Volume 6, Issue 2!
“Too Many Spider-Books!”
Look, I love Spider-Man. You know this. And that’s probably going to make the topic of this column pretty hard to believe. Spider-Man is my all-time favorite comic book character, and he’s had a profound impact on my life. I’ll buy pretty much any comic featuring the wall-crawler and his allies, within reason. But with the announcement that Marvel is bringing back Ben Reilly for a Scarlet Spider series, I have only this to say:
There’s too many Spider Books.
I know, it’s crazy for me to say that, but when you look at the sheer amount of books that are in the “Spider-Man family”, and the fact that almost all of them take place within the regular Marvel universe, it’s simply too much. We have Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Spider-Man/Deadpool, Silk, Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, Venom, Carnage, Spider-Man 2099, a few I’m probably forgetting, and now Scarlet Spider. Now yes, all of these books focus on different characters or aspects of the wall crawler (Spider-Man, for example, is focused on Miles Morales), but a vast majority of these characters are all operating in New York City, and having this many spider-themed characters is a little insane. In all honesty, I’m surprised Marvel hasn’t announced a team book or mega crossover for this section of the Marvel universe. Yeah, they did “Spider-Verse” a few years ago, but there was a fraction of Spider-Man related titles back then.
“But Jon”, you say, “ what about Spider-Gwen?”, and I’ll say, “well…. about that.” While the hook of Spider-Gwen was the fact that she’s from an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker, recently Gwen has been given the ability to bounce between her universe and the “Regular” Marvel universe. Now, you might think this isn’t a big deal, but to me it kind of cheapens the character. It makes Spider-Gwen less special, and once again, gives us yet another character swinging through New York City if she wants to.
Now we have Scarlet Spider, which partially spoils the end of Clone Conspiracy, and also features a pretty dumb costume design as well. I’m planning on checking out the first issue, but it’ll take a really great hook for me to add the Peter David and Mark Bagley series to my pullist permanently.
So, I’m at a weird spot as a Spider-Man fan. While I’m always going to read the main Amazing series, I’m going to have to start taking more consideration for what other titles I pick up. At the end of the day, there’s only so much even a die hard Spidey fan like myself can read, and having so many titles threatens to dilute and alienate fans like me who can’t afford to follow that many Spider-Books.