Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today we look at how Marvel ever expanded their retconning when it comes to Norman Osborn and his involvement in Spider-Man’s life, including the “death” of Aunt May.
In Amazing Spider-Man #400, Aunt May dies…
Check out this previous Abandoned an’ Forsaked to see how they brought Aunt May back.
This happened during the Clone Saga, where they eventually revealed that Peter Parker was a clone and the “real” Peter Parker, Ben Reilly, took over. When Marvel decided to bring Peter Parker back, they figured that they needed to have a really good reveal as the big bad guy behind the whole thing. They came up with Norman Osborn, the seemingly dead Green Goblin.
Click here for the Abandoned an’ Forsaked on the reveal of how Ben WASN’T the real Peter Parker.
So Green Goblin is revealed to be still alive (click here for the Abandoned an’ Forsaked on THAT story – a lot of abandoning and forsaking going on in the Spider-Man titles in the 1990s!) and behind the Clone Saga.
So there’s a comic book called the Osborn Journal where we see what Norman Osborn was up to and how he manipulated Spider-Man’s life while he was away.
However, once you’ve introduced ONE major retcon, it is hard not to just go back to the well.
So, for instance, check out this page of the Osborn Journal…
As I noted in this Abandoned an’ Forsaked, that page was retconned awhile back when it was revealed that Norman knew that Harry Osborn HADN’T died.
In this next page, we see Osborn reflect on Aunt May’s death and how he had nothing to do with it…
However, that was before the Spider-Man titles made a change. John Byrne was brought in to reboot the books with Howard Mackie and one of the things they wanted to do was bring Aunt May back. So, as I’ve noted before, once you introduce one major retcon, why not go back to the well?
So in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #97, we learn that the Osborn Journal was FAKED!
And at the end of the issue, Aunt May is alive!!
And the following issue, we learn that Norman Osborn WAS involved!
It is pretty funny that there was a comic designed specifically to address continuity and it, itself, was retconned twice already!
That’s it for this week!
If YOU have a suggestion for a future installment, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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