Rave : 2008 : Brand New Day - Can't Have It Both Ways

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As with several previous attempts (The Clone Saga, Chapter One, The Separation from MJ, The Reboot, etc.) Brand New Day has purportedly attempted to "simplify" Spider-Man's continuity and background so that Marvel can get on with telling clean and simple stories, free of all the complexity that makes the title often so inaccessible for newcomers and beginner comic readers.

That is, Marvel seems to say they now want to write stories appealing to casual readers. As distinct from long term regulars like myself and most of the SpiderFan staffers.

This is a very curious and novel direction to take, considering the approach taken events of the recent few years - House of M, Civil War, Death of Captain America and World War Hulk. All three of those events were massively cross-title, and incredibly complex interweaving storylines, involving hundreds of characters, multiple limited series, and variant covers. The events of Civil War built on countless years of history and relationships.

Those "events" dominated the past few years of Spider-Man's history, and were diametrically opposed in their focus to the "simplify, simplify" approach that Marvel has suddenly espoused with Brand New Day. With Brand New Day, the idea seems to be to remove relationships, and sweep away convoluted and distracted history, in favor of a fresh start, back to basics approach.

My question is this. If simplification of Spider-Man was such an obvious thing to do, such an obvious easy win. If Joey Q has been wanting to do this for so long, then why has the editorial direction for the last four years of Spider-Man gone in such a completely opposite direction? Doesn't that somewhat undermine what they now say is "the only solution to move forward"?

More interestingly. When the next "big event" comes along, what does this mean for Spider-Man? Will he immediately fall back into his cross-title, complex interaction, convoluted history bad old ways? Or will Spider-Man be politely excused from the next "event".

Brevoort's manifesto in Spider-Man: Swing Shift (Director's Cut) seems to suggest that when Spidey needs to be called on for crossover duties, they'll get one of their regular writers to do a limited series, leaving Amazing free to do its own thing.

That's a nice bit of slight of hand. But can they really have it both ways?