Sunday, January 13
It's old news now, but Peter Parker gave up his marriage to Mary Jane in order to save Aunt May from the icy hand of death. He and MJ made a deal with the devil (Mephisto) to wipe out years of wedded happiness (mostly) in order for the old lady to live. (Jeez, didn't she die years ago! I even managed to get past her recovery from that nasty bout of death and kept reading.) Oh yeah, Mephisto also threw in the resurrection of Harry Osborne into the deal just to spice it up. It had to be done; apparently, no one under the age of 19 could ever be interested in a married super-hero...its like reading about your parents with super powers. According to all the hip guys that run the House of Ideas, this will solve all problems! Now they can retell the same melodramatic stories that were done before the wedding. By completely wiping out any real character growth and forward movement for Spidey and his cast, they have averted the Crisis.
Yes, I am one of those selfish fanboys who likes his heroes' journeys to actually progress and eventually end (albeit in very slooooow comic book time). I realize that it doesn't work that way, but my love of the comics keeps me around in spite of this.
I think all comic characters set in a pseudo-realistic setting should age and pass the mantel on to a new generation of heroes. DC teeters on the edge of this idea without letting go of the big money characters. I've never been able to figure out why the need to have the same character behind the mask was so important for licensing. As long as the hero/costume looks the same, they should still be able to make the sales. Passing the torch to the next generation of characters seems a logical step for keeping them fresh for the next generation of readers.
If I were 12 years-old and just starting to read comics, I wouldn't want my heroes to be my father's heroes. I would want my stories and characters to be familiar to my dad but not the same as my dad's. I realize that I am in the minority and am seen as selfishly wanting my heroes to grow old with me; I won't apologize for that. I won't apologize for not buying the stuff that doesn't appeal to me either. Marvel and DC can reset the clock for their universes and characters as often as they see fit. DC managed to do it in a fashion that kept me reading. Unfortunately, Joe Quesada wanted to keep the rest of the Marvel Universe the way it was and just reset the clock for Peter Parker. The plot and motives of the characters were forced and ridiculous and the regression of Peter and his cast puts way too much strain on the suspension of disbelief for this reader. So I won't be reading anymore. That's saying a lot... I even enjoyed (somewhat) the Clone Saga and liked Ben Reilly. I thought Marvel should have stuck with their plans then instead of losing faith in their own fix of the marriage problem.
I'll stick with Ultimate Spider-Man and the Amazing Spider-Girl for my Spidey fix.
To everyone else, enjoy the Brand New Day.