Sunday, January 06, 2008

Striking while the One More Day outrage is still fresh...

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Click through to all sizes to enlarge.
The song at the beginning, for those of you under 30 or not big Flintstones fans, is "Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sun Shine In." I'm not 100% sure it was specifically written to be sung by Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, but I'm more a fan of Frente's cover of it on Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits. Because I'm sappy.

I refused to pay $3.99 for 'One More Day,' but I spent $13 on a Mephisto action figure? God, I'm dumb.
It's not my taste, but I know that tongue wouldn't be a dealbreaker for some...
Yeah, I guess I wouldn't be looking forward to the 'I've got a magic sword that belonged to Peter's dead sister' conversation either.
Credit where credit's due first: Daredevil panel from Daredevil #266, "A Beer with the Devil" Written by Ann Nocenti, pencilled and co-plotted by John Romita Jr., inks by Al Williamson.

Surfer and "Nova" panels from Silver Surfer #99, "Temptation: Love" (It's "Lust" on the cover.) Written by Ron Marz, pencils by Jim Hall, inks by Bob Almovd.

Nightcrawler panels from Nightcrawler #12, "Happy Birthday, Kurt!" Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, pencils by Darick Robertson, inks by Rodney Ramos. If anyone else has this issue, please leave a comment and prove I'm not the only one who bought it...

So, One More Day: Does it occur to anyone that a deal with the devil might just be an occupational hazard for someone like Spidey? I mean, he's met Norse gods like Thor, Greek gods like Hercules, space gods like Galactus or the Beyonder; and assorted devils, demons, and mythological creatures. All of whom seem to have a lot more influence on his world than any sort of capital-G God; and Spider-Man probably doesn't think of Mephisto as "the devil," but just as another powerful being in a universe full of them. So, is dealing with Mephisto any different than working with Thor or Hercules? Man, there's a can of worms I'm not looking forward to being opened: I have this feeling someone is going to get it in their heads that Spidey's deal is the result of secular humanism and no prayer in school and pitch a fit...

I don't think the changes in "One More Day" were either necessary or irreversible, but what's more troubling is how terribly done it was. Mephisto? Really? Even though there had been a recent story setting up Loki as owing Spidey a favor? It would've been absolutely in character for Loki to save Aunt May by dicking over Peter and Mary Jane's marriage; and all without the stigma of the devil. God, I just can't get over how dumb that is.

I'm not a fan of Mephisto as a character either, but I did just remember a long run of Thor where he had Thor's soul in a bag in hell. About as dramatic as it sounds, yeah. That was during Tom DeFalco's run, and set up the Jake Olsen replacement Thor, which admittedly wasn't as terrible as I thought at the time. So, there's a precedent to using Mephisto as the deus ex machina to set up the stories a writer or editor wants to tell.

So, One More Day sucked, but then again I haven't bought an issue of the regular Marvel Universe Spider-Man for about three years, barring any I've dug out of the quarter bins, which admittedly might be a few. I don't know if "Brand New Day" is going to explode out of the gate, but I think eventually it will be good enough to wash the taste of this mess away. Maybe.

A big thanks to Everyday is Like Wednesday, where there's an excellent "Guided Tour of One More Day," that'll tell you anything else you need to know about it. Such a great site, it ended up in my sidebar twice for some reason...

Mephisto was my first toy purchase for 2008. Yeah, that bodes well for the rest of the year. And I bought it from a store I don't particularly like to support: it was on sale, but I still feel like I sold my soul there. How appropriate.


SallyP said...

Nightcrawler is just the ginchiest!

And yes, I think I have that particular issue...somewhere.

Sleestak said...

Wasn't Mephisto a mutant once? Maybe he is the Skrull now.

Poe Ghostal said...

Regarding Mephisto...I'd swear I read somewhere once that Stan Lee, who created the character in '68, always just thought of him as the actual Devil. I think it was later writers who made a question out of it.

As for "One More Day"...phew. Everyone's worst fears were realized. Frankly, I think it would have been better--and braver--to have Peter and Mary Jane get a divorce than go with this lame diabolus ex machina.

The only way I can see Joe Q redeeming himself would be if this turns out to be a "Knightfall" bluff--where a major change is made just to show readers that what they had wasn't so bad (e.g., Azrael was the Image-ized version of Batman, and reminded readers why the real Batman is so awesome) and then the status quo is restored.

The oddest thing about all of this is that Marvel already HAS a Spider-Man without the marriage--it's called Ultimate Spider-Man and, to my knowledge, it's selling just fine.

"One More Day" is just one more example of how Marvel, unlike DC, is afraid to let any of its superheroes grow in any way (Wolverine anyone?). Question: do any DC writers complain about Supes' marriage to Lois?

Justin Garrett Blum said...

How can any of us ever truly be sure that we're not a Skrull sleeper agent?

It must take you forever to put these together, but they're good. I love the look of frustration on Nightcrawler's face when he realizes the chips are stale.