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Do you prefer Spider-Man being single?

We’re coming up on the four-year anniversary of Spider-Man’s “Brand New Day.”

So, what do you think, four years in – are you happier with Spider-Man being single or not?

Results will be up in a week!

202 Comments

This will be fun.

Ohman. Seeing the post title just made me blurt out my answer aloud, preceded by a “Whaaat?!”

I don’t know why I’m being coy about my answer. Lord knows I’ve harped on this subject enough in the past. Just trying to respect the process, I guess.

I think a better question is “Do you prefer Spider-man being married, or dating?” Because he’s not single.

And just to put an answer here, I prefer Spider-man married, because let’s face it, Spider-man is the superhero most of us identify with, and there’s very few people who don’t want a supermodel for a spouse.

My heart is cold, and I hate romantic stories and sub-plots. I liked that Spidey was married because it meant that those plots were, in large part, over. But at least Marvel did the next best thing by pairing Peter up with a girlfriend so bland I forget about her scenes as soon as I read them.

Yusaku777:
The article title is referring to ‘single’ in the same way you would in a government document.
‘Married’ meaning ‘married’ of course, and ‘Single’ meaning ‘not married.’

Nah, I think that well’s been pretty much tapped. Quesada likes to say that you can tell more stories with a single Spidey than a married one (dubious), but as far as I can see, those stories have either already been told, or aren’t worth telling. And post-OMD events have, I feel, borne me out.

I’ve liked post-OMD Spidey way, way more than Straczynski’s run for a multitude of reasons, so I’m voting yes to reflect that. Obviously the no’s will win it by a huge margin, because people refuse to stop crying about it, but still. I think MJs appearances have been pretty good, and at least the girl Peter is seeing has a career that links her to his life as Spider-Man easily. What does a model have to offer narratively really?

Hm. Even though I think Pete being married or single is a little irrelevant to the character (there have been great, iconic stories told pre-marriage, post-marriage, and post-OMD), I really do prefer Peter as being married.

Well, that’s not quite right. I preferred him being married to Mary Jane, specifically. That’s the Spider-Man I grew up with. Hell, my very very first comic was Spider-Man tearing up New York to find Mary Jane right smack in the middle of the “Kidnapped” arc (where Pete fought the Taskmaster to a standstill). That’s the Spider-Man I grew up with, so I’m a little preferential.

While i get very tired of the spouse being worried about the hero, i prefered Spidey married to MJ. If i got to vote on the marriage before it happened, i may have voted no, but i wasn’t asked.

Once it happend, let it stay. Any good writer can make a story work, no matter if the hero is married, single, divorced, or whatever. i don’t like revisions as i think that the history of the character matters & gives them weight.

I absolutely prefer the current Spider-Man status quo

I haven’t kept much track of Spidey, but I’m seeing that the prevailing trend is to de-marrify superheroes (Spidey, Superman, Barry Allen, and even Midnighter and Apollo, right?).

This is obviously because girls are icky, and they keeps a man from superheroin’. Bah!

I don’t get why, if it’s the focus of stories (and from what I hear, it isn’t), people would want to read about a schlub with money and work problems, AND no girlfriend, BUT on top of that, they have super powers. If you want to fantasize about being the character, don’t you want to feel like having superpowers would make life better, AND get you the ladies? ESPECIALLY a good looking lady like MJ?

With the marriage, yeah, he’s got the job and money problems and all, BUT at least he comes home to a lovely, supportive wife. Why is that a bad thing?

And from what I understand, the readership is skewing older and married, so marriage is a logical happening in Spidey’s life, if you want readers to identify with him.

I’m eating humble pie. Spider-Man is better single. While the way they got there was completely asinine and full of holes, (The most glaring being why Peter wasn’t granted a pardon like Sue and Johnny when he REGISTERED AND PUBLICLY EXPOSED HIS IDENTITY) things have been exciting.

Single, for sure. Spidey works better that way.

Since Brand New Day, Peter has a steady job doing what he loves, makes enough money for a living, doesnt have to worry about Aunt May because she´s married again and has a new girlfriend. And the stories are great. He´s mature, a responsible adult.

Why cant he be married? I see no difference.

I actually prefer Spider-Man single. Love triangles, pissed-off girlfriends, and rejection are pretty important parts of Spider-Man. I basically relate to the BND Spidey more, since he and I are about the same age and have the same status as single dudes. What I don’t like is how OMD removed character development. I would have preferred if Pete and MJ split up or if MJ died.

The Spider-Marriage was kind of spinning its wheels for years. They wouldn’t let Pete and MJ get older and start a family. I think that for a married Spidey to work he should age and eventually be replaced as a hero by his children. Things should keep moving forward. At first he’d be constantly worried his kids were in danger. Then he’d have to explain to them why they were different. Then he’d start training them as sidekicks and eventually, he’d be replaced by his kids. The problem is that this didn’t happen instead MJ and Pete were perpetual newlyweds.

If Peter is going to be stuck in his mid-20s for eternity then he’s more interesting as a single guy. Also, I miss Gwen. If Harry can come back, why not her?

I prefer him being single, just because of the implication that Michilinie’s era is severely downplayed. That was to me hands down one of the worst eras of Spider-Man I have ever read, worse to me than even Clone Saga, Kavanagh and Howard Mackie eras, and even a pseudo-retcon of it is a good thing in my mind.

My personal objection to the devilish divorce that separated Pete and MJ was the appalling heavyhandedness of the whole thing. But in principle I don’t really disagree with the reasons for dissolving the marriage. I do think that he works better single, not because marriage doesn’t allow for good stories but because I don’t think it fits with Spider-Man thematically. I know many people may disagree strongly with me on this, but I don’t see how one can deny the tonal shift brought by the dream marriage with his hot supermodel best friend. That stable marriage with a wonderful person made longtime fans happy for Peter, of course, but I question the narrative wisdom of taking a classic hard-luck hero and giving him a wish-fulfillment marriage.

Of course it’s possible to tell awesome stories about married heroes; Tom Strong and Dahlua, Reed and Sue Richards, Big Barda & Mister Miracle are all good examples. But thematically, I don’t think being happily married fits Spider-Man. Which is why I’m voting “yes” on this poll even though the deal-with-Mephisto maneuver was a complete clusterf**k.

Peter should be married to MJ. I’ll start reading Spider-Man again when the marriage is restored. Likewise, I’ll start reading Superman books again when Lois and Clark are re-married.

Aren’t we about due for a big “Death of Aunt May” story, followed by an accompanying resurrection?
Fictional characters being reset in different aspects of their stories are pretty much necessary. If you are going to maintain a characters franchise with time you are inevitably going to have to erase past events to keep the character fresh. Sometimes you can put it off for decades, but as you keep piling on an accumulated history you’re eventually going to hit a point where shedding will be necessary to reinvigorate interest.

I liked Spidey single. I liked him married. I like him single again.
I’m not crazy about the process of resetting story elements, but I know it’s a necessary evil. Sometimes it’s done more successfully than others.

I do prefer him single but I would still want him to end up with Mary Jane (or maybe Gwen if there was a version of the story that chose to let her live). I think though it’s the marriage is the kind of thing that would work better in the context of a Spider-Man series allowed to have a clear beginning, middle, and an actual ending rather than one that is meant to sustain the life of the character indefinitely.

That said, I think fans should have been given some kind of satisfying closure that would have respected their having supported or come on board with the marriage there. The kind of thing where you could walk away from it feeling like you had a satisfying end to the story you had been keeping up with all these years or maybe even something that lead effortlessly into Spider-Girl. Yet at the same time still having the choice to stick around and follow the new course. ..and if you liked both then it’s win/win.

I generally prefer married Spider-Man. Spider-Man is a series about growing up so – at a certain point – we need to see him grow up.

Having said that, two of my favorite (relatively) recent Spider-Man runs had a single Spider-Man

Granted, one of them was Untold Tales of Spider-Man … which only features a single Spider-Man because its set before he was married.

The other is Paul Jenkins’ Peter Parker Spider-Man run. Say what you will about the Byrne/Mackie run (no really, say it; the Byrne/Mackie era was awful) that made him single by the time Jenkins came along but Peter becoming single because his wife was presumed dead (and then being single because his wife left him) makes for a far more better reason than a demonic annulment. More importantly, the Paul Jenkins run was consistently good (okay, except the Typeface/Maximum Security story) whereas BND was painfully uneven (and most of those stories could have been told with him married anyway). You CAN tell a good story with a single Spider-Man but Joe Kelly is the only one who has actually tried in the four years since OMD.

Well, while I HATE OMD and everything it represents, I think BND/Big Time is the best ASM has been since the 1980s with Stern/DeFalco were on the book, so…I voted yes.

Whether or not you support the idea of a married Spider-Man, I think it should be acknowledged that the Spider marriage has shouldered an unfair amount of blame for bad stories. In most cases during the married era, the titles sucked because the writers were terrible. If you want to judge the marriage fairly, you almost have to think about it in a vacuum, apart from the way it was executed by garbage writers in the 90s and early oughts, whose stories would have been awful given any status quo.

I liked married Spidey. It was interesting to me to see the writers try to write soap opera around this HUGE storytelling impediment – And when they pulled it off it worked spectacularly well. Maybe one percent of the characters in action/adventure type stories are married, so it was neat to see the writers be FORCED to deviate from some basic genre tropes. The Dematties/Buscema stuff is my second favorite Spider-Man run, after Ditko.

I’m worried this poll will lean towards the yes side, not because that’s the preferred option, but because a lot of us who preferred married Spider-Man, have stopped reading ASM.

I’ve tried though not bought, a few issues since BND started, and they all sucked. The character has never been as disgusting and worthless as he has been since the beginning of BND and Slott is utterly incapable of writing a Peter Parker who’s worth a damn.

The being married or being single bit is the least of the worries with the current version of the title. The bigger issue is that Slott desperately needs to learn the difference between an underdog and a loser. Spidey used to be an underdog, he was never ever a loser, not until BND. And it’s that what’s ruining the title.

Agreed liliaeth.

I stopped buying any spider book when BND started. I won’t ever buy one again until it’s undone.

The notion that people would not vote no because they ostensibly stopped reading the comics once Brand New Day started shows a stunning lack of understanding of how the internet works.

Ronald Jay Kearschner

November 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm

“doesn’t have to worry about Aunt May because she’s married again and has a new girlfriend” Wow, you go Aunt May!

I’m against Aunt May being married because it limits the story possibilities that we had when she was dating her way through her nephew’s rogues’ gallery.

Brian is right. Hell, I stopped reading Amazing Spider-man in 1990 and I still voted no.

The irritant, to me – ok, aside from OMD’s ham-handedness – is that the return to singleness was sold as a return to Peter’s ‘lovable loser’ status, since we schlubs couldn’t possibly relate to someone who is sleeping with a supermodel.

…Instead, they’ve turned him into someone who sleeps with *many* supermodels, which I’m sure is how all of us here in Internetland spend every Thursday night.

No. Peter without Mary Jane has been a disaster from the beginning.

Putting aside for a moment whether being married doesn’t fit Peter Parker as a character, can we all agree that it is COMPLETELY antithetical to Mary-Jane as a character?

When MJ showed up at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #600, I squee’d a little. That’s because, through all the allusions and brief appearances during the period of her absence and leading up to the end-page reveal of that issue, the BMD crew reestablished her as an awesome, sexy, lovable supporting character.

Actually, dial back a few pages. Aunt May’s wedding scene? May, Jay, Peter, JJJ, Michelle, Carlie, Johnny Storm, Flash, Betty, Robbie, Randy, Norah, and Anna Watson were in attendance, with Harry and Vin being conspicuous absences. Slott just takes a few pages to write these people saying lovely, charming things in unique voices and overall being a fantastic and appreciable supporting cast. Too much of the wedding era was pretty much the Pete, MJ, and May hour, any new characters who appeared were transitory, and any of the classic Spidey cast who showed up were treated through this weird filter of nostalgia. Peter and MJ had essentially become a boring, insular couple who I wouldn’t want to hang out with. Post-BND Peter gives the feeling that he actually has more than two relationships that matter, and that allows for a lot more high-stakes stories playing around with those relationships.

Of course, if Slott and Waid had been writing a married Spider-Man, it would probably also have been awesome. And Humberto Ramos is terrible.

I wasn’t going to vote “no” specifically because I haven’t been reading Spider-Man BND and so didn’t feel qualified to judge how good the new status quo is, but now I’m feeling peer-pressured to vote “no” anyway.

My reason being, the retcon was handled badly, and one cool thing about the Spider-Man series was its forward motion as he graduated high school, went to college, and eventually got married.

Even if the new stories are great, it’s lousy they took a big step backwards to do it…but I guess with all the reboots continuity really has gone down the crapper (and has been for the last ten years).

The Spidey I enjoyed is the one that would now be married, so that’s what I would prefer.

Putting aside for a moment whether being married doesn’t fit Peter Parker as a character, can we all agree that it is COMPLETELY antithetical to Mary-Jane as a character?

I don’t see why. People grow. I know plenty of cool married people.

I started reading Spider-Man in the 1970s, and through all the people Peter dated, MJ always seemed like the brass ring, the one he should be going for. I did go back and read the Gwen Stacy stuff, but I never found her interesting. So Peter and MJ as a married couple just seemed right.

I also dropped Spider-Man after OMD, but I have read some of the post-BND stuff–basically whatever trades they have at my local library. Some of the stories I’ve quite liked, but it’s been in spite of the new status quo, not due to it. I’ve enjoyed what they’ve done with some of the old villains, even if the new characters have yet to interest me. And even though they’ve been featuring him a lot, I still don’t see the point of bringing Harry back. Ah well.

I’ll never get the argument that writers can’t have a married Spider-Man AND a supporting cast just because JMS couldn’t pull it off. The 20 or years worth of writers before him managed just fine. Just because one writer has trouble getting good stories out of a given status quo doesn’t mean all writers will.

Steven E. McDonald

November 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Bring back the Pete/MJ marriage. It can be done imply enough…it can even be done with a nice fun event.

I know that Steven here above me probably just mistyped, but “it can be done imply enough” to me means that the Impossible Man needs to get involved.

THAT would kick ass!

Oh, and buttler’s comment about Aunt May being married limiting story telling possibilities was AWESOME.

And even though I commented, I didn’t vote, because as I said, I haven’t read enough BND to judge the question as stated on the poll part (“do you prefer the CURRENT single Spiderman?” emphasis mine).

So yes, I am the dork on the internet that thinks I won’t vote because I’m not informed enough. I just wasn’t made for these times….

The parts of BND/Big Time that have been any good at all have all been parts that either had nothing whatsoever to do with Peter Parker’s love life or the parts where you could pretty much go ahead and cross the words “ex-girlfriend” and “ex-boyfriend” out of Pete and MJ’s word bubbles and fill in husband and wife and just have it be a pre-OMD comic.

I love a lot of the post-OMD stories, especially The Gauntlet, but I didn’t love them because Peter was dating girls in them. In fact, those parts of the stories are the only things I wasn’t at all interested in.

So I voted No, because even though Spidey stories are really good right now, it has NOTHING to do with him not being married.

I don’t care if he’s married or single, as long as he’s… A SWINGER!!!

HEY-OH!

That actually is a good question, when you think about it the original Lee/Ditko stories before Peter started dating Gwen were the best.

I disagree that the original Lee/DItko stories are the best. When I think back on all my favorite Spider-Man stories, they all have to do with the love Peter and Mary Jane have for each other, and how much they complete and need each other.

I stopped buying Spider-Man in the middle of OMD since it was awful. Haven’t read a new Spider-Man comic since then… although the January crossover with DD will change that…

I didn’t vote because the answer gives a false view of my opinion of the story.

OMD sucked. Amazing Spider-man SINCE then has been better than Spider-man comics have been in a long time.

However, I don’t buy that it is because the marriage was annulled. It is because of good writing. That good writing coudl still be done if he was married.

Married or not married, just keep MJ in the book…

I most certainly prefer a bachelor Peter Parker. But, I voted no, and for a specific reason. I simply cannot read any interaction between Peter Parker and any former, current, or prospective love interest without being reminded of how it got to that point. The page may show Peter chatting with Carlie or MJ, but all I can see is Joe Quesada. I can never NOT make that transposition… ever again.

To be fair, it is not entirely about OMD and the ‘deal with the devil’ ridiculousness (although that was really, really stupid). It is much, much more about the hubris of trying to reset the character dynamic. It matters little HOW Peter and MJ’s marriage was dissolved; it matters immensely that the marriage existed for there TO BE any dissolution. There simply is no possible way for any current or future iteration of Peter Parker to be the swingin’ bachelor of Lee/Romita, or even the single-man-who-wants-to-commit of Wein/Andru. He is Peter Parker, former husband. Whether Marvel likes it or not, Peter Parker marrying MJ changed his character dynamic permanently. There is no way to write that away.

This is why, for me anyway, the best Spider-Man comics post-OMD are those that avoid those interactions entirely (See: #578-579), which essentially means it doesn’t matter if he is single or married at all, because it has no bearing on the story. Which, of course, means there was no need to tamper with his relationship status in the first place.

I will Nth the assertions that the marriage didn’t need to be annulled for the good bits of BND-and-post to happen. Not just because it’s true*, but because Marvel dearly, desperately wants me to believe that it did.

*In fact, the worst parts of this period, bar none, have been the ones directly dealing with his post-marriage romantic status. The Black Cat stuff was embarrassing masturbation, the Michelle stuff was like a rejected plot from Two and a Half Men, and Carlie Cooper is somehow even more boring than Gwen Stacy, post-Ditko. (I’m not going to bother with Peter speed-dating, because I simply refuse to believe that ever happened.)

I voted yes. I read the JMS run before BND. I’m reading Spiderman’s UK reprint post BND (currently up to about 630) I know which of the two I prefer. I just don’t like how they got between the two, but I think it had to happen.

I’ll argue to the ends that the real answer is “I prefer well written stories”.
It’s the creativity, not the setting, that really counts.
The writers just didn’t have a good idea what to do, so they’ve gone w/ an easier bag of tricks to exploit.

sandwich eater wrote:

“If Peter is going to be stuck in his mid-20s for eternity then he’s more interesting as a single guy. Also, I miss Gwen. If Harry can come back, why not her?”

Oh no, please no. Quesada and his crew have done ENOUGH damage to Gwen Stacy’s character posthumously with “Sins Past.” No way I want them bringing her back to make it (somehow) worse.

Gwen Stacy’s death has been credited as one of the events ending the Silver Age. Let’s allow her and Uncle Ben to rest in peace.

Don’t get me wrong, there could be wonderful stories told with a resurrected (or maybe never dead, if one argued a clone was the one killed at the bridge) Gwen, but I don’t think the current stable of writers could really pull it off. So your IDEA isn’t bad, but I fear the fruit it would bear from Marvel (if that makes sense)

Take it and run,

ThatGuyWhoSaysStuff

November 16, 2011 at 7:59 am

Ditching the marriage instantly made Spider-Man 100 times better than it was prior to the marriage.

And outside of a wedding and maybe kids (kids would be the death of the title), there aren’t any stories you can do with a marriage that you couldn’t do without one. So, from a sheer storytelling standpoint it is the right decision.

“No. Peter without Mary Jane has been a disaster from the beginning.”

You mean from Amazing Fantasy #15? Kek

On the one hand, the marriage doesn’t seem to be what a lot of otherwise brillaitn writers want, and perhaps kept some greats from the title.

On the other hand, those same great writers inexplicably thought one-dimensional, vaguely insulting stereotypes like Michelle Gonzalez and Norah Whatsername were characters worth writing about and publishing, suggesting that tiresome Three’s Company nonsense plots were what they “missed” about the pre-marriage days.*

So I vote “No.”

* Not that such plots ever actually happened in the pre-marriage days, mind you.

Voted no – as good as the BND/Big Time era has gotten since Slott & company stopped trying to shove how awesome it was down our throats, none of the stuff that related to Peter being single has been what made the book stand out. You can’t just turn back the clock to undo the readers’ attachments, and Carlie Cooper never stood a chance of displacing Mary Jane Watson.

As nostalgic as the editors and writers may be for Peter having girl troubles, I just don’t think it rings true any more, and I half-suspect that the way Mary Jane took the female lead position back over the course of Spider-Island is Dan Slott acknowledging that she’s too entrenched in the readers’ minds for any replacement to be taken seriously. Once you’ve gotten to that point, there’s really no point in not having the characters married.

(See also DC’s decision to rewind Superman & Lois Lane to the beginning. We all know where this is heading, so what’s the point of going through the motions again?)

I’ve always felt the status of the character had little to do w/ how interesting the stories are, and definitely no impact on how well they’re written.
The ‘problem’ comes from writers just not being able to get around the mental roadblock of addressing the idea of a well rounded relationship.
If the women characters in comics were not simply adjuncts/supporting dependants to the men, and treated as fully fleshed out creations, married/single wouldn’t be a problem.

This is much the same trouble with stereotype casting you see in sitcoms, the abundance of desperate-to-be-wed single-girls and cardboard cutout wives. The vast majority of the time these characters are defined in their relationship to the men surrounding them.
I can’t think of a female lead that was a popular exception since … maybe Mary Tyler Moore (1970-77)! The default fix in modern programming and comics is to create female-in-casting only, where the neutered female character could easily be swapped out for any generic tough guy action star.

In comics, one of the few recent exceptions I can think of would be Jessica Jones from (Alias/Avengers) under Brian Bendis’ pen; which while fraught w/ clichés was balanced with specific care and intent that it transcended those tropes. Having checked in on the Avengers franchise from time to time, it does seem she’s suffering some development slide though.

Why do I get the feeling that Carlie (Peter’s current GF, now possibly ex-) is going to go the route of Debra Whitman?

And….. that’s why I said ‘no’ to Peter being single. A single Peter Parker traps the narrative and the character in a never ending cycle of relationships that never progress beyond a certain point before fizzling out, or worse — a love interest figures out his secret identity and either dies or goes insane.

In comics, one of the few recent exceptions I can think of would be Jessica Jones from (Alias/Avengers) under Brian Bendis’ pen; which while fraught w/ clichés was balanced with specific care and intent that it transcended those tropes. Having checked in on the Avengers franchise from time to time, it does seem she’s suffering some development slide though.

Jessica’s main problem is that most of her story is over. She’s found the man she loves, she’s had a child, and she’s pretty close to at peace with the darker parts of her past. It’s less a case of development backslide than o running out of development to do. And since her character was sold on the dynamic developments, she’s starting to lose her hook. (Her powers and most of her old adventures were pointedly generic, precisely to put the focus on her personality and character development.)

We’re due The Greatest Mary Jane Stories Ever Told, right?

Personally,
I like the single Spider-Man because the marriage restricted the character. The alternate relationship to Mary Jane are:

1, Betty Brant
2. Liz Allan
3. Veronica Chase
4. Joy Mercado

On the Spider-Man/Peter Parker side, the alternate relationship to the Blackcat are:

1. Ms. Marvel
2. Spider-Woman(Jessica Drew)
3. Silver Sable
4. Psylocke

Gotta to keep the female superheros diverse and unique. I would love to see Peter on a date with Jessica Drew, as well as Psylocke and Silver Sable respectively. Since there is obvious tension between Spider-Woman x Ms. Marvel towards Spider-Man, why can’t we see the same tension between Silver Sable x Blackcat towards Spider-Man?

Peter Parker? Not single?

Clearly, some of you missed the final issue of Spider Island…

ThatGuyWhoSaysStuff

November 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm

“And….. that’s why I said ‘no’ to Peter being single. A single Peter Parker traps the narrative and the character in a never ending cycle of relationships that never progress beyond a certain point before fizzling out, or worse — a love interest figures out his secret identity and either dies or goes insane.”

As opposed to trapping the narrative to either a happy Peter Parker or a married Peter Parker with marital problems that we had for twenty long, terrible years. Give me the narrative that gives me more stories.

Omar, “Jessica’s main problem is that most of her story is over. She’s found the man she loves, she’s had a child, and she’s pretty close to at peace with the darker parts of her past. It’s less a case of development backslide than o running out of development to do. And since her character was sold on the dynamic developments, she’s starting to lose her hook. (Her powers and most of her old adventures were pointedly generic, precisely to put the focus on her personality and character development.)”

Tell me we haven’t already been told Tony Stark’s story by now? Steve Rogers? Peter *freakin* Parkers?!
I don’t buy your argument.
That idea alone is falls into the tropes I was pointing out: Oh hey, she’s got a man and a baby now, what more could she want?! . . . Story over. Life doesn’t end at the alter or maternity ward. My mom and dad didn’t stop living and growing after the birth of their kids. If anything these developments should lead to more complex storylines because new characters open up new avenues.
Concerns change, and new goals are sought, the problem is writers can’t/won’t see them.

Here’s my pitch:
Jessica goes back to work for Bugle because she doesn’t want to live in Luke’s shadow on the team, some tension at home cuz of this. Solo stories of her investigating for the paper. Witty arguments w/ sexist boss/spends more time protecting broken down reporter Ben Urich then getting stories. Luke wants her home more for the family/kid, gives HIM a chance to grow and remember she’s not just a mom/wife. Networks w/ Sue Richards talks mom stuff, gets involved w/ nutty off world cosmic adventures waay over her head, writes awesome book about it, develops national following as writer not hero, snowballs to consulting work for Damage Control/Stark Resilient developing protocols for how to protect humans during cosmic battles on earth. Training humans how to protect selves from said battles. Supporting characters start underground anti-Hero group based on her designs/ideas/protocols. Jessica becomes negotiator for armistice in group, levelheaded thinker. She becomes diplomat for humans among Avengers teams, works in DC, becomes SHIELD agent full time, eventually new head of SHIELD, after Capt. America steps down specifically to let her take his place.

How’s that? 5 minutes thinking, I hope a pro can do better.

Sadly the results are really going to be “Do you prefer the post-OMD Spider-Man stories to the married stories?” Despite the stunning work by Dan Slott (among many, many others) people on the Internet seem predestined to complain about kids these days and their reboot-Spidey. At least four years’ perspective has helped establish some distance from the story that un-did the marriage. Was this question asked immediately after OMD? If so, I’m guessing that poll was defaulted to “Did you enjoy OMD?” It’d be nice to see these results compared to those, if they exist, to see what Slott’s work has been able to accomplish.

Dan Slott is a generally fantastic writer.

However the OMD stuff is the worst drivel I’ve ever seen from him.

I know he’s capable of telling great Spider-Man stories. She-Hulk #4 and Spider-Man/Human Torch prove that (also most of SM/HT mostly featured a single Peter). However his OMD stuff seemed more concerned with forcing the idea that “everything you thought you knew was wrong” than telling good stories.

Having said that, Slott making JJJ mayor was brilliant.

The Brand New Day stories have been good, but they wouldn’t have been worse if MJ had still been his wife. I’m married, people still like ME. Why should Spidey be different?

I’m neutral on Mary Jane as a character, but I prefer Spider-Man as married for one reason: the moment he decided to make a deal with with the devil, sacrificing the happiness of two people for one who never would have allowed it if she’d had a say in the matter (and she should have!), I could no longer see him as a hero. He’s still a nice guy who does good things, but that was a Point of No Return for me.

@JRC: So…basically, The Pulse volume 2, then? Because that’s what you’re describing for the most part.

Mike McNulty a.k.a. stillanerd

November 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Let me put it this way: have there been good stories with a Spider-Man who was single? Yes. Have there been bad stories with a Spider-Man who was married? Yes. But does that mean that a Spider-Man who is single is better than a Spider-Man who is married? No. Because just as there’s been bad stories with a married Spider-Man, there were also really good stories with a married Spider-Man. And just as there’s been good stories with a single Spider-Man, there have also been really bad stories with a single Spider-Man. What matters is whether or not the Spider-Man story, regardless of his marital status, is actually a good story, period.

Also, if we are asking the question of “Do you like the current single Spider-Man?” after four years since One More Day, or that we are being told “It’s been four years, just let it go already!” doesn’t that tell in and of itself how poor the actual dissolving of the marriage itself was? Because I think that, if the story of Peter and MJ marriage ending was actually good as opposed to what we actually did get, it still wouldn’t be such a continuous topic even to this day. Oh sure, there would be some that would still be upset, but it’s no wonder why so many people called “foul” considering how Marvel decided they could only fix things by using their version of the devil (i.e. Mpehisto) to literally re-write history like a DC villain.

Ah., wait, I see at the end that she’d [push a bunch of better-known characters out of their niches to assume their story possibilities in lieu of generating her own. Jessica Jones as Nick Fury!

I do think you’ve hit on a problem with the way Bendis is writing Jessica, though: he does seem to think her problems were largely addressed by having her settle into a cozy, stereotypically feminine domesticity-with-motherhood thing.

I think a big part of the problem is that many of the current crop of writers at Marvel can’t seem to write women as anything other than love interests, potential or otherwise. The idea of writing women as characters first and foremost is alien to their line of thinking. As such the marriage limited them, because to them the only way of bringing in a female character, is if she could possibly end up hooked up with Peter. The idea of making said character a friend, or have her interact with MJ, or in any of the millions of story ideas that don’t involve romance or one night stands doesn’t even enter their minds.

It’s one of the great things about the marriage, it made the writers think of the women in the book for other purposes than, could she end up dating Peter, yes/no. Just take characters like Felicia, Betty Brant, Joy Mercado, all of those are far far stronger on their own, with their own storylines, than they would be as a potential girlfriend for Peter. But people like Dan Slott can’t see that potential, because to them, women aren’t people, they’re either background fodder or potential love interest.

Hell, just look at Carlie Cooper, she’s been in the book for four years now, and she still hasn’t got the least bit of a hint of an actual personality. They can’t even agree on what she’s supposed to look like, that’s how unimportant she is to them.

“So…basically, The Pulse volume 2, then? Because that’s what you’re describing for the most part.”
–Instead of what, Captain American volume 4 or 5 or whatever now?

“Ah., wait, I see at the end that she’d [push a bunch of better-known characters out of their niches to assume their story possibilities in lieu of generating her own. Jessica Jones as Nick Fury!”
–I thought Captain America had Nick Fury’s job now, and didn’t Norman Osborn, and Tony Stark before? So that’s okay but Jones taking the spot isn’t a good creative option for some reason?

Omar, you’re missing the point and proving my argument at the same time.

One good point you did stumble into, is that some characters could/should be retired. The comic storytelling world would be a much richer place if we weren’t still trying to find ways to make characters born during the 1930s relevant. There’s too much terror in the uncertainty of for the publishers to dare try, it’s much less risky (meaning less risk of losing yer job if it flops) for them to keep propping up 80 year old ideas then it is to spend the intellectual and financial capitol on developing new properties.

In fairness, that is at least as much — and probably far more — the readers’ fault than the publishers’. The same creative team working on Batman and a completely new character can mean a difference of tens of thousands of copies. If they converted their entire line to new characters, they’d be dead in a matter of months, and if they try the blended approach, which they’ve been doing for forty years, the message they are sent overwhelmingly is that people want more Spiderbooks. Fraction’s The Order just made a top ten poll for quality and sold exponentially less than his x-book, which is met in the same comments with a combination of apathy and derision.

Is the question “Do you like Spider-Man better right now (when he’s single)?” or “Is Spider-Man better when he’s single?” Brand New Day is Spider-Man being single, sure… but so is The Clone Saga.

You’ve got a point Nerp, but I think that has been ingrained in the consumer over the decades of reading/buying too.

Amazing Spider-Man has felt like a big “What If…” story ever since One More Day and I now find myself completely unable to care about what happens to Peter Parker or any of the other characters in his life. It’s really like nothing matters anymore, whereas before, every single event felt like a small but important part of a larger ongoing narrative. Perhaps the current status quo wouldn’t be so difficult to endure if only Marvel hadn’t destroyed 20 or so years of growth and continuity to achieve it. They might also have been more successful if they had chosen to write the current incarnation of Peter Parker as a responsible adult rather than some sort of pathetic man-child. If Marvel thinks that writing him this way somehow makes him more relatable for their readers, they clearly don’t think much of their audience.

Mary Jane was kinda annoying anyway. Dumping her and opening up the supporting cast beyond her and Aunt May was a good thing. Carlie is small time though so bland.

Married, because marriage is growth; but then I suppose having the male fantasy life sells more.

I see both sides from a story standpoint, but I thought that there was a lot of unexplored territory in the marriage (and the Clark/Lois marriage) that goes beyond the obvious like kids and might have added something to the books, but that’s probably the result of the genre.

What kills me is that somehow having a normal, sensible end to the relationship (MJ/Peter having issues with time together/his-her safety/his heroics and that leading to a divorce…which could be reconciled much later if need be because people can get back together) would somehow be worse than what’s suppose to be the face hero of Marvel selling his marriage to the devil.

Yes, yes, yes. I really, truly do NOT understand the mentality of Spider-Man fans who refuse to read the comics because of the marriage issue. I hadn’t liked the Spidey titles for years before BND, which I thought contained excellent stories with only a few slip-ups. If you like Spider-Man and you enjoy reading well-created Spider-Man comics, why would you stop reading them because of one bad story from a writer (and editor) who isn’t involved with the character anymore?

Plus, when I think of Mary Jane all I see is the shrew from the movies, as “acted” by Kirsten Dunst.

To clarify something in my last post: I certainly understand Spider-Man fans dropping the books if they dislike the creative teams or just generally don’t care for the direction the series is heading toward. What I DON’T understand is Spider-Man fans swearing off their favorite character because of OMD without giving what came after a fair chance. If you think BND was garbage because of the stories, fair enough. If you thought they were garbage only because Peter and MJ weren’t wearing wedding rings, then I’m sorry but you’re an idiot.

Well, I suppose it’s because a lot of fans like feeling that the character in this month’s issue is the same character from that character’s first appearance. That everything that’s happened to him in-continuity counts, and has led him to this point in his “life”. In this case, the Peter Park from Amazing Fantasy #15 was in a bunch of really great stories after that. A lot of these involved his being single, and luck, or lack thereof, with the ladies. Then he got older, and eventually married Mary Jane Watson. Then we had a few years of his adventures as a married man. Instead of these continuing, there was this really ill-conceived, poorly executed story that did away with a lot of this. The stories weren’t done away with, of course. They’ll always be there. But the character’s “memory” of them was. Peter Parker is no longer the character that all those things we read about happening to, happened to. And, oh shit, there’s Harry Osborne!

For myself, I grew up with Peter already being married, but greatly prefer the older stories with a single Peter Parker. I think a majority of the stories where Peter Parker married just stink to high heaven. These are from the ’90s, after all. Of course, One More Day was just awful, and I’ve only read a few Brand New Day stories, which were pretty mediocre. These I bought simply because they were drawn by John Romita Jr. They weren’t very good. I’m kinda looking forward to reading the Mark Waid/Marcos Martin issues. But I just hate, hate, hate any instance of a character not remembering previous occurences in his/her fictional life, in any medium. Amnesia on TV, heroes in a Bendis book behaving incredibly out of character, whatever:it all sucks. I just stopped buying new Marvel/DC books a couple of years ago, and have instead been buying a helluva lot of great old comics. All these shitty Event titles, decompression, $3.99 books, and a generally unpleasant vibe just took their toll. I’ll go back and read some of the more promising-looking stuff (like anything Waid/Martin and Morrison’s post-R.I.P. Batman) eventually, but it’s not a priority.

Anyway, I don’t think you should be calling anybody an idiot because he/she doesn’t appreciate continuity being so drastically, inelegantly, and shoddily rewritten and thrown out. That stuff naturally has a distancing effect on any future stories to a lot of people, rendering them watered-down Elsewords or “What If?” issues. A reader blocking out the Clone Saga, Sue Richards as Malice, or nearly every issue featuring Iron Man from the last twenty years is one thing. Just having stuff you’ve read for years scrapped in-story is another.

Obviously, that long post (which doesn’t seem to be showing up, but I’m assuming will later) was responding to Chris M. above.

But Danny, those old stories are all still there for you or others to read! I suppose I’m in the minority for thinking this, but if the current Spider-Man comics are good reads then a Spider-Man fan who is refusing to read them because of what happened 4 years ago (in, yes, a really awful story) seriously has his priorities confused. As long as the comics are good, and it took the mess of OMD to get to those good comics, then what the hell is there to complain about?

I mean, I’m a big Ghost Rider fan, and that’s a character that’s been screwed by continuity problems for decades now. But just because Ghost Rider is suddenly an angel or a girl or whatever, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good Ghost Rider story. Why do comic fans have this crazy notion that for them to read a comic it has to “count” when it comes to continuity? I like continuity, it makes for some cool stories, but having GOOD COMICS trumps continuity every time.

This, btw, is not me saying the current Spider-Man books are “good comics”, I stopped reading ASM right before “The Gauntlet” because I couldn’t afford 3 issues a month. But the BND stories up until that point, minus a couple of stinkers, were exactly what I wanted to read in a Spider-Man comic (and I’ve been a reader since the Stern Hobgoblin days).

“I like continuity, it makes for some cool stories, but having GOOD COMICS trumps continuity every time.”

Actually, when it comes to serial fiction, good stories are somewhat dependent on continuity. In the case of comics, if a story goes against established continuity, it takes many readers right out of the book and they’re left unable to enjoy what they’re reading.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I hate what they did and how they did it.
Heroes don’t make deals with the devil. Heroes don’t erase their marriage because their elderly aunt is going to die. And if their wife makes the deal, the hero should undo it.
Not being able to accept death as part of life seems really against the heart of what Spider-Man is about.
Also, how lazy is the writing at Marvel that the editor in chief was pretty open and honest that they thought about where they wanted the book to be, and just did whatever it took to get them there, rather than thinking about what works for the character or the ongoing narrative that’s supposed to be key to the Maevel universe.
There hasn’t been a bigger audience betrayal since Patrick Duffy stepped out of the shower.

BUT, Spider-Man is rocking it at the moment.
I’ve not enjoyed the book tis much since I began reading comics in the 90′s. MJ is fused to the character in my mind, like Lois to Superman, but the book is better than it was when they were married, even though I don’t think it was the marriage dragging the book down – more the multiple titles, and the damage the sales department did during the 90′s.
So I had to vote yes in preferring him to be single – it seems to have freed the book up a little, and made them more willing to take risks.

Single. Why undo it to go back to that? And what is the point having a hero married and the stories are absolute crap. eg like Superman was. There was no growth for Superman at all. So that is a lousy lame argument.

Marriage and happily ever after are for one shots and elseworlds.

Spidey Married or Single? oh my !!! what are they thinking? who writes spidey today? a 30 years old single woman ? whats next? do you prefers Venom gay or straight???

Love what Slott is doing but I prefer Spider-Man married. Can’t stand Carlie so I hope Pete and MJ will start dating at least.

I honestly despise everything Slott has done to the character. Up to four years ago, Peter Parker was a loveable heroic underdog, a good and decent man, who gave up his own happiness for others.

Ever since BND started, he’s been turned into a sleazy, stupid, moronic loser, who condones rape, cares about nobody but himself and has basically behaved like a worthless piece of slime.

The idea that this kind of character is supposedly more relatable, is insulting to the highest degree. With what they’ve turned Spider-Man into, I’d rather see the character die, like they did to Ultimate Spidey, than to see him continue as the loser that Slott has turned this once great character into.

I honestly don’t get the fascination that a lot of writers seem to have with losers, they suck, they’re worthless and there’s nothing about them that’s even remotely interesting. Yet certain writers keep trying to force them on us.

I just wish they’d erase the past four years and pretend they never happened, so that we can go back to stories about the real Peter parker, instead of the impostor that’s been slandering his good name since BND.

Not a fan of the single stuff they’ve been doing. Doesn’t really seem to be all that vital to the stories themselves. The things people love the most about the run since OMD don’t really hinge on him being single. And the stuff that has been the least liked has come from him being single. And, really, if the goal is to get Peter and MJ back together (which the book seems to be currently hinting at) it seems incredibly pointless to go through a big dramatic breakup that “fixes” Spidey only to essentially return him to a state that is similar to what they left him off at.

I prefer the married Spider-man. No, not because I can’t stop “crying about it”, but because the way that it was changed was so cheap. It was a ripoff to be told, “Hey guys, all these stories that you’ve enjoyed for the past 15 years…. they didn’t happen.”
It was a joke. There are PLENTY of stories to tell with a married Peter Parker. Hell, you don’t even have to reference the fact that he’s married in every issue, just have him in costume for the entire episode.
The argument for the change was just ridiculous and frankly weak.

Okay. I hate to say it, but I think I prefer single Spider-Man. HOWEVER, Brand New Day was an abomination of a story, terribly plotted and executed.

Dan Slott has been telling excellent Spider-Man stories lately, but many of them could have been told with a married or single Peter Parker.

I love Mary Jane and ultimately I want them together, but I see a few advantages to keeping them apart. In many comics the single un-superpowered girlfriend comes off as shrewish and mean.
“Why are you late for dinner with my parents?” “We had tickets to a play…where were you?” “You ran off and left me…thankfully, Green Lantern, Superman, the Flash, etc. came by and saved me.”

Maybe we just need writers to write women better, married or single.

I love MJ almost as much and sometimes moreso than Spider-man cause we get to see from her perspective what that life is like
And it also reminds me of women who’s husbands are cops who have to stay up at night and worry about their husbands making it home safe.

Single. Married stories tended to focus far too much space on having Mary Jane just whining about how he’s being Spider-man and and being selfish by going out and saving people rather than staying home with her.

Frankly, just about everything interesting Mary Jane’s character had going for her was slowly stripped away in order to make her a better romantic interest for the character. Peter himself tended to be written as far older and blander or a character.

Plus I’m just sick of hearing people whine about stories they said they aren’t reading anyway and blowing things all out of proportion to make themselves seem like they’ve somehow chosen the “right” side. “Oh Spider-man condones rape, he worships the devil, he sleeps around with everybody, Marvel hates all marriages, they’re purposely trying to ruin the character,” grow up people.

But where do you vote? I don’t see any polls…

I’m fine with Pete dating (I liked Carlie), but wish that Pete and MJ’s divorce had been a real divorce and not the Mephisto talk-around.

The notion that having a character be married somehow limits the stories that can be told is the product of an unimaginative mind. The problem is that very, very few writers ever attempted to write stories that actually related to being married, as opposed to stories that just happened to have Mary Jane in his apartment.

I prefer Peter and MJ being married.

Remember when they thought Mary Jane was dead and Pete boned Marrow? That’s why I don’t like a single Spidey… he obviously makes bad decisions.

4 years? Where the heck did the time go?

Marvel needs to hire Roger Stern and have him give Peter his true personality back. His early 80′s work on single guy Spidey was outstanding.

My hatred of OMD\OMIT is well known but what surprises me is how much I DON’T miss Spider-Man! I’m having more fun buying Trdpbks and Pre-OMD\BND back issues I don’ t miss picking up his current comic at all–and when I have grabbed a random issue, there was nothing special to motivate me to read further. Spidey is unfortunately, a nostalgic character for me these days…

I like Spiderman and Mary Jane.

I don’t mind a single Spiderman, but I’d much rather read about how his life as Spidey makes his marriage impossible and thus they part ways. I don’t want to read about the Devil making him single again, that’s not why I read about Peter Parker.

Reading this thread has reaffirmed one thing for me: some comic fans can be the most petty, grudge holding sad sacks. OMD is four years old and well over 100 issues ago now, folks. Get over it and accept the fact it’s here to stay as a status quo. I can’t believe that there are STILL people who can somehow attempt to reconcile the lines “it sucks since OMD” and “I haven’t read a Spider-Man comic since OMD” into the same statement and think they don’t sound like humongous tools.

If you hated the OMD concept and the Deus Ex therein, that’s one thing, but to entirely dismiss what has been by and large the best era of Spider-Man storytelling in decades by the standard of just about every critic and fan who has read it (As opposed to reading out of context CBR forum spoilers) is petty, ignorant and downright short-sighted. Gale’s work on the title was pretty effectively bad and Slott had a few misses as he got his footing early on, but I can say with all honesty that the last outright “bad” issue of this title was probably the original Freak storyline (Which is too bad because Freak as a concept had legs, it was just terribly executed) and the last issue in memory that was anything less than stellar was Origin of the Species (And that was just one misstep in a long line of phenomenal stories dating back to Jameson becoming Mayor in the first place). These guys introduced multiple memorable, great new characters (Something that really hasn’t happened for Spider-Man in my lifetime) like Mr. Negative and Norah Winters, reinvented characters to great effect (The new Hobgoblin) and taken classics and sent them in exciting new directions (Doc Ock, Kraven, Eddie Brock).

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who would describe Spider Island as anything but the most well coordinated and perfectly paced event storyline in ages. If I could come up with one complaint about the title, it’s that I’m not getting it three times a month anymore (And to be honest, I was generally morose on that one week a month I wasn’t getting it during BND).

/rant

Now, to the question at hand. I’m obviously enjoying single Spidey more. I actually loved JMS’s run and thought he had a phenomenal handle on the marriage. That said, I enjoy the concept of Peter trying to balance his superheroics while trying to maintain a relationship and I like having MJ around as a supporting cast member rather than effectively the co-star of the book. I like the freedom the writing team has of being able to focus on Spidey and any cast member being able to be cycled out at any time, something you couldn’t get in any remotely viable manner with him married (I never liked being permanently tied to MJ and knowing she’d never be out of the cast for long, I felt it detracted from Peter’s importance). People seem to assume that the only reason for a single Spider-Man is to have Peter go out on dates, but that’s entirely missing the point.

The deal with Mephisto was the deal breaker for me. It has literally stopped me in mid-reach for an issue of Amazing that I’ve read good things online about.

Since Mephisto killed my parents, I have a serious grudge against the guy. But the current stories are great! Oh, I’m so torn…

@0bsessions

OMD is NOT the best Spider-Man era in decades.

DeMatties’ first Spectacular run (with a married Spider-Man) was better. So was his second (with a married Spider-Man). Heck, the other Spider-books were pretty fantastic too until Byrne came along.

Paul Jenkins’ Peter Parker run (with a SINGLE Spider-Man) was also better than OMD.

Don’t care anymore for Spidey, and I’m cancelling the title from my list; Spider-Island was just a big mess with no credible charaterization anymore; I think it’s eight-years old oriented nowadays, and I can’t believe the stories anymore, so, he be married or not, I couldn’t care less…

@Beacon: Paul Jenkins Spider-man run was that bull-sh*t run with a guy that makes people see sh*t, an enslaved Doc Ock, some crap about an Adrenaline-eating Venom and some god-damn dog building stuff, right??

Then Sir, I must sadly inform you, that run sucked @$$! In fact, it’s the prime reason I dislike 90% of what Jenkins writes. When you have that bad a Spidey-run, then you are bound to get a certain amount of disbelief in your ability as a writer.

Art was terrible as well! Especially that British guy… How can someone draw people stiffly, yet spudgy??

BAH!!

I never liked how they erased the marriage between Spiderman and Mary Jane, but considering all the posterior “spider-disasters” coming after Brand New Day, I’ve got to admit that it was necessary to make possible Spiderman’s character to survive. Especially considering the whole saga of Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign. But since the big dangers are already over (at least for now), I think they should bring the Spider-Marriage back. Especially after what I saw between Peter and MJ in “Spider Island”. I just have wished Mary Jane have kept her spider-powers… Or she actually did?

@ 0bsessions

“…what has been by and large the best era of Spider-Man storytelling in decades by the standard of just about every critic and fan who has read it…”

Not sure if serious.

“These guys introduced multiple memorable, great new characters (Something that really hasn’t happened for Spider-Man in my lifetime) like Mr. Negative and Norah Winters, reinvented characters to great effect (The new Hobgoblin) and taken classics and sent them in exciting new directions (Doc Ock, Kraven, Eddie Brock).”

Still not sure if serious.

“You’d be hard pressed to find someone who would describe Spider Island as anything but the most well coordinated and perfectly paced event storyline in ages.”

OK, now I know you’re not serious.

I’ve actually read every issue of ASM since One More Day and the stories that have appeared in the comic since then are the very worst to have ever been featured in the book. It’s clear that they were, and continue to be, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It’s just shameful, but I suppose there are people out there who want to read about a Spider-Man who farts, gets drunk, rips a woman’s face off, breaks into a hotel to have sex and makes jokes about STDs. It’s the lack of things like this that was hurting the title during the marriage years, right? Seriously though, if the marriage is what kept stuff like this out of the books then it needs to be brought back immediately.

I’ve actually read every issue of ASM since One More Day and the stories that have appeared in the comic since then are the very worst to have ever been featured in the book. It’s clear that they were, and continue to be, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It’s just shameful, but I suppose there are people out there who want to read about a Spider-Man who farts, gets drunk, rips a woman’s face off, breaks into a hotel to have sex and makes jokes about STDs. It’s the lack of things like this that was hurting the title during the marriage years, right? Seriously though, if the marriage is what kept stuff like this out of the books then it needs to be brought back immediately.

I haven’t read any of it, but it still sounds better than the late 80s through the 90s.

I want an ‘I don’t care either way’ option

I grew up with a married Spider-Man and hope that maybe around “Spider-Man: The End” he winds up with Mary Jane and gives birth to a lovely daughter named May Parker. But, right now I like things they way they are…except for that whole deal with Mephisto thing.

I actually think a “Yes, but now they did it” option should be added ;)

Spidey was a character that was about growth. He started in high school, went to college, got married. OMD is stepping back, not forward.

OMD was terribly done, in my opinion, but I vastly prefer Spiderman now to pre-OMD.

@Lynette, ya know, this may be difficult to understand, but what he said wasn’t totally out of line. Spider-Island has been hailed as a trimupth throughout the various tubes of the Internet. Its incredibly well-coordinated and remarkably executed, with isn’t something I’d use to describe any comic event since…Annihilation, maybe?

Also, I love the cherry-picking of odd things Peter Parker has done over the past 120+ issues to color the stories in a bad light. Yeah, no bias there!

In my opinion Peter was the best when married to MJ. All the problems they faced through the years somehow made the comic top class for me. The best stories I remember were those where MJ was involved. No girlfriend of Spidey, superpowered or not, was ever so colorful writen.

Just think of the story from the Sensational Spider-Man Annual 01. It was the one moment that sumerized the whole deal for me. Come on she was the one who kept him on the ground .

My gues is that the current post-Spider-Island issues could be a great way to bring them back slowly. Now that she understands Pete better it’s just up to him to make the step. I’m not talking about gettin marriend again but slowly going in the direction of a relationship.

Why isn’t there an option for “I don’t care as long as the stories are good”?

The poll choices aren’t exactly fair. Because I do prefer single Spidey, but not necessarily CURRENT single Spidey.

1. Marriage does not limit the number of interesting stories that can be told. If anything, it opens up new story possibilities. The only thing that limits the possibility of interesting stories is bad writing. Period.

2. Marvel is simply afraid of Peter getting old. In part, I can understand that. Spidey has been around 50 years. They want him to be around for 50 more. Keeping him eternally unchanging will keep him recognizable.

On the other hand, stagnancy is the enemy of evolution. Forever moving forward and never looking back. That’s the only way to keep a character going. It was fun for Peter to be a hapless single dude 50… FIFTY… years ago. Let him grow up some. Let him experience other phases in his life. Does Marvel really want Peter to simply become a comic version of Matthew McConaughey’s “Dazed and Confused” character Wooderson? That’d be kinda sad.

3. Marvel took the wrong way out with OMD. Weren’t Marvel Comics characters supposed to be more realistic in that they had believable problems? A deal with the devil isn’t realistic. It’s a cop out. Divorce isn’t an evil, evil thing. It’s a sad reality. 50% of all marriages end up in divorce. Why not have one, in comics, actually end in some way that doesn’t involve death or Faustian pacts? What’s next? With the new ASM movie coming out, will Marvel resurrect Gwen Stacy or give her a long lost twin sister? Marvel is burying their heads in the sand by removing the humanity and realism from their characters.

4. What sad, unhappily married dope thought that it was a smart idea to break up a marriage of 20 years anyway? Do they know how many people grew up knowing only a married Spider-Man? If Marvel really wants to maintain a consistent image for their character, isn’t undoing the marriage the exact opposite of that?

5. What does it say when Marvel’s character rarely marry, have kids, or actually die? There is no progress. There are no ramifications. There is no future.

6. Exactly how old does Marvel think that its average reader is? Here in Manhattan, I can tell you that probably 95% of the people who go to my LCS are about 25y-45y. I do see a few 18 or 19 year olds, but NEVER younger than that. Frankly, I even see more 50y+ at my LCS. If Marvel is constantly writing about happy go lucky and perpetually single Peter Parker then they’re either missing their demographic by a wide margin or they’re fulfilling every older fanboy’s fantasy about getting laid with every woman they see. Sad & pathetic either way.

As mentioned by a few people already, the question, despite its seeming straightforwardness, has little to do with the marriage itself. Really, taking into account the context in which it was asked, the question should really be “What have you thought of the last four years of Spidey?”

Me, personally? Well, prior to “BND”, I’d known married Peter Parker longer than I knew single Peter Parker. But, let’s put it this way: I have never followed “Amazing Spider-Man” for four years straight. The quality of the creators on the book has generally been nothing short of phenomenal. There have been issues that just weren’t up to scratch, sure, but if you ask me, the good most certainly outweighs the bad.

SINGLE AND NOT MARRIED. MJ was just the stereotypical character for the first 80% of the marriage and wasn’t used *and still out of character* as a true wife until JMS. Married MJ wasn’t the real MJ. Just a worry wort who smoked. Whined. Almost cheated on Peter TWICE! And carried a gun around.

No thanks.

I like him single right now. But ideally I’d have him separated again (best of both worlds) so we don’t get any romance stories any worried wife stories and still get to keep her around! Perfect lol! Carly was most interesting when she had powers before than she was fairly ‘blah’, let Peter hook up with felicia.

@WR: Ask yourself this question Was it marriage that made those pre-BND stories not worth following for four years straight or was it just bad writing? Also, have the four years since OMD been as great as you remember or are you simply romanticizing them? Remember, in the 4 years since OMD, Marvel has literally shipped about 130 issues. That’s 10 years worth of issues in almost 1/3 of the time. A LOT of crap issues of ASM have been put out in that time period. It’s easy to see them get lost in the shuffle. Realistically, in the 10 years that preceded OMD, probably as many good/bad issues have come out. Marvel just wasn’t shifted to a near weekly schedule for a single book back then.

A better question is ‘Do you prefer Spider-man as Spider-man, or as a generic happy character?’

It’s really impossible to play Spider-man in the previous century and compare him to the when they slowly started doing reboots and magical retcons together as they don’t seem to be the same character. The old character was full of personality and there was always this sense that there was something down the road for Spider-man. Not everything shined as Spider-man in the 90s, but it had it’s moments all it had to do was get it’s act together. Moreover, how does the ‘happy, shiny’ Spider-man in the books now have anything to do with those two Spider-man? That’s another question. I’m sure Slott is doing his best, but what can you do when fans were cheated out of the biggest story line that you could possibly do and not only was it bad it wasn’t even intended to be much of anything because they wanted Spider-man single.

Why should older fans like me care about some problem Spider-man has being single, when we have this ‘Unmasking’ idea over our heads. That’s the biggest thing ever aside from killing him which they did a terrible job on two not five months before that if I’m not mistaken. I really got the impression the people who controlled all the stories just didn’t care because at the time Spider-man’s existence seemed to change everymonth from magical resurrection to new job to new costume. I can’t even call that stuff a story because it goes out of its way to NOT give fans what they were promised. All they got now is incentive covers and hyping stuff up as much as possible. Somehow they got Joe Mad to draw a few issues. Nobody even cares that the continuity now doesn’t match what’s in that book. I don’t.

I could beat up on the Brand New Day writers. It’s not like the few stuff I did read had everything going for it, too. ‘granddad Jameson’ is an example and Doc Ock looks terrible. But every writer(s) has ideas that others don’t like and overall it really isn’t bad. They were given a mandate that ‘nothing happens’. They were sabatoged even before they’re first issues got out. It’s years later and I’m still going ‘where’s that Unmasking story we were promised.’ I read some of DCs recent stuff and I can see they learned from Marvel’s terrible mistake. There’s no ‘worst issue ever’ in Flashpoint or DC’s New 52. It’s about story, characters, and a good ‘hype’ that goes with it.

As far as what this article is about it was the worst thing I’d ever seen in a comic. . But it didn’t have too. All they had to do was come up with something simple and go from there. That’s it. No magical resurrections or false promises. Getting Spider-man single destroyed the book

@Rob
You’ll notice that, when I talk about “BND” itself, I talk specifically about the creators, not the marriage or lack thereof. I have enjoyed pre-”OMD” stories, but the title itself has never had the consistent quality it’s had for me since “BND”. Maybe my point wasn’t clear in the original post, but I’ll state it bluntly here: I don’t care if the character is married or single; I want good stories. And I got that almost consistently with “BND”.

As for whether I’ve romanticised the last four years: well, I’ve repurchased most of the run in TPB just so it’s easier for me to reread it constantly. Which I do, till this day. I’m pretty sure some kinda short-term nostalgia isn’t playing a part in my opinions. Also, in case it wasn’t clear in the original post, there HAVE been issues in the last four years that I didn’t dig. Honestly, I really wasn’t fond of Bob Gale’s stuff (big “Back to the Future” fan though!), for example. Slott’s retroactive explanation of Harry’s miraculous resurrection felt forced. And if not for Paolo Rivera’s GORGEOUS art, I would’ve given away “One Moment in Time” ages ago.

But those are comparatively small blemishes on a run that’s otherwise been absolutely solid for me. A run that’s had Joe Kelly’s FANTASTIC “American Son”, “Grim Hunt” and Rhino/Oksana stories. A run which made me a fan of artists like Marcos Martin and Eric Canete (bought his art book on Kickstarter earlier this year). A run that saw some great work from Zeb Wells (who, prior to “BND”, wrote one of my favourite Spidey stories in “PP:SM” #42 – 43). Basically, a run that reminded me over and over why I’m such a massive Spider-Man fan.

The marriage added nothing to the storyline. Nothing. Anyone who says it did is waaay to emotionally invested and are using rose colored glasses making the marriage something it never was. It was just forced into the storyline becuase of Stan Lee and Jim Shooter. It didn’t come about naturally. Seriously what storylines show how great the marriage was? I’ve asked it and everytime people just said “It just did” and gave no examples. You want to know what happened with twenty or so years of the marriage? MJ naked, looking like eye candy, saying hey Peter let’s get funky! Or MJ whining and worrying. MJ getting kidnapped or put in danger. Or MJ complaining some more. Or MJ starting to smoke because she’s worried. Or MJ getting a gun because she’s afraid. She was just there.

The only time the marriage was any semblance of being used well was if JM Dematties or JMS did the writing. MJ was this strong viable character and the marriage turned her into a worry wort and almost cheater! The marriage didn’t ruin Spider-Man IT RUINED MARY JANE WATSON! The marriage was never important. IT NEVER WAS. It was just there. Insert any generic chick and there you go. It didn’t matter guys. That’s what I think people realized and got mad about. That the marriage was worthless in the long run. Wanting a useless storyline back is like wanting to get your foot chopped off. Not smart.

Just let it die folks. Spider-Man is kicking ass these days. And we don’t need Shooter and Lee’s travesty back.

Ah, I didn’t like American Son because I’m sick to death of the Osborns, but the Rhino stuff was good. I’m generally happier with the recent stories that don’t spend too much time with Peter as a cast member of “Friends”–that is, the ones affected least by BND continuity.

would prefer spider man married one because it means spider man has aged with the fan base who now are proably married who started out reading spider man . for after all every one relates to spidey having him married just means he has taken the next normal step in life even if its not mary jane . though think marvel does not want to ever deal with spider man married again due to it ageing the character some or having to remarry him and mary jane means addressing sooner or later the long missing baby may .

Boy, lot’s of posts on this one! I thought the married approach worked tremendously during the “Civil War” arch, I thought it gave the Spidey stories a lot of depth. Having said that, I’ve enjoyed seeing the “swinging single” Parker of the past few years. The Michelle incident, his dalliance with the Black Cat, the tension between him and Carlie were all entertaining. And honestly, I actually got pissed off at Peter with his dishonesty towards Carlie in regards to his secret identity. I was actually disappointed when she walked out on him, and I hope it’s not really over between the two of them. But I also like the MJ dynamic…
Huh. I guess I prefer Spidey unmarried. How about that?

Wow! It really doesn’t seem like four years. When OMD first happened I didn’t like the idea, but four years down the track I can see the many benefits of having him remain unmarried. I still prefer him being married, but only to MJ. And as much as I liked the JMS era and before (the stuff I really grew up with) nobody can say that BND and BT haven’t been a success. While not always perfect, the storytelling is usually top notch and the Spider books are much more in sync now than they have ever been previously.

I would have to say I prefer him single, but at some point I’d like to see him married again.

I prefer spider-man being single but still in a relationship with mary jane beacuse you know real change freaks me out.

I voted ‘No’, but I’m not critical of BND/BT; I’ve tried a few issues, enjoyed the artwork and the writing, but been unable to really get into it. I think that’s because I, like many people above, have huge issues with OMD and the way it was executed, and for me personally Spider-Man as a hero and as an evolving concept is finished.

I think I understand from Marvel’s point of view why the marriage was undone, because they were aware that their great concept for a superhero was running out of road in terms of story development, and where Spidey is now is a great middle point in terms of keeping the character marketable across different mediums; I would wager as well that the marriage split was made for marketing rather than creative concerns, and that’s why the deal with the devil was apt. And again, I’m okay with that, it’s Marvel’s character. That so many people are enjoying the book now is a bonus for the character and the industry.

But I grew up with a married Spider-Man, and read some great stories featuring a hero that I looked up to, stories that mattered to the character’s life, and where said character would always do the right thing. I’d like to read more, but that character doesn’t exist anymore (and, as a rebuttal to some of the bitter pro-BND posts above, that really doesn’t bother me – I just read comics where I know the heroes will act accordingly).

Iron Man Unit 007

November 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Using Mephisto to alter Spider-man history was the equivalent of sloppy Deus Ex Machina writing and the dumping of thick black tar on 20 years of Spider-Man history. The whole idea that divorcing MJ would “age” the character and make readers unable to relate to him is ridiculous. The Mephisto Mindwipe was nothing but a cheap cop out due to sloppy editing and writing that boxed Peter into a corner.

Well, my favorite run of Spider-Man is still what I grew up reading: from Gwen’s death to around Secret Wars 2.
After that my reading has been on and off depending mainly of the creative teams. I’ve enjoyed some and disliked others. I didn’t have a problem with the marriage but never thought it was a great part of the story.
Like most of the people here I agree it has more to do with good or bad writing.

The whole Mephisto thing however is possibly the stupidest thing Marvel has ever done.
Peter and MJ have been an on-and-off couple most of their lives, and have been separated a few times while married, so why not just have them separate again in a more ‘open relationship’ kind of deal between them.

There was no need to involve devil magic to save Aunt May, how stupid are they to do that anyway? May’s had about 87 heart attacks since the sixties, she would have survived a few bullets too! She probably has a mutant healing factor like Wolverine.

I don’t think much of the current status quo or the BND storylines (only read a few here and there), but in general I don’t think they’re particularly better or worse than anything else from the past 25 years, just different.

For me, it’s not so much whether I prefer him married or no, it’s more a case of get rid of airhead MJ.

I still can’t get it through my head that Marvel and DC seem to believe that divorce is something real heroes don’t do.

Didn’t they hear about Eliot Ness? Oscar Schindler?

That being said, I think the post-OMD stories have been generally stronger than the stories during the married years. But I don’t have a strong opinion about the marital status itself.

Married. And I’ve read both version. But I’m truly glad if new readers came on board because of the changes in the last few years. It’s too bad that bad stories or lack of a supporting cast have been blamed on a fictional characters marital status.

Married…to Gwen Stacy, his true love. Because, let’s face it, MJ was just a fanboy fantasy. Before you start flaming me, consider this: the original Gwen Stacy was a goody-two-shoes and Mary Jane was the party girl (ULTIMATES GOT IT WRONG!). I guess Stan thought the Gwen/Peter relatioship would be boring so he figured a way to give Peter an out-ie Green Goblin kiling her (?)-so he could start dating MJ and not look like a jerk (I’m keeping an “eye” on you, Cyclops). In House of M (keep your opinions to yourself on that one), where Wanda’s cracked psyche created an alternate reality that gave everyone what they wished for, who was Peter married to? Hmmm…interesting. Discuss.

PS- Doesn’t MJ and Gwen Stacy look like each other but with a different hair color?

Not Harrison Ford

November 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Definitely single. I know the internet will never get over OMD, but you really should let it go. Nobody cared about Spidey until they shook things up and the book has been so much better since. I know this is the internet and you can’t admit that, but it is.

And can a superhero be happily married? The superhero story is of not being able to have a happy, normal life because you are also a superhero.

@Predabot

Most of the stuff you’re describing was from Paul Jenkins’ Spectacular (BTW, that was married Spider-Man) run … which wasn’t nearly as good as his Peter Parker run.

Then again maybe you were joking since you did say “that British guy” was a terrible artist. Buckingham is amazing.

(We never did find out what that dog was building, did we?)

However it happened, it was somewhat inevitable that this ended up happening in some form. The stories still happened, just without the wedding.

The best Spider-Man has been the single Spider-Man. This is often an overlooked angle. The romantic tension is now revived..

You’re not fooling anyone by pretending not to be Harrison Ford. We’re onto you, Harrison.

Cookie Crisp 1970

November 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I’m sorry…but the whole Spidey must be single to sell argument fizzled. In fact—sales went down. He was married during the entire Michelinie/McFarlane era…and Spidey’s sales were at their peak. All Spidey needs is good writing, art, and a writer who doesnt just dismiss the fanbase as spoilt children. Bad writing is what messed up Spidey. The Other, Unmasked, etc. were all colossal stinkers. I give Marvel Team Up…I mean, Avenging Spider-man about 2 years before its cancelled.

Since DC’s re-boot—my Marvel titles kind of seem crusty and old now. Marvel just needs to follow DC’s example and have a re-boot of their own. Then everything starts over, and Spider-man can get out of the mess he’s been made to endure. The same goes for The Hulk. Its terrible. All of the Hulk’s supporting cast are all Hulks. The uniqueness of the character is gone. Same with Iron Man. His whole supporting cast is Iron people now. Too much baggage, and muddied bad writing choices.

I vote for married Spidey. Here’s the story.

I’ve gone through periods when I’ve read Spider-Man and when I haven’t. My first issue of Spider-Man was the one in which the Black Widow switched from purple fishnets to a black cat suit – so I’ve been around since the Romita days. I became interested in the older issues through the Marvel Tales reprints. The Spider-Man of most of the 1970′s felt like a generic retread of the Romita years, long after Romita had left. So, for my money, there were a lot of dull, blah, inconsequential “single” issues when I was growing up – it depended on the creative team.

In the 1980′s, Spidey got married. That felt a little anti-climactic, sort of like being relieved that Charlie Brown finally kicked the football, and at the same time knowing that some phase of it all had ended. The 90′s and 00′s (Spidey mutating into a giant spider and dying giving birth to himself was the deal breaker for me) were a blur of really horrible storylines, so I’d be hard pressed to say that the marriage was even given a chance.

Whatever you think of the new stories and the new status, for me, when Peter is out dating someone else, it “feels” as if he’s cheating on MJ. And that’s aside from the whole “demonic annullment” issue, which is a whole nuther matter for me. That’s my primary reason for voting “married,” and because I never felt as if the writers knew how to give Spidey’s marriage a chance anyway. And does their baby – dead, kidnapped or whatever – fit into continuity at all anymore? Nuts to all that.

The sales and popularity of Spider-Man are not contingent on them being married. Peter I think is not the bed hopper type and need a main squeeze, and everyone knows that should be Mary Jane but certain people in the Marvel management never liked the fact they were married and when they had the chance they dissolved their marriage. It was cleverly done but done because they wanted Peter single hence A Brand New Day.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 20, 2011 at 12:17 am

I’ve actually read every issue of ASM since One More Day and the stories that have appeared in the comic since then are the very worst to have ever been featured in the book

It’s a book so good, people who hate it have read over a hundred issues of it.

Single.

Why do so many fanboys always want things to “progress”? It’s stupid. Peter Parker isn’t going to turn into a grandpa and die just before you do, he’s gonna remain Peter Parker, the teen/20-something guy forever in pop culture long after you’re dead. Knock it off with this stuff already.

I used to whine when they’d mess with the marriage like when MJ blew up in a plane or when she split for LA, but I’ve grown to realize that single Spider-Man is the real one. The default one. The most basic down to earth “Spider-Man” version of the character. I liked plenty of the stories from when he was married because I care about Spider-Man punching badguys in the face more than I care about his lovelife, but I’m glad they finally had the balls to toss the whole thing out.

Granted, in the stupidest way possible.

Bronze Age Chris

November 20, 2011 at 3:27 am

I voted “no” because I prefer the OLD single Spider-man.

Whilst many of the Brand New Day stories were enjoyable (despite the bitter taste of how we got there), they haven’t been as much fun as the stories upto issue 290.

Pedantic I know.

I read the whole deal. All Spidey stories and still I am sure that MJ is very important to the series. Let’s face it she was designed as a character who would fight over Pete with Gwen but she became more popular than Ms. Stacy. I don’t like all the stuff the writers did with Peter and Mary Jane over the years but I would sure like to see them more in the comic. I mean Pete is there the whole time but the most of it as Spidey or doing something for Spidey. Where’s his life?

I don’t like Spider-Man being single for one very simple reason: that was not the problem with the book.

The problem, pre-OMD, was that the title consisted of Spidey, Mary-Jane, and maybe Aunt May, with a number of satellite books that flooded the market and reduced the main title’s originality. It also seemed to be going to darker places, and lacking in the humour and warmth that is an essential part of Spider-Man.

None of those things were to do with the marriage.

Now, we have Slott writing the only real, regular, ongoing Spidey-book since the reboot. It is light-hearted, fun, and has a much larger supporting cast. It feels ten times better than the period prior to OMD.

Again, that has nothing to do with the marriage.

In fact, the only real addition to the mythology caused by the marriage in all of this was Joe Quesada’s involvement, where he insisted on it going, and then had it happen by having a wholesome, heroic character like Spider-Man essentially sacrifice his future, and the future of his unconceived child, in order to save an elderly woman who wanted to die to be reunited with her husband. And then to have to retcon that within a few years, because they screwed it up so bad.

Not to mention, for all those fans who supported the natural evolution of Peter Parker into married life, and growing up into a man, instead of remaining a perpetual manchild, Marvel then spat in their faces by having the first thing we see after OMD being Peter making out with another woman.

So, to summarise, I prefer the book now, but that has nothing to do with the marriage, which didn’t need to be got rid of.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 20, 2011 at 4:09 am

Not to mention, for all those fans who supported the natural evolution of Peter Parker into married life, and growing up into a man, instead of remaining a perpetual manchild, Marvel then spat in their faces by having the first thing we see after OMD being Peter making out with another woman.

I disagreed with what they did, and I still thought that was funny.

I really don’t care if Spider-Man is married or single, as long as he doesn’t do deals with the devil.

Still, it didn’t seem to me like the character worked that better as a single than as a married person. I’ve always seen him as the common joe, and usually people gets married sooner or later. So when he got married I was fine with it caus I thought it was a natural step forward for Peter Parker’s life. And married life brings just as many conflicts, if not even more, than single life.

Single or not, I like him without a sh%# demon pact.

As others have said i couldnt care less whether he was single or married. What i would prefer however is a Spider-man who didnt make deals with the devil. That one act completely ruined the character for me and i havent bought or read a single Spider-man comic since.

I prefer him not to be married.

I don’t mind either way though.

“I don’t like Spider-Man being single for one very simple reason: that was not the problem with the book.

The problem, pre-OMD, was that the title consisted of Spidey, Mary-Jane, and maybe Aunt May, with a number of satellite books that flooded the market and reduced the main title’s originality. It also seemed to be going to darker places, and lacking in the humour and warmth that is an essential part of Spider-Man.

None of those things were to do with the marriage. ..”

CRAIG

With these words, Craig summed up what I’ve been screaming about for years since this happened. But for this thread I never really answered the question. I prefer the married Spidey and I wish all the drunken sex, OMD, OMIT and the resurrection of Harry Osborn could be retconned the heck OUT!

Whether or not Spider-Man is married is irrelevant to whether or not the stories are good. I just don’t like the way they handled Peter and MJ’s marriage ending. ANY story that takes a large chuck of a character’ history and dismisses it as though it never happened is both a slap in the face to fans AND it’s throwing the baby out with the bath water. I HAVE really been enjoying ASM since the Big Time though, even though Carlie isn’t very appealing. The dynamic between Pete and a roller-derby playing CSI works in theory, but Nora Winters, the Black Cat, MJ again, or even Sajani would be better, more choices for a love interest. Maybe they’ll go for another love-triangle.

No disrespect here to Dan Slott, but I believe Marvel’s credibility fell due to the lame way of ending Peter’s marriage to the devil/Mephisto! If only Marvel/Quesada could have think a way or two in a more realistic manner (divorce or anything that is REAL), perhaps the number of readership of Spider-Man would still maintain high. Thus, I still prefer Peter as a married man!

The problem with the divorce was that they needed a reason for it. Eventually they would need to push the fault on either Peter or MJ. The whole problem here is that they love each other and been through so much that there is no way they would have a divorce after 20 years of superpowered marriage. If they would make it that way they would need a drastic change in the characters way of thinking and living. This would lead to equal as much talk and complaining from the fans.

I have read Spidey since I was 13 way back in ’82 I dropped him like a hot rock when they married him off in ’87. I’m now 41 and am happy to see a single Spidey most of all because I think every teenage reader deserves to have a relatable hero with similar problems and dreams. My 18 year marriage is great but it fundamentally changes you as a person if you do it right, so therefore yes it did age Peter and yes Marvel did the right thing in my opinion. Plus it’s fun to have the same Spidey around to share with my kids as I had.

I voted no though I would have at least continued to buy the Spidey titles if the marriage hadn’t actually been erased due to a deal with the devil. Well, what’s done is done.

Back in September I wrote in my blog ways to make a superhero marriage interesting. Not all the ways work for Spider-Man but I did have him in mind for some of the examples.
http://saneinsanities.blogspot.com/2011/09/25-ways-to-make-superhero-marriage.html

I’m 41 and am happy to see a single Spidey most of all because I think every teenage reader deserves to have a relatable hero with similar problems and dreams. My 18 year marriage is great but it fundamentally changes you as a person if you do it right, so therefore yes it did age Peter and yes Marvel did the right thing in my opinion. Plus it’s fun to have the same Spidey around to share with my kids as I had.

A good writer can get away with anything.

A good writer could bring Mephisto in to the story and still make it work.

A good writer could get away with having MJ and Pete get divorced without ruining either character.

The problem is, a good writer wouldn’t NEED to do those things, because a good writer could deal with Spiderman being married.

I have to say, I had stopped reading Spider-Man a year or two before he got married, but that was because I’d drifted back to DC after an extended Marvel infatuation in my early teens. The Giffen Justice League, then Hellblazer, Animal Man and Sandman, just seemed much more interesting than anything Marvel was doing at the time.

I just want good Spider-Man stories. BND had a few decent arcs (“American Son”, Van Lente’s Chameleon arc, Kelly’s work on Rhino), but Slott’s current run is depressingly bland. As problematic as parts of JMS’ run were, at least he was trying to do interesting character work rather than aping the past in the manner of the current echo of better times.

Single best Spider-Man story I read in the last decade? Fraction’s Sensational Spider-Man Annual. Peter was married. MJ was the focus. It captured perfectly how the marriage can work for Spidey.

(Really, if you want good superhero stories read Hickman’s FF, Morrison’s Action Comics, or Gillen’s Loki work in Journey into Mystery. Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is shaping up to join those fantastic books. Spidey and Batman, the two greatest superheroes? Gotta look elsewhere for great stories about them these days. Sigh.)

Lawrence Grantray

November 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I would prefer Spidey married to GWEN STACY…which was why I stopped reading Spider-Man comics in 1975 and have never gone back to them.

@Lawrence G.

So you kept reading Amazing Spider-man for four more years until you realized Gwen was really dead?

Also, nice word play on your name. I’d prefer Peter married to ‘Mary Jane Stacy” :-)

Oh, I thought Gwen was terribly dull, and I’ve never understood the perception that she was supposed to be Peter’s one true love, even if that was how she was conceived at the time. I don’t like love interests who are just the love interest and have nothing else going for them. That’s what I liked about Peter and MJ and Lois and Clark–you need to have someone who’s fast-paced and formidable in her own right to be an equal partner to a superhero.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I prefer the married Spidey and I wish all the drunken sex, OMD, OMIT and the resurrection of Harry Osborn could be retconned the heck OUT!

Well, it may as well be.

The book doesn’t mention any of these things.

In fact, as someone who has started reading it again, it’s bizarre reading all these complaints.

Sure the deal with the devil was terrible, and I was opposed to the end of the marriage, but it was four years ago, and the book has kept moving forwards – it’s the people who don’t read it yet love to whinge about it that haven’t.

I grew up with Peter single and having relationship difficulties as part of his overall hard luck life. I would have preferred for him not to be married all those years ago, but once the writers decided to sell a few extra comics with the the marriage, I would want them to stay married. Yes, I know that in the real world, people get divorced. I don’t need comics to reflect this aspect of real life. It would be nice to see a few things not reflect the real world, but rather an idealized world. After all, it’s comics whose very premise is based on fantasy. Why not let married couples stay married? It would also be nice if superheroes didn’t kill and dead characters stayed dead. But I guess that might be asking too much…

But Spidey’s not currently single. I’ve enjoyed stories when he was married and when he was single. I stopped reading Spidey however, once he started dating that awful excuse of a character Carlie Cooper. Let me know when someone throws her off a bridge.

Single, most definitely. Always thought the marriage was a bad idea. The Wedding Issue and the honeymoon annual were fun. And Kraven’s Last Hunt could have been very easily written with them just as a couple, without affecting it’s quality, but after that Spiderman comics got very boring, very quickly. With the marriage being like an anchor dragging the stories down. MJ was a fun supporting character before the marriage, but just wasn’t that interesting as a wife to Spidey. Too many issues suddenly had boring domestic ‘b’ plots just to keep her in it. With them predictably cosying up, at the end of an issue…ad nauseum.
So glad we’re back to a Spidey, where we can have a variety of potential love interests again.

And by the way, I am by no means against marriages. With Superman it worked. Lois Lane should always be with Superman, and I don’t agree with DC turning the clock back there at all. He’s actually a stronger character with Lois. But I can’t say the same of Peter and MJ.
No, I’m glad that’s gone. And I hope it stays that way.

Pete and MJ had a real cool chemistry. I liked the marriage. It made sense to me.

Married. To Gwen. Bring back Gwen. Nobody stays dead in comics anymore, the impact of those deaths no longer matter in the grand scheme of corporate owned comics. Gwen never fell off the bridge, bring back Gwen Stacy. They almost did it with BND along with Harry before a bunch of editors said it would be a bad idea. No, it wouldn’t. It would be a truly interesting turn of events.

@Lester Tsumshet: “I guess Stan thought the Gwen/Peter relationship would be boring so he figured a way to give Peter an out-ie Green Goblin kiling her (?)-so he could start dating MJ and not look like a jerk.”

Actually, it was Gerry Conway who wanted her gone, because he felt a) the next step was marriage and he too didn’t want a married Spidey, and b) he thought Gwen was too nice to the point of boring, and didn’t know what to do with the character. Moreover, he thought her death would make a major statement: sometimes, like in the life, the hero can’t save the girl. And he brought about the wrath of MANY fans.

Moreover they need to bring her back to retcon “Sins Past”…another rotten storyline…thanks, JMS!

Personally,
I like the single Spider-Man because the marriage restricted the character. The alternate relationship to Mary Jane are:

1, Betty Brant
2. Liz Allan
3. Veronica Chase
4. Joy Mercado

On the Spider-Man/Peter Parker side, the alternate relationship to the Blackcat are:

1. Ms. Marvel
2. Spider-Woman(Jessica Drew)
3. Silver Sable
4. Psylocke

Gotta to keep the female superheros diverse and unique. I would love to see Peter on a date with Jessica Drew, as well as Psylocke and Silver Sable respectively. Since there is obvious tension between Spider-Woman x Ms. Marvel towards Spider-Man, why can’t we see the same tension between Silver Sable x Blackcat towards Spider-Man?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 21, 2011 at 12:55 am

But Spidey’s not currently single.

Yes he is.

I’ve enjoyed stories when he was married and when he was single. I stopped reading Spidey however, once he started dating that awful excuse of a character Carlie Cooper. Let me know when someone throws her off a bridge.

You missed it.
She dumped him.
He was too busy being Spidey and hanging with MJ, who loves him.

As I said, it’s weird reading these complaints about the book. It’s moving on.

But funky, if we READ the book instead of just reading ABOUT the book, we wouldn’t be able to complain so much!

Besides, if people are going to complain about BND Spidey stories, they should complain about that stupid Obama inauguration story. That one stunk up a book with a good Waid story about Betty, iirc.

I don’t care if it’s married or single, but Peter and Mary need to be together. This is articulated perfectly in Ultimate Spidey. But even in 616, the two of them just feel right. Like watching “The Way We Was,” and thinking that Marge should be with Artie. Homer and Marge NEED to be together, same as Peter and MJ. Despite how “spectacular” Homer and Peter may be on their own, it’s not the same without their destined other-halves backing them up.

This thread obviously proves the marital status of Spider-Man is a polarizing one. However its silly to pretend that we only have two options. So far we’ve seen …

Single Spider-Man (sometimes alone, sometimes in serious relationships, sometimes in casual relationships).
Married Spider-Man.
Widower Spider-Man (but not really)
Separated Spider-Man
Demonic Annulment Spider-Man

Why not Divorced Spider-Man? Or Single Parent Spider-Man (isn’t he Normie’s godfather? That kid’s parents are a mess)?

On the plus side, “The Satanic Spider-Man” does have a nice ring to it.

A Satanic Spider-Man series where he teams up with various supernatural characters sounds way better than a redundant Avenging Spider-Man series where he teams up with Avengers characters.

We already two Marvel Team-Up comics where Spider-Man works with the Avengers. They’re called “Avengers” and “New Avengers”. Zeb Wells can go write one of those.

I honestly like the status quo even though I want him to get back together again with Mary Jane. I can see how this current state of affairs could lead to some great stories. But yes, ultimately I want to see him back with Mary Jane. I thought the ending of their marriage was a travesty.

For all those that miss Peter’s marraige…he’s still married to Mary Jane in the daily newspaper strip which you can read for free online, so I still enjoy him that way. Next year will not just be Peter’s big anniversary, 2012 is also the TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY of the Spider-Marraige, so I’m sure the newspaper strip will find a way to celebrate it. The strip is admitedly corny, but it’s still far more entertaining than the main 616 line

Honestly… there was a third option missing:
I prefer people stop thinking of Spider-Man as being relevant.

When I think of Peter Parker, I think of someone who was born in the post-WWII boom, retired about fifteen years ago, and has a great-grandkid on the way, and two kids super-heroing. Nobody asked for this rolling timelag crap, and nobody with any sense wants it.

i believe that spider man should be single because he is always busy being with the avengers and all and plus to have alot of loved ones is putting them at risk.Spider man is an up and go person he can never have time to sit down and settle with his loved ones not when something is always going on so i a hundred percent agree he should be single.

Spiderman was never married… Sure he had a wife & there was a wedding ceremony, but he was never married. Peter & MJ had lass then zero in common & quite often i had to wonder, do they actually like each other at all, because they sure as hell don’t seem to.

Since “One More Day” peter has gone from being a restless layabout, to holding down a top notch job, not having to worry over Aunt May, friends who aren’t constantly being kidnapped & a girl friend with similiar interests.

I don’t think its so much a question of MArried or Single, so much as it is “MJ or not MJ:” To whit i answer in the negative of “NOT MJ” I much prefer his new lady love, a woman who atleast shares some of his interests & whose entire life isn’t wrapped up in Peter.

Of course the answer is yes Spiderman should be married (to MJ). The reason this question is relevent and still has so much buzz is because MARVEL comics screwed up!!! They had a lack imagination and talent capable handling mature story lines. Their lack of skill, leadership and dedication lead to them taking the easy way out saying “hey let’s imagine Peter and Maryjane were never married, so now we can do stupid filler/fluff stories without having to consider silly things like continuity or evolution”. However when readers like me stopped buying the garbage they were shoveling out, they starting putting MJ in gratuitious cameo’s to sell books. Spiderman was special because the original creators built him a life, friends, family and drama to balance the action when he put on the suit. Spiderman all the time is boring and gets monotonous real quick. We all knew his story, his family and is friends. We all know Gwen, MJ, Harry and Flash, etc…who’s in his circle now? That was Marvel comics all time stupidest move and greatest failure, one of these days they’ll swallow their pride and fix it.

@Ellis

Sadly current comic writers think “mature story lines” are the ones with graphic images of people being torn in half as opposed to stories where adults behave like adults.

This thinking is especially out of place in the Spider-Man franchise since it’s SUPPOSED to revolve around responsibility.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Nobody asked for this rolling timelag crap, and nobody with any sense wants it.

Had it been up to his co-creator Steve Ditko, he’d have never left high school.

I’ve got to agree with David Blyth. As corny as it may be, the Spider-Man newspaper strip is vastly superior to Amazing Spider-Man at the moment. The Spidey in the strip actually feels like the Spider-Man that I’ve been following all these years, whereas the 616 Spidey feels like a completely different character.

When it comes down to the marriage of two characters as the basis of whether or not you read a book, its probably time to stop reading comics and start reading twilight or maybe checking out the next adam sandler/drew barrymore movie.

Married to MJ!

Does anyone think Dan Slott is the ultimate pro-marriage continuity guy? In his run he has:
A-Sent Harry off again
B-Sent May off again
C-Given Peter a job, money and a house
D-Brought MJ back into Peter’s life
E-Brought back Kaine and the clones
F-Broken up Peter and Carlie

I think he’s writing as close as he can to the continuity and scenarios he’d really prefer.

Married to Gwen!

Married.

Peter was married before I started reading. If I wanted to recapture the Spider-man of my youth I would restore the marriage.

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