Posted by: Graeme McMillan on November 29, 2007
So this is how I found out who the bad guy was in “One More Day”. I picked up a copy of THE SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #41 and started flipping through the back of the book, wondering what pointless background material they were putting in this issue to justify the increased price, and there was a reprint of an old Silver Surfer comic which had nothing to do with Spider-Man whatsoever. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against the chance to read old Stan Lee and John Buscema stories, but it was so out of place that I’d wondered if Marvel had just given up and started putting anything in the OMD books, just to make sure that they hit the revised revised shipping dates. Instead, there’s a caption below the cover of the Surfer issue, announcing that it’s the first appearance of the bad guy behind the whole Spider-reboot shebang.
Yes, this is the issue where we finally get to the whole meat of the One More Day story, and in terms of meat, it’s stringy, tasteless and drowning in cheese, just like my mother used to make.
It’s not enough that the whole concept of One More Day doesn’t really make sense as a Spider-Man story – “If you could magically heal your Aunt, would you?” is just a wee bit too removed from the whole despite-your-powers-you’re-only-human-so-try-your-best aspect of “With great power comes great responsibility” for me – but now that we finally get to the whole magical reboot offer, even that doesn’t make any sense on it’s own. We literally get (spoiler) Mephisto showing up out of nowhere and actually literally says “I want your love… I want your marriage.” It’s a good thing Spider-Man interrupts him there, because I believe the next line was going to be “I have no reason to want your love, or to even get involved in your life, but, you know, Joe Quesada really, really doesn’t want you guys to be married and he’s the editor-in-chief, so…” It’s a crazy, nonsensical scene – Mephisto has no motivation to be there or make that offer, other than a generic “Well, he’s the devil” one; even his stated reasoning – “I want that which gives you joy, that which sustains you in your moments of greatest despair” – doesn’t make sense because, dude, why does he care about Spider-Man in the first place? Doesn’t Mephisto normally go up against Thor or Ghost Rider or someone? And more importantly, if what he wants is to undermine Spider-Man’s moral center and security, then he’d let Aunt May die, not offer this cut-rate Faustian bargain.
(Yes, I know; this way, Spider-Man and Mary Jane have to choose between their marriage and letting Aunt May die and huzzah for more guilt for Peter, but Mephisto still has no reason to be in this story making that offer in the first place. It’s the Chewbacca Defense as applied to getting Spidey out of his marriage.)
And another, smaller but still annoying, thing: Since when did Marvel solve all their perceived problems with dumb magic reboots? Just as DC completely undercut the dramatic tension in their superhero books with all of the continuity reboots, Marvel’s doing the same with these smaller individual magic fixes. Editorial doesn’t like the direction of the X-Books? That’s fine; have Wanda magic them all away! Joe Quesada doesn’t like Spider-Man being married? That’s fine! Mephisto can show up and magic that away as well! It eats away at what little reality these books have left, if that makes sense; I’m now waiting for someone to magic the Skrulls away at the end of Secret Invasion, or bring Captain America back to life (That could even be the big finish of Secret Invasion – “I will take the life-force of all these Skrulls and use them to return America’s greatest hero to life!” “Are you sure you can do that, Dr. Strange?” “Yes, Iron Man – – Because you have learned humility“).
Maybe I’m just cranky, or maybe thinking about this book too much because it’s not coming out weekly as planned – it’s pretty much a means to an end, anyway, with everyone really just waiting for the Brand New Day relaunch – but this was lazily put-together Crap. There is one good thing about it, though; Joe Quesada’s artwork has really pulled itself together in this issue, and there are some nice-looking scenes throughout the whole thing. Maybe all those delays had some purpose after all…