Newsweek gets on the newly Single Spidey bandwagon. Is this the death of Cap 2?
The thing is, they’re not so much angry about the breakup itself–most fans will admit that characters, at some point, need a fresh start. (Marvel’s main rival, DC Comics, gave Superman and Wonder Woman new beginnings in the 1980s, and fans took it fine.) The problem, they say, is that the story’s not realistic. Divorce, yes. (Peter and MJ had a trial separation at one point.) Death, sure. (That’s how Parker’s ex-girlfriend Gwen Stacy died). But would as intelligent and moral a hero as Peter Parker really be dumb enough to strike a deal with the devil? Would he really choose an aged aunt, who’s led a full and satisfying life, over his true love? “This is not an idea, but an admission of a lack of ideas,” says Bob Sodaro, a Connecticut writer and graphic artist who has been collecting Spider-Man comics since its inception in 1962. On his blog, he calls the move “the ultimate form of copout”–and one that “loudly proclaims that not only has Marvel run out of ideas, but that it’s writers and editors really can’t write themselves out of a paper bag.”
It’s amazing to me that no matter how long I’m in this business, the fans can always surprise me. Not that they’re upset about the end of the Spider-marriage–no, that I expected. But the fact that you guys in general are so mad that you’ll pick at any possibility for a fight, sling any insult at any person whether they’re involved with the book or not, throw around hyperbole so bombastic that it would make Stan Lee himself blush, and just generally be looking so desperately hard for reasons to vent your ire took me completely aback.
But we’ll leave it to Douglas Wolk to put it all in perspective:
Most frustratingly, there’s nothing particularly fresh going on here–nothing that opens up the Spider-Man concept to the 21st century, or finds new depths in the 45 years of stories that precede it. There doesn’t seem to be any subtext at all in this issue (what is it about? it’s about Spider-Man, duh!), and there’s barely any open space, either visually (the cover is almost the only image this issue that suggests Spider-Man’s sense of free motion through the city) or in the story; I can’t imagine the plot going anywhere unexpected or novel. I feel like this is an upgraded version of a story that was accidentally left out of Essential Spider-Man Vol. 7–sharper dialogue, prettier modeling for the artwork, but very much the opposite of brand new.