Spider-Man Lost

‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

From Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam:27, 1850.

one-more-day.jpgWell, Peter Parker — a.k.a. Spider-Man — just got handed both. As 2007 came to a close Marvel Comics nullified the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary (MJ) Jane Watson. There was no “irreconcilable differences,” no ugly divorce hearings, no amicable split-up because the couple just drifted apart. No. It turns out that Spider-Man’s marriage to MJ became null and void because of “a deal with the devil.” In order to save the life of his older-than-dirt Aunt May (who’s life once again was hanging in the balance because Peter is Spider-Man) Peter Parker (for some reason I have to type out “Peter Parker” — I can’t go with just “Peter” nor “Parker”) agrees to allow Mephisto to erase any and every trace of Peter Parker’s (see?) and MJ’s “everlasting love” from the cosmic chronicles of the (flip-floppy) Marvel Universe. Along with squashing the couple’s nuptials, apparently some twenty years of continuity goes along with the erasure.

Needless to say, Spider-Fanboys are upset. Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada may very well be the most hated Marvel super villain right now. It looks as if twenty years of continuity that long-time Spider-Man readers have poured over and loved has now gone the way the comic book spinner rack. Apparently these Spider-Fans aren’t taking Lord Tennyson’s advice to heart. You would’ve thought that they killed off one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe. Oh, yeah. Rest in peace, Captain America.

I’ve been a Spider-Man fan for most of my life — he’s my favorite super hero and has been since I was buying comic books for 35 cents at the corner 7-11 over three decades ago. I read the last issue of the “One More Day” story arc and I honestly don’t feel betrayed. If Quesada and Marvel want to “re-boot” the Spider-Man franchise by bringing back characters that were dead, ditching the organic web-shooters (which they never should have introduced, regardless of the movies) for the original web-shooters, restoring Peter Parker’s secret identity, etc… Fine. I’ve never been one of the readers who felt betrayed when a publisher “dicked around” with one of my favorite characters really — be it Spider-Man, Captain Kirk, Darth Vader, whoever… If I didn’t agree with what how something was handled story wise I’d shrug it off as a missed opportunity and lay off buying more issues or watching (or re-watching) episodes and such. (Okay, I may have made a bigger stink when it came to the Star Wars franchise, but c’mon… Episodes I, II, and III? Seriously?)

I didn’t dig the new red and yellow “Iron” Spider-Armor. It went away. I wasn’t a hundred percent on board with the whole “totem” aspect of Peter Parker’s powers. They steered away from it. The organic web-shooters? Looks like they’re gone now. Ben Reilly?

Marvel Comics have been effin’ with Spider-Man for years. Peter Parker has never had it easy in the Marvel Universe and the Spider-Man character has never had it as easy as it should as a stable franchise. Was “One More Day” played out the way I would’ve done it? No. If the marriage of Peter Parker and MJ needed to be eradicated I probably would’ve put our favorite web-slinger through the divorce ringer. It’s ugly. It’s not fun. It’s not easy. It’s real. (Then again, Spider-Man’s not real.) E-I-C Quesada may have taking the easy route by eliminating twenty years of Spider-Man continuity, but hopefully we’ll have another twenty years of new continuity to build on and I can go on buying my Spider-Man books when I turn 60 and a 32-page comic (with 22 of those pages probably being ads by that time) at 12 bucks a pop.

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