Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spider-Man's Ghetto

I was at the Marvel Universe Board today at Alvaro's ComicBoards.com and came across a very interesting Poll question posted. It was POLL: Are you a Spidey fan whose sole Spidey book is New Avengers? posted by Blue Beetle. It was a very interesting question because it made me think of something that I hadn't even realized until a few months ago. Namely, that for a flagship title, Spider-Man the character just wasn't very important to the Marvel Universe in general.
Amazing Spider-Man and the various spin-offs through the years may be bread and butter for Marvel in the same way a Romance Section alone can keep a bookstore afloat but he wasn't very integrated into the Marvel Universe as a whole. I started thinking of Spider-Man's place for the first thirty-some years and realized he's been pretty much confined to the Spider-Ghetto.
Think about it. As much as anyone might enjoy the character (and I have even through the years that I never bought any Spider-Title) there wasn't a lot of cause and effect between his books and anyone else's. Sure, thanks to Marvel Team-Up there's a lot of characters that have fought alongside Peter Parker but no one really close. Or if they were close to him, like Daredevil, it was only in a Spider-Title that the relationship existed. That all began to change with New Avengers #1.
Now we see Spider-Man developing lasting relationships between himself and the other team members. He moved into Avengers Tower. Heck, Tony Stark even became a bit of a father figure for Peter and these are all things that wouldn't be possible if he weren't on the Avengers lineup now. And you know what? I like the changes!
Also, with the other Spider-Titles about to be folded into a thrice weekly Amazing Spider-Man it looks like the Spider-Ghetto might be a thing of the past and I say good riddance! I didn't even realize it was bothering me that Spidey wasn't a major player inside the MU until that day walking out of Atomic Comics but it sure is sweet that he is one now!
Of course, that still leaves the Defenders Ghetto and the X-Ghetto to tear down but one step at a time, deal?
Oh, and an afterthought: I look at the Marvel Universe being an Avengers World with the ghettos as adjuncts but there's one title I can't place: The Fantastic Four. They are definitely separate from the Avengers titles but not so disconnected as to be considered ghettoized. Any thoughts?

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