Thursday, January 17, 2008

Spidey Split

Allow me to geek out for a moment here...

Marvel Comics has announced their intention to break up the marriage between Spider-Man and his wife of about 21 years, Mary Jane.

It’s been no secret that comic book creators for years now have thought it was a mistake marry these two. Many thought having Peter Parker married to fashion model spoiled a key aspect of the character – that the super hero was really a nerd who had trouble paying the bills and was awkward with girls.

Although I don’t agree with that assessment, I understand where they’re coming from. But the storyline they’ve come up with for ending the marriage is ridiculous!

After Peter Parker's beloved Aunt May was wounded in an attack, Spider-Man and Mary Jane reluctantly struck a deal with the devil-like Mephisto in which he erased everyone's memory of the couple's time together in exchange for May being restored to good health.
Apparently, as much as they don't want a married Spider-Man, they also don't want a divorced Spider-Man. So they came up with this ludicrous story that amounts to what Star Trek fans refer to as "the instant reset button." This is like Bobby Ewing showing up in the shower on "Dallas" -- it was all a dream, it never happened!

I was collecting comics when Spidey and MJ got married. In fact, I actually own two copies of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 (it was released with two versions of the cover). At the time I thought it was cool, and I didn’t at all think it took away from that “real life” aspect of the character. If anything it enhanced it, by adding a new source of stress to Peter Parkers life. He now had to hold his marriage together while fighting crime. More importantly, it allowed the characters to grow and evolve.

If you want to read stories about what the character used to be like, isn’t that what the Ultimate Spider-Man series is for? Or can’t readers pick up a back issue or a reprint?

Meanwhile, the AP article I read about this quoted a user on a Marvel message board who summed it all up:

"Considering I have been reading Spider-Man for exactly 20 years now, and that seems to be the amount of time [Editor-in Chief Joe Quesada] has decided to rip from Spider-Man continuity, can I simply return all of my Spider-Man comics for a full refund?"


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