by Chris N
The following treatment was a response to a discussion I had with my esteemed colleague in parascholarship Crazy Ivan Schablotski on his Yahoo group, where he argued that a re-hash of already existing characters by comic book writers and artists isn’t always a bad thing. And to illustrate that point (which I fully agreed with!), I decided to create a rather unique character that some fanboys may possibly argue to be a re-hash of an existing concept. This treatment is all about a truly amazing and spectacular (take your pick) super-hero known and feared the world over by all forces of evil as…the Way Cool Web-Man! Woo hoo!
In his civilian identity, Web-Man is a bookworm teenager by the name of Parker Peters, hated by his peers for the horrendous crime of being different---yet (and I think this is a good idea) he's a terrific science brain underneath all of that nerdiness! (I want the character drawn with glasses and maybe a pen pocket protector, as I think they would be a nice touch! Don't you agree?). He is working on this cool new formulae sequestered in the back of his school science lab during his study hall hours (where the other students only used to make fun of him for being a nerd, anyway) to create this amazing new adhesive fluid that, upon its application, really resembled...well, one may call it webbing ---> This is what Parker called it in a sudden fit of idealistic, youthful whimsy when he first sprayed the adhesive in its initial test (I got the cool line down pat for this one, check it out!): "Great holy gosh! My--my new adhesive polymar resin, upon being squirt from its bio-metallic dispenser, looks a lot like...*gasp* webbing! Holy beejesus! I just...just...*sputter*...invented a form of synthetic webbing! Holy jeez, just think of all the *choke* myriad applications! I'll...I'll be famous! And...and I can finally pay back Uncle Glen and Aunt April for looking after me all these years after my mom and dad accidentally drove their car over the bridge during that brutal rainstorm...and died."
Filled with extreme glee and euphoria over his incredible invention, Parker was nevertheless shown the horrid reality of his nerdish situation when, upon leaving the science labs, he found out that avoiding the study hall class was no surcease from his nightmarish life, as the mean bully Mercury Thomas and his cronies were waiting outside of the lab door. There, these nefarious jocks proceeded to grab the hapless Parker. Mercury then uttered the following, very intimidating line: "Haw! Now, how did a bunch a' dumb jocks like us know we would find ya here, Pee-Wee Parker? It's not like ya would be in the gym, where a man would hang out! Ya little pipsqueek!" (I know, I know...very harsh, but I have to make Mercury come off as the stereotypical jock football player that he is, and if you're wondering where I came up with the nickname "Mercury" from...well, since the all-American athlete Thomas is known as the swiftist running back for the Median Town High School, I figured that the Roman deity who epitomized swiftness would be a good nickname for him, and it was given to him by one of the brainy chicks who were always all over him all the time. She did first suggest "Hermes," but Thomas protested and said, "Hell no! I'm not gonna have people call me somethin' that will make all the girls think I got a disease down there! Just 'cause I don't use rubbers don't mean that I got a disease!")
So, now that Mercury and his cronies had poor Parker at their mercy, they decided to cruelly pants him right in front of the girls walking down the hall between classes (yep, his underpants and all), with Mercury rudely declaring, "Haw haw! See, girls! Now ya know why we all call him 'Pee-Wee Parker'!" The girls could barely hold in their insidious laughter.
Now, Parker, thoroughly humiliated yet again (but who wouldn't be if they had one that small?), was inflamed with anger, and upon walking dejectedly out of the school, he turned, raised his fist at mean old Mercury and the bevy of teen beauties walking out of the school at the popular athlete’s side, and an inflated thought balloon over his head will read: "That mean old lout! I'll...I'll show him! I'll show them all! With the new polymar adhesive I just invented...well, one day I'll be rich and famous! And they...they won't be! Yea, that's it!" (Can I write dramatic exposition, or what?:)
Well, the very next week, Parker found out that Fate was to smile upon his wretched life (which will still be wretched even after Fate smiles upon it for dramatic purposes, of course; but it will be a hell of a lot more cool! Just trust me on that, okay? I got this thing all figured out).
Parker will then decide to visit a cool science exhibition they were having at the nearby Ozzy Industries, the biggest pharmaceutical company in all of Buffalo (hey, I didn't wanna pick New York City, because that's overused in comics, so I had to pick the next best place I could think of). But rumor has it that Ozzy Industries has a corrupt Evil Capitalist as its owner who frequently cuts corners on the equipment his staff works with as part of his cost cutting measures (the mean old bastard is even said to be engaging in downsizing and outsourcing, according to the papers!), and because of that, his machines tend to malfunction and explode at the most inconvenient of times (I don't want to give too much away in terms of future plots, but since you guys are friends of mine and I trust all of you not to give this away and spoil it for my future readers: it will turn out that the rumors are true, and the owner of Ozzy Industries really is corrupt and evil! And I'm even considering making him a super-villain as a result of one of his own experiments gone awry!).
So, the next few panels of the story will detail some employees of Ozzy Industries as they explicate an example of how to mix different chemicals together to produce neat and cool bubbling reactions, and then running them through this really large, chrome-colored, expensive looking machine (I haven't gotten the design down totally at this time, I'm sorry to say, but it will look cool once I do!) which irradiates the chemicals with some mysterious energy that Ozzy scientists discovered in an otherdimensional realm (I even have plans to have one of these scientists become disgruntled as a result of being laid off by Ozzy, and becoming a super-villain bent upon vengeance on the world as a result! I was thinking of having him use that energy to fuse powerful tin tentacles to his lower abdominal area and call himself Prof. Cuttlefish or something like that, but I have to flesh this one out a bit better first).
Anyway, as the energy proceeded to irradiate the chemicals, little did they know that a spider was dangling on a thin web strand in front of the area where the (soon to be pink-slipped) chemists were working with the chemicals, and also in front of that expensive looking device they utilized to tap into the otherdimensional energies used to irradiate them and cause them to make very audible bubbling sounds (I came up with this so readers would get the sense that something ominous was going to occur soon; you gotta have a cool set-up, right?). The chemists will warn everyone to back away to a safe distance from the experiment, but Parker suddenly saw the spider dangling down and found himself, as a nerdy science brain, compelled to identify the precise species as a mental exercise. Hence, he didn't heed the warning to back away from the expensive looking machine and bubbling chemicals. His thought balloon will read something like this: "Wow! A spider! But what is the exact species? Hmmm...arachnus mendiis? No, no, the markings on the back aren't octagonal enough for that. It could be a member of the arachnus griachiianus family, but it's hard to tell from this distance, as I would have to count the exact number of yellow rings around its legs, so I will have to get closer still to see how many of those rings are present." Thusly, Parker will move closer still to the experiment. And just then, as if Fate itself had planned it (and who says it didn't?), just as Parker put his face very close to the spider to examine whether the telltale yellow rings were present on its legs and the precise shape of the arachnid's posterior region, one of the chemists will turn around and find herself face-to-face with the hideous little creature dangling in front of her face on a web strand. Suffice to say, she screamed in bloody horror! Startled by the sudden horrified scream just inches from his own nerdish visage, Parker will begin screaming also. Passing out in a dead faint from the sight of the spider dangling in front of her sensitive personage, the female lab tech's hand will inadvertently hit and turn a lever on the expensive looking chrome-colored machine that has a small sign next to it saying, "Do Not Touch This Lever During Experiment." The cheap technology of the device (thanks to Ozzy's insidious cost-cutting measures) results in a surge of the receptor do-hickeys that tap into the mysterious otherdimensional energy source, thereby causing a mild explosion that will send torrents of the irradiated chemicals towards the face of the hapless Parker Peters. Since the spider was right in front of his face, and Parker's mouth was open since he was still screaming (remember, this all took place in just a few seconds of "real" time, guys!), the irradiated chemicals will hit the spider, and as it gets bathed in strange chemicals irradiated by mysterious otherdimensional energies, the inertia of the chemical splash will drive the radiation-saturated arachnid right down Parker's gaping maw. Swallowing the irradiated little creature, Parker, in abject horror, will loudly exclaim: "By...by gosh! I just swallowed the spider!"
As his digestive juices begin to dissolve the arachnid in his stomach, Parker's system will start to absorb the irradiated spider guts that seeped into the walls of his gastro-intestinal lining. Feeling ill and sort of queasy, he will say, "*Gasp* Need...need some air..." and will proceed to quickly walk out of the exhibition. The other people in there will be laughing at him, btw.
Walking outside, after Parker fully absorbed and metabolized the irradiated spider guts in his stomach, he will recover from the queasiness and suddenly begin feeling...well, great.
"Wow, great gosh!" he will say to himself in a state of abject euphoria. "I've...I've always felt so weak before! Easy prey to Mercury and those other mean bullies! But now...now...my entire cellular structure feels super-charged, as if I've been imbued with some great power from beyond human understanding itself! I feel...totally copacetic!"
Then, the very brilliant young man thought about the situation a bit, and his keen scientific mind manages to deduce exactly what had occurred.
"Omigosh! The spider! The spider must've been splashed by those strange chemicals, which were irradiated by the mysterious energy generated from that expensive looking device that was part of the exhibition, and I swallowed it! *Gasp!* It's...it's a miracle! Beyond all probability! But...but...holy gosh, I've been given the proportionate power of a spider! How utterly amazing!"
And that power will soon--albeit inadvertently--be demonstrated when Parker, in his intellectual musings, fails to notice a car heading towards him at great speed (and since the guy driving the vehicle was late for work and rushing, he didn't bother to beep his horn, figuring that the nerdy-looking teen standing in the middle of the street would notice the car coming sooner or later). Suddenly, Parker's enhanced senses will notice the car rushing towards him at lethal speed, and in a completely spontaneous--but absolutely amazing and way cool move (take your pick of adjectives)--the young man will leap over 20 feet straight up into the air and adhere to the side of a building, just like a real arachnid! Climbing to the top with ease, the astounded young man will look at his hands, and, with great astonishment, he will muse aloud to himself (it took me awhile to think up a cool enough line, but all of my brainstorming along those lines certainly paid off): "Oh, man! I...I can do anything a spider can! Yippeeee!"
Determined to test his new found and amazing power in the most demanding of situations, Parker will promptly notice a sign at the local amateur wrestling tournaments saying, "If anyone can stay in the ring for at least ten minutes with the mighty Crushed Hoagie, you will win $100."
Parker will think to himself: *Gasp!* Not the dreaded Crushed Hoagie! The rumor mill has it that he got that nickname because...well, erm...his opponents' internal organs resemble the meat and other stuff that you see inside of a hoagie once he is through with them *gack!* Can even the power beyond reason that I now possess withstand the huge, meaty hands of Crushed Hoagie all over my body!? Erm, perhaps I'd better rephrase that! I meant, can I possibly take him on? But golly, that hundred bucks would sure help Uncle Glen and Aunt April pay the telephone bill. And it's all my fault that it's so high this month, since I spent so many hours on those stupid phone sex 900 numbers! I had no idea those chicks padded your bill so much just for describing to me what they were wearing in such explicit detail! And...and...Uncle Glen and Aunt April have been so good to me since mom and dad's tragic accident all those years ago that left me a poor and bitter orphan! I...I have to do it for them! For them! (Can I build up pathos in a character, or what? Haha!)
Quickly removing one of his (very smelly) socks and converting it into a makeshift face mask (it already had large holes in it, so he didn't have to make them himself in order to see out of it), Parker--much to his astonishment--will end up defeating the mighty Crushed Hoagie by picking him up, and climbing up one of the wooden rafters in the ring, where Hoagie discovers his secret fear: the dude was deathly afraid of heights!
"No! No! It's...it's so high up here!" the beefy dude screams in horror. "Please! Please! That hundred bucks is yours! Please get me down from here before I soil my pants! Waaaahhh!"
Well, suffice to say, Parker couldn't get Hoagie down before he soiled his pants, but the fight promoter, a seedy looking guy named Maxim, is so impressed by the young man's impressive defeat of the mightiest wrestler in Buffalo, that he will give the steel-muscled youth a new shirt and a new pair of socks (they still had holes in them, however)--and get this—-he offers Parker a contract to wrestle for him professionally! Parker's thoughts will read: "Woo hoo! Yea! Wooooo effing hoooooo!"
However, for some reason that I haven't quite fleshed out yet, Parker will decide not to tell his aunt and uncle--or anyone else, for that matter—-about his new alter-ego. So, he fashions a costume for himself to look cool in the ring, and he will dub himself: the Way Cool Web-Man! He will then lament the following thing to himself (or some words to that effect):
"And now I also got a half way decent use for that synthetic webbing that I created! It will be part of the act! Yea, that's the ticket! Screw my future career in science, and patenting these synthetic webs in that way! I'm gonna patent the entire Web-Man thing and become...a living franchise! Now how cool is that? There will be kids wearing underoo versions of my costume! Kids buying bargain basement costumes of me at K-Mart around Halloween! There will be a few hundred kids going trick-or-treating who all wanna look just like me! And Mercury Thomas and his cronies think they are so cool for being good at football on a paltry high school team? I'll show them what famous really is! Can you say, 'woo hoooo?!'"
Parker will then imagine an image of Mercury Thomas appearing before him in his room (he made sure that he didn't visualize it near the bed, rest assured!), and he will promptly pop his middle finger at the mental image before him!
(Can you guys actually believe that the once clean cut and studious Parker Peters could possibly have made such a horribly obscene gesture like this? Can it be that sudden fame is now going to his head, and changing him for the worst? I doubt you guys could have figured out this plot point, but I can tell you that this is exactly where I'm going with this, because I want to teach the kids who read the story an important moral lesson!).
As it will turn out, the Way Cool Web-Man gimmick is really a sensation with the crowds at the arena! Parker even gets invited to appear on "The Craig Kilborn Show" (yes, the arachnid dude really gets that famous!). It was all in his grasp! Fame! Fortune! Babes! Drugs! You name it, it was all his for the taking. But it was also sorta sad, since he started growing more emotionally distant from his kindly aunt and uncle (didn’t see that one coming, did you, guys?).
"Do you think that our Parker has become...you know, distracted of late, Glen?" his Aunt April asks her wrinkly husband.
"Ahhh, you know teenagers, April,” Glen replies through his frequently leaking nasal passages. “He's just goin' through a phase, is all.”
"*Gasp!* Glen, you don't...you don't suppose...that with all of the peer pressure going on these days...and what I hear every time I watch the 'Maurey Povich Show'...oh, dear heavens, Glen *sniff*! You don't think our Parker could be having sex, do you?"
"Oh, now don't be silly, April! How could you think that way of our boy? Just take a good look at the studious young man that we both raised, and you tell me, dear: do you see honestly see any reputation-conscious girl out there possibly letting him within 20 feet of her pants?"
"I believe you have a point there, dear," Aunt April finally laments with a tone of extreme relief, thankful for having such a loving and doting husband who always knows the right thing to say to her during the most trying of times.
Anyhoo, on the way home from the wrestling bout that night, Parker will end up making a neglectful move on his part that will have serious consequences on his future (I'm sorry for all of these spoilers, guys, but just bear with me, okay?)
A man who had just sexually assaulted an old woman is seen running away from his victim's angry husband, and the old fellow pleads to Parker, "Hey, you in the funky lookin' costume! Stop that man! He's a molester of old...er, of senior citizen ladies! Stop him, in the name of all that's holy, before he get's away!"
Putting his chin up high in arrogance, Parker will allow the smiling and depraved goon to run past him, and will tell his victim's irate husband: "To blue blazes with that, spud! Do I look like a cop to you? That's the job of those fellas in blue that our tax dollars pay for! Nobody tells me what to do anymore! Stopping dudes who molest old ladies is so beneath me these days! Maybe in my previous incarnation as a nerdy wimp I would've felt sympathy for the old violated bag's plight and tried to trip the guy for you or something, but as of now I've been reborn with powers beyond mortal understanding! I'm making the big bucks now, and that crud is all so beneath my notice! And to make things even worse, when you had the temerity to order me to stop that guy, you didn't even say please!"
Looking Web-Man right in the eyes (though not being able to see a damn thing through those bluish-gray opaque lenses he wears over his mask, while Parker's enhanced senses enable him to perceive the world around him despite not being able to see through those lenses), the angry old man tells him, "You got a major attitude problem. If the woman he attacked was related to you, your impertinent attitude wouldn't be flying then!"
Web-Man simply scoffs and replies, "Ahhhhh, blow it out of your hairy ear, old man! I don't have time for this! I gotta go play some numbers with the loot I made today!"
So, in his civilian identity, Parker plays a lot of numbers, patronizes the services of a professional hooker, and walks home slightly elated as one would expect after scoring big at the track and being serviced by a professional sex worker immediately afterwards. But upon returning to the hearth, he sees a single cop car in front of his house. Thinking that Uncle Glen had simply had another overdue parking ticket or was busted for the cheater box he has in his house for picking up forbidden cable channels, the despondent boy calmly asks the police officer outside what the story was (due to budgetary cut backs, the city of Buffalo now has patrol cars with a single police officer).
The cop, Sgt. Traci Crapper, says to him, "Oh, you must be the Peters kid your dead aunt's husband told me about."
Parker gasps in horror. "My...my dead aunt?"
"Yea," the tough cop replies matter-of-factly, as he takes a bite of his donut and lights a cigarette. "Your aunt has met her maker, so ta speak, kiddo. This lunatic broke into your house and sexually assaulted her, and I guess she had a weak ticker or somethin', 'cause she died of the shock mid-way through the whole thing. Heh. I can imagine what that sociopath thought when he realized that durin' half of his fun, he was messin' with a corpse."
Putting his hands in front of his eyes and sobbing profusely, Parker chokes, "Oh my gosh! Aunt April is dead! It...it can't be. But...but where is my Uncle Glen?"
"Oh, the old dude," Sgt. Crapper retorts, apologizing to Parker for forgetting to give him that info. "I guess when he first went downstairs and saw that guy on top of yer aunt--well, I guess she got up to take a pee, since they were both in bed...heh...your unc thought she was committing an act of infidelity on him or somethin', so he left the house in tears, and knocked on the door of your neighbors. You know, the ones over there with the really hot red-headed daughter [*pointing to the house where Betty Jean Holmes, Parker's future love interest, resides*], and started cryin' bout how he can't believe that your aunt could do that to him with a young stud after 50 years of devoted marriage, even though he wasn't up for much in the sack as of the last two decades, heh. Or sumthin' like that, from what those neighbors of yours with the hot little daughter told me. It's only when he went back to confront your aunt and ask her if she wanted a divorce that he found her corpse layin' there and realized that she was a victim of foul play. Then he called the cops, and they sent me over here, and, well--a smart kid like you can figger out the rest."
Parker is by now slouched over the cop car crying, "Not Aunt April...she can't be dead."
Displaying his usual compassionate side, Sgt. Crapper attempts to console the devastated young man before him: "If it makes ya feel any better, kid, I stopped at the donut shop before comin' to your house, since it was on the way over here anyway, and I got some really nice jelly donut holes. Would ya like one? It may cheer ya up."
Suddenly standing with his superhuman musculature flexing, Parker raises his hand, much as he did the night he first gained his powers, but this time with steely resolve rather than avarice in his eyes, and states, with all due conviction: "That...man...will...pay!"
Sgt. Crapper replies, "Yea, yea, okay. So why don't you just go home and watch some toons, kid, while I get the skinny on your aunt's violation and murder from your uncle."
Just then the redoubtable Capt. Crapper is interrupted by another cop car that pulls up to the scene.
At this point in my outline, an anxious young police officer will get out of the car (I plan on making him young, anyway), shouting, "Hey, Sgt. Crapper! I just got a report on the radio! We got the guy who did the deed on that old woman trapped in the cereal mill on Genessee Street!"
Just then, Parker looks up upon hearing this news, his red and swollen eyes (from all of the crying, remember?) listening to the other cop’s news with grim determination.
"Ahhh, are you sure about that, Owens?" Sgt. Crapper asks disappointedly. "I was hopin' to call it an early night tonight, what with 'All In The Family' about to start on TV Land in a half hour, and I was hopin' to make one more round to the donut shop so I got somethin' to eat for breakfast in the morning..."
"No, it's him, Sarge! He was positively identified!"
Parker's eyes looked up with more resolve than ever before, and they even slanted a bit in a rather sinister sort of way.
"Ahhhh...crud!” Sgt. Crapper loudly complains. “Why in the blue blazes does this always happen to me on the nights I wanna call it an early one? Okay, okay, I guess we gotta do this before I can go home and relax to some donuts, coffee, and Archie Bunker. Let's go."
Looking up with more resolve than ever before, Parker says silently but stridently to himself, "You aren't going to get that miscreant, copper dudes. Because Web-Man is going to get there first!"
Now, I don't want to drop too many more spoilers here, but I have current plans for Web-Man to sneak into the cereal mill and single-handedly capture the defiler of elderly women (at least he doesn't go for virgins; I didn't want to make this story descend into the realm of bad taste, ya know?)--and here Parker first utilizes his amazing web-shooting gauntlets in a combat situation, adhering the criminal's pocket knife to his hand when the latter villain threatens the web-shirted wonder with it while simultaneously bellowing, "No! No! Stay back! Aw jeez, please stay back!"
Web-Man will then deliver a haymaker to the criminal's jaw that will send the hero's antagonist directly into Little Nemo’s realm while declaring, "This will teach you to rape old women to death!"
He then will notice, to his horror (spoiler alert!)...
…this wasn't the same guy who attacked the other old woman that Web-Man failed to stop earlier, but it looked enough like him that Parker realized that by not stopping such scum from roaming the streets, he is doing a grave injustice to the world, and failing to use his powers responsibly.
I then plan on constructing a scene where the Webster pulls the mask from his face, looks up into the sky--his tear ducts still emptying all of their available moisture over his tragic loss (and I think lightening flashing from the heavens at this very moment would be a nice touch, too)--the webbed wonder will exclaim, "Because of miscreants like this running around loose, my Aunt April has paid the price for society failing to protect the helpless! But now Fate has granted me this fantastic power! And as my now departed but forever remembered aunt always used to tell me: 'a great amount of responsibility goes to those who happen to have a great amount of power!' Granted, she was always drunk when she said that, but it still sounds really good! It makes sense! And now I realize that in a world where evil and injustice run amok, those who have the power to stop it must stop it! It's our responsibility, and stuff like that! So as of now, selflessness shall reign supreme in my life! No more wrestling for money! No more hookers! (Well, at least not as often.) No more long, useless nights spent at the casino! (Unless I happen to feel particularly lucky one night.) No more snorting that expensive coke! (Damn, heroism and responsibility can suck sometimes...) From this night onwards the name 'Web-Man' stands for justice, and justice alone! Or, perhaps more appropriately...
"May all those who worship evil's might, beware my power...the power of the webs!" (I thought that line sounded cool, also.)
And so was a new hero born, and criminals in Buffalo have been messing their pants at the mere thought of him ever since.
Also, in one of the most unexpected plot twists involving Mercury Thomas (lest you thought I was going to just forget about him as a simple throwaway device)--the main architect of Parker Peters' misery will end up (are you ready for this?)--hero-worshipping Web-Man! The once proud and delightfully arrogant football hero (as far as his high school is concerned, anyway) will end up looking up to Web-Man as the hero that he secretly feels inadequate for not being himself.
Upon learning of this truly ironic state of events, Parker will say to himself: "Gosh jeeze, is it ever ironic that Mercury is now looking up to the alter-ego of 'Pee-Wee Parker'--never knowing, never imagining, that the world's greatest super-hero--the hero whom the Daily Trumpet has christianed the 'Ally to All In The Neighorhood Web-Man'--is actually the 'nerd' he has always despised! Isn't that just poetic irony to the max, man?"
Later on in my series, I also plan to have Parker get a job taking candid celebrity photos for the tabloid newspaper The Daily Trumpet (including of himself as Web-Man), which will lead to all sorts of cool plots and adventures. A major supporting character (according to my tentative plans) will be Parker's annoying boss, I. Ishmael Iamison, who has set Parker to the task of uncovering the secret identity of Web-Man himself!
The minimum wage Parker earns on this job will greatly help the Peters household, because Aunt April was the breadwinner in that home since Uncle Glen threw out his back on the job 15 years earlier, and hasn't worked since. His sagely advice to his beloved and now departed wife all those years ago was as follows: "You need to show them, April dear, that a woman's place is not in the kitchen, but out there in the workplace! You need to show all of the conservative naysayers in this world that a woman can support a man as easily as the reverse. Go out there and do us proud, sweetheart!" And as usual, Glen's pithy advice gave April all the inspiration she needed to support her husband, pay all the bills in the house (and all of her husband's parking tickets and gambling debts), and to prove to everyone out there who believed women can't make a living to be dead wrong! (This is a bit of positive social commentary that I thought I would throw in to make myself look good to all of my readers, but don't tell anyone, okay?).
Sooooo...there ya go, Ivan :-) My proof that you are absolutely correct when you said that just because a character is a re-hash of another one, doesn't mean that it can't be good. Just wait until the Spider-Man books all end up cancelled, or put on hiatus. I can't wait to submit my idea for Web-Man to Image Comics, and show how the basic concept can be done right ;-)
Addendum: I also need to give my honorable colleague Ivan some credit for subsequently creating Web-Man's fantastic cousin Glen Riled (who may possibly have been grown from Parker Peters' very own chromosomes!), a strangely identical cousin (eat shit, Patty Duke!) who later takes up the costumed identity of the web-slinging champion of justice known as...the Crimson Cobweb! You gotta give credit where it's due, right? :-D