Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #16 Review: Stillanerd’s Take


AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#16--AltCover“We’re the very picture of a serious, professional company.”

What’s this? A Spider-Man comic with only one Spider-Man? Impossible! Either that or everything is back to normal for our favorite wall-crawler. But you know what they say about being careful what you wish for…

“The Graveyard Shift, Part One: The Late, Late Mr. Parker”
“Repossession, Part One: Stolen Memories”

WRITERS: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
PENCILER: Humberto Ramos
INKER: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER ARTISTS: Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Devin Lewis
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

STORY 1: Spidey, still feeling weak from Morlun having drained part of his life energy in “Spider-Verse,” is fighting with The Iguana at the Central Park Zoo when he gets a phone call from Aunt May. May, who still thinks Peter and Anna Maria are a couple, invites them both for dinner as she hasn’t heard from him “in days.” Jay Jameson, however, reminds his wife that Peter can’t be distracted as he’s supposed to be making a proposal to the Department of Corrections for Parker Industries to build their new super-villain prison. Just then, Peter gets another phone call, this time from Anna Maria Marconi and Sajani Jaffrey, who are both upset over how he’s hasn’t shown up at the meeting yet. Sajani is particularly angry as she reminds Peter she’s never supported his idea for a super-villain prison, and she doesn’t want “to pitch a project [she] doesn’t believe in.” Peter is about to apologize, but instead tells Sajani he’s sick of having to defend his super-villain prison idea to her, reminding her about what happened during “Goblin Nation” and Electro, and that it’s better for all if super-villains aren’t just captured, but reformed and “cured” of their powers. Sajani tells Peter to give his speech to someone who matters, especially since Alchemax is also pitching their own super-villain prison project. Realizing Alchemax would just perpetuate the cycle of super-villains constantly breaking out of prison, Spidey tells Sajani he’ll be right over, and—due to being berated by her—is able to overcome his “energy slump” and beat The Iguania.

Meanwhile, Alchemax CEO, Liz Allen, is pitching her company’s idea for the super-villain prison, citing that her stepbrother and Alchemax’s head of security, Mark Raxton, the former Molten Man, is living proof of how super-villans can be reformed and cured. Also, Liz tells them that Alchemax’s super-villain prison project leader will be Tiberius Stone. After their pitch, they pass by Anna Maria and Sajani, and tell them that Parker Industries is in over their heads, and note how their CEO is absent. However, Peter manages to show up just in time, and Liz (helping him to straighten his tie) says how this is just like high school with him always being late, as well. Peter reminds her he still managed to be valedictorian for their graduating class, and as he, Anna Maria, and Sajani head off for their meeting, Liz expresses to Stone and Mark how Peter “always had a way of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat,” and wishes “there was some way to throw a monkey wrench into his plans.”

Later that evening, Stone and Mark arrive at Black Cat’s Slide-Away Casino. There, they both hire The Ghost to make sure that Peter and Parker Industries are “out of business…permanently”

STORY 2: The Black Cat is having the Ringer be beat-up by Killer Shrike and Melter as he’s failed to give her his share of the cut from his thefts. Ringer defends himself by saying he was caught by Silk, that he had to pay the Spot to bust him out, and pay the Tinkerer to give him some new gear. He also says how he’s heard the Black Cat has become more heartless ever since becoming a crime boss, and that this isn’t like her. Black Cat hesitates, just long enough for the Ringer to break free and hit her with one of his discs. Felicia, however, takes him out, then tells her underlings to go out and make triple the cut…after they beat up Ringer some more.

Surprised that the Ringer was able to do what he did in spite of her bad luck powers, Black Cat realizes that the more ruthless she becomes, the better luck she has. She reminds herself how she lost everything she’s worked so hard to build for herself, and vows to steal back her own life. We then see that an unnamed blond woman who used to attend Felicia’s parties and was turned off by her attitude, is at the Pinkerton Auction House (the same auction both Aunt May and Jay Jameson attended in the first story when they called Peter) and has been buying Felicia’s confiscated belongings for herself.

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#16--p6THOUGHTS: So after several excruciating months of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man venturing through time, space, and alternate realities (in other words being everywhere but his own neighborhood) fighting alongside his various clones, doppelgängers and extra-dimensional counterparts against steampunk vampire clones, Dan Slott finally brings our hero, and the series, back down to Earth were it belongs. Thus, The Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #16 reads, for what seems like the first time in ages, like an actual Spider-Man comic, even if the first story consists primarily of Spidey taking on the phone while fighting a C-list knockoff of The Lizard. But when it comes to actual characters, once again Slott makes them be driven by the plot instead of the other way around, in particular when it comes to their respective motives and what they want.

In Peter’s case, Slott and co-writer Christos Gage’s attempt to build upon the events of “Spider-Verse” for his development, that his leadership experience during that story have instilled in him a new sense of confidence and fortitude when it comes to managing Parker Industries, and in not taking guff from his vice-president, Sajani Jaffrey. Granted, as I’ve mentioned before, there was little to no sign of Peter behaving like a leader during “Spider-Verse” and, as I pointed out in my review of the last issue, his belief that he can now be an effective CEO of Parker Industries rings hollow because of this and what appears to be upcoming on the horizon over the coming months. Not to mention that, even though he tells himself how much he’s been neglecting his personal life, the comic still gives the impression Peter is still putting his priorities of being Spider-Man over that of his own company until Sajani tells him about Alchemax’s competing contract bid. Nevertheless, it’s refreshing to see Peter, for once, be a passionate defender of something he sincerely believes in, even though his rousing speech about showing understanding and compassion towars super-villains is ironically being delivered while he’s in the midst of beating up one of those super-villains.

What’s far more sketchy is Slott and Gage’s handling of various supporting characters, particularly the women in Peter’s sphere of influence. Take for instance Sajani Jaffrey. In earlier issues, she opposed Peter’s super-villain prison project because she believed in wouldn’t be a profitable business venture when compared to Otto Octavious’ nano-machines, going as far as to secretly help the Black Cat in sabotaging the Electro containment device in Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #6. However, because Alchemax also has plans to build their own super-villain prison (as established in Spider-Man 2099 #5), Sajani’s argument that such as project would be a “bad business model” has been reduced to utter nonsense. Thus, because the story requires Peter and Sajani to be in conflict over the project, Slott changes Sajani’s objection over the prison to being rooted in political and philosophical differences, claiming the project is “bleeding heart” liberal nonsense. Not only is this shift in reasoning for her opposition to Peter’s project ridiculous, it makes Sajani even less sympathetic than before.

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#16--p12Speaking of Alchemax, Slott and Gage’s depiction of Liz Allan is also rather dubious in light of her saying within earshot of Tiberius Stone and Mark Raxton, “I wish there was some way to throw a monkey wrench into [Peter’s] plans.” This could be taken as a passing, innocent remark on her part; however, given how Slott has depicted her, especially in light of “Goblin Nation,” it also reads as though she’s giving subtle orders to Stone and her stepbrother to do exactly what they set out to do towards the end of this first story: hire someone to attack Parker Industries and thus prevent them from getting the super-villain prison contract so that Alchemax will acquire it instead. Along with her earlier comment of Peter always “snatching victory from the jaws of defeat,” and it seems Slott has essentially turned Peter’s former classmate and long-time friend who had a serious crush on him into yet another evil and corrupt businessperson willing to do whatever nefarious means necessary for to make more money. To fair, she’s probably underestimating how far someone like Tiberius Stone and Mark would be willing to go, especially since her fixing Peter’s tie for him does show she still has a soft spot for Peter. Even so, it’s such a drastic change from her demeanor compared to the past that, once again, it feels as though she’s only behaving this way due to the demands of the plot. Not to mention it also undercuts Slott’s own work in his rehabilitating the Molten Man as seen in “Mind on Fire” (Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #581 to #582).

But when it comes to character assassination, the Black Cat has them all beat by a country mile. I believe there’s been little to no disagreement that Felicia Hardy’s heel-turn into becoming a crime boss has been regarded as one of the worst developments to come out of The Amazing Spider-Man relaunch, even from Slott’s most ardent defenders outside of Marvel. And it’s quite clear that Slott, Nick Lowe, and the Spider-Group at Marvel are aware of just how unpopular the Black Cat becoming a villain has been among the fans. Hence why Slott and Gage devote a six-page back-up story to explain yet again to justify Felicia’s actions, with the added detail that he bad luck powers become stronger the less compassionate and merciful she becomes. But by piling on more reasons for why Felicia is so determined to restore her reputation among the criminal underworld and her more violent actions, it only serves to muddle her characterization without addressing the real problem: that her entire arc is built on a false premise. I admit I’m not an expect when it comes to the Black Cat, but based on other comics I’ve read featuring her, not once has she ever been shown to give a damn about her street cred, much less cared about what other people thought of her. The only things which mattered to her was the thrill of a big heist, living up to her dad’s legacy as a thief, and seducing Spider-Man into going to bed with her. This whole notion that Felicia was this high-society woman who “lost everything” when Otto Octavious, as Spider-Man, outed her as the Black Cat is utter nonsense—especially since the Black Cat’s identity was already public knowledge, that’s she’s had more history being a superhero, and Slott’s own stories have her wanting Spidey to put in a good word for her to the Avengers and fighting with Misty Knight’s Heroes For Hire. For Slott and Gage to devote this much of an issue, with two more parts to come, is a sign that Black Cat becoming a crime boss isn’t working, that Slott knows it isn’t working, but is determined to make it work because he’s come too far with this particular subplot to admit it’s a mistake.AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#16--p19

Both stories also see the return of Humberto Ramos on art, and I have to say that, after many issues with Oliver Copiel and/or Guiseppe Camuncoli, it’s a rather jarring transition. Ramos’ work has always been hit or miss, especially when in comes to his sense of proportion and depiction of anatomy. There are moments, for instance, where The Iguana looks appropriately menacing during his fight with Spidey, yet Spidey himself is put into rather awkward looking body poses where his limbs vary in size from panel-to-panel; one panel in particular where he kicks The Iguana appears as if his arms are longer than his legs. And when it comes to Anna Maria, Ramos’s depiction of her height is woefully inconsistent; sometimes her head comes up to Sajani’s waist, while other times she’s up to or even past her shoulder. And how exactly can Felicia even walk when her bladed “tail” belt hangs loosely around her thighs instead of her waist? Exaggeration in comics is one thing, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of practicality and consistency.

All of this prevents Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #16 from being a great issue, but compared to the mess “Spider-Verse” became, it’s better than the series has been of late. Thus far, it reads as the first act for an otherwise average Spider-Man story being written to kill time between “Spider-Verse” and whatever details the “Renew Your Vows” for Secret Wars involves. Based on what solicits for upcoming issues suggest, I suspect Slott will use this story to wrap-up Peter’s tenure as CEO of Parker Industries one way or another, whether it be Ghost destroying his company headquarters, the shareholders voting Peter out as Chief Executive, Alchemax requisitioning the company for themselves, the bank where Otto got the business loan calling up Peter to question him why his signature on the application doesn’t match from the one on record, or something else different entirely, and thus claim this story had far more important ramifications for Spider-Man than we realized. Until that happens, though, this issue gets a modest….

C

NERDY NITPICKS:

  • Notice anything wrong about the main cover for this issue? Neither the Living Brain nor Clayton Cole appear in this issue. Furthermore, there is not a single scene in the comic which takes place at Parker Industries. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Marvel’s official write-up for this issue–”Someone (or something) has invaded Parker Industries and is targeting its staff!”–is also completely wrong since, as those who read the synopsis above, nothing of the sort even happens in this issue. So I guess the cover and write-up should have been for Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #17 instead?
  • So how long has Peter been back since the events of “Spider-Verse” if he’s still feeling the effects of what Morlun did to him? And he never contacted any one, including his Aunt May, the moment he got back after being “gone for days?” But then, based on the conversations he has with Aunt May and Anna Maria over the phone, he’s apparently been back long enough to make dinner plans and arrange to give a business pitch to the Department of Corrections, which means he’d have to have gotten in touch with his friends and family after he got back, right? Or did he make these arrangements before “Spider-Verse” happened?
  • Speaking of Aunt May, does anyone else find it funny that, considering how she’s been berating Peter’s absence, we the readers haven’t seen her since the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man relaunch? I mean, welcome back Aunt May, but still, we’re talking fifteen issues and almost a year in which a major supporting character has gone from the comics!
  • “Stop talking on your phone, human! I have a legitimate grievance about the plight of reptiles!” And your case would be helped a great deal, Mr. Iguana, sir, if you were actually voicing a “legitimate grievance.” True, Spidey talking on the phone is rude as you said earlier, but only at the cost of delivering a villainous monologue, which you weren’t even making during this entire fight. Then again, since you are a Lizard knockoff and have a reptilian brain, perhaps I’ll forgive your claims that Spidey isn’t listening to you even though you’re not actually trying to make a speech.
  • “Cutting-edge technology cured [Mark] and continues to monitor his condition, ensuring he’ll never again be a threat to society.” Don’t forget to credit your ex-husband and the father of your child, Harry Osborn, for curing your stepbrother of being the Molten Man there, Liz! Because it certainly wasn’t any experimental program your company came up with while he was spending time in the slammer as you seem to suggest.
  • So of all the companies the New York City Department of Corrections is considering to build the new super-villain prison, there’s not a single proposal from Stark Enterprises, especially since they have experience in this sort of thing? And Roxxon is an oil and energy company, so what did they propose? Have all the super-villains drill for natural gas as part of a work force labor program?
  • So Peter was valedictorian of Midtown High? Gee, I sure don’t remember him giving an inspiring speech to his fellow graduates in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. #28. I do remember the guest-speaker was J. Jonah Jameson which Peter was too busy ogling Liz to pay attention, however.
  • Okay, I can understand how Speed Demon is hitting the tables at Black Cat’s underground casino, but what’s Shocker doing there? After all, he’s the head of Maggia crime family, so I would think he would no longer bother hanging out with other B and C listers anymore. And he doesn’t have the head of Silvermane with him?  I suppose old Silvio Manfredi is at home finally having his long awaited Lasagna night.
  • So Felicia’s “cat eyes” on her new Black Cat costume are even larger and cover her shoulders. If this was intended to keep folks like myself from constantly staring at her chest, it didn’t work!

(28) Comments

  1. Jason

    This issue definitely read like a traditional Spidey comic. My one problem with it, however, how did nobody hear Spidey in battle with Iguana screaming "DIE?"

  2. hornacek

    @16 - "Has any writer ever established the 'catch' in Felicia’s powers? I mean, she got her powers from the Kingpin, so there would have to be a catch in there someplace, right?" Back during the Mantlo/Milgrom (?) runs of PPtSSM Felicia noticed that her bad-luck powers were starting to affect Spidey without her control. When she went to the Kingpin he told her that when she hung around with someone long enough, her bad-luck powers would start to affect them, and it would get worse the longer she was around them. I think that was one of the reasons she left Spidey. Of course I don't know if that was cured or retconned because I don't remember it being mentioned when she was with Flash, the Foreigner, or the Puma (or Spidey during their BND mask-sex hook-ups).

  3. scarletspider77

    I actually didn't buy this issue. First time in probably 30 years i didn't get the new Spidey. I'm just tired of it. Secret Wars looming for another gag inducing reboot doesn't help any.

  4. Evan

    @#24 -- I guess either way Felicia's character will return to normal. It just seems like in recent years I find myself waiting for arcs or events to end in the hopes that upon their conclusion things will improve. It was like that with Ends of the Earth, and then with Superior Spider-man. I thought, "Alright, I'll just wait for these stories to end and hopefully soon I will enjoy them again." Now I find myself just waiting for the writing team to change. I never used to think this way as a kid, either because my tastes have changed or just the joy of owning a new comic somehow trumped considerations of story quality. As it is, the most that I enjoy out of the comics these days is the artwork. But in your discussion of Dan Slott's writing style, his story construction, and his relationship to fans as a result, I think you're absolutely right. One of the reasons I love this website so much is it helps me to keep informed on where Spider-man has been and where he is headed so that I can jump on board when I'm ready. It also helps to remind me when I'm most disappointed by the writing that Spider-man is bigger than one writer makes him, and he will endure and have a legacy that exists beyond said writer. And right now that gives me more comfort than reading the books themselves did as a kid.

  5. RDMacQ

    @#20- If we have another writer come on board before Slott resolves this plot thread or if he leaves Felicia as a bad guy at the end of his run, I could see the explanation for Felicia's behavior be that she was mind-controlled or brainwashed in a particular way. But with Slott, I doubt it. He has never shown the insight or the ability to consider the alternative views of those that disagree, and amend his story accordingly. He'll never acknowledge that people have legitimate complaints with his stories. Instead he'll double down on it, continue on with a particular narrative or direction, and try to rationalize that it was all part of a "Greater plan" that he was working towards. I've never seen him acknowledge "You know, the fans were right. I had an idea, and it didn't work out." Instead, he'll make up stories about how it's just a small handful of "Haters" who'll criticize ANYTHING he does and there's nothing wrong with anything that he's ever done. So, Felicia is a bad guy for now. Until Slott doesn't make her into a bad guy, with some out of nowhere "Oh, I realize now that Spider-Man was on my side the whole time" explanation during a big five to six part storyline. Then the next writer will come on, ignore everything that Slott has done (As he has ignored others) and continue on like Felicia was never a crime lord in the first place.

  6. Phantom Roxas

    @2: I take full responsibility for the delays in the Silver Surfer book, because I'm taking away Slott's attention. @12: I actually do think that's the case. This is just an assumption, but I'm curious if the most "acclaimed" Slott stories are the ones where Gage co-wrote for him. If so, then the quality of the stories is actually dependent on Gage.

  7. Ryan3178

    #21 Well Christos Gage did help out with the script. So, of course Spidey beat his villain by himself and showed up for the meeting.

  8. xonathan

    Wait. So Spider-man was able to defeat the Iguana all by himself? Really? In a Slot written issue? Huh... No Avengers came to help? No other-dimensional dopplegangers? Remember when Spider-man could beat the X-men single handed-ly in their own book?

  9. Evan

    #15 RDMacQ -- Very well said. It just seemed to me that the Mr. Negative/mind control option seemed like a good escape route once the new Black Cat characterization reveals itself to have been a bad idea or if Dan Slott writes himself into a corner (again). I also agree with #14 that fans may be treated to a "What, you really think I'd do that to Felicia?" This may be a bit of a stretch, but it reminds me when Family Guy decided to kill off Brian, and when fans got up in arms about it and speculated about the character's return, Seth MacFarlane's response was, "Get over it -- This is the way it's going to be from now on." But then once they brought Brian back, Seth MacFarlane's response was, "How could you ever even think we'd get rid of Brian?" It's a no-win situation, and I thought something similar regarding Dan Slott's relationship to fans in the wake of the Superior Spider-man series.

  10. Sano

    I enjoyed this issue since it was a much needed back to basics after Spider-Verse spun out of control. Whether or not Spider-Man was actually a valedictorian in the past well it's a nice addition to his mythos unlike say, Silk so I'm fine with that. I do think that Slott has to start moving Peter Parker into having a relationship with MJ prior to 'renew your vows.' Also his prison idea needs to work, Peter needs this win. The book should really be written as if it is ending and Spider-Man 'figures it all out' because it will make the upcoming Secret Wars event read so much better, especially if he is about to have a reboot occur in his books. This all might be where Slott is going but he has this annoying habit of getting to point A to Z really quickly even though he gets 2 to 3 issues a month and can afford to slow the pace down once in a while. Love Humberto Ramos' pencils. I give the issue 4 jail suit Codys from the Street Fighter video game series out of 5.

  11. Frontier

    I think Spider-Verse would've read like an actual Spider-Man comic if Slott had actually let Peter genuinely take charge during the event and lead the Spiders, along with really dealing with the problems at hand and getting to genuinely interact with the other Spiders. And maybe not move over all the fun, interesting, and plot-relevant bits of the event into tie-ins. But that's just me. I thought the fight with Iguana was actually pretty fun, and I actually think Ramos' art was at its best during the battle even if the proportions and body parts could've used some work, with the plus of Peter finally talking back to Sajani. The latter was long overdue, even if they don't really have a reason to be in conflict over building the prison aside from Sajani suddenly having an ethical issue with it... Now that you mention it, we really haven't seen much of the traditional supporting cast, aside from JJJ and Cat (if you're getting technical) since the book started. It's just primarily been the main Parker Industries cast, so basically just Slott-created characters, which at this point isn't that surprising. Now I actually want to go back and re-read the Big Time era to see if the Horizon staff got more panel-time compared to the classic characters. Best I can recall, the most the Bugle and Robbie have gotten are cameo's or an appearance in Spider-Woman. That's kinda sad. To think I was actually looking forward to seeing Clayton interacting with the rest of the Parker Industries staff and Peter, and some good ol' fun with the Living Brain. And I'm actually not being sarcastic. It was heavily hinted at, or pretty much outright shown, that Liz is connected with Norman so I imagine if Alchemax ends up getting the contract that the prison will end up part of Osborn's newest plot. Curious to see how much, if at all, PAD is aware of Slott's intentions with Alchemax and if that factors into what he's developing and Liz's relationship with Miguel. I also wonder if we'll Mark pop up in 2099? Did Tiberius Stone always have tatoos? They seem new. Nick Spencer said that he didn't expect Shocker's status as leader of the Maggia to last very long or get touched on in other books, so I guess it's not surprising to see him just hanging out at a casino. I doubt it'll get touched on in Spiral either, though it would nice if it did. At least Speed Demon seems to be having fun with that bunny girl, possibly continuing his win streak from the Iron Fist lawsuit. So...Felicia's major issue, above everything else, is that after her arrest everything she stole was repossessed? Is this really the first time's that's ever happened to her? I'm pretty sure she's been arrested before this, more than once, so I imagine when that happened any stole property the police found was returned to its rightful owners. And whether Felicia's identity is public seems to flip flop a lot, since you have her hanging out with socialites who know her by name in a flashback in this issue, her in I believe a different identity to work under Jameson as mayor in BND, and then you have the police breaking in and arresting her (one time she's definitely been arrested) when she was framed for a crime in that Daredevil crossover a few years ago. The former implies her identity wasn't public, the next instance implies she had to work under a new identity, while the latter shows that the police know who she is and that she's had a criminal record before SpOck caught her. It's really confusing. That moment with the Ringer at first seemed to imply that there was something making Felicia act this way and out of character, but then that fell through when he tried to attack her. And now suddenly her luck powers get stronger when she's colder and more evil? Seriously? Another awesome, on-point, and insightful review Stillanerd. Hope to see you covering the Spiral issues (and hopefully some good Spidey comics) next week.

  12. Ryan3178

    Well, the "catch" now is, that when Felicia is being "Evil" her powers work better but when she's calm and collective, they barely work. Like I said, it comes off like she's a drug addict. Getting her high from her powers as long as she is "crazy." You also have to look at these crazy ideas of Slott and was just revealed that Alonso said: "No, no no!" "It has to be Peter Parker, not Otto, so table it until Peter comes back." Now with Lowe its: "Get everything wrapped up and do Renew your Vows for Secret Wars or we won't renew you.

  13. AmazingOSUman

    Has any writer ever established the "catch" in Felicia's powers? I mean, she got her powers from the Kingpin, so there would have to be a catch in there someplace, right? This is about the only thing I can think of that would logically explain the Cat's odd behavior and "motivation." The Kingpin still has to be involved in this, somehow. Please?

  14. RDMacQ

    I really doubt we will get a "Felicia was being mind controlled" rationalization to explain her change of attitude and turn towards villainy. That's not how Slott does things. If that was the case, Slott would be teasing it endlessly, pointing out in the book AND to the fans how "important" it is. No, this is how Slott is treating Felicia now. She is a villain, through and through. Previous characterization be damned, because he prefers her as a bad guy as that was how she was depicted when he started reading. She should have never become a "hero." She was "always" a bad guy. So Slott, probably in his own mind, is "fixing" such a "mistake" and putting her "back on track." Now, I can see Slott undoing the mess he made. But it won't be an explanation that involves Felicia being mind controlled in any way. Felicia is this way for the time being, totally convinced she needs to be a bad guy. Then things will turn bad for her, like her minions turning against her or Doc Ock coming back and attacking her, she'll be defeated, and then Spider-Man will come and save her and she'll "realize" she was wrong or decide to help him. Then the next writer will come along and completely ignore everything that Slott did and make Felicia into a more well rounded character again. My standard operating procedure for Slott's stories remains- Think about the stupidest idea possible that could happen in the story, and that will be what will happen. Unless another writer comes along to rewrite Felicia's character and motivation, Slott is dead set on her being a bad guy from here until he is forced to have her stop being portrayed that way.

  15. E

    I keep waiting for the curtain to reveal that someone is mind controlling Felicia or something and Slott to yell at fans, "How did you guys not see this coming??"

  16. Evan

    #11 ryan3178 -- If Felicia is now a drug addict, perhaps she needs Anti-Venom. New Ways to Die all over again. Maybe in the Spiral arc it will be revealed that Martin Li's powers somehow influenced her behavior. But if Peter treats her the same way she treated him when she found that he was possessed by Dr. Octopus, it will make zero difference to him. Well, that's not completely true -- Peter will then have to become a villain.

  17. ryan3178

    What's even worse is that Christos Gage who has co-written with Slott for years can't make either of these stories work. Its throwing out not just "previous" stories but current stories and ones the writer himself wrote to make the story work. Its horrible, especially with Black Cat. Now its: "My powers don't work when I'm calm!" Oh come on! So, she is evil and blood thirsty so she use her luck powers. That makes Felicia come off as a drug addict.

  18. truthwillwin1

    Lets all start twitter fights with Slott so that he wont have time to write anymore. If that works we may start to get some decent Spider-man books!

  19. Evan

    @#7 Jack -- At least Peter hasn't said "Crazy town banana pants" lately. To be honest, I'm surprised that Dan Slott didn't write that into the dialogue of the issues in which he introduced Clash so that it would lend credence to Mary Jane's later telling Carly Cooper that he always said that. There are so many things wrong with that last statement.

  20. ryan3178

    What a complete ignoring of not only Peter David's current work on Spider-Man 2099 but also with Jeff Parker's Ghost from Thunderbolts and his own story with Molten Man. Look at my review if you want my true thoughts.

  21. Realspideyfan

    @2 now if somehow he could spend ALL his time doing just that and we can get a new writer. I'll gladly take one for the team and battle him online all day 5 days a week to keep him off the book.

  22. tickbite

    You know, when Peter was married and a high school teacher, I found him a lot more relatable than now that he's CEO. He also seemed younger back then. I remember when Slott managed to rejuvenate Peter in "Brand New Day", but I can't help but feel we're heading in the opposite direction now.

  23. George Berryman

    Well in Slott's defense, he really does spend a lot of time fighting every other person on the Internet. That's <i>got</i> to take up a massive chunk of his time. :cool:

  24. RDMacQ

    Slott's getting help from Gage on this story? Doesn't he ALREADY have a reduced workload with Gerry Conway taking over writing duties for ASM 16.1? I can never understand how someone with one of the lightest workloads in comics can still manage to require "help" on a ridiculous number of occasions, whereas other writers with a far greater workload and responsibility can still keep their schedule without having to rely on people "helping" them write. Geoff Johns has several responsibilities in his position at DC, but he still managed to keep his schedule on titles like Justice League, Superman, Aquaman and others. In fact, it was DC management that stepped in to reduce his workload to have him focus on those other responsibilities rather than comics. Bendis is not only working on several projects at Marvel, but is also working on things like the Powers TV series, yet he still manages to keep a regular schedule without people "helping" him write his stories. It really makes me wonder just how much Slott actually IS writing with these stories, and what he has in his contract that allows him to shirk off a quarter of his workload without consequence. It would be understandable if this did result in better writing. But given Slott's poor characterization, plotting, scripting and overall storytelling, the "reduced" workload doesn't seem to be of any benefit to crafting better stories. It really makes me wonder just how "busy" Slott is, if he can have so much help in reducing his workload, yet still can't come up with a halfway decent story.

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