At Marvel, Spider-man’s junk takes center stage

Wpspidey Aw Hell No
[UPDATED NOTE: As mentioned in the comments, the above image is a photoshopped version of a real image from SPIDER-MAN: THE OTHER, which was doctored by Matthew Craig. In reality, Spider-man's EYE was poked out, but his genitals were not ripped off. And it was all a dream, too.]

We found the above image post at TinTin Pantoja’s LJ and it seems to sum up the general reaction to Graeme McMillan’s discovery that it was Spider-man’s radioactive semen that killed Mary Jane in Spider-Man: Reign #3:


Seriously, Marvel, WHAT THE FUCK? At what point did Spider-Man having radioactive sperm ever seem like a good idea? At what point did anyone even think about Spider-Man having radioactive sperm? Jesus Christ, I can’t believe this ever saw print, I cannot believe that no-one at Marvel thought that having a comic where Spider-Man tells the corpse of his wife – because, yeah, I meant to say that, he’s talking to the corpse of his dead wife – that he killed her with his special radioactive spider-spunk was ANYTHING that should ever be allowed to appear in a comic. And that’s before you even get to the continuation of his admission: “Like a spider, crawling up inside your body and laying a thousand eggs of cancer… I killed you.” Holy crap.

To get an idea of the context of this scene, as he’s saying this, the corpse of his wife is trying to kiss him with some kind of demon tongue. I was so numbed by the idea that Marvel somehow thinks that this is a perfectly publishable idea – that showing Marvel’s #1 licensing jackpot, the same character that they put on all manner of kid products, the same character who’s probably going to have the highest-grossing movie of the year this year coming out at the same time as the collection of this series, as being responsible for the death of his wife (potentially strong story idea, possibility for tragedy, etc.) specifically because of his radioactive jism (somewhere between WTF and TMI, and reducing potentially strong story idea to cheap dirty joke and/or bad idea, and something that I feel is kind of offensive in ways that I can’t really explain) – that, later on, when the book does a very, very obvious 9/11 rip-off (“Bodies are falling! From the top of the building!” – They’re not bodies, they’re mini-Venoms, by the way), I was just bored. This book has gone from Dark Knight rip-off to car-crash embarrassment far too quickly. Ass, and, boy, does someone on the blog have to complain that Marvel really has no idea what to do with their own characters anymore every single week?


The brou-ha-ha even brings John Jakala out of his eyrie with this Marvel Knights Poetry Corner in which he usefully reminds us that it was Spider-Man: Reign #1 which showed an old Peter Parker with his dingus hanging out. Jakala reminds us:

As Anton Chekhov once noted, “”If you’re going to show a penis in book one, it’d better go off by book three.”


Indeed, now we know that Spider-man was shooting zoomies. No wonder he is sad now and likes saltines.

But where is that page of Spidey’s dick getting ripped off from? The blogosphere is always going off on the torture and sexualized humiliations superheroines are going through, but it seems like Spidey’s private have seen a great deal of privation. What up with that?

Not having read any of the story in question, we’ll only say, come on guys, it’s an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. What did you expect? This isn’t about kittens in a candy store; this is SPARTA.

Comments

  1. Jzulu says:

    the image kinda looks like the moment in Spider-Man “The Other” when spidey gets his eye ripped out.

    although i dunno if thats a reworked image to make it look like his “other” eye is getting torn off, or there was some unintentionally misplaced blood splatter.

    i’m trying as hard as a i can to forget as much of “The Other” as I can.

  2. Brian Spence says:

    I’m pretty shocked. I agree with the blogger, it’s hard to believe Marvel would let that be published.

    “dingus”, heh.

  3. Unbelievable.

    And, maybe the bigger topic, the female character is killed once again.

  4. It could be me, I don’t remember it being explicitly semen. I took it as he had to donate blood to her, and that gave her cancer.

  5. Sphinx Magoo says:

    Hmmm. I wonder. When Joey Q’s reign at Marvel ends, will this be one of the things which pundits say contributed to him leaving his position? I’m not saying this will do it, but it might end up as one of the long list of news items during his time at the helm.

  6. M.Lusk says:

    Every Marvel Comics character is DEAD. They’ve been dead for decades.
    This garbage is just product.
    And yeah, it appears that as usual, Joey Q and company don’t have a freakin’ CLUE what they’re doing.
    They’re slowly dragging Marvel’s legacy into the MTV/BET muck, and one by one they are drowning the babies of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.
    Shame on them all.

    And yes, Dan, it *is* just you. Pete is quite obviously talking about his semen. I mean “crawling up inside you?”
    Come on.

  7. Sorry Dan, it is just you.
    Though i Sympathize with you in that a blood transfusion would have been a better choice.
    Much less creepy and noticeably uneccessary.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Peter talking to her gravestone or corpse in the icky ‘my spunk killed you’ monologue.

    The radioactive splooge works vaguely as a hypothetical concept, but I think the presentation was bungled.
    Postulate with me here as I try to vaguely get a discussion going.
    What if MJ had been dead for years- and Peter had gotten over the really weepy melodramatic stage of grief.
    Let’s say he’s having a heart to heart reminiscing session with some also very old super-dude, and he reminds said very old super-dude about how his wife died.
    Because he was radioactive, any contact with him, especially intimate contact, was essenitally fatal.
    Just really pull back the melodrama and make the reveal much less ‘chuckle worthy’- I mean did he really say “crawling around inside you”?-

    That’s reminiscent of how Channon describes sleepign with Spider (coincidence!) Jerusalem in Transmet. Needless to say it fit the tone of Transmet better.

    Would that scene have worked better if the reader jumped to the conclusion, he wasn’t talking to the corpse/headstone, and the melodrama was reduced? thoughts?

  8. MTV/BET muck?

  9. That image IS from The Other. Mike Deodato drew it, probably Avalon coloured it, and I pasted the scanned pages together (ahem), removed the buildings, smudged out the sky, and moved the blood and such from the head to the hog’s eye. (the Spider-Ham?)

    Honest to god, I never thought I’d get to use it.

    …and don’t forget: in the original story, in the next panel, Morlun EATS THE EYE.

    //OO/\

  10. After 40 years of continuity, suddenly saying Spider-Man is dangerously radioactive doesn’t work for me. Neither does any kind of radioactive blood transfusion, because everyone involved would have to be pretty stupid to let that happen. (And in the Marvel Universe, that would more likely give her superpowers than cancer.)

    If Reign is a horror storyline, the concept might work in context. I haven’t read it so I can’t say. And it’s basically a “What If” story, so it doesn’t matter much to the franchise anyway.

    Anyway, it was all worth it just to read that awesome review The Beat linked to above.

  11. I am suddenly reminded how well this whole concept was used in WATCHMEN and nobody blinked an eye.

  12. Wait… mini-Venoms?

  13. Graeme McMillan says:

    Dan: It could be me, I don’t remember it being explicitly semen. I took it as he had to donate blood to her, and that gave her cancer.

    It’s explicitly not blood. The dialogue contains the line “And not just blood. Every fluid.” Even without that, how would the line “loving me killed you” translate into a blood transfusion?

  14. Will I be able to purchase many of these fine Marvel products through Last Gasp anytime soon?

    ~

    Coat

  15. “And not just blood. Every fluid.” So it s alright to know that they were married and had intercourse, but not alright for an obviously off-kilter Peter to crack wise about it?

    …and isn’t this a MK book, intended to present more mature themes? Its not like he said “Yeah I blew my splooge on you so you died”. To me it came across as something Peter (albiet slightly askew) would say.

  16. Having not read the book (I was waiting for the trade) it’s sad to see something that’s supposed to be a big reveal…well, revealed. Gee, thanks! But, who knows…all I see written about the book is that it’s supposed to be Spidey’s Dark Knight Returns (for better or for worse) and I’ve never seemed to figure out if DC considers DKR to be “future canon” or not, so to say that this is a “What If?” could be true…or not.

    I’m confused. Who wants cake?

  17. Dan,

    Dude, I really don’t mean to offend you, but I don’t understand your rebuttal comment.

    Are you saying that the “And not just blood. Every fluid” thing was Peter making some sort of joke? I’m not really sure how it’s funny, and furthermore not really sure how it can be attributed to him meaning blood transfusion.

    And the “Little spiders crawling inside you, laying eggs of cancer” comment certainly seals the deal right?>

  18. I will never take offense at civil discourse! Its good stuff!

    I think that Peter is talking to a headstone is proof enough that he isn’t in his right mind. He has ALWAYS had sophomoric humor. Its not a stretch to believe that his lost mind still processes info that way.

    Its also not a stretch to say if she wouldn;t have loved/married him, they wouldn’t have had sex and she wouldn’t have gotten cancer.

  19. M.Lusk says:

    Matthew Says:

    02/13/07 at 1:52 pm
    MTV/BET muck?

    That’s what I said.
    I’m a huge liberal, but I’m not gonna pretend our culture isn’t totally screwed.

  20. Tom Galloway says:

    “After 40 years of continuity, suddenly saying Spider-Man is dangerously radioactive doesn’t work for me. Neither does any kind of radioactive blood transfusion, because everyone involved would have to be pretty stupid to let that happen.”

    You mean like in the classic Lee-Ditko Master Planner story (ASM #31-33) where Peter gets cornered into donating blood for a transfusion to Aunt May…with said radioactive blood causing May serious enough health problems to provide the story’s McGuffin of a serum to cure her?

  21. The Beat says:

    Kitten-174

  22. Hey look, yet another reason to love the web-slinger! I mean- wooo-boy Petey! Yawza!!! The man of steel’s got nothing on you!

    Ha! :p

  23. Disclaimer 1: The image isn’t mine. I found it in the comments section of this blog entry: http://www.comixexperience.com/savblog/2007/02/well-i-didnt-see-that-death-of-mary.html
    It’s pretty funny though. Kudos to Mathew Craig, who photoshopped it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Pfft. He’s a fictional character. An ooc one at that! And I on the other hand applaud Marvel for letting an artist do something weird..

  25. David Cutler says:

    “I think that Peter is talking to a headstone is proof enough that he isn’t in his right mind. He has ALWAYS had sophomoric humor. Its not a stretch to believe that his lost mind still processes info that way.”

    That Peter. Remember when he cracked out the jizz-jokes at Aunt May’s funeral in the 90s? What a card!

    “Its also not a stretch to say if she wouldn;t have loved/married him, they wouldn’t have had sex and she wouldn’t have gotten cancer.”

    That’s what everyone else was saying… You were saying blood transfusion.

  26. No I said I read it as a blood transfusion, once the exact verbage was pointed out (and I went to reread it myself). It was still handled fairly tastefully

  27. Henry Benton Jr says:

    I swear this reminds me of Elllis’ Ruins with Parker giving everyone cancer..

  28. I don’t know why you’re all patting yourselves on the back for that disgusting image of Spider-man getting his genitals ripped-off. That drawing is just abhorrent – publishing it on this blog is far worse than any story Marvel publishes about the the death of some supporting character in a lame rip-off mini-series.

    Images of sexual mutilation are nothing to be laughed at. You should be ashamed.

  29. I don’t really have a problem with the storyline. What bugs me though is the purple prose. I mean, ““Little spiders crawling inside you, laying eggs of cancer”? It would fit better in a Harlequin or Nora Roberts romance novel.

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