What’s it been, three weeks since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man #545? Yet, oddly enough, the “One More Day” story is experiencing a second life in the mainstream press, thanks largely to an Associated Press article making the rounds.
However, writing for The Guardian’s books blog, Ned Beauman deviates from the wire story and looks unfavorably on Peter Parker’s deal with the devil — “a lazy bit of story-telling” — extreme fan reactions, and the quality of Spider-Man comics:
Some angry fans now claim to be “boycotting” Marvel Comics, apparently in the belief that a dodgy creative decision sits just below selling arms to Zimbabwe in the annals of corporate crime. (To me this is a bit like “boycotting” Random House because you’re upset that Philip Roth killed off Nathan Zuckerman, but hardcore comics fans love a chance to feel self-righteous.) Others are giving the benefit of the doubt to Brand New Day, the new, weekly Amazing Spider-Man serial.
But none of this need concern you too much. In any given year, only a vanishingly small number of superhero comics are worth your time and money. The Amazing Spider-Man, even since its recent change of creators, is still not one of them, and Mephisto’s not to blame: rather, the quality of the writing makes it, at best, Barely Adequate Spider-Man.
Believe it or not, Beauman isn’t all doom and gloom: He has praise for Ultimate Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, back at the AP story, the devil apparently isn’t in the details. The Los Angeles Times misses the plot entirely with its headline, “Spider-Man divorces: After more than 20 years, Peter Parker and Mary Jane have called it quits.”
The paper may have botched the headline, but it did leave this interesting quote from Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, tracing reaction to the storyline: “When we first did it, the reaction was, ‘How could you do this? This is a terrible thing to do. But with the first issue of ‘Brand New Day’ (in which Spider-Man returns to single life), our letters very quickly changed to people saying, ‘This is fantastic. This is the Spider-Man we remembered. We didn’t know what we’d been missing.”