Friday, July 11, 2008

Peter Parker: Working At Comic Book Shop

Read "Amazing Spider-Man" #565 yesterday. Have kept up with the title on-and-off since the first couple of arcs of the weekly format, and I thought the current storyline -- featuring a new, female Kraven the Hunter and art by Phil Jimenez -- was a good place to jump back on board and stay on track.

I'll get more into the specifics of the issue another time, but I just wanted to point out that apparently Peter Parker is now working in a comic book shop.

I don't remember if by the end of the issue Parker managed to screw that up too, though the scene starts off with him getting dressed down by his boss.

Also, since the comic book store in question is very close to Union Square in NYC -- might I assume it is some sort of analog for Forbidden Planet, which is also in that area?

I find it a bit ironic that Parker would end up, after all his many exploits and adventures, sticking price labels on old back issues of "Alpha Flight." See, if he didn't make that dumb deal with Mephisto and lost MJ, none of this would have happened.

I want to read Parker's Facebook updates, dammit.


  1. The Outside facade is pretty much dead on for Midtown Comics West, home of the discounted Countdown to Final Crisis Tower.

  2. You gotta be joking.

    I stopped reading Spiderman around One More Day, but seriously, he's working at a comic book store?

    They're really hammering home that "Spiderman is YOU!" motif now, aren't they.

  3. How utterly loathsome.

    (also, what, is this the second Kraven the Hunter reboot in as many months? Punisher just fought his son!)

  4. Did you notice, though, that the Union Square subway stop was for the 1-2-3 train, which doesn't go there? I hate myself that I did.

  5. That's a pretty blatant show of contempt toward your audience, if you ask me.

  6. Ah... it seems that they are working THREE comicbook stores into the story!

    1) The facade is that of Midtown Comics at Times Square (not too far from where Watchmen ended!)

    2) Forbidden Planet's store is physically located near Union Square, one block south, behind the Virgin Store.

    3) The subway stop mentioned, the Seventh Avenue 1/2/3, is very close to the Time Machine, a wonderful, old school paper ephemera shop specializing in comics.

    Now, the deal with Alpha Flight raises the meta-question... does Marvel Comics actually publish superhero comics in the Marvel Universe?

  7. does Marvel Comics actually publish superhero comics in the Marvel Universe?

    Apparently so. Remember Paul Jenkins showing up in New Avengers? Captain America comics have shown up in his book once in a while, and I think they also did in either 'Mythos: CA' or 'CA: White' (one or the other). I was amused that Peter's store carries 'Secret Invasion' already.

    Reminds me of Barry Allen's fondness for Jay Garrick Flash comics.

  8. Marvel Comics absolutely publishes superhero comics in the Marvel Universe. It has actually been a salient plot point in some She-Hulk arcs (one of the employees at her law firm saves the day by reading a back-issue), and one time she burst into the Marvel offices screaming at them for insinuating that she slept with the Punisher (or someone, I may be forgetting the character).

  9. Yeah, what Adam said! And Torsten- not only does Marvel Comics publish Marvel comics in the Marvel universe, but the superheroes often collaborate by detailing their activities directly to the creators.

    During John Byrne's Fantastic Four run, he portrayed the process as pretty much waiting for the most recent adventure to end so he could "report" it not only in the comic the real-world reader held in his or her hands, but also in the fictional version within the comic, neither of which could seemingly exist without the other.

    Check out the "Trial of Reed Richards" storyline for more details.

    It's meta-tastical!

  10. Overall I have really been enjoying the Brand New Day direction, (specifically I think creating a single narrative for the character to inhabit was a HUGE step forward)

    But I will say that that Spidey's writers are all starting to... fetishize some of the tropes of the character. They're trying to hammer home that "it never quite works out." It used to just be things that happened to Peter... now the entire point of stories sees to verge on knowingly charlie browning Peter.

    It smacks of the fan writer. And the thing that worries me is I think this is the exact writing habbits that have made Superman an unrelatable and alien character to contemporary readers.

  11. was established back in the Lee/Kirby FF issues that Marvel Comics exists in the Marvel Universe. :D

  12. I think there's a little too much pre-judging before reading the book going on. Peter David's Captain marvel book of a few years back was set in a comic book store, and I prejudged that as proof that not only were comics eating themselves alive, but that it was a pretext to putting defensive diatribes aimed towards the book's/author's online critics into print in a childish display of one-upmanship, but someone lent me the earliest issues of that title and I discovered it was nothing of the sort - it was a means to poke fun at comics themselves without malice, and led to a laugh-out-loud visual gag (which utilised an issue of 'Giant Sized Man Thing') that would lose its charm were I to describe it in detail.
    Spider-Man is made by the same company, and post Brand New Day, the books have been pretty good for the most part with only the odd mis-step (Pete coming off mostly as smug rather than charming is the most obvious flaw I can think of).

    It's worth giving them a shot.

  13. Anonymous11:18 PM

    Steve Rogers, the dearly departed, used to draw his own exploits for Marvel in the Marvel Universe. He was the penciler for Captain America for awhile if i recall that storyline. He would also carry his shield around in his portfolio.

  14. I knew about the past (highlight: Jack and Stan try to crash Reed and Sue's wedding), but wasn't sure if it was still being used.

    Forgot about She-Hulk... embarassing as that's the only Marvel title I read regularly.

    I think John Byrne is one of the few creators to be killed in a comicbook (Star Brand). And there was the ride-along in Powers...

  15. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Dan Slott's regular comics shop is Cosmic Comic, which is off Madison Square, not at all far from Union Square. Cosmic used to be the comics shop closest to Marvel; I actually don't know what is, now. (Midtown Comics/Grand Central?)