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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending June 21, 2020

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Last but not least!
Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

Oh, that's right, the Ultimate comics did that first. I liked them at the time but I don't remember that much about them. Regardless, Otto and Osborn being linked seems to have become a staple in adaptations- the PS4 game takes it even further and has Otto being a co-founder of Oscorp (and, like Walter White, resents his former partner for getting rich while he labors in obscurity).

"Otto worked for Oscorp in Spider-Man 2"

I'm not sure I agree with that characterization. I got the feeling that Otto was an academic scientist working on a grant from Harry Osborn (though I haven't seen that movie in a while, either), and I don't know if he ever even met Norman.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

One of the stipulations from Sony for Spectacular is that the show had to reference the Raimi films in some form. It could've just been a case of "Otto worked for Oscorp in Spider-Man 2, so he works for Oscorp in Season 1."

Or there might be no connection other than we need someone to push Otto off the deep end and Norman's just the kind of guy that would do it.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Maybe, but considering the influence of Ultimate on Spectacular is much less than some people think (beyond Kenny Kong and maybe the younger Eddie Brock), I don't credit Ultimate for it being in Spectacular.
Greg Bishansky

Unless I'm very much mistaken, I believe making Otto a former Oscorp scientist was first invented by the Ultimate Spider-Man comics.
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"It feels like time is passing so quickly. Damn you, Einstein! Your science is crowding in on our kiss!" - Kurisu Makise

Question for Spider-Man fans- I’ve been thinking about the various versions of Doc Ock, and I’m not sure where he and Norman Osborn having a linked origin came from. It obviously wasn’t in the original comics, and I think maybe Greg invented it for Spectacular. After all, making villain origins more cohesive was one of his guiding principles. Is that right, or did he get the idea from some other story?

Thanks Todd, always appreciated.
There's actually a fair amount of operas that sort of show up in pop culture, most people just know the music more than they do the source. The Wagner ones I feel are best known thanks to Bug Bunny in "What's Opera, Doc?" but other popular ones include The Marriage of Figaro, La traviata, Madama Butterfly, La bohème and Barber of Seville (that one also due to Bugs Bunny).

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Well, congrats Jordan, it only took half a year of making everyone hate you to get Greg Weisman to call you an asshole and give you the exact same explanation we gave you at the time. Hope you’re proud.

I don’t have a clue why you think the people here are “incels.” To be an incel, you have to show self-righteous entitlement to attention from strangers. I can only think of one person here who meets that description.


Thanks for the latest review, Matthew. As I mentioned about a week ago, I recently got to see all of Season Two of "The Spectacular Spider-Man", including this episode.

The "fat lady sings" part was one of my favorite funny moments; it makes a nice bit of variety that the literal "fat lady" wasn't dressed as a Valkyrie. Which prompted the thought that, though the stereotypical opera as presented in pop culture is usually based on Wagner's Ring Cycle, most of the major operas are Italian rather than German; Wagner's operas are the chief exception. (I also liked the mention of Verdi and "Rigoletto" in the ending credits. It reminds me now of Greg Weisman, when he talked about the "Weird Macbeth" idea at the 2001 Gathering, speculating that Shakespeare would have gotten top billing on the by-line, with "additional dialogue by [the regular "Gargoyles" writers]".)

I'm looking forward to your reviews of the last three episodes, featuring the return of the Green Goblin, and the "Midsummer Night's Dream" performance.

Todd Jensen

Watched "Gang Land" today which is probably my favorite episode of season 2 and one of my top five of the series as a whole. I've mentioned before that I wish we got to see more open conflict between the factions, but the battle between the bosses more than makes up for it.

So it's Valentine's Day which naturally means all the season's romantic entanglements come to a head. First and foremost is Peter and how unfair he's been to Liz, the tension he's had with Gwen becomes so blatant that it really puts a strain on not only the relationship he's built with Liz but the friendships he's built up throughout the season. By the end of it, Peter really does consider what Mark said, and is left wondering whether he isn't actually good enough for her. And Harry, he's always treated the fact that he's dating as an accomplishment rather than as a relationship which requires work. Just look on how he addresses Gwen as compared to Pete, calling her a rather derivative "babe" while Peter compares her to an angel.

But the real treat of the episode is the summit and subsequent brawl between the various gang leaders and later Spidey. Let's examine the various factions one by one, starting with the one that hasn't shown up the most, Silvermane. Silvermane is very much the old-school style gangster (you can see why Hammerhead used to work for him) and even though they couldn't use the Maggia in this series he pretty much plays it like he is. I rather like that instead of the old, decrepit crime boss he's instead an old-fashioned criminal who while past his prime is still pretty dangerous. There's a good chance that he lay the groundwork for the criminal empire for which Tombstone enjoyed for the last 12 years, so naturally he feels that he's owed what's his. Interestingly, unlike his former subordinate Hammerhead, who doesn't really adapt to the changes in the criminal world, he has no problem at all. He's been out maybe a couple weeks at the most and he has a power armor that makes him the dominant fighter in the brawl, catching blows from Tombstone and Spider-Man no problem. It's ironic that he'd bring up the St. Valentine's Day Massacre as that was the event that killed Al Capone's public image, when the fighting starts you can see the pained expression as he considers whether he should throw away his recent parole, and he ultimately does not out of personal pride but for the sake of his daughter. Because that's how the old-school works, when someone comes after the family you return the favor tenfold.

Doctor Octopus stands for the new breed of criminals, where costumes and super science are the new bullets and bombs. It's no wonder that he speaks so derisively to the others, while they battle for being the king of New York his first big scheme as a crime boss was an attempt at world domination. At the same time his pride and temper constantly get the better of him, he throws away the unspoken agreement he had with Silvermane to take out Tombstone for an attempted cheap-shot and by the time he suggests tabling their brawl for eliminating Spider-Man tempers are high enough that no alliance can be made. And just as before despite his genius and incredibly dangerous arms, he's still a squishy scientist and good knockout blow is all that's needed to take him out.

Tombstone represents the constant threat that's loomed over New York and Spider-Man for most of the series. Even when more hands-on and dangerous threats like the Green Goblin and Venom have reared their ugly heads, he remains as the ultimate problem to be taken down. Of all the three he represents the status quo, the untouchable Big Man of crime. Unfortunately we've seen the cracks begin to appear in his seemingly unending empire throughout the series. He didn't have quite the control over the super villains he commissioned, his numerous crooks and criminals from which he gets his revenue are not only no match for any supers but are scared right off the street thanks to Spider-Man, and his choice of keeping his inner circle limited solely to Hammerhead bites him hard. Like the others he forgoes the chance of a tactical retreat when convenient, though it's not out of pride but because of PR. But instead of cutting his losses at the end he tries to take out Spider-Man when he thinks he can take him, which ultimately became the injury to his insult. I actually really like how Spider-Man defeats all three villains, by demonstrating the aspects that make him so admirable as a crime fighter: his smarts, his skills and his determination. He figures out how to disable Silvermane's suit hydraulics (Ox's own suit from last episode probably played a factor), manages to monkey-bar Octavius' arms to take him out and despite going against an incredibly strong and superior hand-to-hand fighter he triumphs over Tombstone and goes blow for blow. Showing that he's ultimately the stronger man, and pulls of a beautiful meia lua de compasso on the guy.

To wrap things up, I'd like to talk about Cui Bono (to whom is it a benefit). Because characters ignoring that little thing is ultimate spark that ignites the conflict of the episode. Tensions being high, none of the bosses think about why all of them claim to not have called the summit and to what purpose bringing them all together might mean. And Hammerhead, instead of spending his time thinking about how he could take over if they all take each other out (and completely forgetting that Spider-Man will most likely interfere) instead of thinking about who would not only provide him with a gun, means of neutralizing Sable, and jam any communications around the Lincoln Center. Who benefits from that? It's pretty telling that the last we see of him he's slinking away from the wrath of his former boss because as the man once said, "once a mook, always a mook."

Final thoughts: I'm of the opinion that fight scenes set to classical music can make them so much better, and setting the episode to Verdi's "Rigoletto" was inspired. For those who don't know, that's where the bouncy opera song "La donna è mobile" comes from. The opera is filled with a jester who regularly insults everyone, romantic entanglements and tragic loss. Sounds a lot like this series. I like the progression of Flash's relationship with Sha Shan, especially that he well aware of his shortcomings and is even willing to get kicked to prevent himself from sticking his foot in his mouth. For such a small role, Miguel Ferrer totally nailed the part of Silvermane, you can see why he was cast as Vandal Savage in Young Justice.
The couple that showed up in "Reaction" get engaged here, I like to think that if there was a season 3 we'd see them tie the knot. We see Mark riding high on his date with MJ, I'll discuss next episode how things can rapidly turn around for him. I always wondered what happened to Tombstone after the Goblin confronted him at the end, whether he was killed, forced to surrender his empire in exchange for his life or something else. Either way like Hammerhead he just disappeared and maybe we'd see what happened next season. I like that each episode of this arc ended with a lecture from Captain Stacy on crime and this one ends on the nature of a power vacuum...

Favorite Lines (oh boy is there a lot of them this episode):
Jameson: But Joan, honeybunch, darling. It's not too late to catch the Knicks! Why-?
Joan: Because it Valentine's Day and you're giving me romantic or else!
Jameson:(grumbling) What's so romantic about a bunch of yodeling yokels?
Joan: What's that dear?
Jameson: Nothing sweetums!

Flash: Okay Parker here's the deal. You need to make sure I don't say nothin' to make Sha Shan think I'm stupid.
Peter: Uh, dude? Ship? Sailed.
Flash: Shut Up! She likes smartness, that and like, integrity and stuff. So if I say somethin' dumb, you kick me or somethin'.
Peter: For you pal? Anytime.
Sha Shan: Weren't you picking up the silverware?
Flash: Why? You want to eat of dirty forks or-OW!

Silvermane: So this is the Spider-Man that's given Tombstone and Octopus so much trouble? As yet, I'm unimpressed.
Spider-Man: Well you haven't seen be juggle bowling balls while drinking a glass of water.

Spider-Man: Please tell me the fat lady's not singing.
(cue the fat lady singing)

Silvermane: Can't see! But I don't need my sight to finish this!
Spider-Man: Oh great. A hood with focus.

Tombstone: I assume you remember our last physical encounter.
Spider-Man: Painfully. But I told you then... I don't look the other way.

Jameson: Joan...If I'm not elsewhere in zero-point two seconds...I'M STROKING OUT!

And of course...


Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

"Sycophantic bullying incels"
Sounds like your just throwing insults at a dartboard and hoping one of them sticks.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Another example of how persistence pays off! Too bad these trolls can never be satisfied by appeasement and will just post a different question next time in the CR. Jordan might even encourage other trolls to join him which will eventually cause the CR to shutdown.
Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

Yep. Eight months of constant whining pays off in the end! Why it’s almost as if Greg said exactly what we said 5 months ago!
Chip - [Sir_Griff723 at yahoo dot com]

JORDAN> Congratulations on your victory, Jordan! Now you can finally leave the rest of us sycophantic bullying incels to stew in our own filth forever! :D
We must be brave.

Finally!! Was that so hard??

I agree about shutting this site down. This comment room (how 90's is that?? lol) is a cesspool of sycophantic, bullying incels.

Love your work! Looking forward to Phantoms!


We welcome back Greg Weisman and script writer Andrew Robinson to break down the development of the climax of the Criminology arc as pop culture and high culture come together for an epic clash. Listen as we go in-depth on this episode’s unique soundtrack, the stupidity of guys (by four guys, no less), some hints as to where Silver Sable may have been headed from here, and more. But most importantly, we pay tribute to Denny O’Neil (1939 – 2020); a true titan in the comic book industry.


Greg Bishansky

MATTHEW - That's all right; I'm looking forward to it, though.
Todd Jensen

All I can say is, wow.
And my cover for "Gangland" is running late. Sorry about that.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Yes, indeed.

Of course, the irony would be that he is so used to just stopping in to drop off his semi-daily note that he won't even notice that Greg himself personally addressed him!

And Greg, you do what you need to do. No guilt, indeed!


Ohh, yeah, that was satisfying.

Hey Jordan,

You seem super-entitled and unpleasant.

Aside from the fact that I'm allowed to do whatever the hell I want - this isn't an issue of fairness. Part of my job is to promote my work for the studios that employ me. A podcast does that. ASK GREG, for all its merits, does not. Even on old material, I might choose to do a podcast or an interview or some other thing because it promotes ME. And, though I'm not necessarily happy about this aspect of my so-called career, the higher my profile, the easier it is for me to get work. And I NEED to work.

I actually find it hard to believe that you don't know this, as it seems obvious. So it seems like you're just trolling me and the rest of the comment room. But that's just a guess.

I have a good friend who's urged me to shut down ASK GREG for good. She's said, politely, that it's time has passed. I clearly don't have much time for it these days. I could leave the archive up but end it. To be honest, it's tempting. No guilt. But I'm not quite ready to admit defeat yet. So I'm still hoping to get back to answering questions there eventually.

As for your question about you starting up your own podcast, kissing my ass and then getting personal attention from me, I'd tend to think we wouldn't hit it off. But I'm betting that's also something you already knew.

Greg Weisman

Hi Mr. Weisman. I have a question for you:

I don't know if you are aware, but in the "Early Warning" episode of Whelmed: The Young Justice Files (back in Oct. 2019) the host quoted you on something you told him in conversation. This is something that used to happen now and then, but lately it happens in almost every episode: "Greg texted me this", "Brandon emailed me that", "Greg/Brandon told me whatever", etc.

So, looking at your 2-year-8-month-and-21-day backlog of 1172 questions, I'm wondering: why are you giving BTS information to this one person while the rest of your fanbase has to submit questions and wait months (at least) or YEARS (worst case and more likely scenario) for an answer???? It must be really cool to be so intimate and chummy with one's idol, and I bet the host feels super important and validated, but this is some double standard bullshit!

Are you aware of this? And if you are, how can you be okay with it? Don't you think this is unfair? You have thousands of fans who support your work whichever way they can, but 99.9% of them have never even met you in person, let alone exchanged emails or text messages with you.

If I make an entire podcast dedicated to kissing your asses, will I earn the same privileges? Will I be able to ask all my questions without a waiting queue? Will I get to hang out with you, have lunch together or exchange personal contacts?

(Originally I posted this on AskGreg, but then I decided I shouldn't have to wait 2 years for an answer, for all the reasons above.)


MATTHEW> I'd completely forgotten there's a real Marvel character with that name, so for a few minutes I was totally imagining Scorpia from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power hanging out with the Sinister Seven (or Super Pal Septet, if you prefer). :P
We must be brave.

Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

Hobgoblin, Beetle, Electro, Mysterio, Scorpia, Shocker and Vulture.

The oft-forgotten Sinister Seven

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Dr. Octopus, Electro, Vulture, Mysterio, Kraven, Sandman
Greg Bishansky


Todd Jensen

Number Three Hero: Hawks!
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"It feels like time is passing so quickly. Damn you, Einstein! Your science is crowding in on our kiss!" - Kurisu Makise


"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka