Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Beef on Spider-man's 'One More Day'

The conclusion to Marvel's four-part Spider-man "One More Day" storyline ended last week, erasing Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane Watson from the history of the Marvel Universe. Peter made a deal with the devil — literally — and the couple decided that in order to save Aunt May's life, they were willing to have their relationship erased from history.

The story is over... but the drama isn't, and there is no end in sight.

Before I give my thoughts, here are a couple of interesting links: Read Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada's thoughts on the whole matter at THIS LINK , the third part of a five part interview on (parts one and two are also on the site, with four and five on the way). In response to Quesada's third interview, writer J.M. Straczynski sent his thoughts to at THIS LINK. JMS, of course, made public his desire to have his name removed from the series' third and fourth parts, and he's still not happy with how Marvel treated him and treated the story itself.

And frankly, I agree with what JMS is saying on Newsarama 100%. Regardless of whether you wanted MJ and Peter together forever, this story is much much too sloppy. Particularly, this is what I mean, taken from his post on Newsarama:

JMS: "How do you explain that?"

Marvel: "It's magic, we don't have to explain it."

I was just in Upstate Comics today in Freedom Plains, talking with store owner Brian DiStefano, and I was telling him how this storyline reminded me of that Simpsons episode where Lucy Lawless tells Bart and Lisa that when something in Sci-Fi doesn't make sense, you just say "A Wizard did it."

It was ridiculously funny on the show, and for years my friends and I would use that when watching really stupid Sci-Fi stuff. Well, today JMS told the world that Marvel didn't give a damn about making their story make sense, they were happy to have "a Wizard do it."

The story makes no sense.

The motivation for the story makes no sense, because May is an elderly lady who would want her nephew to be happy, and Peter is a bright enough guy to know that May could die of old age any minute.

The execution for the story doesn't work, because if May was hanging on for so many days, Peter would have ample time to find a healer (there are hundreds in the Marvel U!) to save her. Just because Marvel showed Peter going to desperate lengths, it doesn't mean he was going to the right desperate lengths.

The resolution to the story doesn't work, because there are too many loopholes. If Peter wasn't with MJ, then EVERYTHING in the Marvel Universe would have been different from the moment changed forward, since Spider-man has been involved with damn near every major event ever.

This "Brand New Day" for me, doesn't work, since this whole "One More Day" story spent so much time telling us the absence of his marriage would keep Peter deep-down miserable emotionally, and Mephisto would get what he wanted... Then how are we going to believe the newly single Peter Parker in "Brand New Day" is the happy-go-lucky character of his youth??? The devil wouldn't make this deal if Peter was now going to be happy.

Oh, and Joe Quesada's defense also doesn't work for me. He says in one of these ComicBookResources interviews that he felt justified changing Peter and MJ's marriage because the Wedding was only ever a publicity stunt Marvel pulled, to scoop the Newspaper strip's plan to marry the two. That part is true. BUT, if that is your justification, then why did you just spend four issues going on and on and on and on with the Devil constantly talking about how Peter and MJ's love is the most pure kind in the universe??? That doesn't sound like a publicity stunt to me, it sounds like bad storytelling.

All this story was, was a means for Joe Quesada to use his authority and get what he wanted so publicly for so long — a single Peter Parker swinging through Marvel's pages once again. Apparently Joey Q doesn't read the Ultimate Universe titles.

No comments: