Last year was funny as hell in the Spidey industry. You got Amazing, Spectacular, Marvel Knights, Ultimate, The Pulse, Secret War and many others featuring Marvel's icon. Secret War is still not over. Spectacular's Dissassembled was quite bluntly crap. No offense to Mr. Jenkins who most of the time is on his A game but man, The Queen? Ultimate Spidey seemed like it would continue to soar but we just have to depress the readers right? Gwen had to get killed? Give me a break. When the hell will anyone get that just because Spider-Man knows what death is firsthand, does not mean that Spider-Man is about death
The Pulse was good but if confused me and I'll get back to that. I gotta admit, I was skeptical about Millar writing Spidey but he seemed to have a better hold on him than JMS. Scorpion, Venom, and Vulture come out greatly written and developed. Good stuff. But now that I'm reading the final two issues to his run, does everything have to culminate on the bridge where Gwen fell? And what the hell JMS? I understand that you're probably tired of hearing the anti-JMS crap but the fact is: The classic quality to the death of Gwen was also because of its randomness, much like Uncle Ben. Green Goblin did not have to have another motive for killing Gwen other than that she was Spidey's girl. Sins Past made her seem more real, probably but rehashing Spidey's past in such a way did not pay off. I think that writers are forgetting that super-heroes often do arise victorious and that devastating them over and over again is like a cheap Deux ex Machina. Spidey's heart was forever broken along with fans when Gwen, his love, was killed, especially the way she was. Years (and I mean many years) later, we find out she cheated on him and coincidentally with none other...Please give him not one but two breaks.
Now back to the Pulse. We got Green Goblin in the Pulse, Amazing, and Marvel Knights all at the same time. In the Pulse everyone finds out and he goes to jail. In Amazing he's in jail. But in Marvel Knights he was free and then back in jail. Considering that Marvel Knights #1 came out before than The Pulse's first arc, that just confused everybody. Sure, there's a solution: Goblin escaped at one point (not shown in any comic), and was re-captured in Marvel Knights. But still, that's confusing, and just shows a lack of co-ordination and good management.
Then there's the topic of overexposure. Last year, our great movie comes out (Spidey 2) and owns every movie. Marvel then proceeds to overexpose Doc Ock and thus make me sick of him. Same with Green Goblin in the previous arcs I just mentioned him. The wealth of villains that Marvel has, not to mention the ones Spidey has, should not allow for constant repitition.
Now my final rave is on originality. Marvel Comics is the top of the top in comic books. They are, to the comic book genre, close to (not quite cuz of DC) what the Olympic Committee is to sports. So why do they allow crap to be printed? Especially when it's on their #1 character. They should always be printing top -notch stuff. I know a writer slumps but if a slump causes more than a bump than that writer's gotta move on to a less important book.
Bluntly speaking, Marvel is just plain failing to produce anything original. Spidey now has organic webbing. Big deal! Gwen died again. What's new! Gwen cheats on Pete. Did you run out of ideas? Seriously. Ezekiel and his arc was frickin beautiful. I loved it and might just read it again. Mac Gargan being the dude in the shadows, holding a grudge and smart-talking...beautiful. But seeing Green Goblin being able to still play puppetmaster - not pretty. Hearing about villains get out of prison...for the 500th time...not pretty(Lizard, Rhino). It's ridiculous. There is plenty you could write about and plenty of characters just waiting their turn. If someone could write like the Return of Kaine or someone show that Spidey still has nightmares of the Jackal at night or someone show Harry Osborne's son attend Peter's science class, I would love the issues 100% again.