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Sunday, September 22, 2013 

Older material is great, but no excuse for bad modern writing

On his Twitlonger site, Dan Slott tried to defend his terrible, pedestrian storytelling in Spider-Man Dr. Octopus by pointing to all the older, better stuff:
Spider-Man is a character who has been around for 50 years. He is indestructible.

If you think any one story can "ruin him forever," you're mistaken. He survived Evil Disco Dancing Peter from SPIDER-MAN 3. He can survive anything.
Granted, a lot of the older products he goes on to list are pinnacle examples of enjoyable storytelling. But, it's still no excuse for turning out shiploads of bad writing in modern times. Older stories may not be ruined per se either, and even Gwen Stacy's original demise won't be ruined by Sins Past. But it's still no excuse for the grimy tale turned out by J. Michael Stracynski, does not make that newer story any good, and his defense that Joe Quesada tampered with the script is no justification either. He could've used his head and scrapped any such nonsense a million years before he even thought it up, and didn't. He has to come to terms with how he has blame to shoulder for casting such embarrassment upon Spidey's legacy and lore (and come to think of it, so do JMS's most ardent apologists).

It's also not good for business if new readers find the stories a turnoff. Sure, the knowledgeable could encourage them to try the older classics. But it's logical that others could still be soured on Spidey if they had the misfortune of stumbling over the newer stuff since the turn of the century and came away wanting their money back, feeling like they wasted even a fraction of their life on nothing. Including Slott's own writing.

Slott can self-apologize all he likes. But it won't change the fact that his storytelling talent is worthless, and not worth spending a penny on.

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