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Post By
Dave Phelps

In Reply To

Subj: Re: Marc Guggenheim on Spider-Man's Character Assassination
Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 04:38:49 pm EST
Reply Subj: Re: Marc Guggenheim on Spider-Man's Character Assassination
Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 06:54:04 pm EST

> The one thing that really surprised me was to hear Guggenheim talking about how frustrating it is to hear readers talk about how the old stories never happened, when they did. I guess I was just surprised because in all honesty I don't see how the writers can expect the readers to believe all those old stories happened without explaining that. They can say it happened all they want in interviews, but until they actually explain HOW in the comic, no one is going to believe it.

Yeah, I really think they should have used Annual #1 as the "fill in the blanks" issue instead of continuing to spread it out. Heck, from what I understand we're not going to know why Peter and MJ broke up until #600.

Anyway, I believe them when they say that the only thing changed with the deal is a retroactive cancellation at the altar. Everything else, from the return of Harry to the apparent loss of the new powers to the restoration of the secret id to Aunt May being healed, etc. has a different explanation. Fine. I think they're making a mistake by taking so long to explain what happened (if they didn't want to deal with that stuff in Amazing in the name of appealing to new readers, fine, but there's no reason it couldn't have been done as a seperate mini during the skip weeks), but I'm sure at some point all will be revealed. Except the stuff that gets a little TOO far into the weeds, anyway. And I'd include MJ's miscarriage in that.

Negating status quo changes is nothing new in comics. Either because a dramatic change was made and fans hated it so TPTB opted to undo it or because a new creative team comes on board and wants to play with prior incarnations of the characters. At lot of times when that happens, even if the old stories still officially "happened," by taking away the impacts of the stories (even to the point where the characters don't remember them) they might as well have not happened at all. (Which, depending on how you felt about the change, isn't necessarily a bad thing.)

The problem here is that I don't think Guggenheim quite understands the effect of negating so much at one time. By dropping Aunt May's knowledge of Peter's id, the marriage, the public reveal, the new powers, Harry's death, etc., you've effectively wiped the slate clean of everything of import that has happened to the character for over 20 years. Heck, with Aunt May back to "that horrible Spider-Man," Harry acting weird, Peter's bizarre maturity reversion and Norman Osborn being around, they've really set the clock back to around early 70s Gerry Conway.

No big deal for those who feel that's the "real Spider-Man" or those who don't care either way, but those who feel "the real Spider-Man" is the one who we saw in Amazing #1-545 (good and bad) are bound to feel a disassociation with the current version of the character. And no interview is going to change that.

(I also don't understand what's so confusing about how people pissed off at OMD can still be annoyed now. OMD wasn't just a story, it's a story that affects every Spider-Man comic published from now on. It's easy to stay mad at a story where we're still feeling the effects. Heck, the Spider-Man/X-Men mini that's supposed to cover "the history of Spider-Man" isn't going to have an issue where Peter and MJ are married. A status quo that covers almost half of the character's existance and there will probably not even be a mention of it.)