Rave : 2008 : One More Day - An Open Letter to Marvel
Next: Brand New Day - Can't Have It Both Ways
Prev: Spider-Man Unmasked... A Missed Opportunity
I'll come right to the point: I was extremely displeased with the resolution of "One More Day". From the start, I intentionally ignored any information about the ending of the story in favor of reading it myself and making up my own mind. Granted it was emotional, but as I read the final pages of the issue, the only emotion I felt was anger.
The decision to sacrifice the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane to save Aunt May's life is a very poor one, made even worse by using Mephisto to simply alter history. Arguments can be made that he was the only being capable of doing this. I'm not really interested in the "who" or "how" aspect of this storyline; the only question I have is "why". It's my opinion that this was done to simply generate some industry buzz and simultaneously follow through with the idea to divorce Peter and MJ. In either case this is not acceptable.
If you want to get extra coverage in the industry trades, how about creating a compelling story that doesn't flush the core values of the character down the toilet on a magic wish? Seriously, if Aunt May ever found out that Peter saved her life by making a deal with the Devil, she'd slap the taste out of his mouth. I'm sure Mary Jane would get a serious reprimand as well.
As cruel as this may sound, the only resolution that would actually make sense is to simply allow May to pass away. This would force Peter to eventually accept that there are some things that are out of his hands. It's part of growing up. Aunt May could have been allowed to come out of her coma to spend "one more day" with Peter and MJ. This option would have given her a send-off that would have had more emotional resonance than this one. It's a harsh choice, but so was writing a story involving her taking an assassin's bullet meant for Peter.
Having Peter married to Mary Jane adds a depth that's not available in other Marvel series. Spider-Man is one of the few characters that readers can believe would get married. Mary Jane is the only choice as she is a perfect complement to him on every level. The decision to make Peter "suddenly single" takes away the unique feel of the book. There are many heroes that are single and will stay single; only a few can be married. This is one such character.
One justification that I have read for this decision is that it makes the character more accessible to new readers. That's garbage. If you want the character to be more accessible for new readers, have streamlined single issue stories - that happen in continuity – to give them an opportunity to pick up the book. Making a drastic change in the series to appeal to a demographic that follows the "what's hot" list in Entertainment Weekly can only have detrimental effects on the character.
I realize that part of your job is to bring in new readers. That's fine; I encourage you to spread the gospel according to Spider-Man. It's meant a lot to me and millions of fans over the years. This should not be done at the expense of a core element of the series, specifically his marriage to Mary Jane.
This direction is insulting to all true Spider-Man fans, if not in idea then in the execution. I ask that you correct this mistake and restore the Parker marriage as it has been since 1987. This is a cheap gimmick to temporarily bring in new readers (who will quickly leave) and then reverse it when sales drop. This makes the new direction even less appealing.
This ill-conceived direction that serves as little more than filler for the next year. This wastes the talents of the creators commissioned to tell stories that won't count in the very near future. Similar to the clone saga in the 1990s, Brand New Day will be swept under the editorial rug.
I am dropping my subscription on Amazing Spider-Man until such time as you restore the proper history to the Spider-Man universe. That sliver of glass in Mephisto's hand on the cover of #545 is to be put back into place forcing time to realign, and shows that Peter and MJ have been married all along. I can't in good conscience support or enjoy this new direction because of the manner in which this was handled.
I know you want to do what's best for the character. I think you're sincere about that. But keep in mind that altering a very significant portion of history in such a ludicrous manner for short-sighted gains does a great disservice to the character and to the fans that have supported Spider-Man over the years.