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This just won’t go away!!!


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.”

Tom Brevoort is shocked, shocked I tell you:

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.

  1. Wow, that comment from Brevoort really disappoints me. First, I don’t think I follow his point at all. He admits that he expected this reaction, then says that this reaction surprises him. You expected people to be mad, but not this mad? Is that it?

    Secondly, he apparently seems to be alright with this terrible batch of storytelling, and to me that’s the part that’s concerning.


  2. Yes, Michael and that just about killed the character of Spider-man. It’s sad. Just imagine what could have been! Spider-man Legos! Movies directed by Sam Raimi! More underoos!

    It’s sad that this has killed the popularity of Spider-man for all times, what with the publicity in national magazines and newspapers.

    A suggestion for everyone here complaining about bad storytelling: Go buy Laika or The Arrival or something by Rick Veitch or Tezuka. You may be more satisfied.

  3. I hear Marvel’s new plan is to re-release the last 35 years of Spiderman comic books with art and text corrections to reflect the new staus quo.

  4. Uh, Heidi? I do buy all those things and I haven’t bought Spiderman since I was ten. Am I still allowed to think its stupid? I’m confused as to what I’m allowed to think about this. I don’t want to offend any bloggers or editors.

    My misplaced snark aside, I do have a question. Have the Spiderman legos and movies and video games translated into significant sales in the comic? Or have they created a sort of separate Spiderman, one for the masses of non-comics people. One that people can go to when editorial goofiness like clones or Mephisto make the comic itself unpalatable. A parallel mythos. I mean, millions of people bought the Spiderman 3 movie on DVD, but did even 10% of those people then pick up a Spiderman comic? Did 5%? I don’t know! I’m just not sure if Spiderman (or any hero) being a popular cultural icon will serve (or save) the comic itself anymore. It seems totally possible that the comic could be screwed while the character remains a huge money maker outside the industry. But I’d like to know the numbers to make sure I’m not just full of it.

  5. I thought OMD was as stupid and poorly thought as anyone else who has dumped on it, and it richly deserves the scorn that has been heaped on it, but there is no reason to intentionally misrepresent what happened at the end of the story.

    My understanding of the story is that nothing in the past has changed, the only thing that has changed is character’s current memory of that past. So nothing was undone, nothing in the past was changed. The Green Goblin killed Gwen because he knew Peter was Spiderman, he just doesn’t remember that is why he did it. The Avengers did know that Peter was Spiderman, but now they don’t remember that they knew. And what happened to all of the physical evidence that people had that Peter was Spiderman (like photos, etc.), my guess is that it was altered or when people look at it they don’t see Peter.

    I think it is time that people move on from OMD. If you don’t like BND, then read something else. It’s just a comic book. Just my 2 cents.

  6. My understanding of the story is that nothing in the past has changed, the only thing that has changed is character’s current memory of that past.

    Except that Harry Osborn never died now, which completely changes everything about Norman Osborn’s motivations ever since.

    Oh, and Peter never had organic webshooters, either, which kind of implies that almost everything J. Michael Straczynski wrote is significantly altered.

    But please, continue telling us how nothing was different, except for the characters’ memories.

  7. Jesus– did anyone bother to click through the link and see that Tom Brevoort was responding to some crazy ranting about how Harry Osborn’s girlfriend looked like a hooker because she was Hispanic with blond hair?

    Here’s how links work: you click them by putting the “icon” on top of the words and pushing down on left button on your “computer mouse.” The “computer mouse” tells your computer you’ve clicked on the words! Then, as if by the blackest of magics, your internet “web-browser” will take you through the tubes on the Internet to a completely different “webpage” which will provide context for quotations. Context can help you to form opinions that will be fully-informed! Imagine the possibilities!

  8. And the Hispanic thing was a reference to a John Byrne post he made on his message board.

    New Spider-Man is this decade’s New Coke. Marvel has shit the bed on this one and no matter how many clean crisp new sheets they put on it it still stinks. Are you really surprised that one week after the most popular character in North American comics makes a deal with Satan readers are still annnoyed? Then the next few years are going to be a real piece of popcorn caught in your back teeth.

  9. No, Heidi… It won’t go away.

    You think it’s nuts people are fuming during the last few days because Peter and MJ are no longer married?

    Joe Quesada has been fuming for 20 years that they were.

    Haven’t you heard? It’s been ruining Spidey’s appeal. It’s all Joe’s been talking about for a lot longer than a few days. Spidey sales have been suffering badly since he married the super model. No one can relate. They don’t read his comics, they don’t buy his toys, his bedsheets, see his movies…

    What a world.

  10. I wasn’t too pleased with what I read of OMD, but I thought this week’s AMAZING #546 was pretty good. I can do without the 3-page “Jackpot” story (Could she possibly say “tiger” more often??) and the Aunt May soup kitchen 3-pager was nothing to crow about either, but I do like having Harry Osborne back on the canvas, as well as Jonah Jameson and Betty Brant. Hey, you think Detective Jean DeWoolfe is alive again?
    Now if they’d just “OMD” Fantastic Four and get rid of everything since around 1984, I’d be a happy guy.

  11. Heidi, the real issue here is that with OMD/BND Quesada is reaching for an audience that simply doesn’t exist. He says that a married Spidey is “too old” for his audience, only most comicbook readers are college age or older, and getting married (or already married w/kids themselves)!

    So who is he reaching out for? Stan only knows. If they are even reading the comic, young kids have Amazing Adventures: Spider-Man, Teens have Ultimate Spider-Man, girls (if there are any) have Spider-Girl. Which should leave “classic” Spidey for old-timers like me (I’ve been here since ’62).

    Besides, it isn’t like there aren’t a shelf-full of limited series, alternate versions, and retcons already out there (Spider-man Blue, With Great Power, et. ad. nausium), why screw with the original? This is all about a bill of goods that Quesada has sold us. He has long stated that he hates Pete’s Marriage to MJ, and now he has finally eradicated it.

    However, Tom Brevoort is wrong, the ire among fans isn’t so much about the ending of the marriage, but the WAY it was ended. Seriously, a deal with Satan? Up until this action Peter was right up there with Captain America as one of the most morally-centered characters in all of the Marvel Universe (if not all of comics themselves). Having him cut a deal with Satan was just stupid. Plus, the way he is being written now is simply sloppy. Tripping over himself, unable to catch simple buglers, novice-style mistakes. Quesada’s actions have done more damage to the character than all the “Bronze Age” years of misdirection and bad story lines.

    Plus, all the false hype in the letters page is simply adding insult to injury, especially when all of the blog sites are decrying the entire mess. Yes, this is worse than the Clone Saga debacle.

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