Tell me something, when you looked Spider-Man swinging from a building, did you ever pause and think to yourself – well, that’s all fine and everything but I wish they’d let Judd Apatow write a couple of stories. Well, congratulations, because Marvel Comics decided to take the first step necessary to achieve that unlikely dream and returned Spider-Man to his single life.
It’s been a few years since I picked up a Spider-Man comic so it wasn’t until today that I found out that Spidey is now single after more than 20 years of marriage and you know what? The gap in years doesn’t make the shock any less.
The powers that be apparently decided that a married superhero is just too uninteresting for their market. I didn’t know “shallow” was a market but okay. Therefore, Mary Jane Watson-Parker is now back to being plain old Watson. Not that they got a divorce or anything interesting like that. No, they got a “do-over” instead in One More Day:
[In] fall 2007, Peter fought desperately to save the comatose Aunt May’s life, but her gunshot wound was rapidly proving fatal. After going to both Iron Man and Doctor Strange for help which proved futile, Peter finally was contacted by the extradimensional demon known as Mephisto. Mephisto offered to use his dark powers to save Aunt May’s life…for a price. In return for saving Aunt May, Mephisto would wipe the knowledge and memory of Peter and MJ’s life together as husband and wife from the face of reality, leaving only a single, subconscious piece of their souls to remember, allowing Mephisto to feast on those pieces’ pain for eternity. Mephisto warned Peter and Mary Jane that his offer expires at midnight.
Peter and MJ grappled with their unspeakable choice, and Peter explained he couldn’t live with himself if Aunt May died as a result of his own actions (unmasking during Civil War), but also could not face life without MJ, or make the decision without her. As Mephisto confronted the Parkers near midnight, MJ impulsively stepped forward and told the demon that “the answer is yes!” Peter was shocked, and MJ made Mephisto promise to restore Spider-Man’s secret identity which he agreed to do without question. She also asked to put his life back as it was and have a chance at happiness. Mephisto asked why he should do that, and MJ answered that it was because of what she could offer him. MJ whispered something to Mephisto, striking a devil’s bargain, and then urged Peter to “save May. Be the hero. Be my hero.”
Can I say it? LAME.
This is a couple that has been through some tumultuous years together. They haven’t just had a superhero-civilian girlfriend relationship, but gone through some tremendous story arcs and faced “real life” challenges together as well as superhero ones. So you want to break them up to shake things up a little – fine but respect that history, will you please? Is there some holy reason why MJ and Peter couldn’t have had a divorce? People have those you know and this is a couple that has had its fair share of ups and downs. And yes, divorced people can have a relationship with each other once the divorce is final – the way MJ and Peter are apparently going to have one now that their memories have been erased.
However, I must say mission accomplished. After a gap of several years, I will now be on the lookout for this edition. And hey, this means the Green Goblin is back and Spidey’s identity is secret again so that’s great.
And someone should really look into that Judd Apatow Spider-Man – it can only be an improvement on Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.