Peter David had an interesting comment an interview in the book Writers On Comics Scriptwriting on the subject of leaving toys intact for the next guy.
He was asked if he was trying to deliberately shock or provoke with stuff like the deaths of Jean Dewolfe and Betty Banner.
It's an interesting view on something that's discussed often enough here: what changes should be allowed in the Spider-Man comics?The thing is, people have a bit of trouble with my world view, because I am very aggressive in terms of trying to twist things around or say, 'Let's do this because it would make a really cool story.' I remember an occasion when I was in Jim Owsley's office and Tom Defalo was trying to explain to me the need to take the longer view. His feeling was, "Don't do a story just because it's a really good story. You have to think about the long term.' He told me I could write a story where J. Jonah Jameson dies, in which there would be this final meeting of the minds between Spider-Man and Jonah and there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house. It would be really great, but what do you do next issue with J. Jonah Jameson dead? Without hesitation I said I'd have the Kingpin buy the Daily Bugle, and Tom said 'No, you're missing my point.' And I said, 'No, no, this would be great, we have the Kingpin buy the Daily Bugle but he comes in and says he has no intention of running it as anything other than a newspaper. It puts this big split among the editorial staff, because some people quit immediately, but other people who need the job, who need the money, don't want to resign and Peter's caught in the middle.' Poor Tom's going, 'No Peter, you've completely missed my point', and I'm jumping up and down, saying to Owsley, 'Let's kill of J. Jonah Jameson, this would be so great'. So Tom never really managed to make it clear to me that's not the sort of thing you should do.