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Comic Book / One Moment in Time

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"See, to me, the reason I wanted to get married was to have kids. If that's no longer a part of the equation, then marriage is just a piece of paper."
Mary Jane


After One More Day, any retcon in the Spider-Man continuity other than the main ones (summed up in a two-page spread following that saga) was left unexplained, much to the fans' chagrin; Joe Quesada's response to most fan questions came in the form of a Shrug of God or assertion that A Wizard Did It.

Fast forward to summer 2010, where Quesada finally gave fans some answers throughout four issues of ASM, entitled One Moment in Time. Obviously, the announcement of answers — as well as a chance to see Peter and MJ getting back together — coming was met with rejoicing... initially.

Unfortunately, the story mostly chose to resolve the problems with One More Day by simply retconning them away, leaving a sizable number of fans less-than-satisfied.

Back in what was supposed to be their wedding week, Mephisto quietly releases an apprehended thug and Peter is badly injured trying to recapture him, causing him to miss the ceremony. This leads MJ to reconsider marriage, instead settling for a committed-monogamous-but-not-official relationship.


Fast-forward to the events of One More Day; Aunt May makes a miraculous recovery, but this prompts the Kingpin to take out another hit on Mary Jane's Aunt Anna. When Mary Jane gets hurt protecting her, Peter regrets ever revealing his identity and begs Doctor Strange to make people forget. Strange talks Reed Richards and Tony Stark into helping out, setting it up so that only Peter will remember what happened. However, Peter spares Mary Jane the mindwipe too, but afterwards she tells him she can't deal with putting other people in danger just by knowing Spider-Man and leaves him. In the present, Peter and MJ patch up their relationship - but deciding they're Better as Friends, with MJ telling Peter to get over her and find someone else.

In case you're wondering about the other Brand New Day changes that were explained outside of OMIT: Harry turned out to have been just hiding. Jackpot wasn't Mary Jane Watson, but someone else entirely who looked like her. And Peter's organic webbing and some other newer powers were explained by Word of God to be unavailable, either due to Power Incontinence or they're part of a Heroic Safe Mode.


(NOTE: Please help move One Moment in Time-specific examples from the One More Day page.)

One Moment in Time provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Author Tract: As Mary Jane's quotes demonstrate, One Moment in Time illustrates Quesada's stance on why he felt the marriage had to be excised from the Spider-Man mythos.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Despite his explicit claims that the deal would not be magically undone, Quesada chickened out and had it magically undone. This is especially ironic, as the original story retconned Spider-Man's unmasking in Civil War, which he explicitly said wouldn't be undone "via magic retcon".
    Joe Quesada: By agreeing to MJ’s terms, Mephisto has actually wiped himself from ever having been involved in their lives. In fact, looking at it linearly, those four issues never happened. Along with the wedding, "One More Day" and Mephisto have been wiped out of continuity and Peter and MJ never made that bargain.
    • As of 2017, the story itself might not be canon anymore, since Mephisto still remembers his deal with Spider-Man in Spider-Man/Deadpool
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: How Peter brings back Aunt May. (Yes, he treated a gunshot wound with CPR.)
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Quesada's current explanation is that Mary Jane did without even trying; somehow by her Exact Words the nonexistence of the marriage means Mephisto has nothing to steal and he won't meddle with the Parkers again.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Mary Jane, see the page quote.
  • For Want of a Nail: Mephisto undoes Peter and MJ's marriage by unlocking all the doors of a police car holding a recently captured criminal who swore payback on Spider-Man and his arresting officer both. After escaping, he tracks down the officer in an assassination attempt Spider-Man tries to thwart. Peter ends up suffering a blow to the head in the scuffle, leaving him too groggy to make it to the wedding on time.
  • Hate Fic: Both One More Day and One Moment in Time are essentially responses to "The Wedding!" (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21) which Quesada outright hates. In OMIT, he does it by taking panels from the original and then showing how Peter missed his wedding, which is essentially a blackly comedic slapstick moment where a random thug hits Peter on the head with a brick making him pass out. Mark Ginocchio pointed out why this was bad practice:
    "As hyperbolic as this might sound, by inserting original pages from ASM Annual #21 into a new comic that changes the events of those pages, Quesada and Rivera are essentially vandalizing one of the most historic Spider-Man issues of the modern era...Ultimately, the creative decision reads like it’s supposed to punch the reader in the gut — here’s what happened EXACTLY AS YOU REMEMBERED IT, but now we’re going to change it because we think what Shooter did was a mistake."
  • Hypocrite:
    • You know the Marvel event comic Civil War where Iron Man and Reed Richards fought their friends and locked them up in an extradimensional prison without trial so that super heroes would have to register, making them known and having them be accountable? Well, in this comic they team up with Dr. Strange to make everyone in the world forget who Spidey is, meaning he doesn't have to be held accountable for his superhero actions. And yes, this pretty much goes against the base principle what they fought the Civil War for in the first place.
    • MJ's infamous page quote about marriage and having kids puts her in this light, even if that wasn't the intention. The Retcon supposedly only erased the fact that Peter and MJ got married, but everything else is supposed to have happened as it was printed. That includes the fact that Peter and MJ almost had a daughter out of marriage! And they were both thrilled about it. And then utterly devastated when MJ had a miscarriage.
  • Ironic Echo: "He's always running off as Spidey when you least expect it." The look on Mary-Jane's face just screams "NOT FUNNY".
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: At Peter's urging, Dr. Strange, Tony Stark, and Reed Richards somehow combine science and sorcery to erase everyone's knowledge of Spidey's identity (though people are aware that they once knew who Spider-Man was). Keep in mind, these are the same people who could do jack about a gunshot wound.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Mary Jane breaks up with Peter, not because she can't handle being in danger for knowing Spider-Man, but because she can't handle putting other people who are close to her in danger because she knows Spider-Man.
  • Mind Screw: What with all the retcons and stuff getting 'clarified' it's starting to get very confusing. Most prominently, the situation listed under Canon Discontinuity makes it so that the story itself probably can be completely ignored as having never happened... but it can't because it still has an impact somehow.
  • Mythology Gag: Spider-Man seeing a criminal he didn't catch before coming back to hurt those dear to him. Now, we know Joe Quesada wanted stories set during Spidey's High School era to appear in recent issues, but this is ridiculous.
  • Retcon: The Story actually retcons how the Deal with the Devil occurred. In the original, Mary Jane made the deal, after Peter essentially guilt-tripped her into doing it for him. Here? MJ takes the initiative to make the deal because Peter would never even think of making the deal.
  • Retraux:
    • The past is drawn as similarly as possible to the original The Wedding! storyline. Given Quesada's OMD art got lazily re-used, this comes off as a nice change. Of course, it's weird when past-bride-to-be MJ gets her cell phone.
    • And when Spidey references the "But I did just stay at a Holiday Inn" joke from the present-day's ad campaign... in a time set years before that campaign started.
  • The Reveal: The whole point of the story is to literally reveal what happened on Peter and MJ's wedding day, but on a smaller scale it's also revealed that the two completely retained their memories of their past lives.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In the end, making the deal with Mephisto in the first story accomplished absolutely nothing. History still plays out exactly the same, Peter still unmasks himself to the world, and Aunt May still gets shot. The big difference being instead of making a deal with Mephisto in the "new reality" Peter spends more time Aunt May, spiriting Aunt May back to life in the process. The deal was never truly needed.
  • Ship Sinking: And this time, it's for real. Until it wasn't.
  • Ship Tease: Promos for One Moment in Time and afterward suggested that Peter and MJ would rekindle their relationship after being estranged since One More Day. But instead it was Ship Sinking... which was followed up by a back and forth between Ship Tease and Ship Sinking over the years. OMIT itself ended with Mary Jane and Peter becoming friends again, but she told Peter to get over her or else he'll miss someone else that's perfect for him. (One suspects Reality Subtext here; Quesada telling the same to readers. No dice, Joe.)
  • Voodoo Shark: In the end, Mephisto never did bring Aunt May back to life. All he did was prevent Peter and Mary Jane from ever being married. It was the power of Peter's love that brought Aunt May back to life. Two million dollars of donation, the top minds of the Marvel Universe, and the Mystical Powers of Dr. Strange couldn't save Aunt May but Peter's love did. Yeah. Even though his love for her compelled him to run around the world asking everyone who he could think of that could help for help.