|Posted by Ratin8tor on July 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM|
Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
Since it's my 100th blog on Manic Expression I thought I'd go retro this week and publish my very first one on here. It's an oldie but a goodie, the blog that started it all. Without further ado enjoy.
Ah Spider-Man. Isn't his life stuff just full of woe. Broke, lives with his aunt, almost killed every day, is socially awkward. It's a wonder the guy ever managed to get a girlfriend. It's even more of a wonder that he got married.
But Spider-Man, like all great tragedies, isn't built on happiness. No, there comes a time where life must kick him in the balls and push him back down. And in one such instance it cost him both his marriage and his unborn child.
First, some back story. Spider-Man, aka Peter Parker, gained superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider (back in the days when radioactivity couldn't give you cancer). He ends up falling for a supermodel, Mary Jane Watson, and the two got married in 1987.
Skip forward 20 years and the writers get tired of Peter Parker being a married man, so they decide to end the relationship. But since divorce is too ugly a word, they instead have him sell his marriage and unborn child to the Marvel representation of the Devil.
Yes, that's right. Peter gives up his marriage and his unborn daughter, all so that Aunt May (who had been shot in the story Back in Black) could live and his secret identity (he publicly revealed himself in Civil War, something I'll come to later) become... secret.
Needless to say, fans were outrage. It was such a stupid, trivial idea that goes against everything that character stood for.
Or did it? Join me as I (vainly) try and defend One More Day, and to prove why it might be a good thing.
Lets start off with our main man, Peter Parker. He tends to have a 'Hero's Complex'. He will never, ever back down from a fight. Which is great, since it shows how courages and heroic he can be when he's fighting the Juggernaut. However this isn't all good. It's in our very nature to either 'fight or flight'. Those that lived to pass on the genes were the ones that knew it was foolish to take on the tiger in the jungle.
Peter doesn't have these instincts. He makes everything his responsibility, his problem. It's his job to help everyone, no matter what. If he could he'd be out there 24/7 saving the day.
… Which would result in living his wife and baby defenceless. Don't get me wrong, Mary Jane is a very capable woman. It's just that Green Goblin or Doc Ock are very powerful villains. And they don't even know who Spider-Man really is. Not to, say, Venom.
Spider-Man would face a truly tough decision. Does he either a)go out to save everyone or b)focus on keeping his child safe. Either way he feels like he is doing the wrong thing. Do we really believe that Peter Parker could balance the responsibility of being both a father and Spider-Man?
This leads me onto my next point. Mary Jane isn't the first girl to catch his eyes, no sir. He first had his heart set on blonde bombshell Gwen Stacy, who he had a relationship with. Tragically (since this is a Spider-Man story), the Green Goblin kidnapped her and dropped her off a bridge. To add extra pathos, it could have been Spider-Man's webbing catching her foot in mid fall that might have snapped her neck. Whilst it has never been made official, Spider-Man does carry around the knowledge that he killed his girlfriend.
Surely that must go through the back of his mind, when he's around Mary Jane. Surely he must fear that is only a matter of time before the situation happens again. Not only that, but his child would be even more defenceless then Mary Jane. He would never be able to live with the responsibility of it.
I admit, it sounds like I made the same point twice. So lets move onto another point. The fact that he saved his Aunt May. Now some argue that she already had one foot in the grave, so saving her wasn't going to be much in the long one. But lets look at it from Peter's perspective. This woman was effectively his mother; and raised him when he was all alone in the world. He still feels indebted to her kindness, and would do anything for her. Not to mention he already let his uncle get shot, because he refused to stop a robber. It was the day that made him Spider-Man, whilst also making him wish he could have saved his uncle. Now, presented in the same situation and offered the choice, is it any surprise he took it?
Was it the right move to do? No, in my opinion. But did it fit in with his character? Yes, to a certain degree.
The other condition of the deal was for his secret identity to become secret again. Now bear in mind, it was revealing his identity that caused Aunt May to be shot in the first place. Furthermore, it also showed that his family would never be completely safe, no matter what he tried to do. Whilst he knew he was giving up a great sacrifice, he did it to try and protect the ones he cared about most. To try and let them live a safer life.
So we've come to the station of this train of the thought, and what have we got out of it? 1)Peter has fears for the safety of others; and feels that he couldn't carry out his responsibilities if he had a child. 2)Aunt May meant more to him then Mary Jane, since he looked at it at a chance of fixing a past mistake. 3)It would provide a way of keeping his loved ones safe.
Now do I like One More Day? No, no I do not. I think it ruins everything the characters stand for; as well as future story ideas. If I were to write it, I'd have done it differently. I'd have Spider-Man fight some dimensional villain threatening to destroy earth. Peter is presented with a problem: if he defeats the villain, his marriage will never have happened and whatnot. Peter knows of this, but decides to do the right thing and save the world, even at his own personal cost. Then, you'd begin a new story arc (or arcs), rebuilding the romance between Mary Jane and Peter Parker.
One More Day is bad, really bad. Who's to blame for it? In the real world it's Joe Quesada, in the Marvel Universe it's Mephisto. For those that don't know, this guy is basically the devil. The ultimate in evil. Vile scum.
… So doesn't it make perfect sense that he would strike Peter at his weakest moment, taking from him the most cherished possession? Remember poor Peter is under a lot of stress; and Mephisto is manipulating him. Sure, it doesn't look like that he gets anything out of the bargain. But he gets to make Peter and Mary Jane suffer; and isn't that what the Prince of Darkness would want? Suffering for as many as possible?
I hope you enjoyed my ramble, feel free to leave you own comments and opinions. This is Pretty Boy, signing out.
So there you have it. My first ever blog for the series. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.
Categories: In Too Deep