Letters : Editor : 2008 : To the Editor 21/01/2008

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Date: Jan 21, 2008
Next: To the Editor 11/02/2008
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We thought we might collate some of the emails received in response to Andrew Miller's rave Nine Ways to Leave Your Lover, Rob's rave Protest One More Day Now... Avoid the Rush!, and our recent reviews of Amazing Spider-Man #545 and Amazing Spider-Man #546.

From Daniel Cevallos

Hi! I'm Daniel Cevallos from Quito, Ecuador on South America. I think that your point of view about the last storyline "One More Day" is right. Marvel is always destroying Spider-Man's life with freak plots like this one. Spider-Man is a extremely loved and popular character on South America and Europe, and it's a shame Marvel doesn't [respect] icons as Spidey. I hope someday they realize this was a stupid decision. But I hope it might be too late. Could there be a way that the comic community can do something about this or push Marvel Comics to fix [it] in any way?

Spiderfan from Ecuador

As far as I can tell, there's only one way that a fan can make a comics company listen... stop buying comics you don't like.

When I stop enjoying a title, I stop shelling out money for them; until recently, comics in Canada typically ran between four and five dollars an issue, far too expensive to buy if you didn't enjoy them. Publishers are sensitive to shifts in purchasing: after Marvel attempted to replace Peter Parker with Ben Reilly back in the Nineties, fans deserted the books in droves, and Marvel undid what they had done. They might do the same if sales plummet after this latest debacle.

If you're really jonesing for Spidey, buy Ultimate Spider-Man, or the Marvel Adventures Spider-books. Buy collected editions of stories from the decades before you began collecting. But don't buy the main titles if you don't like their direction. At the very least, you won't be spending money on a book that annoys you. At best, Marvel will change the book in a way that suits you. It's a win-win proposition, really.

Despite my irritation with the main titles' direction, I intend to buy the opening issues of Amazing, because I love Dan Slott's work. But there are a lot of things I could spend my money on-- just ask my wife-- and if Amazing fails to excite me, well, I'll just move on.

By Andrew.

From erics576

Your opinions on this "One More Day/Brand New Day" storyline in the Spidey books are spot on. What's sad is, I'm afraid this is going to generate more sales for the book, rather than fans boycotting it. I, for one, am doing the latter...for all the good it'll do. It's a disgrace and a dishonor to (until now) such a great character. It makes me sick. The Spider-Man I know - the one I grew up with - would have told Mephisto to stuff it, arranged a spiritual meeting with Dr. Strange to say goodbye to Aunt May, and taken responsibility for his actions. Mary Jane would never have even gotten the chance to say "yes."

What's also sad is, as you mentioned regarding the identity reveal, the missed opportunity to add more depth to an already deeply interesting character. I was looking forward to seeing this new "fugitive-on-the-run" aspect of Spider-Man. Sadly, we'll never see it. I guess I'll just have to read "New Avengers" from now on for my Spidey fix.

Uncle Ben is rolling over in his grave.

It's extremely preliminary, but anecdotal evidence suggests that sales for BND are markedly below that of OMD.

By Andrew.

From Bill

Dear Mr. Miller,

Loved your 9 ways to leave... review/essay.

I don't blog, I don't write letters to the editor, but this storyline has me absolutely beside myself. I actually want to call up Marvel and give them my 2 cents. God knows they gladly take my $80 - $100 a month.

So now the last 20 years don't count? I feel like it's the stupid clone thing all over again (which was also about getting rid of MJ). NO offense to the current Marvel Genius' running the company but just maybe Stan Lee knew what he was doing.

So what's wrong with PP being married? They can't come up with interesting stories of a conflicted Spiderman as a married guy? First of all marriage between 2 people, even when they are totally in love, is never easy. Just because he was happily married to a beautiful woman (and which one of us doesn't think our own wives are not world class beauties?) does not preclude him from feeling like a loser at times.

It was nice to see one hero who married his sweetheart and wasn't bed hopping from one troubled female in spandex to another. Spidey's main appeal is that he always tries to do the right thing. He is a positive example for all of us. Great responsibility means marrying your true love and making it work.

I suspect this is all about selling comics not about creativity. I think the powers at Marvel believe Spider-man will appeal to wider audiences if he's a young single guy. That just stinks. And it's wrong. A not insignificant part of the success of the Spider-man movies was the romance of MJ & PP. That aspect of the film appealed to women making it a great date movie that couples could go to more than once. The kiss in the rain was a classic movie moment.

And while we're on the topic of the movie let us not forget that although Mr. Quesada did a lot to turn around Marvels fortunes and Spider-man circulation doubled or tripled (according to the letters heaping high praise on JMS at the end of OMD part 4) during these last 7 years both these talented men owe a large debt of gratitude to the incredible Spider-man movie franchise.

As to the deal with the devil (as purple as it is I usually love a good deal with the devil story) hey, what this evil bastard would really do is have Aunt May die of a heart attack a week later. Any idiot knows you can't beat the devil (unless you're Daniel Webster).

Secondly no semi-happily married man is giving up the "love of his life" for his ready to kick the bucket aunt. I love my mom but I wouldn't choose my elderly mother over my wife. And my elderly mom wouldn't have it any other way.

This whole thing stinks like the tv show Dallas (for those old enough to remember) when in an attempt to stop sinking ratings they brought back Bobby and wiped out the entire previous year of episodes as a bad dream! Didn't work years later on Roseanne either. And it's not working now!

This whole thing was an unimaginative gutless cop out not worthy of the highly talented JMS! (For the record I think he's a brilliant writer.)

And yes it's inconceivable that of all the folks in the Marvel Universe only their resident Devil could help. To quote John Stossel, "Give me a break!"

I like Aunt May but she pretty much brings little to the table regarding main story lines or subplots while MJ brings worlds of possibilities. The myriad difficulties in marriages. There's money problems, growing apart, changing jobs, jealousies, changing roles in the relationship, working to keep the romance alive, making decisions together, missteps, surprises, constantly learning new things about one another.

There are the conflicts & complications of having a husband who puts his life on the line (like a policeman, fireman or soldier) There is a very high rate of depression, alcoholism, separation, divorce, attempted suicide, health problems, overeating for big weight gains & diabetes, etc. in those marriages.

Then there's the difficulties of couples when one spouse is away a great deal of the time.

The problems of couples trying to have a child. The craziness of a couples who do have a child (even when it's just a normal human baby that can't cling to ceilings).

I could literally go on for days with all the great possibilities for writers who can handle the great responsibility.

Feel free to pass my letter on to any contact you have at Marvel. I want them to know I am very disappointed. I've been collecting since Amazing Fantasy 15! And the only other time I was this upset was during the clone nonsense. At that time I stopped collecting for 7 years (though I was also tired of the untold numbers of comics they were releasing with multi covers and constant cross overs in a plot worthy of Mephisto to make sure no one had money left over for competitors comics after picking up their Marvel books and then too there was Marvel`s master plan to replace Mom & Pop comic shops with Marvel stores in Malls. The greed was overwhelming.)

In closing I can not express well enough my appreciation nor the respect I have for your website. Spiderfan.org is the absolute best.

Most Sincerely, Bill

No real pull at Marvel here, unfortunately. As always your best bet to influence Marvel Editorial`s decisions is to cease buying the books you don`t like. It worked for the Clone Saga.

Given a choice between OMD and the Clone Saga, though, I would say "send in the clones."

By Andrew.

From Grant

I just read your summary of Avengers: The Initiative #7. According to your summary, it says this solves the problem of Spider-man's secret identity. But where in continuity does this story fall in regard to Amazing Spider-man as ther was no reference to the solution in that title?

And will reviews of "Brand New Day" be up soon? That solution feels like a copout. Will the Peter/MJ marriage ever be UN-retconned out? Or is this more than just another attempt to boost sales by making a change that will likely not be permanent?

The feeling in these parts is that Dan Slott, now one of the writers of Amazing, was signalling to the fans that given the opportunity he could have fixed the secret-identity problem without resort to any sort of continuity-shattering reset button. So it doesn`t fall anywhere in regards to Amazing, it`s just a shout-out to the fans.

As for un-retconning the marriage, well, Marvel is a big business, and it has to make its decisions based on the bottom line. If sales on Amazing tank, I should think MJ will be back in a jiffy.

By Andrew.

From Keith

Hey, man!

I like your idea, in that I agree there were many ways to go w/the story AND that One More Day made no sense...

BUT!...I disagree that the only way to continue would be to have them separate or divorce (whether in a tongue-in-cheek way or otherwise). Marriage and the Spidey-verse itself each have PLENTY of opportunity for drama.

I'm writing my own version of Part 4 to the story. I don't see it as "Fan fiction" or anything of the sort. I've written comics, been an editor professionally, and I review movies. This is how it could have gone down if leading the charge at Marvel were people who understood the humor of Spidey, the fun of the heroics, and the soap opera style they say they want to bring back....

JMS and the others are talented writers, to be sure, but I've felt for quite some time that they never quite GOT Spider-Man.

I'm happy to send you what I've got so far. Let me know!

Thanks Keith, but I don`t have enough time for the Spider-related reading and writing I`m already doing. (Just ask my editor...)

And for the record, I never said the only way to continue was to deep-six MJ. I like MJ. All I was trying to do in my "Nine Ways to Leave Your Lover" rant was satisfy Joey Q`s edict that MJ be shown the door, but in a way that didn`t insult the reader`s intelligence.

By Andrew.

From Jim


I read your rave and couldn't agree more. I was one of the few on this website that not only supported, but LOVED the idea of a public Spider-Man. Never mind the fact that having a secret identity in the age of cell phone cameras would be near impossible, it is just too cliched.

I was looking forward to all kinds of possibilities and I find it insulting that not only did they take it back, but in such a stupid, lame, insulting way.

Marvel spit in our faces, and I for one am pissed!

I realize that the book is under new writers now, and coming out more often are both good decisions. I will continue to read it for a couple of (weeks? months, maybe) to see where this goes. I hate how we got where we are, but I am really hoping that some good story lines come out of it.

But frankly, it may be an insurmountable issue for me to overcome. I want to like, read, and support my favorite comic book still. But I find myself confused and angry enough that I couldn't even look at the last issue objectivly.

Is this the end for me? I guess I'll have to see what Batman is up to!

And at least The X-Men's Messiah Complex is keeping me entertained!

UGH! says it all.

Thanks for your time.

Most of the staff here at SpiderFan.org share these feelings, Jim: merely displeased at the idea of a new direction for the title, but appalled and angry at the way the new direction was implemented.

By Andrew.

From JackSkellington137

Hey Andrew!

I agree that the amazing spiderman series such as one more day, brand new day, etc. is total trash. The writers, I believe, have given us poorly written plots, etc. I believe there could have been other ways to develop a better story to make Spiderman's life more fun and exciting.

But when do you think (or if you believe) that the writers of the amazing spiderman series would come to thier senses and pick up where they left off again when spiderman was married, etc.? Do you think if all the spideyfans would boycott comics or they lose money, they would realize they are not headed to the right direction with spiderman?

Thanks for your time!

To answer your question, yes, absolutely. Marvel will follow the money, and if enough people boycott the Spider-books, Marvel will do what it takes to bring the readers back, up to and including restoring the old status quo.

So if you really hate OMD, you have the power: keep your wallet closed!

By Andrew.

From john_haupt

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU I felt the same exact way. I just hope, that this is a "Dallas" dream or an alternate universe or anything else that make's this right again.

As much as I truly hate to admit to it, I'm now beginning to think that OMD/BND is all an elaborate ruse to get Spider-Fans all up in arms, and then bring him back here, restoring order by saying that all of this was an elaborate plot by Mephisto (The Prince of Lies) who really doesn't have the power to alter reality on this scale. He is just playing Mind Games with Peter and MJ, by tormenting them with the possibility that he can fix things and save Aunt May's life.

I now predict that six months or a year from now (long after it has been beaten way past dead by Marvel) it will be revealed for what it is; nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

By Rob.

From Ksawarrior

Your remember D'spayre?

He appeared first in a Marvel Team-up with Man-thing, and I know he appeared during the Clone Saga. Think there's a way a clever writer could spin all the crap in Spidey now to blame it all on this guy.

Well... Dan Slott had a pretty good job at "un-revealing" Peter's identity in Avengers: The Initiative #7. I'm not sure how effective that can really be - there's still plenty enough evidence now to pin him on being Spidey.

As for D'spayre being behind the events of One More Day? Well, that would sure be a nice way to abandon OMD before it goes too far!

The guys on the SpiderFan staff came up with a theory that maybe Mephisto has just trapped Peter in a "Pocket Universe"... a little private reality in which he is messing with Spidey's head. I mean, Mephisto is powerful... but is he really powerful enough to completely rewrite the world to that extent?

If One More Day turns out to be a bit of a "What If" sort of story, then I'd chalk it up as the best kept April Fool's Joke Secret of all time! But we're not really convinced that Joey Q is clever enough to pull that one off. After all, JMS was very unhappy about writing the story (so say the rumors). And he wouldn't have made all that fuss if it was just a temporary change.

In the meantime... if you don't like what Marvel has done, then stop buying Amazing Spider-Man and pick up something else instead.

By Jonathan.

From Chris

Hey Jon,

Just wondering what you thought about BND? Doesn't sound like there's too many good things to say about it... I just finished the first issue, and I'm seriously considering canceling my subscription. I mean cripes, I read the entire clone saga and not even THAT was as bad as just this issue.

Do you think Marvel's going to return to the marriage continuity soon if there's a big enough outcry?

Personally, you know what I think would have been smarter? Peter and/or MJ agree to decline Mephisto's offer. Then May dies, and then Peter and MJ split up under the pressure of being fugitives, combined with Peter's resentment over the decision they made.

I think there's a lot of potential there. I just hate the whole concept of a "magical wave of the fairy wand" just so that Marvel can "go back to how things were". Who wants to read stories about how things were? I want to read new stories with new angles. When I want how things were? I'll go read the old comics. I'll go read Marvel Adventures, and I'll go read Ultimate Spider-Man!

I think it would be interesting to read stories about Peter in anguish having split with MJ, Peter on the run being "Secret Spidey" in small towns across America. Something new! In the meantime, find a better way to restore his identity. It's not hard... just find somebody else to be Spider-Man for a bit. Peter saves the world and gets a presidential pardon. Peter and Spidey get seen together a lot at the same time. Nobody needs to make a deal with the devil.

Our latest mini-poll shows about 80% of people objecting to most aspects of One More Day. About 75% think that fan pressure will cause it to be reverted. I'm not sure. Joey Q is a stubborn guy. But I'm not sure if he's stubborn enough to risk his career on this. Time will tell.

By Jonathan.

From Emmanuel

Please don't become Freaky Fan Like the Ones Who have videos On youtube Burning Comics of One more day or flush them on the toilet; It's a comic book!!! I know you are a spidey fan with class and wont do such things!

Hang on a minute, just got to...


Right, sorry. What were you saying?