Fanboy Rampage: John Byrne Vs Dan Slott

The main attraction! Wooo!

And it all began with a certain Bleeding Cool article.

After the John Byrne Forum kicked off a bit, Dan Slott arrived to try and spread some calm.

Can everyone PLEASE calm down.

Aunt May is clearly fully clothed.
A bride isn't supposed to SEE the groom before the wedding.
ONLY a kiss is foreshadowed.

The sequence is one that takes place BETWEEN panels. If an 8 year old read this– it would be about getting a KISS ON THE LIPS from your Aunt.

Like ALL sequences that take place BETWEEN panels– everything is left to the READER'S IMAGINATION. The entire scene is only as "sick" or "icky" as YOUR OWN MIND makes it.

Posters argued back and forth a little. To one exchange;

"… the intent of this scene is very clear."

So even when the author of the scene tells you it's not sex, that's still what you see. Says a lot about you.

Byrne did a little mind reading;

Looks to me like it says more about that author, desperately back peddling!

Slott replied;

Oh come on. You people read comics. Some of you make them.

We all know about the "magic" between panels when we PURPOSEFULLY leave it to the reader to make up their OWN visuals in their heads.

Fanboy Rampage: John Byrne Vs Dan Slott

Even in a worst case scenario that some of you are positing…
…wouldn't Peter ALSO scream if he saw Aunt May START to take off her clothes? When the scene takes place in YOUR head, YOU control how long the scene goes on and what happens.

She is FULLY CLOTHED in the panel before. AND she's an octogenarian– how fast do you think she COULD get out of that wedding dress in the timing of those two panels?

Just how far someone wished to take this scene in their OWN mind is entirely up to THEM.

John Byrne himself wrote and drew scenes where mind controlled Superman & Big Barda made a porn movie– but he kept the scene tasteful by having the characters watch the video with a TV that was off panel.  This is even MORE tame.  It's not even off panel– it's a moment between the gutters.

This is a lot of unwarranted outrage over a sequence that– while shocking/silly– WAS something that organically came out of the story.  A lot of fans WERE wondering if Otto and Spidey swapped places, WOULD Otto & May's history be addressed.

Oh yes, the porn movie. How would that go over?

Byrne replied, with a little Photoshop;

As we know, it is impossible to have sex of any kind with clothes on.

Fanboy Rampage: John Byrne Vs Dan SlottDan Slott:

John, I think you need to get your baloney detector checked. ;-)

When you look at the the page in context– or read the issue as whole– whenever we showed those memory flashes, every single one of them was a quick flash of one moment in time. Going by how EVERY other memory flash played out– there really wouldn't be time to get to anything truly salacious.

But WAS that scene constructed to ALLOW readers to reach the worst possible outcome that their OWN minds could take them to? Absolutely.  We left that to their OWN devices.

I have already received a very nice fan mail/email from the father of a 10 year old who said it was "Icky that Peter watched Aunt May kiss him."

With ALL scenes that take place BETWEEN panels, it's all in the eye of the beholder.

John Byrne:

So many ten year olds reading Marvel comics these days. Why, they're the target audience, of course! So no chance at all that anyone would read anything more than a kiss into that scene.

Except — why not SHOW a kiss, if a kiss is all there is?

Oh — because you wanted it to be up to the readers. As long as they read it as a kiss?

Uhm. . . . ?

Dan Slott:

Actually, John? Yes, there ARE many 10 year olds reading Marvel comics. I met a bunch of them on a signing 2 nights ago– and kids of all ages come by the Marvel booth at cons. :-)

And, no, of course we wanted to leave the moment up to EVERYONE'S imagination and NOT put limits on it.

Back when you did that scene from ACTION COMICS that I mentioned earlier, did you think 10 year olds were reading the sequence where Superman and Big Barda made a porn film?

It's still going on. Why not add your informed opinion to the mix?

Fanboy Rampage was a blog by Graeme McMillan dedicated to the funniest, most ludicrous and most inappropriate comic book back-and-forths online. McMillan has moved on now, becoming a proper journalist for the likes of Newsarama and Spinoff but he gave permission to Bleeding Cool to revive his great creation. Feel free to contribute your own spots of online excess…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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