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Friday, December 29, 2017 

Even if ASM #800 undid the disaster of One More Day, that doesn't mean we should buy it

CBR's written about the story that's crippled Spider-Man for about a decade now, One More Day, and the writer wonders if Dan Slott's willing to undo it on his way out. I don't think we should count on it, and even if he does, it'd be better not to buy something he wrote, if only because of all the abuse he threw at fans over the years, myself included, and has never publicly apologized for his hostility to the fanbase. Based on that, why should we validate him as a "professional" scripter when he's done nothing to show he's sorry?

Here's what they're telling about where this appears to be going:
...as reportedly a final battle between Spider-Man and the green, gliding villain that has hounded him for decades, won’t be just another destructive clash between good and evil. The upcoming arc is also set to introduce a new menace into the Spider-Man mythos: the Red Goblin. As of yet there are few details about the character, but his red, hellish appearance appears to link him to Mephisto, whom fans will know as the evil and mystical entity responsible for reshaping reality in order to forcibly put an end to Peter Parker and Mary-Jane’s marriage.
You can tell whoever wrote this isn't very well versed in history, or he'd know Norman Osborn, as the Green Goblin, had been out of the picture at least till the late 90s after seemingly dying in 1973, following the moment where he knocked Gwen Stacy off the George Washington Bridge in NYC, and Harry Osborn had only been in the costume once. As for this Red Goblin's connections with Mephisto, it still won't make for a good story, and that's surely the best argument you could make about what's transpiring, because Slott's work on Spidey has been, for the most part, garbage.
Assuming the story arc runs for at least four issues (solicitation text indicates five variants, so…), its end would come at Amazing Spider-Man #800, which will no doubt be massive. This raises several questions: Could the Red Goblin be a sign that Mephisto will once again meddle in Spidey’s life despite the promise made that he wouldn’t? And could it be that Mephisto will somehow undo his actions by the end of Dan Slott’s epic story for Amazing Spider-Man?
Again, don't hold your breath, and even if it does happen, Slott's already done enough to doubt he'd deliver. Let's not forget that time when Dr. Octopus took over Peter Parker's body, remember? Based on that, why should any sane person buy the issue? It's little more than a bookend to a period that's terrible, and shouldn't be considered canon. The columnist's whitewashing is no improvement:
Dan Slott has had quite a run on Amazing Spider-Man. He began writing the series back in 2008, beginning with Amazing Spider-Man #546, part of the “Brand New Day” arc through which a new status quo for Peter Parker was established. From there, Slott began to experiment and take Peter Parker and the characters associated with him, to new heights. He took the wall-crawler out of his job at the Daily Bugle and placed him in a genius think tank in “Big Time,” he gave Peter Parker his own company and wealth — after killing him off and replacing him with an old foe, that is. [...]
That's all they can say? No mention of Doc Ock, or his sexual exploitation of Mary Jane? Because the "Superior" Spider-Man was one of the worst moments in the bad direction, turning it all into something more like sympathy for criminals. But, it gets worse:
Though the storyline Amazing Spider-Man #545 was beautifully written and had its meaningful, touching moments, it was heavily criticized by both critics and fans. The main criticism is that it was an inelegant way of reversing Spider-Man’s unmasking, one that compromised Peter’s integrity — a quality that is central to the character. More than that, it ultimately tore down a classic comic book relationship in an unceremonious way, a relationship that had been going strong for almost thirty years.
Well, I guess this sums up what kind of SJW and/or millenial we're dealing with here. Somebody who can't appreciate the whole concept of marriage, iconism, let alone the potential you can get out of a supporting character based on story merit. Anybody who's going to water down the picture so badly demonstrates why comicdom will never be able to put itself back together. J. Michael Strayczynski's whole run on Spidey during 2001-2007 was full of pretensions, inconsistencies with even the simplest elements of past Spidey characterizations, and of course, there's that distasteful 9-11 issue produced just a few months after the tragedy that only further dampened his run. In retrospect, I just don't see what all the fuss was about, and Sins Past may have made more of JMS's defenders come to terms with how he wasn't worth all the hype.
Marvel is well aware of this, and it’s apparent that it hasn’t forgotten. In recent years, there have been several references to “One More Day” and to the relationship Peter and MJ once had. For example, in Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 Peter, after being wrongfully murdered (yes, murdered) by Deadpool, finds himself before Mephisto, who taunts him about a loss he knows nothing about. Then there’s Mary-Jane’s confession during “Dying Wish,” when she outright admitted that she would always love Peter. Stories such as “Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows” and “One Moment in Time” have even expanded on the past relationship.
If they're talking about the Renew Your Vows miniseries written by Gerry Conway, in a return to a title he was noted for decades ago, they've got a good choice of mention there. Many press sources wouldn't dwell on it, but as David Gabriel said, the Conway-scripted miniseries sold better in its own way than all the hack jobs on the main Spidey titles combined. But other items like One Moment in Time were little more than insults, and even before the Doc Ock embarrassment, there were at least a few more obsessive efforts the writers/editors made in trolling the fans. Even turning Peter into a slacker hurt the book's reputation considerably. It did nothing to improve the mess, and only made things worse.
...A return to the status quo prior to Mephisto’s pact would be huge. It’d be more than just returning Peter Parker and Mary-Jane to a happy marriage, it’d be undoing the last ten years of Amazing Spider-Man, which means we might see some characters like Harry Osborn or even Aunt May killed off.
On this note, regarding Aunt May, if they were to restore her exit from the mortal plane as seen in 1994, where she died of natural causes, that could make it acceptable. There've been too many character deaths by murder over past years where innocent cast members were turned into cannon fodder, supposedly to motivate the heroes, no matter how badly written the end result was. One More Day comes pretty close in its own way. Deaths by natural causes and auto accidents can be less controversial and easier for audiences to accept, as was the case with Jim Starlin's the Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel from 1982. But again, let's remember that writers as terrible as Slott can't be trusted to deliver on even the most mininal expectations, and considering how contemptuous he's been over the years, that's why it just doesn't pay to buy his last storyline.
While the latter isn’t likely to happen, the point stands that any story that undoes “One More Day” would have huge ramifications, the most important of them being Peter Parker’s likely return to form as the humble, responsible and compassionate superhero fans have known and loved for decades. It would be a great way of commemorating the decade old storyline, and considering that “Go Down Swinging” appears to be Dan Slott’s final statement on Spidey, it’d be a fitting way to leave the title because he’d definitely be going out with a bang.
Umm, I don't see the use of "commemorating" such a bad era. The best idea would be to quietly drop such moments from continuity, without even resorting to company wide crossovers and such, and start over from specific points in publication history where everybody could find it easier to jump on again without being swamped in these awful ideas. IMHO, the whole Clone Saga is another example of an era that would be best forgotten, and, better still, de-canonized. It goes without saying the writer behind it, like Terry Kavanaugh and even Tom deFalco, owe an apology for such an obscenely written tale that saw Peter beating up on his clone Ben Reilly before accidentally punching Mary Jane backwards against a laboratory wall (whose scientist wouldn't even try to stop the fighting), and then running off in a panic instead of trying to help her after bruising her. It was practically symbolic of how men aren't portrayed as bold and selfless in today's entertainment.
So what are the chances that Amazing Spider-Man #800 will actually undo anything? At this point, no one knows the details of the plot, but given the direction in which the title is now heading, we’d guess there’s reason to at least cautiously hope a monumental change will occur. It may not be in the form of a huge, reality-shifting deus ex machina — which wouldn’t be a good thing — but a large enough push to get things going, setting Peter and MJ back on the path t reuniting. If we take into account all the subtle references and the way the title has occasionally teased the return of Peter and MJ, it feels like a return to the old status quo is the natural next step.
But again, even if it does happen - and there's every chance it won't - that doesn't mean we should buy it. But then, I'm sure a lot of Spider-fans already realize why it doesn't pay to plunk money into Slott's pockets. And are they saying a gigantic crossover extravaganza is where a retcon back to a tasteful status quo is the best way to handle a return to a better path? I think not. A quiet retcon sans the crossovers would be far better, and there was a time when Marvel, if they wanted to update an origin, usually did it individually, title by title, in contrast to DC's outrageous obsession with connecting every retcon to a company wide crossover. Of course, that all changed by the turn of the century, as even Marvel started getting to the point where they too could use crossovers as a means to deal with everything.

It remains, above all, to be seen whether C.B. Cebulski understands that there's a whole Marvel fandom out there who'd like to see Mary Jane Watson's status as Peter Parker's wife restored. Similarly, there's also a whole DC fandom out there who'd like to see them cut out their own SJW agenda at the expense of even minor heroes and co-stars. If Cebulski lets Joe Quesada get in the way, then they cannot expect fandom to have a positive response and pay hard earned money for their products again.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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