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I disagree with you both.  

I still get to read it cause it's not like it won't be within my reach, but yes, it was stolen by Panch.

Wait, weren't you like a sperm in the 90's? You would've had to have been there then to understand it now.     Amazing.

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No idea. Here's my week's haul:

 

Avengers Assemble #4

Batman #10

Batman and Robin #10

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1

Fathom #6

Invincible #92

Scarlet Spider #6

The Spider #2

Amazing Spider-Man #687

Avengers vs X-Men #3

Spider-Men #1

Planetoid #1

 

Wasn't blown away by Minutemen #1 so I'm finding it very hard to enthuse myself enough to pick up Silk Spectre. Although I'm expecting good things from Comedian #1.

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I wish you people were stealing these

Readable or not, I dont want to encourage this behavior.

 

That said, they can be my first new comics in months! So +1 to DC for giving me an excuse to pirate without violating my personal moral stance.

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I just finished reading up to the most recent of Ferals. It is a very basic storyline of a breed of some kind of werewolf community living in secret. Got a lot of killing, blood, decapitations, sex, and nice art. I am liking it so far.

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Spider-Man Update: I have read all of The Untold Tales of Spider-Man and all the tie-ins and I'm up to Issue #71 of Amazing. It's actually kind of interesting to see all the little minute details Sam Raimi pulled out of the comics, it's no surprise he wanted to use The Vulture since he's so far been the number 3 most used villain so far behind The Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, which is pretty impressive since he doesn't even have a name yet. The last 20 issues or so have been devoid of any new interesting villains other than The Kingpin.

 

The last 15 have just been a string of superheroes turning up in New York City and being humongous dicks until Spider-Man calms them down and asks them to leave. Ka-Zar just steals some dude's grappling hook because ONE person (that person being J. Jonah Jameson) tells him Spider-Man is a bad guy and when the victim says "Hey, you can't take that!" all he says in apology is "I just did." I imagine that guy's corpse is still sitting on that roof. Later Ka-Zar gets pissed off because people are scared of his giant man-eating sabre tooth tiger so he punches some cops and leaves.

 

Then Medusa of The Inhumans cruises in on her fancy magical glider to see if Humans and Inhumans can co-exist in peace. She then proceeds to tell every fucking person in the issue how much better she is than everyone else, gets a job doing hairspray commercials, leaves in the middle of the shoot because she's bored and then bitches and moans that nobody likes her. What a bitch!

 

Quicksilver runs into town to redeem him and his sister-wife in the eyes of the Avengres. Unfortunately they're out of town saving Africa so after breaking into Avengers mansion and scaring the piss out of Jarvis. He decides that since he's in town anyway he'll tackle Spider-Man who has been branded a menace for realsies by the police because The Kingpin named him as his accomplice. The funny thing is that Jameson's in the hospital so Robbie Roberston is running the paper and has just released a new edition of the daily bugle (which come out every half hour for as many new editions they put out) but Quicksilver (the fastest man on the planet who has all the time in the world to read newspapers) misses it somehow and just attacks him like the big stupid dick he is.

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You can usually find all of Untold (that's the full series plus Amazing Fantasy 16, 17, and 18 as well as two annuals, a special with Dr. Strange and the back-story on Richard and Mary Parker) in one torrent. And yeah it's Busiek. He gives valid explanation for a lot of the unevenness of the early stories like when Aunt May called Anna Watson "Anna Watkins" for like 3 issues or why Mary Jane acts legally retarded. He even did a good job of taking characters that showed up later like Robbie Roberton and Eddie Brock and making it seem like they'd been there the whole time.

 

So far only the first year or so had any bad issues. Stan still reiterates too much and people still tend to narrate their every action when a thought bubble or narration box would suffice, but goddamn it it's fun and at last Stan has finally stopped apologizing every time there's more than two panels without Spider-Man hitting somebody. Kraven the Hunter is easily the most over-the-top hilarity as far as villains go, Kate Beaton's comic of him was fucking spot-on. So far I'm not regretting this, but The Clone Saga is still sitting like a horizon pulsing menacingly like Tetsuo. I fucking hate Ben Reilly so much I can't put words to it. But I press on.

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see, i know what i read of Untold was great, and i generally tend to value your opinion. i do.

 

but your unbridled hate for all things reilly (and part time on rayner), i simply can't abide. like, i know my fixation on nate grey/x-man wasn't healthy even back then, but these men were jewels of the 90's, man.

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That's the thing right there. Most of us are Gen Y or the outer fringe of Gen X, and 'Baytor is a Millenial. His thoughts aren't tainted with nostalgia when it comes to shit like this. Sure, he may have discovered it when he was young, but it wasn't exciting and new and something that all your friends talked about at school.

 

He's highly knowledgeable of media and pop culture that wasn't prevalent in his youth (I was the same way), so he can hang and talk shop with the best of us, but there's a clear line there between the generations. His contemporaries played GTA 3 when they were 9 and only have vague childhood memories of a time before the internet made the world a different place.

 

And, honestly, his assessment of The Clone Saga is probably a lot more accurate than ours.

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I started reading Spider-Man (and comics in general) in 1997, this was my very first comic:

 

247.jpg

 

Ben Reilly had been dead about 7 months at this point.

 

I still own it (it's torn all to fucking shit, but it's still readable) and having read it fairly recently it still holds up as does the following issue where Spider-Man's out fucking about in the rain and Kraven attacks for no reason. Why? I have no fucking clue because I never found any more issues at Wal-Mart after that and then not long after that they stopped carrying any comics that didn't have Archie's face on them (I think I found a Sonic the Hedgehog once and thought it was the holy grail, that's how desperate I was) I think part of the reason I've taken on this ridiculous project is because I want to know what the fuck happened. After Wal-Mart stopped carrying books my only resource was flea markets where I bought old 80s and 90s back issues from 1-2 bucks a pop. I also lucked out in 6th grade when a friend of mine dumped his collection and I got Issues 11-20 of the 90s Ka-Zar series. The point is with most form of media (comics, books, movies) I didn't have a lot of oppurtunity to dive in like you did, I devoured every scrap I could find from Sunday morning newspaper strips to old ass Dell Uncle Scrooge comics found in peoples' attics.

 

The Clone Saga was pure ass and everything involved: clone Gwen, the Jackle, Kain, Ben Reilly, fucking everything. I'm looking forward to Staczynski's shit more than I'm looking forward to that.

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And, honestly, his assessment of The Clone Saga is probably a lot more accurate than ours.

 

calling bullshit on this one. not everything is rose-tinted when you were at least of age to have read for a decade or so prior and started to notice things like writers taking chances and doing different things with different characters, especially coming off books like Daredevil where everyone was too scared to follow Miller's footsteps so they mostly made a wise-cracking spidey lite.

 

I knew Waid's Age of Apocalypse was something cool and ballsy not just because of chromium covers and talking at PE, but it was pretty well put together and i think it holds up alright as evidence of such (whereas i freely admit i dug Onslaught for the same reasons - Waid's writing was pretty cool by me at the time, and i thought he was knocking it outta the park between that & his run on Cap with Garney), but yeah, im not inclined to take the most cynical boy on the block's word on something just because he was too young to remember fun but kinda forgettable periods where there wasnt much new stuff going besides symbiotes and uh, Cardiac.

 

i freely admit to some stuff being interesting concept but flat execution - his pointing to Azrael is mostly off base for that, because they didn't have much plan for Jean past showing why DC fans wanted/should want to keep Bruce, and it showed. its easy to confuse the same with say Rayner, but Marz actually had a direction for him that was his own, but borrowed from some of the better bits with Wally trying to fill in big shoes - but after Hero Quest & all that, Marz...im not entirely sure, i assumed heavy editing pushed him out cause that did in most writers back then, but either way, he left and took that character's direction with him, so guys like baytor shrug him off as another 90s thing.

 

The Clone Saga was only ass if you basically read the wiki on it, or the awful shit that followed. i wish the Ben Reilly papers was still an active link (wait, nevermind, its mostly here) but before you even get into what Kaine represented as far as Peter's future and all that, you had a lotta great duality and fun sci-fi shit with a spider-man that was not quite peter, or rather didn't go through what he did. So one of the first things he does when he shows up is apply his mind to make some new gadgets and takes down Venom, (rightfully) knocking that Peter lets a dangerous murderer wander about freely. you get Ben trying to play a part of a life that's not really his, and it kinda culminates in the death of Aunt May, something i still think was one of the more subtle and touching passings of a character in the marvel U, so of course they retconned it.

 

You also got writers doing something they hadn't in quite a while - and i think this is a problem with bats and others with solid rogues galleries as well - trying out new villains. Judas Traveler & Scrier were pretty interesting for me at first, Kaine was great, ill freely admit Spydercyde (...) was shit and building so much of it around Jackal wasn't really good either but part of me was just happy to see another super villain go all out that wasn't fucking Osborn (of course, when appeasing fans later they'd magically say it was him, back from the dead but overseas in europe the whole time). but yeah, even Kaine started mopping things up for Parker and went on a killing spree of his classic villains, i was in it pretty much up to about Timebomb. Id still vouch for a lotta stuff that happened between the chromium covered books at least.

 

TL;DR it was a huge arcing story during an era when you didnt get those nearly as long/cohesively that tried new stuff with new characters and villains, on a book that was afraid to fuck with a formula for both from decades past. if the editors didn't force the spider-switheroo at the end, i still think it'd be viewed a lot more favorably, and since we're putting things in their era, mightve been held up to the What If greatness that AOA was for the x-books. to not recognize that because it's practically a meme to dismiss it doesn't make you some objective young'un with bold insight we're too close to see, it just means you missed something and continue to miss it.

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And at 8 you knew what was good or not? Or did you read the clone saga after the fact? Like recently or as an adult?

 

I have read a good chunk of the Clone Saga, mostly the bit where Reilly took over for Peter for a while. I was 17, read a bit more a couple years ago and it hadn't aged any better.

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Ah, so because it was different and edgy it was good. Would you say it might have even been extreme, with an X perhaps? I don't really know what was going on at the time, I can, however, look at comics about half a year later (the issues I have all seem to be Spectacular Spider-Man and Peter Parker Spider-Man) and see some stories that are a marked improvement. And using the "it's better than what else they were doing at the time" argument is a copout, it was the worst period in comics so being the sweetest scented part of the shit pile isn't much of an accolade.

 

It was the kind of table upending nonsense the late 80s and early 90s was full of: "Hey let's take this beloved character and completely ruin them! Let's make the Fates die and be replaced by some dumb looking Cajun guy (Kids love Gambits!), hey lets turn the Green Lantern into an evil dick for no good reason and have him be replaced by some mopey Gen-X street painter (Kids love angst!), hey lets have Superman die and be replaced by a Cyborg, a Clone in the most 90s attire there was, a black guy in an Iron-Man suit, and himself but more edgy and with dumb glasses (Kids love... that kind of thing), oh and hey let's take Spider-Man, arguably the most popular comic book superhero among kids today then say that he was a clone the whole time and replace him with a blond-haired version of himself in a sillier costume and lets spend like 3 years with him just battling different clones of himself. Let me ask, have YOU read The Clone Saga since it came out at all?

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Ah, so because it was different and edgy it was good.

 

is that what i said? i go & give examples, and you just kinda went past that.

 

I can, however, look at comics about half a year later (the issues I have all seem to be Spectacular Spider-Man and Peter Parker Spider-Man) and see some stories that are a marked improvement.

 

this is 100% untrue, cause half a year later it was Reilly with the webs and female doc ock and a lotta shit, a little while later they copped out, killed him and blamed the whole thing on the goblin. spidey remained shit until around 2000 with JMS and bendis' USM.

 

And using the "it's better than what else they were doing at the time" argument is a copout, it was the worst period in comics so being the sweetest scented part of the shit pile isn't much of an accolade.

 

that's one way to put it if you're not really interested in discussing it, yeah.

another is that you contemporize when talking about a piece, specifically with things it did differently. i did just that, but okay, let's go back to your troupes instead.

 

oh and hey let's take Spider-Man, arguably the most popular comic book superhero among kids today then say that he was a clone the whole time and replace him with a blond-haired version of himself in a sillier costume and lets spend like 3 years with him just battling different clones of himself. Let me ask, have YOU read The Clone Saga since it came out at all?

 

again, you're taking a year+ worth of 4 books a month and talking only about the ending (and after, when he dyed his hair). im really not convinced at all you yourself read the books, it's looking more like i called it with a wiki plot summary for you.

also: i get you don't dig the aesthetics of the costume, i thought they were fun but i also thought we were talking about more than that and one issue here, man.

 

to answer your question: yeah, a few times, though admittedly years ago - i sold my comics, you'll recall, and don't have them in trade, sadly.

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