Comics Creators

Write Off 6: Origin of Spider-Man - Pick a winner


Huh! Spot on!



"Awe-inspiring Spider-Man”
This is a very good script. It is believable, realistic. Great character moments, dialogue…but I feel like it falls apart structurally.
I love the scene between MJ and uncle Ben. All the webbing laying about, and nobody says anything. Just this unspoken thing between them… really resonated with me. It’s a good scene. It reminds me that sometimes less is more. A lesson I sorely need…
I feel more than just a little hypocritical pointing this out, because I did it in my script as well… Your story-telling device is MJ’s diary. It’s from her point of view, she’s narrating the thing, but the entries stop after page two, and pick up again at page eight. It seems inconsistent to me. When I dropped my narration, it was because I had kind of an action-y middle part. It seems right to do so, at the time. Who’s got time for it? Not me! We’re doing stuff! But I think it hurts the work. Honestly. It seems uneven. If I could do one more pass on my own script, I would focus on that part before submitting it.
Something about the diary being both a literary device, AND the impetus for the lab accident bothers me. I can’t even explain why, other than, it just doesn’t feel right. And it’s not that you’ve tweaked the origin. That part doesn’t bother me…It’s just kind of heavy-handed. Perfectly rational, perfectly aligned with the characters and how they’d behave in those circumstances…and yet, it took me out of the story. I will think on it some more on the off chance I didn’t explain it well enough…and you’d rightfully want something more concise than “it didn’t feel right.” Only my opinion. Others will probably disagree with me etc etc.
Nit-picky stuff: Page two. The lipstick thing. I get what you’re going for. It’s funny, and it’s clever, but I’m left wondering if it translates well to comics. On a TV or movie screen, this would work 100%, but on the printed page, it probably just looks jumbled, unreadable. Big letters on S,T,D, and small lower case on the U? OR spread it out over a few panels and have her wipe off the U with her finger or Kleenex or something? Again, inspired bit, but it’s undercut by the limitations of the medium.
Thanks, Jason AKA Hazardpay.


Jason, thanks for reading. You made some valid points. The journal entries do dissappear for a moment, I thought they might get a little tedious, so I established them and let the reader be absorbed into the story that they are telling, then come back later. It may not have worked. I used to over write in my comics, but I really took The Millar way to heart after the Talent Searches. I don’t always agree that a first page be four panels, but starting out as a comic book writer, it’s good to remember this an acronym K.I.S.S…keep it simple stupid. Lol. And to trust your artist and the reader. I always use these Write Offs to experiment with the craft. Some things work, some things don’t, but I learn. Kudos to Young Duke for picking this topic and I am reading everyone’s and will vote soon. Thanks again.


I want to thank, again, everyone who participated. Voting is still ongoing, for anyone who’d like to have a look.



I am hesitant to critique “man or menace” because I misunderstood “time of your life” so very badly…its going to be super short.

Exploring the Peter Parker /JJJ relationship was a great idea. The impromptu trash-can basketball thing was funny, great dialouge. Loved the antagonistic relationship between them. You didn’t create that…but you definitely reframed it/refined it.

I’m going to side with @BruceNorris and say that the origin being revealed in the captions is just too subtle…that this entry feels shoehorned into this competition. I don’t even mean this as a “zinger”. This is a great story. I feel privileged to have read it. When I compare it to the other entries, it doesn’t fit in. I don’t think that’s good or bad…it just…is.

All my other thoughts are bogged down in continuity concerns. Page 1/panel 3 “this was before Spider-Man…” you had me pouring through an ASM#1 reprint and wikipedia trying to figure out, exactly, when Peter started selling them photos. Was he something of a stock photo kinda guy? True crime? Human interest? I have decided this story exists in a continuity lite zone. Haha i don’t know how to react when something is gently out of step with continuity…its gotta be loud, ballsy, and over-the-top, otherwise I don’t know what to do with it.

Again, it’s a great story. Between this and the other, you’ve shown a great understanding of these characters and their motivations.
Thanks, Jason.


I’m surprised no one told the adventure of the first super-intelligent spider in history as she manages to perform a daring escape from the sinister scientists who held her captive as well as their superpowered insect drones only to end up ignominiously crushed underfoot by a pimply teenager before she gets out of the building.


Funny stuff. I’d love to read that!


The idea came when we were all discussing in the original thread different ways to interpret the idea of Spider-Man’s origin, and then how I had already interpreted one of Peter’s surrogate fathers. Anyway, thanks for the kind words.


Anyone else interested in voting? Last one came from me, which broke a tie at the top. I’m thinking of declaring the winner by the weekend.


I still need to read all of them this weekend.


Enough to know someone’s still keeping it in mind. The polls can stay open, probably to something like the end of the month.


Two days remaining to vote, and then I’m declaring the winner, and we can discuss what happens next.


Thanks again to @Shawnmilazzo, @BeingHenning, @Hazardpay, @MarcElmo, @JRCarter, @csawyer, and @BruceNorris for participating. John Henning is officially our winner this round. Huzzah! Should you so desire, you can choose a topic for the next challenge, and if there’s chatter here we can discuss when that’ll be. As I’ve said before, I’m more than happy to host again.


I’m ready when everyone else is, gotta “keep the sword sharp”.


So glad it’s over! Now I can show you guys the work I have been doing with Edgy Ziane trying to get this short made, lol.


Here is something I used off Marvel’s website, playing with more the radioactive than the spider.


That’s a great way to look at Spidey though. Honestly, I think the best way to approach him is to invert his mantra

With great power comes great irresponsibility. Spider-Man is the fool who foils the frat schemes of the powerful. The ultimate trickster hero.


Congratulations, John. Well deserved, I should think.

I’d love to do another one of these but not sure about ideas. Maybe a cross-publisher team-up?

“With great power comes great irresponsibility” sounds like a tagline for a book about politicians to me but I like where you’re going with this


One politician, in particular, jumps to mind.


Oh, I got the most votes? Thanks!

You’ve been a great host for this. Maybe you should do it again if it’s not too much work. Seems time consuming.

“With great power comes great irresponsibility” sounds like a tagline for a book about politicians to me but I like where you’re going with this

That actually would be a fun idea. Take the most iconic characters you can think of and write a scene as if their alter-egos were one of the most irresponsible characters.

For example, rather than Clark Kent, what sort of Superman would we have if his alter ego was Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy? Or if behind the mask, Batman was Adam Sandler’s Sonny Koufax from Big Daddy? Or if Captain Marvel (Marvel Comics) was Amy Schumer’s Amy Townsend from Trainwreck?

Essentially, test your comedic talents and maybe not take it literally, but how would a superhero scene play out if the superhero lead was your typical self-centered, irresponsible protagonist of any number of American comedies?