First, let me state that I don't care if Peter's married or not. He's a fictional character. Thus, Marvel can marry, divorce, re-marry and widow the character for all I care. It's their property and if they want him single, Godspeed. Life is full of people who are married one day and not the next, there would be absolutely nothing outrageous about a single Peter Parker after years of him being married.
My problem -- because I do not presume to speak for anyone but myself -- is 1) the path Marvel took to get there, 2) how it was forced down our (and the writer's own) throat, and 3) the blind, hypocritical and patronizing way the company continues to claim -- as they have in this interview -- that the path they chose to get from A to Z was the only possible one.
These 3 elements make it seem like everyone at Marvel lives in a bubble that is just screaming to be burst.
Let's start with the first point. Joe Quesada had the company's poster boy for taking responsibility for your actions choose the easy way out after a string of bad decisions no one forced him to make. No one pointed a gun at Peter's head to join the pro-SRA side in the Civil War, nor was he mind controlled when he went public with his secret identity. These decisions which Peter made of his own free will resulted in him eventually going on the run with MJ and May, and May taking a bullet that was meant for Peter. Peter goes to the good guys to help him undo some of his mistakes (like Dr Strange) but alas, they cannot help him with this. So what does our hero who just happens to be the embodiment of taking responsibility in the Marvel U. do? He turns to the dark side for help, and strikes a deal with evil incarnate Mephisto to trade his love for his wife to give his elderly aunt a few more years of life.
Now, let's ignore the lack of logic in trading something so precious so a woman who was already at the end of her rope and lived a full, blessed life can enjoy a couple years more before dying of natural causes. If you want to argue against the notion that Mephisto is an avatar for Satan -- which he clearly is, especially the way he was presented in this story -- fine. But he remains evil incarnate. So whether Peter had struck that deal with Mephisto or Adolph Hitler, the objection isn't Biblical so much as it is to the idea that Peter got away with the bad decisions he made by turning to evil after exhausting his good and virtual options.
With OMD, Peter stopped being the "with great power comes great responsibility" character, and set a precedent of being the "be responsible for your actions as long as the consequences aren't TOO bad, otherwise turn to evil if it'll provide a quick and easy undo". This is on the same level as Captain America waking up one day and deciding that America sucks, and communism isn't such a bad idea after all. If any other character but Steve Rogers did that, it wouldn't be as big a deal as Rogers doing it. Similarly, had this been anyone but Spider-Man -- if it had been Johnny Storm, which is the irresponsible Yang to Peter's Ying -- I wouldn't have so much as batted an eyelash.
But it's Peter. Mr Responsibility. Being irresponsible on cosmic levels. And getting away with it to this day.
Now, how the story came to be is another aspect I have a problem with. For months, Joe Quesada made sure he mentioned how he didn't like a married Peter Parker in every interview he did. We all knew what was coming a year, if not several years, before it did. It's not like some kind of edict was imposed on JQ to unmarry Spider-Man within X months to coincide with something else. He had all the time in the world to really think through how he was going to unmarry Spider-Man, as well as an unlimited source of ideas in the form of a talented writing staff and an audience chiming in ideas of their own. With all these tools in his arsenal, JQ did exactly what he had Spider-Man do : he took the quick and easy way out his predicament, without thinking it through.
JMS himself wanted to take his name off the credits because he saw the flaws in Joe's plans, expressed them to him, and was shut down. JMS and JQ had a very ugly and public spat about OMD as the story was being published. How often have we seen that happen? Things were so bad that JMS openly criticized JQ's closed-mindedness while being the writer on various Marvel books (including Thor). The famous "It's magic, it doesn't need to be explained" line came from these public disagreements between the two. Do you find this normal par for the course? I see it as a sign that something was seriously rotten in Denmark.
And last but not least, the way Marvel continues years after the fact to defend this story as the only possible way to tell the ones that are being told today is extremely arrogant, hypocritical and patronizing. Peter Parker striking a deal with evil incarnate -- and not just any deal, he traded his wife -- is NOT the only way possible to unmarry the character. Erik Larsen had a great one : if the priest that married the couple turned out not to be ordained, then Peter and MJ were never married. Various other people had other ideas that did not involve the character betraying the very value that defines him.
It would be refreshing for someone at Marvel to say "Alright, maybe we didn't think it through enough at the time" or "We didn't expect the level of backlash we got" or "In hindsight, it probably wasn't such a hot idea to have Peter turn to evil for help".
Anything... ANYTHING, except "The awesome stories we're getting from Dan Slott today would not be possible without OMD" which is just pure $#*+
Maybe they couldn't be told without unmarrying Peter, but they could certainly have been told without having him betray the one single value that defined him as a hero, and turn to evil incarnate to undo mistakes he made of his own free will.
And as long as Marvel continues to act like they live in a bubble, people are going to want to burst it.
It's time Marvel just be honest with its audience regarding OMD. Break the wall down, stop shoveling manure, say "Look, maybe it wasn't the best way to get from A-Z, and we're going to have to address the issue that Peter has gotten away with turning to evil for help for this long some day, but this is where we are now, the guy who made that call is no longer making editorial decisions for the company, let's just make the most of where we're at TODAY. Cool?"
And I guarantee you, this stops being an issue for many of us the day Marvel walks out of its bubble and allows itself to be honest with its audience on the matter.
Until that day comes, it's not like any of us are even THINKING about this subject when we're not on forums like this one. It has zero impact on our every day lives. But when I do start reading comic book forums, and the subject is brought up... then this will be my stance on it. And it will not waver.