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nygma619 writes...

A couple of statements on the outcomes of Gangland in the Spidey-Tombstone battle.

I felt alot of the success to Tombstone's character was the fact that he was nearly invulnerable (IMO it seperated him from Kingpin being in this role). We had this big crime boss who controlled most of NYC's crime, who could seemingly crush Spidey anytime he wanted (he took Spidey down in 5 measely seconds in his debut), add that he was cool, calculating, incredibly competent, and kept his criminal activities private, not only that but he could turn the law on Spidey if he wanted to (an angle I don't think was used to it's fullest potential). Spidey getting a physical victory over him in their second physical encounter, (after getting bulldozed in less than 5 seconds in their first) felt like a clumsy transition.

Now that Spidey has established that he can beat Tombstone clean, it diminshes his preseance greatly, when they meet again, the question of whether Spidey can beat Tombstone or not won't be there to add to the drama, IMO I thought it wasn't handled very well here. As it's one of those things that seperated him from the rest of the villains on this show.
And it's not like his fight with Tombes was one of his most hard fought victories to date. Kraven left a shiner on Pete's face in their second battle, even though Kraven lost, the black eye signified how hard a battle Spidey fought the second time. Also Pete was left sore and bruised after his 2nd alleged battle against the sinister six in group therapy, and he had a sprained arm after his victory over the Lizard in Natural Selection. All these battles he had won but not without being taken to the limit physically or the battle taking its toll on him. Sometimes a little subtlety goes a long, long, long way; (though I don't think I need to tell you that). And Tombstone being invulnerable was one of those subtleties that I think people might of taken for granted. I mean I can live with the Goblin outwitting Tombstone to get to power (it wouldn't be the 1st time the goblin sort of outwitted him), but there were ways to bring GG to power while also keeping Tombstone's invulnerability intact.

There's been some excuses made for this:
-One is Tombstone being exhausted from the battle before him and Spidey. Which I don't buy. Because Spidey was there nearly through as much of the battle as well. And none of the hits seemed like they slowed Tombs down that much, if at all. At least he didn't show very much fatigue from what I saw.
-Also other people are excusing it because Spidey flung a piece of machinary at Tombs and that Spidey wouldn't had beat him had he stuck to hand to hand combat. My comment on that, Well flinging a piece of machinary is practically clean for Spidey at this point. If he gets beat just because of a foreign object, well that still doesn't do Tombstone any favors, since Spidey practically beats foes with foreign objects most of the time. He beat people like Sandman, with certain foreign objects (i.e. cement) and no one was talking about how tough Sandman was, were they?
Heck when David beat Goliath with a slingshot, people weren't saying, "Man that Goliath is some hoss, it took a slingshot for David to beat him." They were talking about how David beat Goliath, period. They weren't talking about the foreign object.

So for Spider-Man to get a clean physical victory (no contrivances, no dumb luck, CLEAN) over Tombs at this stage in the game, felt far too villain of the weekish for my liking, and really took away from Tombstone's character.
I'm willing to give this storyline a chance, but IMO there was far too much potential thrown away where Tombstone could turn the law on & still physically man handle Spider-Man. It feels like part of the fun in Tombstone (his ability to crush Spider-Man/push him to his limits) has been taken away and he doesn't feel as fun as he once was. Not that he's a bad character right now, but there's a difference between being a good character, and being "the balls". Up till Gangland, Tombstone felt like the latter.

My other problems with Tombstone being outed: Spidey trying to out Tombstone's secret identity lacked any real logic. Sure Foswell would end up reporting what he heard (does that even hold up as evidence unless he has a tape recorder? If not, what's it doing in the papers?) but Spidey had no idea that he knew this or would tell anyone. Not to mention how anti climatic it was.
And does what Foswell said really constitute 16 government agencies looking after him? And if they really are serious about that statement how does Green Goblin get into Lincoln's office without any government agencies noticing? Some government agencies.

I realize that this show has an ever changing status quo all the time, with many different outcomes, and thats one of the reasons I dig the show. However Spider-Man's physical victory over Tombstone was still disappointing because it didn't feel like a battle that put Spidey's body through hellfire and brimstone(thank you Jim Ross) just to beat him.

Greg responds...


Well, obviously, I don't agree with you.

For example, the black eye only signified that Kraven got in a lucky shot to Pete's eye. Not that the Kraven battle was easy, but I think you're over-emphasizing the symbolism. Though, of course, that's your right. I just wanted to make it clear that wasn't our intent. On the other hand, the Lizard battle was supposed to be one of his toughest. The fact that you're disappointed that Tombstone isn't physically tougher than Lizard... well, I don't think he is. But he has other attributes that make him scarier in other ways.

Tombstone did take Spidey down in five seconds flat the first time (or something like that), but he was aided by Spidey's ridiculous over-confidence. We never said or claimed that Tombie was invulnerable. Hell, we never said or claimed he had any super-powers at all. We've intentionally left it open to interpretation. You've chosen to interpret it to one extreme. I know other posters have gone to the other extreme. I'm probably somewhere in the middle.

As for this second battle it was neither a clean or easy win for Spidey. Yes, we've leveled the playing field between these two a bit. But only that. Personally, that fight is one of my favorite of the series, but that's just my opinion.

And Spidey's been trying to "out" Tombstone since he met him. Why he'd suddenly stop now makes no sense to me. So I don't really get that objection.

But Tombstone is far from down for the count... at least he's not if we get a third season.

In any case, I'm sorry it didn't work for you. But it worked for us -- and still works for me -- and you weren't there when we were making the show to warn us. So we were stuck going with our own instincts on the thing. I'm afraid that's what you're stuck with. There are no lessons learned here from my point of view. I'm sorry if that sounds arrogant, as that's not my intent. But we just disagree. And ultimately, I have to trust my instincts and those of my partners in crime on the series. If we start second guessing ourselves, no one's going to be happy.

Response recorded on August 03, 2009