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  1. #1

    Default Why haven't there been more really long Spider-Man stories?

    Say what you will about Maximum Carnage and The Other, these were successful comics for Marvel. They sold out and remain in print. Even if I didn't like it, Maximum Carnage still pops up on reader lists of the top Spider-Man comics. Clearly readers were comfortable buying stories that were unabashedly 12 or 14 parts. So, why don't we have more of these?

    I'll note that there have been well-received longer stories that could be seen as consisting of smaller arcs, such as DeMatteis' Harry Osborn saga, or Mark Millar's run of Marvel Knights Spider-Man (initially packaged as three four issue arcs) but I'm curious about why Marvel doesn't just sell something as a 15 part epic.

    Is it that the last decade of Spider-Man comics haven't been crossover friendly due to the creative teams? Or is there a different type of storytelling with event books that have peripheral mini-series (See Spider Island, Spider-Verse and Clone Conspiracy)?

    This isn't something I necessarily want to see, but it seemed successful enough that I'm curious why it hasn't happened more.
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    Thomas Mets

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Maybe because seven-or-shorter-issue stories are more trade paperback friendly?

    On the other hand, you get stuff like Ultimate Power that was nine issues, but being as a huge team-up story, not a Spider-Man story, or an X-Men story, or a F4 story, etc.

  3. #3
    Moderator oldschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Say what you will about Maximum Carnage and The Other, these were successful comics for Marvel. They sold out and remain in print. Even if I didn't like it, Maximum Carnage still pops up on reader lists of the top Spider-Man comics. Clearly readers were comfortable buying stories that were unabashedly 12 or 14 parts. So, why don't we have more of these?

    I'll note that there have been well-received longer stories that could be seen as consisting of smaller arcs, such as DeMatteis' Harry Osborn saga, or Mark Millar's run of Marvel Knights Spider-Man (initially packaged as three four issue arcs) but I'm curious about why Marvel doesn't just sell something as a 15 part epic.

    Is it that the last decade of Spider-Man comics haven't been crossover friendly due to the creative teams? Or is there a different type of storytelling with event books that have peripheral mini-series (See Spider Island, Spider-Verse and Clone Conspiracy)?

    This isn't something I necessarily want to see, but it seemed successful enough that I'm curious why it hasn't happened more.

    My first guess is that, over the last decade or so, Marvel seems to prefer interrupting every character's own story trajectory in order to squeeze them into whatever company-wide crossover is ready to launch. So I just don't think the creators have many opportunities to craft those extra-long tales. Same goes true for trying to tie into a new movie's release.
    I miss Kevin Nichols. Not as much as bacon, but still...

  4. #4
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Fear of commitment.
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  5. #5
    Incredible Member Inversed's Avatar
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    Would you consider the current "Worldwide" arc for Amazing Spider-Man as one of them? Or is that more of the set-up to tell all the stories in (The Dark Kingdom, Power Play, The Clone Conspiracy, The Osborn Identity, etc.)?

    Personally I prefer the approach to the shorter stories as opposed to the longer ones as I feel the longer they are, they have a higher possibility of feeling stretched out or dragging on for too long. Also I feel it lets them tell more varied ideas within a shorter period of time. Also yeah, like people mentioned, it's a lot more trade-friendly for the company and it allows them to open up more opportunities for crossovers and tie-ins.
    Current Reading List: Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, Spider-Gwen, Unbelievable Gwenpool, Hawkeye, Hulk, U.S.Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Secret Empire, Secret Warriors, I Am Groot
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  6. #6
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    One problem with those old Spider Man story arcs is that you had to go buy an issue here and there is a series like Web of Spider Man to read part 3 or 4 or so on for the story arc.

  7. #7
    Grinning Green Ghoul Rob London's Avatar
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    Note that Maximum Carnage and The Other both came out in a time when there were multiple Spider-Man books coming out every month. It only took 3-4 months for those storylines to come out, whereas with Amazing Spider-Man shifting to a monthly, even if it crossed over with the new PPSSM book, a 12-parter would take six months to finish up. That's a real long time, especially if that's monopolizing all your Spider-books.

  8. #8
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    We've technically been on the same story now for ten blooming years.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    We've technically been on the same story now for ten blooming years.
    I think there's a difference between an overarching story and story arc and stories that lead into each other or build on the place that the last one left off on. For example, Dan Slott may have used Superior Spider-Man to set up the Parker Industries stories, but I don't think they're part of the same tale.

  10. #10
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    Look at the sub stories that are 40+ issues long in their own books - who is GG / HG come to mind...

    If I were to guess - I'd say the world isn't as isolated, lots of cross overs and tying them up takes them off the table for one of the 147 different everything depends on this super mega crossovers; readers attention spans; writing styles changing, fitting an arc in a season - like summer, not being able to kill an unpopular arc for a year plus, multiple titles running per month and cost of printing trade paperbacks come to mind...

    Wish they would ... Go back to the long story, the sub story and the arc format for a while - as long as it's not broken across other books... Always hated having to get part 2 in web, 3 in spectacular, 4 in Spider-Man, etc

  11. #11
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    The problem with set longer stories like Maximum Carnage or the Clone Saga is that there is a lot of filler. Think about the criticism the Marvel Netflix shows get. The most common one is that they feel bloated.

    Also, Superior Spider-Man and Worldwide can each be viewed as on large stories made up of smaller stories. When done well, the payoff is great. But if you don't like the overall story, then you can get frustrated and drop the book/character entirely.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebLurker View Post
    I think there's a difference between an overarching story and story arc and stories that lead into each other or build on the place that the last one left off on. For example, Dan Slott may have used Superior Spider-Man to set up the Parker Industries stories, but I don't think they're part of the same tale.
    The Clone Saga was very much the same thing though...back then it was a series of story arcs that led into one different status quo after the other. Even the Epic Trade collections label the eras as "Clone Saga Epic" and "Ben Reilly Epic". It's us fans who merge the two together when talking about them.

  13. #13
    "Emma is STILL right! Vegeta's Avatar
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    Spiderverse felt like it went on forever. (Even had those "Road to Spiderverse" or whatever back up stories before it officially began.)
    "The White Queen welcomes you, TO DIE!"

  14. #14
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegeta View Post
    Spiderverse felt like it went on forever. (Even had those "Road to Spiderverse" or whatever back up stories before it officially began.)
    Especially when most of the plot of the book could be summed up as "Spiders run from Inheritors. Some Spiders die. Spiders continue to run from Inheritors. Until they don't."

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