So the new rule is “since even bad press is still press and easier to do, let’s just go for the bad press”. We had monkeying with Wonder Woman’s origin and costume yesterday. I’m sure Marvel can match that.
“(W)e’ve already started talking about the fact that it might be time for a new, or at least better, Spider-Man. I feel like we’ve done as much as we can do in terms of Peter Parker’s time as Spider-Man.”
Ah, Marvel. You never fail to disappoint.
Those are the words of Spider-Editor Steve Wacker in an interview with Comic Book Resources about the future of the comic series. The funny thing is that part one of that interview was all about resetting the status quo. The old foes are back (improving Electro doesn’t excuse screwing over Rhino), Spidey’s a “swinging” bachelor again, Harry’s not dead anymore, and Jameson is mayor of New York as the Daily Bugle gets blown up. Wait a minute…
Anyway, in the second part, Wacker discusses that Peter may be off his own title.
“In Christos Gage and Mario Alberti’s ‘Spider-Man/Fantastic Four’ miniseries, which begins July 8, we’ll be looking at the relationships between those characters over the years,” Wacker continued. “Sort of like what we did with ‘X-Men/Spider-Man.’ That will give readers a good sense of the relationship between that team and Spider-Man, which will play into some of the stuff we’d like to do over the next year as well, whenever we have our new Spider-Man…” (emphasis mine)
Yeah, when they have their new Spider-Man. I found this thanks to Slay, Monstrobot, who states it rather well.
Aside from the obvious–if in the two years after One More Day you’ve already “done as much as you can with Peter Parker,” what was the point of that sell-your-soul-to-Satan fiasco?–the big question is, would Marvel really to sneak in such a monumental announcement 4/5ths of the way through a long interview, just before a holiday weekend??
I’m thinking this isn’t so much an announcement as it is a “trial balloon”. The original plan for the Clone Saga was to have Peter and MJ, at the time still married because divorce will “age the character”, run off and Ben Reilly take over as the new Spider-Man. This way the Spider-Writers could get rid of all that messy stuff that happened between the time they started reading the comic and the time they were put in charge so they could tell the story from the point they like. Maybe it wasn’t just Mary Jane?
Snell also makes the point that they went through all the out-of-character nonsense to make Peter the way they wanted, and now they decide that they want to get rid of him anyway and bring in a new guy. This being today’s comics, fan reaction or not, I doubt this will last any longer than Wonder Woman’s new wardrobe. Change is bad once the shock value wears off.
But if you read the article, there’s even more stupidity. Wacker’s view of the comic is so seriously screwed up.
“Peter Parker is a single guy in New York. His romantic life is going to be a part of the book and he’s such a great character to get into these situations. I think I differ from a lot of fans who read Spider-Man for a long time, because I always read it as a pretty dark book. I don’t completely ‘get’ the always jokey, fun Spider-Man that everybody seems to remember. I read those old issues and my reaction was, ‘Boy this is a guy who keeps screwing up and he can’t get a break.’ The sort of ups and downs and the soap opera of his life—and they way he would try to deal with those problems through humor – was always fascinating to me,” Wacker told CBR News, “but that still didn’t make it a comedy to my eyes.”
“What I loved-and still love was that sense of: what could possibly happen next? This guy’s girlfriend was thrown off a bridge! Plus, he may or may not have killed her while he was trying to save her! That’s so dark! And to me that’s been the opera of the book since issue #1. That’s why I love it so much. And one of the ways you handle that in stories is through romance. People love Pete just as much as some people hate him. Getting that into the book again was always going to be one of the biggest changes when we took over. That kind of soap opera hadn’t been part of the book for so long.”
Allow me to drag something out of the BW archives.
Bad luck and romantic misadventures. Who does that remind you of? Leave it to a modern writer to look only at the negatives and find it awesome. My opinion of Gwen Frickin’ Stacy aside, her death served a purpose to the story. (One that I thought Ben Parker’s death was already doing.) It showed how dangerous Spider-Man’s world is and sometimes the people you love can get hurt. It wasn’t for pure shock value like most of today’s comic deaths, but undoing it has been attempted as often.
I don’t think Spider-Man has always been a “jokey” series, either. That doesn’t mean it’s all about death and people hating Peter in either identity. It was about an average human being granted above average powers and trying to balance his responsibilities in both lives. Wacker wants to focus on the dark moments. What about the moments of triumph? What about the inherent humorous moments that come from having a double life? What about Spidey’s bad one-liners? (insert adjective here) Spider-Man wasn’t a dark comic, and it wasn’t a light comic. It was a balanced comic, with elements of both.
You know, like real life. Only with radioactive superpowers. And although this post is kind of long, I have to comment on this, emphasis mine again:
While Wacker and his creators are utilizing the story opportunities that come with Peter Parker’s status as a single man in New York City, that doesn’t mean they’ve ruled out the possibility of long term romance or even another marriage for the character. “I don’t think most relationships in comics – or any long-term storytelling format – are all that steady in the long term. I think people tend to read about them for a long time and they sort of get tired of them and feel like those relationships – be they romantic or not – should change or have some obstacles thrown in the way. A non-dramatic relationship of any sort with no conflict whatsoever just isn’t very practical or realistic… So in terms of Spidey, I definitely think Peter could get married again at some point to change things up down the road. I’ve said that from the get go.
“I don’t think what they did in ‘One More Day’ meant that the marriage wasn’t important. I don’t think you could have done that story without the marriage…without their love. We couldn’t have the status quo we have now without those years of great stories with the marriage, but sometimes you do something else for a while.”
Actually, I think that speaks for itself.
“For a while, Mary Jane was the right woman for him and events eventually broke them up. They might bring them back together at some point, too. We’ve certainly talked about that. We never had any intention of writing her out of the book,” Wacker continued. “I think anyone that Pete decides to love next is inevitably going to have to be compared by the readership (and Pete) to Mary Jane because she’s such a great person and has been his longest, deepest relationship.
And now I just want it to shut up!