Dissatisfaction in 2006

A year or so before “One More Day” was supposed to ship, I became convinced that something major should be done with the Spider‑Man comics. The biggest problem was that I was looking forward to the Batman and Superman books more. I have long believed that Spider‑Man is the greatest comic book character ever and should have the best creative teams and the status quo which contributes to those writers and artists producing the best possible material. As a result, I was disappointed when the Batman and Superman books seemed to have better creative teams and buzz, with Johns/ Donner/ Kubert on Action Comics, Morrison/ Kubert on Batman, Dini/ Williams on Detective Comics, Busiek/Pacheco on Superman, and impressive creative teams elsewhere.

The DC titles didn’t quite live up to the buzz, of course. Richard Donner left Action Comics after two arcs, although Geoff Johns’s subsequent solo writing on the series was quite good. JH Williams would only draw a single issue of Detective Comics with Dini, returning to the series a few years later to depict the adventures of the new Batwoman. That said, I still wanted to look forward to the new adventures of Spider-Man as much as—if not more than—those of DC’s top heroes.

The pre “One More Day” books were decent and distinct, but they could have been better. The creators all had their fans, and delivered okay work, with a few clunkers in each title, but this wasn’t enough when dealing with the best character in comics. I wanted Spider‑Man stories that rank amongst the character’s best, until the next arc turned out to be even better, and that wasn’t happening.

Sales were also unimpressive. If Friendly Neighborhood Spider‑Man and Sensational Spider‑Man couldn’t even break the Top 40, or Top 60 in the case of the last issue of FN’, something was very wrong. Ultimate Spider‑Man was sometimes viewed as a reason that the writers and artists of the Marvel Universe Spider‑Man books shouldn’t even try to work on stories that new readers could enjoy.

Friendly Spider-Man 5-1

Around the end of April 2006, there were the first rumblings of a JMS/ Joe Quesada mini-series which was meant to”fix” Spider-Man. I considered potential creative teams that could renew interest in the titles, and this got me thinking about the best directions for the individual books.

I realized that it would make sense for Marvel to cancel Friendly Neighborhood Spider‑Man and Sensational Spider‑Man, and just relaunch Amazing Spider‑Man with some new satellite titles, or to just turn the main book into a weekly title. If that was going to happen, the books might as well get a complete creative overhauls and if that was going to happen, there might as well be a drastic change to the status quo to justify all this, and that status quo should be the one that encourages the most great stories in the future.

And there was one element of the title which certain writers had been particularly vocal about. Although none of those writers mattered as much as Marvel’s then-Editor-in-Chief. Joe Quesada just didn’t care for Spider-Man’s marriage.

The Infinite Spider-Man is a series of mini-essays regarding Marvel’s options for the future of the best character in comics.

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About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. Currently, I’m writing a few comic books about my grandparents’ experiences in Soviet Estonia for Grayhaven comics. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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