Thursday, January 3, 2008

One More Bad Idea!

Much has been said lately of Joe Quesada's "One More Day" storyline which ended in last week's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 544. Basically, Peter Parker and Mary Jane agreed to have their marraige wiped out of existence so that Mephisto would save Aunt May.

Many readers have reacted with outrage in the blogosphere and in the comic stores I frequent.

What's my take on this? Not surprisingly...


I'm against retconning characters and histories for the most part but this one annoys me even more than the rest.

In an exclusive 5 part interview with Comic Book Resources website, Joe Quesada explains some of the reasoning behind the story and why Peter should not be married.

Although I found myself shaking my head in disbelief many times, this section stood out to me:

While the marriage is absolutely the logical progression for a character like Peter Parker, so is having kids, having grandkids, growing old and dying. Would we -- better yet, should we -- go that far? Of course not. So why isn’t getting married too far? Simple: Because a lot of people have grown accustomed to it, indeed, attached to it -- and that is understandable. But it wasn’t the healthiest long-term scenario for the character. Each one of those life progressions (marriage, child, grandkids, etc.) cuts Peter Parker and the Spider-Man books off from the story-trappings that have been the bedrock of great Spider-Man stories.

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 “Spider-Girl.” If this is truly what fandom wants, to see Peter go through the natural progressions of life, then I expect orders on “Spider-Girl” to go through the roof in the next month.

Peter Parker getting married is not the "healthiest of long-term goals"?? Only in Quesada's mind. To me, and many readers, Parker's marriage was a thing of celebration! The one-time nebbish not only grows up but ends up marrying an amazingly beautiful woman! It was the greatest validation of geekdom since Julia Roberts said "Yes" to marrying Lyle Lovett! We had won!

Which, I'm sure, Quesada would say proved his point that the comic could not progress from there which is a foolish thing to say. If bad stories occurred after Peter and MJ married, it was the result of bad and unimaginative writers, not their marriage.

The end result is that Marvel has seen fit to revert Spider-Man back to the comfortable 'nebbish' status-quo. Back to worrying about web-shooters and covering Aunt May's medical bills and keeping his identity secret. Haven't we seen all this before? How is any of that new and interesting?

Elsewhere in the interview, Quesada states how the success of a single Spider-Man in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN proved to him that the character belonged single. But he contradicts himself in that last paragraph. If people want a married Spider-Man, they can read SPIDER-GIRL. But, Joe, if they wanted a single Spider-Man, they could read ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. There was room for a married Spider-Man except that he wasn't what Quesada considered 'hip and happening' for the twentysomething set.

The fact that ONE man has been able to push his personal agenda down the throats of his creators and readers is utterly and morally wrong! I have to wonder if the E-I-C of both Marvel and DC are going out of their way to alienate and offend their older readers.

I wonder what Stan Lee and John Romita have to say about all this.

If you should want to read the interview with Quesada, follow the link:


The Homebound Pilgrim said...

Yet another reason that I gave up on comics long ago Sammy; they are ALWAYS at the mercy of the whims of whoever has editorial power at the moment.

I agree heartily that if Peter Parker married is uninteresting, it is the writer's fault...and one can only be left to wonder about the imaginations (and maturity level) of the staff at Marvel if they don't think that marriage AND kids AND grandkids AND growing old, and how we handle all those things, are the true meaning of life and the greatest adventure of all.

Keep the posts and insights coming my friend!

faelarwen said...

Look at it this way. Spiderman was created to be able to reflect real life. In real life, people fall in love, get married, have problems, here there and everywhere. What Quesada is doing is trying to destroy fans and people reading Spidey alike. They've grown so accustomed to Spidey, to accept him as their own, because Spidey relates to them. BEcause Spidey has a loving wife, someone to depend on, a loving aunt, whom he can call a family. And how That bugger wants to wipe them off. It's like wiping peace and love from the very existence of earth itself. Some people even believe that Peter Parker breaths. And then POOF! One fella destroyed Pete's life forever. Why? Gimmick? Publicity? Because Marvel's going down? Stoopid. Utterly stoopid. I read the comics and i can't lift the pages anymore. I just can't.