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Off My Mind: Do You Want Superheroes to Age?

Should they be forever young?

Time in comic books doesn't work the same way it does in real life. Characters rarely show any signs of aging and usually remain the same age throughout all their stories. Would we want to seem them age? Some characters have aged a bit since their first appearance. Does this keep the character from getting stale or are we running the risk of having our characters get too old for future generations?

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We have seen alternate tales where heroes get old. Usually things don't go very well. Characters either die or the world has gone to hell. Does that say something right there? Is the future and aging a bad sign for superheroes?
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I've mentioned before how I started reading/collecting comics in 1984. Back then, Spider-Man was in his mid-20s (he still is, I guess). Now if he had aged normally from then, he'd be close to 50. Obviously that would limit future stories with Spidey. On the other hand, it's not like he's frozen in time. When he first appeared in 1962, he was still in high school. We have seen him graduate and even go through college. Perhaps Spider-Man aged too much. We saw him get married and even have a kid (well, he didn't have it, Mary Jane did). Apparently this made it hard for readers to relate to him? Weird since I'm married and have a kid. 
 
We have seen other characters show signs of aging. Dick Grayson started out as a kid and now he's in his mid-20s. There is no fixed rate at how time passes in comics. There's no formula saying one issue equals one day for characters. I believe in Green Arrow #1 it was mentioned that something like six months had passed since Star City was destroyed and brought back when it hasn't even been six months in 'our' time.
 
If characters start showing signs of aging, that limits their longevity. Batman has been around for over 70 years. While it's good for character development to see him and others age, don't we want to be able to enjoy them for as long as we can? Don't we want our children to be able to enjoy them as well? We've seen an "older" Bruce in The Dark Knight Returns as well as Batman Beyond but it's not the same. Where should the line be drawn? How much should writers and publishers allow characters to age? You can't just age some characters, you have to age the entire comic universe. Should growing older be one battle that superheroes can win?
204 CommentsRefresh

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Posted By magnetic_eye

@jimishim12:

My proof is a 6000 plus comic book collection and as usual you're wrong on so many levels.

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Posted By Jimishim12

You got proof for all that conjecture, Spidey is both a self insert and coming of age tale. They made Peter grow up because he had fans who grew up with him even stan lee himself was opposed to the cause the charm of spidey is putting yourself in his shoes and living through his life mostly for young people.

The soap opera thing was a thing romita brought in as a experiment to see if like every other experiment with spidey worked, it just so happened it became a series contiuity.

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Posted By magnetic_eye

@jimishim12:

Sorry but I disagree. Within a decade of starting out, Peter eventually became established as an adult super hero.

ASM when it began, featured the first teenage super hero headlining in his own title. Up until then teenagers were usually just sidekicks. He certainly wasn't originally designed to stay that way.

Stan Lee & Steve Ditko did not design Spider-Man to be a self-insert comic book series or for Peter to be a perpetual teenager. It was never their intention. They created something original which followed a natural progression form of storytelling. They were not copying Archie comics.

Using your logic, do you self-insert yourself into a Robin comic book? He's a teenager that everyone should be able to relate to. How about Nightwing, should he have stayed as the original Robin and not become an adult? And then of course you can always self insert yourself into Shazam.

The average comic book readers in the 60's / 70's weren't just teenagers. A vast majority were college students through to adults. It's no wonder Marvel's print division have lost a great portion of readers when they arrogantly just target a much younger demographic with no concern for older loyal readers.

An insightful storyteller i.e. a masterful writer should be able to engage readers of all ages into finding something relatable about the character they are reading.

There is no logical reason to turn ASM into a self insert fan fiction title. Let the Anime & Manga do their own thing. ASM is an iconic American super hero comic book that has been tampered & experimented with for far too long,

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Posted By Jimishim12

The notion that a super hero should reflect the age of it's readership is a fallacy. Spider-Man may have started out that way, it was a stroke of pure genius on the part of Stan Lee & Steve Ditko to have a teenage super hero.

BUT they created Spider-Man as a progressive character. The high school stories moved into the college years and by the 70's Peter Parker moved into adulthood. As a ten year old starting out reading Spider-Man in the mid 70's, it made no difference that Spider-Man was an adult. He didn't have to be my age for me to relate to him as a character. I only care for good storytelling and artwork.

To say only young super heroes will attract young readers is poor logic. Spider-Man has been popular and portrayed far longer (decades in fact) as a mature adult super hero who uses wit and sarcasm in battle. The last nine years as a younger goofy throwback does not negate the popular adult orientated decades.

The corny "Ultimate Spider-Man" cartoon version is not what ASM is about. Peter should be around 28 - 30 years of age in the ASM title. He is a hero for all ages.

He is designed as a self-insert for your average comicbook fan reader.

He has a relatively boring character design with a skinny athletic physiciqe. He's introduced as a junior high student in a setting that basically looks like the modern day, and he obsessively goes through the trials of teenage life, unpopular and insignificant to his peers in school and later most of his heroic colleagues and follows his heroes and wishes he could be one of them. Then one day he gets powers of his own going on numerous adventures and goes through stages of life as a civie plus eventually joins the heroes he looks up as a peer giving him a chance to live his dreams while trying to live in the moment with a nromal life he hardly gets to enjoy. The teenagers who read Marvel might love reading about Captain America or Wolverine, but they aren't so much people you really identify with. Peter is deliberately designed as "the hero who could be you". I mean, obviously he lives in a world where superpowers exist, but Parker's personality is such that readers are encouraged to think, "Oh that's me! That's totally how I would react!"

In anime and manga, this is how most harem and action shonen leads in a school setting/modern day setting are like. Like Izuku Midiyora, Saitama, and most Jojo characters from Araki's manga Jojo Bizarre Adventure.

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Posted By magnetic_eye

The notion that a super hero should reflect the age of it's readership is a fallacy. Spider-Man may have started out that way, it was a stroke of pure genius on the part of Stan Lee & Steve Ditko to have a teenage super hero.

BUT they created Spider-Man as a progressive character. The high school stories moved into the college years and by the 70's Peter Parker moved into adulthood. As a ten year old starting out reading Spider-Man in the mid 70's, it made no difference that Spider-Man was an adult. He didn't have to be my age for me to relate to him as a character. I only care for good storytelling and artwork.

To say only young super heroes will attract young readers is poor logic. Spider-Man has been popular and portrayed far longer (decades in fact) as a mature adult super hero who uses wit and sarcasm in battle. The last nine years as a younger goofy throwback does not negate the popular adult orientated decades.

The corny "Ultimate Spider-Man" cartoon version is not what ASM is about. Peter should be around 28 - 30 years of age in the ASM title. He is a hero for all ages.

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Posted By Jimishim12

Peter will age to meet the current era of new fans relative to them. Also it's a poor idea to make someone as popular as Spider-Man more mature than his target audience since Spidey is generally one of many young gateway heroes for young fans.

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Posted By DieHard200904

I think for me anyways, not my aging should occur in canon, but in non-canon stories, age em' however you feel like aging them, to be honest. I see the original characters like Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, as characters that should be passed down to future generations, but in Elseworlds or other non-canon stories, age them however neccessary. I am not as interested in just their offspring as I am in the original characters themselves.

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Edited By knightwriteri

@jimishim12:But that's the thing on paper it seems like keeping characters fossilized or else regressing them the moment you've realized they've grown would increase longevity. Marvel tried both approaches many times starting in the 70's but time has shown again and again this leads to stagnation and repetition worse the new readers gained by making things cyclical never make up for those lost it's a dead end. Allowing characters to age however keeps veteran readers from getting pissed of which increases their investment in a characters success and their readiness to bring their friends and children into the Marvel fold as well as greatly increasing reprint sales. This approach averts the publishing arms of Marvel and DC from going out of business which means greater longevity, more stories and greater variety of stories for readers.

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Posted By Jimishim12

Absolutely. It makes for better story-telling in my opinion. That's my Wally West was my favorite DC superhero because we got to see him grow from a kid to a family man, and Punisher is one of my favorite Marvel characters because of the real-time progression in the Punisher Max series. If they allowed Spider-man to grow up and continue on to grandfatherhood or die as a father, he would have been my favorite superhero. Instead, Marvel regressed him to a man-child.

Spider-Man doesn't need to age to be a compelling character. Spider-Man is a the flagship mascot, only Peter with certain limits like retconing his age and a certain development is allowed because it's good business to keep him long lasting as possible

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Edited By kcomicfan

@knightwriteri said:

Yeah OMD isn't canon because JMS's run isn't canon because the Mackie era isn't canon. Were there many stories published by JMS, PAD and Sacasa I love in the years right before OMD yes in fact one could argue the pressence of three A list writers made it Spider-Man's creative peak but that doesn't sway me if logic dictates the flashbacks in SG #49 are canon not the Gathering of Five/Final Chapter than all stories that follow in the 616 aren't canon it's that simple.

If the stories that did follow The Gathering of Five were canon OMD would still not be canon because it contradicts word of TOAA in Sensational #40 and twenty years of prior characterization, violates Marvel's time travel rules according to their own staff and importantly creates dozens and dozens of continuity issues that have never been touched let alone adequately explained. Assuming everything before OMD was canon OMD and everything that followed still wouldn't be canon because in the absence of explanation to the contrary the timeline change would have resulted in Peter dying in Kraven's Last Hunt.

And that's being extremely generous no one has been able to wrap their head around how the clone saga could possibly have played out in the mephistoverse.

I feel really free to patronize you @Kcomicbookfan as I've said in the past you've never employed anything more substantial than a five year old's because Marvel said so that isn't an argument and as long as that is the sole basis of your argument you'll be hard pressed to sway anyone.

The decision was arbitrary to give Slott credit he knows enough about continuity to know there is no way the timeline could be contorted to make Peter 28 it reeks of editorial.

JMS's run, Mackie's run, the Brand New Day run and beyond are all canon.It is that simple, and I am going to explain how:

  • Marvel has never said that all those runs of Spider-Man are not canon
  • On Marvel's official website wiki, all those runs are a part of the canon story for Spider-Man.
  • Spider-Man is a part of the larger Marvel Universe, and parts of JMS's run, Mackie's run, the Brand New Day run and beyond have been: referenced, mentioned and generally influenced the Marvel Universe. So if those run's are not canon that means that the whole Marvel universe is not canon and that is simply and irrefutably not true.

Source: http://marvel.com/universe/Spider-Man_(Peter_Parker)

The Post-OMD continuity is canon for the reasons I mentioned above.

I don't know what makes you more ignorant, the fact that you think me saying "Marvel said so" is somehow not an argument, considering that fact that Marvel's word about Marvel's canon is absolute and is one of the best sources of information. Or the fact that you think that this is my only argument, despite the fact that I have made a multi-layered argument for Peter being 28 in Amazing Spider-Man volume 3 issue 1 and Peter currently being 29 or 30 years old, with actual evidence to back-up my points. The fact that you still have not provided any sources or evidence, proves that you have no right to patronize anyone.

The timeline fits perfectly with Peter being 28 years old in Amazing Spider-Man volume 3 issue 1. It is backed by basic mathematics and Marvel's timeline. You have not provided any sources that proves that Peter is 35 years old now or was 25 years old in the story you referenced. One the other Hand I have provided a few sources that proves without a doubt that I am right.

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Posted By infantfinite128

Absolutely. It makes for better story-telling in my opinion. That's my Wally West was my favorite DC superhero because we got to see him grow from a kid to a family man, and Punisher is one of my favorite Marvel characters because of the real-time progression in the Punisher Max series. If they allowed Spider-man to grow up and continue on to grandfatherhood or die as a father, he would have been my favorite superhero. Instead, Marvel regressed him to a man-child.

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Edited By BappyRonChantin

Yes. As much as I know it won't happen, I want superheroes to age, play their part and leave their legacy once they die. It opens up for more new, diverse storytelling and room for new superheroes to grow.

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Posted By knightwriteri

Yeah OMD isn't canon because JMS's run isn't canon because the Mackie era isn't canon. Were there many stories published by JMS, PAD and Sacasa I love in the years right before OMD yes in fact one could argue the pressence of three A list writers made it Spider-Man's creative peak but that doesn't sway me if logic dictates the flashbacks in SG #49 are canon not the Gathering of Five/Final Chapter than all stories that follow in the 616 aren't canon it's that simple.

If the stories that did follow The Gathering of Five were canon OMD would still not be canon because it contradicts word of TOAA in Sensational #40 and twenty years of prior characterization, violates Marvel's time travel rules according to their own staff and importantly creates dozens and dozens of continuity issues that have never been touched let alone adequately explained. Assuming everything before OMD was canon OMD and everything that followed still wouldn't be canon because in the absence of explanation to the contrary the timeline change would have resulted in Peter dying in Kraven's Last Hunt.

And that's being extremely generous no one has been able to wrap their head around how the clone saga could possibly have played out in the mephistoverse.

I feel really free to patronize you @Kcomicbookfan as I've said in the past you've never employed anything more substantial than a five year old's because Marvel said so that isn't an argument and as long as that is the sole basis of your argument you'll be hard pressed to sway anyone.

The decision was arbitrary to give Slott credit he knows enough about continuity to know there is no way the timeline could be contorted to make Peter 28 it reeks of editorial.

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Posted By Ultimate_Knight

@magnetic_eye: Alright so In your opinion, the established age of a character depends on the writer. If a 50 year old Spider-Man will be established, an alternate universe would be the answer. This applies to other characters as well.

What I meant about a supporting cast or superhero aging is for example: Spider-Man is 28 years old and a supporting cast from his story is let us say 14 years old. A decade passes by in real time, the supporting character is now 28 years old while Spidey remains the same.

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Edited By kcomicfan

@knightwriteri said:

@kcomicfan:Word of God theory crumbled in the nineteenth century as serialized fiction grew more popular, extensive and elaborate something that is often taught in literature classes around the world. Is there a page in a Slott comic book that tries to retroactively change Spider-Man's age yes but that comics existence is both part of and dependant on the mountain of stories that have sprung from OMD that is not canon which itself springs from the mountain of stories that followed The Gathering of Five/Final Chapter which is not canon and that is besides 28 not even matching such things as continuity or internal logic as Peter was 24-25 in ASM #290 and hundreds of issues and quite a few years passed even before BND that cannot be compressed in fact because of there being so many titles published at the time Spiderman was married in more stories than he was ever single when OMD came. In short Peter is 35 for the same reason Aunt May really died in ASSM #400 not a genetically engineered actress because the narrative doesn't match the whims of Marvel Staff.

Also you might want to look up the word continuity in a dictionary I think the definition reads differently from whatever the hell an author feels like at the moment.

What are you talking about? the idea of the word of god in fiction has not crumbled. You can find examples of it all over the place today, and there is even a TV Tropes page about it.

There is so many things wrong with the next part of your comment. Slott did not retroactively change Peter's age, he gave us Peter's canon age using canon sources and Marvel's own logic.OMD is canon and everything that came out of it is canon, that also means that the comic I am referencing is canon. Peter being 24 or 25 is not even referenced in Amazing Spider-Man #290, do you have any sources to back up your "facts" because in this comment chain I am the only one giving sources of information. Peter is not 35 and I know this because you have not given any facts or sources that confirms that he is 35. Marvel's staff makes the narrative, that is the job of Marvel's staff.

I know what continuity is, and I stick by what I have said. You can't really patronize me considering you could not even read a comic book scan to find information.

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Posted By magnetic_eye

I said despite whatever Marvel might say Peter was over 30 when OMD hit supposedly only the marriage changed so unless it was a full reboot Peter entered BND over 30. I know you worship Marvel, DC and there mighty word of god but give people who give a shit about continuity a break for once. Peter was 17 years old not fifteen in AMF #15 he was seventeen his age was retconned in Parallel Lives so you can only say Peter was 28 if you 1. Ignore the in-universe passage of time and continuity to the point you'd accept Peter is 5 years old if Marvel says so and 2. Accept all of PL as canon. If one does not accept the spider-bite age retcon of PL but never invested the effort neccesary to keep track of continuity they'd say Peter was 30 at the beginning of PL.

Even if we were to accept the notion that Peter was 28 then that was at the beginning of vol 3 thanks to secret wars 2 years have passed from the that issue to Scorpio Rising which would still place Spider-Man in his thirties.

And I brought up Peter's real age because far too many people buy Marvel's bullshit from that issue this is just what happens at times the minimum ages also become the maximums as once upon a time it was off limits to portray Batman or Superman over 29 and it was rebellion against such stagnating artificial limitations that inspired Frank Millar to write The Dark Knight Returns which was set in an alternate universe he could get away with it.

Letting heroes age=great stories period.

Yeah growing up, I used to think Peter Parker was somewhere between his late 20's to early 30's and that's how I have always viewed it. Of course when I started reading ASM in 1974, I had 12 years of back issues to look forward to and I loved those early teen stories as well.

I do mention the 28 year old thing a fair bit, only because it seems to be the general consensus and I do prefer the older mature Spider-Man over the younger campy caricature of recent years.

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Posted By magnetic_eye

@magnetic_eye: Oh, okay, I think I get it now (not really, sorry but more questions just emerged). You want characters to grow up until their late 20's and some up until 35-40 years old depending on what age the writer will establish them?

  • In relation to how the Spider-Man mythos was established in the ASM title, yes I prefer the adult super hero who uses witty humor and sarcasm. Batman has been around for 77 years. In the two oldest titles "Detective Comics" & "Batman" he was somewhere around 35-40 years of age and since the New 52 reboot he's approximately 25-30 years old. So yes it does depend on what age the writer will establish them.

About Peter and Mary Jane restoring their, love, I agree. Slow and steady, repeat the process (be friends, date, get married) again.

  • Same.

Teenage or child heroes grow up until their 20's? Or does it depend on what age the writer decides to completely stop the characters' aging processes and establish that character in that specific age?

  • Again it depends on what age the writer decides. Franklin and Valeria Richards have not aged much since the 70's. Dick Grayson has aged from teenager to adult over 40 years.

Okay, so Peter and Mary Jane get a child. Tons of interesting stories to come from this alone. In what age will said child stop growing? Is it also okay for you if Peter's child eventually gets married and have a child? Peter becomes a grandparent...but still look like a 28 year old man? Will Peter's child not get a child since it would be absurd to think a 28 year old man is already a grandparent?

  • The alternate MC2 universe covered a married Peter & MJ with a child. Obviously Peter as a grandparent and looking like a 28 year old would be silly. I don't really know, I would probably buy those alternate universe stories if done right. I did buy RYV which was okay.

Will your answers be different if I specifically state said character is a superhero or just a supporting character?

  • Not sure what you mean? I tend to view Spidey as he had been for decades: the independent, formidable, resourceful and unique character with a strong support cast, not the super camp caricature of recent years with a patronizing support cast.
  • I think support characters are essential in super-hero mythologies. They may have a back story of their own, but in essence they support the main character's narrative. Their interactions help make the dynamics between super and non-supered characters plausible. Case in point, Mary Jane is one of the greatest support characters in comic book history.

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Posted By knightwriteri

@kcomicfan:Word of God theory crumbled in the nineteenth century as serialized fiction grew more popular, extensive and elaborate something that is often taught in literature classes around the world. Is there a page in a Slott comic book that tries to retroactively change Spider-Man's age yes but that comics existence is both part of and dependant on the mountain of stories that have sprung from OMD that is not canon which itself springs from the mountain of stories that followed The Gathering of Five/Final Chapter which is not canon and that is besides 28 not even matching such things as continuity or internal logic as Peter was 24-25 in ASM #290 and hundreds of issues and quite a few years passed even before BND that cannot be compressed in fact because of there being so many titles published at the time Spiderman was married in more stories than he was ever single when OMD came. In short Peter is 35 for the same reason Aunt May really died in ASSM #400 not a genetically engineered actress because the narrative doesn't match the whims of Marvel Staff.

Also you might want to look up the word continuity in a dictionary I think the definition reads differently from whatever the hell an author feels like at the moment.

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Posted By kcomicfan

@kcomicfan: But does it say Peter aged in real time at several periods or accomadate the other instances when his aging was uneven? Yes the total number of years matches Slott's assertion (an assertion that wouldn't even exist if he didn't feel the need to shoehorn Cindy into Peter's origin) and I do believe the character should probably age at that same steady rate of the chart. But the math doesn't fit the narrative it was never in dispute that 15+13=28 but continuity's a different game you don't arbitrarily decide that the answer must be no more than 28 so 15+X=28 and therefore X must be 13 (instead of actually counting X and determining the sum of the two numbers) the logic behind Marvel's assertion that you are backing wow twenty years from now would be hell on earth if Marvel staff were the world's math teachers.

There is a saying when it comes to television the first season the actors work for the writers the second it's an even partnership the third season the writers work for the actors the balance of power in any serialized medium shifts as a work progresses.

As someone who's written fiction for seven years I can say definitively that the moment I choose to write a sequel to a prior work the narrative ceases to be my sole property subject to my whims but that of the audience, the characters and the narrative. The priority of creator and plot over character and audience last for the sum total of one individual story the very act of serialization the decision for characters to recur abdicates the dominance of creator and individual plots once had and as a result their priority gradually fades and is overtaken by character and audience and continuity.

All characters aged in real time for a bit. But the chart is the official canon source of Marvel's time scale and Spider-Man fits the chart.

You are completely wrong. I did not arbitrarily decide that the answer has to be no more then 28, 28 is the answer to the question. I will explain it so you can understand, Peter was bit when he was 15 years old. This was shown in a flashback, in the flashback it was clearly shown that the Spider biting Peter happened 13 years ago. That makes the equation 15+13, and 15+13=28. All that is needed to understand this is basic reading comprehension and basic mathematics.

Television and comics are different.

That is how it is going to work for you, but you're not Marvel and at Marvel the story is in the hands of the writers and editors. The writers do and should have more creative control over a story then the readers.

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Edited By knightwriteri

@kcomicfan: But does it say Peter aged in real time at several periods or accomadate the other instances when his aging was uneven? Yes the total number of years matches Slott's assertion (an assertion that wouldn't even exist if he didn't feel the need to shoehorn Cindy into Peter's origin) and I do believe the character should probably age at that same steady rate of the chart. But the math doesn't fit the narrative it was never in dispute that 15+13=28 but continuity's a different game you don't arbitrarily decide that the answer must be no more than 28 so 15+X=28 and therefore X must be 13 (instead of actually counting X and determining the sum of the two numbers) the logic behind Marvel's assertion that you are backing wow twenty years from now would be hell on earth if Marvel staff were the world's math teachers.

There is a saying when it comes to television the first season the actors work for the writers the second it's an even partnership the third season the writers work for the actors the balance of power in any serialized medium shifts as a work progresses.

As someone who's written fiction for seven years I can say definitively that the moment I choose to write a sequel to a prior work the narrative ceases to be my sole property subject to my whims but that of the audience, the characters and the narrative. The priority of creator and plot over character and audience last for the sum total of one individual story the very act of serialization the decision for characters to recur abdicates the dominance of creator and individual plots once had and as a result their priority gradually fades and is overtaken by character and audience and continuity.

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Posted By kcomicfan

It sounds to me you guys don't want him(Peter) to have any fun and enjoy life period, all work no play.

How?

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Posted By Jimishim12

It sounds to me you guys don't want him(Peter) to have any fun and enjoy life period, all work no play.

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Posted By kcomicfan

@kcomicfan:Sliding timescale indeed but never in an arbitrary fashion nor outside the very basic and avoidable changes that would not be neccesary at all in the absence of stupid decisions like plastering Obama all over an ASM issue or referencing Taylor Swift songs not in the fashion because in the absence of such blatanty problematic choices the only remotely proper example of time line sliding is different franchises letting characters age at different rates that suit them individualy Cyclops started at a similar time and age as Spiderman but he's definitely aged more in that same time period while on the other end there's Franklin Richard's syndrome. And while that chart isn't half bad as the age progression of the different franchises varies it is in no way definitive for example Peter aged in real time during Conway's run and it also varies whether Peter was 17 when he was bit as Stan wrote him or 15 as Conway revised in 1989 as if he was 15 he aged in real time throughout the ditko run.

I know that the sliding time-scale effects some characters differently, but what I have said about Spider-Man has matched perfectly with the guide and this is how I know the guide can be used as a reference point for Spider-Man. The guide proves that Peter is 29-30 years old the same way it proves that Amazing Fantasy 15 happened 13 years before Amazing Spider-Man volume 3 issue 1. Peter was bit when he was 15, Marvel has said so twice in two different, current and official sources.

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Edited By knightwriteri

@kcomicfan:Sliding timescale indeed but never in an arbitrary fashion nor outside the very basic and avoidable changes that would not be neccesary at all in the absence of stupid decisions like plastering Obama all over an ASM issue or referencing Taylor Swift songs not in the fashion because in the absence of such blatanty problematic choices the only remotely proper example of time line sliding is different franchises letting characters age at different rates that suit them individualy Cyclops started at a similar time and age as Spiderman but he's definitely aged more in that same time period while on the other end there's Franklin Richard's syndrome. And while that chart isn't half bad as the age progression of the different franchises varies it is in no way definitive for example Peter aged in real time during Conway's run and it also varies whether Peter was 17 when he was bit as Stan wrote him or 15 as Conway revised in 1989 as if he was 15 he aged in real time throughout the ditko run.

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Edited By kcomicfan

@knightwriteri said:

As I've said the math doesn't even favor the 28 concept even if we go by the Marvel's word trumps tens of thousands of pages of prior continuity the audience has paid for without there ever having been a universe reboot.

There was an eight month skip between the last issue of most titles and Secret Wars #1 and an 8 month skip from SW #9 to the first issue of each title that's sixteen months and that doesn't count the passage of time in vol 3 from start to finish and the time that's elapsed from the beginning of vol 4 to now.

You're record of insistance on siding with the current regimes at the publishers in all cicumstances over prior continuity would certainly be puzzling if I didn't know you're used to reading DC's output as well and have been successfully conditioned by there (insert profanity here) continuity approach to storytelling wow us Marvel purist are really spoiled actually viewing the comic books we paid for and the universes built in them as something that should be treated with respect by the individuals who's jobs rely on our patronage.

The maths does favour the idea that he was 28 years old, 15+13=28. If you can't understand basic maths like that I don't even know why you bother responding. Marvel's word does trump continuity, an example of this is the wars some of the heroes fought in have been updated, this has happened to Ben Grimm (The Thing) and the Punisher. We have proof on Paper and the official story on Marvel's official website.

All of this rests on the sliding time-scale of the Marvel Universe. Here is Marvel's sliding time-scale model:

Year 01: Nov 1961-Oct 1965

Year 02: Nov 1965-Oct 1969

Year 03: Nov 1969-Oct 1973

Year 04: Nov 1973-Oct 1977

Year 05: Nov 1977-Oct 1981

Year 06: Nov 1981-Oct 1985

Year 07: Nov 1985-Oct 1989

Year 08: Nov 1989-Oct 1993

Year 09: Nov 1994-Oct 1998

Year 10: Nov 1998-Oct 2002

Year 11: Nov 2002-Oct 2006

Year 12: Nov 2006-Oct 2010

Year 13: Nov 2010-Oct 2014

Year 14: Nov 2014-Oct 2018

So it has been less then 1 year (Amazing Spider-Man volume 3 issue 1 came out in April 2014) and 18 months for Secret Wars. This leads into what I was saying about Peter being 29 or 30 years old.

As I said before prior continuity can be retconned.

I side with Marvel and DC because they get to decide what is canon not us, that is part of their job. The universe is clearly being treated with respect by the creators.

Also when replying you do know there is a reply button?

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Edited By knightwriteri

As I've said the math doesn't even favor the 28 concept even if we go by the Marvel's word trumps tens of thousands of pages of prior continuity the audience has paid for without there ever having been a universe reboot.

There was an eight month skip between the last issue of most titles and Secret Wars #1 and an 8 month skip from SW #9 to the first issue of each title that's sixteen months and that doesn't count the passage of time in vol 3 from start to finish and the time that's elapsed from the beginning of vol 4 to now.

You're record of insistance on siding with the current regimes at the publishers in all cicumstances over prior continuity would certainly be puzzling if I didn't know you're used to reading DC's output as well and have been successfully conditioned by there (insert profanity here) continuity approach to storytelling wow us Marvel purist are really spoiled actually viewing the comic books we paid for and the universes built in them as something that should be treated with respect by the individuals who's jobs rely on our patronage.

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Posted By kcomicfan

I said despite whatever Marvel might say Peter was over 30 when OMD hit supposedly only the marriage changed so unless it was a full reboot Peter entered BND over 30. I know you worship Marvel, DC and there mighty word of god but give people who give a shit about continuity a break for once. Peter was 17 years old not fifteen in AMF #15 he was seventeen his age was retconned in Parallel Lives so you can only say Peter was 28 if you 1. Ignore the in-universe passage of time and continuity to the point you'd accept Peter is 5 years old if Marvel says so and 2. Accept all of PL as canon. If one does not accept the spider-bite age retcon of PL but never invested the effort neccesary to keep track of continuity they'd say Peter was 30 at the beginning of PL.

Even if we were to accept the notion that Peter was 28 then that was at the beginning of vol 3 thanks to secret wars 2 years have passed from the that issue to Scorpio Rising which would still place Spider-Man in his thirties.

And I brought up Peter's real age because far too many people buy Marvel's bullshit from that issue this is just what happens at times the minimum ages also become the maximums as once upon a time it was off limits to portray Batman or Superman over 29 and it was rebellion against such stagnating artificial limitations that inspired Frank Millar to write The Dark Knight Returns which was set in an alternate universe he could get away with it.

Letting heroes age=great stories period.

If Marvel says something is canon, it is canon. People who actually give a shit about continuity (People who are not you) actually except Marvel's word .

Peter was 15 when he was bit by the Spider.

Source 1: http://marvel.com/universe/Spider-Man_(Peter_Parker)

Source 2:

No Caption Provided

This is not the first time the age of a person or the time of an event has been retconned in the Marvel universe. And if something is retconned the retcon replaces what was canon, thus my maths is right. The scan I presented is a clear indicator of the passage of time in the Marvel universe, Amazing Fantasy 15 happened 13 years before that comic that is the current canon passage of time.

If you care about continuity you should except it because that was Peter's canon age. After Secret Wars the Marvel universe Skipped 8 months. So Peter is 29 or 30 years old not 28 or 35 years old.

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Edited By knightwriteri

I said despite whatever Marvel might say Peter was over 30 when OMD hit supposedly only the marriage changed so unless it was a full reboot Peter entered BND over 30. I know you worship Marvel, DC and there mighty word of god but give people who give a shit about continuity a break for once. Peter was 17 years old not fifteen in AMF #15 he was seventeen his age was retconned in Parallel Lives so you can only say Peter was 28 if you 1. Ignore the in-universe passage of time and continuity to the point you'd accept Peter is 5 years old if Marvel says so and 2. Accept all of PL as canon. If one does not accept the spider-bite age retcon of PL but never invested the effort neccesary to keep track of continuity they'd say Peter was 30 at the beginning of PL.

Even if we were to accept the notion that Peter was 28 then that was at the beginning of vol 3 thanks to secret wars 2 years have passed from the that issue to Scorpio Rising which would still place Spider-Man in his thirties.

And I brought up Peter's real age because far too many people buy Marvel's bullshit from that issue this is just what happens at times the minimum ages also become the maximums as once upon a time it was off limits to portray Batman or Superman over 29 and it was rebellion against such stagnating artificial limitations that inspired Frank Millar to write The Dark Knight Returns which was set in an alternate universe he could get away with it.

Letting heroes age=great stories period.

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Posted By kcomicfan

Let's abandon all this talk about Peter being twenty eight that's his age around the beginning of the Mackie era despite what Marvel says Peter is 35 now and he's aged significantly faster since OMD than before. Ironically RYV Peter was only 34 in issues 2-5 so married father of an eight year old girl Peter is actually younger than the single "Marvel Prime" Peter we have now.

Peter is 28 or 29 years old. Here is a scan of Spider-Man's origin from Amazing Spider-Man volume 3 issue 1:

No Caption Provided

Peter started being Spider-Man when he was 15 years old. 15+13=28.

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Posted By knightwriteri

You mean that one time when he accidentally backhanded her when was in the middle of fighting Ben Reilly at the start of his third nervous breakdown after suffering through nearly a decade of relentless uninterrupted uberdark/sadistic stories?

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Edited By ZariusII

@ultimate_knight said:

@magnetic_eye: Oh, okay, I think I get it now (not really, sorry but more questions just emerged). You want characters to grow up until their late 20's and some up until 35-40 years old depending on what age the writer will establish them?

About Peter and Mary Jane restoring their, love, I agree. Slow and steady, repeat the process (be friends, date, get married) again.

They don't need to repeat the process though, one simply has to state that all their out-of-character actions past OMD have been directly influenced by devil magic and mind alteration. Once they undo the deal with Mephisto, the portions of their souls that remember how important each were to one other will take hold again and they'll be able to continue where they left off in their relationship with relative ease.

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Posted By knightwriteri

I don't know about anyone else but I started reading Spider-Man at age six and have always been at peace with the idea of characters aging I'd rather read Peter in his thirties than Peter as a teenager as far as I'm concerned they should age him 1 year for every four years real time and retire him when he's 55.

His children shouldn't be in an age limbo that's wrong and as far as I'm concerned defeats the purpose of them existing they should grow up and become the next generation.

Letting characters age prevents stagnation and actually increases character longevity and avoiding reboots means less creative repetition and more building of the current world which makes a richer environment and continuity to mine.

Let's not forget that if we treat Peter as thirty five and retire him at 55 at a rate of one year aging for every four real time that means 80 years more Spider-Man stories before he's demoted to a supporting cast member for his children or former sidekicks.

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Posted By Ultimate_Knight

@magnetic_eye: Oh, okay, I think I get it now (not really, sorry but more questions just emerged). You want characters to grow up until their late 20's and some up until 35-40 years old depending on what age the writer will establish them?

About Peter and Mary Jane restoring their, love, I agree. Slow and steady, repeat the process (be friends, date, get married) again.

Teenage or child heroes grow up until their 20's? Or does it depend on what age the writer decides to completely stop the characters' aging processes and establish that character in that specific age?

Okay, so Peter and Mary Jane get a child. Tons of interesting stories to come from this alone. In what age will said child stop growing? Is it also okay for you if Peter's child eventually gets married and have a child? Peter becomes a grandparent...but still look like a 28 year old man? Will Peter's child not get a child since it would be absurd to think a 28 year old man is already a grandparent?

Will your answers be different if I specifically state said character is a superhero or just a supporting character?

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Edited By knightwriteri

Let's abandon all this talk about Peter being twenty eight that's his age around the beginning of the Mackie era despite what Marvel says Peter is 35 now and he's aged significantly faster since OMD than before. Ironically RYV Peter was only 34 in issues 2-5 so married father of an eight year old girl Peter is actually younger than the single "Marvel Prime" Peter we have now.

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Posted By magnetic_eye

@magnetic_eye: I am sorry but I do not understand what you meant by "illusion of change in ongoing mainstream titles." So you are saying that if people want to read about an older Batman, they should read non-canon alternate reality stories that depict said character as an older person?

  • Yes, absolutely. The "Dark Knight Returns" is a classic example. It originally came out as a 4-issue miniseries and then compiled in it's entirety as a graphic novel. Another good example of "illusion of change" is how Sue & Reed Richard's kids haven't aged since the 70's, but they still had pivotal roles to play over the years with good storytelling.
  • Just with comics in general, the "illusion of change" is a unique concept known as a Sliding Timeline or Floating Timeline. It does not reflect the real world timeline.
  • Another example is Dick Grayson who was first introduced in 1940 as Robin. In 1984, he permanently put away his Robin costume and became known as Nightwing. Since 1940, Dick Grayson has aged from his early teens to his mid to late 20's.

Okay, so Spider-Man went from being a teenager to adult. Like you said, Spider-Man has been established as a 28 year old witty, but mature person. I hope you do not mind but I have a question for you. Let us say that Spider-Man rejects the deal with Mephisto. Aunt May dies, but through sheer will and MJ's comfort, does not decide to kill Kingpin and move on. His identity is already public knowledge, would you want it to stay that way as a new interesting challenge for Peter or make him go to Dr. Strange to make a mind-wipe spell or Reed Richards make a amnesia nuke or something?

  • Yes, definitely allow Spider-Man to move on after dealing with the Mephisto curse. The only extra thing I would like to see would be to reestablish his secret identity. So maybe have Dr. Strange perform a spell that restores the original 616 timeline.
  • I'm not advocating that Pete's marriage be restored immediately, but certainly his relationship with MJ can slowly start to blossom again. I think it's much more of an interesting challenge to be able to write about the dynamics within strong committed relationships. For me it makes stories plausible, rather than just the current display of heroes fighting heroes and very little substance.
  • The MC2 universe was a future alternate universe in which Peter & MJ were still married and were reunited with their daughter May.

So you are saying that you do not want Spider-Man to grow old, but his personality to grow? That when one creative team runs out of ideas for adulthood Spidey, a new one steps in and keeps the quality consistent?

  • Yes, exactly, that's the way it was right up to JMS run.

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Posted By Ultimate_Knight

@magnetic_eye: I am sorry but I do not understand what you meant by "illusion of change in ongoing mainstream titles." So you are saying that if people want to read about an older Batman, they should read non-canon alternate reality stories that depict said character as an older person?

Okay, so Spider-Man went from being a teenager to adult. Like you said, Spider-Man has been established as a 28 year old witty, but mature person. I hope you do not mind but I have a question for you. Let us say that Spider-Man rejects the deal with Mephisto. Aunt May dies, but through sheer will and MJ's comfort, does not decide to kill Kingpin and move on. His identity is already public knowledge, would you want it to stay that way as a new interesting challenge for Peter or make him go to Dr. Strange to make a mind-wipe spell or Reed Richards make a amnesia nuke or something?

So you are saying that you do not want Spider-Man to grow old, but his personality to grow? That when one creative team runs out of ideas for adulthood Spidey, a new one steps in and keeps the quality consistent?

I can definitely agree that gimmicks should not be something that is done at all.

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Posted By magnetic_eye

@magnetic_eye: My bad. It is just an example. Let us say that DC does decide to age all their characters. A few decades later, Batman is already 50 years old in his comic book universe, while his video game, animation, movie, etc. counterparts portray him him as around 20 to 40 as you say.

All cool, I get what you're saying now. For example, I do like the idea of characters aging intrinsically in graphic novel one-offs, but prefer the illusion of change in ongoing mainstream titles. Batman is a perfect example as a character who maintains an overall approximate age of 35 years, but you can read about him in various other graphic novels as being much older or even in his final years of crime-fighting.

Spider-Man is another classic example where the creators aged him as he went through High School & College, but once Peter reached adulthood, he was established as a mature 28 year old and stayed that way for decades.

In the end, I think every time a new creative team come on board a monthly title, they bring with them modern textual interventions which keeps the dialogue fresh and characters up to date.

Over the years, the illusion of change maintains the established age, whilst progressing forward with good storytelling. A good writer should not have to resort to cheap, gimmicky, marketing stunts for a sales spike, but just stick to writing good stories that does the character justice and resonates well with all fans.

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Edited By Ultimate_Knight

@magnetic_eye: My bad. It is just an example. Let us say that DC does decide to age all their characters. A few decades later, Batman is already 50 years old in his comic book universe, while his video game, animation, movie, etc. counterparts portray him him as around 20 to 40 as you say.

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Posted By magnetic_eye

As much as I do not want it for the most part, characters have to age. Spider-Man is created in the 1960's for teenagers at that time to relate to him. Watch as Spider-Man grows and his readers grow with him.

How about the next legacy of children? Let their father, mother, or whoever came before them tell their experience about Spider-Man. It is up to them to make them feel like what they felt when reading about Spider-Man. The elders will either encourage the children to follow a new character to relate to instead of Spidey or just make them read Spidey's older adventures.

If they want to experience Spider-Man's past adventures, then good thing digital comics is a thing.

But then, nostalgia is a big factor to some of you when reading comics. It is not the same when you read digital comics compared to printed ones.

There is also other media where the hero can operate. While the comic book version of Batman is currently like in his 50's already, in video games, movies, animated series and so on, he is the average age like in his late 30's.

I mean, billions of people know who Batman is, but only more than a hundred thousand (I guess) follow his adventures in the comics. I am sure many of the hundred thousand people are just as open to change and evolution as the Spider-Man fans were at the time when he got married.

I'm reading both "Detective Comics" & "Batman" titles. I'm pretty sure Batman is around late 20's to early 30's. Even before the New 52 reboot, Batman was around 35-40 years of age. :-)

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Posted By magnetic_eye

@magnetic_eye said:
@jimishim12 said:

No, there timeless figures of ideals and moral messages condensed into larger than life symbols of heroic imperatives. Spidey along with Bat's, Cap, Supes and Shellhead are like cartoon characters, they are never gonna go out of style.

So you're against the slow aging of a character, but not the adolescent rejuvenation of a character like Spider-Man from a mature 28 year old to a regressive immature buffoon.

Peter's characterization stays basic and simple as possible in order to keep his consistancy for new fans and Spider-Man like it or not is immature(Not to Deadpool levels), thats how he is best known for and it's his most famous attribute behind being a geek, responsible, and underestimated by people.

I reiterate my question. So you're against the slow aging of a character, but not the adolescent rejuvenation of a character like Spider-Man from a mature 28 year old to a regressive immature buffoon?

Plain and simple, you really don't have a clue about Spider-Man's history as a mature 28 year old. That was established by the late 60's and early 70's when he finally graduated college. Those early High School years only lasted for approximately 3 years. That was consistent characterization and as a new fan myself back in the mid 70's, that was his progressive characterization and development.

Plain and simple, the stories and artwork kept me coming back for more over the decades. He is best known for progressing beyond his geek status into adulthood.

I didn't care that he wasn't a teenage boy anymore for me to able to relate to him. That is such a silly concept and a false argument to want to keep a character as a perpetual teen, when the concept was always to slowly age the character and then to firmly establish Peter as a mature 28 year old. FACT: That's how it's been for decades. Marvel have lost thousands of loyal readers over the last decade because of this festering bordello of reducing his age and amping him up with silly humor instead of wit and sarcasm.

Even with Peter's new found status as a CEO which is all well and good in terms of progressing job prospects and being successful, the writing remains as sloppy as ever.

I couldn't care less about kiddie cartoons on TV. I'm only really been interested in the original characterizations of super-heroes in the literary medium of comic books. All other amalgamated non-creator characterizations are irrelevant.

Being a timeless figure / icon with moral messages is not synonymous to a particular age. You go on about Batman, Captain America, Superman & Ironman, which is fine, but they have not been retconned to a younger age. They have all been constantly portrayed as adults. Marvel could have easily published a younger Spidey title without tampering with the mainstream ASM title and are currently publishing an all ages "Spidey" book.

People like you that want to hold onto this obsessive false notion that Spider-Man works best as a younger super hero are really only cheapening his legacy and are completely out of touch with Spider-Man's whole characterization.

No Caption Provided

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Posted By ItsaWorld

I feel like if they wanted to keep them young, they should have kept Peter Parker in highschool, since he was historically the first Teenage Super Hero

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Posted By linsanel_Doctor

Most likely my favorite comic book heroes will outlive me.

Online
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Posted By Jimishim12

@jimishim12 said:

No, there timeless figures of ideals and moral messages condensed into larger than life symbols of heroic imperatives. Spidey along with Bat's, Cap, Supes and Shellhead are like cartoon characters, they are never gonna go out of style.

So you're against the slow aging of a character, but not the adolescent rejuvenation of a character like Spider-Man from a mature 28 year old to a regressive immature buffoon.

Peter's characterization stays basic and simple as possible in order to keep his consistancy for new fans and Spider-Man like it or not is immature(Not to Deadpool levels), thats how he is best known for and it's his most famous attribute behind being a geek, responsible, and underestimated by people.

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Edited By Ultimate_Knight

As much as I do not want it for the most part, characters have to age. Spider-Man is created in the 1960's for teenagers at that time to relate to him. Watch as Spider-Man grows and his readers grow with him.

How about the next legacy of children? Let their father, mother, or whoever came before them tell their experience about Spider-Man. It is up to them to make them feel like what they felt when reading about Spider-Man. The elders will either encourage the children to follow a new character to relate to instead of Spidey or just make them read Spidey's older adventures.

If they want to experience Spider-Man's past adventures, then good thing digital comics is a thing.

But then, nostalgia is a big factor to some of you when reading comics. It is not the same when you read digital comics compared to printed ones.

There is also other media where the hero can operate. While the comic book version of Batman is currently like in his 50's already, in video games, movies, animated series and so on, he is the average age like in his late 30's.

I mean, billions of people know who Batman is, but only more than a hundred thousand (I guess) follow his adventures in the comics. I am sure many of the hundred thousand people are just as open to change and evolution as the Spider-Man fans were at the time when he got married.

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Posted By Catty_Spider1

Good title question. Yes if it's done right in the context of the character and story.

It was done perfect for Bruce in the Dark Knight Returns as one example of it working.

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Posted By christianrapper

i don't want super heroes to age. however, i do want them to grow and learn from their experiences. it's dumb to see super heroes make the same stupid mistakes over and over again.

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Edited By kcomicfan

@zarius: Lol are you serious? You of all people can't give lectures on opinions being subjective.

Please read my above comment and learn some humility.

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Posted By kcomicfan

@zarius said:

Debates are settled through posting comic books scans, which themselves can be interpreted a million different ways to Sunday depending on the reader's own opinion of the subject matter. Again, a laughable rationale. I get the feeling kcomicfan just says this stuff to provoke a reaction rather than him actually beleiving any of it.

Oh, and JMS has the knowledge. I was on CBR yesterday and Slott took the time to chime in on the forums to verify that he was in attendance when JMS was mapping out his original version of OMD back in 2007. JMS was was pointing out exactly which moments in time to alter, and they were'nt just the marriage, they were things like the issues Stan wrote that dealt with Harry's drug issues.

The fact that you did not write this comment directly at me is sad. Is it because I have silenced you multiple times, so you have to write a comment like you are part of the group, so you have coverage if I reply to you?. You have told another user not to do this. And this show that you are a hypocrite. also please don't try to deny it by saying you were ignoring my comments, because you replyed to some comments and ignored others, even when they were on the same subject. Also you did not give me an answer in the times you were called on this.

is its Funny how YOU of all people, accuse me of writing comments for a reaction.

The fact that I asked for the scans shows that I am up for looking at this from a different point of veiw. And scans of peter acting immature are self explanatory and you would be hard pressed to find a different point of view from them.