There are some stories so beloved that they brought up time and again, examples of how a good story should be told…though sometimes the wrong lessons are learned. The same holds true with bad stories. Some are just a bad idea for one reason or another that they’re constantly brought up as examples of how to do it wrong, to ensure someone sees it and hopefully learns from their failure. The “One More Day” storyline of Spider-Man is one that will forever show up in this second category. From the mind of an editor-in-chief who decided to get rid of something his predecessors were a fan of came one of the most despised stories in Spidey history, even from those who agreed with Joe Quesada that Peter Parker happily married was wrong for the character. Long time readers know I am not in that category and Mary Jane had a lot to offer not only in Peter’s personal and superhero growth but as a friend and ally.
So what did the story do wrong? The goal was more thought out that the way of getting there. In the end Peter’s reputation was tarnished and attempts to “fix it” not only failed but would further damage Mary Jane Watson, the former Mrs. Peter Parker. In this video from Owen Likes Comics, Owen goes into the history of the story and why it failed to satisfy anyone who wasn’t Joe Quesada, and one of the reasons Quesada would become disliked by Marvel and Spider-Fans.
Catch more Owen Likes Comics on his YouTube channel.
So Marvel editorial not only ruined MJ but were responsible for Gwen having a one-nighter with Norman and having his babies as well? I’m not one of the Gwen fans because I never knew her and MJ was the only one in 616 continuity who most of the time loved Peter and didn’t hate Spider-Man, making her Peter’s perfect mate. Gwen on the other hand was on the list of lovers who didn’t like Spider-Man but loved Peter, while the reverse is true for others like Felicia “Black Cat” Hardy. “Sins Past” was a bad idea and makes me wonder just how badly Quesada wanted to ruin Peter’s life by ruining the names of his two greatest loves. I suppose we’ll learn Aunt May…no, I’m not risking giving the current crowd any more bad ideas than they already have.
I also reject the notion that a married Peter Parker made him look older since there are a number of younger married couples. I know there are writers who for numerous reasons would want to put Peter back in high school (as evidenced by the various alternate universe comics, movies, and TV shows that have come out in the past decade) but in the main universe he’s long since out of college, taking a few extra courses just to keep Empire State University an option for future science antics. Peter’s origin was told and Stan Lee and his immediate replacements worked to evolve the character, something that just isn’t done these days. Just ask Wolverine; it’s one of the reasons I don’t like the character. That’s how you end up not with a sliding timeline but a backsliding timeline, where growth is undone so the next writer can tell the same tale over again.
Peter’s public unmasking led to some interesting story ideas, or at least potential stories, but it wasn’t necessary as part of the Superhero Registration Act. He only had to reveal his identity to SHIELD and sometimes be forced to do some work for them probably. As others have pointed out the inability for doctors, mystics, and superscientists to not be able to heal an ordinary bullet wound is absolutely ridiculous given the things they HAVE cured and healed people from in the past, and makes me wonder if Mephisto was behind this as well. Speaking of which, if anyone tells you that Mephisto isn’t the devil technically and so it’s not a case of Peter making a deal with the devil, remember that the expression can also be metaphoric. Also remember this clip from The Real Ghostbusters.
Semantics doesn’t change what Peter and Mary Jane did. Yes, I will bring up this clip every time somebody tries this defense. Mephisto is usually Satan’s stand-in and his wanting their marriage instead of the usual souls was a dumb change to his character.
If you want to see how the story failed further I recommend Linkara’s review of One More Day. Unfortunately the revised continuity has gone on too long, to the point that new fans coming in would be upset if One More Day and Brand New day were undone, which I went over recently. Unfortunately Joe Quesada wins and there’s nothing we can do about it. Well, there is one thing and this is only a symptom of what’s going on in Marvel today with character destruction (Nick Fury, the Illuminati, Dum Dum Dugan) and other methods of not caring about the characters that made Marvel Comics what it is today. So people are doing the only thing they can do and have stopped buying the books. There should be a lot more comic readers than there are given the current population and stuff like this is one of the many reasons there aren’t.
After all, if they don’t care about the characters anymore why should we?