Robot 6

The Fifth Color | Are You Strong Enough to be My Spider-Man?

I'd Drink Too.

You can love someone, but not be “in love” with them.  Divorce rates in the United States will tell you that people can enter into marriage and then learn it’s not for them.  I don’t think any of them will tell you that they split because of demographics.

Peter Parker did.  He stopped being married due to an editorial decision that was made to make him appeal to a larger demographic and, as much as it pains me to say it, Joe Quesada was right.

Give me a minute, that was hard to say.

Joe Quesada was right because an unmarried person will, in this day and age, appeal to a larger audience by pure numbers.  Emotional attachments to characters and years of storytelling, continuity and respect aside, yeah.  It’s true.  Spider-Man should fit in the “all ages” group that can entertain young and old, married and unmarried alike.  Technically, more people can relate to being unmarried than being married.  And while people have debated this technicality, the bottom line at the end of the day is Joe Quesada was and is editor-in-chief and was looking at a bigger picture than we, the fans.  Quesada was looking at dollars, longevity and demographics.  We just saw Peter Parker.

(WARNING: One Moment in Time Spoilers and Sadness inside.  Grab a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #638 through #640 and read along!  And then go visit CuteOverload because this isn’t pretty.)

In order to take Peter back to a younger, less married point in time, an elaborate story was crafted. This was an event, the passing of old continuity to a Brand New Day (that’s designed to evoke nostalgia for an even older continuity).  In Marvel’s “Civil War” storyline,  Peter Parker unmasked himself and announced his secret identity; now knowing who he is thanks to having a TV, the Kingpin sends some assassins to ruin his civilian life.  Aunt May is shot, and Peter is crushed that he brought this to his family.  Then, Mephisto shows up and angers fans for years to come.

Now, let’s get this one thing perfectly clear: Mephisto wants Peter and Mary Jane’s LOVE.

The marriage thing is secondary (and has a more threatening font), but it’s really just the representation of what he’s going to get out of the deal: a heroic bond between man and wife.  It’s not like Mary Jane didn’t know the job was dangerous when she took it or that it was ever perfectly safe during her tenure as Spider-Man’s girl.  It was her love for Peter Parker and her strength to see him through all the rough times that kept her from taking off, and that’s what Mephisto wanted.  You can take away a man’s trophy but that doesn’t take away the victory.  So remember, when you later take Quesada to task at cons for engineering all of this, it was love and dedication that Mephisto wanted, not the cake or the dress.

You gotta give something to get something, so to take the Greatest Love of All, Mephisto offers another kind of love: protection.  He’ll save Aunt May’s life if Peter gives up a part of himself.  Mary Jane says she’ll agree to this and ask Peter to give up their marriage if Mephisto just leaves Peter alone so, in a way, it’s a little like the Gift of the Magi: both of them want to give up something of themselves to make everyone happy.  The deal with the Devil Like Object goes down and the loss of Peter’s love and stability causes a chain reaction in the Marvel Universes, altering many people’s lives.  We get a Brand New Day and Mary Jane fades into the subplot background.

Cut to a couple years later, and Brand New Day has lost its shine.  It’s less Brand New and more just a Day and sales slip.  Joe Quesada gets asked constantly about One More Day and the great hullabaloo it inspired in fans.  Technically, any publicity is good publicity and returning back to that story to try and re-refresh the title might do some good.  Let’s happily face facts: One More Day wasn’t very good.  It seemed forced, over-dramatic and was badly drawn in some places, and there are very obvious writing strains on the narrative.  Joe Quesada had an idea for this story but it just didn’t come through on paper, and he’s taken to task for it all the time in front of crowds.  Why not pump up some sales by revisiting the secret history of a major event and take a second chance on a story that honestly means a lot to Quesada.  It was one of his “genies” he had to get back in the bottle, part of his wide-sweeping view of a leaner, meaner Marvel Universe, and it just didn’t develop the way he wanted it to.

Story continues below

One Moment in Time is all about what actually caused Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson not to be in love with each other any more.  Mephisto didn’t exactly wiggle his nose like an episode of Bewitched and *poof!* everything’s different.  In a “Butterfly Effect” style piece of work, Mephisto releases a criminal that Spider-Man puts away around the week of his wedding, and his release causes Peter Parker to get beat up on the day of his wedding.  This causes him to miss it entirely, causes MJ to feel humiliated and angry, then sad and apologetic, then to want kids, and she asks Peter Parker to put down the mask.  Peter can’t do that, so they decide marriage might be a little too much considering his extreme lifestyle.

In a sad case of futility, Civil War still goes down, Peter Parker is still unmasked on TV, Kingpin still sends an assassin after him and Aunt May STILL gets shot.  The doctors can’t save her, but her nephew can and, in an act that can only be described as “love” by the hospital staff, Peter Parker sort of … wills his aunt back to life.  He gives her all his love because there is no wife to hold him back.  He has nothing else in his life other than this sole relative, and he’s able to dedicate everything to her for this miraculous act.  While Aunt May recovers, MJ’s Aunt Anna gets attacked because she’s close to MJ, who’s close to Peter Parker.  There’s a fight, innocent people are put in danger and Peter realizes that telling everyone who he is might have great consequences.   So he heads down to Dr. Strange’s and asks for a mind wipe of the populace.

Dr. Strange has to get the last vestiges of the Illuminati together (at this time, it’s just him, Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man) and explain that it’s going to take a combo of magic and science to really do this right.  At the last minute, Peter pulls MJ from the big show so that she’ll remember him because he needed her to be the only one who knew his terrible secrets.  After all this is explained to her, MJ simply can’t handle it.  She feels like she’s cursed just knowing Spider-Man and that all of her loved ones are in danger because of all this secret keeping.  She doesn’t want to live with the violence and threats and danger anymore; when Peter leaves to check on his aunt, she takes a cab and drives back off into the subplots again until she comes back to make Peter recall this whole story for closure.

Yeah, I almost wish Mephisto had just wiggled his nose.

These are two very selfish people; mind you, they’re selfish out of love and some decent motivations, but in the end it’s every Spidey character for themselves here.  Peter forces the entire world into a do over so he can fix his mistake, pulls MJ out of that do over just so she can be the only one who knows the truth, he can’t live with himself if anyone he loves gets hurt, saying “I did this for us” when Mary Jane seems near hysterical about the whole situation.  He can fix all this, he can make it right and no one else gets a say in the matter.  Mary Jane can’t live with Peter’s mask, she can’t live with the shame of being stood up at the altar, she wants kids more than she loves Peter, she admits to not being strong enough to be Spider-Man’s girl.  She’s no longer dedicated to her marriage or wants to give up anything of herself for a greater love.  These aren’t the same people from a few years ago.  These characters have changed fundamentally by something originally (and I’m talking Amazing Spider-Man #21 originally) considered cosmetic.  This is so much more than a marriage; it’s the better part of two heroes.

At the end of Amazing Spider-Man #641, when we bring this whole mess to a close, Peter Parker hugs Mary Jane with the panel slowly nudging her out of the way to get to the guy on the cover of the book.  “Today, my best friend, the best person I’ve ever known, set me free.”  He doesn’t love her anymore.  Peter wishes her the best, he cares very much for his best friend and would go to some pretty awesome splash page extremes for her, but this isn’t a romance anymore.  They’ll never be that strong to look past themselves to see the greater whole again.  No jetpacks, they do not have a future together anymore.

Mephisto won.



Mephisto won, huh? Don’t blame me, I voted for Loki.

“Devil Like Object.”

Nice one.

That demographics argument is weak at best and just plain insulting. Honestly try to imagine that argument being used to explain anything else, it would just be offensive.

And how is a character just being married makes them unrelatable to single people, it is a just an aspect of the character and not even a defining one in Spider-Man’s case. If anything I think it helped in the aspect of escapism. I mean I think you would hard pressed to find any significant portion of readers that doesn’t in some want to find a caring and loving partner to spend the rest of their lives with. If you truly wanted to chase creating the most demographic based relatable character then those pesky superpowers would have to go to.

Part of the appeal of Peter has always been he is does the best he can but it still ends biting him in the ass. In the middle of all this though he has always had this warm and supporting group of family and friends, and to me it seems only natural that a loving partner would grow out of this dynamic. Peter Parker is the ultimate example of a lovable loser, and if you take the love out of it you just have this depressing character being thrust upon us.

One More Day made a big point about how Peter and Mary Jane’s love for one another was so great and so powerful that it was enough for Mephisto to have to erase their marriage from existence because of it. Which means that, essentially, MJ actually IS the right person for him and that ANY relationship Peter gets involved in will not only pale in comparison but be doomed to fail. Which, of course, fits right in with Quesada’s agenda for Spider-Man–that he not only needs to be single, but that he needs to have a series of turbulent romantic “soap opera” like complications with various women besides MJ.

Also, Marvel has spent years and years–and continues to do so–in portraying MJ as one of the greatest–if not THE greatest–love of Peter’s life. And yet, One Moment in Time tries to say that even though they still love one another, MJ can never be more than “just a really good friend” because she’s not “strong enough” to be anything more than that despite several issues and promotional material to the contrary. This is counterproductive and it’s a given that some writer will come along and bring Peter and MJ back together as a couple (although not necessarily a married one), especially if the sales for Spider-Man comics really start to slide.

” Mary Jane can’t live with Peter’s mask, she can’t live with the shame of being stood up at the altar, she wants kids more than she loves Peter, she admits to not being strong enough to be Spider-Man’s girl. She’s no longer dedicated to her marriage or wants to give up anything of herself for a greater love.”

But why did we need the Devil to intervene to reach that conclusion? Why couldn’t that have been the case in regular continuity? Why all the rigmarole for something that’s as easy as…well, what you said right there?

You tried you really did. But there’s nothing that takes away the sheer stupidity of the devil coming to Peter and causing BND.

Found this on a funny site:

“Top 15 Comics I’ll Never Review”

Start the video at the 25:54 mark. It’s number 2 on the list.

Although it’s intended to be humorous it’s clearly got some major points to it. It pretty much obliterates any excuse anyone can come up with as to why his marriage had to end.

1. Why would the devil (Mephisto) want THEIR marriage? The reasoning is a poor editorial excuse.

2. It was meant to torment them. Yet Peter never feels tormented. Fail.

3. Why does Mary Jane remember the deal (especially when Peter doesn’t)?

4. You can’t trust the devil (Mephisto).

5. Where in this deal does it stipulate that Peter’s identity revealed being wiped from everyone’s memory?

6. How can Mephisto do all this?

Wow, all of that… reads like horseshit.

I’m amazed they would go through all of those ridiculous acrobatics simply because they couldn’t figure out how to write a married superhero.

This is dumbest, most insulting thing I’ve ever seen in any comic. Ofcourse I’ve always been a Marvel fan, but this whole thing from right round The Other to the Unmasking to OMD to whatever they’ve been doing is just completely idiotic. I’ve never seen a company go out of its way to not give fans what they were promised becuase they wanted to do something else down the road. I’ve never seen a book where they keep introducing concepts one after another and then do nothing with them. Imagine if Spider-man’s secret identity had been revealed to the world.

I mean Spider-man, not magical plot device Spider-man. Would J Jonah Jameson be angry? Yes, like that, he would angry. That’s an introduction to the story, now what? Well, the don’t have of that for the fans because again, they just want to undo the marriage. That story would be about Peter Parker and how the world looks at him and how his cast of characters over the years feel about it. Not being a magical Spider-guy who still works as a teacher with an amnesiac Flash Thompson why there is a stupid ‘war’ going on. I mean, what the hell?

They produce what is called the ‘worst comic book of all time’ and then just reference it over and over again so people are reminded about how bad it was. Joe Quesada had been EIC for so many years and constantly complained about the marriage, yet did nothing about it. He let J. Michael Stracynski do these big universe altering things with Spider-man right at the begginning of this mess. He complained about not being abolet to make Peter a dad of Gwen Stacy’s children and then did some bizarre thing where Spider-man is killed by his magic villian character. If anyone should kill Spider-man it should be along the lines of Doc Ock or Electro. Then he comes back to life in a cocoon after his eye was eaten. I’m not even going to go about this, but this is just followed by a strange set of introductions of elements involving new powers and new costumes and the like almost month by month. None of this mattered beacuse was broke out and we get the biggest lie of all time an unmasking which by this time I think most of us assumed was going to be wasted.

Is this story telling to Joe Quesada? Concepts as stories. Civil War didn’t have much of a plot and no ending. All the character’s personalities were changed to suit the concept. Peter Parker began to seem like a dullheaded wimp who doesn’t think about his actions and it gets people killed. I thought he learned that lesson in Amazing Fantasy #15.

All in all, this was horrible enough. Spider-man comics today are not about what fans get, but what they ARE NOT GOING TO GET. We were offered the biggest thing in the world and it was a lie. A blatent lie. But that’s not all we’re given this stupid ‘I quit’ in the form of Mephisto. At this point, not only has this not been the same Spider-man I had read all those years he seems like a pathetic new character I care nothing about and wish he was dead. How can this guy be regarded as a hero? Not using your head, doing things on your individual basis that gets people killed is not a redeeming quality. This man cared more about his dying aunt who was always 3 seconds away from dying anyway, so much so that how many people could of died as a result of him changing the universe so she could live.

Man, Joe Quesada made me hate Spider-man. I used to think he was the best comic book character ever. I like to think of the old Spider-man comics pre-Stracynsi/Quesada and after as two different guys because thy seem like two different guys.

This is comic books and they couldn’t think of a decent way to make it so Peter Parker was single without divorce and without making the worst comics Marvel comesout? They couldn’t make the whole thing so complicated that nothing makes any sense anymore and takes away the credibility the book once had?
They couldn’t do that? This is comic books. The impossible is believable and I didn’t believe anything I read from Civil War #1 to OMD to whatever they’re doing now.

That’s the worst and it’s Joe Quesada’ s fault.

Bye, SPider-man.

Y’know, the Spider-Man newspaper strip tried to go back to a batchelor Peter Parker at the same time as the comic. Readership reaction was so negative that only one story featured Spidey as a swingin’ single. (Normalcy was attained by having Peter wake up. It was all a dream!)

Whether you like the newspaper strip or not, it’s got daily readers in the millions. Those readers wanted Peter and MJ to stay married.

What does that say about the comic book demographics?

Linkara did a great job on taking apart OMD. AND it was fun to watch too. :D

Meanwhile OMIT just comes across as a sad attempt to self-justification. I won’t explode like Linkara (whose job is to be an amusing reviewer) I just will wait longer before I go back to Spider-Man comics.

I don’t really think that Quesada wants a constant stream of turbulent romantic relationships. I think he wants Gwen Stacy back. And I honestly expect to see her within the next five years. She’s the last sacred cow (as it were) and whether or not the story is good (Bucky) or not-so-good (Jason Todd) I think we should all just come to grips with it. Gwen will be back. And then in ten years, assuming the industry still exists, somebody else will want “their” Spidey back and Gwen will get tossed under the bus just like MJ.

Oh, and that “unnamed female lead” in the new Spider-Man flick? I’ll eat my hat if she isn’t blond and a first generation relative of a police captain.

I love it when people say that the reason for dissolving the marriage was so that kids and new readers could read about a single Peter Parker.

Joe Quesada stood from the rooftops, sang his tune on the radio, in the newspaper, on tv talk shows to announce that Peter Parker was single again for all the kids and new readers.

Well, where are they?

Where are the kids? Where are all the new readers? It’s like Joe Quesada threw a party and none of the invited guests showed up. He even had an issue of the Spider-Man feature Obama at the height of his popularity and sold a TON of copies to new readers.

How come no one came back for the next issue?

BTW, maybe people outside the small comics box aren’t buying because most normal people wouldn’t give up their marriage to go back and live with and for their 99 year old Aunt.

Note to self:

OMIT = proof the best way to cover up the cracks in a bad story is not to slather feces all over it like Bondo.

I don’t care whether Spider-Man is married or unmarried – I just think the way it’s been handled has been piss-poor to say the least.

Instead of trying to make a 50 year old character revert to the way he was in the 70’s, why not try and create new characters for younger generations to be as connected to as people were to Spider-Man, and actually put some attempt behind it instead of throwing out a mini, whining when it sells bad due to no promotion, and then create yet another Spider-Man title?

I know that people furrowed their brows wondering why Spider-Man was only 20 something and single in the movies yet in the comics he was married. Seriously, how stupid do Marvel think people are that they can’t figure out time frames in various mediums in regards to Spider-Man?

The one thing OMD and OMIT has done is killed (616) Spider-Man to me.

What Stealthwise said.

The more explanations get layered on top of each other to justify or “clarify” OMD, the clearer it becomes that OMD is a crappy story. Because a truly good story doesn’t need pepole to come along and tell the readers and fans that it “is” a good story. Especially several years later.

Was it explained what MJ asked Mephisto? I’m not really planning on reading it (though the art looks amazing) but was curious about that final question that was left from OMD

I dont think one comment here will give BND and OMIT a ounce of credibility. Quesada as a whole fails at these decisions. Spidey’s a flagship character, we can and have always related to his marriage, and so can new and young readers. If anything give people hope good marriages still happen if both parties work for it. Keep his single life vibrant and fast paced in the Ultimate line and whatever other universes that sprout up. Smarten up Marvel, readers expect more from you, not just flavors and trends to follow because the rest of the idiot world is following the examples they see.

I like the Spidey stories as of late, the Gauntlet, etc, but I DESPISE what we had to go through to get there. It’s as if the Three Stooges were charged with orchestrating Peter and MJ’s parting…what a mess.

I don’t think the marriage made an unmarried guy like myself NOT relate to Spidey. I mean, he sticks to walls. That’s kind of hard to relate to, too, but I get over it. So how is the marriage UN-relatable? I find sacrificing your marriage/memory/love-of-your-life your your ailing old Aunt difficult to relate to. It’s…weird. It makes Peter weird.

Peter is weird, now. There, I said it, and I think I feel a little better.

I was totally on board with OMIT until that final bit, part of OMD’s appeal to me was that even though they were splitting up Peter and MJ, she comes out of the story as the hero, worthy to be Spider-Man’s gal. I get the marriage doubts and kid doubts but the whole “I’m not strong enough to be your partner” is way too groan worthy. Let MJ maintain some dignity. It is fine though, they’ll get back together eventually.

As someone who has actually READ this series since #529 on, which means I can talk about it since I’ve been reading it, with the exception of a few issues here and there this whole OMD/BND story was GREAT! And OMIT, it did explain what needed to be explained. The questions about Mephisto were explained during OMD…

I liked it. I can say that because I’ve actually read it and enjoyed it as a very fun comic book.

“Joe Quesada was right because an unmarried person will, in this day and age, appeal to a larger audience by pure numbers. Emotional attachments to characters and years of storytelling, continuity and respect aside, yeah. It’s true. Spider-Man should fit in the “all ages” group that can entertain young and old, married and unmarried alike. Technically, more people can relate to being unmarried than being married. ”

Excellent point. I’m looking forward to the next storyline, “Luke Cage is a White Guy” because, y’know, more people can relate to white people. Also, little known fact, people only read stories about people just like them. Can you believe that in the original version of “The Blind Side” Sandra Bullock’s character was married? There’s even a rumor that Bruce Willis’ character was going to be married in the first “Die Hard”! Crazy!

“And while people have debated this technicality, the bottom line at the end of the day is Joe Quesada was and is editor-in-chief and was looking at a bigger picture than we, the fans. Quesada was looking at dollars, longevity and demographics. We just saw Peter Parker.”

Even better point! Quesada must know better because he’s E-i-C! Fans! Buncha idiots! Everyone knows creative decisions are better when they’re based on dollars, longevity and demographics! Why should the stupid customers have any say? You just buy what we give you and be grateful for it!

Aside from drunken hook ups with his roommate and creepy, “Leave the mask on” sex with the Black Cat what storylines have happened over the last few years that couldn’t have happened to a married Peter Parker? Honestly I don’t know. I read the previews and reviews and just find myself happy that I’m not reading any Marvel books anymore.

@ Patrick McArdle

Best. Post. Ever.

There is a big contradiction in the statement of the reviewer.

If the Love between Parker and Mj was not that big as many writters maek us believe.
Then why someone like Mephisto wanted it?

Still as its is, Spiderman continues being the regular guy, but the diference with its original concept, is that a modern era regular guy is probably not worth of reading, if we are looking for a superhero.

Dollars and demographics? This girl needs to do her research. The sales on Amazing Spider-man barely equal what ASM used to sell before it went thrice monthly with this Quesada/Mephisto debacle. Spider-man sells 40,000 an issue and he’s Marvel’s flagship character. That’s as many issues as Deadpool. The sales on ASM are the worst they’ve EVER been in the history of the character. How does Superman sell all those books being married to Lois Lane?

All I know, is as the product of a broken home, I grew up with Spidey and MJ being married, and as a kid, that was really important to me–to see that through everything, they could make it work, despite the odds.

Oh well, I guess I still have Clark and Lois.

Aside from a few issues here and there, the regular art chores on Spidey have been unbelievably inconsistent. One week he looks 15 the next he looks 30, sometimes he has a hook nose and others a flat head. This is the book that always goes through unbelievable stupid BS because of editorial decisions (Hobgoblin ID anyone) and maintains readers regardless because the art is good. Quesada slaps someone on this book for a year straight that can write Spidey and someone who can draw Spidey and all the whiney fanboy backlash goes away, guaranteed.

Great Post which pretty much sums up the entire saga.

“Quesada was looking at dollars, longevity and demographics. We just saw Peter Parker.”

So now the character is worth less than the money it makes. In other words: The story comes last a Marvel. The character/story should always come first! I think most fans, like myself, weren’t too upset by the split of MJ and Peter. It was the way it was done. Everything in the big two (Marvel/DC) these days is about gaining new readers and very little effort to keep readers reading. That is why we keep going over the same themes and similar story arcs (“Moving Up”=”Big Time”). I remember when Spider-Man showed X-Force how to stop the Juggernaut, but Peter is still the new kid/upstart/red headed stepchild. Whatever man I am out.

Brilliant post, here. While I’m sad to see the Spider-marriage dissolved, because I grew up with a married Spider-Man, I think some of the Brand New Day stories were really good, and I know that Spider-Man writers can continue to tell good stories whether Peter’s married or not. I’m not happy about the way they’ve radically changed the continuity story so that a broader demographic can relate to it – that’s the opposite of the orignaic storytelling model that Marvel claims it’s all about – but from a sales point of view I can at least understand it.

What’s truly tragic is what OMD and OMIT have done to the character of Peter and and Mary Jane. You’re right, Carla; it’s painted in them in a light that’s fairly selfish and cowardly and at the end of the day that’s a lot more damaging than anything Mephisto could do.

Someone should get Mr. McArdle’s post in front of JQ. Marvel (mostly JQ) clearly doesn’t care about what their readers think.

This wasn’t at all a great post….but everyone’s entitled to an opinion and a platform to express it.
Unless readers completely drop the book and the numbers tank, the folks that want the marriage back have no chance of getting it. The only thing JQ is (even remotely) right about…is that we vote with our wallets.

OMIT was an insult to the long time fans (remember Jim Owlsley? =)) in my opinion.

It’s weird that I had a dream about this the other night and you know what I agree with the writer of tis article and Joe Q….in priniciple. The soap opera aspect of spider-man was very appealing and opens up more doors than if peter and mj had stayed married. dont get me wrong, there’s stories that can be told with a married peter and mj but its certainly not as dynamic if they are both single. the other night i just kept thinking, what would happen if mj had found somebody else she fell in love with and wanted to marry. how would peter react to that? or what if peter divulged his secret to another female character, how would that make mj feel in retrospect to her relationship ith peter? just a lot of possiblities that can come from a single peter. now i will say that One More day as a story was CRAP! it was contrived, and forced, the villain used didnt make sense at all, and was not the best artwork i’ve seen from Joe Q. i feel there was another way to go about it, to make it more believable and emotional. However, storytelling snafus aside, i like that peter is single again, not so much that it appeals to a wider demographic, but because i see the story-telling possiblities that can be had with him being single

I think Quesada took a mess and tried to clean it up quite a bit. The end piece about Mary Jane just not wanting to deal with being Mrs. Spider-Man, not having that in her, yeah, I get that. Did we need the whole Mephisto thing to get there, I don’t know, but I get that.

The thing that troubles me about this new reboot on why they broke up (fascinating that they actually felt they need to reboot OMD, basically) is Peter. I just don’t see him seizing MJ at the last minute and bringing her back with him. I get that he loves her and doesn’t want to be alone, but still, given his very accurate fear for people’s safety, it’s just not a Peter thing to do. Post-Uncle Ben’s death, Peter is the guy who does the right thing and still gets screwed, the guy weighted down by responsibility. So yeah, doesn’t ring true to me. It’s quickly passed over — there’s so much plot to be gotten through. When I first finished the issue, I thought, wow, well done. It is complete.

But the longer I sit with it, the more that choice unsettles me. We can say oh, he slipped up, he’s human too, competing needs, but I think it’s probably more a very clever cheat, something unearned. Fanboys would continue to kvetch either way, that’s what fanboys do, but I personally think they still have reason.

I’m going to write some some more about this on my blog today. Cheers.

stealthwise nailed it…. all this because they can’t write a married superhero. I would think demographically, spiderman fans were growing older, getting married themselves…why try to shift tracks to a younger demographic in 616 continuity? A little to much thinking about $$, not enough thinking about the excellence of the Spider-Man story…

This…. this is idiotic. It really is.

“We want to read about people we can relate to!” Uh, last time I checked I couldn’t spin a web any size and capture criminals just like flies, so there’s at least half of Peter Parker’s life that I, and everybody else on earth, simply will be unable to relate to. We can’t know what its like to be a super hero because they don’t actually exist, so that who “relate to” argument is beyond fail.

I’m sorry, maybe I’m going to be the asshole here, but it has to be said. Aunt May is 8171013742 years old. She’s a frail old woman. She is, at some point, simply going to die. It happens, everyone does it. So what’s Petey going to do when she slips and falls and dies because of that? Make another deal with Mephisto? What happens if she has a heart attack while sleeping and dies in her sleep? OMG ITS MEPHISTO TIME BABY! People. Die. Thats what happens in life, and its a lot more “Relateable” for Peter to be sad and to mourn his loss and to remember the good times he had with his Aunt and try to make a future with his wife than it is for him to GO AND MAKE A DEAL WITH THE FREAKING DEVIL.

This came down as an editorial fiat to get new readers on board. Its failed. Old readers are abandoning Spider-Man for its sheer idiocy and new readers aren’t coming on board. This has failed in every imaginable way.

And beyond that, beyond the sheer numbers fail, it failed in absolutely destroying the character of Mary Jane for me. Joey Q needs to say “Well crap, I was wrong” and Brand New Day the Brand New Day mess.

How does Joe taste? Is he salty? I bet his unmarried discharge is salty.

Even if your demographic argument hold weight, the utterly hideous way this was done erases any validity it might have.

Skimmed the damned thing in the store to see if it would make me start reading Spidey again, and put it back on the shelf. It’s telling that the $20-30 I spend every week goes more and more to DC and the independents.

I haven’t read the final issue of this mess, but in the last one I did read, after the aborted wedding, MJ gives the speech about how they can’t get married because she won’t have kids with him but they can still be together as long as they understand that marriage and kids are part of the deal. So they loved each other enough to want to get married, but when the marriage didn’t happen (for reasons that had nothing to do with how much they loved each other) then all of a sudden that love dissipated to the point where, when May got shot, Peter could afford to give her all his love because he wasn’t reserving any for Mary Jane?

So the moral is, two people can’t really love each other unless they’re married and willing to have kids together?


It’s not about demographics. It’s about maintaining the unchanging nature of a character so it can be instantly marketable. It’s about surrendering even the pretense of advancing a character and changing anything about a corporate-owned character.

It’s why after 60 years, Micky Mouse is still unmarried and unchanged except for adding color and changing his look a bit. He’s instantly recognizable and marketable that way. If he’d aged, gotten married and had kids, your average person wouldn’t be able to instantly relate because they hadn’t kept up.

They basically took any actual character advancement the character made of twenty years and chucked it away so the character can remain changeless for the general population. Even though the version of the character that the general population knows still isn’t this one.

Corporate comic characters, especially the big guns, have very little chance for advancement and change. You know at the end of day that Superman will beat Luthor…that nothing is really going to change. So this is abandonment of even that little wiggle room and an editorial mandate of ‘no change is permitted to happen to the character.’

I like change and growth and dynamic stories. I don’t want a book that I can skip for two years and come back and instantly know exactly where the character stands.

I’ll take Starman over Spider-Man any Day.

@ Brother Justin Crowe

To heck with Loki! I voted for Mephisto and haven’t looked back since.

Mephisto for Ruler of the 616 Marvel Universe in 2012.*

*paid for by NFCRDLDCM (a.k.a. Nutters for Crooked Red Devil Like Dude Called Mephisto.

Seriously, I kind of enjoyed it, if only for the copious amounts of Merlot they both drank. tee hee.

It’s all nonsense.

There is no connection between the licensing of products and the continuity of the comics. No changes made in the comic book could prevent Marvel from selling whatever crap with Spider-man’s face on it that they want. The majority of purchasers of said crap have no idea what is happening in the comics.

Hell, walk around Target and Wal-mart and look at all the multitude of products featuring Spider-man’s image. The vast majority of it features Mark Bagley’s rendition of Ultimate Spider-man. You can have your cake and eat it, too. Spider-man can remain a teenager in Target and yet be an adult in “Amazing Spider-man”.

I loved the fact that if I wanted to read the teen Spider-man I could read “Ultimate Spider-man” and if I wanted to read the adult, married Spider-man I could read “Amazing Spider-man”.

Now, I still read “Ultimate Spider-man” but haven’t picked up a 616 Spider-man book since Brand New Day. People ask me about Spider-man and I tell them he died in the Civil War.

Anytime someone like Tom Brevoort starts babbling about how the characters can’t change only maintain an illusion of change I say bullshit. The wonderful thing about the comic universe is that a character can live a full life and die and all they have to do is start a new comic book to start over. Or heck, even run the books concurrently. They can have a book for teen spidey, a book for adult spidey, and if sales demanded, a book for senior citizen spidey.

whatever its comics. they will be back together someday. unless you just started reading comics you should know that everything always comes back around again. EVERYTHING

Sounds like crap.

ChrisPV said: “I don’t really think that Quesada wants a constant stream of turbulent romantic relationships. I think he wants Gwen Stacy back. And I honestly expect to see her within the next five years. She’s the last sacred cow (as it were) and whether or not the story is good (Bucky) or not-so-good (Jason Todd) I think we should all just come to grips with it. Gwen will be back.”

Interestingly enough, in an interview on the Spider-Man Crawl Space podcast (, Joe Quesada not only confirmed that Gwen Stacy was indeed originally supposed to have been brought back with One More Day, but that, in a very, very close vote, the various writers and editors actually approved of her bringing brought back. It was actually Tom Brevoort who later went to Quesada and convinced him how this was a bad idea, so Quesada changed his mind.

My first and original point (and this is coming from a comic reader of 30+ years of Spider-Man and many other titles) is that “Brand New Day” was insulting and cowardly writing….period! Besides feeling angry and insulted, I felt so cheated due to being excited about the new direction and the possibilities that they could go in and they pissed it away to go backwards story wise. The fact was, I fully expected Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage to end…I didn’t want it to, but I expected it to…I was just so disappointed with how terribly handled it was brought to a close…by telling me that my loyalty as a reader for 30 some odd years was for nothing?!? So, I’m not sure who exactly to congratulate for that decision, but that choice just meant that that money I invested monthly in Spider-Man would soon stay in my pocket or would more than likely go towards a DC title instead. The fact that they have currently tried to justify the storyline means nothing…at this point even if they returned to what should’ve been status quo of Aunt May dead (face it, she should be,) Peter and M.J. back together and a baby on the way (just imagine Peter having to save the day all while keeping an eye on the baby,)…even then, I can’t say I would return…not short of a world class writer/artist team anyway.

I was hoping that OMIT would put Spiderman back together in a cool way. Unfortunately no .. it’s still uncool.

Anyhow .. to me the problem is .. they messed with the basic premise of the character. Deal with the devil .. all that.

Like all deals with the devil .. Spiderman lost his soul. And that’s what’s missing now. A lot of people can’t relate to a Spiderman who lost his soul.

I only occasionally dabble in the Spider-Man books, but I love him being in Bendis’ Avengers books. Since it seems kind of douchey of him to be globetrotting and hiding out with the Avengers when he has a wife at home, I suppose BND kind of took care of that.

You really shouldn’t have to get so convoluted to make someone more relatable. Peter Parker is likeable because he’s a cool guy with a quick wit that never takes anything that seriously, even when its a completely dire situation. If you know how to write the Spider-Man character, the rest should write itself.

Also, he has interesting powers and a great costume. So, you know, the character itself will bounce back. He’s withered so many terrible stories before that just never get brought up again.

@ Mike McNulty

That’s a bad idea, the Marvel editors at the time killed Gwen Stacy off for a reason; Osborn was her babbyfaddah and Osborn hated Harry and was totally against the scandal of an illegitimate child from an underage nobody, so he threw her off a bridge for Spider-Man.

Except, Spider-Man thought he was the Babyfaddah, and he was too busy brooding, chasing MJ’s apple bottom, and drinking Aunt May’s powdered slosh, and a baby with Gwen would have ruined his life. So really both Peter AND Osborn wanted Gwen dead. They both though the child was theirs and neither wanted to get stuck with child support payments, so they made separate plans to off Gwen, and mere coincidence allowed both Osborn and Peter to dodge that bullet.

Great power and responsibility my butt!

Peter Morningstar

September 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm

The bottomline of this is and always will be Quesada screwed up Spider-man in an amazingly, spectacularly bad way, alienated fans by the bucket-load, and then dug his heels in like a two year old having a tantrum, and basically reduced the Spidey franchise to the sad state of affairs it is today.
I think it was Quesada himself that once said, and i paraphrase here, that everyone in comics has a ‘voice’ for a limited period, and then it’s over for them…maybe he should listen to his own words, and realise that his time has come. Ten years is way too long for an EIC of any company, sales are dropping across the board, new and fresh ideas are few and far between.
Time to stand aside Joe and let a new voice be heard.

OMD happened around the same time as secret invasion…… Skrull MJ would have solved everybodys problem…

OMIT got me to read a Spidey story. Last time I read a Spidey story it was OMD. I’ve picked up an issue here or there (the anniversary issue was fantastic BTW) but I don’t follow Spider-man regularly. And I certainly didn’t when Spidey was married. I can relate to Spidey more now. I’m only 22. I can relate to most of the BND stories much better than the older ones.

I actually liked OMD. Sure it wasn’t perfect. But it was nice drama. And OMIT was better. I say, in the long run, I think OMD will be seen as a healthy thing for Spider-man. I agree with the OP.

One More Day and OMIT were both unneccessary (also them all being four bucks a pop was also unneccessary). Also Marvel’s implication that making a deal with the Devil is better than divorce is pathetic.

synergize…no mj to connect to film reboot?

Patrick McArdle said- “I’m looking forward to the next storyline, “Luke Cage is a White Guy” because, y’know, more people can relate to white people.”

this was my thought when I started reading this piece of junk “article’- and I had to get through half of the posts here before I found someone else who thought the same-

other suggestions for Marvel:

“Ben Grimm finds Jesus” cause y’know Christians have lots of dollars to throw!!
“Daredevil can SEE” cause blind people can’t read comics!
“Carol Danvers gets a Sex Change!” because more men read comics then women and must find it hard to relate to someone without a penis!

I could go on with these, in fact, we should start a thread- let’s all start thinking “dollars, longevity and demographics” and give good ole JC some more ideas for ruining our favorite characters-

btw- I haven’t trusted that schmuk since he was quoted in Wizard saying Marvel would never bring Colossus back as that would cheapen his sacrifice, then low and behold, Colossus shows up in “Astonishing X-Men” back from the dead… myself, I don’t enjoy being thought of as stupid-

while I’m thinking about it- reading comic books (Marvel) takes “dollars” out of my pocket, increasing my “longevity” in a somewhat negative “demographic”- how’s that Ms. Hoffman?

Its stupid to say that its better to have a single character then a married one. Tell you what if I writer says he cant write a married person… then he is a bad writer. All marvel has done this for is to have Spiderman have sex with the Black Cat a lot. There there is the maybe something going on with him and Ms. Marvel. To me you cant retcon MJ out of the books then have MJ appear on Spidermans “Women of Marvel” cover to sell the damn book.

Also I want to point out two things here. First in the last annual they had a guy talk to MJ about all she had to do was turn Peter in and then she could be free and the guy tried to hit on her because he dated MJ once. She told him. “He’s my husband and your just some guy I dated one time.” You cant go from that to “I cant do this.”

Second they push the OMD storyline with stupid in jokes like “I thought someone said you were married?” In the comic they had Spiderman beat down the King Pin since he ordered the hit on him. And then left the King Pin alive in prison with the other people knowing he can be beaten so all of them gang on the king pin. But as soon as the “What if” arrived came out… Suddenly Spiderman kills the King Pin and gets arrested saying he should have never married Mary Jane to spare her. ??

One more point I want to bring up is how shi**y they treat Peter in the Amazing Spiderman title. He has been shown to be on the New Avengers and be good with them. He is good friends with Luke Cage. But when its shown in the Amazing title they have Luke asking “Why is he even on a team?” Plus when the New Avengers helped out when Doc Ock turned the city against Spiderman… they treated him like a child and told him to get out of there.

Damn and here I thought the title was Amazing Spider-Man, not Amazing Spider-Man and Wife. Married/unmarried I read if the story is good. If removing the marriage made for writers to tell better stories (which is what happened, BND until now, not including OMIT has been great. No Gwen kids or Clone saga bs) then I’m okay with it.

I love hearing the whole it’s not Amazing spider man and wife/MJ thing. it really makes me laugh because mainstream public thinks of spider man, and Mary Jane. Lovers. Pals/ whatever. The mainstream can mostly identify Gwen Stacy with Spider-Man as well. Mary Jane was kicked out of Amazing Spider-Man because someone didn’t think she should be connected to Spider Man and it failed. No matter how much Joe Q hates her and gets to shit on her into some Eve like character in the over priced comic books for his honey Black Cat Joe Q 616 does not matter. you’re all welcome to play with your boring BND Parker that lives out editors fantasies. Mainstream doesn’t really give a damn about comic books now unless it had Obama on it . do you think most that picked it up didn’t say well where the hell is Mary Jane Watson? Like the movies and old comics and news strip and cartoons and media spots ect. I am sure most did. think outside the comic book panel ASM view please.

The people at Disney/Sony know how established MJW is in mainstream. she’s a character people expect around Spider-Man and the comic nerds are not who really matters. So they are going to wisely have her around and don’t care what Joe does other then now, after OMIT, Mary Jane Watson is part of the Amazing Spider Man. MJ is here to stay. Elana Satine is who will play MJ in the reboot. not main love interest . Read up online and ignore the telephone rumor mill. She’s going to be a friend. that’s how the 616 has changed over with OMIT. she’s in the musical. she’s been in the 3 other movies She’ll be in the USM cartoon too. I am sure Gwen Stacy will return in the 616 books to match close enough to the movie once that time comes. Like the comics Gwen will die and MJ will again be Spider-Man’s lover eventually.


Mainstream Spider-Man-matters to real profit.
Comic book extremists fanboys and editors-do not matter to real profit.
MJW connected to Spider-man -matters to real profit and is not changing

This is what I know: Before Civil War and One More Day, there was this story about Spiderman having organic features to match him closer to the movies. It might not have been brilliant but it was at least an attempt to make a character that hasn’t gotten much scientific recognition in his OWN universe, more…scientific.

Then along comes these other two events…and the sad fact is NOTHING that spun out of either made much sense. Why in the world can’t Aunt May die? The woman has been pushing 250+ for the last 10 years. She needs to go. If you’re looking to create and garner MORE readership, the last thing a mature man in Peter Parker needs is an octogenarian that hasn’t produced SQUAT. It would have been better for Peter to accept this, move on and maybe have gotten Thor to do the mind wipe instead. (At least then people would be like “Thor is awesome!” ) The point is this: Married or not, Joe Q made this decision because of a moment of insanity. Now we live with it. And while the revamping of Spiderman’s rogues is a good thing, it could have been done WITHOUT a Brand New Day.

But apparently Joe Q doesn’t understand good writing. Maybe he needs to look at works that DO have good writing. Like say…George RR Martin.

I’ve been reading the JMS run again now that its in tpb and its good up until the end of the Ezekiel arc. It left it open to interpretation, in that there was the belief that it his powers were supernatural and Peter’s belief that they were scientific. Sure it seemed that it was more the supernatural, but well just read the last panel and you’ll get my drift. That whole arc made Peter fresh. He wasn’t retreading his same problems, and he moved on from being JJJ’s lackey (but JJJ was sorely missed, you can’t help but enjoy him). But it felt like JMS was forced to end that arc – and then the Gwen Stacy’s children arc just well – blew. Sure MJ was getting fleshed out but the rest was drivel and well the transition from JR jr’s art to MD jr’s art was too much of a contrast. JR jr is and always will be the definitive Spider-Man artist for my generation. BND had it’s up sides, but truth be told there are so many ways you could refresh Peter, hell it would have been great to have him reading lines with MJ at the theatre and he gets noticed. So then he’s cast in a TV show..wait for it…playing Spider-man…yeah it sounds kind of Campy, but you blend this with Spider-man now in LA and finding himself helping average folks not from supervillians, but smugglers, drug runners, gangsters and Namor’s occasional attack on California, because well he’s a dick.
Just my two cents.

booooriing & full of FAIL and that’s the reason why i droped the book months ago, through if “big time” is good i’ll give it a shot. but that wtf thing in omit personaly i think it was just extreme over-reaching as far as “one more day// brand new day/O.M.I.T” even thorugh “snister 666″ could be very fun maybe

One thing I have never understood, and perhaps someone has already said this, but bear with me.

So it is somehow not relatable to be married to a gorgeous redhead, but it IS relatable to have sex with your roommate, have sex with the Black Cat, and so on, all who have consistently not-real body types. (Unless Quesada is drawing them, then Mary Jane somehow put on 50 lbs)

From various interviews, and convention appearances I have seen Quesada speak at, he speaks about the future of comic books, and how they are marketing Spider-Man to the younger generation. You know what was relatable to me at 10, 12, 14, and 16? NOT having sex with any of these people. What Spider-Man is nowadays is more like fantastical wish-fulfillment.

And for that matter…is anyone from that age bracket, or a decent enough portion of them, actually reading comic books anymore?

Oh, Carla, you can’t let yourself be this cynical.

I get that separating Spiderman/Peter Parker and Mary Jane was for the demographic + for selling more comics (since a single spiderman means more plot availability), but ultimately, I believe in love. I wish Peter and Mary Jane had overcome all the odds.

Once I read OMD and saw the ending, I was so upset that I haven’t bothered to read a single Spider-man comic until this weeks finally of OMIT. Now I start to reconsider my stance. True it felt mechanical and as much as I despise the overall idea of BND, I thought that OMIT was the best possible attempt that could be made to clear up all the problems.

Except one.

I have to ask since I haven’t read any of BND, is there any sort of explanation on how Harry Osborn is still alive. It seems that all this BS can’t be put to rest completely until this continuity mishap is addressed.

What do you think?

“we should start a thread- let’s all start thinking “dollars, longevity and demographics” and give good ole JC some more ideas for ruining our favorite characters-”

Why not have all of the “cosmic” Marvel characters stay on Earth because readers will relate to them better because most have never been or never will go into outer space?

Have the Hulk just stay Bruce Banner, go to work everyday, get mad at people, just hold the anger in and ultimatly do nothing about it …because we normal people could understand him better that way since none of us can transform into a really strong monster?

*This forum needs an “edit” function…..

Its unfortunately just poor writing and poor decision making at this point. I’m far more interested in character advancement. I find myself with DC and the independents alot more. Invincible reads somewhat like Spider-man used to, and Kirkman is about 75 issues in and is progressing that character very well. Even Morrison has progressed Batman, with Grayson holding the mantle, and Bruce’s son as Robin. The decisions being made at Marvel at this time are shoddy. Hopefully the future movie ventures fail for these idiots and they return to some sense of humbleness.

Oy, Joe Q. stick to the editoring and stop with the bad phototracing of the hard parts and the fudging of the faces.

What really pisses me off is that Aunt May didn’t die. After Mephisto saves her life, shouldn’t she have a heart attack or something? You know, classic “get screwed for making a deal with the devil bit”? Also, my biggest issue is the contension that divorce and smoking is worse than striking a deal with the devil, according to Joey Q.

“Carol Danvers gets a Sex Change!”

I’m all for Chicks with d**ks. I think there need to be more transgender or transvestite heroes/heroins out in the MU, if only for those of us who “relate” to those characters. Or for those of us, like myself, who just love men in drag, and tune in every week to watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

Ru Paul is HAWT!!! Rock those wigs darling!

One thing I have never understood, and perhaps someone has already said this, but bear with me.

“So it is somehow not relatable to be married to a gorgeous redhead, but it IS relatable to have sex with your roommate, have sex with the Black Cat, and so on, all who have consistently not-real body types. (Unless Quesada is drawing them, then Mary Jane somehow put on 50 lbs)

From various interviews, and convention appearances I have seen Quesada speak at, he speaks about the future of comic books, and how they are marketing Spider-Man to the younger generation. You know what was relatable to me at 10, 12, 14, and 16? NOT having sex with any of these people. What Spider-Man is nowadays is more like fantastical wish-fulfillment.”

Completly Agree with you Michael!

Look at what the single life has done to Peter Parker.

Free of MJ, Spidey is hitting the club scene.


September 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm

So much talk of how Peter “needs” to be single from Marvel, and yet quality-wise there haven’t been any improvement with Brand New Day. The stories are the same old run-of-the-mill Spidey-stories. Some of them good, some really bad, but most of the time just plain mediocre. And the art sucks most of the time in Amazing Spider-Man these days. They obviously wanted to bring fun back into the title but the humour most of the time just feels forced, awkward and juvenile

Just from reading a number of the remarks here. The general opinion is that Joe Q. is still unjustified in forcing the end of Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage.
And no amount of retreading the story line is going to change that.
I actually read O.M.I.T and O.M.D., and it’s still out of character and weak.
They unmask Spidey and Aunt May catches a bullet, Marvel sets it’s self up for a major change.
Then back peddles with this nonsense.
Now were giving a more “structured” explanation for it and it turns out old M.J. just can’t handle it.,……for now.
Which is just so much bunk!
I sometimes do believe that the companies really do hate the fans.
Fortunately there are other variations on the character.
Internet, movies, animation, newspaper strips and T.V.
Do offer other outlets for Spider-man to shine threw.
Its just a damn shame that he can’t in own book.
Thanks Joe Q., your an even bigger schmuck that you could ever know.

want him single? divorce, write them splitting up or falling apart, kill her.. whatever! just dont dick with years and years of continuity and make me think i wasted all that money on stories that apparently didnt really matter. this move was one of the worse debacles in comics, it was literally the breaking point for me to stop following most titles. much like how this article may make stop reading robot 6. sorry

I stopped reading ‘The Amazing Spider-jerk’ after OMD and judging by what I’ve seen about the comic on the net, I still won’t be reading it for many years to come.

I never believed anyone could ‘break’ a character but that’s what they did with Spidey and MJ (one of the best, if not the best, female character in comics). When you throw “with great power comes great responsibility” out of the window, then you’ve lost the essence of the character of Peter Parker/Spider-man.

This whole debacle has been brought about by the frat-boy mentality that pervades Marvel at the moment.

Rather than drawing new readers, the harsh reality is that ASM has lost tens of thousands of readers post OMD.

Epic Fail.

Here’s the biggest rule of good and evil in the Marvel Universe under Joe Quesada:

If you smoke, you must be evil, but it’s ok if you make a deal with the devil.

This has never made sense to me, not from a character standpoint. The smoking issue is stemmed purely from Quesada having issues with smoking. I say if he wants to make a message or a statement, he should give Gambit lung cancer. It would make perfect sense and be in character.

So when it comes to Spider-man, I think it’s truly odd that none of these Brand New Day or OMIT storylines bothered (in my opinion) to address the opinion of the third character who should have a voice in the discussion. In Straczynski’s Spider-man, Aunt May is a feisty gal, a cool old lady you’d love to have as an aunt. She was an Aunt May you truly loved, an Aunt May who found out Peter was Spider-man. She hated her nephew’s superhero job and wanted him to quit, but remained his strongest supporter out of love. May even stood by Peter as he went across the country to prove his love and reunite with his estranged wife. Straczynski made the marriage work.

So, with all that in mind, I think if Aunt May would have been able to voice her opinion, she would have said three words: “Let me die.” She would have been by more than a moment’s worth of contemplation. She would have told them that she’d had a full life and that she’ll get to be with her beloved Ben. That would have been powerful and accessible. What reader hasn’t lost a cool relative to old age?

I wonder, purely on an academic level, if Joe Quesada’s wife divorced him, would we relate to him any better?

Ya’ know, for the most part, I agree. The whole getting rid of the wedding thing sucked. It was handled poorly in both OMD and to a lesser extent in OMIT. The part that bothered me the most was the undoing of MJ’s pregnancy. It’s okay for Spider-Man to do some free-lovin’ with Black Cat and others but not to have a baby out of wedlock? Just sayin’.

However, I will say that a great deal of the BND story arcs were fantastic. The Rhino pages were hauntingly beautiful, in my opinion. I think the greatest tragedy is that people stopped reading Spider-Man and missed out on some amazing storytelling. I will always think that the comic with Deadpool was the best I have read in a long time. Once you get past the bad ret-con, there is some really amazing stuff.

The thing is, and I think Grant Morrison put it best, these people aren’t real. (Grant Morrison on Spidey? That would be so uber-cool.) I am not always a fan of the way they handle the universe. Hell, I almost quit X-men when Peter Milligan was on it years ago. Space Mushroom? And I thought it was criminal the way they have undone most of what Grant Morrison had came up with in regards to the X-men, but some great stories have come out since then. Astonishing X-men was amazing when written by Whedon. That is just the nature of the industry. Someday, Peter Parker might not even be Spider-Man. (Yes, I know about the clone saga.) Sometimes you just have to look past the bad and get on with it.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

OMIT really proved Quesada does not have an inkling about strong female characters, MJ would NEVER leave Peter or let him go, and Peter in turn would never stop loving MJ.

Has he ever read that one Roger Stern era issue of ASM where MJ professes she loves other people’s babies, but would never want one of her own? That can be found in The Hobgoblin TPB for easy reference, so why is she suddenly fixated on children being an instanious part of marraige?

As someone said, this is comics, and what the angel said in Cival War about Peter and MJ being together with kids in the future will probably come to pass under someone else in power, but I’m nbt betting on it being Joe Quesada. I fully expect him to marry MJ to Harry so she has one extra husnand under her belt before SHE goes through a divorce to be back with Peter, thus making her look worse and a gold-digger, whlst Carlie either dies or becomes Peter’s wife so Peter can go through a divorce with someone force-fed and someone NOBODY LIKES.

At least Peter and MJ are still married in the newspaper strip, and THAT version of MJ once fought Doctor Doom and also Doc Ock to save her man, that strip needs more love. It’s a shame Spider-Girl has ended for now, but like all great stories, that’ll be back too

I’m an objective guy, so I’ll be back for “Big Time” and the much -anticipated unleashing of The Slott Machine on ASM full time, but for me only the newspaper strip is the REAL continuity, and it’s quite easy to slot it in.

While we now have a better understanding of what happened to these characters, it does not justify the editorial decision. Stripping these characters of their “heroic love” also strips them of their heroism in general and makes them less than who they are (or meant to be), which, in turn, makes them less inspirational. As this article clearly states, they become characters who, when pushed to extremes, think only of themselves.

Bottom line is Quesada was very clear in his rational of why he made this change, and stated in an interview, I believe on this very site, he referred to his own “uneventful” marriage as a rationale. Looking at the bigger picture means looking outside yourself and your personal views; There are several shows, books, comics, movies, etc. that prove married adventurers work and strengthen the heroic ideal. Kraven’s Last Hunt and the introduction of Venom prove Quesada wrong. A Peter Parker who fights a villain, not just to protect the populace, but to safeguard and return to his wife (and child) is a stronger motivation for the character and reader, than someone who, basically, has no one and nothing to live for but himself.

Bottom Line: My problem with Marvel is the creators, including the EIC, are more interested in putting their stamp on the universal than doing what’s best for the characters. It’s fake. The stories feel faked, and a comic as “respectable literature” is suffering from it.

10 Worlds Studio

Instead of relying on short term gimmicks like injecting the devil into a spider man story to make a deal that doesn’t make any sense for the character to make, he could put a good writer on the book who could tell good stories that people want to read.
Because they have done so much with Parker being single that has lead to an all new, all different spiderman!!!
Everyone knows people pick up that book to read about his relationships with women, it’s why romance based books sell so incredibly well.

The fact that people feel the need to defend it shows that it didn’t work, there was no one who didn’t read any spider man comics because he was married, and theres not going to be a huge, long lasting new readership because he isn’t married.

Thanks Carla – this was truly…truly a great article. Well written and well done.

Great article, but this entire story line is bad on so many levels. I can only speak for my self here, but the appeal of spider-man was never that he was a kid in high school. it was something that is hard to explain but some parts i will go into.
What i have always loved about Peter Parker/Spider-man was that, his comics always seemed to matter. What i mean by that is that; unlike Superman who had crisis and seemingly no continuity, Spider-man had defining moments. His Origin stood the test of time, The Death of Gwen Stacy, heck even the clone saga happened. It was the idea that when i bought my first issue of spider-man (#357) I knew and wanted to go out and buy all the older issue because i wanted to know the history of this character i wanted to know his continuity it was fun it was interesting to me, heck its what made comics…comics. Spider-man didn’t need reboots all he needed was good writing great art and i would always come back. I know that’s not as easy a buzz word for the marketing guys to sell to people but then again I’ve always been a fan of story not buzz.

The other part of the Spider-Man mythology that i truly loved was Peter Parker’s heart. The fact that no matter what happened, no matter the tragedy’s that this character had gone through, he never lost his sense of humor he never gave up. Life for Spider-Man was never easy, he was not the most powerful hero in the Marvel universe. He was not the best looking or even smartest really. But Peter Parker never took the easy way out. That is one thing that always made this character so appealing to me. Peter never gave up he never too the easy way, because that is what responsibility is all about. owing up to your actions. with this entire story Joe took all of that away. There is not responsibility in the “Power and Responsibility” any more. Peter decided to violate the free will of every one on earth, peter decided to give into a villains demands to take away the consequences of his actions. This is not spider-man, as fan i am concerned the last true spider-man comic was issue 543.

I understand that this is a different comic book industry, that sales and merchandise rule more than ever. That Movie’s and Tweens rule. I get it, but i know that i will not read Spider-man. Its my choice and its just how i will respond this these events because it dose not appeal to me. The comic will still have plenty of fans and its not in danger of being canceled but i don’t count my self among its fan anymore.

I think the central difference between Clark/Lois and Peter/Mary Jane (as much as it pains me to even acknowledge this, as I actually disagree with the central “Joe Q. was right” thesis here) is that when you talk to average people who haven’t been reading comics for their whole lives, Superman and Lois Lane are inseparable. It’s not like they could ever tell a story where Clark ends up with someone else for long, because the casual fans and new readers would never believe it. It’s part of the Superman mythology, and why everyone and their brother knows the joke about how a great investigative reporter couldn’t see past the glasses. Spider-Man, on the other hand? Maybe things are a little different now that we’ve had the movies…but I never really found MJ to be absolutely inherent to the premise. Spider-Man, for me, is defined by his powers, his relationship to Aunt May and JJJ, and by “with great power comes great responsibility.” I want the marriage back, but I don’t think that relationship is necessary to make Spidey great.

This whole thing is less about demographics and more about the problems with the comic industry as it is now. No writer wants to be bound by continuity. They feel that they shouldn’t have to worry about what someone wrote before them. You should feel lucky you even got an explanation.

damn it!
why did you have to link me to that cute blog, I just wasted a whole hour on there!

It’s still lame.

Brett has it exactly right:

“I love it when people say that the reason for dissolving the marriage was so that kids and new readers could read about a single Peter Parker.

Joe Quesada stood from the rooftops, sang his tune on the radio, in the newspaper, on tv talk shows to announce that Peter Parker was single again for all the kids and new readers.

Well, where are they?

Where are the kids? Where are all the new readers? It’s like Joe Quesada threw a party and none of the invited guests showed up…”

EXACTLY. And the inverse? The folks like me — the 40-ish dudes who have been BUYING Spider-Man for 30 years — QUIT. I stopped reading Spider-Man: it angered me and I gave it up so lost revenue there.

I think my big revelation was at Comic-Con ’09 at one of the big Marvel panels when it was me, my brother and this dude who demanded money back from one of the writers (and got it) for bad writing, but we seemed to be the only ones there angry about the what was going on with comics. Everyone else? Fanboys who just wanted Deadpool in everything (or so it seemed).

I hoped the Ultimate Spider-Man would continue to be great, but then they flooded New York and started killing everyone off and suddenly the whole thing seems even more ridiculous then ever.

I think I gotta just quit comics and then maybe “the kids” Quesada keeps talking about will finally show up… but I doubt it

Of course you agree with Joe Q and it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the fact he writes for CBR, seriously OMD and now OMIT was just an excuse for a manchild with a failed marriage to make a flagship character his little mary sue.

I’m sorry, but THAT (both stories) SUCKS! I disagree with the very premise behind the Brand New Day. I have read Spider-man comics since before I could actually read then. In other words, I was flipping pages, following the story through the art LONG before I could process the dialog that made the stories that much more poignant.

It has always been my understanding that Superheroes are that part of ourselves that we WISH we could be. That we can aspire to become. Wolverine in his heyday- appealed to a younger, more rash me. His violence (like that of the Punisher and other anti-heroes) was the violence that I somehow wished I could inflict. It was the pent up frustration of youth battling the system that always holds us back; a society that can’t accept what seemed so clear to me then. As I grew older, my satisfaction with these characters waned as my sensibilities changed.

That said, LOVE is eternal. In a day an age where there is lesss and less of it, why can’t we have a hero- no make that a SUPER hero, who holds that love an continues to thrive? Peter and MJ was supposed to be the quintessential love story. Unlike Reed/Sue who seem to bicker and fight and separate at the drop of a hat, Peter and MJ seemed to make it work- no matter how scary it might be for them both. It is the heroic ideal that is now lost. Who in comics now embodies the ability for love to win out? Where is the ideal to aspire to? Are we really better off for these two not to set a bar for we, the audience, to strive for? Now, they are just so many more flawed and failed characters on the heap of the Marvel Universe.

What happened to having SUPERHEROES that allowed us to dream of something better?

Considering like 90% of your comments disagree with you, I’d say “Joe Quesada was wrong”…

what you all must keep in mind, is that Joe Q.s main and overwhelming motivation for EVERY single editorial decision he makes is “mainstream acceptance”. This elusive mainstream acceptance that he is never going to get- even though its succeeded, because comics are as mainstream as ever and NOTHING has changed, except Entertainment Weekly often mentions ‘geek’ culture with a smirk on their face- that is all Joe Q. is about.

And the other part of that is something else you need to realize, and I say this with no bias or hatred for Joe Q. But it is evident if you study all of his interviews and actions for years now- Joe Q. is ashamed of comic books. He is embarassed. I’m not kidding. He resents being in comic books. He wants to be in film, he wants to be in entertainment, he wants to be in Hollywood. He would break standard work ethic to bend over backwards for “hollywood writers” to script a book, then sternly respond to customers asking about the late books, “he has a dayjob, folks” as if you were foolish to inquire about a title you were spending your hard earned money on.

‘Seasons’ of comic books… TPBs with ‘DVD-Style extras’… Joe Q. would do anything to be in entertainment. He is doing everything he can to escape his shame in being involved in plain ol’ comic books. Which is a tragedy. Because comic books, with all their cheap thrills, and sense of escape, are much much more magical than any Hollywood Blockbuster is going to be.

I applaud what Mr. Schutte said, in regards to super-heroes inspiring you to be better, live better. I’m not heavily interested in a demographic of douchey-20 something super-heroes hooking up and acting swarmy. They are all around me to begin with. I can’t relate to Captain America, because Steve Rogers is just a better man than me. Same with Superman. If I found a child molestor, I’d probably kill him if I could, whereas Cap would obviously hand him over to the police. Many of us would like to help in real life incidents, but hesitate- whereas these heroes don’t hesitate. That is the difference. I never wanted to read about a character who were like people in university, or bandmates I had. I liked the fact that there were noble, endearing characters- that was/is the escape. ‘Superhero decadence’ indeed. I stick to the belief that if the majority of comic fandom/writers/editorial/artists got laid, had meaningful relationships, and got into fights, they’d be far less inclined to write sleazy one night stands, draw every female with closeups of their ass when they’re facing another character, and compensate for their own insecurities with how they write. Honestly, it’s very tiring and even plastering ‘The Heroic Age’ or whatever it is, feels more like another choice to tie things in with a TPB dressing, and a sales approach, rather than a storytelling one. Want a heroic age? Go read older stories. No, they aren’t all black and white- no pun intended- and you’ll get your money’s worth, as well.

“But why did we need the Devil to intervene to reach that conclusion? Why couldn’t that have been the case in regular continuity? Why all the rigmarole for something that’s as easy as…well, what you said right there?”


okay, here is the main problem: If you make him a DIVORCED superhero, he’s even more unrelatable. and we couldn’t have a widower spider-man! for the desired effect, the marriage had to be completely erased. hence all this devil shit. when OMD ended, I was so angry with spidey that I stopped reading for two years, and this is after following faithfully for ten years. that said, I suppose it’s nice that pete can go on dates and stuff now. was it worth it? well, having read all that spider-man, I realized that I don’t care about mary jane that much and their does seem to be a breath of fresh air blown into the spidey comics lately (OMiT aside). Dan Slott is coming on soon to finally (hopefully) give the titles consistency and direction, and it seems like this retcon did offer up new angles to explore. But hell, I might have loved it if Straczyinsky kept spider-man in the black suit, pissed off and on the run from everyone, with he whole world knowing who he was. That was some major character change, and it was exciting at the time, but I can’t say for sure if I’d still be loving the idea today.

How many of you are happy that Captain America came back from the ‘dead’? What about batman? Hawkeye? Superman? I wont insult you by listing all the heroes that have been ‘reborn’. Of course they are endless. If death can be undone, why not marriage? Comics are ridiculous anyway. We gotta just bury our most hated stories in the past and look forward to what’s coming. There’s no way the last 40 plus years of Spider-man story history could have possibly all taken place anyway. The guy is still in his twenties. Let’s just do what the good writers do: pick and choose our favourite history and ignore the rest.

Cup O Joe is just plain wrong. Eliminating Spidey’s Marriage was so un-necessary.

The 4.00 cover price hike Marvel has placed on it’s current books is another reason to remove virtually
All Marvel books off my weekly subs.

Make mine D.C. and Indies !

‘nuf said.

Still a case of eating cake and wanting it too. On the one hand “[…]Peter Parker sort of … wills his aunt back to life. He gives her all his love because there is no wife to hold him back. He has nothing else in his life other than this sole relative, and he’s able to dedicate everything to her for this miraculous act.” and then “At the last minute, Peter pulls MJ from the big show so that she’ll remember him because he needed her to be the only one who knew his terrible secrets.”

Whaa? I don’t need you, but I do (no pun intended].

The demographics argument is weak.

Your next to last paragraph was on point, and more to the point of why there was such uproar and dislike for this storyline. With apologies to George Lucas but “These aren’t the CHARACTERS we are looking for!”

If Joe Quesada was right, then I want to be wrong. Glad I’m not buying this book.

Personally, I do agree with the idea that an unmarried Peter Parker appeals to a larger target group. All the naysayers should note that the enduring popularity of Batman is largely due to his appeal within the key “billionaires with english butlers” demographic, while without the support of all the people whose wives turn out to be psychopathic murderers, Ray Palmer would be all but forgotten.

JQ, the great destroyer. Get’s it wrong once and gets another chance and does it again. He is the truly selfish one. He didn’t like MJ but was too cowardly to throw her into a refrigerator so he came up with a hack storyline and then fleshed it out later. This storyline is the modern day equivalent to the Clone saga.

“Technically, more people can relate to being unmarried than being married. And while people have debated this technicality, the bottom line at the end of the day is Joe Quesada was and is editor-in-chief and was looking at a bigger picture than we, the fans. Quesada was looking at dollars, longevity and demographics. We just saw Peter Parker.”

That’s just it though. The problem wasn’t the marriage or even the fact that he didn’t want them to be married (I was against him NOT being married, but that’s not the point). The PROBLEM is the utter destruction of the character of Peter Parker. Quesada was looking at dollars, longevity, and demographics, but ignoring & destroying both the characters of Peter Parker & Mary Jane, as well as pissing off the PRIMARY demographic of Spider-Man fans. Here, I’m just gonna copypaste my post about OMD OMiT from another site….

Since this is a sequel, I view both One More Day & One Moment in Time as essentially the same event. Now, before OMiT, I considered OMD to hands down be the worst event I’ve ever read in comics. After reading OMiT, not only has OMD been cemented & solidified as the worst event in comics history, but it’s actually 100x worse than before.

Even I was shocked at just how much of an abomination OMiT was. If I read it correctly, it still doesn’t explain what happened to his powers from The Other, or why he’s back to using Web Shooters again instead of the organic ones (unless that was the whole Strange, Stark, Richards bullshit thing). Hell, I still don’t know how or why Harry is back.

However, despite that, what really REALLY makes OMD and OMiT the worst event in comic history is the complete and utter lack of understanding or caring about the character of Peter Parker. I mean, him unmasking in Civil War is quite possibly the stupidest thing ever, being that above every hero in, I don’t know, comic book HISTORY, he KNOWS. FIRST. HAND. what happens when psychopaths find out who you are under the mask. LoL, but then I see him say things in OMiT like “It’s never going to end” when Aunt Anna & Mary Jane are attacked, and it’s perfectly clear at that point that Quesada has absolutely no fucking idea what he’s doing. None. HE SHOULD KNOW DAMN FUCKING WELL WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN HE PUBLICLY UNMASKED HIMSELF, ESPECIALLY WHEN ACCORDING TO THE REGISTRATION, HE DIDN’T FUCKING HAVE TOO!

Haha, so fast forward to now, with him taking MJ with him in the magic remembrance bubble so he’d have someone to………..remember all his grief with because he “loved her too much?” Wow. LoL, I mean it’s pretty much laughable at how mortifying this whole thing is…

Essentially, pretty much everything good ol’ Uncle Ben taught him is gone. Now, with Great Power Comes ZERO Responsibility, as was already proven with OMD, but made even more potent with OMiT. Gone is the growth of his character, the lessons learned through life, experience, and maturity. Peter Parker is now nothing more than a sniveling, worthless, selfish, asshole-ish almost villainous human being who makes deals with the devil in order to save his Aunt instead of taking responsibility for his actions, begs for Dr. Strange to clean up the mess that Gwen Stacy’s death should have made him very well aware of what the fuck was going to happen, and then takes ONE OF THE PEOPLE HE WAS TRYING TO PROTECT FROM ALL OF THIS into the magic bubble because “HE LOVES HER TOO MUCH?” I mean, that’s abominable. With all you’ve put her through, she should’ve been allowed to forget to, at the very fucking least of this cancer, give SOME closure to the whole god damn Peter & MJ marriage/being together thing. Even Quesada knew this to, as he literally makes her tell him this in the issue, which again just goes into the fact of how they just don’t care about the character of Peter Parker, which is funny considering how when Marvel first started, what separated them from DC was how the character behind the powers mattered just as much or more than the superhero itself. Actually, not only have they ruined the character of Peter Parker, but that of Mary Jane as well.

And now, lets fast forward to the end of OMiT with the images, and really see the exclamation point of the whole thing. Get ready, cause you might not have seen it before the first time you read it.

These last panels is Quesada talking DI-RECT-LY to Spider-Man fans. He IS Mary Jane. He’s smiling and laughing in your face at what he’s done. I mean, read what he wrote. Here, I’ll quote it for you…

“You know I’m right. You’ve been sitting here wondering… waiting for something that [b]ISN’T[/b] going to happen!”

HE. EVEN. BOLDS. IT. He directly tells you that as long as he has his way, they have no future together. And then he continues…

“You need to get on with your life, Peter. There’s someone wonderful out there for you. But if you keep holding on to [i]”this,”[/i] you may never find her…even if she’s standing right there in front of you!”

I mean, do you realize what he’s saying? Joe Quesada is Mary Jane, Peter Parker represents the Spider-Man fans, “her” is the current comic after what he’s done, and the italicized [i]”this”[/i] is his butchering of their marriage. This is him telling fans straight to their fucking face that this is the way things are going to be, that the comic is now great even if you can’t see it, and that they just have to get over [i]”this,”[/i] move on and continue buying Spider-Man comics, cause look…

“You’re going to be okay, Peter. We’re both going to be okay!”

Cause I’m going to keep this travesty going, and you’re going to be okay with it! WE’RE (Quesada & the fans) BOTH GOING TO BE OKAY! And then, the pièce de résistance…

“Today. My best friend, the best person I’ve ever known– –set me free!”

Listen to the words. LISTEN. He’s referring to himself as Spider-Man fans “best friend” and saying that he’s the “BEST PERSON THEY’VE EVER KNOWN,” and that he has “SET THEM FREE!” Like I said, all One Moment in Time does is staple the fact that they’re done as a couple as long as he’s in charge, so now it’s time to get over it, move on, and continue buying Spider-Man comics because he’s you’re best friend, the best person you’ve ever know, and he’s done you a favor.

In terms of arrogant, power mad gloating, this is a fucking Machiavellian MASTERPIECE!

The character of Peter Parker is gone. All that matters now is Spider-Man. All that matters now are the spider-powers (although not really since The Other powers & organic web shooter thing was never resolved) and the quipping. “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” as well as all the life lessons that Peter Parker has learned over the years has been thrown into the gutter and left for rat food. And like I said before, it’s so god damn tragic because the whole point of what made Marvel different from DC back when it started out was that the characters behind the costume, behind the powers, mattered just as much or more than the costume & powers. With my favorite Marvel super hero, that is no longer the case.

So in closing, this will be around for a loooooooooong time. A long time. As I just showed, Quesada has made it perfectly clear that as long as he’s in charge, this will never get rectified. So, there are only two logical ways that this ever will be fixed. #1 is obviously when Quesada is no longer in power and someone undoes all of this, which in the merry world of comics can easily be done. #2 is for enough fans to be so fed up with this that the stop buying Spider-Man comics all together. Sadly though, I’m pretty sure that neither will be the case for a long time. Due to money & the fact that I think Spider-Man writing has been awful for the past 5-7 years now, I haven’t spend any money on the comics, but I always kept tabs on my favorite wall-crawler. Even if I did collect Spider-Man before OMD, I would’ve stopped after due to what Quesada did. OMiT just further makes that clear that the decision would’ve been the right one.

tl;dr – This is the worst comic event I’ve ever read in the history of comics. Congrats Quesada, on ruining my favorite Marvel Super Hero.

i hate omd and I looked at omit as quesadas sad attempt to justify it so i bought it and ignored it. I hate that mj is not the love interest because to me she will always be marvel’s lois lane. All that said as a whole to me bnd was fun at points peter was pathetic and unrecognizable but he is still spiderman. aside from bug bunny he is hands down my favorite fictional character of all time. nobody will ever beat him not even batman (because lets face it spidey has always been batman with a sense of humor). I was dreading that mj would actually be the new interest that big time has been teasing and i just thought that would be a waste. I have read some pretty shitty spidey stories over the last 3 decades but thats it there just stories. I thought that howard mackie and john byrne was one of the worst periods ever because they made the character unrecognizable and unrelatable. A good spidey comic to me is one that makes me laugh it is the reason i have my 10000 plus comic collection. 24/7 (the first part) is probably the funniest issue ive read aside only to joe kelley’s deadpool tie in. Also the two rhino issues by far are the best comics from a spidey book in almost 10 yrs. My question is im 32 now i have read some shit comics on a whole are two stories that bad enough to turn your backs on a beloved character? I know for me its no. again im always going to be pissed that mj and peter are magically divorced but to me it wasnt until jms brought her back to the clubhouse that i found that i really liked her.

in the beginning, i hated, HATED the fact that they got split up by this whole retcon. but since omd started, all the stories have been great! i still hate the fact that they had to get mj out of the picture in the WAY they did. but i do like the idea of spiderman being single and getting into various relationships. it works great in ultimate spiderman. i loved him being with kitty pryde. i’d really like to see him stay “single” for the most part, date around with various women he never did with before or couldnt. let it all play out for a while. and in the end, at least 3-5 more years down the line, maybe find some way to beat mephisto, and get back his marriage…….at the cost of losing May once and for all to the sniper bullet.

All the negative comments are right so far. Joe Q. has ruined these two characters, and by extension any and all characters marvel has who have interacted with them. I said it on my blog that this will cause the same problem the Legion of Super-Heroes had with the removing of superman from their history. The rebooting and retreading of the same story ad infinitum.

To the person who argued Batman’s appeal is he’s unmarried…the fact that D.C restored his SON to continuity alone proves otherwise that they think Bruce as a parent, even if he isnt married, is an interesting angle to explore with the character…marraige would be another if Talia had her head screwed-on properly.

I don’t understand how the need for a single Peter Parker is such a make-or-break matter for the almighty “demographic”, especially when Marvel has no problem creating entirely new realities that push a crisp, clean “reset” button for whatever demographic they may be targeting. (“Ultimate”, “Marvel Adventures”, etc.) I’ve always looked at the 616 reality as the canary in the coal mine – these books take their characters down the rabbit hole and develop them, change them, put them in new circumstances and situations – and those big changes may eventually trickle into the Ultimate books or the kiddie books or the movies or the TV shows or the cartoons…or they may not. I think undoing Peter’s marriage from MJ was a mistake – she’s a big part of the Spideyverse, and even though he’s had other romantic foils, MJ is The Girl. She’s THE The Girl. That’s been established over the years, and I see no signs that suggest readers haven’t accepted it. And the “demographic”? Most comic readers are grown men in their 20s – 40s, with wives and children of their own. Why would this demographic condemn the idea of a married Spidey? If anything, I wanna see him and MJ raise a kid. Bring on baby Mayday!

Didn’t like OMD. Haven’t thought much of OMIT (seriously – you felt you had to explain it? I didn’t need that!). But ultimately I like the set-up better this way and have hated the ‘MJ-as-Marvel-Lois’ thing that’s been going on for years. It doesn’t fly like it does in the DCU. How many times was MJ going to almost have a breakdown/be tortured over Peter’s job? If she isn’t stressed it doesn’t feel real. If she doesn’t leave a) she looks pathetic and b) this is the marvel universe and Spider-man….it doesn’t work out nicely in the end.

I just wish Joe Q had had the balls to just divorce them. That’s an MU story.

I haven’t read a comic set in the main Marvel U. for years. Since before Civil War. It’s just too… un-fun. I gave OMD a look because of all the hype, and it was terrible. Most convoluted idea I’ve ever read anywhere. Why not have the balls to just let them grow separate, then divorce? Do you have to have the devil to blame? Does that not fly in the face of the theme of Responsibility that the character of Peter Parker/Spider-Man was founded on? It is obvious that Marvel’s EIC has no understanding of the characters he is caretaker of.

Thank goodness for Ultimate Spidey. Peter Parker is still Peter Parker there, zits and all.

To use demographics as an excuse for disolving the marriage between Peter and MJ is absurd. If breaking up a happily married couple equates to improving readership and sales, then why are Reed and Sue Richards still married? Sure, they’ve gone through tough times, but they have always come out on top. Why couldn’t there still be hope for Pete and MJ? Other than the fact that Joe Quesada is still at the helm for Marvel. Sorry, Joe. But you gotta go.

Demographics aside, what Joe Quesada did was a slap in the face not only to the fans but also the writers. Why didn’t he just kick in David Michelinie’s door, poop on his living room carpet and kick his dog on the way out? And I’m sure J.M. DeMatteis is probably sharing similar feelings with this crappy “Grim Hunt” story as well. Why did we have to bring back Kraven the Hunter? “Kraven’s Last Hunt” was a fantastic story that should have been left alone. The “Grim Hunt” was basically Joe Quesada throwing DeMatteis’ best work on the floor and whizzing all over it. Plus, isn’t Joe the one who came up with the “dead is dead” rule for Marvel? Apparently it’s another case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

“A Brand New Day” was sold to us as a return to the story-telling of Lee and Ditko, but it has failed to live up to that promise. There is no continuity in the story-telling or the artwork. The writing has been absolutely horrible, and Peter Parker is not the same Peter Parker anymore.

Characters are supposed to develop and grow, but Quesada and crew have pushed Pete back rather than lift him up. Iron Man, who used to carry his suit in a briefcase, has transformed his physiology to become a living battle suit. Captain America has taken a larger role as the Super Soldier, passing his costume and legacy to his one-time partner Buckey. All the Marvel characters have seeminlgy grown and developed except for Spider-Man.

Pete is a genius, but after 30 years he still can’t afford an apartment on his own? The consumate good guy and icon for morality, we are to believe that Peter would fake a photograph to save J. Jonah Jameson? The Daily Bugle is destroyed and JJJ is now the Mayor of New York? Instead of using earth-shattering events to try and sell books, why not just focus on good writing — something that ASM has lacked in years.

Here’s an idea: Instead of pushing out three issues a month, why not focus on the character and go back to one issue a month. In all honesty, I think the Web of Spider-Man book has much better writing and continuity. I look forward to each issue of Web more than I do Amazing.

If you want character growth, why not make Pete a college professor? It would give him the flexibility to come and go as he pleases to fight crime as Spider-Man, plus it would allow him to flex his big brain and join the ranks of Tony Stark and Reed Richards where he belongs. But, I digress.

I think the biggest issue I have with the disolving of Pete and MJ’s marriage is that it seems Marvel has given up on the idea of marriage. In a time that people get divorced as often as they buy cars, shouldn’t we have a positive outlook on marriage? To break up Spider-Man’s marriage simply because younger people identify more with being unmarried than they do being married is outrageous. Should we take the story of Jesus’ birth out of the Christmas celebration because more young people equate the holiday with Santa Claus and gift-giving than they do the Christian savior? Traditional values need symbols of their importance if they are to last. The marriage between Pete and MJ was a great example as they were able to overcome everything thrown at them. Unforunately, what’s important to Joe Quesada ($$$) isn’t what’s important to the fans of Amazing Spider-Man (family, friends and traditional values).

Stay strong marriage fans. After all, if Kraven can overcome a gaping hole in the back of his head and return to the land of the living, then there’s always a chance for Pete and MJ to find one another again.

Carla, despite what some haters are saying, I think you hit on many significant points here and deliver a sad truth. Comics are a business and you often want to shake things up in order to continue sales, we all know that even if we don’t like it. And I’m mostly okay with that because in fiction, I’ll buy into just about any story idea I’m asked to, on one condition: that the bridge to that idea is believable. You want to tell me Colossus joins Magneto? Fine, show me how he suffers tragedy after tragedy and becomes disillusioned with his life over the course of several months, so that when it happens I am surprised but I also understand.

If all Mephisto was after was that MJ lose her dedication to Peter and leave him a few days later, why was it necessary to remove the marriage? Does Mephisto really care about the American legal system? And the idea that Peter now has extra love for Aunt May because he has no other relatives to hold on to disturbs me, implying that without being legally married to MJ he doesn’t care for her as much, even though according to “One Moment In Time” they still had all the adventures and experiences together that they had previous to Mephisto.

Another thing that really bothers me about One Moment in Time is that this all could have been told to us over the course of one or two issues at most after “One More Day.” This was the big reveal? That Aunt May was saved by sheer force of will, after which Dr. Strange caused mass hypnosis (as has been done for himself and Tony Stark before) and then MJ was so weak she actually left Peter with no explanation or good-bye despite YEARS of a relationship and trust? And hey, does it bother anyone else that Peter didn’t check with MJ if she wanted to remember or not BEFORE Dr. Strange started casting his spell? What prevented Peter from sitting down with his girl who’d been living with him for years and saying “So, this is what I want to do, are you okay with this? Let me know now so I know to wake you up while I discuss this life changing decision with other people.”

It all underlines that you’re right. The marriage isn’t just what changed, the characters and their relationship did. That happens, but usually because of a series of events and reactions that we get to see evolve over time. This just reminded us “It’s magic,” an explanation I didn’t really like in the first place because it also seems dishonest that it could last for too long.

And here’s a fun, weird thought to consider. Quesada said before that he wanted Straczynski to change a story point that involved Gwen having kids with Osborn instead of with Peter because he didn’t want to say that the Spidey had had pre-marital sex. And if Peter doesn’t believe in pre-martial sex (which I don’t believe, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing), does that mean he is now technically a virgin again? I guess some continuity WAS changed then, since there was that whole thing when Mary Jane was pregnant for months and suffered a miscarriage. :-P

Rant done. Thanks very much for writing this, it was good.

Carla, c’mon.

This is the kind of crap that happens when stories continue to be told long after they should have ended.

Nope, still don’t buy it.

And, I see from the majority of comments here, I’m clearly not alone.

I disagree with this on most every level.

First of all, Quesada’s reasoning is flawed in the way that most reasoning by comic fans is flawed: they assume that their knowledge is shared with everyone else. If you ask the average person on the street about Spider-Man most of them wouldn’t know or care about whether he was married or not. Marriage is not important to selling this story. Neither is the notion of Peter Parker as an everyman, or that he’s continually blessed with the “Parker luck” (a phrase most people would not get). The reason for Spider-Man’s popularity is solely because he is a bright, gaudy superhero. End of story. Therefore, Spider-Man only appeals to people who like generally simplistic, excessively moral (well, if you ignore the fact that the hero is also committing criminal acts by being a vigilante) stories that provide a level of comfort, and nostalgia for simpler times (hence why most new books, with a more modern approach to the dubious moral uncertainty in superhero titles tend to be marginalized by an increasingly mentally juvenille audience).

The whole idea that this new approach would bring in new readers was also very, very stupid, or very misleading rhetoric designed to explain why Quesada had made a vain decision about a major property that had no basis in fact. It was also based around a complete misunderstanding about what Spider-Man is about, or even the basic aesthetics of serialised-fiction, and has also helped to hamper the X-Men franchise, too, by doing the same with ‘House of M’. To explain further…

First of all, this new approach was never going to bring in new readers in the long-term. The reason for this is that, in the first place, the year or two preceeding the new direction got no good word of mouth. There was some press reaction to Spider-Man unmasking, but after that it got bad press tha carried over into Brand New Day. Even the first shot of Brand New Day Spider-Man was appallingly bad taste – fans still crying over the break-up of Peter and MJ, get treated to Peter kissing some random woman. Then there is the fact that anyone, of any religion, would not support a Spider-Man who MADE A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL. It was a bad idea, poorly executed, and with no long-term thought for the effect on the character. In addition to all this, Marvel knew that increasing out-put from three different titles you can choose from, to one title three-times-a-month would probably see some readers have to stop buying the book. Imagine anyone, in a recession, suddenly being told, “Oh, yeah, now you have to pay three times, instead of once.” It was idiotic. Worse, Marvel then began increasing prices on their titles with little or no incentive for readers to continue shelling out for these titles, especially given the rise in comic downloads at the time. Further bad press which would likely encourage people to stay away, and given that the average person, upon hearing what a healthy haul of comics costs per month, would react with shock and ask why you’d throw so much money away, and you can see that none of these things equal new readers.

In terms of misunderstanding what Spider-Man is about, I have only one thing to say to all of the points made for ‘OMD’, ‘BND’ and ‘OMIT': “With great power, comes great responsibility” If Mephisto, aka the Devil, asks for something from you in exchange for whatever it is you desire, that places a lot of power in your hands – potentially you could have whatever you want… But there will always be a cost that outweighs the value of what you received. The responsible thing to do is say, “I would say thank you, but you’re evil, so suck it, evil demon guy,” and then walk away. Then there is what happened to Aunt May – essentially, Peter making the deal allowed him to escape taking responsibility for his time as a vigilante, for attacking private citizens (even if they are crime lords like Wilson Fisk, there is a reason cops don’t just break into places and beat people up), for for revealing his identity to the world, and then for joining a group that was not only opposed to the government, but actually attacked government bases all over the country. Make no mistake – Peter was as guilty for what happened to Aunt May as one of the men he blamed, Iron Man, was. Then, in OMIT, he essentially does the same thing again, wiping the minds of, oh, everyone on Earth of his secret… In fact, given current editorial orders, it is highly likely that the minds of the entire multiverse was wiped. Now, I’m sure you all saw what happened when Batman had his memory messed with in ‘Identity Crisis’, and his reaction. How is it responsible of Peter to walk away from his problem by, essentially, raping the minds of everyone on Earth? How can any of them be sure of accuracy, or no lasting side-effects for what is generally an unprecidented event? (This is typical of Quesada, a man to whom subtext is something strange and alien – hence why he also thought the best thing for the X-Men (regularly stand-ins for marginalized communities) was to go, “No more mutants” (essentially, on a subtext level, the same as saying, “No more gays” or “No more blacks”) and put them on an island far away from everyone else (segregation as a positive thing?), despite the fact that there are too few to cause any serious problems, all their enemies are tending to team up with them, and with no mutants being born there is no reason to even fear your child growing up to be one. It also misunderstood that the point of mutants was that writers wouldn’t have to create an expansive origin story when introducing characters with powers – although, given that Marvel tend to sell a new mini-series of every teams origin every two years or so, I can see how a plot-device like that might seem useless to the lazy, nostalgia driven crowd.)

Then there is the pure aesthetic of comics as a serialised medium – in this instance, what is the point of following a character when his entire backstory can be changed issue to issue on a whim, and making him single so he can date, when we know nothing serious can ever come of it? Everytime a comic decides to jettison a part of its continuity that is deems isn’t worthwhile, it eats up a little bit more of the emotional investment that has been built up previously, until, eventually, you are left with a character where you end up uncertain of who they are and what they stand for – you don’t know them because you aren’t sure what stories count, what don’t, whether they met someone or other. Right now, this version of Spider-Man cannot be the Spider-Man he was previously. The simple fact that he was married then, and in this countinuity isn’t, invalidates every story where he was married by simple causality – him not being married is like the stone thrown in the pool, and everything since is ripples in the water. In addition, the idea of a single Peter Parker who cannot marry is insane – Peter is supposed to embody some kind of juvenille morality, which generally means that to appeal to the group that Quesada talks about would limit what the character could do with regards to dating, but in the end, every relationship has to end with him failing to make any kind of commitment to the person. Rather than creating stories, it limits them. Using the excuse that the book now has a far more expansive supporting cast doesn’t work either, because at the end of the day, you can easily just introduce a supporting cast into the book through other means. The truth behind the decision is probably two-fold: one, Quesada thinks it means that now it will be easier to match up the comics with potential films should they choose not to have MJ, but comics should not be a testing ground for films as doing so wastes the mediums potential, and cheap tie-ins do not lead to a lasting business model; second, Quesada projects way too much of himself onto Spider-Man.

It also begs a serious question about Peter Parker’s own mental make-up – choosing to save his dying aunt and live with her forever, unable to let her go, over the love of his life, his hot, super-model wife. Freud would have had a field day talking about the perversions you can read into this, even if it is purely subtext and never explicitly stated in the book. It is also incredibly unrealistic.

Someone on a message board once suggested that a better way would have been for Aunt May to die, Peter to deal with the grief, and remain underground and on the run until the Super Human Registration Act was chucked out, and have MJ decide that she couldn’t take living on the run and being in constant danger, and so she would publicly divorce him. If Marvel were so intent on having Peter not be a divorcee (despite the fact that this wouldn’t really date him or age him in any significant way – that is done by the fact that everyone he hangs out with seems to have a serious relationship, or job, or kids, or the trappings of adult life (hence why putting him on The Avengers is a bad idea – it draws attention to the fact that all his friends are exactly what Quesada wants Peter to be distanced from (think of the last page in ‘New Avengers Finale’ and how exactly a stroll with your married friends would play to that crowd)) why not simply have Matt Murdock/Jennifer Walters/any random lawyer discover something wrong with the marriage certificate and have the marriage annulled. Much more grounded, much more realistic, doesn’t mess with continuity, violate your protagonists character in any way, and achieves the same ends. It would be just as contrived, but far less controversial, and far less damaging to the character. It would also have allowed us to see Spider-Man in situations we have never, ever seen before, what with him still having been outted, but, first, having to live as a fugitive, and now, living as a celebrity – all at the same time being more isolated from the world around him than ever before because he has a responsibility not to get normal people hurt by knowing him. It would also get rid of Aunt May, who, frankly, is the single most tired plot device in comics.


Spider-man sales are the WORST they’ve been in years. Since the OMD debacle, they lost roughly 50,000 – 60,000 monthly ASM readers. Each issue that sells thrice-monthly now garners slightly over 40,000. That’s rougly as many issues as Way’s “Deadpool.” For Marvel’s flagship character, those numbers are absolutely abysmal.

This isn’t about hating. This is about accountability.

Alan Kistler – You made an awesome point! Love is suddenly quantifiable in the Marvel Universe, by extension of Peter suddenly having enough to save Aunt May, now that MJ is out of the picture. Can’t wait until Reed realises he can measure it, and creates an online league table listing couples by love-output, which results in complete global devistation as every married couple, every parent, every kid, everyone goes to war over the controversial findings. The next morning, Reed gets a message:

Kudos. I’m impressed.
V. Von Doom

Although, to be honest, I like to think Jarvis had just finished climbing off May before Peter came in, and the shock of that loving caused her to wake up.

Oh, and I disagree with anyone who says this was a business decision, unless the point you are making is that it is some kind of product synergy across all media, and then I only accept it if Jack Donaghy is the man behind it, and Spider-Man becomes a microwave salesman in the next storyline.

Also, if love can heal all wounds, does that mean that we’ll see heroes powering up their love Dragonball Z style, before unleashing it to save loved ones? Suddenly, Hypno-Hustler begins rivally Night Nurse as the go-to place where heroes can have their wounds taken care of.

Oh, also, there was no need for single Spidey – we already have that in ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’.

And, also, instead of putting so much effort into changing a book that tends to sell anyway, why didn’t Quesada put more effort into supporting books like ‘Runaways’, ‘The Crew’ and ‘NEXTWave’?

Finally, why would kids be interested in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ anyway? If they buy ‘New Avengers’, they’d get Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Thing, and Doctor Strange, and it only comes out once a month so they get to save a little pocket money. (Although they would have to put up with the amazingly lame Brian Michael Bendis dialogue – here’s a hint, Bendis: you don’t need a tonne of dialogue during an action sequence, especially not your inane, samey, over-lapping, character-free, lets-all-have-a-chuckle-in-the-face-of-death, baby-talk dialogue. Seriously, if you want to write scene after scene of dialogue, write a play.)

One other thing, it is interesting that for the first time I can think of a writer or a group of writers have confessed that they do not have the talent to write a story. By saying that they can boost sales by having a single Peter JQ and the gang are pretty much confessing that they do not have the talent or are not confident enough in their talent to write interesting married Spiderman stories.
That is sad no matter what you think of the OMD/BND storyline.


It’s outdated crap like this that makes me realize how little I regret no longer buying comics.

I might get back into it once the Nostalgia Age at DC and Marvel ends. I’m fed up with the fanboys crapping all over these characters just because they can’t accept that they are no longer like how they were in the 60s and 70s.

What Quesada did here was not to appeal to new audiences, was to appease the old one that’s been bitching over the marriage since it happened.

“Interestingly enough, in an interview on the Spider-Man Crawl Space podcast (, Joe Quesada not only confirmed that Gwen Stacy was indeed originally supposed to have been brought back with One More Day, but that, in a very, very close vote, the various writers and editors actually approved of her bringing brought back. ”

Wait, people voted on this? This is the wost comic Marvel has ever put out and they voted on its content. I find this hard to believe. Spider-man was their best character. No, he was THE best comic book character. He supposed to do things heroically. He’ s not perfect, but he’s supposed to do the right thing and use his head. I’ve read some of this stuff in the past five years and realized this is the worst person alive. There’s nothing heroic about this guy. He’s pathetic. He also seems like a different person than the guy I read 10 or 15 years ago. He’s completely different. I can’t imagine most of editors/writers at Marel looking at this stuff and not thinking ‘this is the worst thing they could possibly do’.

I can’t imagine older readers not eventually checking out this book. It’s just beyond terrible. Again, from now on, it will always be about what we’re NOT going to get. I’ve never seen a comic promise so much to readers and go out of their way to NOT deliever on it.

Just to here people had a vote on this is jus strange. Everything from Civil War to OMD was just bizarre and terrible. So many things about that are wrong. So many things can’t be undone. The

And I think it’s Joe Quesada who only saw Peter Parker. Not us, fans.
WE are the dollars. WE are the longevity. WE are the ‘demographics’.

I have, honestly, lost a lot of respect for Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Seriously, everyone was telling him that it was Aunt May’s time to go. She’s had a long, full life, I think it was about time for the character to move on. Peter made a decision to reveal his identity and obviously didn’t think through the consequences of that decision. Then when faced with the consequences he goes to Mephisto to change it all. Way to take responsibility for your actions, Spidey.

The only time I’ve ever read Spider-Man when he was single was in trades and reprints. They’ve been married longer than I’ve been reading comics. This must be how the DC fans bemoaning the killing off of legacy characters to make way for the Silver Age versions to return must feel. Single Spider-Man just does not feel right to me.

Sorry to post again so soon, but I think there’s a problem with your story when one of the best Spider-Man writers agrees to work on the story but then wants no association with it before it’s through.

I get the editorial reasoning for what was done, I don’t agree with it, but I get it. A bad story does not become good just because the editor’s intentions for the story were “good.”

One of the worst things is that the book can’t really do anything. I’m serious. THey have a single guy who dates, but what can posssibly happen? “Aunt May might die.” Guess what? Aunt May already died and it was great. Last time they promised she might die, they lied.

The biggest problem is that they actually sort of/not really/ did not do the biggest thing in Spider-man’s history. They revealed his identity to the world and then acted like it wasn’t that important. It was bad enough the book was becoming unrecongnizable by the month with new costumes and spider-totem resurections. That’s the biggest story ever and they didn’t want to do stories about Jonah and Flash andall the other characters. Jonah starts out as mad and then you hardly see him again. Maybe a little bit later I’ve heard. But that’s the story. That IS THE STORY! It’s not some other book or some big crossover it’s about Spider-man. I don’t mean mythic magical Spider-stracynski man. How do you not do that?

I think that in itself sucked the mojo out of the book. SPider-man had so much life left in him. All they had to do was get it back. They gave up. I’m serious.

They gave up.

I am so tired of the idiotic defense of OMD and OMIT. They are terrible stories that simply served a editorial mandate. Why did Quesda even bother writing them. At this point I would have just had it stated that spider-man was no longer married on a previously page on the first BND arc with no explanation ever given.

And the argument that this will help sales is even more pointless. there are only 500,000 regular comic buyers in america. THAT’S IT!! that number hasn’t risen in 15 years and its not going up because Spiderman can date. There are no more kids, there is no more young demographic, its just 500,000, aging, angry fans trying to enjoy their comics.

Making a deal with the devil is bad. Period.

I wholeheartedly agree with the poster who said that Peter has lost his soul and I don’t want anything to do with such a person, fictional or not.

After Marvel kills Matt I will only buy DC and indies, I can still vote with my wallet.

This whole thing with MJ, the devil I call shenanigans on. If they(the writers) wanted too, they could make the marriage work. But no the editors want to screw with Peter, Let’s make him super smart, buttt he can only work as a freelancer, so he is poor. he has been around for nearly 50 years, and still has a hack job. I’d have shot myself. Joe Q, screwed everything up that I loved about being a spidey fan. I have not bought or will buy a SM comic from now on. I know that is an empty threat, cuz everyone else is buying it. Anyways, the whole devil Bull is a lame way to do it, if they were going apart have them divorce, and none of this retarded deal with the devil crap.

I’ve got a better way to erase history. Spider-Man is a comics I’ve bought on and off for years but as I haven’t really enjoyed an issue to the fullest since 1973 I’m going to throw out every issue after the one before Gwen Stacy was killed. That’s my cut off point. That’s the end of Spidey’s saga for me. I’m happy with that. :)

See,this is the thing that caused me to completely break from Marvel after nearly thirty years. There is no more fundamental change you could make to the character. Peter, like Bruce Wayne, is a man of the vow. It defines the character. A Peter Parker that would take his vows to Mary Jane as something to break or abolish by a deal with the devil is not the character as established. No matter how much Joe Q disliked the idea of the marriage, as EIC he is also responsible for the legacy of the character. Completely losing sight of the core values of the character is no way to do that.

I love you people!!

To me the idiocy of BND and OMIT is revealed, just when I see how many people are still angry about it.
I think at the moment, Joe Q. is just hanging onto it out of stubbornness, he doesn’t want to admit failure, doesn’t want to admit that he’s been wrong all along, even though sales proved it.

No problem, Joe Q. continue with this bullshit. When will you stop? When ASM sales drop below 30k, 20k? What’s your number?

Thank God that the marriage is REALLY over and all of this has been put to bed (again)…

Now, we can all move on and continue to enjoy Spider-Man and enjoy Dan Slott’s upcoming solo run…

I don’t read “new” comics anymore.
This type of junk is why!
One thing I have learned over the last few years is that –
You may have been a super fan in the past before becoming the MAKER of today’s comics BUT that does not mean you know what you are doing…

i completely disagree a good story is a good story. Joe Q really short changed his writers by saying that there were no more good stories with a married Spider-man. If i was a writer at Marvel, I’d be pissed because he basically saying no one has the skill to craft good stories with a married Spidey and that’s BS. Matt Fraction could have done a great job writing Spidey in any incarnation and just because JOE believes it to be true and has the power to change Spidey’s timeline with an ill thought out terrible story, doesn’t mean he should. Also Spider-man has been married for most of this generations lives and was doing fine appealing to people when the stories were good, just because the stories were going down in quality has nothing to do with the Peter Parker character and more to do with a lack of fresh ideas. Also Tom Brevort (sp?)said that people today should have the benefit of experiencing Spider-man the way they (him & Joe) did when they were kids. why?!?
Isn’t that a choice that I should make since I’m buying the comics? If i want to read about Spidey from their era then I’ll pick up a damn trade!

the thing in making a deal with the devil is that th devil wins, in all this omt story i don’t see how the devilins if pet and mj get what the want..the closest it comes to this is whenn mj tells pete she also wanted to forget but pete iwantsher to remember thinking he can have it all…this is where the story should have ended with the devilaughing in the background because what mj whispered to the devil is toake me forget but pete undoes this

Not to sure what I can add that others have not already stated. Yes, I hated the fact that the marriage ended and yes I hated how it ended but I have loved Brand New Day and I am looking forward to Slott’s solo take on the book going forward.

Dunno if anyone mentioned this, but the the main “House of M” book, at the end of the story, Peter asks Dr. Strange to take away his memories of the other universe and life with Gwen Stacy and Strange says that he can’t do it because “that’s not the way magic works”. Can’t be done. So then how…yeah, this is why I refuse to read any Spider-man other than Ultimate.

Oh, and a better solution to the no marriage thing would’ve been to have Aunt May die at the end of Back in Black, Peter make good on his threat to kill the Kingpin and have MJ not able to deal with a Peter so at the end of his rope that he’s willing to kill a man. Hell, Kingpin could even survive…just have the fact that Peter is willing to go that far be enough to drive MJ away. No supernatural intervention, just good old fashioned human drama from a character that is supposed to be that…human.

Slaspstick, the marraige ISNT over because Mephisto still remembers it

Quesada was right in that it’s a lot quicker to do a DC-Crisis style retcon than to actually tell a decent story. Pretty sure he’s wrong on everything else.

…in any case,

Only the 100,000 fanboys leftover from the 1980s want Spider-Man married. The tens of millions of fans of the movies, cartoons and classic comics by Lee/Ditko/Romita want him young forever–the correct way to portray a fictional character intended for a young audience (sorry guys), as demonstrated successfully by Peanuts, the Simpsons and Bugs Bunny. Majority rules.

That’s the single dumbest argument I’ve ever heard in support of this farce.

People grow. They change. Characters grow. They change. Don’t site Bugs Bunny. Bugs Bunny isn’t a serial. It’s episodic. Don’t site Peanuts. It’s Epsiodic. And the Simpsons isn’t long due for this world because guess what? By making the characters static, they’re running out of things to say. And it’s nowhere near as good as they used to be.

So we have Mary Jane Watson, still a member of the supporting cast, and his “best friend.” Supportive. The one person he can talk to etc, In other words, a wife, but without all the marriage trapppings so Peter can continue to have all the gorgeous girlfriends Joey Q can want but can’t have in real life.

It’s lazy writing. Has been since the start. Will continue to be. And it’s the reason I stopped buying Marvel.

Going through a divorce myself I’m going to be in the exact demographic that this article implies. I’d hate to think that one of Marvel’s most iconic husband/wife couples are separating to appeal to certain demographics/numbers and sales. Unless the writers of Spidey are all divorced themselves and can write an honest what-really-happens-in-divorce story, I still won’t be able to relate to him. The divorce will put Peter through an emotional roller coaster that would make Venom seem like a walk in the park. Having couples like Peter and Mary Jane, though fictional, are good examples for readers to see the trials, tribulations, and what it takes tp persevere in love. However, it is possible that there is a light at the end of tunnel after a divorce, so my feelings are pretty mixed at the moment.

I didn’t have a problem with Peter and MJ not being married anymore. I’ve liked Spider-Man since as far back as I can remember. Married or single, I’m still a fan no matter what Peter Parker’s situation is. But after reading OMIT, why did they even have to have Mephisto as part of the equation. They should have just done this from the start. I can see MJ getting to the point where she is just too tired for everything, and Peter going to Doctor Strange to put a whammy on the world to make them forget who Spider-Man is. Mephisto wasn’t needed.

“The tens of millions of fans of the movies, cartoons and classic comics by Lee/Ditko/Romita want him young forever–the correct way to portray a fictional character intended for a young audience (sorry guys), as demonstrated successfully by Peanuts, the Simpsons and Bugs Bunny. Majority rules.”

What tens of millions?

Well, I paid attention to see if Joephisto fixed his “f@ck up”, and he didn’t. He doubled (tripled?) down on it.

Insulting and absurd doesn’t describe it. Editor wish-fulfillment. A retcon of a retcon. Characters mangled beyond being recognizable. Contradictions in storytelling and characterization. Complete misunderstanding of “love”, marriage”, “deals with devils”, etc. Continuity shat upon to make Joepshito’s grand Spider-revival work. Preposterous.

Not to sound like a cliche, but this is not the Spider-Man I read and collected for 20 years. It’s a joke. And when I go, I ain’t seeing the 8-12 years olds knocking down the door to take my place.

I’m done. Not just with Spider-man, but with Marvel. Not a dime more goes to Marvel while this no talent arrogant hack runs the show.

Want to show them your displeasure? Take your money stream from them.

Marvel- Return Spider-man to it’s status pre- OMD, and move Joephsito about 100,000 miles away from writing or editorial control of the character, and maybe I’d (and many others) would reconsider.

Until then, Make Mine DC.

Then again for all of the anger and yes Hate on this page there is still the sales figures. Although I do not believe ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ applies to a fictional character the ultimate goal of a publisher is money. So long as the sales are high JQ can think of all of this as Robin Williams said in Baron Munchausen “You are a mosquito in the Taj Mahal.” All of this venting while healthy is water against glass so long as sales are good. Marvel has proven over the past few years that you don’t need to strive for quality to get sales.

Marvel/JoeQ tries desperately to spin the sales figures in their favor but the numbers are meaningless UNLESS put into context. You wouldn’t compare a movie’s opening gross to something that opened 10 years ago.

Someone mentioned before – “The truth is Spider-man was a top 20 book that sometimes broke the top 10 before OMD and it’s still a top 20 book that sometimes breaks the top 10 now.”

Top 20 is all well and good but this is Marvel’s flagship character and considering all of the movies, merchandise and games, it’s pretty sad the Spidey is not in the top 5. And that falls solely on JoeQ’s shoulders.

Spider-Man? If I keep buying after this story? The Mephisto’s spell was so powerful that even I forgot that there was a Spider-Man!

Thumbs up, Quesada! :P

Two months before OMD

10 126.18 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #542 $2.99 MAR 105,715

41 66.06 SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #39 $2.99 MAR 55,346


One month before OMD

7 138.36 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #543 $2.99 MAR 106,485


43 67.8 SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #40 $2.99 MAR 52,180

Two months before One Moment in Time

21 92.93 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #630 $2.99 MAR 57,969

22 91.76 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #631 $2.99 MAR 57,239

23 90.94 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #632 $2.99 MAR 56,723

One month before One Moment in Time

16 58.93 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #634 $3.99 MAR 61,736

17 55.05 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #633 $2.99 MAR 57,670

21 53.60 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #635 $3.99 MAR 56,146

There’s clearly been a lost in readership and sales.

Three titles then, three titles now. Let us say that Amazing #633 is Amazing #542, that Amazing #634 is Sensational #39, and Amazing #635 is Friendly #22.

Amazing #633 has lost 43,979 readers/sales compared to Amazing #532’s 105,715 .

Amazing #634 has gained 6,390 readers/sales compared to Sensational #39’s 55,346.

Amazing #635 has gained 9,681 readers/sales compared to Friendly #22’s 46,465.

We add the gain from the latter two titles (12,972) and substract it from the loss from the first title, and we get 31,007 readers that stopped buying Spider-Man.

You know, some publishers would KILL to get 31,007 readers to buy their comic, so for Marvel to spit in these readers’s 62,014 eyes, is kinda stupid on their part.

But sales haven’t dropped hugely which means JQ and those who give him cover (and yes I am saying that to you Carla, sorry but while you say it is right you are also saying Mephisto won, which is really saying that JQ won, that he was right to take a character and completely trash the honorable core of that character and the basic responsibility of the character. Un-masking and then mind wiping most of the world is not something Peter Parker should be doing. It doesn’t fit with the character and you agreeing with this fix-it hack job is not something I can agree with. You are like the political spin masters on the cable news channels.) can claim that he was right. So long as Spiderman doesn’t fall significantly in sales JQ can claim victory.

Money rules.

For those of you not in the know that keep quoting that Spidey has good sales, HE DOESN’T. HIS SALES ARE THE WORST THEY’VE EVER BEEN. ASM sells 40,000 copies an issue. They have to sell the title thrice monthly just to equal the monthly sales of “The Avengers” — which sells ONCE a month. That’s roughly 80,000 LESS READERS, and Spider-man is Marvel’s flagship character! You guys do the math, okay?

Brian from Canada

September 13, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I side with Szin on this one and want to go one further.

Joe Quesada made it clear to fans when he took over at Marvel that breaking the marriage was one of his three main goals. But unlike the reduction in mutant numbers — finding new mutants was nothing special any more — he could never justify exactly WHY the marriage had to go.

So he says that Spider-Man wasn’t relatable to 12 year old readers. Except that the whole point of Ultimate Spider-Man (for which he took credit for even though it was Bob Harris’ reign that created it) was to appeal to kids clearly frightened by the large issue numbers and continuity.

So he says that Spider-Man wasn’t relatable at all. He wasn’t the loveable loser any more. Except that Spider-Man still had bad days, felt guilty about Flash, still had money problems… wasn’t that making him loveable?

So he says that Spider-Man had to go back to his roots. Because he was now a teacher rather than a freelance photographer working for Jameson. Except that freelance photography is no longer believable — it had to be changed for Ultimate Spider-Man to the web — and was unrealistic for a guy with a college degree. Having him let go as a teacher or being a struggling supply teacher while he balances out at the Bugle would have been better.

So he says that it made story logic, like the return of Colossus. Except that the reason Colossus came back had nothing to do with story logic, it had to do with Colossus being Joss Whedon’s favourite character from the X-Men and giving his celebrity pal what he wanted. And he stated that right away.

So he says that the writers all wanted MJ to go, they just didn’t have the right way to do it. Which means that even the writers felt they had to justify breaking the marriage in a way that was honest to the characters, not in this way.

And so he says this is what fans wanted. Except that the numbers just aren’t there to back him up. And neither are the fans at conventions, it sounds like from every report.

It. Doesn’t. Make. Sense.

And if there’s a reason for all this hatred, new readers, it’s because of what Joe Q. has done SINCE the change. Spectacular Spider-Man, the cartoon, was cancelled for a new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon that has no Mary Jane at all — it’s all Gwen Stacy. The love interest in the next Spider-Man movie is not going to be Mary Jane at all — it’s going to be Gwen Stacy. Even in “House Of M,” it was Gwen Stacy as Peter’s love, not MJ.

Gwen Stacy is DEAD! She died tragically decades ago. And despite her death and the many dates Peter went on since, he’s always come back to Mary Jane because she’s the one that changed his life. She was the one he loved. That’s the way it’s been for decades.

Emphasizing Gwen Stacy and eliminating Mary Jane Watson from the pages of the comic and film just smacks of a reader who wants the comics to be like he had as a kid and screw everything that’s gone on since. EVERY time Joe Q steps in with his ideas, it’s coming more and more into a reset button to the 70s or early 80s in terms of the “feel” he wants for the comics without the justification.

And if there’s one thing Marvel was known for, it was for progression. DC regressed with Crisis, and stayed “iconic” all these years, but now Marvel is slipping into that — and all because one guy wants HIS comics to be HIS way.

Brian from Canada

September 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Mark_S & others:

Joe Q. and Tom Breevort tried to justify it by saying that you need to add all three issues per month together to see what Amazing Spider-Man is selling. That’s bullsh** coming from a company that looks at the overall sales inflation of their events as a good sign — and boasting that they increased the number of issues per month because it made more sense than annuals.

The fact is, when you compare Amazing’s numbers to when Amazing and Spectacular were on the shelves — or even when Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational, Peter Parker and Unlimited were on the shelves — the numbers are lower than before.

Crowing top 10 doesn’t mean much when you’re saying that, by sales numbers, a good chunk of your line is better appealing than this book, and this is the book you claim that has been fixed to what fans really wanted from when its sales numbers were much higher.

I just wanted to add that although I stopped buying any and all directly related Spider-Man books due to this whole “OMD,BND & OMIT” crap-fest….that I truly miss following the character(s)…I sincierely do!

I miss him!

After reading for 30+ years, Spider-Man is looked upon very fondly by me..but the character he “was” isn’t the character he now “is”…it’s not the same!

I would love to be able to go back though….but not like it is now.

I just wanted to add that although I stopped buying any and all directly related Spider-Man books due to this whole “OMD,BND & OMIT” crap-fest….that I truly miss following the character(s)…I sincierely do!

I miss him!

After reading for 30+ years, Spider-Man is looked upon very fondly by me..but the character he “was” isn’t the character he now “is”…it’s not the same!

I would love to be able to go back though….but not like it is now.

Ditto, though I don’t want to go back, per se, I want to see the story put back on track and continue to move forward as opposed to backward like it is now.

This is what amazes me.

16 58.93 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #634 $3.99 MAR 61,736

17 55.05 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #633 $2.99 MAR 57,670

21 53.60 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #635 $3.99 MAR 56,146

You would expect that since the stories told in Amazing right now continue in each subsequent issue that the numbers would be the same, that if 50,000 people buy issue 633, then those same 50,000 would buy issues 634 and 635, but that’s not the case. There is a difference of 4,000 to 5,000 readers from one title to the next. Don’t those 5,000 people care about the story at all to get all three chapters?

you lost me at “an elaborate story was crafted” elaborate it was not

I have to hand it to Joe Quesada, I don’t thinkn any rational editor would put some much poor content in his most popular character’s book.It’s completely stupid on so many levels. I have also noticed the horrible art in some of the issues.

Plus, I’ll never read the book again.

I see various comments that Queseda killed spidey for them, or why not create new fresh characters. What he did was essentially invigorated a dying comic book. JMS heaped crap over crap with his “other” and “osborn-stacy kids” stories. We were basically treated with one stupid story after another. I dont know what ppl saw in that. On the other hand, Brand New Day had given so much good stuff –> i like the Hollister story, MR. Negative sideplot and best of all the super super Gauntlet storyline. ppl just are so taken with prejudices that they can;t move forward.

And ppl who think a simple divorce or separation wd have worked are beign plain stupid, Imagine introducing yr kid to a character that this guy got divorced or his wife left him or best, he left his wife. What a rolemodel. Spiderman wd have died that day for all future generations. Even in BND, the emphasis on his single status is only limited to Michelle/Black cat stuff, no steady dating stuff, no romantic pining.

I personally am thankful to Queseda and Co that they stopped the rut and took a strong decision. and saved Spidey

I am 27 and have read a LOT of comics

So a guy who makes deals with the devil is a better role model than a guy who divorces his wife?


a guy who makes deals with the devil is a better role model than a guy who divorces his wife?


You know what’s funny, when DC did their retcon in the 80’s, it was because DC had a reputation with kids and new readers as their characters being old. DC was referred to as ‘your father’s or grandfather’s’ comics.

With Spider-Man, Joe Quesada has unwittingly aged the character by turning Peter Parker into ‘your father’s or grandfather’s comics’.

Because today’s twenty year olds, grew up with a married Spider-Man. And growing up with a married Spider-Man didn’t emotionally traumatize any kids for the past 20 years. Spider-Man being married didn’t stop any new kids from buying Spider-Man. Just ask Todd McFarlane, whose Spider-Man (married to MJ) sold more issues on an individual basis than any issue of Spider-Man did when Peter Parker was single.

Those twenty year olds who grew up with a married Spider-Man are the parents of today’s children. That makes single, unmarried Peter Parker not only old to the point of being ‘your father’s comics’ but REALLY old.

Single, unmarried Peter Parker is your grandfather’s comics.

How arrogant of Quesada, Brevoort, Wacker to demand kids of today experience things the way they were when they were kids. It’s like grandpa overriding everything your father has to say about life to state only grandpa’s life experience matters. Your father read about a married Peter Parker.

And Spider-Man hasn’t been single since grandpa was reading comics.

Careful kids, Joe Quesada may come and take your computers and cell phones next. Because kids of today should experience life without computers and cell phones like he did when he was a kid, back in the stone age.

So the moral of the story is really very simple:

You know what the problem is with those angry, whiney EICs and editors?

They can’t accept change.

Siddhartha, it’s not because we can’t “move forward”, if anything, that’s the fault of the BND fanboys and the people in charge, THEY can’t accept change and THEY can’t, nor won’t, create new stories with a married Spidey that shows Peter and MJ can overcome all the odds together, all Marvel did was make the MC2 versions of the characters look like the most durable of all, and in turn, made them more definitive

And the BND stories have been TERRIBLE, so it’s NOT because of predjudices made towards the EIC, I LIKE Quesada and find him to be the nicest guy anyone could be pissed off at, and he’d nod and understand and raise you a glass for your passion one way or the other, he’s the best EIC since Stan himself, but he made the wrong call by making Spidey’s format the way it currently is to DAMNING SALES and criticial disdain

When will people like you finally realize that we’re not out to behead Quesada, we’re just telling him he did something VERY stupid, and no, they didnt “save” Spidey, since sales are in the toilet, all they did was cement that Spidey’s story ended with Spider-Girl in all reallistic expectation, now nobody has any motivation to read ASM other than the die-hards, who frankly need to reexamine why they are fans in the first place if they support the “freiends with benefits” nonsense or crap like Mr. Negative

I’m not sure how I am so “taken with prejudices that they can;t move forward.” None of the aspects you mentioned enjoying had anything to do with Spidey’s relationship status. The Kraven’s never asked if he was single or not and I don’t remember the Rhino compared dating notes.

And yes, there were plenty of terrible stories before OMD- Marvel doesn’t seem to know how to write marriages. MJ was originally a model who traveled constantly. She gets married and suddenly she becomes shoe-horned into every issue and every situation with Peter. There was no reason they couldn’t have her in and out of issues as she continued to travel.

JoeQ said he wants to create new Spidey tales to attract new readers – so he does this by releaseing new versions of Secret Wars and the Clone Saga?

And can I say how tired I am of them pushing the company line that the Clone Saga was an attempt to get rid of the marriage? The truth is DC was making a ton of money relaunching grittier versions of Superman, Batman and Green Lantern. Marvel wanted to do the same so they introduced Ben- a rough, leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding, long haired man on the run from the law who lived around the world, including Madripor.

They never planned on “returning” Spidey to his proper single self. They were trying to create a new edgy version like AzBats or Kyle Reiner. Ben would even battle the older version for the title. And when it started to go south they panicked and tried to make Peter look evil by batting his pregnant wife across the room.


The Spidey “616” universe is now the equivalent of the tangent universe Doc Brown mentioned in “Back to the Future”…except in “this” reality…Doc Brown and Marty decided they liked the new version better and decided to stay!

Time travel/alternate realities give me a headache!

Fanboys of the 1960s and 1970s are like the old man character Dana Carvey played on SNL, the one that kept shouting over and over again how much he liked things the way they were when he was a kid.


You all know it was right for the long term of the charecter.

LOL @ Pedro Bear…

This, from a blind man, shouting from the edge of a cliff, that the sky is green.


No, it wasn’t.

To regress the character to what he was in the early 80s/late 70s is not a good thing, unless the goal here is to make it appealing to an ever-ageing fanbase of raging fanboys who dislike the married Peter Parker and want him to be how he was 30 years ago for the rest of time.

“To regress the character to what he was in the early 80s/late 70s is not a good thing, unless the goal here is to make it appealing to an ever-ageing fanbase of raging fanboys who dislike the married Peter Parker and want him to be how he was 30 years ago for the rest of time.”

Hell, even Archie got married!
(I wonder if he’ll have to make a deal with Mephisto too?)

Every single character in the Marvel Universe who has made a deal with Mephisto has lived to regret it. These deals ALWAYS sour, no matter what he promises, so WHEN is the next shoe gonna drop?

Did Quesada use Mephisto for that reason, in case the plan backfired he would have a way out of it? If he did, it would be the ONLY smart thing he did when it comes to OMD and OMIT.

The seeds had already been set for the deal to be made with Loki. BUT at this point Ragnorok had happened and Loki was “dead”. JMS has a deal in place which would prohibit any Thor characters being used outside of the Thor title for 12 months. In order to use Loki, JoeQ would have had to wait well over a year for Loki to be revived and released for usage in the MU.

JoeQ couldn’t wait because he wanted JMS involved in order to show he had the support of Spidey’s writers. Unfortunately, he misrepresented JMS’ involvement/support and it bit him in the ass publicly.

Captain America’s death was kept completely secret until the time of publication. So was the revelation of Spidey’s secret ID. So you have to ask why 6 months prior to OMD every single outlet was talking about what JoeQ was going to do with Mephisto. He wanted it out there, thinking it was going to be a great selling point.

It’s also great to note that JoeQ wanted to capitalize on the success of Thor by making the destruction of Asgard a big summer event. This spurred JMS to go to DC and work on Superman.

Double FAIL.

All I know is that the deal with Mephisto HAS to be backfire someday. It may be two years, it may be 10 years, but it has to backfire, or else Joe Quesadilla is betraying the character in order to pander to his fanboy sensibilities, which is something that an EiC should not do.

The EiC is someone who the publisher trusts to respect the way that ALL the characters they own work, not just the ones that like.

There has to be impartiality, or else the EiC is nothing more than a glorified fanboy and the comics are nothing more than bad fan fic.

Hell, even Archie got married!

Wasn’t that more like a What If?

I remember that Popeye and Olive Oil got married in the 90s, I think Peter David wrote that one.

Then there’s the 80s toon with Popeye and his son, Junior.

“Wasn’t that more like a What If?”

Yeah…but apparently so was 30 years of “The Amazing, Spectacular and Web of Spider-Man.”

I remember “Popeye and son”…I kept thinking what happened to Swee’pea?
Little did I know that a deal was struck with the Sea-Hag to null and void Popeye being married to Olive Oyl and in a fit of dispair, Popeye would ask Eugene the Jeep to erase everyone’s memory of current events.

“Michael Sacal
September 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm
You would expect that since the stories told in Amazing right now continue in each subsequent issue that the numbers would be the same, that if 50,000 people buy issue 633, then those same 50,000 would buy issues 634 and 635, but that’s not the case. There is a difference of 4,000 to 5,000 readers from one title to the next. Don’t those 5,000 people care about the story at all to get all three chapters?”

I’m sure a lot of the dropoff comes from people who buy the first chapter to decide if they’re interested then wait for the trade to get the whole thing.

Little did I know that a deal was struck with the Sea-Hag to null and void Popeye being married to Olive Oyl and in a fit of dispair, Popeye would ask Eugene the Jeep to erase everyone’s memory of current events.


Sooner or later the Nostalgia Age will end and both DC and Marvel will begin to produce comics for the current millenium instead of continue to produce comics for the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s like they are doing now.

Until then, we’ll have to continue to endure the fanboy pandering that both publishers are guilty of.

I’m sure a lot of the dropoff comes from people who buy the first chapter to decide if they’re interested then wait for the trade to get the whole thing.

Could be.

“Until then, we’ll have to continue to endure the fanboy pandering that both publishers are guilty of.”

Do we have to wait until Joephisto and Dan Didiot both die? ‘Cuz they don’t seem like they’re going anywhere and I don’t feel like waiting that long.

I’ve just stopped buying their crap. No DC titles, and a very few Marvels. I may end up dropping those too, since I don’t want to have to pay $4 for a comic.

Oh, and I haven’t read any Spidey since One More Dumbass so someone needs to fill me in… That’s supposed to Mary Jane in the picture up top??

Joephisto sucks as EIC, but you could at least always count on him for good artwork. What the hell happened?


I stopped buying comics altogether a year ago because since I’m not a 50 year old fanboy with a grudge against the 80s and 90s what DC produces today doesn’t appeal to me, and since i’m not a 40 year old fanboy with a grudge against the 70s, 80s, and 90s, nothing Marvel produces today appeals to me either.

There’s some non-DC/Marvel comics I’d like to still read, mainly Top Cow, but they don’t publish enough comics I want to get for me to justify ordering them online with a discount, and I simply refuse to pay cover price + exchange rate from dollars to pesos at the local comic book store, therefore i can’t buy them.

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