One More Day is a blight on Spider-Man. Love or hate the Peter/Mary Jane “Spider-Marriage” this is pretty much agreed upon. However, I often see blogs of hints being found that one day it will all be undone and the Parker family will be whole once again. Personally I don’t buy it since I don’t think the current staff at Marvel wants to undo it. In fact, given how many Spider-Man cartoons and movies not only start with Peter in high school but keep him there I wouldn’t be surprised if they were trying to find a way to de-age him as well. There have been Spider-Writers who thought Peter should never have graduated. Character growth’s for suckers. (Although nowadays so is proper character depiction but that’s a whole other commentary.)
That didn’t stop Fansided’s “Bam! Smack! Pow!” contributor Alex Widen from looking at the new Peter/MJ romance and assume Nick Spencer is planning to undo One More Day. Never mind that Mary Jane is going to Hollywood, or the tease of a Spider-Man/Black Cat marriage (because Felicia doesn’t care about Peter, just Spidey–MJ used to care about both, which is why the Spider-Marriage is defended), or really any of Widen’s evidence because what that evidence points to is at best a NEW Spider-Marriage. That is not undoing One More Day. The problems with One More Day (and I’m talking about the aftermath as an event not the story itself. I’ll leave that to Linkara) are more than the ending of the Spider-Marriage. Even Spidey fans who didn’t like the marriage take issue with One More Day. Restoring the marriage isn’t enough. So what does a story need to do in order to truly “undo One More Day”?
If you’re reading this I’m going to assume you know what this is about but here’s the cliff notes to get everyone on the same page. During the events of the original “Civil War” event pro-superhero registration supporter Tony Stark convinces Peter Parker to join his side and even revealing his identity. The Superhero Registration Act is a poorly-thought out MacGuffin but the point was to register with the government. Superhero identities were still kept a secret from the public, which already makes this stupid, but offered potential for stories at least. Then Spidey switches sides, becomes a criminal despite technically doing beyond what the law required, and this leads to Aunt May being shot by one of Kingpin’s goons who was targeting Mary Jane in retaliation for Spidey’s constant victories over the crime boss. The attempts for Peter to undo this are laughable because it makes the smartest and most powerful members of the Marvel Universe unable to heal a bullet wound in a show of incompetence that makes critiques of Barbara Gordon being paralyzed as Oracle seem downright silly.
The only “hope” Peter has to save the woman who has spent more time in the hospital than some of the medical staff is Mephisto aka the devil of the Marvel Universe. And don’t give me that nonsense about Mephisto not actually being Satan. I respond with this clip.
It’s just semantics. Mephisto is Marvel’s version of the Devil once it cut all ties with the Biblical concepts of Heaven and Hell. It’s like complaining that Hydra isn’t technically the Nazis. Why do you think people were upset when Steve Rogers joined Hydra? Sorry, alternate timeline Steve Rogers because butt-covering is a hobby at Marvel now.
Back on topic, Mephisto is willing to restore Aunt May (despite her telling Peter to let her go) in exchange for Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage. Barring the stupidity of his reasoning because it’s superfluous to the point, they agree and somehow Mary Jane also talks him into hiding Peter’s identity. Then we get the new world, where Peter is single–the goal of all this nonsense by the Spider-Writers and then Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada–the organic webshooters (that’s a whole other origin) replaced with the classic shooters, and somehow Harry Osborne back to life because comics. The worst part of One More Day isn’t the ending of the Spider-Marriage, and this is coming from a defender of said marriage, but that they sold it to
the devil a major demon.
This is the most important part of “undoing” One More Day. It isn’t that Peter and Mary Jane get married again because it isn’t “again” in continuity. They were never married and just lived together for all those stories they were married previously in time. It doesn’t undo the divorce if you get married again, you just get re-married to each other instead of someone else. The deal is what needs to be undone. Have Peter and Mary Jane somehow trick Mephisto into undoing the marriage erasure. Or maybe all these stops to a new marriage is being caused by Mephisto, who gets tired of constantly trying to stop a new marriage and just says “fine, you win, I’m tired of missing Hel’s Got Talent to put up with you jerks”. It isn’t a new marriage that undoes One More Day but the restoration of the old one.
That comes up with other questions though. Does Aunt May retroactively die? Does Peter go back to having everyone know who he is? Does he still have the organic shooters given to him to match up with the Sam Rami movies by mutating into a giant spider and giving birth to himself after being kissed by a spider lady? (I told you it was a whole other origin.) Does Harry go back to the afterlife? Did any of the relationships Peter had since not only where we joined his new status quo but ones we probably haven’t met in the intervening time get erased and what happened to their lives in the interim? What about that stuff with Doc Ock taking over his body and becoming Tony Stark? How much gets tossed out if Mephisto doesn’t change anything? This is the headaches we now have and with an unwilling group of writers I don’t see how they can truly undo One More Day without causing a whole new mess. Remember, they’ve approached writing these stories as if the deal was permanent because that was always the plan. It’s why MJ ended up in Tony Stark’s supporting cast for awhile, why Peter had other relationships, and why she’s now getting a solo series, because in the minds of the Spider-Writers they don’t want a married Spider-Man, or a Spidey with a baby despite seeing how two different timelines (May “Mayday” Parker/Spider-Girl in MC2 and Annie/Spiderling in the “Renew Your Vows” series) showing how interesting that could be. I could and have debated against ending the Spider-Marriage multiple times so I won’t go into it here. The point is a lot would change if Mephisto is forced to undo the undo.
That’s the situation we’re currently in. Undoing Mephisto’s deal is the only actual way to undo One More Day so our hero that’s all about responsibility (the responsibilities he has as Spider-Man constantly interfering with his responsibilities as Peter Parker) doesn’t come off as the loser in a battle against a great evil due to his own ego issues. Anything else isn’t an undo but simply a new marriage and that’s not the only fault of this event. The problem is undoing the event now undoes stories that may have their own fans who either accepted the status quo or came in after the fact and may not have the same problems with the Spider-Marriage done away with even if they’re aware of the terrible way it was done. Even if the marriage is restored other problems develop but the old problems are not solved simply by have Peter and Mary Jane marry again for the first time. He still made a deal with the figurative devil, which is not what you want to see your superhero do. It still trashed the character of Mary Jane Watson(-Parker). It still led to stories that have their own fans, which now would also have to be undone. The fact is Quesada wins. Mephisto wins. Spider-Man loses. Fans of the Spider-Marriage lose. It’s a huge mess that can’t be solved. This is one of the reasons Marvel is doing such low numbers when the movies should in theory be creating new fans (it isn’t) while the old ones move on to something they hope won’t screw over their favorite characters. There are more people in the world. There are more people who know Spider-Man through movies and TV. And yet Spider-Man is somehow worse off than ever.
There may not be any undoing of that. The Spider-Marriage is dead, and to some Spider-Man himself is dead. The replacements are but a shadow of what generations grew up with.