Regarding Amazing #651, you write "Fair enough. But we know why Peter became Spider-Man. Not ‘how,' that was the spider bite. The answer to ‘why' is Uncle Ben.
I know Phil Urich's how - a chance encounter with Roderick Kingsley. What's Phil's why?"
Would you expect Phil's why to relate to his Uncle Ben? I hope not, but Slott has not always impressed me with being subtle so it wouldn't surprise me if he would be that obvious and contrive some story about Phil being misused by Ben Urich.
Frankly, Spann003, I don't know what to expect. Ben Urich seems to be a mensch, and to have always been one. It's hard to credit that he would 'misuse' Phil: something like that would damage a long-standing member of the supporting cast, to the point where he couldn't be used for much any more. Of course Slott is perfectly willing to make drastic changes to the supporting cast - just ask Kingsley - but such a change would have trouble getting past Marvel Editorial, I'd say.
And, for the record, I think Slott is plenty subtle! See Amazing Spider-Man #655 or Amazing Spider-Man #656, for example. I think what you describe as a lack of subtlety, I would call a preference for symbolism. This preference might occasionally telegraph upcoming plot twists, but the resonance of the results more than makes up for it. Or at least I think so.
Thanks for writing!