Robot 6

Quote of the day | Joe Quesada, on retconning ‘One More Day’

“MJ unknowingly beat Mephisto at his own game. By agreeing to MJ’s terms, Mephisto has actually wiped himself from ever having been involved in their lives. In fact, looking at it linearly, those four issues never happened. Along with the wedding, ‘One More Day’ and Mephisto have been wiped out of continuity and Peter and MJ never made that bargain. … Ooooooh, me hears something breaking.”

– Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, splitting the Internet in half with his explanation of how
“One Moment in Time” has removed from continuity the controversial events of “One More Day”



I’m sure JMS appreciates that his last story arc from a groundbreaking run on Amazing now never happened. The Twelve is never going to be finished.

I’m a little unclear on what he was trying to say. By the very nature of the deal, One More Day couldn’t have happened. Were we not supposed to know that at first?

Trevor, it’s like a temporal paradox. I like to call it a “deal paradox.” By agreeing never to bother them again, once Mephisto activates the pigeon ripple, there’s no marriage to undo. So no deal is ever made. And if Pete and MJ do end up marrying again, Mephisto can’t touch them.

There’s some holes in this logic, to some extent. Wasnt the deal to also save Aunt May’s life? And if Peter does that on his own in the new timeline, did they even need Mephisto at all?

It’s a clumsy story no matter how you look at it. But now hearing what happened, I understand why OMD was the weird thing it was. And I understand Quesada’s reasoning for wanting a ret-con. So all those people that have been griping about Peter’s deal with the devil, you can say it doesn’t exist anymore.

Just look at it as a time ripple storyline. One ripple caused Pete and MJ to not get married (see the STAR TREK: NG episode, “Tapestry”– you pull at one temporal thread…) Forget OMD, just go by the timeline in OMIT, and it’s easier to grasp.

Yeah… sorry, Joe. This doesn’t even break the internet’s wrist.

The temporal paradox has been played out before. It’s not even a new technique at Marvel. In fact, the standard explanation at Marvel is that a perceived temporal paradox causes a new timeline to splinter off of the primary. The events in ‘Days of Future Past’, ‘Age of Apocalypse’, and various other storylines have simply been shunted off to a parallel timeline (or alternate Earth, if you prefer).

Accepting for the moment that Mephisto arranged for Peter and MJ to never get married, the wedding itself becomes a splinter point. In essence, every story Marvel has ever told between the Wedding and One More Day has now taken place on an alternate timeline, which was triggered by Mephisto’s actions in the past. The primary Earth-616 timeline has followed a very similar course of events, but without the Wedding having taken place.

In other words, in the Earth-616 universe/timeline, none of the stories we’ve seen (in the Real World) between the Wedding and One More Day happened. At all. Period. That’s all Peter’s history in the splintered timeline, and a dead-end (storywise) to that timeline.

The alternative, that no splinter timeline exists, means that the Temporal Paradox comes into play, and that makes even less sense, from a story-telling angle. Mephisto undoes his involvement by negating the marriage, which means he’s not around to negate the marriage, which means Peter and MJ are still married, which means Mephisto gets involved to negate the marriage, which undoes his involvement by negating the marriage, and so on and so forth. You cannot build a time machine to stop yourself from building a time machine.

Regardless, Marvel will simply ignore both the Paradox and the potential of the splinter timeline, because they’ve got Peter where they want Peter, and everything else is secondary (at best).

Bill, exactly, it seemed obvious to me all through Brand New Day that One More Day should just be forgotten, because it couldn’t possibly have happened as we saw it. I was unclear on why Joe thought no one had figured that out.

Either way, I liked OMIT well enough as a story. So hey, job well done Joe et al.

Say this for Bob Harras, it’s hard to imagine him engaging in cutesy little flame-baiting games like this.

I would like to call shenanigans.


The Cup o’ Joe session left the impression that Quesada is far too impressed by his own cleverness.

A retcon is a retcon is a retcon is a. . .∞. The mechanism by which the retcon occurs hardly matters; what does matter is that events in a previously published story have been artificially altered, for the purposes of a story’s plot.

There’s at least one free fiction Web site at which writers who believe their posted stories have problems revise and repost them. Advising people that a story has been revised once or twice doesn’t promote it very effectively, but at least the writer is being honest and admitting that he made mistakes.

In that context, a retcon is an unauthorized revision of someone else’s story; a broad retcon is unauthorized revisions of the stories by a number of other writers. And if the retcon has mistakes, or is even riddled by mistakes — The intellectual dishonesty involved in writing a retcon and presenting it as creative work is obvious.


this calls for an “Excelsior!”

Temporal logistics aside, what Quesada is saying is “forget OMD ever happened”. However the fans aren’t likely to forget what he did any time soon.

If Quesada and JMS would have used Loki (who owes Spidey a favor for saving his daughters life) instead of Mephisto, OMD wouldn’t have been as hated by fans and there would have been no need for a convoluted follow up story like OMIT to undo OMD.

Without the “deal with the devil” the OMIT story, nor any story thereafter, would even exist at all. Therefore the Mephisto deal still very much exists.

Though, if he believes no deal was made, that means there is nothing to stop Mephisto from setting up the pieces to do it all again. Obviously he can’t be held to a bargain that never occurred.

Either way, sloppy storytelling.

Nice try, Joe, but you don’t get out of publishing that shithole story that easily.

I call bullsh*t there.

Joe Q is retconning his actual work as editor to make it seem that the controversy he created was part of some divine plan he’s had in his head all along. He’s mistaking himself for Dr. Doom and Professor X again.

I avoid all frustration with Spider-Man storylines by ignoring everything printed after 1987 as they are not part of the official canon.

Kraven’s Last Hunt was the final Spider-Man story. Peter retired for Mary Jane’s sake. I mean, they just come back from honeymoon and Peter vanishes for a fortnight. “Would you believe it? Kraven buried me alive for two weeks”. No sane woman would put up with that from her husband. Every story since then and every Spider-Man story to come are just dreams Peter has every night where he is still Spider-Man…in his mind.

“I’m sure JMS appreciates that his last story arc from a groundbreaking run on Amazing now never happened.”

You mean the story he wanted his name taken off of? Yeah, I’m sure he’s weeping over this.


September 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Joe, it was a shit idea for a story – no matter how necessary you felt it was long term, the story itself was shit, and we’re all here because we want good stories – and nothing you can say will change that.
Do yourself a favour, and just move on – you’ll never convince anyone it’s cool.
If you leave it alone and forget about it – like we all have been trying to do – everything will heal much better, and it will seem a lot less like you’re writing a Star Trek fan-fic to cover up the continuity errors in your last Star Trek fan-fic.

Nothing changes the fact that we can’t unread it.

“Yeah… sorry, Joe. This doesn’t even break the internet’s wrist.”

Yeah, it’s more like an internet titty twister.

id like to think it keeps him up at night
but he’s probably to busy spending our money on coke and Columbian hookers

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