Then, there was the unpublished Spider-Man graphic novel ‘Gilded Cage”, written by me, penciled by Paul Smith and inked by Barry.
It was one of those dream projects that, for one reason or another, never fully got off the ground. During Jim Shooter’s reign as Editor-in-Chief, he approved my concept for doing a very adult Spider-Man story, one that left the character somewhat altered by the end of the graphic novel. In order to give the book the maximum amount of impact and attention, I was able to recruit two of the most sought-after talents working in the business at that time - Paul Smith (Penciller) and Barry Windsor-Smith (Inker). In fact, Barry had submitted copious notes on the story itself, prior to us actually getting into production.Bob Layton- Spider-Man Guilded Cage Concept Art
Needless to say, with talents like that, who are in constant demand, the project got off to a somewhat slow start, although Paul did get twenty-some pages penciled before being pulled off to work on other assignments. Unfortunately, those pages, along with the rest of the story, sat in limbo for quite a while.
Eventually, Tom DeFalco took over as Editor-in-Chief and decided that the storyline itself was far too life-altering for the character. Keep in mind, that prior to taking over the center seat at Marvel, Tom was the editor of all the Spider-Man titles and had some serious opinions concerning the future direction of the character.
So, with a tear of regret in his eye, DeFalco canceled the project, paid everyone for their contributions and told us to get the Hell out of his office.