I'm not even going to speculate on the whole Mephisto thing in "One More Day", mostly because the story hasn't ended yet. But barring a last minute fake out, (something I highly doubt Marvel is organized enough to pull off) the Spider-Man books appear to be headed for a magic continuity reset, something unprecedented in Spider-Man’s long history. Apparently, Mephisto wants to trade Aunt May's life for the Parkers' marriage so he can feed on their pain somehow. That's pretty absurd, especially since "Brand New Day" seems poised to bring back the happy-go-lucky single Spider-Man. So what pain? Again, the story isn't over, so…reserving judgment.
Joe Quesada has been complaining about the Spider-marriage since he started as Editor-in-Chief at Marvel. Bringing J. Michael Straczynski on board the main Spidey title was one of the earliest things he put together, so I’m sure Quesada’s feelings weren’t unknown to him. JMS had plenty of time to build his themes, make his changes, and push his story forward to a logical conclusion that would undo the marriage. His recent public disavowal of OMD casts a whole new pall on the situation. He probably had a whole master plan to magic it away, which Editorial just steamrollered. A great deal of the JMS run was introducing mysticism, change, and general uncertainty into Spidey’s world. Thematically, magic wasn't out of place in the JMS run, so a magic history rewrite could make sense if it built on prior events. Rewrites and editorial micromanagement at Marvel are nothing new to anyone who knows the name John Harkness; I’m most specifically interested in what was interfered with.
One Straczynski tale involved some time traveling astral hi-jinx courtesy of Doctor Strange, with Spidey tracing his timeline and re fighting his greatest battles. At one point, Spider-Man is simultaneously re-living his origin and watching his future self’s last stand against the NYPD at Aunt May’s grave. Grim portents and cryptic statements abound, but the long and short of it is that this future Spider-Man is on the run for a murder, and he’s reached the end of the line. I can easily see "Back In Black" ending with the Death of the Kingpin, can’t you? Cue a yearlong fugitive Spider-Man story, a desperate last stand, and finally, a chance to set everything right. Thanks to magic somehow.
Another story saw Spidey helping Loki save a mortal daughter from a sorceress, and the trickster god ends up owing the web-head a favor or twenty. Here’s another potential magical out. I could see Spidey getting pushed so far by, say, Aunt May dying, to call on Loki for help. And Loki says he can fix everything by resetting the past, undoing the unmasking at its root. Peter thinks that Loki means to undo his public unmasking, but Loki is a trickster god, and reaches back to just before the Parker marriage for his time tweak, undoes that, and disappears, laughing his ass off. And somehow that saves Aunt May, restores status quo, and Joe Q can sleep again.
Or maybe everything was going to come full circle with Morlun initiating some sort of mystic Spider Totem powered reboot. I dunno. I’d be interested to know the whole story, but I doubt we ever will. All I know is that a regular reader paying attention could tell JMS was going somewhere with all this, and the path wasn’t leading to freakin’ Mephisto. I don't get it, but whatever. In a few months we’ll all get that single, sleepin’ around, porn downloading Peter Parker we’ve apparently been desperately craving. It’s too bad; I liked the Spider-marriage.