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Friday, October 31, 2014 

EW detests the Spider-Marriage and supports the faustian pact with Mephisto

Entertainment Weekly's hit a new low, as they announce some news about the Spider-Marriage supposedly being restored, and they think the marriage was awful to begin with:
Marvel has put out another one of its mysterious Summer 2015 teaser posters, and it’s a doozy for Spider-Man fans. Illustrated by Adam Kubert, the teaser is titled Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows and despite being a simple image, it’s absolutely loaded with callouts to some of the most controversial moments in Spidey history.
Putting aside for a moment all the reasons why it's not worth looking forward to even though it is something plenty of Spider-fans want, EW's claim the fans would think it lazy is offensive, because they're saying this for all the wrong reasons.
There are few sore spots in Marvel Comics canon like the Spider-Marriage. Peter Parker married Mary Jane Watson way back in the landmark 1987 comic Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, in a story called “The Wedding!” by David Michelinie and John Romita, Sr. Unlike a lot of comic book story decisions, this one stuck for quite some time—outside of a three year blip from 2000 to 2003 where various crazy plots left MJ either presumed dead or moving away due to marital troubles, the couple never split.
Says who this was a sore spot? Stan Lee wanted to produce a crowd-pleaser, and indeed it was at the time. It was, sadly enough, a small portion of writers/editors who disapproved despite all the fans who did like it, and the worst part is that the list includes some scriptwriters whom I respect like Roger Stern. And just like with many of the crossovers and other "events" that Marvel and DC forced upon their universes, some of the worst storytelling ideas came as a result of trying to undo the marriage. If they really, truly had to undo the marriage, however, then I think the biggest, most irritating problem in all this affair was the staff's inability to do it realistically and build to it incrementally. That's the biggest problem with modern superhero storytelling: they just can't wait. Instead, they hammered everybody with the Clone Saga, then a tale where Mary Jane was taken hostage by a crazy psychokinetic, and then there was the whole Mephisto affair, and wait'll you see what EW says about that:
It wasn’t until the much-maligned 2006 story One More Day that saw the marriage dissolved—not in court, like sensible people do, but by the devil. That’s not a joke. Peter and Mary Jane make a deal with Mephisto, who for all intents and purposes is the Marvel equivalent of the devil himself, to save a dying Aunt May at the cost of their marriage. Mephisto then makes it so no one ever knew they were married. That really happened, and Peter’s been unmarried ever since. The Renew Your Vows poster is a clear callback to the wedding issue, but wait. There’s more!
I think they already told more than need be. It may not be as bad as some of the horrific ideas DC went along with at the time Identity Crisis was published, but it's still alarming and atrocious enough: Peter makes a deal with a devil, and they see nothing wrong with that? I'd like to think they're joking, but the forgiving tone of this article is anything but a joke. Their complete disregard for sanity and responsibility is jaw-dropping. Now, if the "more" they speak of matters:
Deep in that comics abyss that we call “The 90s,” Mary Jane was pregnant with Peter’s child (they were going to name her May), but the Green Goblin drugged her and essentially stole their unborn child. This plot point was then completely dropped, and fans would ask about it for years—although, thanks to One More Day, the answer to that particular question has been moot for some time now. The story was even picked up in Spider-Girl, a long-running and much beloved series that depicted baby May “Mayday” Parker all grown up and taking over for her father.

This is, of course, a very long-winded way of saying look at that little girl! Is it Mayday??!!?!

All these teasers are getting exhausting, yeah? According to Marvel, this is one of the last teasers they have left. There’s no official word yet on what this is all building to, or when we’ll find out, but it looks like the end is in sight!
The end already came and left. If Dan Slott has any part in writing this story, nobody should spend their money on it even if they do restore the marriage, because that doesn't guarantee the writing will suddenly improve. And why does this bit of history matter, but not some of the disturbingly darker parts of the Clone Saga like the time Peter assaulted his duplicate Ben Reilly while a scientist stood idly by, refusing to do anything to halt the jarring act of violence, leaving Mary Jane to do it, and resulting in Peter unintentionally striking her down and injuring her. Sure, when he saw he'd hurt her bad, he ceased, reeling and fleeing the scene in horror, but it was still a very bad storyline, and you can be sure there's people out there who'd wonder how plausible it would be for Mary Jane to forgive Peter after such an act. Even his bashing of Ben Reilly was alarming, since he was anything but a serious criminal. Why doesn't that matter to EW's reporter? That's actually worse in many ways than the Goblin's abduction of their newborn daughter. One could even argue the whole pregnancy was a mistake, depending how they handled it. This is one of the most disgraceful articles about Spidey/Marvel history I've ever seen in a mainstream news source.

I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who've been fed up with how Spidey's being handled now, especially after that Octopus-as-Spidey embarrassment, and if they want to avoid this story too, they'll be justified in refraining, mainly because Joe Quesada's influence is still very prevalent. Indeed, with people like him in charge, it just wouldn't be worth buying this storyline next year. It doesn't translate automatically into good storytelling, and there could always be slop around the corner just as bad as Straczynski's Sins Past debacle; maybe even worse. This is not something to be taken in by any more than a considerable number of fiascos that littered Marvel for years already.

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