Reaction to the Ben Reilly New Suit & Comparing David and Slott

Reaction online has been mixed to say the least about the new Ben Reilly suit. Some people are digging it, others are saying it looks very similar to Spidercide. 

Former Web of Spider-Man artist Steven Butler did his interpretation of the suit on his Facebook page. He took off the mouth and I think it looks better. Butler was the first to draw the famous blue hoodie in Web of Spider-Man #118 back in November 1994.

Bleeding Cool has even posted an article posting just the negative comments they could find online about the suit. Peter David, the writer of the new comic stayed classy with his response to fans that were insulting the new look. Here is his quote.

Here’s someone who likes the costume. I was there every step of the way, and I think it turned out great. Personally I love the smirk on his face: not as overt as Spidercide’s mouth or Venom’s maw, but when you see him grinning at you under the mask right before he takes you apart, you’ll remember it. The last costume fans hated was Captain America 2099’s costume (along with her muscles) but that went away because it always goes away. What it comes down to is character, not costume. And I’m not going to bother to look, but I’ll wager plenty of fans hated the original Scarlet Spider costume that they now look back on so lovingly.Man, do I remember the fan protests when the black and white costume debuted. Fans freaking HATED it. Then it became Venom’s costume and at that point people warmed to it. Cap 2099? Fans hated it. And her. Because that’s what fans do.

He didn’t berate anyone personally for their opinions, he just offered a bit of history to fan reactions. I find this refreshing to what Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott does online. There are several quotes of him arguing with the fans online.  Here’s one, and here’s one.   In fact he recently took our own podcast panelist Mike to task for his predictions and thoughts about the new Prowler series. 

Once. Just once. I’d like to see you write a review where you’re not making stuff up about the book– Like how the book came together, what people were thinking while they were writing it, what their intentions secretly are, or where YOU think the story is going– and then passing judgments on it because of THAT stuff that’s in YOUR head and NOT in the ACTUAL comic itself. :-/
Judging a book’s future because of YOUR assumptions about that future is silly. Especially when your track record for getting those assumptions right are next to zero.
You do this a LOT, sir.

Cheesdique from our message board then corrected Slott by saying that Mike did infact predict a storyline. Slott then replied here .

1 in 9 years of regularly doing this.
No offense, Cheesedique, I know he’s one of your Crawlspace buddies, but broken clocks have better track records.

What are your thoughts about the suit? Is it too similar to Spidercide? Also what are your thoughts on the differences between David and Slott’s handeling of fans online?

(18) Comments

  1. Cheesedique

    Got to say, I don't love Bags' early drawing of Ben's costume here. Though I think Butler knocked it out of the park. There seems to be a key difference with how PAD responds and how Slott responds. PAD responds with anecdotal evidence--Cap 2099, the black suit (though I think fans warmed to the black suit long before Venom--otherwise it wouldn't have stuck around as long it did before). It's PAD's way of acknowledging the criticism and offering up his own thoughts--never scolding the fans for expressing distaste about something. Slott, he takes it and makes it personal, every time. It's always the same old tired saw about someone like Stillanerd making stuff up that's supposedly not on the page. In short, PAD's a pro at interacting with the fans 99% of the time. Slott is terrible at it, since all he can do is lash out at people.

  2. Xander

    He's pointing out the criticism of Captain America 2099 and completely ignoring the hate that the new Spider-Man 2099 suit got. I thought Captain America 2099 was neither here nor there, but I hate hate HATE that new Spider-Man 2099 suit.

  3. Will

    @Big John: Get a better writer on ASM, put Butler on art. They already have PAD and Bagley on this book and the great team on RYV. There would be a whole new level of greatness in the Spidey books...

  4. Big John

    I appreciate PAD's more diplomatic response to criticism. It makes me feel like I'm buying the work of a professional, rather than a well-drawn piece of fan fiction. But, Omgosh, Steven Butler?! Can we PLEASE get this guy back on a Spider-Book?! Totally one of Spidey's all-time underrated artists.

  5. Borvoc

    @Bill Thanks a lot; now I hear chanting when I look at the pics. Don't forget that even after Marvel turned the black suit into Venom, they still went back to the black suit itself at least once in Back in Black. I understand that it can be hard for creators who invest so much of themselves into their creation to not take criticism of their creation personally, but I think that listening and at least considering fan opinions is potentially a good way to improve the creator's own ideas and weed out the ideas that don't work. When I say that the new suit is hot garbage, I don't mean it's irredeemable; there are just some small decisions that were made which ruin the whole thing for me. Easily fixed if anyone wants to listen.

  6. Bill

    Uhhm, I'm afraid that Peter David is being a bit of a historical revisionist here. Yes naturally at first there may have been some backlash against the black and white Symbiote Spider suit, but there was a lot more positive response than negative. So much so that Marvel kept Spidey in that look for 5 years (alternating periodically with his classic red & blue threads). BTW, the black suit was only supposed to be around for 6 months or so. In fact the black suit was so popular that instead of retiring it completely Marvel decided to use it for a new villain, who turned out to be pretty popular as well. I doubt this new costume is going to garner the same amount of love. Comic creators today are like politicians. If they do something that proves to be a bad idea they never admit they may have made a mistake. They just come up with lame excuses to try to justify it. I'm sorry but that new Scarlet Spider suit is ridiculously stupid. He looks like Spider-Monk.

  7. Evan

    I think that it is a fan's right to speculate about upcoming events in a story arc -- and even the motivations behind them. Even if a fan's speculations or theories are wrong one hundred percent of the time, that doesn't take away that right. I, for one, have always loved Mike's reviews and insights, and I never judged the merit of them based upon how prescient they are. It's true that if a story is predictable it takes some of the fun out of it, but it just seems to me that Dan Slott is taking this personally. If I were a comic book writer I would just be grateful my stories were creating fan speculation, whether that speculation turns out accurate. It's also a question of professionalism. The worst part about Dan Slott's attacks, judgments, etc., is it makes fans like me scared to make comments like those above (which are not meant to be personal in the slightest) -- just because of the potential for reprisals. And to me that is the worst offense of all -- alienating fans for simply being fans. I do hope, however, (and it seems this might be the case) that Peter David is not dismissive of fan's opinions and take them into consideration. But the most important part of his approach is that he doesn't take it personally, he seems to understand the "fan mindset," and takes it all in stride. I personally feel that Dan Slott could learn a thing or two from Peter David, both in terms of writing and in terms of treating people with kindness, professionalism, and respect.

  8. Borvoc

    "Fans hated it. And her. Because that’s what fans do." This doesn't sound like a comment that would come from someone who's open to constructive criticism.

  9. Borvoc

    Mr. David is being very classy, and he may even be sticking up for Mark Bagley here, or whoever designed the suite, but I hope Marvel in general listen to the criticisms constructively. We don't criticize because we hate; we criticize in an attempt to positively influence what's being put out. I don't expect Mr. David to concede to criticism too quickly or readily, as that can embolden and encourage less-productive criticism, but I do hope our thoughts are quietly considered and not drowned out by a "we know best" mentality. First, the visual smirk through the mask is absurd bordering on the uncanny valley. Please show his personality by action instead of breaking the laws of reality to make a mask smile. What it comes down to, indeed, is character, and art does not need to get in the way. I'm sure many fans initially hated the original Ben Reilly suite, and they were right to do so. Not a Ben Reilly fan here (nor a detractor), but when I heard that Ben might be coming back, I was hoping the opportunity would be taken to make the costume better—something more along the lines of the more recent Kaine suit. I'm sure people protested the black and white suit originally too, and that's why Marvel had to get rid of it for the original red-and-blues. When the black-and-white suit came back as Venom, many of the original detractors probably liked it, but that's potentially because it wasn't trying to be Spider-Man anymore. It was a new character to be judged differently than the primary character would be. I haven't read anything with Cam 2099 in it and am unfamiliar with her visual design, so I will withhold comment here.

  10. hornacek

    A Spider-Man writer responding to criticism ... CIVILLY??? (gasps, monocle falls in martini glass, faints)

  11. Mario

    Im just curious why Marvel costumes are so plain lately. Why do the guys over at MCU create costumes that are so kick ass. Home coming spidey costume added elements to make it stand out and not look like plain tights. Sonys new spiderman game took a gamble on a new costume concept and love it or hate it, still looks better than most comicbook spidey suits. whats with the laziness? its super plain nothing on it stands out. hope this is 1.0 and he makes adjustments. Marvel stop being lazy!

  12. Andrew C

    I'm more concerned with the fact he has no nose or genitals. But whatever, it's Ben. I've waited 20 years for him to return. Of course I'm buying it.

  13. Will

    Who'd of thought though, considering someone like me who started reading Spidey regularly with ASM 374, that I really am kind of meh on this book so far even with the fact that the creative team is David and Bagley, with the main character of Ben Reilly. You'd think that would be the trifecta for any 90s Spidey fan...

  14. Will

    Ok, I apologize for that, but I still think he blows up at Mike way too often when when Mike is right a significant amount of time.

  15. Will

    Mike has predicted Slott's storylines numerous times over the years. It is quite funny to watch crybaby Slott blow up at Mike every single time.

  16. WolfCypher

    I don't like that hood. I liked the 90s HOODIE (old costume), but a hood just attached to a spandex costume? Without the sweatshirt, it looks...weird. And someone did say its too Spider-Gwen. Also, 90s Ben never even wore the hood on his hoodie. It was just there, hanging behind his head. It was never the hood part that worked, it was the blue sleeveless sweatshirt on top of the red costume that worked. And making it look like Spidercide? Eww...

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