The many mistakes made with Spidey
If Marvel was just starting a new Spider-Man comic, it would only be on the radars of fans like myself. Off a flagship character, however, and you gain national attention through news outlets like CNN that generally don’t cover comics. Everyone gets passionate and riled up, calling for boycotts or defending the “bold” new direction, and sales go up no matter how ill-conceived the story is.You said it. But after 5 years, I've concluded that Quesada never really intended to make Spidey more relatable, and he his successor Axel Alonso have already failed miserably anyway, which could partly explain why they stooped even lower to this ghastly stunt. And why indeed did Spidey and Mary Jane have to be forcibly split up when Captain American and Iceman, for example, could surely make great single ladies' men? Or any of the New Warriors like Nova? Oh wait, I just remembered discovering that they killed off Richard Rider last year, and replaced him with another character in the same role; why they did that I have no idea. But with overrated writers like Jeph Loeb in charge, there's no chance even the new character will be depicted well.
And that is where my anger lies. It’s not that this storyline couldn’t ever be done – it’s just that it’s not that great, and it’s being published for the wrong reasons. I don’t understand why this weird experiment had to be the finale of, arguably, the greatest comic series of all time instead of just a quirky, but likely forgettable footnote in its history. Its creators talk about this like it’s the beginning of some great new era – it’s not. It’s another mistake in a long series of mistakes they’ve made with the Webhead.
The most notable of these mistakes is “One More Day” in 2007 – Parker’s Aunt May is dying, so Mephisto, Marvel’s version of the Devil, offers to save her life in exchange for Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage. Of what use, exactly, would a marriage be to the Devil? Doesn’t he collect souls or something? Instead of letting go of his elderly and often sickly aunt after all these years, he erases the love of his life from ever existing – how is shaking hands with the master of evil himself a heroic thing to do? I thought I was supposed to be rooting for this guy!
They did this because then-Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada felt that Spidey was more relatable when he was single, but there are literally thousands of single superheroes in Marvel’s repertoire – shouldn’t there be a few heroes for the married readers to relate to? Instead of tackling divorce, separation, or the death of a loved one, all very relatable situations, they sacrificed the character’s courageous integrity. Talk about missing the point.
We can only hope that this will finally convince more Spider-fans than before that the time has come to jump ship and turn more to reading older, better stories of Spidey. I may have said it before and I'll say it again, with people like Quesada and Alonso in charge, a Marvel fan's money is better spent on the older output in archives.