Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Worst Thing

Sometimes it sucks to feel really passionate about something. Spider-Man is a character I feel very passionate about. Sure, I may not have read every comic he's stared in, but I've considered myself a fan of the web-head since the mid-late 1980s since Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends. So it really is only natural that I'd get all bent out of shape when Amazing Spider-Man, the character's flagship title goes down hill. Notice the cover for ASM #50 to the left, there? Pretty cool cover, huh? It's actually one of my all-time favorites and I think it is rather appropriate for what I've got to say.

Do you know what the worst thing you can do to a comic character is? You could kill of his best friend, wife or all of his loved ones and while that would be a pretty unspeakably horrible thing to do, it wouldn't be the worst thing. No, the worst thing you can do is make a reader stop caring about him. That's how I feel about the Peter Parker/Spidey in the pages of ASM. I do not care about him whatsoever. He can be impaled by a goblin glider, hit by a bus, dipped in acid. If these things happened before Brand New Day, I'd probably show some sympathy for Pete. As things are now, however, I'd just shrug my shoulders, maybe even laugh.

I wasn't there in the beginning when Spidey first swung into the world because in August of 1962, I wasn't even a fetus yet. However, I was able to catch up on my Spider-Man history thanks to Marvel's Essential titles so I have had the pleasure of watching Peter grow. Growth really is an amazing thing. Peter has grown much in the last 45 years he's been in print. When he awoke to a new world in ASM #545, I was under the impression that Peter was 19 or 20, because he was sure acting like it. At first I thought Peter was only acting like an idiot for the final pages of the book (although to be fair, he was acting like a dipstick throughout all of ASM #545), but as I read more and more issues of Brand New Day, it became clear that the Peter I'd watched grown had had his emotional maturity set back decades, literally.

Now I'm going on 27 years of age in July and according to Marvel, Peter is 25 so I'm not much older than he is, so forgive me if I sound like a crusty old fart. Joe Q has talked about moving forward with Spider-Man with the erasing of the marriage. He talked of moving forward, when he did the exact opposite and moved Peter backwards. That, my friends is not progress, that's regression. Seeing Peter broke, living with his aunt, and act the same way he did in '70s-'80s is pathetic and insulting for someone who's already seen him evolve past this stage in his life.

Joe Q seems to think Peter is or at least should be a "lovable loser." Loser? Ouch. Why would Marvel's flagship character be describe a loser? Seriously, who would want to sell that? I've never really thought of Peter as a loser. Lovable yes, but a loser, no. Peter has had to deal with real life issues and he's had a lot of rotten luck. That doesn't make him a loser. Well in the current Brand New Day pages of ASM, he is a loser, but there's nothing lovable about him.

Not only do I no longer give a rat's butt ox about Peter, I don't care for his supporting cast either. Aunt May has once again been reverted back to the clueless idiot she was years ago. When she knew Peter was Spider-Man that added so much depth to her character and her relationship with Peter was taken to a whole new level. After reading about May being strong enough to bare the knowledge that her nephew is Spider-Man, having her not know about it again is just stupid. Are the writers going to fall back on the old "Aunt May can't know I'm Spider-Man, the shock would kill her!" routine? Give me a break.

Joe Q got the version of Spidey he feels is needed (or the one he was trumpeting the loudest about) but I've already read about this version and I've no desire to read about him again. There are some people out there that like the "new status quo" but I'm just not one of them and let's be honest, there's really nothing new about any of this. To move forward requires taking a step forward, not twenty steps backwards.


Tommy said...

Another cover that comes to mind is the Peter Parker: No More Cover from Amazing Spider-Man #392.

What's even more sad, is that the more stuff they have Spidey do before One More Day, the more incredibly ludicrous it becomes.

Aunt May being that close to death seems foolish when there's time to do stuff in several titles. I'm getting the feeling that Secret Invasion with have Pre-OMD Spidey, and if that is so...heh...*Sigh*...

Reggie White Jr. said...

I forgot about ASM #392. It was a flip of ASM #50.

I'd hoped Secret Invasion would someone bring back the REAL Spidey (the fool running around in Brand New Day is not Spidey IMO), but I just know that won't happen.

spideyfan said...

Hi Reggie; good posting is the only right phrase to describe what you wrote about Spider-Man's new status.

I liked the first three issues of "Brand New Day" which are written by Dan Slott, but the rest of the story is less than "One More Day" arc could be described: Disturbingly revolting

I'm spidey_mon from toonzone, and I added your blog as a link in mine:
Really, I agree that this is a long title for a site, but it is the only title I could've managed for my blog.

I hope you add the forums I made to your links so people can join and give their opinions about anything involving spiderman:

Reggie White Jr. said...

Thanks for the kind words and for linking me to your blog page, spideyfan. I returned the favor and linked you to mine. =)