Spider-Man Single, Free to Mingle

11 Jan

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.


Posted by on January 11, 2008 in Books, Entertainment


8 responses to “Spider-Man Single, Free to Mingle

  1. Amey

    January 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    As you said, I like Spiderman solely because he is the most human of all superheroes (I just got bombarded for using similar words for another of “heroes”, but I don’t learn). But adding such convoluted story just to add conflict is badddd…. Couldn’t he have fallen through a time-warp or maybe gone through multiverse, landing in a different/similar earth they wanted?

    And I know all about timelines in comics universe, but I for one am not looking forward to a 50-odd year old single guy swinging across any city.

  2. Aspi

    January 11, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Spider-man has at least three universes going today – so if he and MJ break up in one, it amounts to nothing historically. On the other hand, Spider-man’s identity is not safe if Goblin is back given that Goblin used a rather brilliant technique to finally discover that Peter Parker was Spider-man. He followed Spider-man home!

    Great pic BTW – that MJ introduction is seared the memory of all Spider-man lovers. And once you see that – Steve Ditko’s MJ is the only definitive one you’ll ever accept.

  3. monty

    January 11, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    you touched upon a very sensitive area of my heart, spidey (code name spiderman) has always been best comic hero for me.

  4. Amrita

    January 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Amey – LOL! Maybe they’re planning on getting Jack Nicholson to play him once Tobey Maguire’s contract runs out.

    Aspi – details are sort of sketchy because apparently what took place in One More Day isn’t what Joe Straczynski originally envisioned but one thing everyone seems sure about is that this change is going to affect ALL the Spidey universes 😦 I believe the original plan was to bring back Gwen Stacy but instead they’ve apparently made MJ into some superhero called the Jackpot (I kid you not!) and left Gwen dead. Baaaaaaaad.

    Monty – batman is number one for me but Spidey’s a good second 🙂

  5. Amey

    January 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Sorry, since I posted that comment, I have been plagued by the images of a Spiderman with receding hairline (not that we can see it, but still), his costume stretching over a beer-belly (he is single, after all) huffing and puffing over the city.

    I thought MJ had a brief career as Spiderwoman, right?

  6. saaki

    January 15, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Spidey’s my all time favourite superheroand though Amey’s comment sort of puts me in thought about whether the single status is going to affect his long term image.
    Spidey’s always been the lone guy vying for MJ and but eventually losing out to others as he’s always short fo time.
    But but but,
    Now we dont want the gals to think that spidey’s gay or something do we…???


  7. Amey

    January 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    @Saaki: Well, I was just commenting on how it is weird that Spidey should lose MJ after he finally got her. And that too, in such crazy way (crazy even for comics).

    As for spidey being gay, I say don’t give them any ideas. After this news, I think it is better we don’t put such ideas in the heads of the “creative” people.

  8. Amrita

    January 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Saaki and Amey – I think of all the men in the superhero universe who go about rocking a leotard, spidey’s is the least likely to put the moves on another guy. I would however, be open to him being an executive superhero. We need more of those. 😀

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