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.
Ron, simply, because MJ at this point is better to have in the Spider-Man U alive than dead. If she were dead, I suspect fans would be wondering when she would come back, if she's alive, fans will be wondering if they'll ever get back together which, to me, is so much more powerful than her resurrection.
Also, Peter Parker widower just makes him seem that much older to me than I would like to see him portrayed.
Is Gwen Stacy Dead? Why would anyone think she's not?
There was an early rumor that One More Day would end with Peter Parker attending a party with Harry Osborn, and Gwen Stacy. While Harry Osborn appeared alive and well at the end of the story, Gwen Stacy died. It later came out that Joe Quesada and JMS were in favor or resurrecting Gwen Stacy.
Most of the other editors and the entirety of the Brain Trust were opposed to the idea, which was scrapped.
But it's often asked whether or not Gwen still died in this universe, and whether her death has ever been referenced.
It has been been referenced numerous times.
A primer on the new status quo in Amazing Spider-Man #546 explicitly mentions her death.
When Spider-Man believes he's going to die in Amazing Spider-Man #588, he thinks "Gwen, see you soon."
Peter Parker later visits her grave during the American Son arc.
The first Green Goblin was Norman Osborn. When he was believed dead, his son Harry Osborn took up the mantle a few times. There was a third Green Goblin, but his identity spoils a decades old story. Ben Urich's nephew Phil became the heroic fourth Green Goblin, but retired just before Norman Osborn came back from the dead. Around that time, the mystery of the fifth Green Goblin began.
Moderator Sean Whitmore summed it up well.
Originally Posted by Sean Whitmore
Get ready to be disappointed.
The fifth Goblin mystery was one of the bigger ones for a while. But when the time came to end the books prior to the reboot, they wanted Osborn back in the green, and new Goblins be damned.
So fans kept writing in, "What the hell happened to the fifth Goblin? Was it Harry? Flash? Paul Stacy? Tell us!" (Turns out, Roger Stern wanted it to be Phil Urich)
So they finally get around to addressing this by bringing the new Goblin back in a post-reboot issue of Spidey. And after being unmasked, he is revealed to be...a clone, whose face changed into several different people before disintegrating.
It was like the new Goblin was Alec Baldwin's character from Glengarry Glen Ross. "Who am I? [BLEEP] you, that's who I am."
While Norman was believed dead, businessman Roderick Kingsley gained access to a stash of his weapons and became the Hobgoblin. He framed Flash Thompson, and framed and killed Ned Leeds. He did the same to an unknown hood named Lefty Donovan.
When Ned was killed, it was believed that he had been the real Hobgoblin, so Jason Macendale (the former Jack O'Lantern) took over the mantle. He was later possessed by a demon, which became the Demogoblin. He killed the Demogoblin. Shortly thereafter, Kingsley killed him.
In addition, Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy's son Gabriel Stacy briefly became the Grey Goblin.
In recent years, Spider-Man encountered Menace, who shared a history with the Goblins, along with some new abilities (the costume wasn't a mask, and Menace was physically, the strongest of the Goblins.)
Norman Osborn currently leads the Dark Avengers as the Iron Patriot.
Peter graduated college, although the ceremony was delayed somewhat by the revelation he had to take gym classes over the summer.
He was a Biochemistry major.
Then he went to Graduate School. He quit in Amazing Spider-Man #242 to focus on his photography and really pissed off Aunt May when he explained that to her about ten issues later. He returned to Grad School after the clone saga.
Why does no one remember Spider-Man's identity? How does the Secret Identity work?
During Civil War, Spider-Man took off his mask and everyone in the world knew that he was Spider-Man. Peter then asked Doctor Strange to help him put the genie back in the bottle. Strange created a magic spell with Reed Richards and Tony Stark. The only one who wasn't affected was Mary Jane.
As a result, people have forgotten that he was Spider-Man. And when they have the necessary evidence available to them, they come to the wrong conclusion.
One such instance of someone who knew but can’t put it together now is Norman Osborn. Osborn concluded that Spider-Man and Peter must have a business arrangement involving Peter serving as Spider-Mans photographer rather than assuming that the two were the same men.
The 'block' can only be lifted if Peter willingly tells someone his identity. Spider-Man has now unmasked for both the Fantastic Four and the New Avengers.
The block was explained to some degree in Amazing Spider-Man #591, when Peter describes it to the Fantastic Four in the following exchange:
Mr. Fantastic: All right, Spider-Man, now that we finally have some time on our hands, I have to admit to… I’m curious. This “mindwipe” of yours. How does it work?
Spider-Man: Reed, it’s like Fight Club, the first rule of mindwipes is you don’t–
Mr. Fantastic: Humor me.
Spider-Man: All right. It’s kind of a… “psychic blindspot.” Even if there’s a stack of evidence pointing to who I really am… your mind won’t let you connect the dots.
Mr. Fantastic: Or we’d connect them ourselves… but in the wrong order.
Spider-Man: Right. You’d come up with your own solution. Not the right one, but one you could accept.
Mr. Fantastic: So is there any way your identity could be compromised?
Spider-Man: If someone unmasks me. Or if I unmask myself. Then for that person it’d all come rushing back.
Having overheard their conversation, Johnny tells Spider-Man to unmask for them, as they are his friends and they could help him with things. Spider-Man says it’s too dangerous for him to reveal his identity to them, because they could be forced into revealing it and he can’t risk that happening. Reed points out that he might not have to and goes on explaining that he could replicate the psychic blindspot, and then they could share and keep his secret too. Johnny tells Spider-Man that, like Ben said earlier, when he’s with them, he’s not just part of a team, he’s also part of a family, and they won’t let him down. Spider-Man hesitates for a few seconds and proceeds to pull his mask off, revealing himself as Peter Parker as the memories come flooding back for the Fantastic Four they embrace Peter.
Peter recently offered to unmask for Daredevil but Daredevil didn't want to know.
Confirmed people that currently know Spider-Man’s identity:
The Fantastic Four - Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Invisible Woman (Sue Richards), Thing (Ben Grimm), and Human Torch (Johnny Storm) as revealed in ASM #591.
The New Avengers - Current Roster:
Captain America (James ‘Bucky’ Barns), Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Mockingbird (Bobbi Barton), Ronin (Clint Barton), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Wolverine (Logan) in New Avengers #51.
Allies/Enemies – Dr. Strange (Stephen Strange) in New Avengers #51, Jessica Jones (formerly known as the superheroine Jewel), Kaine AKA the New Tarantula and Julia Carpenter AKA the new Madame Web.
Dan Slott has stated that Avengers: The Initiative #7 will be a big deal in the future. In that issue, set while Spider-Man's identity was known to the world, the Scarlet Spiders (three clones who used variations of the Iron Spider suit Spider-Man wore for much of Civil War) claimed that Peter Parker was working for them when he announced that he was Spider-Man. Whether the public at large accepted that is unknown.
How have the most recent Spider-Man stories been collected?
Unless otherwise noted, the most recent Spider-Man stories are usually available in two formats: a "Premiere edition" hardcover, followed by a trade paperback a few months later with a cover price of about five less dollars.
If you're interested in the Classic Silver Age/ Bronze Age Spider-Man material, you have several options.
First, you have the Marvel Masterworks collections. These are full size reprints of 10-11 issues of ASM. The catch is they run around $49.99-$54.99 (again Amazon.com is cheaper) Marvel's currently releasing those in trade paperback form for $25, and the first seven are currently available. In addition, the first four were released in trade paperback for $12.95 each by Barnes & Noble, a few years ago, so those should be available for a reasonable price, if you look around a bit.
Then there's the Omnibus. It collects the entire Stan Lee and Steve Ditko era, with a cover price of $99.99, still cheaper than the Marvel Masterworks set of the same issues.
Finally, there is the Essential Marvel line. Each book reprints about 500 pages of content in black and white. These books cost about under 20 dollars each, and can be found cheaper on Amazon.com
There are also Essential collections of Marvel Team Up and Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man.
Earlier versions of the Essential Spider-Man trade paperbacks collect slightly different issues, so make sure you're getting complimentary editions of the book.
An independent research piece by our own Stillanerd.
Originally Posted by stillanerd
Whenever change occurs, there will always be those who will embrace it and others who will oppose it. Comic books, specifically in regards to the creative direction the publisher wishes to take, is no exception. And when it comes to the controversial nature of One More Day/Brand New Day in Spider-Man, the passions on both sides have run very, very high.
One of the ways proponents and critics use to either argue for or against a particular change in the status quo is to use sales estimates, specifically what the particular title was selling before the change to the status quo and what it was selling after the change took place. If the sales figures have improved, then the claim is that the change was successful and that more people are buying the comic because of it; if the sales decline, then it suggests that readers have not excepted the changes and that the change was unsuccessful. In this case, reasons for the new developments included making the series more accessible to newer readers and fixing something that was "broken," which explains why sales figures are cited more for this title than any other comic book.
Amazing Spider-Man is currently a unique case. Prior to One More Day, there was only one title of Amazing Spider-Man being published once a month, along with two other sister titles (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and Sensational Spider-Man). After One More Day, the two sister titles were discontinued, and Amazing Spider-Man became the sole mainstream Spider-Man title, released three times a month. So how does one compare the success or failure of Amazing Spider-Man before One More Day to Amazing Spider-Man after One More Day?
Supporters of Brand New Day generally argue that Amazing Spider-Man since One More Day is a success based on the sales estimates for the following reasons: First that because Amazing Spider-Man was already read more by Spider-Man fans and that the comic now comes out three times a month, the combined totals all three issues of Amazing sell more than when it just Amazing and two separate sister titles. Likewise, they also cite that, in terms of rankings on the bestseller lists, all three issues of Amazing have consistently remained within the top 25 of all comic book sales every month. Finally, the figures being initially released are sales estimates based on dealer orders from Diamond Distributors, so these only measure the Domestic Direct Market for the initial printings.
Critics against Brand New Day, on the other hand, often argue that Amazing Spider-Man since One More Day has hurt sales. They argue that one has to judge the comic on an issue by issue basis, regardless of how many months it comes out, and from that standpoint, sales estimates for each individual issue have declined just below the levels they were during JMS’ run prior to event driven stories like the Other, Civil War, and Back in Black. They would also argue that while revenue is higher for the three times a month format than it was under the previous format, the level of readership has declined, and thus there are fewer people paying more money per month for a single title. Finally, with regards to ranking, they would often argue those are irrelevant and what should matter are the sales of the comics and how they compare to other comics.
To further add to the fun, there are disputes about the relevance of figures within the Pro- and Anti-BND "camps."
The marriage was something that had always bothered me, even as a reader. For the longest time I had been thinking, boy I’d really like to undo this, and once I got the story, I said, hey let’s do it, let’s pull off the bandage. I knew that for a year or two we’d be dealing with online chatter but realistically the story hasn’t hurt sales. If anything, Spider-man is a more viable publishing entity today than ever before. But that’s part of the job of being a caretaker of these characters and making sure that they are there for the next generation.
Nevertheless, the debate rages on and will most likely continue to do so for some time.
Quite honestly, while it is nice that fans are using numbers to boost whatever arguments they have, they don't have a full understanding of what Marvel's financial goals and expectations for the book are. Even the numbers they get are only best-guess estimates cobbled together based on rankings. They are a guess. And they are always wrong.
They are also just direct market numbers. We did a promotion online when we started Brand New Day where we offered a year's subscription for a bargain price. The response to that was overwhelming. We got a huge circulation spike from subscribers, and these are numbers you will never see online.
Everyone is saying the book will be canceled any day now. I could float the book on my subscribers alone at this point.
Yes, it is always nice to watch the clock ticker go up and down, but the business discussions are internal, and fans are not privy to that. They don't have all the facts.
It wouldn’t be until next year until the subscriber numbers DID go online. On July 3, 2009, in an article published on the Indignant Eclectica website, the author gave an analysis of the subscription and newsstand sales for the third and fourth quarter based on an audit done by the BPA, one of the two main auditors of circulations for publishers.
Was Mephisto responsible for Harry Osborn's resurrection?
When Harry Osborn appeared alive and well at the end of One More Day, it was presumed that his return might have something to do with Mephisto's deal with Mary Jane.
That doesn't seem to be the case.
In Amazing Spider-Man Family #6, JM Dematteis revealed that Harry was believed to have died, and resurfaced shortly prior to the events of Brand New Day. His resurrection could have played out the same way regardless of whether or not Peter was married.
In Amazing Spider-Man #581-582, it was revealed exactly how he returned. His drug interaction in Spectacular Spider-Man #200 only appeared to kill him. Norman Osborn faked a body with Mysterio's help, and sent Harry to Europe. Norman then agreed to play the role of the grieving father, even when it seemed as if he were alone.