This past weekend, I published a story that was originally titled “Costume Ticker: Spider-Man Gets Seventh Costume In Two Years In 2012“.
The piece was intended to in part spotlight writer Dan Slott’s next big Amazing Spider-Man arc for Marvel Comics called “Ends of the Earth“. One of the several solicits Marvel released for EOTE included a new armor-like costume for Spider-Man.
The article was simply a way for me to hype EOTE as well as add this new costume to the list of costumes Spider-Man has worn at Marvel, not solely in Dan Slott’s books, over the last two years. In addition, as I usually do, I provided my own take on this new costume and EOTE by indicating that while on one hand I felt another new costume felt gimmicky, on the other hand I was anticipating EOTE which features the Sinister Six and Doc Ock, some of Spidey’s most beloved rogues.
As I usually do, I post my articles for the Comics Nexus on Facebook and Twitter. When fans provide comments on my work, I always respond with passion, but I think also with diplomacy. After all, while I do cover news stories, my opinions are my own and naturally not everyone will or should agree with them.
I was quite pleased to learn that among the many folks commenting on my piece was Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott. He provided his initial comments on my article on Twitter. I’ll summarize our exchange on social media below, as Dan was kind enough to have a dialogue with me on Twitter, Facebook and even in the comments section here at the Comics Nexus.
Dan Slott is clearly a fan of comics in addition to being a comics professional.
Unpacking The Numbers
Dan Slott’s view was that Spider-Man has not in fact “gotten” seven costumes, but he in fact has worn four (4) new costumes over the last two years. By typing “gets” Dan indicated I was inflating costumes he actually recieved in that period. In response to that valid criticism, I changed the word “gets” to “dons” in the title of the piece on the weekend so it read: “Costume Ticker: Spider-Man Dons Seventh Costume In Two Years In 2012“.
Next, Dan noted that I double counted a costume as it changed colors, and was essentially the same costume. In fact, this was also a valid criticism since that black costume in Marvel solicits had parts of it change from orange to green. So, it in fact was one costume. I was wrong to count it twice. That realization would have brought my initial count down to six (6) costumes.
Interestingly, after I published the story, I finished reading X-Sanction #3 and at the end of the book is a teaser of X-Sanction #4 which features Wolverine in his stealth black X-Force costume and Spider-Man in his much beloved classic black and white costume battling Cable. Now, assuming that cover actually reflects what Marvel will have occur in the book, this would add another costume sported by Spider-Man in Marvel’s 616 “main” universe over the last two years. So, now we’re back up to seven (7) costumes for Spider-Man by Marvel.
All That Said…
There a couple others things we debated, but in the end Dan Slott and I are counting different things.
Dan Slott indicates that Spider-Man has gotten / worn four (4) new costumes in the last two years. I would qualify that by saying Spider-Man has worn four new costumes for extended issue runs over the last two years. These are semantic differences, for sure. So, I believe, the below are the costumes that make up those four costumes from Dan Slott’s point of view.
Since my piece was really about all the costumes Spider-Man has worn in the 616 universe over that same period I would add the below to get to my seven (7) costumes – the total number that, assuming I haven’t missed any, Peter Parker has worn over the last two years in the main Marvel universe.
The disagreement between Dan and I appear to be on the first two. That counting Spider-Man original blue and red costume torques any count of costumes.
Also, since the blue and black Fantastic Four costume was worn for a few pages of one issue also inflates the count headline count.
In my view, since I’m counting the total number of 616 costumes worn, I think both should be included in the “total” count (the blue and red one only once not adding more numbers for every time he re-dons it, and the FF black and blue since Marvel chose to hype it with its own teaser thereby elevating its importance).
I don’t recall talking extensively with Dan on the X-Sanction #4 cover.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work Dan Slott has done on his watch as solo writer of a fun run on Amazing Spider-Man. Sometimes, a fan (which I am still one despite working in the “fan press”) and a comics professional can have legitimite disagreements, but still have a respectfully dialogue. I think we did that in this case.
I totally see Dan’s point and I imagine he sees mine. In the end, my intent with the weekend piece was a fun facts kinda piece with a bit of a plug for EOTE plus my view on rotating costumes. I did a similar piece one year ago, so I really did not expect anyone to have any serious debate over the numbers let alone with a comics professional.
I hope with this new piece I put to rest this matter and I hope everyone who has been continues to anticipate the return of the Sinister Six during EOTE.
I’ll end by giving Dan Slott the last words from our exchange over various social media platforms.
“John, he HASN’T changed his costume 7 or 8 times in 2 years. You’re milking this for comic effect and fan-facepalms. I get it. Realistically, he got 3 new costumes last year. He’s getting 1 new costume this year. If you want to “groan” about 4 costumes in 2 years fine. No need to mountain-up the molehill to make your point, is there?”
“…The suits he’s had have been “specialty” suits for specific situations, he’s worn them sparingly, and OF COURSE he put his classic red & blues back on after. By your “donning” argument, you could say he “dons” the red and blues each morning and changes out of them when he “dons” his Peter Parker attire. Why not say he’s “donned” 365 costumes a year by that logic. In a nutshell, he got 2 specialty suits for 2 adventures in 2011, PLUS his FF costume. And he’s set to get 1 suit for one adventure in 2012. That’s basically 4 suits in 2 years…”
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Tags: Amazing Spider-Man, Dan Slott, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man