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... In response to CBR's preview for Amazing Spider-Man #638.

So, who or what is the little red bird that appears in those preview pages, Insane Jonny of the Spider-Man Crawl Space Message Board?

It's Mephisto. If you remember OMD part 1, Mephisto's appearance was foreshadowed by a red bird appearing. This is the same kind of bird, and is either an avatar of Mephisto or something acting on his behalf.
So, since Mephisto-bird didn't actually do anything in that scene, what was the point of that whole sequence, Crazy Chris of the Spider-Man Crawl Space Message Board?

A while ago I posted a theory that they're going to write it so that the wedding was something that Mephisto caused to occur all along, just so he'd have something to take away in the future to make Spider-Man's soul scream. That way, the marriage timeline can be painted as the distortion of reality, not the way things would naturally unfold without Mephisto's intervention. That serves Quesada's interests, because in the context of the Marvel Universe, his retcons would be restoring the natural timeline, not altering it.

The way that theory fits into this preview is this: In the timeline where Peter gets married, the Mephisto-bird DOES unlock the door, somehow setting off a chain of events that leads to "I DO." But in the BND timeline, Mephisto DOES NOT intervene by unlocking the door (he omits that action, if you will), allowing events to unfold as they would without Satanic intervention, which, in Quesada's eyes, leads to "I DON'T." The purpose of this scene, then, is to show Mephisto not unlocking the door, the implication being that, in the other timeline, he does unlock the door.
In other words, Quesada is going out of his way a) to tell fans of the marriage that they're WRONG for preferring it to the current status quo, and b) to poison the well for any future writers or editors who might want to retcon his OWN retcons.

This isn't even a STORY. This is a GRUDGE wearing a fiction-suit.


( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Wow. What a colossal dick.
Jul. 15th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
This is a man who flatly stated that he wakes up every morning (no, really, this is literally the phrasing he used) asking himself how he can piss off his own audience the most.

This is par for the course.
(no subject) - crabby_lioness - Jul. 15th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - box_in_the_box - Jul. 15th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - misterandersen - Jul. 15th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fullmetal_cute - Jul. 15th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - misterandersen - Jul. 15th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jlbarnett - Jul. 18th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starwolf_oakley - Jul. 20th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - box_in_the_box - Jul. 20th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Mod Note - angelophile - Jul. 15th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mod Note - dandycat - Jul. 15th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Wow. Just wow.

Does he just not care that Stan intended Spidey to get married? If Gwendy hadn't been killed off, Petey might well have married her. Marrying MJ was the consolation prize, & now that's taken away?
Jul. 15th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Joe Quesada has been complaining loudly and repeatedly, both online and in interviews, about the existence of the marriage since 1998, which astute readers will note is TWO YEARS before he even became EiC of Marvel. He will do everything in his power to force this thing into permanence, even if it means ending his own career. This is his white whale.
Jul. 15th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
No! No! no! NO! This is BAD storytelling! Taking away every Spider-Man story since I could read was one thing but now your telling me that they were inherently wrong and evil?!

This isn't one bad season that no one likes and can be patrick duffy showered away. This is 20 years of stories!

This is so fucking petty! This is lying that your spouse abused your children just because YOU hate them so much that you want them to get nothing in the divorce!

If this is true then I'm never gonna want to read ASM again!

And I miss it so. :(
Jul. 15th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Tangentially, I've just started watching Chuck. *That* is how you handle Spiderman.
Jul. 15th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the thing is, Spidey used to be like Chuck, but since BND, he's been behaving more like Jeff or Lester. (hell, Morgan at his worst was a better man than the moron pretending to be Spidey in ASM these days)
Jul. 15th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
While I understand that this story is necessary in order to address the various questions One More Day left behind (which, frankly, should have been addressed long before now) and that Marvel keeps insisting that they are not going to reverse things so that Peter and MJ are married again, when they have a story in which not reminds people that Peter and MJ were married--and, if the opening page with the credits is to be believed actually reprinting scenes of the Annual in which Peter and MJ got married--is it any wonder why some readers have been complaining about the current status quo and One More Day for almost three years?

Tom Brevoort has even gone as far as saying that not only do Peter and MJ not even remember their deal with Mephisto, but that they are never going to remember it because, as he claims, it would eventually lead to them getting married again. Yet, as this preview suggests in that Mephisto is going to have some influence in preventing the marriage, all it's doing is pointing out the 800-pound gorilla of having their character who is supposed to be about personal responsibility and accepting the consequences of his actions no matter what the cost making a deal along with his wife with a proxy of the devil. The longer Spider-Man has that stigma, the of a problem it's going to be down the road.

And, if one the goals of One Moment in Time is to try and convince readers Peter and MJ were better off being friends, I will lay dollars to donuts it's going to wind up doing the exact opposite and convince readers all the more that Peter and MJ should be together as opposed to him being potentially involved romantically with other women, thus guaranteeing the backlash will continue beyond just "five years." It really has to potential of being a no-win situation for them.
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
I mean so far, life without MJ as hs wife has turned Peter into a total loser a lot of people would have to think twice about pissing on if he was on fire.
(no subject) - box_in_the_box - Jul. 16th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mnenyver - Jul. 16th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jlbarnett - Jul. 18th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
I think ultimately this whole thing rubs me the wrong way because of how terribly executed and slapped together the whole story has felt, not that they split up Spider-Man and MJ. I can really forgive them for that one at this point because, hey, shit happens sometimes. As stories and characters evolve, things must change or they run the risk of being stale. I can forgive Marvel for splitting them up.

But I can't forgive them for doing it like a junior high creative writing student out to make an "edgy" fanfic. You have an entire army of creative types working for you, you call yourselves "The House of Ideas" and yet your best answer for why Peter and MJ can't be together anymore is "the devil did it?"

Marvel oughta take a lesson from ITSELF every once in awhile. When Peter and Gwen's relationship ended that was one of the most POWERFUL and MEMORABLE moments in the series and is forever known as being one of those legendary Spider-Man stories.

Hell, even look at X-Men. Scott and Jean were the resident OTP for pretty much the entirety lifespan of the team. Even when Jean died for awhile, Scott hooked up with her clone because that's just how much he loved her. Fast forward to present day and Scott's hooking up with Emma Frost of all people and somehow IT WORKS. Sure there's still people hating on this relationship, but you can't say it hasn't at least provided plenty of entertainment. And I have never liked the character of Cyclops as much as I do now that he's not just "Mr. Jean Grey." He went from being my least favorite X-Man character to one of my favorites pretty much overnight.

So yeah, breaking up established relationships CAN WORK in comics, but it's NOT working for BND. With the MILLIONS of different angles they could have gone to end this relationship, they picked the absolute stupidest and least sensible way to do it. THIS is why the whole thing has blown up in their faces, not the fact that they ended the relationship to begin with.
Jul. 16th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
While I do agree to some point-- fan of Scott and Emma here-- it seems that their interests regarding Spider-man are entirely different, in that they don't seem to want him to be with anyone.

But yeah, they really ruined it anyway. It's not the break-up that did it for most of us, so much as how it was done. It was about an inorganic a break-up as one could possibly engineer.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"
(no subject) - neo_prodigy - Jul. 16th, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
That's certainly one argument - another is that this is the new version of events, and Mephisto is monkeying with things to prevent the marriage in the past. Otherwise, that's kind of a huge importance to put on Spider-Man, his happiness, etc. for a guy who's the equivalent of the devil (if we had 183 devils).

That said, I've never read the original so I'm not sure how this scene would play out sans interference
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
I can't wait for the BND defenders to automatically jerk into 'why can't you just forget the past, what's done is done, enjoy the story for what it iiiiiiiiiiis'
Jul. 16th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
The longer this continues, the more it makes me pine for the days of the Clone Saga. I grew up on that one and still, somehow, still look back fondly on it. Mostly for its trainwreck value, but at least it was miles more entertaining and still sorta felt like Spidey.
Jul. 16th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Mark My Words: Joe Quesada will have Mary Jane outed as a crazed cannibal serial killer (complete with a thought balloon from Peter thinking "Wow! Good thing I never even thought about marrying that crazy bitch!") before he ever admits he ever lets this storyline die.
Jul. 16th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
Slightly OT, but am I missing something, or is the variant cover just the regular cover in black and white?
Jul. 16th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
No, you're not. Welcome to the wonderful world of "sketch variants," which were HUGE back in the '90s (back when Quesada was still primarily an artist) and which suck just as much as you think.
(no subject) - rallamajoop - Jul. 16th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 16th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
"This isn't even a STORY. This is a GRUDGE wearing a fiction-suit."

My quote of the week right there! :)
Jul. 17th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
As a lurker, I usually just stand on the sidelines and weep laugh at the absurdities Marvel seems to be going through to break up the marriage for whatever purpose. Long history short; my favorite pairing is Peter/Gwen, and I've been pretty neutral on the marriage, since I grew up with the Clone Saga, it just was.

However, with OMD, BND, and probably way back since the beginnings of Sins Past, Marvel and its Powers That Be have literally turned me from neutral to...well, a supporter of the marriage. Why? Because with all the energy I feel it's taken to set the marriage up for the split and convince us why, they could have been working on, you know, better stories. Admittedly, I don't have the funds to buy comics like I had (and honestly, I even if I did Marvel wouldn't be seeing a dime at this point), but from what I've read and browsed, I haven't seen anything that couldn't be told with the marriage. I never had a stake in the Spider-Marriage until I saw just how much Joe Q seems to want it gone.

Then again, I lost faith when I read (from Brevoort I believe) that Spider-man's message wasn't responsibility, it was youth. I might have complained quite loudly when Sins Past came about, but that just left me floored and speechless.
Jul. 18th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
Icon Love By the By!
"Then again, I lost faith when I read (from Brevoort I believe) that Spider-man's message wasn't responsibility, it was youth."

Jul. 18th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
On a side note does anyone think they might have been better off using the Void for this instead of Mephisto?
Jul. 19th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
Figured I copy and paste what I just posted over at your livejournal, K-Box, just in case some folks haven't seen it:

You know what else I just now realized that makes this scene possibly a complete and utter fail? Lets say the Mephisto Pigeon did unlock the rear doors or even more ridiculous, the rear doors were already unlocked--the crook wouldn't have been able to open the door and escape anyway. Why? Because in police cars, they are normally customized so that the rear door locks, handles and windows are disabled, inoperable, or removed altogether to prevent them being opened from the inside. This is done for the obvious reason that the cops do not want apprehended suspects from escaping their custody during transport. So not only are we dealing with a stupid crook who thinks cop cars are just like normal cars, but also the possibility that Joe Quesada as the writer of this story didn't do his research. (Unless, of course, there are those in law enforcement which can correct me on this).
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )


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