Rave : 2000 : Dark Spidey, Wizard Goof

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Date: Oct 4, 2000
Next: 69th And Metro
Prev: Licensed to Print... Money!

I don't know how many of you read Wizard, but this month (#112) features a "Rate the Comics Ages" (Golden, Silver, etc.), listing their good points and bad points. In the Modern Age section, in the BAD things column, it says:

"The biggest victim of these grim-n-gritty days: Spider-Man. The wise-cracking hero was trapped in a mental ward wearing a straight jacket, believed dead for a whole month never appearing in any of his books and caught up in a suicide scheme set up by cancer ravaged foe Kraven the Hunter."

I take issue with the whole premise, that Spider-Man _ever_ underwent a grim-n-gritty period. I mean, yeah Kraven's Last Hunt was a darker tone, but JM Dematteis admitted that it was done as a sort-of "mini-revamp" in response to Byrne's Superman and Miller's Batman Year One. Not to make him more grim-n-gritty. And then the month after that, they ran the Mad Dog storyline, with Spidey in the Asylum. But that was it. The next issue of Web featured Spider-man playing football to save the universe, and over in Amazing he had a slugfest with Doc Ock. In Spectacular he had one more sorta grim-n-gritty story, Return of Sin-Eater, but right after that he was chasing Tranatula, Tombstone and the Kingpin in true Spidey style. I don't see three issues making an "era" of grim-n-gritty, but its not uncommon to see people think Spider-Man had some dark period. But it's just not true.

And dismissing Kraven's Last Hunt as too "grim-n-gritty" and putting it in the Bad column is unforgivable. It's a great story, still very high in the rankings on our site (though I can't seem to find that list, anymore). It was serious and somber in tone, but that didn't automatically make it bad.

(On an aside, I think the darkest era of Spider-Man was during the "I am Spider" story in 93. That was a little unnecessarily grim-n-gritty, and not at all like Spidey.)

Not to mention Wizard's glaring factual error, about Kraven being cancer ravaged.

(Hey, but Wizard #113 has a reference to SpiderFan.Org, so let's not be too hard on them, eh?) - Ed.