One of the many things that bothers me about Marvel was the removal of regular Marvel continuity of the marriage between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. It just did not make sense to me. Marvel and then editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics Joe Quesada did not make clear their reason for doing this.
When confronted with a backlash by fans due to his decision to dictate a controversial reversal of Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson in the “One More Day” storyline, Quesada participated in a series of interviews on the subject to address the issue of the marriage, comparing it to real-life marriages. Which I never bought because they did not have to fabricate an elaborate storyline involving Mephisto (the Marvel version of the Devil). There is something called divorce people do it every day. He and others wanted the event erased from Marvel.
Below are excerpts from an article posted by Rich Johnston on March 18, 2017, on the Bleeding Cool website. I thought it was something to bring to our attention before the 10 year anniversary of the “One More Day” storyline from November 2007 to November 2017. It is a little wordy but we have insiders comments on the subject namely Dan Slott current writer for the Amazing Spider-Man.
I sense from his comments that he is sympathetic to those who favored the marriage
but is candid about the impossibility of the return to the marital bliss of Peter and MJ ever happening. Keep in mind this was done on a message board so it is repetitive with Dan Slott repeating himself. It is worth a read if you wonder if the marriage will ever happen again. 🙂 Walt
Once upon a time, Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, married Mary Jane Watson.
In Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 Released on June 9, 1987, it happened.
A few decades later, this marriage was erased from continuity by demonic magic with the One More Day storyline.
One more decade on, some people are still rather sore about this. And talk about it. A lot.
Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott took to the CBR forums to make pronouncements regarding the state of the now-dissolved marriage between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in the Amazing Spider-Man comic book – even as it has been revived in the parallel universe title Renew Your Vows. And from people who want the marriage returned in Marvel continuity and believe that one day it will happen.
In a series of posts he writes,
Believe all you want.
It AIN’T happening.
I’ve told people this for 9 years.
Me pitching RYV and getting permission from the Powers That Be to do it– and it selling well enough to merit an ongoing– is as good as you’re going to get (so please keep the sales for Gerry & Ryan’s book up, up, UP!).
Every single editorial team since the marriage worked hard to undo it.
You will not see the marriage restored in the core continuity ever.
It’s far more likely that you’d see a line-wide reboot that reset Spider-Man to high school years (and on model with the creators’ original intent) then the marriage being restored. And THAT is never going to happen either.
Again, believe all you want. Put MJ and her wedding dress or showing off her wedding ring in EVERY message board avatar in the world. Still never happening. Ever. Ever. Ever.
I’m sure I’ll be here next year telling you the same thing.
Apparently, that wasn’t clear enough for some.
Not happening. Over a quarter of a century has been spent by Marvel to undo it. The change from 2007 is the one where they put their collective foot down. It ain’t happening. Sorry. Ever. It’s not a question of “current writers” or “current editorial”. Marvel wants it to stay undone. Could the CHARACTERS come back together in the core continuity in a relationship that’s not a marriage? Sure. But the marriage is NEVER being officially restored.
Clear? Still no.
This isn’t a “let’s argue about it” or “let’s debate it”.
This is a fact. This is in stone. This is a done deal.
There is no administration in the near or distant future that will ever reinstate the marriage to the core continuity version of Spider-Man EVER again.
Could the two of them become a couple again? Yes. That could happen.
Could there be an alternate continuity where they’re married? You bet. And we worked to make that happen.
Will they ever be married again? Never.
Is there some future person out there who loves the marriage and will someday wind up a creator or editor at Marvel? Could happen.
Will they be able to reinstate the marriage of these two Marvel characters?
A person who believes that’s a scenario that could happen does not have a realistic grasp on how a company/corporate entity like Marvel functions.
That’s the reality of the situation.
Apparently, there is still some wiggle room:
It’s not happening.
It’s never, ever going to happen.
There is more going on than just people willing or wanting to write for that setup.
There is no person, no matter how passionately they cared about the pre-OMD setup who could ever make it through all the steps and paces to get to a position of editorial power AND be given the reins of the Spider-Unit who would EVER be allowed to put this back into play.
There is no lottery ticket BIG enough that anyone could win it, buy Marvel, and make this status quo happen.
It’s NEVER, EVER, EVER coming about.
No matter how much you want it.
It ain’t happening.
There is NO possible path to this.
It wasn’t some magic concurrence of “THESE GUYS” who want to undo it.
EVERYONE in power was working on how to undo it NOT THAT LONG INTO THE MARRIAGE.
The undoing was going to happen. It was just a matter of when.
Now that it HAS happened, it AIN’T unhappening.
Your premise of why-and-how it happened isn’t accurate, and the obstacles against the inverse happening are– when you understand the larger forces at work here– are INSURMOUNTABLE.
I can think of at least 3 specific things we could do in the book tomorrow (NOT MJ or marriage-related) that would cause a boost in sales– and that we WON’T do. (And, no, I won’t tell you what those are.)
Because there are battles you fight and there are wars you win.
There are elements of this job that are about brand management. I could go into how and why this works, but I’m not going to.
There are factors at work here that are not taken into consideration by fans.
There are things fans don’t even add into their “math” when they think about outcomes that they’d like (like, in this case, reinstating the marriage).
Yes, everyone who works in comics IS a fan. No one falls into the job of writer or editor or editor-in-chief by accident.
Everyone who works in comics does this because we dearly love it.
But there are aspects to this job where if you approach it PURELY as a fan and DON’T take those factors into account– you will NOT survive. You will NOT get certain assignments. You will NOT reach certain levels or positions. You will NOT get to affect the changes you would like. And because of that, there are some changes/choices/concepts that WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Not oh-maybe-someday-the-right-person-will-end-up-in-the-right-place-and-THEN-it’ll-happen! NO. NEVER. Again, it’s about fighting battles vs. winning wars.
Some days I wish the MJ-marriage-fans could understand the amount of water I had to carry– and the political minefields I had to dance through– to GET Renew Your Vows to happen. THAT was a longshot. And THAT was in an alternate reality. You are NEVER getting that close again. (And, BTW, you’re welcome.)
This is something even above an EIC at this point. Using the example of the “well someday a new EIC might change it on a whim” argument is inapplicable. It feels right from a fan perspective, but it has no bearing on the reality of the situation. There are a lot of “fan beliefs” that work that way. For example, the “Now that Disney owns Marvel, things will change the way *I* think they should” recurring fan fantasies– like who will be fired for saying what online or what properties will be allowed to cross-over with which things.
There are things fans really want to believe because they feel right or possible– but for anyone on the inside, we look at that and go “they just don’t get it”.
The fantasy scenario where someone “comes to power” who wants to reinstate the marriage, while a false one for many reasons, with every passing year is even less realistic as a fantasy. Marvel editorial is in lockstep on this (which is beside the point but bear with me for a sec). Every 18 year old who started reading Spider-Man at the age of 8 has grown up with a post-OMD Spider-Man. For them, the marriage was undone, and they’re cool with that. Those post-Marriage stories are the ones they grew up reading. Those are the Marvel college interns cycling in now. Those are the assistant editors of the future, who will one day become the editors of the future, and the editor in chiefs in the future. And every year that gets set further into stone. There is no 30 years old or 40 year old who’s going to magically pop into Marvel editorial from the side. And year after year, the people who’ve grown up who feel as strongly as you do about the 1987 marriage status quo are further and further away from Marvel editorial positions. With that in mind– IT DOESN’T MATTER. Because even the ones in those positions aren’t really the ones who can or are going to change it.
There is no lottery ticket win big enough that is getting someone into a magic position of power that’s going to change this. There’s no zillionaire who’s a big reinstate-the-marriage fan who can rest this property away from Disney/Marvel Entertainment. It’s never, ever, ever happening.
I think there could be a run or a storyline that resolves OMD. Or one that gives Spidey a win over Mephisto. But the end result of that story would still NOT be the reinstatement of the marriage. That’s never happening for many, many, many ironclad, set-in-stone reasons.
Spider-Man and Spider-Man’s status as a character, brand, and franchise isn’t just the purview of an editor, a group editor, a senior editor, or even the EIC. The fan-dream-scenario of someone who was Spider-Man-marriage-friendly secretly slaving away to rise up through the ranks that way and reinstate the marriage is a tad naive. Why?
Because there are VPs, Senior VPs, the CCO, the publisher, the president, the owner, Marvel Entertainment, Disney…
It’s too simplistic to think that something like the spider-marriage– which was initially rushed into happening– and then was something the Powers That Be tried to undo (unsuccessfully) not that long after– would EVER happen again (and that includes the act of reinstating it).
It just isn’t happening. Even if you’re not a fan– or are even incredibly upset– of how it happened, the fact that it did– and it’s stuck for a decade means that it’s done. And it ain’t EVER happening again.
Why are you crushing fans’ dreams? Because it’s been 10 years. It’s NOT changing. EVER. I’ve seen members of the hardcore fringe argue about this for a decade– and outside of the cathartic act of venting about it– it is a completely pointless waste of energy. It’s NEVER coming back.
Could MJ come back into the book? Yes. Could she be the main love interest again? Absolutely. Will they restore the marriage in the core continuity Spider-Man book? No.
The closest you’re coming to that– EVER– is the Renew Your Vows continuity. So if you like that, please spend some of that energy and dedication supporting it.
The argument that “one day a spider-marriage-loving EIC– or even OWNER– will reinstate it” really should be retired. Because it’s not even a pipe dream. It’s an impossibility– it’s nonsensical because the system doesn’t work that way. And the silly thing is, with every passing year that impossible argument becomes less and less viable, even by its own “logic”, as the 8-year-olds of ten years ago, who grew up w/o the marriage, are getting ready to be the new Marvel college interns of tomorrow.
There is no amount of writer-clout in the world that could make this happen. Zero.
J.K. Rowling could show up tomorrow and ask this.
It is not a question of clout.
The marriage will never be reinstated in the core continuity. I’m on year 9 of breaking the news to a certain segment of which, judging by your avatar and endless posts, you’re a part of. This is a lock. There are no “people in charge someday” that will bring about your dearest, fondest Spider-y wish. It AIN’T happening. I could spend hours breaking down for you all the magical dream scenarios you could have– and crush them one by one. IT AIN’T HAPPENING EVER.
Responding to comments that Ben Reilly returned after being equally banned by editorial, he says,
The reason for the Ben Reilly embargo is an apples-and-oranges comparison.
It was because multiple creative teams wanted to bring the character back– multiple editorial teams wanted to bring the character back– the powers that be wanted to bring the character back– and it was all a question of the timing of when the character would come back.
There is no circumstance at all like that for the marriage. There is lockstep all the way up to infinity for why the marriage will never, ever, ever be reinstated in the core continuity. Ever. You may get What Ifs? or alternate realities or what have you. But in the core continuity, this is a thing that will never, ever, ever happen. Infinity.
There is no time that will ever happen. Ever. I’ll be back to remind of this next year as well as you continue to charge at this windmill yet again. It ain’t happening.
So there you go. No matter how much Joe Kelly teases you in Spider-Man/Deadpool.