Another Comics Thread(Spoilers)

Spoilers, I said! About Spider-Man.

I’m not a big Spidey fan, but are careless perusal of Newsarama tells me that his marriage is wiped out in a Crisis-like retcon, as well as his unmasking, Aunt May’s knowledge of his identity, and even Harry Osborn’s death, and that may just be the start. Any current or long-term Spidey fans have an opinion on this? Actually reading the story? Betting it’s just a year-long experiment?

Honestly, I don’t know why people bother reading Spider-Man anymore. Bad enough Marvel retcons things at the drop of a hat, but for some reason, Spider-Man gets retconned ten times as often as any other character. It’s unreadable at this point.

Joe Q. has been on record for a long time saying that he didn’t like the fact that Peter was married to MJ because it removed some of the “soap opera” elements from the book. So my money is this is a pretty long-term change. (They also got rid of his organic web shooters and are going back to the mechanical ones.)

I was out of the comics scene for years, but was drawn back in with Brubaker’s Cap, and Civil War. (It was the comic geek speak podcast, my bank account send them a damning glance)

I picked up Spidey again in the aftermath of the Other storyline. Mixing in a supernatural element to his origin? What the hell are they doing to the character? There must be more natural ways to end the marriage than a deal with the devil. And all for the life of his million year old aunt?

It was just a graceless execution of an edict from the EiC at Marvel. I’ve pretty much had it with the title.

I think that they let a lot of stuff happen when Straczynski took over the book that they’re stuffing back into the bottle now.

It’s clearly a lesson they learned later, because as I understand it, they’re basically sidelining the “Big Name Author” books so that they don’t rumble with the basic 616 continuity.

Couldn’t this be said for pretty much everything that’s happened at Marvel since Civil War?

Goal: Peter more accessible to younger readers.

Point 1: Marvel, under Joe Quesada, has a no-smoking policy for its heroes. Joe reportedly thinks it glorifies and/or encourages kids to smoke and doesn’t want it in his comics.

Point 2: To make Peter Parker more accessible to younger readers, the same Joe Quesada had him make a deal with the devil.

This means, to me, that making a deal with the devil is more acceptable for our children than smoking. And yes, I know that the devil, depending on your beliefs, may or may not be real, while cigarettes and lung cancer are certainly very real, but still – let’s talk about the message here – it’s okay to make a bargain with ultimate evil to make your life better (let’s be honest – that was what was at the root of Peter’s decision – “I don’t want to experience/can’t live with Aunt May dying”), and allow you to put off a grown up thing like dealing with the death of, and mourning the passing of a beloved aunt

It doesn’t improve the character. Like Caleb said, if you want unmarried Spidey, then he’s all over the place. He’s in two other ongoing Marvel continuities. He’s in the movies. He’s in cartoons. He’s in collections. He’s downloadable. If you’re having trouble telling stories with a married character, find a writer who knows how to tell stories with a married character.

The diabolically ironic thing is that Quesada has noted a couple of times that divorce would taint the character. I find it funny that divorce will, but a deal with the devil won’t. Frankly, divorce would have been much more in tune with Spidey’s hard-luck world.

The Rest

Interesting stuff from that round table.

It seems like Marvel is essentially making a DC style “punt” on their own continuity. The real question is, of course, how this is going to effect sales in the long term on the SpiderMan books.

The idea of continuity in a forty year old universe where everyone is within 5-10 years of their original age is a bit of a joke anyway, and you need to slough off the cruft from time to time.

My sense is they did it a little too crudely here, but I haven’t actually read the books.

Can’t say that I’m surprised. The only Spider-Man I read these days is Ultimate.