Wednesday, January 09, 2008

No Sale: Amazing Spider-Man #546

The devil on my left shoulder made the following arguments for not buying Amazing Spider-Man #546, the first issue of the new post-devil deal rebooted continuity “Brand New Day” initiative:

—Are you really going to be able to read a Spider-Man comic for a few months without hearing EIC Joe Quesada’s weird rationales in the back of your head? Hell, thanks to Howard Stern, you’ve even now got a voice to put to them.

—Are you really going to be able to read a Spider-Man comic for a few months without trying to figure out what the hell is going on continuity-wise now? You know you’re way too anal when it comes to there being actual sequence in your sequential art, consistency in your serial story-telling—wouldn’t reading “Brand New Day” Spider-Man just be like asking for a seizure?

—This thing cost $3.99, a $1 more than your average comic book. Sure, it's oversized, but that’s almost one-fourth a volume of Essential Spider-Man. Or a little less than half of this.

—Steve McNiven is drawing the lead story. Are you going to be able to read a McNiven-drawn story without being reminded of all the irritation you felt at Civil War? Look, your face is turning red with anger just seeing his name on the cover.

—Don’t you get all the Spider-Man you need from Ultimate Spider-Man and the occasional Marvel Adventures Spider-Man issue or digest? Just how many Spider-Man comics do you really need to read a month, man?

—And check that out: One of the back-ups has Mike Deodato doing his photo-referene a la Photoshop thing with an Osborn again...this time plopping the Ditko-designed hair on top of James freaking Franco. Not only is that stupid looking and horrifyingly lazy for a professional comics artist, isn't it also illegal? Franco owns his own likeness, after all...did he give Deodato and Marvel permission to "cast" him in this story, or are they profitting off his likeness without compensating him?

The angel on my right shoulder made the following arguments in favor of buying ASM #546:

—Two words: Dan Slott. Twenty-one more words: The lead story is written by Dan Slott, whom I believe you have a buy on sight rule regarding, don’t you? Remember how well Slott wrote Spidey in that one issue of The Avengers: The Initiative? Or that issue of She-Hulk where he tried to sue J. Jonah Jameson for slander? (Or was it libel? Or both?) Or Spider-Man/Human Torch? Dan Slott was born to write Spider-Man comics; are you really going to miss out on that just because his Editor-in-Chief can’t write his way out of a paper bag?

—You also tend to buy and enjoy everything with John Romita Jr.’s name on it, right? Well, he drew two pages of this.

—You’ve only been regularly reading Amazing Spider-Man since 2001, man; don’t act like you have a personal stake in whether the last 20 years of Spider-Man comics actually happened or not.

—This is the start of the triweekly shipping schedule for Amazing Spider-Man. You loved the structure of the weekly-shipping 52; this is going to be almost like that, only with better art.

—This is also the beginning of Steve Wacker’s tenure as the editor in charge of the Spider-Man franchise. He edited 52, one of the most enjoyable comics-reading experiences of, like, your whole life. Surely this is going to end up being worth checking out, right?

They both made some valid points, and I admit I was more than a little torn.

Then the devil on my left shoulder countered with, “Look, I wasn’t going to say anything at first but come on; this thing has Greg fucking Land art in it. Checkmate.”

To which the angel on my right could only meekly reply, “Dude, he’s right. Greg Land is just awful. Forget it.”


Slott said...

Oh pick it up!
It's Spidey!
It's McNiven!
It's me!
You'll like it.

John Foley said...

Greg Land + Mike Deodato = waaaayy too much lightboxing for any one comic.
Though I do think that Deodato pulls it off better (plus it's light years ahead of the way his art used to look).

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dan, Joe shit the bed and it doesn't matter how nice you say the sheets are. It still stinks.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't things be switched, with the devil encouraging you to buy it?

Caleb said...

Oh pick it up!
It's Spidey!
It's McNiven!
It's me!
You'll like it.

If you were on my right shoulder this morning with the angel encouraging me to buy it, the devil on my left shoulder encouraging me not to would have been totally out numbered.

And my back would be pretty sore. Tiny angel and devils I can support with my shoulders, but a full grown man?

Anonymous #1,

I don't mind folks posting anonymously here, or expressing strong opinions here, or using strong language here, but man, doing all three at the same time, particularly while directly addressing another poster, is kinda gauche.

Anonymous #2,

My devil is a DC partisan. He likes all the death, dismemberment, violence and sexualized teenage girls in their comics, so he's always trying to convince me not to buy Marvel Comics so I'll have more $ leftover to spend on Countdown.

Actually, I did think about whether an angel or a devil would be pro- or anti-OMD/BND, but I couldn't figure it out.

I guess the devil would be pro-OMD/BND though, since it was the work of another devil, Mephisto, huh?

ArizonaTeach said...

My FLCS owner popped a copy of this in my box, since he knows I like to have the chance to pick up the big event stuff...but I had to put this one back on the shelf. Sorry, Mr. Slott...

mordicai said...

Yeah, sorry Dan Slott...I'm on the "boycott this" train, myself. Nothing against you, but the best way to vote against editorially mandated junk of this sort is with the ole billfold. All the internet shit-talking don't count for nuthin'!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the gaucheness. Nothing against Dan, love his writing. But no matter how many clean crisp sheets you put on top of it, the bed is still going to smell of a OMD movement.

Ian Boothby

Anonymous said...

Good to Decent issue.

I had to stop myself from tearing the issue in half when Peter says "Please, I'm too young to get married, and the only 'Mrs. Parker' in my life is my dear sweet Aunt" when talking to Harry in the night club.

The Dues Ex Machina has left Peter in a very interesting world. It's almost worth the 3.99 to figure out how this whole mess works, not the villains whom I could care less about.

I almost wish a handbook was available to save time and money. I'm looking forward to some interaction with other 616 characters, and if Bendis will even play along (isn't Pete still in the black suit in New Avengers?)


John Foley said...

Saw it in the store yesterday, didn't get it. Such a shame. I love Dan Slott, and Steve McNiven is brilliant.
But boneheaded editorial fiat must be punished.
Just as a P.S., I don't think that's James Franco's face being photoreferenced. It still looks lame though. And the trademark Osborn hairstyle looks even more ridiculous in photo real form. You'd think that, at least, would be permanently retconned away.

Derek said...

I, personally, have never had a Spider-Man comic on my pull list.

I want to like the character. I really, really do. But every time I pick one up, Spider-Man is just no fun. He's supposed to be funny, right? Isn't that his Thing?

That said, your angel made some very compelling points. It may not have convinced you, but it got me. I'm gonna check this one out next week.

Grantster said...

I was so HAPPY to see the words NO SALE at the top of this Blog.

Kudos to you sir!

Too many fans complain and then still buy Amazing Spider-Man to see what's happening. Give me a break!

I mailed my copy back to Joe Q. and won't buy another issue! The Peter Parker I know doesn't make deals with the Devil. I love Marvel's inner message to kids: "Don't get married because that will make you dull and boring with no way out. BUT...if you do get married only the Devil can save you."

Thanks Joe Q. I'll pass that along to my son some day.