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I'm currently wrapping a rewatch of Gargoyles' canonical seasons and preparing to continue the Weisman-lovefest with a rewatch of Spectacular Spider-Man and a thought has occurred to me: Was Coyote's continued use of Xanatos' face, particularly in his 3.0 and 4.0 versions where that face is on a screen, consciously influence by the early Spider-Slayers? Specifically, the ones that usually had J. Jonah Jameson's mug projected on a screen as they fought.
My guess would be that it's a bit of happy coincidence, as the idea's not the most unique, but since you've proven no slouch on Spider-Man lore...
I don't think it was. I think the Coyote thing evolved out of what we did with him in his first appearance.
Are you a/the writer for the upcoming TV shows Marvel's Spider-Man ?
1.As a Spider-Man fan, I love stories that push Spider-Man and Peter Parker emotionally.
2. I feel that the Spectacular Spider-Man episodes managed to show that Spider-Man and Peter's choices were determined by whatever emotions he was feeling.
3. I want to know what are your favourite Spider-Man stories?
1. Me too.
2. Hope so, at least to some extent.
3. I'm not big on ranking things. I love Spidey, and there have been a ton of stories I've loved, and a few that I haven't loved as much. A lot of the stories we adapted in Spectacular are stories I had a particular affinity for, like the Colonel Jupiter story and the Master Planner story, etc.
How did you manage to relate to Spider-Man/Peter Parker?
He's everyman. He's easy to relate to. He has powers AND responsibilities. Doesn't everyone?
Out of curiosity, are you aware that, in the original comics, the initial intent for the Venom symbiote was that, instead of going to Eddie Brock, it would go from Peter Parker to a WOMAN who had a grudge of her own against our friendly neighborhood web-slinger?
From what I've heard, the initial idea was that the woman would be pregnant and in labor. Then, her husband would try to wave down a taxi, and the taxi driver, who is paying more attention to Spider-Man in action instead of the road, accidentally hit and killed the woman's husband. The woman would then give birth on the spot, but the child would be a stillborn, and she'd lose her sanity because of the sudden loss of both her husband and her child, sending her to the Ravencroft Institute. She'd eventually regain her sanity and be released, but would still blame Spider-Man for the loss of her family. The symbiote would be nearby and sense her mutual hatred of the web-slinger, and bond with her to form Venom.
The reason Marvel didn't go this route, from what I hear, was that they felt their readers wouldn't consider a woman to be a physical-enough threat to Spidey. (Never mind the fact that a woman with the Venom symbiote would be, by definition, physically STRONGER than Spidey). Thus, they went with Eddie Brock, whose grudge was based on things that happened because of his own stupidity.
Here's the article describing it, just scroll down the page and you'll find it:
Not to mention, as a result, it came to be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as Spidey doesn't have a lot of MEMORABLE female villains. In fact, the only one I can think of is Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat, who is very on/off when it comes to villainy, and is TECHNICALLY a clone of Catwoman when you think about it.
Still, imagine how things might've been had they gone with the female Venom route.
It's interesting, but I'm not too enamored of the scenario you described. Again, her hatred of Spider-Man is largely irrational. She could hate the cab driver. God. Whatever. I prefer things being more personal. On the other hand, the goal of having more and more powerful female villains is one I'm whole-heartedly behind.
So a new Spider-Man series was announced yesterday at the New York Comic Con. Are you taking part in this project in any way? If your not, is there any way you could get aboard it because that would be spectacular.
Thank you so much for your time.
No. And no. I'm busy on Young Justice S3, and in any case, Marvel would have to want me on it. They certainly know how to find me. There's clearly no interest in putting me and the character back together at this time.
Hello again Greg,
A couple of things, I read the archives and I got a couple of answers to my previous questions. I'd like to ask your opinions on the Spider-Man film franchise, specifically the two The Amazing Spider-Man films.
1. Do you agree with the general response on those films or not. As you know none of those films were really loved much.
2. What do you think of it ending prematurly and the franchise getting a third reboot? Are you excited for that?
3. Also wondering, how did the sales go for the complete series of The Spectacular Spider-man on blu-ray? I got it as soon as it was released and let me tell you, it's one of the best investments I ever made.
Hope you're doing well and thank you for your time.
1. I didn't see the second one and thus can't comment on that at all. I thought there was a lot to like about the first one, but felt I didn't really need the origin again.
2. I have no opinion on that specifically. But I did like Spidey's appearance in Civil War. So that's promising. Not sure about hot Aunt May. Seems ageist.
3. I have no idea. They don't give me that information.
Would you be open to writing an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man?
I would have been.
I saw you at Denver Comic Con on June 13-15 this year, and would like to thank you for answering the questions I asked you concerning Spectacular Spider-Man. I didn't go to your Gargoyles panel, since I hadn't seen the show for ages, but have recently gotten into it. Hopefully you and the crew will be back for the 21st anniversary ;).
Anyhow, after searching the archives, I saw you comment that you didn't want to give your opinion on Spider-Man 3, because you were working with Sony. However, since you are not working with Sony, would you be willing to let us know what you think of the Sam Raimi Spider-man films, both as Spider-Man adaptations and as films on their own? I noticed that in Spectacular Spider-Man there were many references and homages to Spider-man 1, 2, & 3.
Your opinion on the reboot series would also be appreciated, although I haven't seen Amazing Spider-Man 2 due to the bad reviews and being unimpressed by Amazing Spider-Man 1. Plus I'm disappointed that Sony is trying to copy Marvel by making an expanded universe with a Sinister Six and Black Cat movie instead of focusing on Spidey.
There was tons to admire in Spider-Man 1 and 2. They got a lot right, as far as I'm concerned and even improved things here and there. I didn't love every single creative decision made, but they were both thumbs up movies to me.
I wasn't as enamored of Spider-Man 3.
I was okay with Amazing Spider-Man, but I thought it was a mistake to do his origin over yet again and so soon.
I haven't seen Amazing Spider-Man 2.
From where did you get the idea for Electro's origin in The Spectacular Spider-Man? Was it the story team's original idea?
I ask because in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Max Dillon turns into Electro almost the exact same way (gets electrocuted and falls into a vat of special electric eels). I'm interested if the movie blatantly ripped off from the show or if there is some comic book/other source material that you would have gotten this origin idea from.
Thanks - I'm a big fan of your shows, and Star Wars: Rebels seems like it will be pretty great.
We came up with it - probably inspired to some degree from the origin of the mutates in Gargoyles - to fit our Biology 101 theme for that particular arc. But I don't consider what they did in the movie to be a rip-off. Marvel and Sony own everything that was done in The Spectacular Spider-Man, so they can't rip-off themselves. Frankly, I'm glad they liked it. Though I do wish that if they liked it that much, they would have hired me to write the movie. ;)
You've stated you used to be jealous of the MTV Spider-Man series. Why exactly were you jealous of it?
Did I? Where and when did I say that? I'm not denying it, but I don't recall saying that, which makes answering your question without context somewhat difficult.
1) Would you be open to work on other new shows that focus on characters you've already worked on? For example, if you were approached by Disney to work on a new Spider-Man show that isn't in the same continuity as The Spectacular Spider-Man, would you accept? Or would you rather move on to different characters?
Everything is situational. I'd love to do Spider-Man again in almost any form. (I wrote one issue of Amazing Spider-Man that wasn't in continuity with Spectacular, and would be happy to write more.) But the question's almost too hypothetical to answer. Readers familiar with this site know I'm not big on hypotheticals.
Hi Greg, How are you? You may know me from twitter as I tend to have converstations with you at times.
1. Spectacular Spider-man has gotten me into Spider-man. Other than Stan Lee's run, what Spider-man stories do you recommend? I have Kraven's Last Hunt, Death of Gwen Stacy, and all of Lee/Ditko, and will get the rest of Lee's run with Romita soon. Just wanted to get your thoughts on which Spidey stories to buy as you are a big Spidey fan.
2. Did you like the Peter/MJ relationship from the comics? I ask because some writers accuse that relationship as causing sales and quality of Spidey titles to drop, so I wanted to hear your opinion.
3. Since you said you are now working on the third book in the Rain series, did you get the green light for the third book or are you just working on it, in hopes it will be greenlit?
Thanks and hope everything is well!
1. I can't pinpoint things for you. Might have been able to when I was in the thick of writing/producing SpecSpidey, but that was years ago. I always start at the beginning and work my way forward.
2. I like how some writers/artists/editors handled it. Didn't like how others did. It's all about execution.
3. I have not gotten a green light from St. Martin's Press on Masque of Bones (i.e. Rain of the Ghosts, Book Three). And I have NOT started writing it. I have begun doing some of the research.
out of these 3 heroes Spiderman wolverine and batman who do
you find the most interesting.
I find all three interesting. You'll find - as others have - that ranking things isn't big on my list of stuff to do. Just not the way my brain works.
Thoughts about Black Spider-Man? Heard anything about him?
It's all about execution, which I have not seen. So no, no thoughts.
1. You write strong female characters with skill(Demona, Gwen, MJ, Artemis, ETC). Since women can be portrayed weak sometimes, how do you do it?
2. Other than Stan Lee's run with Romita and Ditko, what era of Spider-man comics did you enjoyed reading the most?
3. What is your opinion on Spider-man: Kraven's Last Hunt, by JM Dematteis? Most people generally like it but others think it may have been too dark for Spider-man (Dematteis was actually going to have the story be a Batman and Joker story at first)
Thanks for the amazing shows! Spectacular Spider-man (I was looking forward to Season 3-5 and DTV's) was absolutely amazing along with Young Justice (I was so looking forward to the next season). I am only up to Avalon part 1, but Gargoyles has been tremendously fun to watch so far. I don't love Star Wars, but Rebels seems great so far and I can't wait. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you.
1. I like to think I've portrayed some female characters as strong and others as weak. Some who stay strong, some who weaken. Some who stay weak, some who gain in strength. As to the 'how'… I don't have a magic formula. I'm sure it helps that I've always known, loved, admired and respected strong women all my life, starting with my mom. But really, I don't know any other way to do it.
2. There was some fun stuff for me in the 80s.
3. I haven't read it.
I loved your Spectacular Spider-Man TV series. It was far by the BEST interpretation I've seen of Spdier-Man in any of the movies/Televison
1. have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man? Did you notice the little elements they used from SpecSpidey? Like the satchel and the blue shirt? What are your thoughts on that?
2. Would you work on a Spider-Man or a MARVEL show in general again?
1. I don't know if it's fair to cite the blue shirt. I mean, it's a blue shirt. You might as well say "shirt". Even the satchel is pushing it. I did notice little things that seemed to come from our series, but the operative word is SEEMED. Everyone is working off the same source material, so the notion that two groups of creators might independently come up with similar approaches makes a lot of sense.
2. I'd love to. I love those characters. All Marvel has to do is ask.
No question, just wanted to say I noticed your name on the Spiderman 700 cover. (Well, on the Comic News Insider with the full size image of the cover.) It's a nice acknowledgement.
I meant to tack this on to another post but kept forgetting. Since the last time I saw a similar nice reference I took so long to remember I totally forgot I realized I should just post it on it's own. (The last had something to do with either Love & Capes or Lions & Tigers & Bears, but for the life of me I can't remember which or what it was.)
I'm guessing it was something to do with Love and Capes, which I'm a HUGE fan of, as opposed to Lions & Tigers & Bears, which I'm completely unaware of. (The latter's not a value judgement. I just don't know anything about it.)
The Spidey 700 thing was nice. I feel honored to be included, particularly since I've only ever written half of an issue.
Is the character Sha Shan Nguyen based on any pre-existing character in the Spiderman comics?
Yes. She's based on the character Sha Shan, who was Flash's girlfriend for awhile - and then wanted to kill him - and then didn't, and then dumped him cold when he cheated on her - and then pretty much disappeared until I brought her back in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man as his physical therapist. And then... um, I don't think she's appeared since.
Anyway, she was always a favorite of mine. And I always thought that she was THE ONE for Flash.
Hi Mr. Weisman, I just wanted to give you props on developing one of the most interesting and creative superhero series on television. Young Justice is one of the greatest superhero series I've watched. I put it up there with the great Batman The Animated Series and all the Timmverse Shows. So, like I said before, I give you props and you are a extremely well versed writer and it's proof in your work. With the new Spider Man movie coming out soon, I've noticed it's very reminiscent of The Spectacular Spider man. At least in the case of turning Gwen into a potential love interest in High School, who both her and Pete intern somewhere. That's my first question, have you noticed that? My second question is regarding The Spectacular Spider Man. I'm in my Spidey Obsession phase and always turn to your show whenever I'm in that phase. Since there's not gonna be a Season 3 of the show, can you drop any potential storylines or where the show was gonna go after the finale of Season 2? I know this is really long, but I'm a huge fan and hope I can be as great of a writer as you are one day. Thank You Mr. Weisman for your time.
1. I did notice similarities, but we're all working off the same source material, so there are bound to be similarities.
2. ASKED AND ANSWERED.
Another Spidey question. This one is both Spectacular related, and about your Amazing Spider-Man back-up story.
When you wrote and produced "Spectacular Spider-Man," you tried to get to the core truths of who each and every character was. Well, I need to ask you about who Betty Brant was in your series. We've never seen much of her besides Peter trying to ask her to the Fall Formal, and Ned asking her out on a date. She didn't even have a single line of dialogue in the entire second season.
I ask, because in the comics, and this is something that often seems forgotten by most people, Betty Brant is a pretty horrible human being. It's not something I was even really conscious of until my friend, Josh Bertone, started writing a series of articles documenting the history of this character.
She was pretty bipolar when she dated Peter. Constantly flipping out at him if he so much as glanced at Liz Allan, or another human being who lacked a penis. And then, turning around and playing around with both him and Ned Leeds.
She later married Ned and then abandoned him on their honeymoon. Had a one-night stand with Peter, and was later on having an affair with Flash Thompson that lasted for months and months. Which was driving Ned nuts, although, his brainwashing at the hands of the Hobgoblin arguably made things worse. But the affair started well before this Hobgoblin business. Hell, she had the nerve to ask him if their marriage meant anything to him as he was walking out on her, and he replied with "more than it means to you" and he was right.
Of course, Betty now blames the Hobgoblin for all of her marriage's problems and never once really acknowledged any wrongdoing on her part. It's almost Demona-esque how neatly she's able to deflect any feelings of guilt.
And finally, there was Betty's appearance in the back-up story for Flash Thompson that you wrote (loved that story), and when Betty first sees Sha Shan, she is mad. I think I'll quote my friend Bertone, who said it better than I could:
"The icicle speech balloons are a cool callback to the Ditko days but take a look at that scene again. Betty isnât responding to Sha Shanâ¦Betty starts it! Betty doesnât greet Sha Shan with an apology or any remorse. No! Sheâs mad at Sha Shan! Why? What did Sha Shan do to her? Itâs not like they had a Betty/Veronica relationship. Betty stole Sha Shanâs man! Sha Shan has a right to be mad! Betty doesnât!
"Betty Brant is the only woman who will have an affair with your boyfriend and then somehow be mad at you as if she was the victim. What a horrible person."
The above isn't a criticism of the story, or how you used Betty. It's a criticism of Betty as a person.
So, I have to ask. Would your interpretation of Betty, had the series gotten more in depth with her have been this terrible, awful individual? In the comics, she makes Sally Avril look as cool and fun to be with as Mary Jane by comparison! If so, I'd say Peter dodged a major bullet there, when Aunt May put a stop to this in "The Invisible Hand." Come to think of it, May never liked Betty in the Lee/Ditko run either. Betty is definitely not the girl you bring home to meet mom.
I think the thing to keep in mind about ANY character in a shared corporate universe is that multiple writers, editors and artists have had at him or her, with different agendas - often agendas that had little to do with the character him or herself - and more to do with how that character plays with, in this case, Spider-Man/Peter Parker.
Me, I'm fond of Betty. Probably originates with her being THE girl in the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon. I clearly like her more than either you or Bertone, but I haven't tracked each and every appearance. I just try to get to the heart of who I think she is. To me, in the Lee/Ditko era, she was a high school age girl who dropped out to work, because she had to. So she wasn't mature, but she was extremely competent. One of the few human beings who could handle J. Jonah Jameson. That to me is the fundamental TRUTH of her character. Anyone who can hold her own with Jameson and put up with his... crap, has to have something solid in her. The fact that Lee/Ditko occasionally played her as a jealous harridan ... seems more indicative of the tropes of romance comics of the day than with anything inherent in who she was. And what other writers did with her in the post Lee/Romita era (after she had already been reduced to the fourth or fifth most important non-Aunt May girl in Peter's life) carries even less weight with me.
Is that selective on my part? Damn straight! But we were always selective on SpecSpidey. Had to be. Too much inconsistencies in the canon for us to do otherwise.
So, what did we decide?
Well, first of all, we wanted a sixteen year old Peter, as he was in the early days of Lee/Ditko. But no one's going to buy - in a modern context - a sixteen year old Betty working full-time for Jonah. So we made her nineteen or twenty (can't remember, but something like that). So we gave a nod to the original Betty/Pete relationship, but as you saw made it awkward because of an age gap that would be insignificant in ten years (at age 26 and 29) but is just too wide at 16 and 19. We had fun with that. But we also started to build the Betty/Ned relationship too. We did have a couple Betty/Ned scenes written and recorded for Season Two, but they wound up getting cut for time before being animated... mostly because (a) we were long and (b) they were scenes we could sacrifice. Ned and Ned's relationship to Betty would have been important in season three, and we wanted to set it up, lay some pipe, etc. But there were always things we needed for Season TWO that were more important. So we figured we'd worry about Season Three if and when we got there. And of course we never did.
As for that one Betty and Sha Shan scene in the comic, I think you're overthinking it. The two are both cold to each other. They have an unpleasant history. No one's apologizing. No one's asking for an apology at this point. Neither "started it". Looks must have come before words. And looks said it all. The words were simply the "icing" (pun intended) on the cake.
Personally, I can't see Betty with Flash long term... though I guess that's the longest relationship she's ever had - mostly by default. Now, I see them as good friends. Maybe occasionally friends with benefits, but these two are never going to be much more than that in my mind.
Of course, to me the perfect girl for Flash was always Sha Shan. (Someone who could kick his ass - at least figuratively, if not literally.) So what do I know...
Few thing have bugged me since cancelation of Spectacular Spider-Man.
1)Does Marvel hate Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon or not.I ask this because they are making new Ultimate Spider-Man Cartoon and Spectacular Spider-Man was canceled and there was lack of promotion in Marvel.Com(While Avengers or Super Hero Squad have many promotions).Also in one of your answers you said that Marvel are not planning to make comic book based on your show or something like that.So does Marvel hate your show or not?
2)This might be stupid question but worth a shot.Will you ever work for Marvel or Disney again due to cancelation of your show and Disney retooling Gargoyles into Gargoyles Goliath Chronicles.
3)What do you think about Avengers:Earth's Mightiest Heroes Cartoon.Do you think it is as great as Spectacular Spider-Man or bad.Also in your opinion which show is better:Young Justice or Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
4)Will you watch Ultimate Spider-Man Cartoon?And also is there a chance that you will work on Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes or some Marvel Comic Book?
1. I hope not. Ask Marvel.
2. I'm perfectly willing.
3. I haven't seen Avengers, but Frank Paur is producing it, so I take it for granted that it's great. But in any case, I don't see YJ as being in competition with Avengers. There's room for both.
4a. No. There's no upside in me watching Ultimate. If it's great, I'll be jealous. If it sucks, I'll be frustrated.
4b. No. I'm plenty busy on YJ.
4c. I hope so. Ask Marvel.
What comic universe would you say you're more knowledgeable about: DC or Marvel?
I'm pretty equal on both companies.
Fairly knowledgeable (all things considered) on pre-1970s stuff.
More knowledgeable on the 70s.
Extremely knowledgeable on the 80s.
Less knowledgeable on the early and mid 90s.
Almost completely ignorant of the mid 90s through 2006.
Somewhat knowledgeable but with huge gaps on 2006 through the present...
Of course, I worked at DC as a freelancer from 1983-1991, and on staff from 1985-1987, so I have more INSIDE knowledge of that company, but during that period I was reading ALL the Marvel books too, so if we're talking CONTINUITY and CHARACTERS, I know both companies pretty darn well. I certainly grew up reading both. And when I was a little kid, I didn't even get that there were different companies that made comics. I'd see Green Lantern team up with Superman in one book. And Spider-Man team up with the Fantastic Four in another. And I didn't know that next month I might not see Captain America team with Batman. It took me a while to get the whole competing companies idea.
I noticed that almost every single villain gets an episode or two (sometimes more) to be introduced to the audience before taking on Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man. Rhino, Sandman, and the Enforcers were thugs, and Hammerhead has had a few bits of his past revealed as well. So why did you choose the opposite course of action for Tombstone?
Also, excellent issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Flash Thompson seems to be a hard character to really understand, but you truly understand Flash. Thank you.
I didn't. Tombstone appears in episode one.
Thanks. I'm glad you liked the Flash story.
Hi. No questions this time, just had some quick comments:
1) I read your issue of ASM. Fun stuff. I liked the use of the framing device; it was a nice story to go along with the Morbius feature. I hope you write some more issues in the future.
2) I read on Wikipedia that Boomerang will appear in the 4th season of Spidey as a new member of the Enforcers. I'm not asking if it's true, I just thought you might find it funny.
3) If the show's renewed by the time you get this, congrats. If not, i'm pulling for ya.
1. Me too.
2. Well, that was certainly not based on anything I ever said. But it's all moot now.
3. Thanks, but...