While the upside of the recent Spider-Verse crossover is pretty obvious (ALL THE SPIDER-MANS YOU GUYS!), not much is being made of the downside.  Coming out of that story, we not only have multiple issues featuring Peter Parker each month, but an ongoing series for Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman, Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman and Cindy Moon as Silk, a woman with spider-powers, as well as minis, crossovers and the Ultimate version of Spider-Man.  Of course, given that Secret Wars is bringing back everybody in the entire history of Marvel to fighty-fighty for their survival, which I’m sure will involve more than one Thor, multiple Iron Men, and Captains America galore, which leads us into today’s manifold query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) isn’t going to pin this all on Marvel, either, as anyone who has listened to this week’s Dueling Review can attest, asking: How many alternate versions of the same character is TOO MANY alternate versions?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I don’t have a round number, and it varies between character to character, medium and other factors.

    I’m a big fan of things like “What If?” and “Elseworlds” type stories, so I really don’t mind an alternate version of a character that might be a different take on a character I love. I also don’t mind an occasional character that is inspired by or otherwise connected to an existing character (live the Spidey-like characters or the various Bat-something characters), just as long as it isn’t trying to force too many at us at one time, and even then “too many” is subjective to various factors.

    On the other hand, I also remember the Batman toyline of the very late 80’s/early 90’s that almost every line was 5 to 10 different variants of the same Batman figure with new paint and MAYBE one or two other characters (like villains or allies). I don’t need 100 repaints of the exact same Batman toy in neon glow-in-the-dark colors or arctic camo. One or two variants might be fun, but the whole freakin’ line was pretty much the same basic figure with new paint jobs and an occasional accessory.

  2. Oldcomicfan on

    Any is too many. If they can’t think of any good stories with the original character, then it’s time to take a job at Wal-Mart and let somebody else have a go at it. Quite frankly, I think the problem is that the owners of the properties have insisted that nothing lasting ever has an impact on the characters. So if a creative team wants to tell a story where Superman and Lois Lane get married and have super twins, it had to be an “imaginary story” that they could ignore in the next issue. And that led directly into having Earth 1 heroes, Earth 2 versions of the same character, ad nauseam. For the most part, the Japanese don’t do this with manga, which is why there are so many epic manga series compared to American Superhero comics. Which is why I no longer read superhero comics unless something extremely excellent comes along.

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