Nice Guys vs. Super-Heroes

Issue #1 of Spider-Man: Chapter One demonstrated, more than anything else, that the revamping of the early stories is unnecessary. Who cares if the details are dated? What shows through is the essential strength of the Lee/Ditko series. The message and emotions are timeless, if the technology is not.

Still, there are a couple of plot points, introduced over the years, that I was very much hoping would be jettisoned by John Byrne's new view of things. One of them was that ridiculous notion that Mary Jane Watson knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man before she ever actually met him. This surely has to go... right? Not so fast. Here's what John Byrne had to say about that concept, as quoted in Craig Shutt's article "Twice Told Tales" in the Wizard Spider-Man Special: "That worked for me. That explains why a mega-babe like Mary Jane cares about this nerd. She knows!"

Ah yes, that must be it! Of course the "mega-babe" wouldn't give a loser like Peter the time of day unless he was a super-hero. It couldn't be because he is intelligent and thoughtful and caring and nice and resourceful and cute as the dickens and industrious enough to support himself and his Aunt while still getting the top grades in school and charming and good-looking. And since "mega-babes" like Liz Allan and Gwen Stacy also ended up falling for Peter, hey, maybe they knew too, eh? Or did they just have bad taste?

So, tough luck to all you nerds out there. You may have many wonderful qualities, but forget it. Forget about ever having a date with that woman of your dreams. Now we know. There's only one way to accomplish that. You have to be Spider-Man and the "mega-babe" you love has to secretly know. Otherwise they won't give you the time of day.