Doing whatever a spider can.

In the spirit of Mark’s recent airing of childhood skeletons, I offer the following.

I grew up on comic books, loyal to a very few titles – Hulk, sometimes Iron Man if it wasn’t in a lame stage.  Spider-Man’s always been at the top of my list, though.  Hell, I was there when he got married:


You can’t see me too well in that picture; I’m off to the left, wondering why this ridiculous photo with stand-in heroes and villains is being staged. 

You’ve heard, right? 

Spider-Man fans are outraged that Marvel Comics has turned back time
and dissolved the super-hero’s marriage to Mary-Jane. While followers
of the movies know the couple only as sweethearts, as far as comic book
fans are concerned, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson have been married
for the past 21 years.

Now, in a peculiar plot twist in Spider-Man
No 545, Peter and Mary Jane make a deal with the devil-like Mephisto
which sees the clock turned back and their marriage annulled in return
for saving the life of Peter’s Aunt May, who has been in a deep coma.
Suddenly, Peter is once again young, nerdy and living with his aunt,
and his marriage has been erased from everyone’s memory.

Well, okay:  the marriage thing was poorly executed, over the years.  Except for a Mary Jane kidnapping by a not-particularly-villainous villain, the marriage was about as relevant as the Spider Signal.  I can’t agree with the solution – Mephisto is also not especially villainous, despite apparently being Satan, and this marriage-erasure is very much a lame reset to the start.  Marvel could have chosen to cater to longtime fans, who were teenagers when Peter was a teenager, and are now adults, and aren’t interested in seeing Peter move in with his 145 year old aunt again, but I can see the rationale behind feeling that their hands were tied, in terms of avenues for new stories.  Sort of.  So, I shrugged, and had no plans to post about it.

Then I read this, this morning:

Everyone in the world (as part of the deal) has suddenly forgotten
Spider-Man’s secret identity for no apparent reason – won’t some of
them find that a bit odd?

It was ballsy when, during the recent anti-climactic Civil War series, Peter Parker unmasked himself to the world.  Everyone knew who he was – for real, unlike countless other issues with covers proclaiming his secret identity revealed.  A few issues were put out dealing with the fallout – in fact, Aunt May was in a coma because she was shot, since everyone knew she was Spider-Man’s aunt.  The basic thing here is that they were just scratching the surface of what could be done with the character, and the storylines, now that the secret identity thing was an issue of the past. 

I wonder why fans aren’t more up in arms about this – poof, it’s a secret again?  For Marvel to complain about their hands being tied, in terms of innovating with storylines, and then to just magically erase his revelation – which, to sink further into a quagmire of dorkiness, would completely unravel the entire Civil War storyline – is not especially smart, or brave.

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