A controversy over a new superhero has a new star in town, and she’s not the only one with a message.
New York Times best-selling author Sara Shepard has written a scathing critique of the superhero genre in The Spiderman Adventures: The First Two Volumes, which hits shelves this month.
In her essay, Shepard argues that the “spider” character is overused and misused, with the comic character “a very cheap way to show off an artistic accomplishment.”
Her essay includes quotes from characters from Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, and the Fantastic Four, and argues that these characters are “taken out of context” to create a “sprawling, bloated” and “overrated” superhero.
It’s a critique Shepard sees as not only a misstep in a genre that she considers essential to comics’ future, but one that she sees as problematic for a number of reasons.
“I don’t think the world would be better off if the ‘Spiderman,’ as they call themselves, existed,” Shepard wrote.
“I think it would be worse off, and that’s not a bad thing.”
The comic is currently available as a trade paperback from DC Comics and a hardcover from Amazon.
It is currently being offered in bookstores, but Shepard says the hardcover will only be available through Amazon.com, and it will be available in a variety of formats, including Kindle and iBook formats.
Shepard, who has worked on Marvel and DC titles for years, wrote that she felt it was important to highlight the negative impacts of the character in the comic and that she feels the issue has been “overused and abused” by some creators.
“In a world where comic book readers and readers of other media are so often the only people who are aware of the genre and the problems with it, it’s very important that we acknowledge and recognize those realities,” Shepard said.
“And so I think that this issue of the Spiderman series has been overused, and abused, and mismanaged and underused by some of the most influential and respected creators in the world.”
Shepard argues that it’s the writer and artist who should be held responsible for the use of the iconic character.
“It’s been very easy for those creators to take that out of the context of what they’ve written and made it a little bit more ‘Spiderman-ish,’ and that makes the world a little more boring and depressing,” she said.
“And then the other thing, too, that I feel like those creators have taken out of that context and used it for their own benefit and profit.”
She added: “If I want to see more of the Spidey franchise, I want more of that ‘Spider-man-ness’ in the universe, and I think it’s a shame.”
She’s not alone in her concerns.
Some fans are calling on the superhero creator to step down.
In a post on Reddit, fan and writer, Mike Grell, says that he thinks “Spider-Man’s done more to create the superhero community than any other single person,” and that the character “shouldn’t be allowed to continue in the industry.”
“I think that it is time for him to step aside from his position and for Marvel to start over with a new character,” Grell wrote.
Shepherd has also spoken out against the superhero comic as a whole.
In her own piece on the subject, she argues that comic book creators and publishers need to stop overusing the character and the story they’ve been telling, and focus more on what they are doing to support children.
She said in her essay that she thinks the “Spider Man” should be used more as a tool for promoting social and emotional health, rather than as an exploitative character.
She also noted that the current Spider-man “is not just a symbol of hope for children, but of a future of hope.”
She has spoken out in favor of diversity in the comics industry, including in an interview with The Guardian.
Shepard’s comments come at a time when some comic book artists have been speaking out against how they are being portrayed in the mainstream media.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, writer and director of Marvel Comics’ Black Widow, Brie Larson, called out the lack of diversity within the comic book industry, and said she thinks that Spider-mans portrayal in the movies should be different from the comic books that are currently on sale.
She added that she would like to see a more diverse portrayal of Spider-Men in movies, and called out Spider- Man for his “blackface” look, and his use of prosthetic arms.
“That’s not to say that I don’t want a Spider-Meter, a SpiderMan costume, a superhero cape, or a Spiderman mask, but I would like that the whole story and the whole concept of the Black Widow was that of a true hero and that it was a story about the future