Robot 6

Spider-Man newspaper strip gets its own Brand New Day

The Amazing Spider-Man (Dec. 31)

The Amazing Spider-Man (Dec. 31)

Darn that Parker luck.

One moment you’re kicking back with your identically dressed supermodel wife, commenting on the daily televised screed from J. Jonah Jameson. The next, you’re waking up in your aunt’s house to the smell of coffee and the sounds of awkward exposition.

It’s as if the past two decades never happened, and it’s … a Brand New Day.

Yes, The Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, which has been chugging along ever-so-slowly since 1977, has again fallen somewhat in step with comic-book continuity. The change was teased for the first time in the Dec. 31 installment. The next morning, readers — and Peter Parker — awoke to an abrupt continuity reboot.

No angst-filled build-up, no deal with the stand-in Devil. Just … poof.

Thankfully, on Jan. 3, the editors stepped in to alleviate any confusion with a “special note to perplexed readers” that explains: “In keeping with the new Spider-Man story line at Marvel  Comics, we, too, are going back to Spidey’s roots. He’s single, and attending college. Now let the surprises begin!”

Mystery solved! No?

The Amazing Spider-Man (Jan. 5)

The Amazing Spider-Man (Jan. 5)

But how will devotees of the comic strip react to the “surprises”? Yes, the strip has a fanbase, including a certain Mike P, who’s mocked written about the wall-crawler’s daily adventures for the past two years at The Amazing Spider-Blog.

The big New Year’s Day reveal left Mike and his readers largely unimpressed.

“[W]hile we’re going back to Spider-Man’s roots, as Mister Lee says, we’re not … well, I’m not sure what we’re doing,” Mike writes after three days of Brand New Strips. “It appears that we’ve simply gone back in time a few years. Well, more like twenty-some years.”

“Do I have high hopes for this whole thing?” he continues. “No. I’ve read the strip analytically for the past two years. I’m sure we’ll have the exact same quality we’ve had for the past who knows how long.”

“This is terrible,” commenter Mathew Walls responds in the comments. “No more Maria Lopez, no more scantily-clad MJ, what’s left? Just lame villains and a lot of TV watching.”

At the Toon Zone forum, the reaction has been a little more volatile, with one commenter wondering whether publishers “enjoy making the readers angry or tired.” (Tired?)

Another points the finger of blame at Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada: “Quesadilla has poisoned the last safe bastion of Spider-adventure!” (Additional exclamation points and frowny-faces removed for space.)



The Ugly American

January 5, 2009 at 9:59 am

Quesadilla? Now I’m hungry for Mexican.

Y’know, I’ve wondered if Stan Lee actually writes the strip. It sounds like him, feels like him, but I really doubt he writes it day in and day out, most likely ghosted.

According to Roy Thomas (who’s ghost-writing the strip) the strip will return to its regular continuity (with a married Peter Parker) after this flashback story.

It’s funny how things come full circle. Peter & MJ were married in the comic because the strip was about to marry them and now, they’re no longer married in the strip because the comics did it.

I thought Marvel “re-booted” Spidey to appeal to younger readers, one that might not connect with a married Peter Parker. (Or, at the very least, it’s Joe Q. and company’s way of projecting themselves and their forsaken bachelorhood through a swingin’ single hero!) But are these younger readers INTO the newspaper strip? Isn’t only old timers browsing yard sale ads that hit up the strip? What papers even publish it? A big change would be . . . attracting attention! I guess, mission accomplished!

[…] the beginning of the year, the Spider-Man newspaper strip received a bit of a makeover that brought it in step with comic book continuity. Echoing “Brand New Day,” the strip […]

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