Friday, January 11, 2008

Amazing Spider-Man: No more!

One of the most heart-rending events in my 40-plus years as a comic book reader occurred this week...

I dropped my once-favorite comic, The Amazing Spider-Man, from my standing order at my local comic book shop.

If you're at all interested in comics, you've probably heard about One More Day, the just-concluded storyline in which Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, makes a deal with the demonic Mephisto to save the life of Peter's elderly Aunt May. The price of Aunt May's survival: The erasure from existence of Peter's marriage to his beloved Mary Jane.

What galled me about this development was not so much the idea that Peter and Mary Jane would no longer be married. I was reading Spider-Man comics for 20 years before Pete and MJ tied the knot in a 1987 special issue. Although their marriage has influenced Marvel Comics' mainstream continuity for two decades, Pete and MJ have never been married in every Spider-Man series that Marvel publishes. Spidey is young and single in the alternate-universe Ultimate Spider-Man, in the kid-friendly Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, and in the romance comic Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. And of course, Pete and MJ aren't married in the blockbuster Spider-Man motion picture series.

So it's not as though being a married twenty-something is necessarily essential to the character.

What is essential, however, is Spider-Man's credo: "With great power comes great responsibility." Peter Parker became Spider-Man because his failure to stop a robbery cost his Uncle Ben his life. The core of the character has always been about making tough choices, and accepting the consequences.

In short: Spider-Man does not solve his problems by making deals with the devil. At least, the Spider-Man whose adventures I've followed since 1966 does not.

So I'm no longer buying The Amazing Spider-Man. I'll get my Spidey fix in other ways. I own the DVD archive of the series from its inception through mid-2006, so I have hundreds of ASM issues to read and reread. And I'll continue to enjoy The Amazing Spider-Girl, a wonderfully old-school series — written by Tom DeFalco and illustrated by Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema — in which Peter and MJ's teenage daughter May has taken up the superhero mantle of her now-retired father.

But I won't give Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada another dime for the series he destroyed.

And that's your Comic Art Friday.

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4 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Ferretnick offered these pearls of wisdom...

Just stoppped to say I really enjoy checking out your artwork that you post.
You have an exceptional collection!

But I really wanted to chime in and say that I agree with you about this whole Amazing Spider-Man mess.

I've been a fan of Spidey for 25 years. His comic book was the one that got me into comics in the first place.
To see this happen to the character was the last straw and I dropped the title from my pull list at my local comic shop also.

I'm hoping Marvel will see their error and 're-write history' again for Peter, but until they do I will no longer support that title.

I hope more fans show their support like this and hit Marvel in the wallet. That seems to be the only way to make our opinions heard anymore. They certainly don't listen to the fans online.

--- Tom

9:03 AM  
Blogger Sam offered these pearls of wisdom...

This has to be the stupidest thing that Marvel could have done, other than NFL Superpro.

When I read about it on Fark, the blurb said it was done in retaliation from an Editor-in-Chief who never got any. That's about right. What's next? Reed Richards has an affair?

10:50 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Ferretnick: Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.

I'm not optimistic that TPTB at Marvel -- in the person of EIC Joe Quesada -- will, as you so aptly put it, "see their error."

All of the defensive, derisive interviews Joe Q and his minions have given in the media and online indicate to me that Joe has no clue how badly he has bungled this business, or how deeply offended many long-term fans are by his "I don't care what you think" attitude.

I'm not usually a big believer in boycotts, but in this case, it appears to be the only language Marvel understands.

3:26 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Sam: One More Day made NFL SuperPro look like Watchmen. (Okay, that may be going a little too far...)

I definitely think that Joe Q is working out his personal issues in the pages of his comics line. What say we all pitch in and hire the guy an escort, so we can get our Spider-Man back?

3:31 PM  

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