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Quotes / One More Day

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From the very first day I was in the EIC chair, I made no secret of the fact that I felt that a married Peter Parker wasn't the best thing for an ongoing Spider-Man universe. The problem was that we never had a decent methodology to get ourselves out of it. I always said that if we ever found a way to do it, I would pursue the avenues to get us there.

Personally, I was perfectly happy keeping them married; I didn’t think Mephisto should be used in that fashion, and I didn’t like the idea of erasing everyone’s memory. Whenever you bring magic into a story you have to be really rigorous about the rest of it. And a lot of logical questions to my mind were not being addressed. Having said that, it’s a complicated universe and it is Joe’s purview.

There's a perception here that I and others don't/didn't like the marriage or the marriage era stories. And that's simply not true. If I was hired on to write about a married Peter Parker, I would have happily done so. Just I was happy to be hired on to write a Peter Parker who wasn't married. I was happy writing a married Spider-Man when I wrote his appearances in SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH, SHE-HULK, THING, and AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE. If I didn't enjoy writing a married Spider-Man, I wouldn't have risked dancing through the political minefield that I did to pitch RENEW YOUR VOWS...What I do understand is all of the reasons (political, corporate, what-have-you) why the marriage will not be reinstated into the core comic book continuity version of Spider-Man...Again, you could do a story that resolved OMD without restoring the marriage. You could give Spidey a victory over Mephisto. You could have MJ back in the book as a love interest w/o them being married. But you're not going to see the marriage back in the core continuity. I'm not saying this to be cruel or to belittle anyone's genuine love of that status quo. I'm saying this with complete honesty and frankness. This is what the situation is.

Stan's synopsis for the Green Goblin had a movie crew, on location, finding an Egyptian-like sarcophagus. Inside was an ancient, mythological demon, the Green Goblin. He naturally came to life. On my own, I changed Stan's mythological demon into a human villain...I rejected Stan's idea...A mythological demon made the whole Peter Parker/Spider-Man world a place where nothing is metaphysically impossible.
Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man, (THE COMICS v12 #7 [2001] - "A Mini-History Part 1 -"The Green Goblin"), describing the origins of the Green Goblin and why magical concepts were antithetical to Spider-Man's story.

Well, I think it was good in the sense that it made a lot of people sit up and take notice and it generated a lot more interest in Spider-Man. But I must admit I agree with you, it wasn’t typical of the Spider-Man we have known and I think they’ll either going to get back to the normal Spider-Man and Mary Jane relationship or they’ve maybe already done it...they will, sooner or later they will, I’m sure of it.

The issue itself was a jumble. Joe Quesada seemed to go from tracing photographs of ugly people or apple dolls to trying to draw characters "on model" and the end result was like stringing together a bunch of scenes from various 007 movies and trying to pretend all of the actors that portrayed Bond were the same guy, ignoring all of the physical changes that were only too apparent. It was often over-rendered or poorly lit or simply uninteresting and the story was all over the place. How sad it must have been when J. Michael Straczynski realized that his last official act was to undo everything he'd contributed over the previous six years.
Erik Larsen, former artist-writer on Spider-Man

The deal with Mephisto is symptomatic of a bigger problem for the character and the people who write him: the unwillingness for the character to become an adult...The reason why they don't think there's "drama" in marriage is because marriage is an aspect of real life, and they don't want the escapism of Peter Parker swinging through the air and stopping bad guys being infected with the drama of things that people have to endure in the real world... But the truth is the reader has grown up, got married, had kids, has relatives that die and they have to move on. The reader changed, but Peter Parker has not.
Linkara note 

So, if you think about it, Spider-Man not only made a deal with the Devil, he actually came out of it pretty damn good! He gets his aunt saved, his buddy gets back to life, his identity is secured, he still gets to have a long term relationship with a damned supermodel back then and fool around with kinky sex-addicted cat girls now...Basically all Satan gets is the thrill of blinking some bridal photos out of existence. Aaah... Ouch? I guess? So let that be a lesson, kids! If you screw up and need to make a deal with the devil, make sure it's with the Marvel devil. That guy's no idea of what he's doing!
Bob Chipman note 

Bloody hell. I hate this, and judging from the discussions I am seeing on various blogs, I am not alone. Retconning sucks. Leave the goddamned continuity ALONE, for chrissakes. What happened, happened. Take an old character in a new direction, fine, cool, but don’t go back and mess around with the character’s past. It’s a breach of trust with your audience, as I see it. The DC universe has never really recovered from the Crisis on Infinite Earths, despite all the Crises that have followed, and I think the Marvel universe, and Spidey in particular, will be a long time recovering from this decision. So that’s my two cents. In a nutshell: boo, hiss, shame on you, Marvel. If I had a rotten tomato, I would throw it.
George R. R. Martinnote , Livejournal Entry

I wouldn't argue that the Parker-Watson marriage was always well-written and well-drawn...But in a genre aimed at young males, it is very hard for me to come up with a more mature, and I would say healthy, vision of what a marriage should look like. Mary Jane Watson was not looking to be saved. If anything, she wanted Peter Parker to stop saving people. She did not need Peter Parker. She was not fashioned especially to be his wife. She was a human and seemed as though she would have been with Peter Parker, or without him.
I never read One More Day. I generally hated the notion that you couldn't have a grown-up superhero, and I did not hate it just because I was grown-up: I would have hated it when I was 12. The fact of it was I idolized grown-ups. One More Day felt like an erasure of what had been one of its more unintentionally bold endeavors—the attempt to allow a superhero to grow up, to be more than Peter Pan, to confront the tragic world as it was, to imagine life beyond what should have been.
Ta-Nehisi Coatesnote 

For starters, it should be self-evident that having your flagship superhero, your exemplar of heroic values and morality, the guy whose book gave us the phrase “with great power comes great responsiblity,” the most popular fictional character in the world whose name isn’t Harry Potter, literally make a deal with the devil is just a terrible, terrible idea on the face of it. That he does so to scrap the romance at the center of his multi-billion-dollar, zeitgeist-bestriding film trilogy should probably have sent up a few red flags too...The final, fatal, unforgivable flaw, of course, is that it doesn’t even work from a standpoint of emotional realism. Simply put, if you ask any happily married couple to trade away their entire marriage, past present and future, to save the life of a septuagenarian mother figure, no matter how beloved, who probably is just a few years from dying anyway, the answer would be no.
Sean T. Collins

There are complaints because years worth of continuity has suddenly been rendered moot? Okay, well...did you enjoy the stories when you read them? Yes? Good: You got your money’s worth. Can you still pull them out and re-read them? Yes? Good: Then OMD didn't somehow cause the previous comics to magically vanish from existence. I mean, I wrote a number of those stories that, in terms of plot and character development are no longer relevant, and I’m not cracking up over it. I wrote them, they were enjoyed for what they were (or disliked for what they were), and that to my mind is the end of it.

Well, Part 2 begins with an all too familiar occurrence in Amazing Spider-Man under JMS – Spider-Man going to see Dr. Strange, who calmly and objectively tells Peter that it may just be his aunt’s time to go and that he should accept it, and what’s so different about if she goes now – or dies from natural causes later? Acting like a baby, Peter cries out “at least it won’t be my fault!” And this is at the core of the problem with “One More Day.” One of the qualities that us fanboys have always admired (and admittedly, sometimes chided as naïve) about Peter Parker is his selflessness – putting the health and safety of innocent people above his own. However, Peter’s behavior is this story is all about him and his pain and his feelings – no one else’s. That he would consider doing anything and everything just to keep Aunt May from dying, regardless of the quality of life that she may lead, particularly at her age and the physical trauma she has suffered- is almost sickening.


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