In the recent Spidey trade: One More Day, Marvel decided to reboot Peter Parker’s continuity with magic, rubbing Mary Jane out of his life for good! This was seen by many fans as a cheap and easy fix to paint themselves out of a corner, but if a lousy plot device opens the door to good stories, do the ends justify the means?
Since this reboot, the subsequent issues of Amazing Spiderman (collected into the Brand New Day trades) were coming out three issues a month, so that fans could follow the story weekly and stop having to collect multiple Spider-titles every month with different storylines. So the questions began. Would Marvel be able to adhere to such a tight schedule? DC had done it three years in a row with 52, Countdown and now Trinity. Would the quality suffer with so much material being published monthly. How would the artists and the writers keep up? And the most important question; would it be worth get rid of Mary Jane for?
Who can say whether MJ’s continuity deletion was worth it, especially in a comic universe that is simply biding it’s time before bringing her back anyway? What I can say is that these are the best Spidey stories since the eighties! Let’s be real here, nobody wants to see Peter as a teacher in a high school! Sure it’s a nice arc for him, but no one wants to think that their chemistry teacher is donning red and blue spandex and fighting crime. It’s silly. Spiderman is a playful and youthful character, making wisecracks like a teenager would. This has to account for at least some of the popularity of the Ultimate Spiderman that allows him to be a teenager again.
One of the other elements that didn’t seem to be handled for years in Peter’s world was his cast of supporting characters. Unlike most other superheroes, Peter needs his friends in life to continue his soap opera life of protecting his alter ego. One More Day allowed him to again keep Aunt May in the dark, reverse his Civil War decision to reveal his identity to the public and it allowed Peter to continue being a photographer. This might not seem like such a big deal, but after decades of this successful formula could you see Clark Kent not being a reporter at the Daily Planet?
So we’re still left with our individual opinions on whether this was the right decision, but it can’t be denied that these are easily the best Spidey stories to come out in decades and due to the volume of material being published, we are given a new trade every other month! Brand New Day is upholding all of Spidey’s hallmarks at the expense of his continuity. What the hell… It worked for Star Trek, right?