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Spectacular Spider-Man, The

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hmmaster writes...

Hey, Greg, what an amazing show in Young Justice. I have a couple of questions for you.

1) I was hoping you could comment on this, because you've answered variations of this question at different times, but never this specific one. I thought of an idea that would make a lot of sense for where a certain character's situation would go after the events of Summit and Endgame, but I won't share it with you to avoid getting a spoiler. You've talked in interviews/answers before about Roy and Jade having to get married off-screen in order for CN to approve Lian being born. Were there any story-lines of similar controversial topics that you and Brandon had planned that could have created tensions between you and the network?

2) I recently rewatched JLU, specifically JLU's season 1, and I noticed a striking similarity in the way the format works there and the masterfully-crafted interwoven network of plot-lines of YJ. It seemed like you may have been inspired by that format where there were several stories being told all at the same time, as opposed to other shows that have a more episodic nature (like the first JL cartoon, before JLU). Was it a conscious decision to draw heavily from that idea, or was it something that just happened independently?

Thank you for a wonderful show.

Greg responds...

1. None spring to mind at the moment. We didn't have a lot of fights with S&P.

2. I haven't seen all that much of JLU. (Started to when we were in the development phase, but ran out of time once pre-production got started. [I'm really not much of a binge watcher. The most of any show I can stand to watch in any one sitting - no matter how good it is - is two episodes, and for me, even that's pushing it.]) The way we plotted YJ is really more in line with the way I've done other series in the past, such as The Spectacular Spider-Man and Gargoyles. And all of that goes back to lessons learned from reading and writing comic books, and, of course, from Hill Street Blues.

Response recorded on May 13, 2014

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Mysterious Galaxy Signing

Once again, I'm hoping people in the Southern California area - especially those who live in and around San Diego - might come to my signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.

I'll be reading, answering questions and signing copies of RAIN OF THE GHOSTS at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego on May 10th, 2014 at 11am.

Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore is at 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite #302, San Diego, CA 92111

If you buy a book, I'm also happy to sign whatever other memorabilia (Gargoyles, SpecSpidey, Young Justice, whatever) that you feel like dragging into the store.

It's a big birthday bash for the bookstore, so there are other events all day long, and I'm told they're serving cake at 3pm.

Info here: http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/MG-SD-21st-Birhday-Bash-051014

Please stop by - check out RAIN - and say hello!

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B writes...

What's the status of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Spectacular Spider-Man universe? If it exists, how old and influential is it?

Greg responds...

You know I figured out the basics for SHIELD back when we were working on the series, but unfortunately, I can't remember much... SORRY. Probably didn't stick because we weren't allowed to use SHIELD, and so I never went into any depth with it in my head.

Response recorded on May 09, 2014

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fallenlegend writes...

Hello Greg!

Just a quick question this time. The other time I asked you something about gargoyles and you said that you wouldn't write it for free... wich came as a bit of a shock to me as you have said before that it is your baby proyect.

It's understandable as this is your job and main source of income... But I have to wonder if you would ever have or if you have a personal proyect wich you would do for free.

You deserve every cent you get paid but.. Many (amateur/fanfic) writters write stories for fun and I wonder if this is the case with you. thank you!

Greg responds...

I don't write for fun anymore. To be honest, it's too much like work.

I don't write for free, though I do (occasionally) write "on spec". That is, I'll write something that has the chance of paying off later, even if no one is paying me for it immediately. For example, my first novel, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, was written on spec. (And took over a decade to pay off - minimally.) The second book in the series, SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM, was not written on spec. My publisher, St. Martin's Press, ordered it. The third, MASQUE OF BONES, which I've barely begun researching, will also be written on spec, unless St. Martin's Press decides to pick it up.

But the big difference with those books, over something like GARGOYLES, for example, is that I OWN the RAIN property. I don't own GARGOYLES or YOUNG JUSTICE or WITCH or THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. It would, frankly, just be foolish for me to invest my time (which is money to me) in something that isn't mine.

GARGOYLES is without a doubt my baby. I feel that strongly. But it doesn't change the hard, cruel fact that I hold no ownership in it at all.

Response recorded on May 01, 2014

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Vance Michael Justin writes...

Were there ever any plans to release the music tracks for Spectacular Spider-Man? Certain songs, like the Sandman's theme, were really catchy! Would you know where someone could listen to them free of the show's sound effects and dialogue?

Greg responds...

Vance Michael Justin!!! Haven't seen you in years!

Anyway, Dynamic Music Partners was planning to release a soundtrack for The Spectacular Spider-Man before the same corporate politics that derailed the series derailed the album, as well. I'm afraid I don't know where you could go to listen. But I'll tweet DMP and try to find out.

Response recorded on May 01, 2014

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Greg Bishansky writes...

While re-watching "Spectacular Spider-Man" as it has been re-run on the Vortexx, I wanted to talk a moment about what a wonderful job you did with Gwen Stacy on the series.

Obviously, Gwen's time in the comics was before my time, but I had read all those old Lee-Ditko and Lee-Romita and Gerry Conway stories years and years before Spec Spidey was a glimmer in anyone's eye, but for me... Gwen was a standard Silver Age girlfriend, and all that entailed. Mary Jane was more interesting, and I couldn't fault Gerry Conway's decision to have Green Goblin toss her off a bridge... it made for a classic story not just for Spider-Man, but for all of comics.

But I never liked seeing Gwen sidelined as all other adaptations seemed to do. For me, Spider-Man was a story about growing up and Gwen represented First Love to me. Yes, he dated Betty Brant first and flirted with Liz Allan, but Gwen was his first Great Love, and most people don't end up with their first Great Love.

So, for years, Gwen was a Silver Age girlfriend and a Stepping Stone in Peter's journey to manhood from my point of view, and little more than that.

And then your show came along, and while that's how I was looking at Gwen at first, she very quickly grew on me... to the point where I really didn't want to see that classic Gerry Conway story adapted into your universe on an emotional level. Although, to this day, my brain still tells me that sooner or later it needed to happen... and while you have dropped hints that it might happen, you've never confirmed it (and I'm not asking you to)... it's not something that I was looking forward to seeing happen. Something I was dreading, in fact.

So you got this guy who never cared for Gwen outside of intellectually believing in her importance to the mythos to fall in love with Gwen Stacy, and a lot of credit goes to Lacey Chabert, too. While I still love Mary Jane more than Gwen, I think you and your team did your job.

Greg responds...

Hard not to love the double-whammy of Cheeks' design and Lacey's stellar performance as Gwen. Add in some fashion design advice from Jennifer Coyle, particularly with regards to Gwen's make-over, and you can easily see why Peter fell for her.

Of course, I grew up with Gwen and Peter as a couple, and her death in the comics was devastating. So we wanted to do her character justice.

So we just tried, as I've said before, to extrapolate backwards for Gwen. She was always the smart girl in Pete's life. The only one who compete with him for understanding science. And her relationship with her single-parent father was also key. There was plenty for us to work with.

Response recorded on May 01, 2014

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Paul writes...

1) Did Eddie Brock meet Debra Whitman during the events of "Identity Crisis"? She took his job after all, and then when he came back briefly and was offered his old job back by Martha, I wondered where that would leave Debra (though of course his return was obviously not going to be permanent).

2) Why didn't Kraven go after Spider-Man again in the weeks after "Reinforcement", since he presumably could just follow Spidey's scent at any time (like he did when he led Vulture and Electro to the ice rink)?

Greg responds...

1. No.

1a. Since the lab was doing better, rehiring Eddie would not have effected Debra's status.

2. Other plans took precedent.

Response recorded on April 28, 2014

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Anonymous writes...

In The Spectacular Spider-Man season 2, how old is Debra Whitman?

Greg responds...

Grad student age. Early to mid twenties.

Response recorded on April 18, 2014

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Anonymous writes...

In "Shear Strength", when Norman asked Spidey where Peter was, did he (Norman) really have no idea or did he have an inkling?

Greg responds...

I'll leave that to your interpretation.

Response recorded on April 18, 2014

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Anonymous writes...

Hi, Greg. A few questions about The Spectacular Spider-Man:

1) Regarding Gwen without glasses (in the last four episodes), was her character model completely redesigned for those episodes? It just seems that if you compare her character model for the previous episodes to the way she looks in those last few episodes, she looks completely different, it's not just that the glasses that are missing.

2) Were there plans to give Peter a new set of clothes at some point in the series? I ask because by the time he was in college in the comics, he was dressing with more confidence, though I think there was a bit of that in the later high school issues. Not that Peter in seasons 1 and 2 looks 'uncool' or anything, but I'm curious as to whether he would have started wearing a different set of clothes as the series progressed, like Gwen starts to at the end of season 2.

3) Speaking of Gwen and her clothes, when she's on the phone to MJ in "Opening Night", we see her wearing a black outfit that she doesn't wear to the play, or in any other episode. I doubt that this look was designed just for one very quick scene, so I was wondering if we would have seen more of Gwen in this outfit in season 3?

4) At the end of "Final Curtain", does Harry still consider Peter his friend, knowing that he was planning to take Gwen away from him?

5) Regarding the Hobgoblin, did you have a plan to sidestep potential complaints of the Hobgoblin mystery being too similar to the Green Goblin mystery? I'm not fishing for spoilers here, I'm just interested to know whether you had some kind of twist in mind to make the Hobgoblin mystery feel fresh and not just derivative after the Green Goblin mystery.

Greg responds...

1. Well, we made a new model, but her face and body were basically a trace of the old model. The only things that changed - besides her clothes, depending on the setting - were the lack of glasses (contact lenses, dontcha know) and her hair. And we had been gradually lengthening her hair over multiple episodes anyway. So the change in model that you perceive is... mostly in your head. But that's good. It had the same effect on you that it had on Pete and much of the rest of our cast.

2. We had no immediate plans, though of course on an episodic and seasonal basis he would have gotten additional clothes, as you already saw. And I did have one specific plan for the last episode of the series, i.e. his high school graduation.

3. Honestly, I can't remember.

4. I'll leave that to your interpretation.

5. Yes.

Response recorded on April 18, 2014

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