Does SPIDER-MEN Break a Quesada Rule? Yes... and No?

Following Wednesday morning's announcement of Spider-Men — a full-fledged crossover between Miles Morales, the Spider-Man of the Ultimate Universe, and Peter Parker, the Spider-Man of the classic Marvel Universe —many observers asked something along these lines:

"Didn't Joe Quesada say that would mean Marvel is 'officially out of ideas'"?

Well, yes — at least once for sure, as recently as a Comic-Con International: San Diego panel in July 2005, six years before the introduction of Miles Morales. Here's how CBR covered it at the time:

"Joe Quesada was asked if the Ultimate Universe and the Main Marvel Universe would ever cross over and he replied no. Quesada said he'd rather close down one universe than have them cross over because it meant they were officially out of ideas."

Sounds fairly definitive, but just a few months later, in an eariy 2006 edition of Newsarama's then weekly "Joe Fridays" Q&A, Quesada — then Marvel's editor-in-chief, now their chief creative officer — firmly reserved the right to change his mind. Asked specifically by Newsarama about his Comic-Con comments (what Quesada would eventually refer to as "the no crossover rule") from the previous summer, Quesada replied:

"I often hear fans complain that four years ago I said something and it looks like with a certain decision - whatever it is - I went against what I said four years ago, three years ago, six years ago ... whatever. Here’s what I don’t understand...

"Why don’t I have the right to change my mind?

"Why don’t I have the right to grow with my job, to learn from it and the people I work with?

"Of course I enter my position here as Editor-in-Chief with my own set of ideas and goals and for the most part I stick to them because they’re global and they involve on core ideal, which is to bring the fans the best books possible to the best of our god-given abilities.

"Now that said, and outside of that, why can’t I change my mind or my point of view as long as it's towards getting to that core ideal? I don’t run editorial with an iron hand. Before we make big decisions, I always take in everyone's opinions and sometimes the right argument will change my mind and in some cases my core beliefs about comics."


And a little further into the interview:

"That said, yes, I did say that we would never crossover universes. Have I changed my mind? Well, you'll just have to wait and see."

At the time, Quesada was referring to Ultimate Power, a nine-part crossover between the Ultimate Universe and the world of Supreme Power that ran from 2006 to 2007, but his words still appear applicable today. According to an article on, the idea for Spider-Men came straight from Quesada himself:

"Looking at the big anniversaries we had coming up in 2012, Joe Quesada suggested one huge way to celebrate 50 years of Spidey was to do the ultimate — no pun intended — Marvel team-up," Marvel senior editor Mark Paniccia told the site.

For those troubled by the change in philosophy, Quesada seemingly answered them six years ago, in the same Joe Fridays column:

"It always blows me away when I see people freak out because I've changed my mind on something. I'm not an elected official, folks. I didn't get my job by promising a bunch of things. I'm a businessman and a creator. If I don't have the ability to change my mind, if I don't have the ability to be open to different points of view, then I can't do this job properly."

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