Monday, December 31, 2007

Spider-Man Rant

Activity Abounds

I know that I focus mainly on the World Of Warcraft scheme of things, I think partly because I’m comfortable giving up some of my in game experience to you, the readers. (There are some readers out there…right?)

Most of my posts up to this date have either been about my Shaman, Shaman building or talking about the Paladin, McGregor (He hit 70 this weekend while he was completing the ‘Cipher of Damnation’ quest chain.)

While I will continue to do that, as I am going to be doing the much awaited Restoration tree here soon, I promise, I wanted to touch on something not of the WoW thought process. So I say this as a warning to those of you who come here for that when I post, this post will mainly be about something else that is in my heart, Comics.

You have to know firstly that my mother was an immigrant and I was the first person in my family to learn English. When we watched movies, before DVDs, I would pause movies and translate for them what was going on. The way that I learned my language was two fold. The first was cartoons. Show me a child that isn’t plugged into cartoons most of the day and I’ll show you a parent that has way too much time on their hands or is trying to home school a kid. I would walk up at the crack of dawn to watch, Alf, the Smurfs, Transformers, G.I. Joe, C.O.P.S., Lone Starr and Thundercats. From them I learned a bunch of sayings that some times to this day come out in my speech. The other thing that taught me A LOT was comics.

I was a Marvel Zombie for the majority of my teen years, X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, Warlock, and Daredevil to name a few. While many captured my imagination, Peter Parker was the guy that I could relate to. A complete geek from birth Parker was picked on non stop by his peers, much like myself. (Shocker, a gamer who was teased! It wasn’t as commonplace back then as it is now, the gaming I mean.)

I stopped following Spider-Man when the Clone Saga hit. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a storyline that was followed through the mid-nineties where it was believed that Peter Parker was really a clone of the true Spider-Man who had been in suspended animation for years, Ben Riley. What this did is that it allowed for Spider-Man to be a hero without any baggage of having a wife or family.

Thankfully this was later re-written and Peter Parker was once again given the mantle of the one true Spider-Man. The damage was done however and the sales of his books went into the toilet.

Until about six years ago.

J.Michael Strazynski, does that name ring a bell?

How about Babylon 5? Or Jeremiah? (For comic fans) Midnight Nation? Rising Stars?

This is a creator who has had a plethora of awards for his work in television and in comics. About six years ago he took over Amazing Spider-Man and put it through a renaissance where it was THE must read book of the month for hundreds of thousands of fans out there.

On Friday, he wrote his last Spider-Man story for the foreseeable future. His tenure on the comic has seen several ups and downs during publication but his swan song was mandated by the editor in chief of the company, Joe Quesada. Joe Q was a fan favorite artist for a long time before he became EiC for Marvel comics. During his stint he has made no bones about the two things that he wished he could rectify. The first being that there were less mutants running around in the Marvel universe, he took care of that two years ago.

The second beef that he had was that he felt that a married Spider-Man was not a good Spider-Man and that he would find a way to make that an error he could fix. One More Day was a four part story that ended the run of JMS and also brought to fruition of the idea that Joe Q had, a single Spider-Man. In it, Aunt May is in critical condition after a sniper took a shot at Peter and missed, hitting May instead. He spends three issues looking for ways to help his aunt. From friends, to enemies to magic and comes up zeroes. At the end of the third issue, Mephisto, ruler of hell comes to call on Peter and tells him that he will give his Aunt May more time in the world, for exchange he wants the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane. He would make it so that the couple had never been married and that was his payment.

They both agree. With Mary Jane asking Mephisto to let her remember that they were married and not Peter, the hell lord agrees.

So now twenty years of Spider-Man stories are in question.

I hate to sound like a nerd, though I am, but I’m kinda pissed. All of the stories that I grew up loving might never have happened now. Peter is single and STILL living with his Aunt (Get a life guy!) and Mary Jane is the girl that got away. This January Amazing Spider-Man is going to be running three times a month with this new storyline and while part of me is excited I can’t help but wonder, what does that do to the stories and the growing that Peter Parker did during those years of his life that he was supposed to be married?

I feel like a character that I grew up loving has been sullied by the ideas of one man that thinks his idea was better than the product that was already on the streets. Time will tell what Spider-Man will be in the future but it’s a bleak future that almost holds no appeal to me.

I’m in mourning my friends. I feel that a great character has died and been replaced with a lukewarm copy. Sorry, I had to vent.

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