Robot 6

Fan letters save Spider-Man’s marriage — in the comic strip

At 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 reverted Peter Parker to an unmarried student living with his Aunt May. Mephisto not included, it was just an abrupt change to the status quo.

“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!” the editors wrote back in January.

Well, surprise! — fans of the strip weren’t very happy with the change. The editors have decided to “bow to your letters” and return the strip to the previous set-up. Writing off the last few months as a dream, Peter Parker woke up today to find his wife, in a Dallas-style homage, getting ready to shower:



Read the entire strip — and humorous commentary — over at The Comics Curmudgeon.



here’s hoping the actual comic book follows suit soon, as the current run is just awful.

The Gorn Identity

May 24, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Stop it. The current AmazIng Spider-Man comic is fantastic. There’s no need to revert back to the marriage. People need to just get over One More Day and move on.

I love it every time someone trots out “you just need to ‘get over it and move on'” as a rebuttal to complaints about the OMD/BND events in Spider-Man.

Because, you know, that’s obviously what all of those writers and editors did about their discontent with the Parkers’ marriage…


The Gorn Identity

May 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I love how people who complain about ASM and say how “awful” it is don’t even read the title to even make those kinds of judgements about it. If you don’t like the book, fine. But there’s no point going into a forum just to cut it down.

Maybe they did and it was still bad?

Or maybe they see previews of stupid things like Rulture or Aunt May having sex with JJJ sr. (oohhh how sitcom-ish!) and think it’s failed in those 4 pages alone?

Ken, if they do that then they are “Byrne-stealers” and therefore evil and bad and irredeemable. ;-)

(I still find it remarkable that anyone uses the term “Byrne-stealing” with a straight face, yet apparently it is so.)

What in the Christ is “Byrne-Stealing?”

When you glance thorugh a comic in the shop. It came from Byrne complaing about it on his forum.

I thought it predated his forum?

And, yeah, hoping ASM follows suit, when I might feel like looking at it again…

This was the plan for the strip all along. Roy Thomas said as much on January 4:;read=190071

So no, it wasn’t really the fan reaction that’s responsible.

I for one am enjoying teh current ASM run, and Marvel obviously is too, since I believe sales from the thrice monthly title is still exceeding their sales form back when they had Amazing, Friendly Neighborhood and Spectacular. And, you know, sales trumps everything.

They’re actually losing customers though. Total spider-man sales might be up or equal to the previous amount, but ASM used to sell in the neighborhood of 100k and ASM now tops out at 60k. So instead of having 100,000 paying customers, they now only have 60,000. They basically alienated 40,000 customers, and in most businesses losing 40% of your customer base is a bad thing. Apparently in comics it’s a good thing.

100,000 copies once a month.
60,000 thrice a month.
100,000 < 180,000

Sorry, hit publish too soon

80,000 more copies a month is why they don’t care about losing those people.
Anyone have the numbers on what the other too books sold on average?
I’d have to think it’d be more than 80,000 combined but I’m only working with what was given.

This was a plan? Wow, if this had been my plan I don’t think I would want people to know that… Oh, well. Given the general expectation that the last newspaper will be published sometime between 9 and 18 months from now, I suppose it doesn’t matter all that much. ;-)

@JackKing: Point taken as to monthly copies sold, but that is 40,000 less readers (here I’m taking it for granted that these numbers are accurate, probably a mistake in any case). A loss in customer base does not bode well for long-term success.

My take on BND/OMD has been that, most likely, story-wise the switch to an unmarried Peter Parker is probably beneficial in the long view. But for current readers, it’s a problem, and not primarily for reasons that everybody is shouting about. My problem with it is, doing away with the marriage in the way that Marvel did, it takes a future wedding story off the table. Marvel have shown that they *will not* marry Spider-Man again–meaning every relationship PP has, whether with MJ or anybody else, is essentially dead-end. What you want is a situation where Peter *can* eventually get married, but you *never* tell that story–which was the status quo before the original marriage. It’s a possibility, but one that he never quite manages. It’s the happy ending we all want for our heroes, but which can limit story possibilities in the ways Joe Quesada has enumerated. If Peter and MJ had been divorced, for whatever reason, a future marriage would still be on the table–divorced couples get back together all the time, or perhaps Peter could have found someone else. Still, even in this situation, if Marvel don’t want him to get remarried, just don’t tell that story.

That said, I never found Married Peter all that limited–I though the marriage brought something to the character. So I’d have been happy to see that continue.

I hope Quesada is reading this. The fans have spoken.


Those number you posted… are the pre-OMD numbers including all the Spidey titles, or just Amazing? If the latter, then it’s not a very fair comparison.

Also, anybody: where can I find those numbers, so I can look at them myself?

Um… the current run is excellent when measured on its own terms. The writers and artists make up an all star team of true lovers of spiderman. Sure, it’s valid to hate on the way the status quo was changed; I’m sure Quesada gets the pointbut to slag off the current run on its merits is unfair to Slott, Romita Jr., Jimenez, Waid, Guggenheim et al and is NEVER supported by anything other than general insults. Another thing never referenced is: JMS’s run was going strong! How could they let him leave! JMS was creating the greatest ASM run ever when they pulled the plug!

As someone who tried to read the post BND stories, and found them incredibly lacking under anyone’s hand, I feel and know that others and myself have every right to voice our discontent or even downright loathing of the current treatment of Spider-Man. I gave it a few chances under different writers and artists, and I have to, to my shock, discovered that you cannot make a milkshake out of pile of crap.

John O'Donnell

May 25, 2009 at 9:12 am

Although I hated that they magicked the marriage away, I do still enjoy ASM post-OMD. And yes, the JMS run was one of the best runs that was ended much too early.

It nice to see that the Spiderman newspaper strip has more guts the original comic book

I have read the comics since One More Day and like it has been said some of it like peter parker as a swinging single Mary Jane disappearing out of fear it will remind fans about her is crap with an sh however what hasn’t been bad is that May Parker is actually getting some development as is J. Jonah and the rouge Gallery sadly most of the fix’s that have happened would have been a thousand times better if peter could have stayed the course with his marriage and had a “real” kid right

now the strip reads like the story of an over worked bachelor trying to capture his adolescence

Jonathan Durst

May 25, 2009 at 9:45 am

The last month of when they had the three different Spidey titles are as follows:

Amazing Spider-Man- 106,478
Sensational Spider-Man- 52,177
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man- 44,658
Total: 203,313

The latest 3x monthly sales numbers:
Total: 192,848

let the numbers speak for themselves.

For those of you who keep holding up the higher sales of ASM before OMD/BND as proof that the end of the marriage significantly hurt sales on the book, you should all know that the main reason why sales on pre OMD ASM were so high was MAINLY due to gimmicks (crossovers and variant covers). If you take a good look at the sales figures for JMS run on the book, you will see that sales started to plummet when the book was not relying on gimmicks to boost sales. IIRC, at one point during JMS run, the book was even selling in the 70,000’s but sales rose once Marvel started using the gimmicks again.

Mr. Durst, those numbers before they changed to the 3x monthly ASM were part of the Civil War crossover, when every single Marvel title was shipping more than usual. Compare the sales before Civil War to sales now. I’d like to see those numbers. I’m betting that the 3x monthly ASM is selling better than non-event three-title Spidey.

Sorry, I just wanted to chime in here on a couple things:

First, the sales figures. Thanks to you guys for supplying them. Nevertheless, it *still* doesn’t seem like an entirely fair comparison. The current set-up of ASM sort of artificially forces sales figures to be high, as it relieves the fans of options as to how to maintain their Spidey fix. A fan *has* to buy ASM, and given the networking of storylines (more on this below) a fan sort of *has* to buy it three times a month to follow it. So, at least to me, that 203,000, while accurate, is probably a bit soft.

Secondly, I wanted to touch on the marriage and the state of the series and character in general, and keep in mind this is only an opinion. I started reading the series when I was 10 years old, with issue #347, and continued through high school where I was a nerdy, unatheltic little kid who couldn’t get girls and was frustrated and annoyed with the constant foibles I had to deal with. For me, I could relate to Peter (as Marvel claims they want fans to be able to) not because he was just like me, but because he represented what one day I COULD be. It promised that nerdy igh school kid that one day girls would like him, that he’d be marginally successful, and that, by doing the right thing, he could grow up to be a honorable person. And I like to think that it worked.

OMD/BND would be fine, if they DID SOMETHING WITH IT. Instead, we are treated to a cast of “pseudo-girlfriends” for Peter who feel like placeholders until MJ returns. We are treated to revamped villains, which essentially betrays the entire concept of BND to begin with, and we are left with a Peter Parker who is whiny, pathetic, and a loser. Not a lovable loser… A LOSER.

And frankly, if writers can’t make a marriage work as a functional aspect of a character’s life, if they can’t represent that fundamental human relationship respectfully, tactfully, and truthfully, then they’re hacks, pure and simple.

So I wrote a really long, thoughtful post, and it was deleted. It contained no offensive language, and was extremely polite. Does Robot 6 make a habit of censorship?

nevermind. It came back.


Okay, my computer is obviously @$^%@#ed.

As an avid reader and fan of Spider-man I have been appalled by BND as well as the conclusion of OMD. And not for my attachment of the Peter Mary Jane relationship, which I won’t lie I did enjoy and would enjoy if they were back together, but of the way it transpired. A deal with the Devil doesn’t mesh with the character’s concept nor character progression.

I still purchase ASM and enjoy the different approaches writers have taken to revamp and renew the character back to his original concept, but there are so many other ways they could of written out MJ, and seeing that his identity was a separate issue entirely that cannot be used as an excuse either. I feel as a reader, fan, and consumer that I have been let down by the powers that be that control the fate of my favorite hero, but I don’t hold grudges and I don’t knock what I don’t try.

My only wish and concern now, is that if the comics follow suit, please for the love of all that is holy let it be better that what tore them apart.

re: The Gorn Identity – “amazing spider-man” was the first comic book i ever read consistently as a kid (i even had an old-timey subscription for two years!), and it was the first one i picked up after a few years away. have been giving the “brand new day” story line a chance (in trade, not the hardcovers), and i can safely say that it is just not working out. granted, that is just my opinion – if the sales are proving me wrong, no worries – plenty of other titles on the shelf. i do miss the excitement of reading a new issue by my first favorite superhero, though.

To YLu:

But the original plan was that it was a flashback and is now diffrent. Couldn’t one think that what happened was that originally it was planned longer then came the letters and they decided to do it this way. Seriously they didn’t need to go the Dallas route. Doesn’t that at least show there is more than meets the eye.

I don’t feel like looking up any numbers so no one should take my comment as fact or anything, but regarding the ASM sales:

Aren’t comic sales across the board going down? The three individual titles may have done better before but imagine how Friendly Neighborhood or Spectcular would do in today’s economy. That’s just my thought.

Shaun M: I don’t buy your reasoning, regardless of the ethod Marvel wanted Spder-Man unmarried. Giving him a divorce would’ve still contained thesame editorial motive, except it would’ve made him look OLD, which is something Qusada said he didn’t want to do (because nothing says youth like making a deal with a demon!). Everything in comics is cyclical, Peter will be married to MJ again, in fact I’m willing to bet it’d be 200 percent more likely that he will be married again more than once rather than never get married again!

Jonathan Durst

May 25, 2009 at 11:14 am

As soon as I published my previous post, I immediately thought about the inflation of numbers due to crossovers and gimmicks. First of all, let me say I have been hot and cold about the new stories that BND tells, and I was really not in either corner of the OMD debate.

So regardless, here are the “non-event” sales number Pre-BND

Total: 194,259

compared to the previous post’s latest 3x a month numbers: 192,848.

Still, pre-BND had more sales, but not by much. You also have to take into consideration the the economy now is making it a lot harder to keep up comic collecting compared to when I got the Pre-BND numbers back in 2006.

Also, this week starts a Dark Reign tie in in the ASM series, so expect sales to jump up.

People still care about this?

@preston: While not the norm (thankfully), it’s not all that uncommon for people in their mid- (or even early-) twenties to be divorced. I don’t necessarily think of “old” when I think “divorced.”

As to whether Peter and MJ will ever get married again, yes, anything’s possible, especially once a new editorial regime takes over. I, for one, think Quesada’s been a good influence–so this is not a criticism of him–but he will eventually step down. But if, as Quesada has said, several previous EICs have wanted to do away with the marriage, now that it’s done it seems unlikely future commanders won’t learn the lessons of their predecessors. Finally, though, it’s more about perception–Spider-Man and MJ *might* be married again someday, but Marvel’s particular actions in dissolving the marriage tell me this is never going to happen.

I’ve always been a pretty casual Spider-Man fan. I didn’t follow the titles before BND, but I kept aware of what was going on in them. I was honestly not all that impressed by the status quo pre-BND.

But every time I try to read the post-BND Spider titles, I end up giving up in frustrating. I started reading comics in the early ’90s, and I’m now almost 30. The Spider-Man I grew up with was married, and something of an adult. Yes, he’d had a horribly awkward young-adulthood, but he’d grown up and got some stuff figured out.

So trying to read BND is just weird for me. Not only is this not the character I grew up with, it’s not a character anyone under the age of 35-40 grew up with. And frankly, I liked the character I grew up with better. He had his problems, but he wasn’t, as other people here have said, a loser.

For me, the problem with BND is both the idea, AND the execution.

Oh yeah, and on the topic of divorce —

I’m about to turn 29, which is roughly the age Peter is portrayed as being (my high school reunion was last summer; his was in the Mark Millar SPIDER-MAN run). And I know DOZENS of people my age or younger who’re divorced. Getting married too early and having it not work out isn’t something I associate with age — it’s something I associate with youth. So I’ve never agreed with Quesada on that one.

I don’t think the event tie-ins should matter either before or after OMD. Hasn’t Spidey been in every major cross-over before or since?

Certainly there is nothing about BND that prevents good stories being told, but there were a lot of story developments (well beyond the marriage) that were undone by the deal with Mephisto:

Spider-Man’s unmasking and consequent fugitive status; his relationships with the superhero community (note his feeling that Tony Stark and Reed Richards had betrayed their loftiest ideals– which means we were exploring Peter not just as an adult, but as a citizen); the added guilt over May’s death (especially since she and MJ encouraged him to unmask because they were proud of who he was), and the fear he has for his friends and loved ones’ lives going from hypothetical to reality; these played to the core strengths of the Peter Parker/Spider-Man character without simply being a retread of what had already been done before.

So leaving aside all the fan-boy continuity issues (i.e. the relationship with the Civil War event) this was also an invalidation of important character moments.

The current run of ASM isn’t bad. In fact the current arc that ended was quite good. But it is TOO MUCH. I got fatigue when I started following it and I only came back beacause Waid was on it. I am just thinking about the people following in trades, it would be a pain in the wallet to follow.

Jonathan Durst

May 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

@mudassir- the past story arc was pretty good and I have been left satisfied with Waid’s issues. The problem with me is that it’s hard for me to really enjoy it when you have multiple writers on the title with different voices for the character. The only three writers I have enjoyed on the title are Slott, Kelly, and Waid. Guggenheim has been hit or miss with me.

Ian, they never intended any of that stuff to stick. They only did those stories in the first place because they knew they were hitting the reset button at the end of the Straczynski run. (And he’s mentioned in interviews that he knew as far back as Sins Past that his run was ending with a Cosmic Reset, as I recall.)

People, what do you expect to happen. They promised readers things like the Unmasking, none of which mattered and you could tell the moment you read the last two issues of CIvil War #2. It was obvious that all the EIC cared about what undoing the marriage, here you have the biggest possible SPider-man story ever and it’s treated like a footnote in a terrible crossover. Terrible, just terrible. Not to mention that it made Peter Parker the worst person in the world, a guy who just does things without thinking about them and then does whatver he can to weasel out of them despite the cost to other people in the world, call me old fashioned, but that doesn’t add up to a decent person to me. Joe could just undid the marriage, after all it’s the thing he complained the most about since he got the job, but he just promised us unmaskings, deaths, resurrections, and costume changes etc., what do you have to do? Can you imagine what writers in the 90s would do with an unmasked Spider-man or even the writers you have today who have to writer three issues a month and hand it off to the next guy and none of their stories has any chance to have an effect on readers because it’s all about the next pointless story? It’s doesn’t matter whether he’s married or not, what’s going to happen? Whose idea was all that stuff?


The last two arcs have been good enough to hook me again.

I’m past being outraged about BND on principle. I still think that about 80% of it has been filler, which is my greater problem.

I didn’t even know about the Spidey strip before now.

ROFL at some of the comments on this thread. You guys know that ASM was selling so well chiefly because JMS was writing it, right? His star magnetism is the only thing that kept the title over the 100k mark for most of this decade. It was never going to sell as well without him!

As much as I wish OMD had been a smoother, less abrupt transition… seriously, why care? It was over a year ago. Oh right, I forgot that there are Spider-Man die hards whose suspension of disbelief extends to believing a man can turn himself into a giant lizard using only a serum but not to the idea of a character returning from apparent death…

Brendan T, all comics are “filler”…

@Tom Daylight:
Using that logic, the same should be true of the current series anytime Mark Waid gets his hands on it. In the superhero comic world, Waid is a bigger name than JMS right now–not slamming JMS here right now, I’m just saying his star has faded, or maybe wasn’t that bright in the first place.

And the whole idea that the fans who didn’t appreciate the transition is a fallacial (sp) one, because that is the exact mindset of the editor and writers who masterminded it.

Truer words have never been spoken. The thing that has made me lose heart in superhero comics more than anything else is that ANY time ANY new writer comes on board an existing title, they throw out everything that has gone before to start a “bold new direction.” I can’t remember the last time a character or title got a new writer and had the suporting cast or direction stay (mostly) the same.

Truer words have never been spoken. The thing that has made me lose heart in superhero comics more than anything else is that ANY time ANY new writer comes on board an existing title, they throw out everything that has gone before to start a “bold new direction.” I can’t remember the last time a character or title got a new writer and had the suporting cast or direction stay (mostly) the same.

Immortal Iron Fist is the first example that came to mind.

And I don’t blame the writers, they should write whatever they came up with and wanted to, instead of having to buck to everything that came before. If the companies wanted a writer to specifically carry on a certain storyline, then that’d be editorial mandate, and that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Writers shouldn’t have to pander to a loud majority of fans, they shoudl just write whatever they’re comfortable with and think is good.

JMS being a “celebrity” writer from Hollywood was a major reason for the early issues of his ASM run selling over 100,000 copies a month (largely due to speculators). Of course, after SINS PAST came out, many fans discovered that JMS wasn’t all that he was hyped up to be, and the book started to take a hit in sales before the gimmicks started up again and sales were boosted. Waid might be a popular writer, but putting him on a book is not SOLELY enough to guarantee said book will have high sales (his last FLASH run is proof of that).

Jeremy Henderson

May 25, 2009 at 2:32 pm

We are all in agreement that the story about letter writers forcing the change is bogus, right? Because honestly, how any people still give a crap about the Spider-Man comic strip? A couple dozen, maybe?

It´s something excellent, I hope one day the comics follow that way and revert the horrible deal with mephisto and bring back the marriage.


May 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Hi, I’m a very casual reader of spiderman and just felt so OFFENDED by the whole BND ethos that I had to share it. I am 33 years old and have never related to spiderman as a “geeky teen” in anyway. I liked the stories I read as drama and though how COOL it would be to climb up walls and swing about on webs beating up the bad dudes. The better the drama/ story the cooler it was to read and as i grew older I needed that storytelling more than I needed to jump about in my bedroom. So what am I going on about. To me the whole thing about brand new day is big bollocks!! Yes the years had torn on and spideys story had gotten bunged up after all this time but having it all magically erased is disgusting. how many people jumped on board dallas after the shower scene? I would have had much more nrespect if they had simply kickstarted the whole thing again. They could have done an ending to the “shitty” spiderman stories a la alan moore in superman “whatever happened to the man of tomorrow” and kickstarted the whole franchise off again or perhaps something more original.

Who really believes the future of spiderman will be different to falling in love and marrying maryjane? I’m bored with it all now. How long before they try to fudge this reality of spiderman??

Q: Are we not men?

May 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm

“The fans have spoken.”

I’d describe more accurately as: “A small group of internet geeks with an inflated sense of entitlement complaining in a shrill nasally voice over something utterly unimportant”

As a reader of Spider-Man for more than 35 years now I still find it hard to take when people say suck it up and get over it. As one of the readers said before, “Everyone knows that Peter and Mary Jane are and always will be destined to be together. Just like Lois is tied to Clark. ” These two people will always be tied together know matter how badly Joe Q wants us to just get over it there WILL come a day when Joe no longer calls the shots and Peter and MJ will again be reunited. I do like the post BND stories to a point. I could do without the JJJ Sr. Aunt May thing that is going on right now. I really don’t find it appealing and Aunt May should remain as a background character and the books should spend more time with the focus on Peter and Spider-Man. As to sales a good writer and a good artist sells comic books. Some of the recent arcs have had both and some have lacked both.

@Blade X:
That’s kinda my point on the subject. JMS pumped up sales for a little while, then they dropped again. If you look at the sales at the end of his run, they’re not terrible, but they’re not great. I think by the end of JMS’ run, his name alone on a book would be bringing in as many sales as Waid is now (ie, some, but not much).

@Q: Are We Not Men
You’re right, of course. This is all message board fanboy whining. Anybody who has had his ear to the community has heard this type of stuff before, and will hear it again. I think the difference here is it’s not going away. There are relatively few converts from the con-BND to the pro-BND side.

I’ll put it another way. Back when Kyle Raynor first became Green Lantern, there were a lot of people who didn’t like how it was handled. They were a small but vocal minority who wanted Hal Jordan back.

And we all know how that turned out, don’t we?

I guess what I’m saying is that we all know BND will eventually be overturned. Like I said above, it’s the nature of the industry nowadays to chuck the baby out with the bathwater all in the name of “story.” It’s just a matter of time before this undone marriage is rectified. The only question is will it be Joe Quesada or someone who replaces him who will eventually approve the story.

May 24, 2009 at 12:23 pm

“here’s hoping the actual comic book follows suit soon, as the current run is just awful.”

It’s this blatant stupidity that makes me laugh. You can’t have an opinion if you’re going to be that dumb.

So the current run is awful, and what will fix it, is getting them back together? Not the writing or the plots or the artists.

Ah, that’s right. Because the writing and the plots and the artists are great.

Spider-Mans the best its ever been in thirty years.

So awesome!


No offense, man, but plots and writers are exactly what we’re talking about here. People don’t like the major plot point of Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage invalidated, some (many or all) of the individual plots that have happened over the past year or so, and the fact that the leadership at Marvel seems to think that there are no more stories that can be written about a married Peter Parker.

You’re right, simply undoing the undoing of their marriage alone won’t save the title or the character. But it will show that the leadership are willing to let the character grow a little bit instead of sending him to a status quo from 20+ years ago.

I grew up reading ASM with a married Peter Parker. I was 11 and I’m 29 now. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t relate to him. In fact, like someone else said earlier, I felt like he was the kind of guy I could one day be(minus the super powers, of course!). Now that I’m married and have kids I’m actually a little upset that the marriage was undone and I doubt I’ll be reading ASM ever again.

“I’d describe more accurately as: “A small group of internet geeks with an inflated sense of entitlement complaining in a shrill nasally voice over something utterly unimportant””

Entitlement, not really. Seeing a shit story and calling it for what it was, yes.

MJ dying her hair blonde would be unimportant. Getting rid of the marriage was a pretty big change.

And as seen from the stories made after BND, all of those stories could have been told with a married Peter, save for the one about MJ dating the actor, because, you know, that wouldn’t work.

And the sales show the result. And I wonder if the upcoming MJ arc from the August solicits is probably going to pull a Beechen/Batgirl character assassination on MJ as a way to just ruin her as kind of a nose spite face reaction from Marvel. “Well, we can’t back down now with BND because we’d admit we were wrong, so let’s just destroy MJ instead”

Okay for all the stuff about marriage/divorce making Spidey look old… the math can and has been done, and it shows us that Parker is NOT the young guy Marvel want him to be anymore.

Based on this:

Spidey was 30 at the start of CW. within say a month of that OMD/BND would hit, and then we were meant to time skip by about 6 months or something (IIRC), so he’s close to 31.

So yeah, all the kids out there should totally be able to connect with the issues of a 30 something, right?

“So yeah, all the kids out there should totally be able to connect with the issues of a 30 something, right?”

I don’t see why not.

If they can’t relate to him now (where he still acts in like he’s in arrested development) there are still the back issues and trades of his younger years, not to mention Ultimate Spider-Man or the Marvel Adventures line.

“And the sales show the result.”

The rankings show that all three of the Spider-Man titles have constantly stayed in the Top 25 for over a year and a half. The sales show that numbers are down across the board for the entire industry.

Sales on the title were going down even before now.

And let’s not forget the sales bump ASM #583 gave, which will probably negate all the losses the book would receive due to the economy for the year.

Ranking means little. Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine #3 got into the top 10 but lost nearly 45% of it’s sales. It’s like the Huntress Year One trade breaking the top 10 in Amazon.

“Sales on the title were going down even before now.”

Before now, the sales went down at close to the same rate that sales went down on Captain America after that comic’s big status quo changing issue (the death of Cap). But you don’t see this much online outrage about that storyline or that drop. Why is that?

“Ranking means little. Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine #3 got into the top 10 but lost nearly 45% of it’s sales.”

Exactly. The market has changed since Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine #2 came out. If a book is keeping close to the same ranking for over a year and a half, but the sales are dropping, doesn’t that mean that all the sales are dropping? We’re not talking about one-time flukes like the Huntress orders on the best sellers list. We’re talking about a steady and constant ranking of three monthly titles since last January.

Long live the spider marriage. BND/OMD sucked. It really did, it didn’t need to happen at all and in my opinion that whole mess was a slap in the face to spidey fans.

Doctor Erebus

May 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm

OMD was weak but there have been some great Spider-Man stories published post BND. I disagree with Quesada’s premise that marriage ages Spidey and deprives the reader of saucy love triangle stories and the Mefaustian bargain thing was super lame, but the stories that came after have been a blast.

Odds are, they’ll wind up cleaning this up by marrying Pete and MJ all over again, eventually. In the meantime, there’s some real talent on Spider-Man and I’m enjoying the ride.

Let’s not forget that it was also a movie year, so naturally sales were going to be up with all of the Spider-man 3 exposure.

One of the best writers in the industry had the reigns of ASM for a very long run, and while it was always a good and interesting read, JMS’ writing always felt way too serious for Peter Parker. The Spider-man in ASM now is the one I want to read about. Joe Q made the right call, even if it meant an eternity of whiny internet posts.

I envy the people that can read the spider-man newspaperstrip.

Pretty much everything I have against OMDE & BND has already been said.
To be honest I just can’t generate any interest for an unmarried Peter Parker. And I alwaysloved MJ.

I find this “you can’t write an interesting story with a married Petter Parker” line so boring.
Look over at DC The Superman books can generate good stories without losing Lois Lan.

Totems? Morlun? Ezekiel? The Other? That zombie-hulk mobster thingie? Gwen Stacy getting pregnant???

The JMS run is one of the WORST ever!

BND however is even worse.

The only good thing about it is that one day, one day it’ll all be over and the status quo we all really love will return.

“Exactly. The market has changed since Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine #2 came out. If a book is keeping close to the same ranking for over a year and a half, but the sales are dropping, doesn’t that mean that all the sales are dropping? We’re not talking about one-time flukes like the Huntress orders on the best sellers list. We’re talking about a steady and constant ranking of three monthly titles since last January.”

If that’s the case then married Spidey was more popular and more consistent, being in the top 10 for a year or so before OMD screwed the pooch.

And, as someone mentioned over at Blog@ where you’re having this same conversation, ASM has fallen out of the top 30 at least once. It has been consistently declining, needing those gimmicks people always point out about the married Spidey sales numbers to keep it above 60k units.

It hasn’t fallen out of the top 30 once.

I for one starting reading ASM after OMD and I’ve enjoyed the book a lot.

I even went as far as getting back issues which is rare for me. I’ve read Marvel for over 20 years and I never could really get into Spider-man, but since the switch I felt it has been more accesible to me.

For all the ones who keep coming on the forums complaining about it, I want to say thank you. If you didn’t complain so much I probably would have just passed ASM up and not cared either way. But since I want to see what all the complaints were about I check it out and found it to be a great book.

I love the 3 times a month too. I wish Uncanny would do the same thing. I look forward only having to wait a week to continue a story.

First off i will die bashing OMD/BND, even if they “fix” everything that was undone it will not make this a good story ever. if you think that it was a good story then you expect much less than I from the comic books you pay for. If Joe Q really had a problem with the marriage then he should have sat down and earned that enormous paycheck that he garners and actually written a decent story that got rid of MJ rather than just getting one of the characters that has questionable powers to “un-do” her. The fact that mephisto was chosen to get rid of their marriage just says to everyone “even though i know a ton of people who’s job it is to write comic books none of us can come up with a reasonable way to get rid of MJ so lets just have the devil do it and screw anyone who might want an actual story to come out this”. and when questioned about OMD what does Joephisto say “keep reading” I bet that’s what you would like to keep getting my money for something that doesn’t deserve it. I grew up with Spidy being married and although it has been said in this form already i found him very easy to relate to. It doesn’t bother me that things have changed, I love comic books and expect them to change. what sucks is how it was executed, I am an aspiring comic book writer, if the next time Joe Q wants to do something like this I wish he would just come to me cause I could get the results he would want without having to insult anyone who has read and enjoyed the last 20 years of a comic. Finally I will say that OMD undid more than the marriage no one has mentioned that Harry is back and his death was one of the most touching books i have ever read.
i wonder when i will spend money at marvel again? possibly never… but i still download them because that’s what happens when you put out a product that isn’t with the money you charge for it.
i wonder when i will spend money at marvel again? possibly never… but i still download them because thats what happens when you put out a product that isn’t wrth the money you charge for it.

sorry for double posting the end of that

The way I see it, if so many fans want to read about a married Spider-Man, then SPIDER-MAN FAMILY (with the MR. AND MRS. SPIDER-MAN story) should be a top 10 selling book. I’m willing to bet that if the marriage is restored that after the inevitable sales boost for this status quo restoring storyline, sales will quickly fall back down to where they currently are.

OMT, another reason why sales on ASM are down is because of the 3 times a month schedule. As I predicted (and said on various message boards) over a year ago when the thrice monthly scheduled was first announced, that this 3 times a month schedule is going to hurt sales on this book in the long term. The same thing is also going to happen with the upcoming bi weekly X-MEN FOREVER series.

SPIDER-MAN FAMILY should have been used before OMD for those that wanted to write/read stories about a single spider-man

Well if message board posters are to be believed, MOST fans don’t want to read about a single Peter Parker. Yet, ASM is selling a hell of a lot better then SMF. Here’s a suggestion to all of the fans of the marriage, stop buying ASM and start buying SPIDER-MAN FAMILY in order to show that you want the marriage to return. Of course this will never happen, since MOST of the opinions on the internet DO NOT always reflect the opinions, tastes,and buying habits of paying customers.

if you don’t like OMD, don’t buy any marvel titles. im sure they will feel that more than changing your buying habits to another spider-man book

In all honesty, i hated JMS’s run. It was pretty plain to me. And i’m loving BND, liked it since the begining. But that’s me, i guess

The major plot points of the Brand New Day period and onward could all easily be done whether he was married or not. Some stories are good, others are bad, but the degree of “enhancement” the stories got from Spidey being unmarried was barely there.

Even his present “girl troubles” are so shallow that it can be ignored without affecting the rest of the story.

And if they HAD to undo the marriage, there’s no reason they can’t keep MJ in the dynamic. Look at the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. There’s this constant love tension between Peter and three different girls (Liz, MJ and Gwen), and it’s a wonderful thing. They should bring that sort of relational dynamism into the comics.

All things considered, I still have this nagging thought in the back of my head: “The Spider-Man I know doesn’t make deals with the Devil.”

The current run of Amazing Spiderman is horrible…the villians are lame ( Menace…really? ) and the plots are stupid. (JJJ mayor of New York? Come on). ANd getting rid of over 10 years of continuity is a slap to loyal readers. I understand they want to reboot for new people, and sync up with the movies, but its just a total neglect for people who have followed these characters for years. I actually miss Ben Reily…And the current supporting cast might as well be an Archie comic. In fact, Im going to go see what Jughead is up to…see ya…

Danny, Marvel had a book out with a single Spider-Man, called Ultimate Spider-Man, and it is one of the most successful comics of the 21st century. Why wouldn’t they want to replicate its success in the main title?

Rahsaan Taylor

May 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Seriously, the recent changes to Spiderman are not that great. I am still a fan, but I don’t like how they muck with continuity in such an uncreative way. It seems that they just want an out.

I’m not even arguing if it was a good idea or not Tom. It’s not that he is single it’s just how they did it. I might not care for a single Spider-Man, but I love comic books enough to know that things change. Changing is one thing Comic books shouldn’t “re-set” this isn’t a video game it’s a story line about a character that now does a loop on itself.

First of all, congratulations to Stan for giving some fans a repreive from this untrue, uncharacteristic garbage Spidey’s been going through, and for listening to our concerns.

To be fair though, Spider-Girl is still kept very much alive by Quesada, and with the newspaper strip back to normal, Marvel really have never let the marraige slip out of their hands for the two-and-a-half years it’s been “absent”

For anyone who followed that “dream” story by the way…Peter’s nightmares are disturbing….he has fantasies about unmasking Electro in front of his kid, then waiting out the hospital room while they make up.

Ultimatley, some people need to accept that Spidey’s story ended ten years ago. That final issue of ASM before the 1999 cancelation? Where Peter swings off into the sunset to rescue who he beleives to be his daughter? That’s it. That’s the end. Everything afterwards ought to be left up to your imagination. Either Peter saved Aunt May and the Parkers lived happily ever after, Peter still a photographer, MJ a part-time actress in theatre (newspaper strip), or Peter saved Mayday and the timeline follows the Spider-Girl mythology. Either one of them is better than the garbage I have seen ransack ASM ever since that final page. Thank god for USM, Spider-Girl, and SSM.

As far as I’m concerned, Spider-Girl is the natural continuation, continuing the spirit of the franchise whilst growing and maturing Peter and MJ without neccersarily having them always at the center of the action, mentoring and guiding their legacies in Mayday, April, and Benjy. DeFalco is one of the last true custodians of what Spider-Man is all about…progress, overcoming personal strife, and family values. Mayday isnt Peter, but Peter logically would have given up this s*it by now. He’d have grown up. Too bad nobody could let him go.

Ultimate Spider-Man isnt an example of a succesfull “single” Peter title.. Peter and MJ only ever had two break-ups in the title, and neither lasted very long or had much angst in it, they recently made a vow to marry each other one day and would wait until then to consumate their relationship.

USM is a series that tries to establish Peter as a man before he leaves High School…it’s what Ditko always wanted for the character, when he graduated either High School or at best College, he’d pretty much know exactly who he wanted and what he wanted. Bendis has been very “real” with USM, it’s not the Archie-like homage ASM is trying to be. Here, characters make their minds up about who they want to be and they stay that way without revertals in character for the sake of keeping things “iconic”

I don’t know anyone can enjoy BND. I’d understand if it resembled Spider-Man’s spirit and world in the slightest, but it does not. There is character regression and, pun intended, character assasination all over the shop. Peter outgrew a lot of what he is experiancing in this title, he’s a respected photo journalist who’s appeared on Johnny Carson, why is he driving cabs? Jameson Snr is a BLUNT mary sue, Aunt May desecrating Ben’s memory and having sex after a two-month period of dating? Menace the transmorphant Goblin b*tch? What the FRACK is this garbage? People LIKE this s*it? SRLY? No wonder Hilary Duff and Limp Bizkit are/were popular.

Spidey is just MTV-level garbage aimed at drunk bloggers or Deviantart fanfic writers these days.

Harry seems to be channeling Michale Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor with hair…he’s a grown man whose a father with a family, yet has gay playdates with Peter in the park barefoot (?!), and whinjing over his ex-fiances being Goblins-in-disguise

Liz forgave him after “Mind on Fire”, can’t we just get back to the supposed family values Quesada employs? I know he loves influencial parental figures, so why break up Harry’s marraige if he’s a FATHER? Not to mention even without knowing Peter’s identity, MJ is established as a character who sees past all of Peter’s problems and wouldnt leave him at all to begin with, he’s her one true love and always has been. They have a spiritual marraige whenever they don’t have a legal one.

Someone above me was right…look at “The Spectacular Spider-Man” series…it has one of the best uses of MJ ever…she’s kept to a minimum, she’s trying to pair Peter up with Gwen, she loves him in a different way that can be construed as the “selfless romantic”…by keeping MJ in the background, the “girl who’s always there”, Peter will eventually realize he is THE girl for her…the “Spidey Loves MJ” series are also a good psychological dossier on the character.

DeFalco had the common sense to realize the only way you can ever have proper drama with MJ is for her to know who Peter is…otherwise all she is is Peter’s best friend, surrogate wife (or legal wife), the unintentional spoiler, and support pillar whenever she doesnt know. There’s no drama with her unless she knows.

I’d retcon the whole Quesada regime given the chance…it’s the Bush/Cheny of the comics industry. All rage, no principle. A success? Yes…but when everyone looks back on this era, they will wonder what they were thinking supporting this garbage. All this talk of people who like Hilary Duff? No different here. No difference at all. There are shining gems amongst the crap (Brubaker’s DD and Cap, DeFalco on Spider-Girl, She-Hulk , Spidey/Human Torch, USM, and Mighty Avengers), but I won’t miss this era of comics at all as a whole….waste of trees

Everything has it’s time, and everything dies. BND will not last forever. I’m perfectly fine with those that can accept that and just enjoy the ride if they want to….but to others, wake the f*ck up and stop kissing Marvel’s ass. They only delayed the inevitable.

Case. In. Point.

>I’m about to turn 29, which is roughly the age Peter is portrayed as being (my high school reunion was last summer; his was in the Mark Millar SPIDER-MAN run). And I know DOZENS of people my age or younger who’re divorced. Getting married too early and having it not work out isn’t something I associate with age — it’s something I associate with youth. So I’ve never agreed with Quesada on that one.<

Peter and MJ are not the kind of characters who would leave one another or divorce one another, their love is unconditional and they have a strict beleif in that. I hated their seperation back in 2001-2003, it didnt make any characteristic sense and was chastised just as much as their current “break up” in BND is right now. It’s not because divorce at that age isnt possible, it’s because THAT’S NOT WHO THEY ARE AS CHARACTERS

Joe, despite how he went about things, respects that aspect. He’s married, and has a thing about family values (just look at the additions made to Luke Cage, the FF, and keeping Spider-Girl afloat), as do I. I know just as many people at that age that are STILL MARRIED

Divorce shouldnt be encouraged in comics just because a bunch of decident fanboys have weaker minds than Peter and MJ

Hey, if you don’t like the current direction of the mag, do what I did, stop reading it.
Well, I may of course have gone overboard, for I quit Marvel entirely :P

hey man same here

I have read Brand New Day and I dont like it. I used to be an all time reader, Now I rarely visit ASM. It makes sense for me to say that because MARVEL has been writing Utter Garbage for a year and 583 was a gimmick

Quesada stated that if natural progression for Spiderman and his life is to occur than we should be ordering SpiderGirl off the shelves more than usual just to have a place to read about an older Spiderman.

Thats not necesarliy the case when it comes to Captain America’s death. Him DYING is, US moving on. ITS Natural Progression occuring in the MainStream World. Basically with this Joe Contradicts HIMSELF.

Bringing Steve Rogers back from the dead (REGRESSION) would not only be a MIDDLE FINGER to the MORAL VALUE of Captain America START TO FINISH Biography, but to the CONCEPT of American Patriotism, especially with the fact that he died from being viewed from two controversial perspectives in the Civil War.

– He was being seen as a trator to his Country for disagreeing against the American Government and People.
– And he was being looked at as fighting for American Civil Rights, and being discrimiated against.

And telling fans to get over OMD is like telling a mother to get over the muder, or death of her child in one afternoon. You dont say that to someone who lost a huge fraction of her whole world especially if that person could have died honorably, lets say the child grew older and fought and died in for a justified moral cause..

Im just reading Comic Summaries now. I dont read the actual issue but I do get infrormation and dialogue from the writing and i get screeen shots of the art.

I’ll just stick to the summaries and for the people that wont QUIT ASM just because of OMD. I advise you guys to stoop reading the books and just stick to checking out summaries.

Danny, the way they did it was far from perfect. But what’s done is done. The stories they’re telling now aren’t a direct extension of OMD, they stand on their own and interconnect with each other in the same way as any great Spider-Man story.

Why should Marvel bother going back on it now? It would be like getting out of a hole by digging deeper. It ain’t gonna happen.

This is what I want to say about this article is that I’m very proud and happy that the writer of the Spider-Man comicstrip actually was caring, considerate, and polite about making sure that Mary Jane Watson-Parker and Peter Parker stayed married for sure. And about “One More Day”, it’s not that some of the stories and new characters (villains and secondary cast) aren’t bad, but I don’t view Joe Quesada and his so-called “Spidey Braintrust” team as [WORTHY, HONORABLE, AND TRUSTWORTHY] to control and write any of the new “Brand New Day” status quo and New Web of Spider-Man as long as they don’t care about Spidey’s motto: “With Great Power, There Must Also Come Great Responsibility” which stands for the good that Pete and MJ stand for and the importance (love, hope, comfort, and strength) plus it goes against Making a Deal With Satan/Mephisto which they honestly really wouldn’t do. The One More Day and Brand New Day storyline is about “What If Joe Quesada and his ASM team were Spidey, what THEY would do which is be lonely with no beautiful red-head wife, cheat on their wife, think that making a deal with the Devil is all good and that he’s the entity to trust, not care about good ethical morals concerning marriage, and being more like the lonely, dull, limited Batman.” Marc Guggenheim said something very wrong about Mary Jane that he pitched for the story of One More Day before it was written which is completely against women in general; I don’t care if he was joking around, it was still bad. I forgive Joe and his team, but I won’t ever trust them completely. There you go, so, I don’t understand why anyone would take “making a deal with Satan” lightly and think that marriage is a waste of time or is not genuine. Joe Quesada belongs with DC Entertainment (Comics) because he loves Batman, not Spider-Man. It’s crappy that he wants the coolest super-human hero with the best designed costume to be more like the pathetic, unexciting [HUMAN] Batman who may be handsome but can’t get the “right woman like Mary Jane Watson”. Think about this those of you who are for Brand New Day, Please. I swear, if Joe Quesada was no longer Editor-in-Chief at Marvel including his ASM writers and they were replaced with a trustworthy, caring, respectful staff, then they and Marvel would make more money for the right reasons from the TRUE MARY JANE WATSON AND PETER PARKER/SPIDER-MAN FANS.


I think the biggest problem is betraying the character of Spider-man. He would never bargain with the devil. All the marvel hero’s know better than to make any kind of bargain with Mephisto. Look what happened to Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider? Spidey’s been around the block a few times and knows what lies down that path. That’s crap about Mephisto not wanting Spider-man’s soul. Correct me if I’m wrong but according to Christianity once you make a deal with Satan your soul is already in forfeit. These writers don’t think things through. Just like Peter unmasking in public. Sure it boosts sales but don’t they realize what they’ve done to the character? You don’t make story altering decisions like this unless you intend to follow through with the consequences of this choice. Brand New Day is a cop out saying every mistake Spidey’s made for the last ten years is null and void. Let’s focus more on Spider-man than Peter’s love life for once. After all the comic is called Spider-man. Ahem.

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