Retraction and Apology over ASM 698

As many of you may have noticed I’ve taken the early review of Amazing Spider-Man #698 down off the front page. I’ve also deleted a thread from a first time poster on our message board that had a scan of the identity of the “Superior Spider-Man.”
The reporter in me got excited that we had an early review of the book.  I thought by putting spoilers in front of the review it would prevent people who didn’t want to be spoiled from clicking to read the rest of the review on the following page.
However, the way the review was read and in turn the image of the “big reveal” was from a scanned advance copy.

The images spread online and Facebook like a virus, however that doesn’t make it right.

With my two Amazing Spider-Man reviewers I always ask them to get the reviews out ASAP and preferably the day they are released. I don’t blame Donovan for jumping the gun and posting it early. I think his heart was in the right place, but how we got there was in the wrong.
Marvel in the past has spoiled their big reveals to major news outlets like USA Today etc, however it’s their character and it’s their right to do so.

Marvel’s Director of Communications Arune Singh sent me an e-mail today and said he’s very disappointed in the site for putting the review up two days early. I’ve never met Arune, but he’s been nice to the site in the past. He’s helped my reporters at San Diego and New York with getting interviews etc. So I apologize for breaking the trust.
I don’t encourage or support illegal downloads of comics. So any argument I would make for the review going up early is negated by the fact.
In my 14 years of working on the site this is the first time something like this has happened. I strive to make the best Spider-Man fan site online and I think this took us in the opposite direction of that. I apologize and I’ll do better next time.

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(50) Comments

  1. Spoil machine

    Speaking of SPOILERS: ASM 699

  2. Enigma_2099

    @#4I specifically recall you writing... in big letters... DO... NOT... READ... SPOILERS... So in truth, you didn't even have to apologize for spoiling. I think the fact that you did anyway says a whole lot about you.

  3. CrazyChris

    I've noticed that the earlier reviews go up the more comments they get and the higher they rank on Google searches. People want to talk about these comics right away. So yes, it does make sense.

  4. Jason

    I know we're not obligated to read the reviews, but does it really make sense to post a review right away, especially if people don't buy comics the day they come out?

  5. GhostofBenReilly

    Brad, now that the issue has been released and mea culpas have been given, perhaps it's time to report the review with new screen shots. After all, sites like Newsarama and Bleeding Cool have already posted reaction to the storyline. I

  6. Xonathan

    I just wanna say how proud I am of this website. It is clearly the voice of Spider-Man fandom online, and best of all, Marvel is listening. We are the voice. Keep it up. Do not listen to these critics and haters.

  7. Erik Lexie

    The crawlspace certainly is and I have no doubt will continue to be the web's best Spidey site in my mind. I totally get why Don jumped on this, and frankly I think he, and you Brad, were both acting exactly as any great journalist would. A journalist's goal is to get the story -- they're not the ones who cause leaks, but if a leak happens, they generally pounce on it because the whole point of journalism is to make as much information publicly available as possible.Anyway as far as I can see pretty much everybody involved handled the situation in a totally classy way and it seems in the long term no harm was done. It's inevitable that with a point this big in Spidey's history there's going to be a lot of controversy going on. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the issue tomorrow (well, today) and letting everybody know what I think, and especially looking forward to getting to compare my notes to Don's afterwards.

  8. Flinx79

    Thanks for the fix, and for retraction & apology. Love the podcast and the site, but was really looking forward to reading this book fresh. I was very annoyed that even though I avoided the site's article thanks to the spoiler alert, the storyline's twist was blurted out in the facebook teaser post. I hastily unsubscribed and unliked the feed, for the spoilers alone (I don't know if there are any more that what was covered in the 'nutshell' summary). If you can make sure the team avoids any spoilers on such feeds, I'll happily reconnect that way.

  9. Mrs. Crawlspace

    BD - if you apologized like that in this house, we'd have more kids. P.S. what are you doin' later, ya big grownup cutie?

  10. Spider7279

    there is nothing to apoliges for. this is a Spider man site,you review the books and they send out advance copies the way i see it you did your job.its not like no one will not page through it at the store and say i cant read it till i get home or Marvel will be mad @ me.and i like Slott

  11. JC-man

    Yeap me again, well I think that this story arc will be about Pet comming back and then he will be so upset for this that he will hang the webs, which will be taken by Flash/Venom or by Kaine

  12. JC-man

    Well, I am late and I am not sure who the new superior spiderman will be but if it will be Miguel, the you did not spoiled anything Dan Slott spoiled it since October

  13. stevejrogers

    #20: Why does it matter how Don gets a hold of his copies to review. Would it matter if I told you that I know for a fact (I don't actually, just making a point) that Don did his #697 review via reading the book on a gaming table at his LCS and then put it back on the shelf? Or if he was running behind, picked it up at his local Barnes & Noble (roughly a week after the comic shops get theirs) and did the reading and notes in the attached Starbucks Cafe and then re-shelved the issue?Just saying, you are making a bigger deal about how Don came across the issue. Reading off an illegally scanned preview copy is one of various ways to review a product without paying for it. And I agree with Eddie, it wasn't done out of malicious intent, but rather the same way scores of preview copies of...anything, movies, albums, etc wind their way into the hands of press members whom...well I'll just say weren't the intended target and then put up for a review for a print outlet, radio, TV, website, etc. That shouldn't be the focus here as no harm was intended.

  14. moral_deficiency

    From reading it I can come to a few conclusions...1. There was nothing wrong with the way it was set up in terms of spoiling matters. By this I mean anyone that clicked to read knew what they were getting.2. There is nothing wrong with re-posting an already "outed" story. This is standard journalism.3. The only issue I'm really seeing here is against the use of illegally downloaded material, which is a fair issue if that is your stance (personally I don't care, but then I've also been known to make women mixtapes and not pay royalties on it). That was the apology and that was the reason the review was taken down. For that I will say, nicely done. You stuck by your personal ethics and man-upped when they conflicted.4. There was no malice, no schadenfreude in spoiling something (it was already out there), this was just reporters trying to get the first report out there or in this case the best with analysis and commentary. Anyone here saying otherwise is just upset for the sake of being upset.Well done all around to both BD and Donovan, everyone makes mistakes but it takes integrity to own it, correct it and apologize for it.

  15. Spideydude

    20: Okay... so he went out of his way to piss off slott? To piss off Marvel?You know how crazy that sounds? It seems you're the one with the axe to grind my good fellow.

  16. J.Garrett

    @20 I believe you're making Don out to be far more malevolent then he actually is. He could have been motivated to posted the review for, I don't know, the Spider-man fans who would be interested in reading it.

  17. EddieD

    Jgc21 RE #20: I know Donovan and I feel safe in saying that Don is not that type of person. I think he was genuinely excited about breaking this story with his review and wasn't acting out of malice toward Slott.

  18. BD - Post author

    Lockdown, If I didn't think I did anything wrong the review would still be up and I wouldn't have apologized.JGC21- Tone it down.

  19. Lockdown

    Brad, you did nothing wrong, these types of things happen. What is done is done, you did the correct thing taking down the review and the scanned images.

  20. Jgc21

    @12 and 15 - it doesn't matter what score Donovan gave - the fact is he put up a review of a book early that he knew would piss off Slott and Marvel. On top of that, he read the issue without even paying for it and used someone else's leaked scans.Very classy.

  21. cubman987

    I was a little disappointed not that the review was posted (I didn't read it because I don't want to be spoiled) but because it was a review of the issue that was from an illegal download. It just doesn't feel like something that should have been on this site and I'm very glad to see that it has been pulled down and apologies have been made. I'm also glad to see Marvel handled themselves well. I have to think not a lot of people would have hanlded this as well as Brad and Donovan have so kudos to you guys for that.

  22. Eddie

    #4: Well done, young man. Pay no attention to #11. It's better not to respond.#14: I'm happy for you, BD.Well played all around gentlemen.

  23. Tonyd117

    The easiest thing would have been to ignore the protestations and leave the review up. But by taking it down and apologizing, BD, you've shown once again the class and integrity that we've all come to know. Thanks again for running the best Spidey site on the internet.

  24. Jack Brooks

    It should be appreciated that Arune didn't bellow all over Brad. It sounds like they both handled the problem with professional decency. Also, if Donovan popped that review up lickity-split without Brad being aware of it until later, and then Brad pulled it down....well, Donovan also apologized (see above).I lost track of what day it was, and thought, "Oh hey, this must've been released!"

  25. Zach Joiner

    I Second CbasFrench's assessment of Brad Douglas as a Class Act. Because it's true.As for JGC:I'm glad you know what Don's thought process was on a review that he gave a FREAKING PERFECT SCORE to a book that he's been critical of over the last year. Because he's out to 'stick it to Marvel'. Come on man. That's nonsense. That's Garbage. That's a outright lie. So let's avoid the conspiacy theories.Graduation, let's not bring up the past. It's done, its over with.

  26. BD - Post author

    Update: Arune and Steve Wacker have since e-mailed me and thanked me for taking down the review and accepted my apology.

  27. Graduation

    I for one am glad Marvel, who have proven themselves incapable of being mature to the fans in the last few years where Spidey is concerned, had their little surprise spoiled and party ruined for them. Karma is a delicate web and it sticks to everyone. This 50th has ALMOST been the most uneventful and unaccomplished one in the characters histroy, and rather than celebrate the iconagrahy and appeal of the character, they're pulling off an insepid stunt that further ruins the characters we've all come to love over decades of strong storytelling. Someone needs to fix this comic. Now.

  28. Spideydude

    JGC,Come on man, that's uncalled for. HE GAVE THE BOOK A PERFECT SCORE. If he was 'Sticking it to Slott, he'd have given it a bad grade. He didn't. Don't make conspiracy theories out of little information. I've talked to Don today and he's in no way doing this to 'Stick it to Slott'. Get outta here with that Garbage.cbasfrench,Wacker sent a quick nice email thanking Brad for doing what he did, as did Arune.Ghost of Ben Reilly (Nice name btw)Let's not talk about the issue itself in this thread. No Spoilers. Please.I speak for all when I second Javi's statement about BD.

  29. Jgc21

    I think Donovan was trying to stick it to Slott by posting the review early. He did afterall use the sarcastic words "good luck" in his review when Slott said he would attempt everything he could from advance spoliers appearing online. You can pretty much kiss Crawl Space's 'Spider-Man news updates' from Marvel goodbye. It's too bad. The site will suffer over one man's petty mistake.

  30. Andrew

    The book is already available overseas. Someone in Manilla posted pictures of him reading the issue about 8 hours ago.

  31. GhostofBenReilly

    Nick -- I have no issue with Slott's view on spoilers, he's entitled to his feelings. He's fighting an uphill battle there. My issue is the hype associated with a story that is, at best, unoriginal. In the spirit of the spoiler concerns I'll refrain from further comment until the issue is released.

  32. Extreme Spider

    I read the review before the book and I was even more hyped for the book because I wanted to see how the conclusion was reached. No big deal BD. The site's integrity is still intact.

  33. cbasfrench

    Let us hope that Slott or Wacker don't blow this out of proportion too much. It's a mistake and that's it.

  34. Nick MB

    @3 So your complaint is that Slott and Marvel should stop thinking that their own storyline is good and worth keeping a surprise? It's their work, they've spent time on it and are clearly excited by it, it's not wrong for them to want to promote. Nor should they give up on those things just because somebody guessed the storyline. With thousands of people trying to guess, it was pretty likely.

  35. Donovan Grant

    I really appreciate Brad's words here. The fact of the matter is that I posted the interview before he had any knowledge I had read it. I only let him know once the review was posted. Brad was not aware of my review until it was too late, so I believe the true fault lies with me. Apologies to anyone who were spoiled prematurely.

  36. GhostofBenReilly

    And for all the fuss, the so called "spoiler" was merely confirmation of the speculated story line. Slott, kicked up all this fuss over pointless, derivative, crap storytelling. Nice way to "honor" the 50th anniversary of a character.

  37. Ryo Vie

    BD - I appluad you for taking the review down after learning of marvel's disappointment. I was surprised to see the review up before the issue came out, but since I saw the big DON'T READ SPOILERS, I did not read the review, becuase I want to find out what happens as I read it. So thank you for putting the huge warning in front. I'll admit I was very very very very very tempted to read it, but couldn't do it. I can't wait for tomorrow when I can get that issue in my hands at devour it at home.I just hope there isn't any backlash for this, as I know Dan Slott stated that anyone who posts spoilers early will be banned and it would be a shame to see Crawlspace get blacklisted over one mistake.

  38. flatteo

    YYYeeahh you guys probably shouldn't have posted actual scanned images of the comic, being such a big site and all. An article just TALKING about the comic would have been more appropriate. But at the same time, you definitely aren't the ones who scanned the full comic, compiled it into .cbr format, and mediafire'd it to the comic community via MULTIPLE different blogs where I've seen it posted.It's a tough lesson, but I don't assign you guys too much blame. Bottom line, this was gonna get out. It's too big, been WWWAAYYYYYY too hyped (and Dan Slott, YOU are responsible for that!!!! ;) still love ya big guy), TONS of comic stores have copies of this, it was a virtual inevitability that this thing was gonna get out. You guys are having to take more heat because you are a bigger site. Word on the 'street' is that some people in Manila scanned the actual comic that's floating about.

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