If you have a specific question that can be asked and answered without debate, or wish to correct something I've posted here, please post it in this thread or PM me. If it qualifies as an FAQ it will be added once answered.
If you have a question about subjective manners (IE- what's the best Green Goblin story? Was Ross Andru a good Spider-Man artist?), use the search function to see if any threads exist on those subjects. If no thread exists on this, start one.
Every now and then you guys may notice that some of your comments are no longer in the thread in which you made them. To make navigation a bit easier, I figured I'd have one thread where all major moves would be discussed.
Sometimes I will decide a topic that comes up in a thread (and often threatens to derail it) merits its own thread. Or I may decide that some off-topic posts belong in another thread. Or for whatever reason, I may have to delete an entire thread, and many posts on a subject.
Case in point, a thread about an off-the-record conversation between one poster and writer Mark Millar was deleted at the original poster's request after he realized that he likely misinterpreted Millar.
616: Earth-616 or Earth 616 is the name used to identify the primary continuity in which most Marvel Comics titles take place. It was a joke by Dave Thorpe in his Captain Britain run, because he thought it was unusual that superhero worlds were always designated with smaller numbers, such as DC's "Earth-1" and "Earth-2." Although it may also be a reference to the number of the Beast (theological scholars debate whether or not it's 616 or 666.) A few critics of the current direction refer to the post "One More Day" Spider-Man as existing in the 666 Universe. due to what they perceive as Spider-Man selling out to Satan.
AMZ or ASM generally refers to the title Amazing Spider-Man. FNSM refers to Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. SSM usually refers to Sensational Spider-Man. MKSM refers to Marvel Knights Spider-Man. USM refers to Ultimate Spider-Man. MASM refers to Marvel Age Spider-Man or Marvel Adventures Spider-Man. MTU refers to Marvel Team Up.
OMD refers to the storyline One More Day. BND refers to Brand New Day, a designation which is usually applied to the post-One More Day title and status quo, although it technically only appeared on the covers of Amazing Spider-Man #546-564. KLH refers to the classic storyline: Kraven's Last Hunt, while KFH can refer to a three issue story which ran in Amazing Spider-Man #565-567. NWTD refers to New Ways to Die, a six issue storyline which ran in Amazing Spider-Man #568-573.
PAD refers to writer Peter Allan David. JMD refers to writer J.M. Dematteis. JMS refers to writer J. Michael Straczynski.
Superior Spider-Man is the flagship Spider-Man title, set in the 616 or Classic Marvel Universe. It is currently produced two times a month.
Amazing Spider-Man was the once and future flagship title. Previously Marvel had a habit of releasing Amazing Spider-Man once a month, and also including further adventures of the character in satellite titles, such as Spider-Man, Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Marvel Team Up, Sensational Spider-Man, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and a few others. Since 2008, it's been the norm for the flagship book to come out three times a month.
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up is a team-up title.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man depicts a new iteration of the Sinister Six.
Spider-Man clone Kaine (AKA The Scarlet Spider is a member of the New Warriors.
Ultimate Spider-Man (briefly relaunched as Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man) followed the adventures of a teenage Peter Parker within the Ultimate universe. Now it focuses on his successor.
Spider-Girl starring may Parker, came to an end after more than 130 issues.
A new Spider-Girl series by Paul Tobin and Clayton Henry was launched starring Araña. It was cancelled after eight issues, and a three issue Spider Island tie-in. She was recently seen in Avengers Academy.
Shortly after One More Day was released, writer J. Michael Straczynski wrote a post for rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe, explaining that he requested having his name taken off of the final chapters of One More Day, because the story was changed from his original version, although this was Quesada's prerogative as Editor in Chief.
J Michael Straczynski then sent an e-mail to Newsarama, explaining his objection to the lack of clear answers to the big questions of OMD. He said Marvel's answer was "It's magic, we don't have to explain it."
Many fans on the internet have been bothered by the perceived disrespect inherent in the statement. It should be noted that it's not an exact quote, nor is it attributed to anyone in particular.
Quesada addressed the topic in an interview with CBR.
Originally Posted by Joe Quesada
Hey, Sean, I didn't say those words. But, here's the thing, from what you're saying here, it's seems to me you're splitting hairs. You can suspend belief for some things, but not others? I would completely agree with you if the Marvel U didn't have magical based characters. I mean the Scarlet Witch said "no more mutants," and magically millions of mutants lost their powers because of "it." "It" being "Chaos Magic." While there is no explanation for Mephsito's magic, is it any different than Doctor Strange's or Wanda's? Whenever they've done things, it seems that "it's magic" is all the explanation fans have ever needed. So, not to be nit picky, but I don't se the difference?
Mephisto was going to change continuity from as far back as issues #96-98 from 1971. In Joe's story, Peter drops the dime on Harry, and that helps get him into rehab right away. Consequently, MJ stays with Harry, and Gwen never dies and never has her affair with Norman, etc., etc. And in the end, Peter and MJ are never married.
Quesada was bothered by the way this approach would discount every issue of "Amazing" since that story arc, provide severe ramifications for storylines which were already well underway, and affect the entire Marvel Universe. He felt that the original plans were simpler and cleaner.
JMS disagreed with the plan, and provided a new script for the fourth issue, but Quesada and company reconstructed it, as he felt it was still missing some beats to get all the things across that they needed for the "Brand New Day" run.
Jonah Welland: So, to get this straight, OMD doesn't actually negate the previous 20 years of Spider-Man stories?
Joe Quesada: Exactly, that's precisely what we wanted to avoid. What didn't occur was the marriage. Peter and MJ were together, they loved each other -- they just didn't pull the trigger on the wedding day. All the books count, all the stories count -- except in the minds of the people within the Marvel U, Peter and MJ were a couple, not a married couple. To me, that's a much fairer thing to do to those of us who have been reading Spider-Man for all these years. Like I said, is it perfect? No. As far as we investigated, short of divorcing Peter, nothing really is.
As for what's changed...
Originally Posted by Joe Quesada
Very simply, Peter and MJ were together, the wedding didn't happen. Peter proposed but something happened that cause the wedding to get derailed. What was that thing, what monkey wrench did Mephisto throw into their lives to prevent it, well that's a story for another day. There's also a very obvious rift between Peter and MJ at the end of OMD, what caused that is also something yet to be revealed. And then there's the Harry piece of the puzzle, ah that pesky Mephisto! So, yes, a lot of this will eventually be dealt with in "Amazing Spider-Man" moving forward, but not right away as we want to spend the majority of our time in "Brand New Day" looking forward to establish the new world and then later on deal a bit more with the past as it comes up.
The storyline Kraven's First Hunt included a reference to Kraven's Last Hunt, occurring when Peter and Mary Jane had moved in together, while they were married in the original story.
An exception has been Mary Jane's pregnancy, as Quesada felt it would be wrong for that storyline to exist without the marriage. So it seems the pregnancy never happened.
JMS planned a story introducing the artificially aged children of Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker.
Joe Quesada vetoed the idea, arguing that it makes Peter Parker seem too old. So, when the storyline "Sins Past" came along, the father of Gabriel and Sarah Stacy was revealed as "Norman Osborn." It was revealed that Mary Jane had known this all along, and that Peter had never had sex with Gwen.
Originally Posted by Joe Quesada
Joe came to me with a storyline that had Peter meeting these twins, one of which looked just like Gwen that of course he would be attracted to. These kids would turn out to be kids that he had with Gwen. Peter, of course, had no knowledge of it and would have to deal with the ramifications. In my world, there was no way I could go forward with this story as is. For starters, you're talking to a guy that feels that a married Peter Parker isn't the healthiest thing for the franchise since it ages the character. There is no way on planet earth that I could let him to have kids, Marvel almost made that mistake several years ago. And there were further implications of the story that were out of my comfort zone. First, it was the dealing with the repercussions of Peter and Gwen having unprotected or careless sex out of wedlock. Second, it would be dealing with Peter having kids out of wedlock; while, of course, he wasn't aware of having had them, there was always the possibility that the media could spin it that way. But in the end, it was mostly the idea of Peter having kids that I just balked at.
I had to tell Joe straight up that there was no way we could do this story the way he wanted to do it, so I offered up the option of having someone else be the father, perhaps Norman. I guess the one place where my story differs from Joe is that once I gave Joe the suggestion for Norman, it was up to Joe as to whether he wanted to write that story or not. I didn't demand that he write it; if he felt that it was that bad an idea, he could have just have skipped it all together. This conversation happened before he began writing the arc, so it wasn't like we were shifting the ground on him mid story. So, yes, I came up with the idea of Norman and still stand by it, but I assumed Joe also thought it was a cool idea, he did all the research and came back with a methodology within continuity that made it work; it was pretty damn brilliant. He wrote the heck out of the story -- it's one of my favorites. I understand that fans give us flack for so many of the things that we do, but that's part of what comes with the territory of working on these very old, established icons.
Gwen's lookalike daughter was Sarah Stacy. Gwen's son was Gabriel, who upon learning that Norman Osborn was his father, became the Grey Goblin. It was controversial.
Loose ends in the storyline were tied up within a few months in the storyline "Sins Remembered" in the Spectacular Spider-Man title, by Samm Barnes and Scott Eaton. It was not well-remembered.
Considering JMS wanted to use One More Day to retcon the story out of existence, there are some questions about its place in continuity.
In Warren Ellis's Thunderbolts, Norman Osborn mentions knocking up the blonde, and then killing her.
Spider-Man mentions a Grey Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #549.
Norman Osborn doesn't seem to acknowledge Gabriel Stacy as a son in "American Son" although a figure in a tube is listed as "G. Stacy."
As Tom Daylight was kind enough to note, it is acknowledged in the Norman Osborn summarized history in the "Dark Reign: the Goblin Legacy" one-shot. And Gabriel Stacy has a role in the upcoming "Amazing Spider-Man Presents the American Son" mini-series.
Several times, Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada said that he had three genies he wanted to put back into the bottle. These were things he believed had to be fixed in the Marvel Universe.
The first genie was that there were too many mutants. He felt that this meant that individual mutants weren't special and that this excused writers from coming up with origin stories for new characters. The solution was House of M, which pared the number of mutants down to 198.
The second genie was that the superheroes got along too well with each other. Quesada argued that this removed the tension from encounters between the characters.
The final genie was Spider-Man's marriage, and the solution was One More Day, in which Mephisto changed the past so that Peter & Mary Jane were never married.
He believed it was a mistake to marry off the couple in the first place.
Originally Posted by Joe Quesada
There are those that say that OMD was an editorially created project when, in fact, it wasn't. However, the marriage of Peter and MJ was an editorially driven project. It had nothing to do with what was really going on in the books at the time and came completely from the top on down to the creators. The bottom line: It was a stunt. How come no one in fandom mentions this?
Anyway, the Spider-marriage, as conceived, didn't have anything to do with the comics. Here's how it happened.
Around 1986, circulation on the Spider-Man newspaper strip had begun to drop. Concerned about this, an editor from King Features had a conversation with Stan Lee about what they could do to generate new interest in the strip to get it picked up again by more papers. Somewhere during the course of that conversation, they hit upon the thing that newspaper strips have done for years to drum up interest -- marry off the lead characters.
So, at a certain point, Stan called up Marvel and let the folks there know that he was planning to marry Peter and Mary Jane in the newspaper strip at such-and-such a point. At the time, Mary Jane wasn't even dating Peter in the series, but [then EIC] Jim Shooter, not wanting the comics to get scooped by the newspaper strip or whatever, decided that the publicity surrounding the marriage (there was talk of a faux wedding ceremony taking place at Shea Stadium to commemorate the event) and the fact that this was Stan made it worth doing in the books as well.
The lead-up to the marriage is ridiculously rushed, as the creative team needed to move Peter and MJ from not dating to getting married in something like three months. So one issue opens up with Pete on top of a building musing about his life and what's wrong with it, and suddenly clicking on the notion that he should marry Mary Jane. He ends up proposing, following her back to Pittsburgh and learning about her upbringing in three issues. And then the wedding takes place. While the creators all did the best they could with the schedule, it was about as unconvincing a block of storytelling as was possible, especially given the pains that the Spidey creative teams had taken over the previous two years or so to indicate that Pete and MJ were no more than friends.
And at the time, most of the reactions in comic book stores was very much like what we're seeing now: This is fake, this is artificial, it's just a blatant media grab, they've ruined Spider-Man for all time, etc. But again, all of this somehow seems to be missing from any of the arguments that I hear with respect to the validity of the marriage and how OMD should never had happened.
I think Peter getting divorced to me says that they gave up on their love, that their life in love together was so awful, so stressful, so unfulfilling that they had to raise a red flag and walk away from it. They quit on their marriage and even more tragic, the quit on each other. In other words, Peter would rather be alone and single than to spend another moment with MJ. Plain and simple, that's just a Spider-Man story I don't want to tell and it's not something that I would like to have associated with Peter Parker and MJ.
Now, there are those that say, "but he made a deal with the Mephisto, how is that better?" I would at least see something in that statement if it was Peter who conjured up Mephisto. If Peter had no options and then proceeded to perform some ritual in order to invoke Mephisto, or in essence reached out to him as a last ditch effort, then yes, I would agree because now you're validating and saying it's okay to seek out the Mephisto guy to fix a problem. But, that's not what happened. It was Mephisto in this case, as he is prone to do, who comes to Peter at his weakest moment and uses this to his advantage. Why? Because he's a villain. This is a very important distinction, Peter is used by the bad guy, taken advantage of, and let me add it's not the first time a villain has taken advantage of him.
Now, as to how to explain this to your kids, well, I would suspect it's the same as one would explain just about any of the classic happenings in the Marvel U or world of Spider-Man. I think it's very easy to say that within the stories of the Marvel U, while there are fun, action adventures to be had, within so many of our stories, there are very complex and sophisticated metaphors and allegories. In short, comic books are morality plays acted out with brightly colored characters in spandex. So...
What would you say to your child if they came to you and asked, why Peter Parker let the bad guy go who eventually killed his Uncle and left his aunt a widow? Does this make Peter a bad guy, a villain, a dirt bag? I mean he certainly could be perceived that way. I think you would take the time to explain that it was a huge mistake, but that Peter took from it a life altering lesson and that lesson set him on the path to become a great hero and served as the chief motivational factor in his development as a hero.
What would you say to your child if they asked how it was possible for Spider-Man to lose a battle with the villain (which is something that was a breakthrough idea for super hero stories when Stan and Steve thought of it)? Super heroes don't lose! Or how about when Peter hung it up and gave up being Spider-Man in "Amazing Spider-Man" #50? Does this make Spider-Man weak, a quitter, a coward or less of a super hero? I think you would tell your child that sometimes you don't win all the time in life, but the lesson to learn from Peter Parker is that no matter how down you get, like Peter, dust yourself off and go out there and fight again.
What would you say to your child if they asked you if they should resolve disputes in school or amongst friends with fisticuffs because that's what Spider-Man does? Does this make Spider-Man a bully? I think you would explain the difference and how not all disputes and disagreements can be resolved with ones fists.
So, how would you explain Mephisto? Quite simply I would say that sometimes there are bad people out there who want to take advantage of you and sometimes they show up and do so when you are at your weakest moment. You can also say that not all decisions in life are simple ones.
But also, you do have to keep in mind that Mephisto is simply a construct of the magical spectrum of the Marvel Universe while divorce is a real and tragic fact of life that far too many kids are confronted with every day. Also, many people would argue that divorce has become far too casual and commonplace in our society. Anyway, I hope that helps in some way.
Originally Posted by Joe Quesada
Guys, we would absolutely tackle and have tackled the subject of divorce at Marvel, I just felt that Spider-Man was the wrong character to do it with. Take a look at Hank and Jan Pym. We've dealt with subjects as controversial as marital abuse, however, I would never tell that story within the pages of a Spider-Man book.