Monday, April 21, 2008

The End of A Brand New Day

Look, I don't mean to keep beating a dead horse but this isn't going to go away anytime soon and now that Brand New Day has concluded, I figure now would be a good time to say a few more things about it.

In my opinion the only thing good that ever really came out of BND was Wells/Bacholo's arc in Amazing Spider-Man #555-557. As stated in a previous blog entry, I enjoyed Spidey's interactions with Wolverine and Dr. Strange in ASM# 555 and Bacholo's artwork was quiet a treat. Peter was written in character and as a result, I actually cared what happened to him in the story. Vern the hobo, a character that came into the story in ASM#556 was the only new character to appear in BND that I liked. He lost his booze helping Spidey save New York from the Mayan threat and at the end of ASM #557, Peter finds him and gives him all the money he has, $20. Now that is the Peter Parker I've come to known.

OK so we have three story arcs I didn't like versus one that I did like. So far the BND batting record is 3-1. What did Wells do right that the other writers didn't? Here's a list of all the problems that have made this "new, young" Spider-Man painful to read. You've probably already read many of these in my blog or on message boards, but I think it bears repeating.

1. Spidey the Inexperienced
Peter has been Spider-Man for ten years, yet his inability to catch a common criminal in the first three story arcs suggest he put on his tights only a few weeks ago. If making Spidey a bumbling idiot is supposed to make me sympathize with the character when he screws up, it really isn't working. This is not a rookie character, the writers need not pen him as one.

2. Petter Goes Clubbing
Outside of a few trips to a club every now and then (his friends forced him to go in Spectacular Spider-Man #24, vol. 1 and Mary Jane took Peter to a club in Amazing Spider-Man #299), Peter has never been a club person. In the first two story arcs he's hanging out in a club with Harry and his girlfriend Lily. Granted Peter wasn't into the club scene too much, his very presents there just gives me the impression the only reason Peter is in clubs at all is so Marvel can see "See?! He's in clubs! He's young! YOUNG!"

3. Rehashed Stories
One of the reasons I really enjoyed Wells arc is because he seemed to be the only writer who wasn't writing the story with nostalgia glasses on. The first three story arcs just screamed at me with material that I'd seen done decades ago. Jameson has a heart attack, the Bugle is lost to someone else, another idiot flying around in a goblin suit, etc. The words above Amazing Spider-Man read "Brand New Day" not "Same Old, Same Old." Perhaps the writers are trying to recreate the old days but it comes off horribly forced. As great as the old days were, these guys need to try harder at coming up with new stories.

4. Peter the Loser
Peter Parker has had rotten luck, but he's never been a loser. But since I'm just a guy who's read about Spider-Man for years and I'm not in the EiC chair at Marvel, what do I know? The "Parker Luck" has really been overplayed in BND. He rips the seat of his costume, gets one of his web-shooters stolen, runs out of webbing completely and I'll stop the listing right there. Stan Lee may have invented the Parker Luck, but even he knew when it was time to turn it off and give Peter a break and writers after him would follow up on this. Really, Peter's life can't be all that bad if he has hot women around him all the time in BND. (See what I did there?)

Since BND was built on crap, I guess that could be the reason that it mostly is crap. From what I've seen thus far, Wells arc is the only thing worth buying from Amazing Spider-Man. If the other writers can stop writing Peter like an idiot and stop trying to recreate the old days, they just might be able to turn things around.


Tommy said...

Pete giving all he has reminds me of something I heard in Church with a poor and rich person giving what they had and how the poor person's money was worth more as it was indeed all they had to give.

Reggie White Jr. said...

I remember hearing that too, Tommy. That whole scene at the end where Peter gave all he had to Vern put a smile on my face.

PerfectDru said...

That's in Mark 12:38-44, baby.

spideyfan said...

I remember the points you mentioned in your notes about rehashes happening.

I'm sorry about this point; I prefer the BND stories prior to Zeb Wells & Bachallo's story.

Cool new look for your blog by the way.

Reggie White Jr. said...

spideyfan, that's cool, man. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and I respect yours.

Glad you like the new look. I was looking at other blogs and decided it was time to give mine a new look.