The Reboot, something the comic book industry is fully familiar with. DC has had their share with Crisis on Infinite Earths, New 52, and DC’s Rebirth. Marvel as of late, has given us several generations of Marvel Now. Marvel Now has exchanged many creative teams and introduced different examples of their most recognizable heroes. One of the true constants in the past 10 years is that Dan Slott always writes Amazing Spider-Man. Well not for long!!! Amazing Spider-Man is reaching 800 issues and that marks the end of the line for an iconic run that started with issue 546. I can honestly say that during those 10 years, the amount of Marvel titles I bought fluctuated. That being said, Amazing Spider-Man was always on my pull list. Dan’s run started like most reboots, with a clean slate. During Slott’s predecessor we saw Spider-Man reveal his secret identity during Civil War, Mary Jane and Peter’s marriage taken away and Aunt May being killed. The series altering arc One More Day laid waste many of those large plot points of the previous 2 to 3 stories. Once One More Day erased Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage, revived Aunt May and most importantly expunged Spider-Man’s secret identity out of public consciousness. Dan could basically go in any direction he wanted.
During the 10-year run (8 of them having sole writing duties) there wasn’t much stability in Peter Parker’s life. During these years of growth for Peter, we saw him die in a way and Otto Octavius becoming the Superior Spider-Man. Fighting his way back from Friendly Subconscious Spider-Man to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man once again. With Slott under the helm Peter was a scientist and driven by invention. Spider-Man becoming tech heavy with new armors and web arsenal. This replaced the organic web shooting that became popular. We saw him leave the High School teacher and Daily Bugle settings and work for Horizon Labs and then starting his own Apple like, Stark Industries like conglomerate aptly titled Parker Industries. With Peter’s rise and fall from grace his story to some fans was tepid at best. There was a portion of the fan base that felt like Parker was becoming too much like Tony Stark. The dynamic of having Spider-Man on Parker Industries payroll as “body guard” to Peter Parker was a stretch at times. This new-found career did bring larger events to the book. Spider-Man was less grounded at this point. More like the Friendly Worldly Spider-Man. This created exhilarating storylines. Not only did we see Peter the scientist but with the Spider-Verse storyline Slott was marrying the spider mythos and science together. Spider-Verse pitted every Spider-Man from all mediums against Morlun and his family the Inheritors. The Inheritors were on a hunt for all the Spider-Mans of the multiverse.
Having one writer on a book for so long growing pains are to be expected. You can liken it to Geoff Johns’ monumental Green Lantern run and Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run. Did Slott leave a lasting impression on the character? Only time will tell. He did forge Dr. Octopus into a deeper character. I believe he successfully brought Marla Madison back to the main stage of Spider-Man and developed her in a way that made her death compelling.
What is next for Dan Slott? Thought you’d never ask. As you may or may not know, the Marvel faithful have been without a Fantastic Four book for 3 years. In August that absent streak will come to an end! Dan Slott will be writing the new Fantastic Four series. Along with artist Sara Pichelli, from Miles Morales Spider-Man fame. In an interview in the free comic shop mag Marvel Universe, Slott had this to say about Marvel’s first family. “First and foremost, they’re explorers. They’re out to see new planets, dimensions, and universes! They Live to push the boundaries of both science and the imagination! More importantly, they live to do that together, as a family.” When asked about his take on the rivalry between Victor Von Doom and the Fantastic Four, Slott put it this way. “We will be building on what came before, and from that will come a Doctor Doom who will be far deadlier, misunderstood and incredibly iconic.” Reading into those quotes it sounds like this Fantastic Four book will be larger than life. Personally, I would like to see more cosmic stories and less grounded to Manhattan. Maybe take them off Earth for awhile and away from the Marvel Universe so we can grow with these characters again. They have been away from us for what can be measured in comics as a lifetime.