Saturday, January 05, 2008

One More Day – Commentary – The End

This subject is like a scab, in that you know you should leave it alone and it will heal and fall off on its own, but you continue to pick at it.

The interviews by Joe Quesada have been amusing and they can be seen here. It is in five parts and occasionally sounds sincere and often sounds inane. One of my favorite exchanges was this

“So, to get this straight, OMD doesn’t actually negate the previous 20 years of Spider-Man stories?
Exactly, that’s precisely what we wanted to avoid. What didn’t occur was the marriage. Peter and MJ were together, they loved each other -- they just didn’t pull the trigger on the wedding day. All the books count, all the stories count -- except in the minds of the people within the Marvel U, Peter and MJ were a couple, not a married couple. To me, that’s a much fairer thing to do to those of us who have been reading Spider-Man for all these years. Like I said, is it perfect? No. As far as we investigated, short of divorcing Peter, nothing really is.”

So Harry being alive, no one knows Peter’s identity, he has regular web shooters again, but no history changed? Yeah, that does not even make magical sense.

Next up we have JMS showing up on Newsarama to add his two cents to the whole debacle.
Unfortunately you need a lot of what he said to get the full effect of his complaint.

“But there are some vital omissions in the interview, including the primary reason I finally threw up my hands on the book, which had mainly to do with how the resolution was handled. To explain, here's the conversation I had with Marvel, in sum:
"So what does Mephisto do?" I ask.
"He makes everybody forget Peter's Spider-Man."
"Uh, huh. So Aunt May's still in the hospital --"
"No, he saves Aunt May."
"But if all he does is save her life and make everybody forget he's Spidey, she still has a scar on her midsection."
"No, he makes that go away too."
"Okay...:"Then he wakes up in her house."
"The house that was burned down?"
"But how --"
"Mephisto undoes that as well."
"Okay. And the guys who shot at Peter and May and were killed, they're alive too? Mephisto can bring guys back from the dead?"
"It's all part of the spell."
"And Doc Strange can't tell?"
"And the newspaper articles? News footage?"
"Joe, it's been forgotten."
"I'm just asking is that stuff there or not there?"
"Not there. And Peter's web shooters are back."
"Is this the same spell or a different spell?"
"Same spell."
"How does making people forget he's Spidey bring back his web shooters?"
"It's magic, okay?"
"I see. And Harry's back."
"And Mephisto does this too."
"So is Harry back from the dead, or has he been alive? If they ask him, hey Harry, what did you do last summer, will he remember? And the year before? And the year before? If he says they all went on a picnic two years ago, will they remember it?"
"It's --"
"Because if he now has a life he remembers, if he's not back from the dead, then you've changed the continuity you said you didn't want to change. Those are your only options: he was brought back from the dead, and there's a grave, and people remember him dying --"
"Mephisto changes THEIR memories too."
"-- or he's effectively been alive as far as our characters know, so he's been alive all along, so either way as far as our characters are concerned, continuity's been violated going back to 1971. How do you explain that?"
"It's magic, we don't have to explain it."

And that's the part I had a real problem with, maybe the single biggest problem. There's this notion that magic fixes everything. It doesn't. "It's magic, we don't have to explain it." Well, actually, yes, you do. Magic has to have rules. And this is clearly not just a case of one spell making everybody forget he's Spidey...suddenly you're bringing back the dead, undoing wounds, erasing records, reinstating web shooters, on and on and on.”

Even the guy who was onboard for writing this “fix” can’t handle the way that Marvel fixed it.

From Mike Sterling’s Progressive Ruin (the King of Comic Blogs) comes his summation of the entire train wreck (see January 4th entry). I hope he is right that someone comes and fixes this thing soon.

I’m always an advocate for change and growth in characters. I actually preferred Connor being Green Arrow, because Ollie’s story had been told. Until Judd Winnick got on Green Arrow and cut loose with “One Year Later” I was not following Ollie as Green Arrow. I prefer Kyle as Green Lantern or move on past Kyle even. I was unimpressed with Hal as GL until the “Sinestro Corps War” but that has more to with the Green Lanterns then Hal.

At least DC moves on and tries to really move forward. There is nothing wrong with having new people as the heroes with the same name. JSA does a great job with that and I would rather read about the new Hourman and Liberty Belle, then the old. Also I would rather read about the new Batman and Wonder Woman. Still if a good story is told and advancement in the character can be made that is also fine, but often it is just undone by the next writer. Look what happened the death of Ras As Ghul. No one picked up that story line so they wiped away with his rather lame Resurrection. Again that does not negate so great stories to come; it is just that we are unwilling to give up the past.

Marvel is even worse in this respect. We have the exact same character still running around in almost every title. Spider-Man is still Peter Parker, The Fantastic Four is still Reed Richards, Sue Richards, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm, Tony Stark I still Iron Man, Janet Van Dyne is still the Wasp, Bruce Banner is the Hulk and on and on and on.

The One More Day debacle is a problem on many levels. The screwed up continuity, which Marvel says is not screwed up it all happened, just not the way it happened I guess. Dead people are revived, Peter’s life is totally changed, but it is okay because we get to see Joe’s version of the perfect Spider-Man because magic fixes whatever they want to fix. The character is disrespected, the fans are disrespected and the growth that the character had achieved is wiped away.

Again that is not to say that we will not got some entertaining stories out of the Spider-Man books and I will try out a couple issues to see if it has readability, but I have no interest in every trying to invest in the character ever again. I tired to get interested in Spider-Man here and there and under JMS there were some stories I followed and the concept of a three times a month single story was appealing, but now I really could care.

I guess I’m grateful that I have my archives, Invincible, Blue Beetle, Dynamo 5 and some other great super hero books to look forward to, but the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man were the main characters I loved growing up as a child, and this is just a sad chapter in the history of the character and really is the worst story ever fostered on this character. The characters almost become alive after reading about them for so many years so it is sad when the reality that they are just really pictures on a page is made so evident when someone in power decides to radically change them and applies no logic to it.

1 comment:

  1. I read a few pages of the first AMAZING under Slott and McNiven. It's pretty, no doubt.

    I've been reading SPIDER-MAN off and on my whole like. It was my very first comic when I was five.

    Having it written with Peter living with May again felt like an OLD story. Not sure if that bolds well or not for me yet.

    The first page of the first issue has Peter hooking up with some random girl at a club.

    It almost feels like a big Fuck You to fans, but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

    ULTIMATE SPIDEY is still good.

    Rock on.