Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One More Meh

I’ve been writing about this Spider-Man marriage fiasco, so I feel obliged to weigh in now that its been “resolved” in One More Day.

Well, Marvel done went and busted up that Parker marriage real good, didn’t they? I’m completely stumped at their decision to have Peter and MJ make a deal with “the Devil”, especially when a bargain with Loki had already been established. I guess I assumed that Straczynski had a plan, but apparently he was going to use Mephisto too. His story, while more logical, would have screwed up history even worse, so I guess I’m glad the editors won in this case? Or maybe this is the beginning of years of retcons, backpedalling, and stories about stories. Meh.

Understand that I’m not especially upset with this. I don’t think OMD was a very good story, but it hasn’t “raped my childhood” or anything like that. I think its very out-of-character for Peter to entertain a deal with any devil, but he’s done a lot of weird things the last few (15-20) years, including getting married in the first place. I’ve been reading these things for something like 30 years now, and I’m used to these continuity hi-jinx, though Marvel has yet to dabble much with actually altering history/continuity. If I was going to boycott a company over this, I would have done it to DC four “Legion of Superheroes” reboots ago.

To be fair, the marriage was the result of an irrational editorial fiat, so why should its undoing be any different?

Maybe the marriage scenario had become a bit limiting and claustrophobic over the years; many, many scenes in the cramped Parker apartment arguing about money, smoking, and clones. I just hope the new teams don’t try to wring any drama out of his secret identity. We now know that Aunt May won’t drop dead if she finds out, we know Jonah would get pissed off and try to sue, and we know how the entire rest of the supporting cast would react, via the Civil War identity reveal.

Anyway, my best advice to Marvel would be to move the hell on and never address this again, but history shows that they’ll revisit OMD again and again until we’re all sick of it. Peter’s deal with Mephisto can be argued and loophole to death, but ultimately, it is just dumb and should be ignored like Killer Android Parker parents.

After all these years of reading, my main enjoyment of superhero comics comes from watching the different creators’ takes on my lifelong favorites, not out of any appreciation for their internal consistency. Well, Quesada has been bitching for years about how great the Spider-Man books would be if not for the marriage; let’s see what they’ve got.


Anonymous said...

Off topic, but... I've been lurking around this site off and on since your great post about the Batman/Dostoevsky comic.

Thought you might enjoy this link.

It's custom made Legos.

JohnH said...

That's it? Custom-made Legos?

Anyway, speaking as someone whose really not all the knowledgable about comics....

The thing that puts the lie to the argument that they have to rejigger the premise at -all- is the generally-excellent television adaptions of the various DC comic properties, starting with 90s cartoon Batman. There are a seriously large number of stories in that one alone, and maybe 80% of them could be made into an excellent comic book.

Nearly every time one of those cartoons, that I've seen, has done a story, they've done it in Just The Right Way, and never with making in any massive continuity changes to mix up any premises. The comics could really stand to have a few works with the cartoon shows' story editors.

Brian Hughes said...

Hey, I dig customs and those DC cartoons, so everyone's right.