The SKB Archives
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Spider-Man 101
Whether you're new to Spider-Man and want to immerse yourself in all
things Spidey,  or an old friend just wanting to revisit the familiar, then this
is the place to start.  A positively scintillating six- part series, featuring:


  • An Endless Sea of Spidey - There have been several different Spider-
    Man titles over the last 45 years.  What are the differences between
    them - and are there some that should be read over others?

  • The Indispensable Spider-Man - If you can't read all 1,000 Spider-Man
    stories, what are the ones that you NEED to read to understand the
    webslinger and his world?   I've got 20 for you right here, True
    Believer!

  • Spidey Apocrypha - In what other media has Spidey appeared in?  
    Which ones are faithful to the source material - and which ones are
    blasphemous?


  • Aging and Continuity - Should Spider-Man grow older as time goes
    on?  Or should he stay young forever?
Green with Evil
Every great hero needs a great villain, and Spidey has one of the greatest
in the Green Goblin, particularly the
original Green Goblin, Norman Osborn.  



  • Goblin Mysteries Solved - Just why did Norman Osborn become the
    Green Goblin?  What was he like as a child?  These and other
    questions answered as we probe into the mind of a madman  

  • Goblin Love - Norman returns from his Gathering of Five induced
    insanity determined to make Peter Parker his heir.  However, can
    even the Green Goblin withstand the charms of a Swedish nurse?

  • Norman Takes a Ten Count - An analysis of Paul Jenkins' excellent
    Death in the Family, probably one of the greatest Goblin stories ever
    told.

  • The Fall of Norman Osborn - After many years of keeping his dual
    identity a secret, Norman flips his lid and is outed.  How could he be
    so stupid?

  • DeFlowering Gwen - Easily the most controversial article (and by far
    the most read) I have ever written.  And I wasn't even trying very
    hard.  Were the events of Sins Past solely the product of shock value
    writing - or did they really have a foundation in Spider-Man history?


  • Goblin Moon - my review of the book written by Kurt Busiek.  Is it a
    valuable addition to Goblin and Spider lore?  Or is it not worth your
    time?
Squandered Legacy - The Rise and
Fall of the HobGoblin
He was created to inherit one of the most villainous legacies in comics.  
And for a time, he appeared to be a worthy successor to Norman Osborn.  
But then - he faced something no villain, no matter how powerful, can
survive - artistic and editorial incompetence.

  • The Mystery Begins - Norman Osborn has long been believed dead -
    and now, someone as ruthless and potentially more dangerous has
    discovered his legacy.  Who is he?

  • The Goblin in Decline - The HobGoblin mystery continues.  And
    continues.  And continues.  And wears out its welcome.


  • HobGoblin Lives! - Roderick Kingsley, the one, true HobGoblin returns
    to claim his rightful place as the wearer of the costume.

  • Kingsley vs. Osborn - The two baddest Goblins of them all.  Which one
    takes the prize in the ultimate smackdown?


Why Did it Have to be You, Mary Jane?
Regardless of what Joe Quesada says and does - Mary Jane Watson is the
love of Peter Parker's life.  This series has everything you wanted to know
about Peter Parker's Partner - who she is and why does she have a
stranglehold on our hero's heart?  And who were the other bevy of
beauties that have crossed his path?  

  • Get This Boy a Woman!  - Peter meets MJ and a host of other beauties,
    including Betty Brant and tragically doomed Gwen Stacy.

  • Tragedy and Rebound - The death of Gwen leaves an emptiness in
    Peter's heart that will never heal.   But there seems to be no shortage
    of women willing to try.  

  • Happily Ever After?  -   Is this a marriage made in heaven - or over
    before it starts?  And just what is Marvel's problem with it anyway?
The Dark Side of the Spider

  • Dark Side of the Spider - He's one of Spidey's deadliest enemies, and
    also one of his most controversial.  Why is he simultaneously loved
    and hated by so many Spidey fans?  
The Year in Review
A year-by-year look at all the action in the Spider-Man titles?  Do any new
classics emerge?  And just how bad can things get sometimes?






  • Spider-Man 2004:  One for the Books - Probably the best year in Spider-
    Man in at least a decade.  And probably the biggest controversy which
    is still burning up message boards.  

  • Spider-Man:  Shush - Also in 2004 - Mark Millar's epic 12-part story in
    Marvel Knights Spider-Man was worth an article all its own!  


  • Spider-Man 2006:  Civil War - Spider-Man's world collapses around him
    - and unfortunately, so does the quality of his comics.  Marvel's
    political perspective substitutes for storytelling in this special Year in
    Review edition.





  • Chapter One - It promised to rewrite the history of Spider-Man as we
    knew it - only to be disowned by Marvel before it was even finished.   


Harry Osborn- The Goblin Prince
He was Peter Parker's best friend - and became his worst enemy.  His story
is one of the more tragic in the Spider-Man mythology.  But then - surprise -
he got better...No I didn't see that coming.

  • Goblin Genesis - Every story has a beginning, and Harry's starts with
    his crooked old man.

  • Goblin in Crisis - Harry gets his heart broken, stomped on and cast
    overboard.  No wonder he goes nuts.

  • Goblin's Return - It seems everyone wants the secrets of the Green
    Goblin - except the poor guy who was his son.

  • Goblin at Rest? - Harry passes the point of no return and meets his
    destiny - however temporarily.
Alternate Spideys
It could have happened so easily.  A turn left instead of a turn right. Looking
up instead of down - and all of history could have been changed.  Enjoy a
look at these alternate universe stories which sometimes feature a very
different Spider-Man than we're used to!

  • Back to the Beginning - What if the radioactive spider bit someone
    else?  Or what if Peter Parker made some different choices with his
    powers at the very beginning - such as stopping the Burglar before
    he killed Uncle Ben?

  • Friends and Family - What if Uncle Ben had never died?  What if Aunt
    May had?  What if Gwen Stacy had lived?  'Nuff said.

  • Team Member and Freedom Fighter - What if Spider-Man had joined the
    Fantastic Four?  Or formed his own Avengers team?  And then there's
    Spider-Man vs. the Martians!


  • Reboot Speculations - the weirdest what if of all - what if the
    MadGoblin had actually written the first year of Spider-Man after the
    reboot?
Spidey Media
A look at Spider-Man's forays into tinseltown.  Does Hollywood get it right
and capture our hero's angst and trials?  Or is it codpieces, nipples, and
forgettable scripts and acting?


  • Spider-Man - the first film - and the one we had literally waited over 20
    years for!  Was it worth the wait?

  • Spider-Man 2 - sequels always tread dangerous ground, particularly if
    they're following one of the most financially successful movies ever
    made.  So how do Spidey and Doc Ock fare against one of the
    deadliest foes ever - Inflated Expectations?

  • Spider-Man 3 -   Did Spidey score a trifecta with his third outing - or
    does he keep company with Superman 3 and Batman Forever?
     
  • Early Thoughts - This is the conglomeration of several smaller articles
    about my thoughts on the casting of the first Spider-Man film before it
    was released.   It captures the anxiety and hope I felt - not knowing
    how the film would turn out.
Grab Bag
It's all good stuff here too - I just wasn't smart enough to  figure out where
to put it.




  • Spider-Man 9/11 - a look at the controversial Amazing Spider-Man
    volume 2 #36 - where Spidey watches the Twin Towers fall.  

  • A Very Special Spidey Kicks Butt -  What happens when a fanboy turns
    40?  He gripes and moans a lot - that's what.  But he also reflects on
    just how in the world he started doing all of this...

  • Secret Identity - One of the most controversial and discussed
    storylines in Spider-Man history comes out of Civil War - the public
    unmasking of Peter Parker and Spider-Man.  But does this really make
    sense in the context of Spider-Man lore?  Or is it a poorly handled
    publicity stunt?

  • Spider-Man - Team Player?  - In the wake of Spidey joining the
    Avengers, we take a look back at his long history of interaction with
    some of Marvel's superhero teams and ask ourselves - is this the
    right move for our hero?   

  • Perils of the Aging Superhero - Marvel has had a thing up their hind
    quarters for a long time about whether or not Spider-Man should age
    and mature.  But what's their problem?

  • Wimmin! - I once tried to do a little essay about women in comics.  I
    don't know that I'll do that again.

  • The Reading Log - What does the MadGoblin read when he's not
    reading Spider-Man comics?  He's reading books and websites about
    comics.  I always thought I'd do a few more of these, but this wasn't
    one of my most popular articles.