Every Spider-Man fan knows that with great power comes great responsibility. I don’t know if the ability to make your voice heard on a message board counts as “great power,” but surely there’s some responsibility attached to that, too. A recent run-in between Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott and a CBR message-board user named lejayjay serves as an object lesson on this point, and who you think abused their power-responsibility balance the worst may well reveal a lot about you as a fan and consumer of comics and art.
In a thread called “How long do you expect Dan Slott to be the lead/ sole writer of Amazing Spider-Man?”, lejayjay posted a comment seemingly deriding Slott as a fair-weather comics writer who would likely depart for a more lucrative field. Though the comment eventually spun off into facetiously hyperbolic territory, it began by directly attacking Slott’s motives for writing ASM at all:
It is jus a paycheck for Slott anyway. He’s not a real fan.
What does the above Penny Arcade comic mean to you? Ten points if you spot it as a World of Warcraft reference, making fun of the twisted morality of the game (where if you only need to rescue five slaves, the sixth is out of luck). Beyond that, a chunk of the internet has been twisting itself into a knot over the rape reference.
The kerfuffle was summed up neatly by a commenter at the blog Pandagon:
Blogger: I will completely miss the point and be insulting about it.
PA: OH YEAH? I’LL SHOW YOU COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT AND BEING INSULTING ABOUT IT!
Everyone Else: Goddamnit.
Blogosphere: *moves on after another 2 minute hate, with no one’s views or opinions changing on anything, and no one actually learning anything*
Read on for the juicy details.