By EvilAndy 6 Comments
When Joe Quesada dropped that steaming pile known as “One More Day” on unsuspecting fans I quickly stopped getting Amazing Spider-Man, which is a shame since I am a big Spidey fan. Spider-Man was the first superhero I discovered, I had re-prints of the ASM 1-20 by Lee and Ditko that I read over and over again as a kid. But OMD was just too much.
It’s not that the Peter/Mary Jane marriage was somehow sacred, the story was just crap. It was insulting and pathetic. It would have been better if they killed Mary Jane off, or had them divorce. Even saying that Mary Jane had been a skrull the whole time would have been better. As bad as that idea is, it would have at least been interesting to see the real Mary Jane try to return to her old life. Instead they just re-wound the clock to the 70’s and 80’s and decided to recycle the past.
Sadly they were on the edge of potential greatness after the Civil War. Peter had told the world he was Spider-Man and ASM could have gone in a truly bold and new direction. At the time I was impressed, and excited for the future. I didn’t see how they could get out of it, surely they weren't going to do some lame make-the-world-forget story like in Iron Man back in the day.
So much for “The House of Ideas.”
Over the past four years I’ve pretty much stayed away from ASM, but there’s was a little nagging voice in my head that says it’s just a comic book, lighten up, you love Spider-Man, why hold a grudge. Now I ignore the little voice since it usually says you’re a grown man, why the hell are you still buying comic books, but when the Spider-Island event was announced I thought I’d give it a shot.
It’s not working.
The problem is that OMD hangs over everything, we’re always being reminded of its effects. In ASM #666 Ben Grimm want’s to know why Peter and Mary Jane broke up, Pete brushes it off saying “It’s a long story,” and all I can think is no, it’s a pathetic, cheap and lazy story that was forced down our throats by the Marvel’s Ego in Chief. And several times Peter references the spell that Doctor Strange (really Mephisto) cast to make everyone forget that he’s Spider-Man.
Bad stories come and go in comics. I dropped ASM during the whole Clone Saga debacle, but eventually it passed and I started picking it up again, but with OMD there is just no escape.
I might be more accepting of this new reality if they went and did something interesting with Pete’s love life. Maybe have him date another superhero, having Peter Parker meet and start dating someone like Jen Walters could be fun. They actually are similar characters. Both are highly intelligent and were quiet and unassuming people before they got superpowers, after which their personalities blossomed. And if Peter didn’t realize that the Jen Walters he was dating was THE Jen Walters, hilarity could then ensue.
Instead we have Carlie Cooper.
There’s nothing really wrong with Carlie, she’s a likable character, but let’s face it, she’s just Gwen Stacy with glasses. It’s my understanding that Quesada wanted to bring back Gwen as a result of OMD but was talked out of it by other writers and editors (which is all the evidence you need to show that Quesada doesn’t have a damn clue). Well, they did bring her back, they just call her Carlie Cooper. She’s the nice girlfriend who doesn’t know Peter is Spider-Man who Peter has to constantly lie to and disappoint. Hell, like Gwen Stacy her father was even a cop.
Before she died Gwen Stacy was studying chemistry, so do you think had she lived she might have followed her father into law enforcement as, oh I don’t know, a forensic investigator? It’s like they’re not even trying.
As for Spider-Island itself, it’s just okay. Humberto Ramos’ pencils are fantastic but the story seems a bit disjointed and strung out. I think they stretched what could have been a 5 or 6 issue story to 8 (6 parts plus prologue and epilogue) so they can have their nifty 8 armed spider logo. It was fun to see J. Jonah Jameson turn into a monster but overall it’s not enough to coax me back.
I’ll see Spider-Island to the end, but until they can get out from under OMD in some way; another confrontation with Mephisto or at the least Peter and Mary Jane have to discover what their past really is, I’m going to continue to hold my grudge.