A hub for the "Book of Masks" universe.
|Today's Spider-Man entry—"S01E04 "Ring Around the Spider-Man"" —is the first to be almost entirely new, with virtually no debts to the IRL series. So, that was the challenge there, to try coming up with something very new. What choices went into it?
I've been reading early runs of "The Amazing Spider-Man" while also researching characters in those issues that I've not read and can't find, and have been jotting down every possible character, storyline, plot idea, etc., with the idea that they could be used to pad out an episode or be planted for later development.
So in Wikipedia I found a reference to "The Circus of Crime," which is an awesome name for a group of bad guys, and in "The Essential Spider-Man, Vol. 4" I found an annual about a charismatic politician named Richard Raleigh trying to manipulate himself into the mayoralty. These went into the stewpot, and Richard Raleigh and the Circus's Ringmaster (who used hypnosis to manipulate his victims) merged into a single person. Here, it seemed to me, was a good, long-term play: a character who over the course of the series could slither toward political power.
I also found a Spider-Man story with the Kingpin trying to steal a cuneiform tablet containing some kind of mystical secret, and I introduced that as one of the elements that Raleigh needs for some long-term plan. The rest was action, some ideas filched from the "Batman Beyond" episode "Spellbound," and a way to get Peter a job selling photos to the Daily Bugle.
Now, where this is going, I haven't exactly decided yet. Raleigh does show up again in one treatment that I've written, and he does figure in the complicated multi-parter I'm still writing, but his payoff is still timed for sometime in the Superior Spider-Man storyline or after, which is the main reason I added him. (In the IRL series, there don't seem to be a lot of adversaries left over Season One and so there are no obvious hooks for the Superior storyline to hang on to.) But I will have to wait until lots more pieces are in play before I see the ultimate design for him.
I spent yesterday finishing the last of the "Essential Spider-Man" books I got from the library (Vols. 4 - 7) and letting ideas simmer in the back of my head, so I don't have anything really interesting to report as far as actual writing progress.
To fill an otherwise empty space, I'll make just one comment: Nothing dates a story like slang. It is hard not to flinch every time Mary Jane Watson or some other character in an early 70s Spider-Man comic says something like, "Can you dig it?"