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Greg Rhoads writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman, (I like the first name! ^_-)

First, I'd like to congratulate you on doing an truly spectacular job with the Spectacular Spider-Man and am crossing my fingers for seasons 3, 4 and 5! Having said that, I do have some questions. Some Spidey spoilers below!

1. I heard that you originally wanted to use Kingpin for the role served by Tombstone. If you had been allowed to use Kingpin from the beginning, would you have found a way to use Tombstone in a different capacity and if so, what?

2. I was most curious at those who were chosen to give interviews. I practiculary noticed the touch on Norman's face, who immediately answers "No", but you can clearly see a little bit of curiousity has been pipqued in his mind.... foreshadowing? Heh. I noticed though that due to time restraints, not everybody could get an interview. Was it planned for Mary Jane, Sally, Randy or anybody who wasn't asked in the episode that were cut for time?

3. Somebody said to me that Norman is lot like Xanatos from Gargoyles. Did you base this version of Norman off of Xanatos in some way?

Thanks for your time and keep up the good work!


Greg responds...

1. Probably, but we never got that far in our plans for him, since we learned early on we couldn't use Kingpin.

2. No.

3. I've answered this before. Check out this IGN interview: http://tv.ign.com/articles/103/1034739p2.html

QUOTED here:

IGN: Another reader email here from C.R., who writes,

"Was the Incarnation of Norman Osborn in this show inspired by David Xanatos from Gargoyles? He seems very similar to him. He even has an Owen Burnett like assistant! Was this intentional of you?"

Weisman: Well, I can see why people feel that way. He's not the first person to bring that up and I get it and god knows Xanatos is so in my head that there's some influence there. But the truth is that Osborn predates Xanatos. I was reading Norman Osborn in comics long before Xanatos was a glimmer in my eye, so to speak. Even the thing about having an assistant… Osborn had that assistant in the comics. I didn't come up with him and stick him in. Donald Menken played that exact role in the comics â€" one in fact might argue that Owen was slightly influenced by Menken, although I don't actually think that was true, because Menken was pretty obscure. But when I went back and re-read the Spider-Man comics, after I got this gig, Menken was there.

And as for how similar Osborn and Xanatos are, I think the similarities are somewhat surface. Yes, they're both incredibly wealthy, incredibly smart businessmen. But I think of Xanatos as being amoral and I think of Osborn as being immoral. And I think there's a big difference in that. Xanatos has said revenge is a sucker's game. I think Osborn kind of likes the revenge idea. Osborn is a really, really crappy father. And I think David is actually a really loving father. He's got lots of flaws, and I'm not saying some of those flaws won't impact how he raises his son, but David is going to do his damndest to raise that boy in an environment that's loving and warm and supportive, and it's obvious that's not Norman's point of view on things. Norman refuses to apologize or take responsibility for anything at all, and David's not like that either.

It makes it sound like I think David's great and Norman's awful, and that's not how I feel at all. I think they're both great characters, but I do think that in real, fundamental ways, they are very different personalities. What they have in common is they're both very, very smart.

Response recorded on November 24, 2009