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Christian said on August 18th, 2009 at 2:31 am

This is PERFECT. Thank you so much
I loved Spidey as a kid and this is a great way of keeping him still relevant.
“Granted, most of our setbacks in life aren’t caused by psychotic, billionaire industrialists” – most of our problems are caused by psychotic billionaires tho

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ps238principal said on August 18th, 2009 at 3:13 am

Just a small .02 as a dissector of plots and consumer of comic books: The problem with Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s “growth” is the same as it is with a lot of mainstream superheroes: “Bob from Marketing” is more in charge of his fate than the writer(s) are. And that stinks.

It’s gotten so we can smell a temporary change in the status quo a mile away. You can almost see “I’m going to die” signs written over certain characters’ heads (the “reverse Aunt May” effect) and people/places/situations that just scream “temporary, won’t be here next issue, move along, please.”

For a character like Spidey/Parker, there really needs to be a head writer, or at least an agreed-upon arc that extends a few years into the future (changeable by real-world events or by other, better ideas) so things don’t seem so retconned all the time. That would involve risk-taking on the part of the writers/editors and their masters at Marvel, but seeing as they can’t even really do that kind of thing in the Ultimates line, I’m not holding my breath.

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Just a small .02 as a dissector of plots and consumer of comic books

And writer of one of the best “supers” comics around…

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Huh. Now why did that coding only partially work?

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Marionette said on August 18th, 2009 at 7:01 am

It’s a very good story rationalisation for what is, at heart, a marketing decision. Sadly, it’s also the reason I lost interest in titles like Spider-Man, and only dip into them occasionally, maybe hang around for a particular storyline, and then drop the title again.

Once you realise deep down that there never will be any real change, and anything the character or writer is working towards will ultimately fail or be lost in order to appease the almighty status quo, it seems like there’s little point left.

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I understand the reason why they did it, it was a stupid way they went around to doing it, and I was very angry when they did it. Now? I just don’t care anymore, I have stopped reading the main Spider-Man titles, because ultimately the character is never allowed to grow. The character is no longer written for me, a 20-something person, but for the pre-teens that will hopefully be reading this title. I understand that, and I decided to spend my hard-earned money on some other characters that interest me more.

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I’d say that my problem with Spider-Man as an Avenger stems not so much from it being “too successful” for him, and more from it being out of character. Peter has always tried to keep himself at arm’s reach from the rest of the super-hero community; he’s never been comfortable being “one of the gang”, and any time he interacts with other heroes on more than a one-to-one level, it’s usually because he has to. I could psychoanalyze this, talk about how Peter is uncomfortable in large social groups because of his high school experiences, but whatever the reason, it boils down to this: Even on those rare occasions that the Avengers wanted him as a member, he didn’t want to be one.

Ultimately, I felt like the reason this changed wasn’t due to the evolution of Spider-Man as a character, but due to the editorial fiat of “why isn’t our flagship character in our flagship team book?” (Which is also why Wolverine is an Avenger when he should never be allowed anywhere near the team ever ever ever ever ever ever ever…but I digress. :) ) And changes that are due to editorial fiat instead of organic character growth are always hated by the fans, who have finely honed knowledge of the characters and can sniff that stuff out a mile away.

Which is, not to put too fine a point on it, the common link between Spidey as an Avenger and “One More Day”. Editorial fiat trumping natural character development.

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Lister Sage said on August 18th, 2009 at 8:06 am

Matt Ampersand and John Seavey: Thank you for saying everything about the subject without me getting into a seven paragraph diatribe about “Why Spider-Man can go fuck himself”.

Needless to say I don’t want to read about this character. In fact I don’t really want to read about any of Marvel’s A-list characters because any change the writers decide to bring to them will be forgotten, ignored or deliberately changed when someone else or editorial mandate says it will. Which is why I spend my time and money on the second and third string heroes which because they’re support characters or background filler can have changes effect them. Even with that not every change is a good one. I didn’t like what Abnett and Lanning did with Darkhawk’s past in Ascention, mainly because I feel they could have worked the Raptor story line into his pre-established history without just saying “Oh, all that never happened. Fever dream.” But in many respects I can’t blame them to much because now I get to read about Darkhawk in new comic books, which I won’t complain about.

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But most people, if they achieved some level of success that they then lost, whether it’s a good job or the respect of their peers or bagging a supermodel, they would at least be able to look back on those happier times fondly. (In the real world, Peter would doubtless still be drinking for free on tales of MJ.) But not Peter. He doesn’t get to recollect fondly on his book tour, or dating Gwen, or even that time he saved that kid: with Pete it’s always the girl he dropped or the time he wasn’t there or how he screwed up. What does that say about him? (Or the writers, or us?)

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Tenken347 said on August 18th, 2009 at 8:29 am

This puts a finger on exactly what bothers me about Spider-Man: in the 8 to 10 years he’s been Spider-Man, he really should have gotten his shit together in a way that would be impossible to take away from him, no matter how many other personal setbacks he encounters. It’s like, in order to make Spider-Man’s continuity tread water, they’ve just made him criminally stupid. For instance, there’s a bit I’ve seen repeated no less than three times. Peter is bringing a delicious cake home to Aunt May, and on the way he has to stop and fight a super villain. He tries to do while holding onto the cake, and eventually he drops the cake (either on himself, or on the villain, of course). I know why they do this; it lets them draw Spidey jumping around juggling something fragile, and it gives them a gag at the end. But, after at least the second time, a normal person, even a stupid person, in fact, would have learned to set the cake down first, before the fight. It’s not just that they keep setting Spidey back. That would be fine in small increments, and even occasionally tolerable when it happens to major events (people are even coming around on the marriage erasure – not me though). It’s that he’s never allowed to learn any lessons that stick – anything at all. If I were writing Spider-Man, and I could do whatever I wanted to, the very first thing I’d do is have him finally get a handle on super-heroing in the way that one of their oldest flagship characters really ought to.

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“People are still hacked off about Amazing Spider-Man and the “unmarriage,” right?”

If a superhero comic fan couldn’t whine over dumb shit, severe internal hemorrhaging would occur.

So I think we should all thank Joe Quesada for saving so many lives by giving them a reason to live.

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equinox216 said on August 18th, 2009 at 8:47 am

I’d truly like Aunt May to at some point, somehow, find out about Peter’s deal to bring her back (discovers the wrong mirror while looking for a post-coital sandwich at Dr. Strange’s place, for instance)… and then proceed to tear him a new one so big he spends the next five issues visually represented by a zero with legs. They’d have to change the title for that run to “The Unbelievable Spider-Hole-in-Space/Time”, but I think it’d be worth it just to see May pull a Human Torch and catch on fire through the sheer force of her incandescent rage.

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I can’t agree. There are just a number of bad assumptions in that. I’m not punishing Mark Waid and Dan Slott by refusing to read Spider-Man, due to “One More Day”.

I stopped reading Spider-Man because of a problem that is nearly universal in the Marvel line at this point – random characterization. When I follow a comic book character, I want them to at least somewhat seem like the same person from issue to issue. And on the DC side of things, the characterization shifts aren’t so jagged.

But Spider-Man, making a deal with the devil? This ain’t the guy I collected several hundred issues of. And the problem is more widespread – witness Mark Millar’s Reed Richards in Civil War. Science adventurer, or autistic coward?

I’d still be reading more than three Marvel Comics if they would stop bending the characters to hit whatever story beats they want to hit for their big events. “Spider-Man wouldn’t do that” should’ve stopped “One More Day” cold.

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This is why I’m glad I’m a fan of the Hulk and not Spider-Man. Nobody’s derailing his storyline right n- oh wait.

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@equinox216: That reminds me of one of my favourite parts of “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. There’s this one guy, Xu Shu, who abandons a good lord to serve an evil one because the evil one has his widowed mother as a hostage. When the mother finds out he did that, she promptly commits suicide from shame at what her son did.

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[…]don’t you have to stop punishing Dan Slott, Mark Waid and the rest for things somebody else did a couple years ago?

…No? I was already a fairly casual Spider-Man reader. No matter how good the current stories otherwise are, the fundamental basis under them is that, as long as OMD stands, he’s still the Amazing Devil-Dealer, and I’m not okay with that.

I didn’t really have much trouble with Spidey stepping up and getting into the Avengers. Even if he’s typically been all Do Not Want on that spotlight, I’m okay with the idea that maybe he’s been on the job long enough to figure things out and get over that.

I did have something of an issue with the “Spidey and family get taken in by Tony Stark, Peter becomes Tony’s protege” thing. It wasn’t because I thought it was Too Much Change. Rather, it was because Tony was also being made an increasingly villainous asshole, and Peter was thus being positioned for ZOMG His Divided Loyalties Between What’s Right And What Tony Wants as part of the vast morass of stupidity known as Civil War.

I think I liked him best as a school teacher, but I could’ve been okay with him working for Tony if they’d just avoided doing Civil War. Which would’ve avoided the need for BND/OMD, and thus spared everyone a shitload of grief.

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Hey, Matt Ampersand? I’ve just got to say in response to your pre-teen comment… when I was a pre-teen, I was reading Spider-Man the married high school teacher whose aunt knew who he was and I liked it. I liked him as the competent hero who did get beat up or have ridiculous emotional trauma, but who was capable of helping the people around him and moving forward in his life. Now I’m a teenager and I don’t even want to touch the book. I’m never going to outgrow comics, so that’s about seventy years of buying Spider-Man titles that’s probably not going to happen.

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equinox216 said on August 18th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

@Grazzt: Yeah, the samurai ethic makes a lot of uncommon plot twists more usable. Was it just shame, or to release her son, or both?

It wouldn’t work so well here, given it seems to have been a one-time event with continuing repercussions. But given the strength of character May’s aggregately been typified with over her many versions, I could see her pulling something similar if it would hit the reset button for Peter.

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malakim2099 said on August 18th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Well, I think Spidey joining the Avengers was fine, really. I mean, Captain America comes up to you, says “Son, I like what you did, I like what you can do, sign up with us.”

That means a lot, especially (I would think) to Peter.

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HammerHeart said on August 18th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I haven’t stopped buying Spidey’s books to “punish” anyone. I stopped buying them because it became clear that the character is frozen in amber forever, and his whole life – including but not limited to romantic relationships – is chained to an idealized status-quo that directly contradicts the very idea of personal growth. In order for Spider-Man to remain “as he once was” in the “good old days”, he can NEVER achieve any lasting success in any area. His reputation can NEVER really improve, he can NEVER get any job better than selling fraudulent photos to a newspaper that libels him on a daily basis, and he can NEVER have an adult relationship that goes anywhere. Forever and ever, Peter will be hearing to JJJ’s abuse and experiencing doomed relationships, and any actual improvement or growth will necessarily be cancelled at some point. There is no hope for Peter Parker, not now and not ever.

And to put it bluntly, I have no interest in reading about such a perennial loser. My self-esteem isn’t so low that I can identify with someone like that. I’m not interested in reading about romances that will never be allowed to go anywhere, heroism that will never be appreciated, and a “struggling young adult” who will never amount to anything EVER, because any level of personal success is apparently anathema to the very “concept” of Spider-Man. Sorry, I’m not interested, regardless of how competent this month’s Spidey writers and artists are. They can juggle around the elements of the status-quo all they want, but I just can’t stand it anymore. Peter will never have a meaningful relationship that goes anywhere, he will never have a fulfilling job and he will never be appreciated as a hero, because for some reason those developments would contradict his “core concept” or whatever rationalization they came up with to justify the calcified nostalgia.

The fact that Parker is now also a coward who sold out his marriage to the devil was just the cherry on the sundae that cemented my decision to drop Spider-Man and not look back. There are plenty good comics out there for me to read that DON’T involve an unchangeable, eternally-depressing status-quo.

And nowadays, when I want to read about a young hero’s journey, I read Invincible, which is miles better than any Spider-Man comic has been in the last decade. Yes, despite all the violence in Invincible. I consider the idea of Peter still mooching off Aunt May after all these years to be far more disturbing than any ultraviolent gore ever presented in Invincible.

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In response to Marionette, it *is* a response to a marketing decision, but it’s the sort of reader-text interaction I feel is necessary to perform if you still want to read superhero comics as an adult.

They’re a genre totally unlike anything else because it’s a precarious balancing act between Disney/Archie-style unchanging status quo and finite narratives like novels and movies and some TV shows where real character growth is possible. Even soap operas have cast turnover, but the Fantastic Four is still the Fantastic Four nearly fifty years later.

Like Lister Sage says, B- and C-list characters who aren’t on lunchboxes are allowed to go off on interesting directions, and that’s the most fun thing about second-tier books. But if, five years from now, the hot writer of the future has a Darkhawk proposal but wants to set the status quo right back to 1993, the editor may not let stuff that happened in Guardians of the Galaxy get in the way of that.

As for Spider-Man, after ten years story-time, he probably *would be* the mature and supercompetent Unbeatable Spider-Ninja on the Avengers (and I do think that a truly “mature” Spdier-Man would get over his loner tendencies and realize he could do a lot more pooling his efforts with the Avengers’ resources than he could alone). But isn’t that, on some level, Superman in a Spider-Man costume? That’s why he keeps dropping that damn cake.

In short, I personally feel that if I’m reading for real growth and change, I’m better off with a novel (or, of course, a non-superhero comic book). If I want to read superhero comics, I have to be in it for SOMETHING ELSE.

Although, for the record: I admit I liked the idea of Peter Parker becoming a high school science teacher as a way of bringing the whole thing full circle.

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I didn’t read Spider-man before OMD, and haven’t read him since (despite being a fan of Dan Slott) so maybe I have no right to chime in, but…

It seems to me that the logical development that the Spider-man editorial team was going for was “Peter and Mary Jane get a divorce (or at least a trial separation)”. That would have fit the criteria Justin lays out here perfectly–a believable setback, a fairly mundane thing for a superhero to have to deal with but one that complicates his life in any number of ways in true Spider-man fashion, and one that alters his relationships in a number of ways but still builds on what came before. And fans can hope that the two of them will patch things up, even if they’re going through a rough patch–it does happen, after all.

Instead, for some bizarre reason, it was decided to fuck with the space-time continuum instead of having the characters act like human beings. Not only did this annihilate a good chunk of the characters’ history (therefore PREVENTING ‘growth and change’), it plunged Marvel into exactly the kind of convoluted nightmare of continuity that DC has, and which they’d mostly managed to avoid until now. And what’s worse, they seem to have done so mostly because of a weirdly puritan, right-wing streak that’s developed at Marvel (I think it was Marc ‘not the Beastmaster’ Singer who commented on this a year or two ago) that says their flagship character can’t get a divorce, because THAT’S WHAT BAD PEOPLE DO, or some stupid shit. It’s exactly opposite to the spirit of the character.

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HammerHeart said on August 18th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

And the only thing wrong with Spider-Man joining the Avengers was that it hadn’t happened BEFORE. Despite all the silly claims that he’s a “loner” – which is a laughable claim at this point, considering the hundreds of team-ups that he has participated in – Spider-Man deserves to be in the Assemblers. Few other heroes can match his versatility and experience.

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oddpuppets said on August 18th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Agreeing completely with CandidGamera and Slarti.

Think about it – Spider-man has ALREADY changed, a great deal. He’s carried flings with multiple women, been married, had a whole Clone Saga, has seen the deaths and rebirths of many of his foes and friends, joined the Avengers, fought in cosmic battles. HE’S ALREADY DONE IT. Marvel’s current direction is a HUGE shift because it regresses the character, mentally and story-wise, into some sort of Bizarro version of his earliest Ditko/Lee rendition. Already there is a case of Change with One Big Step. Editorial has already violated your little creed.

The current writers and editorial play a lot on the gosh darned ol’ Parker Luck, but I think they’re ignoring the whole point about the use of that. The Parker Luck wasn’t some mystical force that was out to screw up Parker’s life – it was Parker himself, always torn between doing what was right and doing what was convenient. It was Peter watching a robbery happen and torn between stopping the criminals and getting to a date on time, and gosh darn it we knew what he would be doing because he’s SPIDER-MAN. Responsibility is his code word. The Parker Luck wasn’t simply a play for gags, it was a metaphor for Peter’s situation: in doing the right thing, something must be sacrificed. Do you see that in current Spidey? This is a genuine question, by the way. I don’t read post-BND Spidey regularly. Whenever I pass by one I’ll look at it, for nostalgia’s sake, but most of them I think could’ve been done without BND. Slott’s run was positively vomit-worthy.

I saw something about how Tom Brevoort (Marvel editor) stating how Spider-man represents youth, and saying that Spidey stands as much for ‘Responsibility’ as Batman stands for ‘striking fear in the hearts of men’. Which of course ignores a lot. Striking Fear in the Hearts of Men is not Batman’s motto or slogan, it is his reason in choosing a Bat as his symbol – a terrifying symbol to unleash his particular brand of Justice. “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” IS Spidey’s motto, slogan, his creed and ethos. Again, the Parker Luck that these modern renditions love to play with is BECAUSE of his utter commitment to upholding his Responsibility. The fun is in watching him struggle with his ideals and his realities, but always knowing that Peter tried his goddamned best.

Eh, I’m burned out. I’ll end with this – no, we DON’T have to stop punishing Slott or Waid, or the entire Marvel Editorial. WE are not under the obligation to change, THEY are. They are offering a product and if that product does not satisfy me I am under NO obligation to change my opinion. I don’t even have to give them the benefit of a doubt. Your thinking’s sorta twisted there.

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The cyclical nature of superheroes is known. An interpretation of the character is produced based upon the current environment. The character then builds up an accretion of memes, settings, plot hooks, sub-characters, etc. Some of these stick (Gwen’s dead), some don’t (Aunt May’s dead). Eventually this grows to a point where someone grows inclined to crop the character back to the latest interpretation of the character, based on the current environment

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Yeah, sorry, I don’t see anything in the current Spider-status-quo that doesn’t reek of nostalgia and entitlement…from the editorial and creators. And if they feel justified in their entitlement, then they can’t begrudge the opposite side from having the exact same reaction.

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Oh, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think readers are under any kind of *obligation* to Marvel or the current creative teams, so sorry if it’s come out like that. I’d never say someone who didn’t like the new Amazing Spider-Man *ought to* buy it, and I always support voting with your dollars (which extends to: Don’t buy “trainwreck” comics, because the sales department doesn’t care if you’re buying it to laugh at it or get mad at it; they just see the number).

I’m just saying I didn’t like “One More Day,” but I am very much enjoying the current crop of Spider-Man comics, and so I feel it’d be an awful shame to dismiss the new stuff on principle. And personally, I tend to value story over continuity, or the illusion of continuity, so the immediate experience of the comic is more important to me than how it fits into the “tapestry.”

Of course, if you don’t like the new stuff, there’s not much to debate about.

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A good article, but I think it misses some points. Part of the problem with the Iron Man/Spidey partnership was the fact they’d never worked together. Also the fact they tried to play it up as a father/son thing at times. Make Pete the little brother Tony never had and it’s better. And I doubt people would have had the same problem with Reed Richards and Peter team-up.

Spidey may not be a loner as people have said but generally when he works with someone it’s based on friendship or some need at the time. Joining a team is a bit different.

BND/OMD was actually an editorial thing rather than marketing

As to moral victories, his supervillains are having more and more affects on the greater MU. There comes a point where moral victories aren’t enough.

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VERY insightful.

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Call me simplistic but I don’t really care if Spidey is married, divorced, widowed, etc. I just want to see that character taking on some goddamn villains.

And OMD sucked big time, and fans may not need to ‘punish’ anyone but Marvel has to know that throwing up some convoluted and retarded ‘big’ story’ to sell comics needs to stop. If writers can’t come up with a decent multi-issue storyline then they should stop doing them

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Trilobite said on August 19th, 2009 at 2:07 am

Very cool. There were many compelling points in this article.

Now, if you could explain DC’s replace-then-resurrect policy with the Flash and Green Lanterns, I’d really appreciate it. I’m getting confused as to why they build up “legacy” heroes, kill them off, bring in and build up a replacement, then bring back the original guy anyway.

Is this just catering to the “no changes, ever!” fans, to whom Hal Jordan will always be the Green Lantern (the same way Peter Parker will always be single?), or is there a similarly interesting rationale behind it?

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The biggest reason I stopped reading comics is because of all the “change, then change back” shit.

It ultimately makes any trials or experiences that the character faces in the events that supposedly change its life meaningless and the money spent on following said storyline utterly wasted.

If Marvel feels all Spider-Man should be is “Bitten, Ben, Bitch, Repeat” then they can do so without my readership or funding. Marvel’s treatment of Spider-Man has done worse than make me not care, it has made me totally disgusted with the character.

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mygif

Wow.. I’m the first person to think that “Peter Parker and his Damn Good Excuse” would be a good name for a band?

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And there is the whole aspect of resetting the man’s continuity to his status 25 years ago. DC gets some flack for continually bringing back the Silver Age versions of its characters, but at least the stuff between now and then still happened, y’know?

And of course, I made this a while back when I first heard about Brand New Day, but it seems relevant so I’ll share it now :

http://candidgameraversus.blogspot.com/2009/08/candidgamera-vs-brand-new-day.html

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“Peter Parker and his Damn Good Excuse” is a good name for a band, but it would probably be one of those middle-age white-guy blues bands that plays at your town’s summer festival.

As for DC and its Silver Age Hero Revival, it confounds me a bit too, but as someone who grew up reading Waid’s Flash and Morrison’s JLA, my own childhood fondnesses are for Wally West and Kyle Rayner.

I’d suggest everyone was eager to bring back Barry Allen and Hal Jordan because there is a mystique about dead superheroes. No one gave a crap about Jason Todd when he was Robin, after all, but the idea of Dead Robin and then Back To Life Evil Robin became compelling. I can’t imagine Barry was all that popular as a character in the 80s before he died, and so bringing back Superhero Who Sacrificed Himself To Save The Universe has some weight to it.

But of course, this is going to take us into the whole “death’s lack of permanence in comics undermines its dramatic effect” argument, and I’m as sick of death and resurrection as anyone. But I understand *why* creators always want to do it.

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candlejack said on August 19th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

A bit off the subject, but can anybody who, you know, actually reads Spider-Man explain to me why Mephisto honored his deal? I mean, sure, he always honors the letter, but that didn’t do much to help Johnny Blaze, for instance. Shouldn’t May have been hit by a bus or something a couple days after returning to life?

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mygif

Nothing to add, excellent essay though.

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Master Mahan said on August 19th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

…Marvel having its flagship hero make a deal with the devil is a dumb way of doing it. But I’m really enjoying Amazing Spider-Man right now, and at some point, don’t you have to stop punishing Dan Slott, Mark Waid and the rest for things somebody else did a couple years ago?

That’s just the attitude I’ve taken. Amazing Spider-Man is more readable than it had been for years before the reboot. I care far more about where Spider-Man is now than how it got here.

Of course, that doesn’t really work when the writers start poking at it.

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but wasn’t his status as a fugitive after Civil War enough of a reset?

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Fascinating post, all the more so for the terrific comments thread. I’m obviously weighing in several months late, but just for the helluvit, I think the following comments especially deserve to be underscored:

[b]Spacegirl-[/b]
[i]I was reading Spider-Man the married high school teacher whose aunt knew who he was and I liked it. I liked him as the competent hero who did get beat up or have ridiculous emotional trauma, but who was capable of helping the people around him and moving forward in his life.[i]

I started reading Spidey in the late ’70s and [b]even then[/b], as a kid, I thought the perpetual-loser schtick was played out and unappealing. Why the current PTB thought it was an ideal worth returning to is beyond me. The “married high school teacher [and Avenger] whose aunt knew who he was” represented a huge improvement, IMHO, and I haven’t touched the Spidey titles since they undid all that.

[b]HammerHeart-[/b]
[i]I stopped buying them because it became clear that the character is frozen in amber forever, and his whole life – including but not limited to romantic relationships – is chained to an idealized status-quo that directly contradicts the very idea of personal growth. … Sorry, I’m not interested, regardless of how competent this month’s Spidey writers and artists are. They can juggle around the elements of the status-quo all they want, but I just can’t stand it anymore.[/i]
QFT. It always amazes me how many readers seem willing to resign themselves to the notion that “it’s just comics, nothing ever really changes, it just gets recycled” thing. I have no idea what they expect from their entertainment. Maybe they’re just reading to see pictures of colorful people punching each other?

[b]Prankster-[/b]
[i]It seems to me that the logical development that the Spider-man editorial team was going for was “Peter and Mary Jane get a divorce (or at least a trial separation)”. That would have fit the criteria Justin lays out here perfectly–a believable setback, a fairly mundane thing for a superhero to have to deal with but one that complicates his life in any number of ways in true Spider-man fashion, and one that alters his relationships in a number of ways but still builds on what came before. And fans can hope that the two of them will patch things up, even if they’re going through a rough patch–it does happen, after all.

Instead, for some bizarre reason, it was decided to fuck with the space-time continuum instead of having the characters act like human beings.[/i]
I wouldn’t have [b]liked[/b] that development… but it would at least have made sense and allowed the character to move forward rather than backward.

[b]oddpuppets-[/b]
[i]The Parker Luck wasn’t some mystical force that was out to screw up Parker’s life – it was Parker himself, always torn between doing what was right and doing what was convenient.[/i]
Excellent point. And think about the moral subtext of what they’ve done to him: it basically says to readers that if you make that hard choice to do what’s right, you’re dooming yourself to be a perpetual loser, always unappreciated. No good karma will accrue.

[b]zenrage-[/b]
[i]The biggest reason I stopped reading comics is because of all the “change, then change back” shit.

It ultimately makes any trials or experiences that the character faces in the events that supposedly change its life meaningless and the money spent on following said storyline utterly wasted.[/i]
Indeed. I don’t think the publishers realize just how much they alienate their more loyal/thoughtful/long-term readers with this sort of thing. I’m not going to invest my time and attention (and money) in a story or a character if I know, going in, that the story won’t [b]matter[/b] even to the characters within it. All the drama has been drained away.

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mygif

Shoot. Obviously I didn’t use the right kind of formatting tags there…

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