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.