So you may be asking “why the heck does he keep bringing up the Spider-Marriage?” I do bring up every time the opportunity arises. I’m not only well aware of that, but I’ve even admitted to it. Sure it’s the most brought up of the destroyed wedding in comics due to how recent it is and the whole Mephisto business. There’s also the reaction from Quesada and the Spider-Writers about how unneeded and useless Mary Jane is and how she somehow gets in the way of the power/responsibility theme that the series runs on.
All that is a load of manure, of course. The truth is these writers didn’t get to write about the Peter Parker they knew and so they decided to rewrite history so they can continue from where they read the comics. You know, the same thing Didio, Johns and their pals are doing with the DC Universe. The hell with the writers who came before them. The hell with those readers who only knew Peter/Mary Jane and never heard of Gwen Stacey or saw her in action. (That would include me, which is probably where part of my rage comes from.) It’s pure selfishness, not because they care about the “true” Peter Parker.
However, the Spider-Marriage is just the easiest to make the case about, because it’s still news. The current Marvel gang are still throwing it in our faces. However, it’s really just the biggest symptom of the real problem I have with the Spider-Marriage not just being taken away but retconned from continuity so that it never happened (just as Joe write it to be (nobody’s going to get that reference, even if they watch Space Ghost Coast To Coast)). It’s not just a comics problem, although apparently DC is jumping on the bandwagon by having Dinah abandon Green Arrow like the rest of the DC “heroes” along with the rest of the crap being thrown at him. Comics wants to be in bed with Hollywood these days, and this has been a Hollywood issue for far too long.
Look, I’m not going to make a deal about how James Bond has different girlfriend every movie or anything that stupid. In fact, as much as I would have liked to have seen how Austin Powers 2 would have worked had Austin stayed a happily married one-woman secret agent (there has to be some good comedy in that), I found it funny when Vanessa turned out to be a fembot and I would totally post a link to it if I could find the scene in English. Which I couldn’t. I also understand that divorce is a real thing, and happens quite often in this day of age. I don’t have an issue with non-Satan analog created divorce if it makes sense to the story rather than the writer wanting to write unmarried superheroes.
On the other hand, divorce seems to dominate television. On the rare chance you find a married couple, you end up with some variation on Married…With Children, a dysfunctional family that actually SHOULD be divorced for the good of the human race. Most of the time it’s single or divorced (and of course the ex-spouse pops up to cause trouble). I’m trying to think of a current happily married couple on television without Tyler Perry being in the credits, and it only shows how little television I watch these days.
The same goes with movies. Outside of a romantic comedy, which is usually about bringing a couple together…and then doing it again in the sequel (this also happens in non-comedies, like the Antonio Banderas “Zorro” movies), marriage is dying out as a happy event. Not the wedding, I mean the marriage itself. Couple strife? Sure. But why can’t Hollywood and comics figure out how to do a series with a happily married couple?
Look at yesterday’s Spider-Man strip, or the other scenes I’ve posted from the Spider-Marriage. Even Kurt Busiek, whom I consider one of the best writers in comics, can’t figure out how it should work. The big problem that I see is that none of these writers seem to understand that marriage is a whole new adventure. They’re too trapped in their formula. I think that’s why Who’s The Boss ended with main characters Tony and Angela engaged but in the finale still didn’t get their wedding day. As I recall, the producer or someone said that they wanted fans to see them forever in a will they/won’t they scenario. I suppose a case can be made for that show (not that I exactly agree with it), but there’s no excuse for the aforementioned Zorro movie, Ghostbusters 2 bringing another Peter (Venkman) and Dana together again, the same sub-plot showing up in Superman Returns, and so on.
At the same time, why couldn’t Peter Parker find the love of his life? Again I point you to Spidey Kicks Butt and the series “Why Did It Have To Be You, Mary Jane“, which shows why Peter not only needed to finally get a permanent love interest, but why Mary Jane Watson worked so much better than anyone else (at least until Paul Tobin gave us Sophia “Chat” Sanduval, but that could actually be looked at as a point in favor of my “but I wanted to write that story” argument). It should also be noted that the Superwriters wanted to do the same thing with Clark Kent and Lois Lane, only with Mr. Myxzptlik in Mephisto’s place, and tried to make similar arguments. (Also note that this whole “World of New Krypton” and the plan to have Clark go on a “Walkabout” when “War of the Supermen” concludes leave little time for Kent snuggles.)
But do you know why this galls me the most? One of the arguments in the Spider-Marriage is that “we” the readers can’t allegedly relate to the married Spider-Man idea, despite plenty of bloggers and commentors screaming contrary to that fact. It’s also a bit of “yes we can” (Marvel writers love Obamaisms) to us in the geek community, who really get treated like unsocial losers more obsessed with virtual women than real women. We can’t wrap our heads around what it would be like to be married to a gorgeous supermodel (unless we’re fat losers, as in sitcoms past), despite the fact that the whole model/actress thing came AFTER Peter and Mary Jane tied the knot, or at least before he asked to marry her at least once (wasn’t it like two or three times before she finally said yes, after getting past her “daddy issues”?). This is of course, not acknowledging that there are girl geeks, and many of them are rather hot. But guess what, Joey Q:
WOULDN’T THIS JUST GIVE US HOPE IN FINDING OUR OWN MS RIGHT?
With so many other sources telling us that we of the male geekdom can’t find our own woman that we ourselves joke about it (seriously, watch enough X-Play and you’ll hear that joke at least once a month), in some cases to hide the pain, and since we’re supposedly seeing ourselves in these characters, doesn’t this show that even Peter Parker, the geekest guy this side of Reed Richards (who somehow is part of the only couple allowed to be happily married–most of the time–in the Marvel Universe because Joe and the gang forgot that in the early issues they weren’t married but their predecessors can happily end Johnny Storm’s wedded bliss with the Skrull card), can hook himself a loving woman who can accept him for who he is? Outside of Beauty and the Geek (a reality show that I actually liked–and miss) and Revenge of the Nerds (although none of those male/female relationships made it to the next movie), where do we hear that positive message? Answer: we don’t.
OK, but Ron Stoppable is the man!