200801040342Spider-man’s newly swinging ways hit page three of the comics loving NY Post in a story they had to call Spidey’s Smooch Scandal:

“The first page is a real shocker and it’s done on purpose. It’s a bit of a slap of reality to longtime readers,” said Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada.

Those readers are still reeling from the company’s controversial move in the most recent issue, where the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler and his missus had their marriage wiped out.


Spidey thus joins Roger Clemens, Hillary, the ‘pregnant’ Nicole Kidman and Britney Spears in the pantheon of greatness that is the New York Post.

1 COMMENT

  1. If you want to see me fly off into a mouth-foaming, fist-pounding, puppy-endangering rage, all you have to do is remind me that the NEW YORK POST exists and that people actually believe it’s a real newspaper. Coverage in the POST might be the single lowest point of this whole Spider-Man affair. Seriously, what a hateful, crapulous rag.

  2. “The first page is a real shocker and it’s done on purpose. It’s a bit of a slap of reality to longtime readers,” said Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada.

    Reality? Hunh, I thought AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was fiction. Who knew?

    Of course, if the reality of the situation is that the “One More Day” Magic Reset screws up years of Marvel’s continuity just to let Peter become a twentysomething loser who can make out with other girls besides Mary Jane, then trust me, longtime readers have already been slapped in the face.

  3. To borrow from Tony Kornheiser:

    “The motto of the NY Times is ‘All the News that’s fit to print.”

    “The motto of the NY Post is ‘We Occasionally print in English.”

  4. “the “One More Day” Magic Reset screws up years of Marvel’s continuity”

    This doesn’t worry me like it does some. I’ve always felt that continuity is a death trap for the imagination. It’s what DC has been suffering from for so long. They’ve been digging themselves a million issue deep hole trying to fix it, while Joe Q just shines it all on. Justice shined it on, and it’s a great book. I really feel that if we don’t ignore issues years past, we’ll never be able to enjoy the fresh and creative minds who strive to bring us new an exciting things, each month. We’ll only grow more unhappy with each passing issue, unable to see the forest from the trees.

  5. “Slap of reality for longtime readers”

    So basically “Suck it, Trebek?”

    All of this is sound and fury. The addicts will line up and buy the new stuff just like the old stuff. It’s all just theater at this point.

  6. G: “All of this is sound and fury. The addicts will line up and buy the new stuff just like the old stuff. It’s all just theater at this point.”

    So freakin’ true. :)

    And now that Dan Slott is scripting, I’ll be one of them- at least for a while.

    And with exciting new projects on the horizon from Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, Dave Sim and other reliable independent creators, 2008 is looking pretty good from where I stand.

    Characters that grow and change.
    Series that have a beginning and end.
    Imagine.

  7. Who wears short sleeve t-shirts over long sleeves besides ninth-grade Blink 182 heads in 1998? I find this very upsetting.

  8. The addicts will line up and buy the new stuff just like the old stuff.

    I call shenanegans, because when I dropped my Marvel titles (except for Spider-Girl) in response to this, my store owner told me that most – not some, but most – of his customers were doing the same.

    And if Rich Johnston’s column this week is any indication, we’re far from alone.

  9. Christopher Moonlight,

    The problem with such glaringly obvious errors in continuity is not that they piss off the traditionalist fans, who obsess over continuity, but that they alienate the casual and potential readers, for whom continuity is important, ironically enough, precisely because they don’t know what “continuity” is.

    Tell a longtime fan that the continuity is changed, and it’s not unlikely that he’ll a) rush onto the message boards to complain about it, but then still b) often be willing to put up with those changes.

    Tell a casual or potential reader that a character was married, but now he’s not, and the only explanation is “magic,” and he’s not going to get outraged, but neither is he going to be inclined to embrace it, either – in most cases, he’s simply going to shrug indifferently and say, “That’s stupid,” and move on, and that will mark the end of his readership.

    Anti-continuity fans are every bit as bad as pro-continuity fans, because both sides see the world exclusively through their own lenses, and assume that everyone else will, too.

  10. Heidi’s Bold New Prediction:

    Attention from NEW READERS will make up for attrition among old timers.

    Could be … but for how long? What happens when some readers’ curiosity is satisfied?

  11. the Post only reports on stories that have 2 things; sex and violence. This spidey story qualifies, sort of.

    But the Post IS good on reporting on NY Sports, Chris. Even if it is owned by the evil one.

  12. i wonder what grant morrison thinks of all this. it’s like one universe (ours) has violated the natural balance between non-fiction/fiction worlds and created some type of space-time friction that we feel at the very least as a low level cognitive dissonance. seriously! don’t you all feel it?

  13. Heidi’s absolutely right. I just read the first issue of BND and it’s really terrific. Folks may be unhappy with the way OMD was executed but this new era is going to be a lot of fun. I’m a longtime Spidey fan and I haven’t been this excited for the series in a very long time. To all the haters: just get over it already.

  14. I don’t know Heidi, what new readers? Are we talking “new” readers, as in people who jump over from other super hero titles, or actual new readers? Because no one I know outside of the usual superhero comics crowd even registers this kafuffle, and if they do its just to say “but I thought Spiderman loves Mary Jane?” and then “wait, they sold it to SATAN? Well that’s stupid. Good thing I don’t read comics”. I mean, its anecdotal evidence and all, but its still pretty depressing.

  15. Heidi’s absolutely right. I just read the first issue of BND and it’s really terrific.

    Opinions differ. To me, it read almost exactly like John Byrne’s “reboot” of the Spider-titles a few years ago, with the bonuses of painfully bad attempted hipster-isms (wow, he’s “macking” on that chick, who’s all “Girls Gone Wild!” It’s like I’m in the ’90s all over again!) and really creepy misogyny (in Peter’s narrative captions, he’s dismissing the girl he’s kissing as a total skank, while he’s kissing her).

    Add in the criminally overrated artwork of Steve “All my characters look like Real Dolls” McNiven, and this is seriously shitty.

    And why should anyone who doesn’t like a product “get over it?” As long as I’m being asked to pay money for anything, I have the right to complain about it as long and as loud as I like (even if I’m not buying it, which, believe me, there is no way I would buy this).

  16. Now see, I think this is leaps and bounds above what Byrne did. Not even close.

    And the reason Pete is dismissing the girl is because she just randomly approached him and planted the kiss on him as he was headed for the restroom. It wasn’t reciprocal (and she later states that she’s targeting Peter specifically to get close to Harry). Notice that when she approaches him again, he climbs out the restroom window to avoid her.

  17. I liked Peter Parker when he was devoted to Mary Jane. As a female non-reader of superhero comics, I always felt it would be great if such a devoted and nice guy existed in real life. While Spiderman’s stories aren’t about Mary Jane, it seemed to me that the old Peter Parker believed in True Love. Certainly it’s a girl’s fantasy too, to be the Mary Jane of a real life Peter Parker/Spiderman?

    But now, it seems that Peter’s turned into all those 20-something losers I try to avoid in real life. This is too much reality for me. I don’t like Peter Parker anymore… :(

  18. What I want to know is, where are these New Readers going to come from and why didn’t they turn up _before_? It’s not like Marvel hasn’t done “Look at these exciting new Spider-developments BUY THE COMIC!” pushes before. And if new readers did turn up because of The Other, Civil War or Back In Black, they must be narked off that the thing that drew them in has suddenly ‘never happened’.

  19. “But now, it seems that Peter’s turned into all those 20-something losers I try to avoid in real life. This is too much reality for me. I don’t like Peter Parker anymore…”

    Not his fault. His creative staff did that to him, largely to make him more like their arrested-adolescent idealizations of themselves.

    Interestingly enough, the last time Marvel tried to wipe out the marriage (through the simple expedient of putting MJ on a plane and then blowing it up), the very next issue also had him tongue-kissing someone else – Mattie Franklin, John Byrne’s then-new Spider-Woman. Who was underage at the time. And doing her best impression of Alicia Silverstone in “The Crush.” Classy, Marvel.

  20. The best of this has to be the shirts from cafe press. ‘It’s magic— we don’t have to explain it”. Gotta love them. The second best has to be the chart that Marvel is helpfully providing where they show all of the characters. I love this one under secret identity. “Absolutely no one knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man…..although some people seem to recall that Spidey unmasked during Civil War, no one quite remembers whose face was under the mask” Bwah, ha, ha. Thanks for clearing that one up for me Marvel.

  21. Y’know what? I’m actually going to take back that “his creative staff” bit. It’s unfair to Slott, Wacker, McNiven, et. al., who may simply be working with what they’re being handed.

    Joe Quesada, on the other hand, has made it no secret to anyone with an ounce of perceptivity that he’s using Peter Parker to act out his midlife crisis. Which is sad on so many levels.

    Hey, maybe now that Dr. Phil doesn’t get to do his Britney show, he can come help Joe out.

  22. Here’s a slap of reality for Joe Q:

    Hey Joey — You’re a WHINER!

    You’ve been whining about the Spider Marriage for as long as anyone can remember. It happened 20 YEARS AGO! Talk about an OVERGROWN FANBOY HARBORING A GRUDGE — Sheesh!

    Joey, GET OVER IT!

    If you like a single Peter Parker living with Aunt May, fighting Harry Osbourne and moaning about what a loser he is, READ A FRIGGIN BACK ISSUE!

    Poor, poor Joey, your back issues are always there, waiting to be pulled out of their crusty yellowing bags and read, not retread.

    You need to grow up, Joey. Spider Man’s appeal to readers has nothing to do with him being married. You see Joey, back when you were struggling to put out that comic called, ASH every six to ten months, Spider-Man was a hot book under the guidence of David Micheline and Todd McFarlane… and it featured a very married Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.

    In fact, I believe one of Marvel’s best selling comics of all time was Spider Man #1 by Todd McFarlane featuring the married Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson Parker.

    So having Spider Man appeal to readers, old and new has nothing to do with marriage, it has to do with telling solid stories by good, dependable creators.

    And Joey, good stories are told by authors, not a committee.

  23. Michael,

    You’re absolutely right.

    But tt’s worse for Quesada because then, there’s no excuse for idiocy.

    He had already witnessed one of the most successful, best selling comics of all time featuring a married Peter and Mary Jane, certainly outsold anything featuring single Peter living with Aunt May… so that blows his theory cold out of the water.

    In fact, he witnessed the entire successful McFarlane run featuring the married characters. It didn’t halt sales or impede on Spidey’s appeal either.

    Come to think of it, that run is better remembered than Joe Q’s Ash which afterwards… Ash, which is something few if any remember but I’m sure you can find hanging around the quarter bins… like a spider.

    Thing is, Spidey has been married for over 20 years, he’s always been at or about the top of the charts so really, the only place the marriage was a problem was in Joe Q’s head… and we see the shit that’s been coming out of there a whole lot now, haven’t we?

    There is no evidence to support his theory whatsoever… except personal preference.

    With great power comes great responsibility… it’s ‘Amazing’ that Joe missed that in Spidey 101. Still, he’s showing everyone that power does indeed corrupt… and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  24. Brett, the MAIN reason why AMAZING SPIDER-MAN sold so well under Micheline and Mcfarlane is because of Todd’s art, NOT because Peter and MJ were married.

  25. You can’t move a character forward by moving them backward and if the character isn’t moving forward, what’s the point?

    I’m done. The folks in charge of Spider-Man just don’t get the character. Dan Slott is great but until his hands aren’t tied by this nonsense count me out.

  26. “if the character isn’t moving forward, what’s the point?”

    Yeah!

    Why the hell hasn’t Archie chosen Betty over Veronica and gone to college already?!?!?

    Give me married Archie or I never read again!

    They just don’t get Archie, man.

    While we’re at it, isn’t it about time Yogi Bear got some grey hair?!? I mean, COME ON!

  27. Your point would work better if Peter Parker hadn’t gone to College already back in the 60s, and then graduated from there in the late 70s, dropped out of doing a graduate course and gone into full-time employment. And all that was before he got married. Meanwhile, his supporting cast are generally not in the same place they were in the high-school stories (see: Flash Thomson becoming one of Peter’s friends and eventually getting into a depression, Liz Allen ending up as a single mother and executive in business).

    The Spidey titles have gone forward ever since Stan Lee decided “let’s have Peter graduate from high-school!” and that was, what, two years after Amazing Spider-Man #1?

  28. “To all the haters: just get over it already.”

    You know you’re onto something when this is the best that someone can come up with.

  29. Queenie Chan: “As a female non-reader of superhero comics, I always felt it would be great if such a devoted and nice guy existed in real life … ”

    Ah, but you’d probably find that boring after a while.

    “But now, it seems that Peter’s turned into all those 20-something losers I try to avoid in real life. This is too much reality for me. I don’t like Peter Parker anymore…”

    Awwww. So what are your standards?

    I think you summed up the problem in the first sentence: You’re a NON-reader of super-hero comics. Joe Q thinks this will change that, but it won’t. And steady readers are boarding lifeboats.

  30. “He had already witnessed one of the most successful, best selling comics of all time featuring a married Peter and Mary Jane, certainly outsold anything featuring single Peter living with Aunt May… so that blows his theory cold out of the water.”

    Yeah but … remember Todd’s SPIDER-MAN #1 selling 2 million copies? I don’t think there aren’t two-million comic collectors in the USA. Let’s not hold Joe Q up to ridicule just because speculation mania was rampant in the 1990s. Instead, let’s hold Joe Q up to ridicule for so many other reasons.

  31. rich Says:

    “Yeah but … remember Todd’s SPIDER-MAN #1 selling 2 million copies? I don’t think there aren’t two-million comic collectors in the USA.”

    From what I can tell from going to flea markets and oddball antique stores over the past years, I think 1.8 million copies were bought by a dozen dudes who bought them in bulk and tried to sell them the next day for ten bucks a pop. When that didn’t work, they showed up by the truckloads at flea markets; some shoved in long boxes, so filling entire long boxes.

  32. Getting in the mainstream press is what Quesada seemingly is most interested in. It ought to be making enjoyable, interesting comics. It shouldn’t be about counting how many times he can get his name mentioned in the USA Today.

    Eventually he will run out of things he can kill or destroy.

  33. Slightly off-topic, Heidi, if I may:
    A friend of mine loves MJ … and insists that MJ was always more popular than Gwen Stacey. As a guy who was following Spidey in the 70s … I always got the impression that Gwen was more popular. Stan Lee has said MJ was more popular, but (with all due respect to Stan), I get the impression that Stan is just towing the company line and doing a PR retcon. Anyone know if Gwen won the popularity contest?

  34. Whether 1.5 million individual people bought the book or not is irrelevant, it still sold, still featured married Peter and Mary Jane.

    McFarlane’s run on the regular book AMAZING before that was so hot, it was on fire… also featuring married Peter and Mary Jane.

    Whether people bought it for McFarlane or not, people still bought it, still enjoyed it, young and old… in droves, featuring a very married Peter Parker. If there isn’t another person who could make the book sell like that or figure out interesting things to do with the married couple since McFarlane, that’s the fault of the creators you hired, not the situation.

    All of you who are telling the fans who want to see time move forward, not back, go take a good look in the mirror:

    All you people who, like Joe Q, are whining that they want to read about their single Peter Parker, quit crying.

    He got married, no one took away your childhood so stop whining ‘awww he’s no fun anymore’ and go read a back issue.

    The marriage happened 20 friggin years ago! Talk about overgrown fanboys harboring a grudge!

    Get over it already!!!!

  35. Oh and Wraith, what you said about my point?

    Match: if BND sells, it won’t be because people are dying to read about single Peter again, it’ll be because of McNiven, Bacchalo or Jimenez’s art.

    Your argument holds no water.

    The same creators could be doing the art featuring a story about the married couple, like McFarlane did, who wasn’t whining when he was on the book, ‘Oh, this books no good, it doesn’t appeal to anyone, I can’t do anything with a married Peter Parker…’

  36. If BND sells, it’ll be because people have said: “Ah! Finally! The event’s over. Now we can get back to some regular stories.”

    DC readers (like myself) are waiting to be able to say this sometime around 2012.

  37. “Whether people bought it for McFarlane or not, people still bought it, still enjoyed it, young and old… in droves …”

    Well, no … people bought it and planned to flip ’em for big money. Young and old. But many probably didn’t even read it. So sales of this book are no argument for keeping them married. (Although OMD remains an idiot plot, defined as a plot that can be told only if everyone in the story are idiots)

  38. Brett, unless the book is being drawn by Jim Lee or Mcfarlane, any high sales for BND will most likely be due to a combination of art and story.

    And OMT, you do know that Marvel (and DC) superhero comics were NEVER meant to grow and age with their readers. The ONLY reason why Stan Lee originally had the Marvel characters aging in real time is because he didn’t think the books and characters would be around for very long. He thought these books were going to be canceled a few years after he co-created them. Once he realized that the books were a hit, he stopped aging the characters.

    You and other readers need to wake up and accept the fact that these characters DO NOT mirror your own lives and that they won’t die in the comics when you die.

    And for the record, I HATED OMD (especially the part where Peter and MJ made an out of character deal with Mephisto).

  39. Heidi, doesn’t the chance of “character fatigue” interfere with the ability of new readers to pick up the series? Think of those blurbs from the companies that talk about “A perfect entry point into…” Even if true, there’d be all that prior continuity going on out there… and somebody would be holding on to it for dear life (think Rich Morrissey being angry enough at John Byrne’s reboot of Superman in the 1980s that he was pcitured actually ripping MoS#1 in half). And those people don’t give up on their cherished mythos easily…

  40. Yeah Rich,

    It doesn’t even matter. It sold. It featured the married couple. Him being married had no affect on his appeal to readers, not for 20 years.

    Wraith,

    The people bought the Micheline / McFarlane Spiderman because of the stories AND art, one of which introduced Venom at a time when the couple was married.

    You should listen to yourself and take your own advice. We know you feel Peter works better unmarried and you’re probably all wet in the chair now that both you and Peter can relive your childhood.

    But it doesn’t change anything.

    The character as directed by his creator, for whatever the reason, grew up and got married… 20 years ago.

    Twenty.

    Twenty years is a long time for you to be harboring this itch, hoping to read about him single again. That’s a long time to be bitter buddy.

    Maybe its time you found a new hobby… because the characters will be back together again. Others before Joe Q tried getting rid of the marriage, even rebooted the entire series… before that too fell flat on their face and those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

    What are you and all the anti-marriage whiners going to do then?

    Throw a pissy fit?

    Here, some guy said this…

    “You and other readers need to wake up and accept the fact that these characters DO NOT mirror your own lives and that they won’t die in the comics when you die.

    Done.

  41. Brett, a few quick points.

    1. The 2 million copies of SPIDER-MAN #1 that were sold to speculators and fans of Mcfarlane’s ART (NOT his writing) is proof that fans were MAINLY interested in the art since the story Todd wrote was complete crap. The fact that the issues of SPIDER-MAN that were written and drawn by Todd outsold those issues of ASM that were written by Micheline (who is leaps and bounds a better writer then Todd will ever be) is proof that sales on those issues drawn by Todd were MAINLY due to Todd’s art and NOT because of the writing and art.

    2. I think you need to follow your own damn advise and find yourself either (a) a new hobby or (b) move onto other comics that may appeal to your obviously changing and “maturing” tastes.

    3. If anyone is “bitter” and throwing a “pissy fit” it’s selfish fans like yourself who can’t accept that a character like Spider-Man is NOT meant to age and grow.

  42. To Rich & Brett (and all the others who are having conniptions over OMD/BND):

    Really guys, you just need to get a grip: It’s. only. a. comic. book.

    And never forget: the marriage was an editorially mandated publicity stunt in the very first place. So in that regard, this is just a matter of the series coming full circle. And it’s always good to shake things up every once in awhile. Keep things fresh, ya know?

    I, for one, am just going to kick back and enjoy some good stories. ‘Nuff said.

  43. I’ve got a grip. But OMD is stupid beyond belief. And if Marvel expects people to shell out money for their product, “it’s only a comic” doesn’t wash.