tom j manning

I feel like a lot of modern writers take Spider-Man for granted in so far as the skill required to do the character correctly.

Like he’s funny and quippy. But he’s also guilt ridden and down in the dumps a lot. He’s a really responsible person but he can also have a temper. He’s loyal and dedicated but he’s not Superman levels of moral. He’s a nerdy guy but also does have this enjoyment of physical exertion hat comes from being a superhero. He kind of likes being a superhero but he deep down would prefer to be a normal guy even though he’s good at being a hero but often doesn’t recognize that in himself and feels so duty bound to be a hero he’s unlikely to ever permanently give it up no matter how much he really wants to, even if he actually goes ahead and quits sometimes.

He is an every man relatively speaking but that doesn’t mean he’s a easy or simple character to write for. But I really do think that is how Marvel regards the character. That he’s a good character that anyone can just pick up and run with and it’s not that hard to get him right when that is far from the truth. He’s an incredibly complex character and even the best writers in his history (JMS, Stern, DeFalco, DeMatteis, PAD) have rarely perfectly balanced all the aspects of his character, at least not all the time. Hell STAN couldn’t even do that!

Essentially a lot of writers tend to just dig their hooks into Spider-Man as either a big oversimplification of one or more of his character traits or they simply exaggerate some traits or situations he’s been in to make out that’s the entirety of the character. Or they do some combination thereof.

Nowdays Spider-Man is either written as



- The quippy guy (any given Avengers title, especially ones by Bendis)


- The LOSER who’s life is always fucking him over (Mark Waid)


- The manchild (Kelly at least before Spider-Man/Deadpool)


- Some combination of the above with added shit (Slott)


Bottom line: Spider-Man isn’t an easy character to write for and isn’t a character who does well when you hand him to anyone and everyone.