peter the organic shooters shortly before the ‘Avengers Disassembled’ storyline was conceived, as a story we wanted to do sometime within the next year,” Spectacular Spider-Man editor Tom Brevoort told Newsarama. “Then, as Disassembled began to take shape, with the overarching idea being to put the individual characters through something life-changing, the timing seemed to be right--especially since the point of involving Spidey in Disassembled was to prime the pump for him to appear in New Avengers.”
As for why the change, Brevoort points to the fact that’s going to be tough for many comic book and long-time Spider-Man fans to swallow: at this point in time, a larger audience is more familiar with a Spider-Man with organic webshooters than without.
“Thanks to the two Spider-Man movies, that's how most of the world thinks of him at this point to begin with,” Brevoort explained. “Beyond that, it's been so long since anybody really made an issue of Spidey's web-shooters in the books - when was the last time you saw Spidey run out of webbing? Need to fill up the cartridges? - that it's relatively inconsequential to how the character operates on a day-to-day basis. Of greater consequence in the short term is what effect his newly-enhanced spider-sense has on him, and how his experiences dealing with Captain America during the course of this storyline impact on his upcoming role in New Avengers.”
Oh yeah – did we forget to mention the enhanced Spider-Sense?
“First off, it isn't really talking to insects per se so much as it is a heightening of certain attributes of Spidey's spider-sense--you'll see some of this in play as the months go by.
“We could probably have been a little more clear about this, but the ‘insect hum’ is more a function of Pete's spider-sense than anything else--it's operating at a higher, more attuned level than ever before. So beyond just being a passive danger sense, Spidey's now a bit more in tune with his environment, picking up not so much words as primal signals from the spiders and insect life in the general vicinity. It's like trading up to HDTV.”
As Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada has said, he knows that an idea is a good one if half his editorial staff cheers, and the other half recoils in horror. So which side of the line was Brevoort on?
“I was pretty much nonplussed. As I said earlier, nobody's done all that much with Spidey's web-shooters since Roger Stern had him install the warning light that'd tell him when they were about to run dry. It certainly didn't seem like as big a deal to me as it is to that segment of the audience that's aghast that we'd do such a thing.”
Of course, as for those who’d be aghast, Brevoort had a plan: “I waited until they were all worked up and distracted over Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn, and then tried to sneak it through the back door...”
In terms of getting into the specifics of the shooters, say, for example, in this post-CSI world, is Peter’s DNA in the webbing? , Brevoort said that more will become clear in the coming months.
“He's certainly creating the webbing from the stuff of his body, though the precise mechanics of that process haven't as yet been revealed,” Brevoort said. “And I see no reason why he couldn't run out, if he were undernourished or exhausted, or had used up a considerable amount in a short period of time. As for the rest of the answers--stay tuned!”
And yes, despite the somewhat ‘disconnected’ feel of the Spider-titles, the changes to Spider-Man are not a Spectacular-only change. “These changes will be acknowledged in Amazing Spider-Man and Marvel Knights Spider-Man, but they will not be plot-points,” said Spider-Man group editor Axel Alonso. “They will not drive the story. Any major developments in that arena will be revealed in the remaining issues of Spectacular.”
The exploration of the changes will be somewhat light in November’s issue #21, as Brevoort went into a little detail about what’s coming up in the final issues of the title, which will be ending with issue #27.
#21, page 2 “#21 is much more about Spidey's relationship with the super hero community than the particulars of his new evolution. It's in #22 that we start to get a sense as to how these mutations affect him and his interactions with the world around him.
“Issues #21 and #22 aren't an arc per se, but a return to the single issue stories that had been a hallmark of Paul's Spider-Man work in the past. So in #21, Spidey is invited for the first time to the Thing's annual charity poker game, but somebody crashes the party and raises the stakes in a significant way. But it's a lighter, more upbeat Spidey story than we've seen of late, one that really showcases Spider-Man's interactions with the other heroes in the Marvel U.
#22, page 1 “Then, in #22, we move more to tragedy as Spidey comes face-to-face with his old foe the Mindworm, who's sunken to a new low and is living on the streets--and broadcasting his misery telepathically for a square city block. And Spidey has to grapple with the question of how much of this is his fault, how much is he responsible for the Mindworm's sorry state, and what he can do to solve a problem that can't be dealt with by punching somebody in the jaw. Beyond that is our four-part follow-up to the events of ‘Sins Past’ over in Amazing, guest-written by Samm Barnes.”
As for how long the organic shooters will stick around? “It's as permanent as anything is in the wonderful world of comics--which is to say that this wasn't done as a throwaway or as a temporary thing, but was meant as a permanent change,” Brevoort said. “But you never know what may happen down the road. That said, I think the fact that these characters can still grow and evolve and change is one of the highlights of their appeal--especially when we can sucker punch people with a change that they didn't see coming or read about months in advance. Keeps things interesting, y'know?”
Newsarama Note: Yes, this is going to be a hot topic. Please keep your comments civil and level-headed. Do not insult another poster because they don't share your opinion, and keep a cool head. If you're going to have a terrible fanboy moment that you may regret (or will keep you from running for public office) later - take a moment, step back from the keyboard, compose yourself, take a deep breath, and then post.
Så vad tycker ni? Jag vet inte. Personligen är jag mer upprörd över att Spidde går med i Avengers än det här. Men lite synd är det allt.
Edited by Kermit, 29 October 2004 - 23:27.