Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man #700 Update, Spoilers, and Drunken Advice

Well, I hope everybody had a great Christmas, complete with presents, family, and eggnog mixed with 80 proof whiskey. But like the hangover that often follows when you challenge your uncle to a drinking game while watching "A Christmas Story," Marvel finds ways to make the end of the holidays suck donkey dick just a little bit more.

A while back, I posted detailed spoilers about Amazing Spider-Man #700, which was finally released today despite everyone with an internet connection and poor impulse control having access to the details for nearly two weeks. It was a post that generated a level of outraged and pissed off that I haven't seen since I last went to a Philadelphia Eagles game. I'm not going to give any spoiler warnings this time. I have no sympathy for people who get pissed off after clicking on a link where the word "spoilers" is in the fucking title. Either don't click or relax. Hell, there are pills out there that'll help your lazy ass if you think it's too hard. But relaxing may not be possible here because the events of Amazing Spider-Man have many Spider-Fans both scratching their heads and hitting it with a sledge hammer.

You don't need to know a whole lot about the details of the story. Doctor Octopus switched minds with Peter Parker. Now he's in Peter's body and in Amazing Spider-Man #700, the final confrontation had Peter die in Doc Ock's body, leaving Doc Ock in Peter's body. A more detailed assessment was posted today, courtesy of the fine folks at Newsarama. I can only imagine the staff that wrote this is going to be out with a concussion for the rest of 2012 after banging their head against the wall, but for that reason I respect their work a great deal.

Newsarama: Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man Ends, Revealing Superior Spoilers

There's some crazy bullshit about Peter's memories and experiences flashing before Doc Ock and somehow that is enough to turn him from a homicidal douche-bag into a guy who wants to be a hero just as much as he wants to bang Mary Jane. Because that's such a logical path for a story to follow. After all, don't we turn hardened criminals into upstanding members of society by merely having them experience recordings of great men and women doing the right thing? Oh wait, we don't? Then how the fuck does this shit make a lick of sense?

Above is a completely inaccurate portrayal of going from douche-bag to hero.
I'm not going to be completely cynical, despite whatever drunken inclinations I may have. There are some people that can turn their lives around. It happens all the time. I'm sure that before Michal Vick's cognitive functions were completely undermined by concussions, he did make a solid change in his thought process after losing $100 million and going to jail and becoming the most reviled athlete who doesn't play for the New York Yankees. But that kind of self-reform takes time, commitment, and work even in comics. Characters like Hawkeye and Magneto were able to reform themselves into semi-heroic characters, but that shit took years and a fuck-ton of compelling stories. For Doc Ock, all it took was a quick powerpoint presentation of Peter Parker's memories. And some how that shit is enough?

I don't want to belabor this point, but I bring it up to highlight what I'm sure has pissed a fuckton of fans off. Now Peter Parker isn't just dead in Amazing Spider-Man. He's effectively been reduced to nothing more than a collection of memories and experiences. He's not even a fucking character anymore. He's just a concept for Doc Ock to exploit. I may be a drunk, but even I find that to be a bullshit way to treat a character, fictional or otherwise. Now the hero that preached with great power comes great responsibility is a mind-swaped supervillain parading around as Peter Parker. And we're supposed to find it compelling that the asshole who did so many dick moves in the history of the comics is now just shrugging his shoulders and is content to be the guy he hated more than anyone? I did as many bong hits as I could to wrap my mind around this and all I got was no answers and an insatiable appetite for Doritos.

And as the comments on my first post indicated, there are plenty of fans out there who are pretty pissed about this. There are some screaming at the top of their lungs, "FUCK YOU, MARVEL! I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER COMIC BOOK AGAIN! MAY MEPHISTO SODOMIZE YOU WITH A FLAMING SPIKED DICK FOR ALL ETERNITY!" Granted, that may be a little excessive, but there's a problem with that approach...it's exactly what Marvel wants.

And this brings me to why I'm writing this post after a holiday hangover. Marvel is not stupid. They're a successful business that has been around for decades and makes a fuckton of money with their movies, comics, cartoons, and what not. And like every single publisher since the beginning of writing has noticed, shock and outrage get you attention. And in this society of zombie-like consumerism, attention is all you need to get sales. That's what Marvel is after...sales. And as much as it may sicken some fans, shit like Amazing Spider-Man #700 sells. Some may think, "Yeah, it sells well, but..." But nothing! After that purchase is made and the money has changed hands, Marvel and the business that serves them officially stops giving a shit. You bought their shit. Now you have to eat it. At the end of the day, you're the one with the shitty breath. Not Marvel. They only do what they believe will sell. They're a fucking business. For them to NOT do that would not only be fucking retarded, it would be financially irresponsible to them and their investors.

So with this in mind, I have a message for the many upset Spider-Man fans out there. This may be the most unhealthy advice I could give you without hooking people up with the guy I buy pot from, but don't vent your outrage. Don't yell, scream, and protest Marvel's decisions by writing letters, posting angry remarks on message boards, and harassing writers. That shit only encourages them because it indicates that a lot of people actually give a shit about their product. And they're smart enough to know that the assholes that yell at them probably still bought their shit. If they could respond, they would probably say, "I'm sorry, but I run out of fucks to give every time that purchase becomes final. So shut the fuck up and let me go back to wiping my ass with your money!" It may be counter-intuitive. Fuck, it's probably the most counter-intuitive thing a human being could do. When you feel like someone has kicked you in the balls, you want to kick back. But that doesn't actually solve anything. It only empowers the asshole doing the kicking. So please, if you're really that upset, do NOT respond. Do NOT voice your outrage. And above all, do NOT give Marvel your fucking money. Otherwise, you'll just get shit like this.

A douche-bag criminal gets to bone a hot woman. This is why the world sucks.
I'll make one final point before I lay this issue to rest. Marvel, Disney, DC, and every company like them feed on outrage. There really is no such thing as bad publicity for them. They're not politicians or celebrities. When people hate their guts, it actually helps them. They don't fear outrage. They don't fear fan hatred. The one thing they fear and do everything possible to avoid is apathy. Let me say that word again and bold it for you: APATHY. Do you know what that word means? It means not caring and having no visible emotional response. You may be fuming on the inside, but if you don't indicate to Marvel or anyone that you give a shit then what else are they supposed to conclude? This is the key. This is what cancels books, undoes big events, and gets people fired in publishing. It's apathy. When people are apathetic, Marvel and everyone like them stops doing what they're doing because naturally they say, "Fuck, this isn't working! Let's do something else!" It's like dealing with a child off his meds. They crave attention and the only effective way to stop reinforcing their shitty behavior is to ignore them. Kids go fucking crazy when they're ignored. Marvel and every business like them will do the same.

So to all the Spider-Man fans out there and comic book fans in general, I give to you this final holiday gift. It is the ultimate A-bomb for comics...apathy. This is how you send the message that this shit doesn't work. This is how you bring about change. Not by bitching and moaning about it, but by not responding at all. The response isn't immediate, but in the long run it works. It's a very hard thing to do and that's exactly why it's so effective. We fans have the power. And in the spirit of the now dead Peter Parker, we have the responsibility to use it. Nuff said!

5 comments:

  1. Dan Slott in a press release:

    "So far, Slott says he has enjoyed writing Doc Ock to be younger than before. "Doc is kinda like me: He's short and schlubby. This is a guy who now gets to be in the body of Peter Parker. This opens up whole new things."

    Like getting your groove on with Mary Jane!

    One can only wonder if killing off Peter Parker to put the schlubby guy into his body isn't some sort of wish fulfillment for Slott.

    Either way, Steve Wacker is saying the change is permanent, although Marvel EIC Axel Alonso wasn't so hot on the idea at first. But Slott and Wacker both convinced him to do away with Peter Parker. Now it only remains to be seen whether readers will reward them for this nonsense or drop the book. Apathy would be the proper response to ASM #700 and Superior -- but we're talking about comic readers, and apathy isn't exactly their strong suit.

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    1. I'm sure Dan Slott is enjoying what he's doing, but his enjoyment is secondary to the sales of the book. And if fans don't understand that, their outrage might as well be typical whining. If fans don't understand the power of apathy, then they might as well just give their money to Marvel and throw in a blow job along the way.

      Jack

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    2. I hear you, man. I've just sadly learned that putting any faith in comic book fans is like putting one's faith in politicians. You're bound to be disappointed.

      I guess we can only wait and see. Naturally, I'm not interested in buying Superior. Reading about a megalomaniac villain who steals Peter Parker's body, murders him, and then pretends to be him while acting under the pretense that he's been reformed because of a mind meld (which should not have even been possible due to the special costume he was wearing in ASM 700)?

      No thanks.

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  2. Slott and Wacker are saying they want Spidey to be more like Batman. Guess that explains the "spider signal" on the cover of Superior Spider-Man #3.

    What a hot mess this is.

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  3. LOL you cant deny its something crazy a villain succeeding and killing off a successful hero and take over his life while getting back with the guys ex wife it sounds like a load of horse shit but I kind of like it.

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