The big news currently floating around the comic blogs is the recent resolution to the Spider-Man “One More Day” storyline where Spider-Man (Peter Parker) attempts to save a dying Aunt May.
Proceed no further if you don’t want the story spoiled.
To set things up, Aunt May was hit by a sniper’s bullet–originally meant for Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Early in 2007, Peter Parker revealed to the world that he was Spider-Man. After leaving the protection of the Avengers, his immediate family (Aunt May and Mary Jane) were placed in danger. That leads us to Aunt May taking a bullet from the sniper and being in critical condition in the hospital.
It’s a commonly know fact that current Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics (Joe Quesada) did not like a married Spider-Man. For those that don’t know, Spider-Man married Mary Jane Watson in 1987. It was a media event back then and received a lot of news/press coverage. Joe Q. stated many times that he wanted to erase the marriage, but didn’t want to divorce the couple.
So. . . To make this long story short, Peter and MJ essentially make a deal with the devil (the Marvel Universe version is referred to as Mephisto) who “takes” their marriage away stating that he will feed off of the pain it will cause the couple. At the end of the story, Pete wakes up to find Aunt May alive and well downstairs cooking him wheat-cakes for breakfast and later goes to a party where it’s revealed that his long-dead friend Harry Osbourne is now alive and well again (Mephisto’s idea of a joke or a bonus?).
The two problems with the story are so evident that even Jill pointed them out when I described the story to her (bear in mind, she has only seen the Spider-Man movies) and she pointed out the following two reasons she didn’t like it (which mirror my own):
- Aunt May would not have wanted Peter to make any kind of deal with anyone to save her. It it was her time to go, she would have accepted it and expected Peter to do the same.
- The Devil. Seriously. Does anyone think that Peter Parker would make a deal with the devil (or a devil)? Really. Divorce is too bad for kids to read about (Joe Q.’s reasoning) but it’s ok for Pete to make a deal with the devil?
Finally, ComicBookResources is running a 5-part interview with Joe Quesada about the entire story and I found this little nugget in part 3.
The truth of the matter is that if the fans truly want a married Peter and MJ with kids, then we have an incredible book called â€œSpider-Girl.â€ If this is truly what fandom wants, to see Peter go through the natural progressions of life, then I expect orders on â€œSpider-Girlâ€ to go through the roof in the next month.
That’s marketing talk right there. If fans really wanted to read the adventures of an unmarried Peter Parker, then they could have been (and like have been) reading the 110+ issues of Ultimate Spider-Man that Marvel also publishes. That series has been the only consistently good Spider-Man book for many years.
Joe Q. wanted an unmarried, adult-aged Spider-Man, and being the EIC, he gets what he wants.
Even with all of this griping and disagreement with the method, I’ll have to admit I’m intrigued by the creative teams they have lined up to produce the “Amazing Spider-Man” comic 3 times a month. Names like Dan Slott, Steve McNiven and John Romita Jr. could get me to read “Amazing Spider-Man” again and enjoy the stories.
At the end of the day, I don’t have to like the method, but maybe, just maybe, the results will be good.