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WEISMANSWERS 2009-06 (Jun)

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Aaron writes...

I recently caught up with the Spectacular Spider-Man and been very impressed by what I saw. In light of that, I gave the new X-Men show a shot too and have been equally impressed by it's choice of setting. Obviously the different networks (and decidedly different settings) prevents a crossover, but does the existence of the show prevent X-Men characters from ever cameoing in Spectacular Spider-Man?

Since I was never a comic book fan, I was introduced to the extended Marvel universe thanks to the Spider-Man animated series from the 1990s. Without it, I probably never would have gone and saw movies like Iron Man and Hulk (or at least not one day one). I'm hoping this series will have the same effect on my younger counterparts. This series looks to be the real successor to Batman: TAS.

Greg responds...

It's not the existence of Wolverine and the X-Men that prevents cross-overs. It's the contracts that state we only have access to characters in the Spider-Man corner of the Marvel Universe.

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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Jack-Pumpkinhead writes...

Dear Greg,
I finally got a chance to watch some epsiodes of Spider-Man yesterday, and I just wanted to congratulate you on more excellent storytelling. I particularly enjoyed making use of a little-known character (Tombstone), and accurately portraying the plight of the nerd; every girl's friend, no one's lover. Well done, and I look forward to catching more of this series.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I hope you do!

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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Will Keaton writes...


The first two seasons of Spectacular Spider-man have been, well, spectacular. I think it can honestly be said without hyperbole that this is the best adaptation of the Spider-man franchise since the birth of Stan Lee. You know we are all waiting to hear word about season 3 being commissioned and we will keep our fingers crossed, hoping for the best.

I should warn you there will be spoilers for season 2 from this point on.

Amoungst the other things this series has done especially well one thing I've enjoyed is the set ups to story arcs still down the road. For example; With Eddie in custody, probably "bonding" with his new cell-mate as we speak, and the symbiote on the loose you've done a nice job of setting up another Venom arc. Before the symbiote came to earth Eddie was one of the most honourable people on the show. Being based off the Ultimate version he was a much more decent fellow than the guy from the comics or the 90's animated series, who was a complete jerk. With someone other than poor Petey to hate on this Eddie may have a shot at redemption. Maybe. The earlier Spider-man series that aired on Fox back in the 90's was notorious for heavy censorship it got from the network. Have you ever felt restricted in the stories you are allowed to tell because of network censors? And are you worried that this could be an issue in the future, especially when dealing with a certain red-headed serial killer?

You've already mentioned plans to use the Hobgoblin and Scorpion, both of whom we've already met or had their name mentioned. Other people we've already met are Carnage, Hydro-man, the Prowler, Sin-eater and of course the Jackal, who I'm sure will play a major role in the not-to-distant future. I'm also kind of hoping to see some spider-slayer action in season 3, but that is neither here nor there. You've also included numerous homages to earlier Spider-man shows; like the Spidey vs. Mysterio fight that took place in a western bar set just like in the 60's animated show. That show also had a lot of really lame or ill-thought out villains that shouldn't by any right have posed a threat to Spidey. Looking back do you think there is one guy made specifically for that show that you particularly like or think you could turn into a credible threat?

At first glance Molten-man seems very similar to Electro, especially his first appearance in season 1. Both guys had their lives wrecked in a lab and walk away with powers that literally fry everything they touch and that they can't turn off, (themselves). However, despite similar reactions to their powers and some anger management issues Mark and Max still come across as unique characters. At any point in production were you worried about two different villains coming across as being too similar to one another due to similar powers or backstory?

The naming system for the story arcs has been a nice touch. I wouldn't be surprised if a story arc about aunt May ended up being called Geriatrics 101. What I'd really like to see however is History 101, as there are a few past events I'm sure we'd all like to see explored in a bit more detail. For instance the events surrounding the deaths of the Parkers and the Brocks, how Foswell got his Silvermane scoop and how Tombstone took control of the criminal underworld thus becoming the Big Man. (Complete with Hammerhead/Sable romancin'.) Of course Pete and Felicia still have some issues they need to sort out, and it's only a matter of time before the events of Uncle Ben's death are brought to light. From what we know of Felicia's dad it seems almost impossible to believe he would murder poor Ben, especially after decades of priding himself on never hurting anyone, (physically that is, financially is another story.) There is definitely more to that story than meets the eye.

One little nitpick. Actually, given how important this little detail became in season 2 this is more than a nitpick, but I digress. Ol' Norman has repeatedly said he never apologizes, he was willing to face an angry buzzard to avoid doing so and this was the one flaw in Chameleon's otherwise flawless performance as Osborn. However, way back in season one episode 4, Market Forces, during his conversation with Hammerhead he says, "My apologies for the interruption." It seems like a minor gripe at first but since the phrase "I never apologize" becomes so important later this earlier inconsistency is now a genuine plot hole. If you think you can find a way to fix this minor/major inconsistency when/if season three comes out, well actually that'd be par for the course for you.

Speaking of the Osborns; in every Spider-man related work I have ever seen Harry's mom has been either explicitly stated as dead or not mentioned at all. Yet you decided to have her alive and conspicuous. I understand why you altered Shocker's/Montana's and Silver Sables' history as it helps streamline the plot. However, Mrs. Osborn has served no purpose at all outside of one (totally awesome) gag in Final Curtain. What made you decide to go against popular consensus and include her when she isn't doing anything? Also, how was anyone able to convince people Norman was dead? They obviously never found his body and the only people who knew Norman was the goblin where Spidey; who isn't likely to tell the authorities anything, Chameleon; who is even less likely to do the same thing, Menkin (maybe) and Harry; neither of whom would want the Goblin/Osborn connection made public. So who set up the funeral and everything? Speaking of the funeral, I think Harry knows his dad isn't dead. I honestly don't know if he can be as manipulative as he was in the graveyard scene if he was still distraught about his dad's death. Besides, after Normy exclaims he "needed to make a man out of Harry" and has "never been more proud" of his son (was Harry able to hear that line? I'm not sure if he could hear inside the helicopter,) and being outed in front of Harry anyway I think he may trust him enough to let him know he's not dead. Maybe. Norman loves his son in his own twisted little way but he's still a domineering psychopath in a Halloween costume and after successfully manipulating almost every single character over the course of two seasons I wouldn't trust him if my life depended on it.

Oh, and about his whole "Greg doesn't like Carnage thing". I believe there was a rumour that the director of the Spider-man movies didn't like the symbiotes in general. Maybe someone got the two of you mixed up somewhere down the line. It's obvious you do like Venom though so that might explain why no one has said "Greg doesn't like Venom," leaving Carnage the only one who gets all your fictional hatin'.

Just for the record, I was never fooled for a minute when Harry was revealed to be the Goblin back in Season one. I know better than to trust anything you tell us during a conspiracy Mr. Greg I-invented-the-Xanatos-gambit Weisman.

By the way, how did May's cook book; "1001 Ways to Prepare Banana." sell?

Anyway, good luck getting the go ahead for season 3. We're all rooting for you.

Greg responds...


I'm not particularly concerned about censorship.

Your memories of the sixties' series are clearly clearer than mine.

I felt fairly confident that Molten Man and Electro would remain fairly distinct from each other.

Emily has already had her uses. And we have more planned for her as well. As to why we included her, we felt we had too many single parent families, between Pete and Gwen. It seemed essential to both of those characters that Aunt May and Captain Stacy were single parents. It didn't seem essential to Harry's character, however.

A body was found. You can work out the rest for yourself.

May's cookbook hasn't hit the shelves yet.

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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Joltman writes...

Any more specifics on a season set for The Spectacular Spider-Man? Some people are worried that it's either not going to happen, or that all it will just be the four volumes repackaged.

Greg responds...

All I know at this time is that it's due out this summer.

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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John Sett writes...

Another Fox Question:

Now, I personally don't care what Titania said to Fox. That is better left to the individual to decide. However, I do care about one issue right now:

Did Fox take Xanatos' last name when they were married? I cannot find this asnwer anywhere. Based on her personality, I would think not. However, any help you can give would be great.

Greg responds...

Like many women I know, the answer is variable depending on the situation.

Generally, no. She's still just Fox. One word. Fox.

But I don't think she objects to being referred to, when WITH her husband, as "Mr. & Mrs. Xanatos" or as "David and Fox Xanatos". Though it would be more correct to say "Fox and David Xanatos".

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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Bazell writes...

Will you/did you participate in Free Comic Book Day and pick up the offerings? If so, what did you think?

Greg responds...

I don't know about this.

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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Bazell writes...

Sometimes when I write, I worry about how much specific influence other similar media has on what I'm working on. As a student and literary lover, I am well aware of the dangers of plagerism and feel very sensitive to it, but I worry about unitentionally drawing too much from source material in fiction writing. For example, if I was working on a story about a vampire, I would worry about how much I'm being influenced by, say, Interview With the Vampire, which is a personal favorite novel and series. It's important for ideas to be new and fresh, even if they cover subject matter already used in the past.
Like you, I produce what I'd like to consume, so how do you avoid copying your favorites? Any sagely advice?

Otherwise, also want you to know that I impressed upon my local comic shop the sheer importance of my obtaining the two trades coming out this summer. I talked up the series, of which he was alredy a similarly disappointed fan. Both trades are on my pull-list.

Greg responds...

I don't have a set of guidelines for you. I try to feel my way through it, I guess. If I am going to "lift", I try to be direct and on the head about it, so that I'm acknowledging the debt as opposed to trying to get away with something. But I also avoid seeing/reading newer interpretations of stuff I know I plan to write about. And as much as possible I stick with "source material," i.e. things in the public domain.

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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diane barret writes...

hi greg...
i was reading about the team atlantis and Gargoyles
What happened to that episode?

I knew that many fans have agreed to end the episode
if so, when and where we can see them?

send me the answer by e-mail

thanks for you attention ....

diane barret


Greg responds...

I'm sorry, but I don't send any answers by e-mail, as that would mean giving out my e-mail address, which I'm not inclined to do for people I don't know personally.

Assuming, however, you check back here, to get your answer, the one and ONLY place to see this is at the Opening Ceremony of the GATHERING. For more information, check out: http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/g2009/ .

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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Spidey Ratings


THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN episode "Blueprints" delivered 1.57 B6-11 rating, up +76% from prior 4 week time period average, retaining 89% of Catch that Kid lead-in in B6-11 and delivering the time period's highest B6-11 Rtg in over one month… since THE INCREDIBLES on 5/4/09.

"Destructive Testing" delivered 1.86 B6-11 Rtg, its highest ratings yet on DXD, while up +54% from prior 4 week time period average, delivering the time period's highest B6-11 rating in over one year...

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David B. Jacobs writes...

Hey, Greg!
I've got for you a very in-depth question: How did you get to where you are today? What kinds of steps did you take? If you could give specifics, I'd be quite happy.
You see, I myself would love to go into the business of TV and film, and I frequently identify myself with you (in a non-creepy way - I mean regarding style and that kind of stuff).

Greg responds...

I've answered this in depth and with specifics before. Check the archives for a more detailed answer.

Generally, I'd say the first things you need to do, if you haven't already are...

1. Finish your formal education.

2. Move to Los Angeles.

3. Read, write and proofread a lot. Practice. Learn that your first draft may suck, and that even your second draft may need shelving.

As for my specifics...

*Bachelors from Stanford in English with a Fiction Writing emphasis.
*Started working as a writer for DC Comics as a 19-year-old while still in college.
*Moved to New York to work in comics, cuz that's where THAT action was.
*Masters from U.S.C in Professional Writing with an emphasis in playwriting.
*Staff Assistant at Disney Television Animation.
*Eventually promoted to Director of Series Development.
*Developed Gargoyles and moved sideways to produce it.


Response recorded on June 29, 2009

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