Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Long Belated Opinion on the Spider-Man/MJ thing.

I never got around to blogging my opinion of the whole Spider-Man, One More Day, un-marriage fiasco before, but since the topic's come up again, particularly since JMS posted some thoughts about it.

I haven't really talked about it because I'm not much of a Spider-Man fan. I've never cared for the comics or the cartoon show. I rather enjoyed the movies, but not out of any real fondness for the character. I did read the newspaper comic strips occasionally, and Peter and Mary-Jane were already married there, so that probably affects my perspective.

I guess I have mixed feelings about it, really. On one hand, I do think it's important to have editorial/corporate control over a character like Spider-Man. Don't get me wrong, I also support author-owned material as well, of course, but I do think when it comes to multi-franchise, multi-author characters, there ought to be some overhead keeping the portrayals consistent and appropriate.

Well, as much as can be expected at any rate. On the other hand, it might be a notable sign that you've gone a little too far with some aspect of the storyline when your writer wants to pull an Alan Smithee.

I admit, I've never really understood a lot of the justification behind the end-of-marriage choice. I mean, okay, being married to a supermodel's a bit beyond the average fellow that Spider-Man's supposed to represent. Though most of the average fellows probably aren't as clever as Peter and certainly don't have powers.

Moreover, Peter's not a teenager anymore. What's "average" for a teenager may not be for a man in his early to mid twenties. I know personally, while I used to know a lot more predominantly single people, after having entered law school, I was genuinely surprised how so many of my classmates were actually married. Some even have KIDS!

I dunno, on some level I can see the reasoning, it just seems to me that Peter's reached the age where marriage doesn't have to preclude the everyman thing. The supermodel/actress part's fairly new, but the rest doesn't have to be completely alien to normal experience.

I guess it's just disappointing because Flash has been so good lately at telling stories starring a relateable protagonist with a wife and kids and actually using that to tell NEW stories. Wally's circumstances are much stranger than Peter's in general, but I think they've done a really good job at making the character relatable as a young person with a family.

I guess I'm just disappointed because while I can see running low on inspiration involving a man and wife, perhaps, there are a lot of ways to stir things up without taking a step developmentally backwards. Children, for one. That's a little drastic of course, but I think Spider-Girl's proven that we can actually conceive of Peter as a father. It'd be interesting to see what Marvel/JMS (who, for all my occasional gripes, I think would be very good with this sort of theoretical domesticity-meets-action stuff,) would do with that. ((Sure, Flash is doing it too, but it's not like DC and Marvel haven't had parallel developments before. Besides, JMS is very different as a writer than Mark Waid, so there's no reason to believe it wouldn't end up a very different animal.))

And if kids are a bit drastic, I'm sure there are other ways to stir the pot without wiping out the marriage altogether. Oh well...


  • At December 06, 2007 11:56 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    It's the whole way that they are going about it, that sticks in my craw. I rather like MJ and Peter together, and I find Mr. Quesada's hatred of the former to be quite...odd.

    Bringing in Mephisto is just weird.

  • At December 06, 2007 12:31 PM, Blogger Brainfreeze said…

    I hear a lot of folks talking about how unrealistic it is that Everyman Peter married Supermodel MJ, but I really have a hard time thinking of it like that. MJ existed in the Marvel U, and knew Peter, and was interested in Peter, long before she was a supermodel. She's not a trophy wife, she's someone he's known for years.

    So it's not like Pete met some random hottie and floored her with his personal charm--he knew MJ, she was an old friend (who now happens to be a supermodel, I guess). Why that's a problem, I have no idea.

  • At December 06, 2007 1:42 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    And the thing is, MJ isn't a supermodel. Or even a model. Unless things have changed drastically over the last year since I stopped reading Spider-Man.

    The last time she modeled, really, was in the early '90s when Todd McFarlane was on the book (with a brief return to modeling in the late '90s). Other than that, she's mostly been a struggling actress. Soap operas, B movies, small-time NY theater.

    Plus, even if she was drop-dead gorgeous, it's awfully shallow for people to imagine that Pete is out of her league or whatever because she used to model.

  • At December 06, 2007 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ugh, I can't wait until Quesada's evil reign is over. There will be a new Golden Age!

  • At December 06, 2007 2:15 PM, Blogger tavella said…

    I'm with SallyP; while I find the obsession with ending the marriage a little weird, I can see where editorial might think it was played out. But *how* they are doing it is just ludicrous. "No one and nothing can save Aunt May! See! Dr. Strange cast a spell that said so! (Please ignore Elixir in the courner, and the six million other ways that heroes have been saved from vastly more serious wounds! The only possible way to do it is to make a deal with the devil and end the marriage!")

    And it seems such a poisonous brick to lay at the heart of the series -- making a *deal with the devil* (even though I expect them to shove the actual blame for the deal off on MJ), to sacrifice the love and future of a young couple for an old woman who is going to die within a few years anyway, and would be utterly horrified at what was done.

  • At December 06, 2007 2:28 PM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    Peter was never the 'perpetual teenager'. What he is, is the everyman hero. He should be allowed to face things a regular person does, like marriage, children, old age. If they want teenage Peter Parker who macks on the women but in the end they don't like him, there's always Ultimate.

  • At December 06, 2007 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't you understand? We need Peter single so that we can tell very important stories. About looking at porn and getting laid - things married guys don't do!

    Seriously. That's the whole justification Quesada gave as to the kind of stories they could tell with a single Peter that they couldn't do with Peter now.

  • At December 06, 2007 11:49 PM, Blogger snell said…

    Even if you accept the Quesada premise--Peter Parker must be single--the way he's chosen to accomplish it is chicken-hearted BS at its finest.

    Let's could kill off MJ, you could have them get a divorce. Nope. Gotta be the devil who breaks them up.

    If Quesada really had the courage of his convictions, he would get rid of MJ in a permanent way (well, as permanent as possible in a Spider-Man title). But he doesn't. He wants Peter and MJ to still love each, and keep MJ alive and not far away for the inevitable day when they undo this travesty. He lacks the cajones to tell the story in any other way than the magic reset button.

  • At December 07, 2007 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    looks like a cheap ploy for free press.

    1. superstar media oversaturated superhero
    2. stealing the name of faith based bestselling book for story
    3. angering politicos who are already up in arms over "sanctity of marriage" and are in bed with faith based groups
    4. add dash of "satanic" exploitation
    5. wait for negative reaction to pump up sales

    they don't even need the "nerd" anger to make this a best seller!


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