Spider-Man One More Day Debacle

Marvel comic fans will be well aware of the mess that is Spider-Man; One More Day. Well, if you believe everything you hear, writer J Michael Straczynski is right there with you.
Basically, Spider-Man: One More Day was meant to retcon the series a bit, to dissolve Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage. From what I can gather, the entire event was focused around this one eventuality. But what has happened has been a travesty of editorial decisions and has definitely irked off the fans.

The book was exceedingly late, and Straczynski eventually made it known that he was unhappy with what had happened.

Following that, there was a series of interviews made by Straczynski or the comic’s editor and artist, Joe Quesada, which basically turned in to a tit-for-tat match more akin to something you would find in a very polite playground.

So it is not surprising that another email has made its way to the surface from Straczynski, being labeled an “unsolicited email” by the folks who received it over at Newsarama. I’ll post it below, or at least the relevant section, but the main concern that Straczynski had was that the story no longer made sense.

And this is a surprise, considering what he has based his views on; the magic. Essentially, Mephisto has appeared, offered Peter the ability to dissolve the marriage in place of saving Aunt May (which, to be honest, is an utter sham if you think about it. Aunt May would smack him over the back of the head if she ever found out!).

As a result of this ‘magic spell’, everything has been wiped. No one knows Peter Parker is Spider-Man any more (after his controversial Civil War unmasking), Harry Osborne is alive again, the webshooters are back, people have forgotten stuff, memories are gone or altered or remade; it’s a shambles.

Here is the part of the email that will explain;

There's this notion that magic fixes everything. It doesn't. "It's magic, we don't have to explain it." Well, actually, yes, you do. Magic has to have rules. And this is clearly not just a case of one spell making everybody forget he's Spidey...suddenly you're bringing back the dead, undoing wounds, erasing records, reinstating web shooters, on and on and on.

What I wanted to do was to make one small change to history, a tiny thing, whose ripples we could control to only touch what editorial wanted to touch, making changes we could explain logically. I worked for weeks to come up with a timeline that would leave every other bit of continuity in place. It was rigorous, and as logical as I could make it. In the end of OMD as published, Harry is alive and he's always been alive as far as the characters know...so how is that different than he was alive the whole time?

It made no sense to me.

Still doesn't. It's sloppy. It violates every rule of writing fiction of the fantastic that I and every other SF/Fantasy writer knows you can't violate. It's fantasy 101.

It troubled me that it's MJ and not Peter who is the one to actively make the decision.

I'd originally written the first issue of OMD to take place directly after May gets shot, and in fact turned in the first script directly after she gets nailed. Editorial decided to build in a block of issues for One More Day...meaning May would be in that bed for almost a *year* which I thought was just too long to make work.

And yes, I wanted to retcon the Gwen twins out of continuity, which was something I always assumed I could do at the end of my run. I wasn't allowed to do this, and yes, it pissed me off. I felt I was left holding the bag for something I wanted to get rid of, and taking the rap for a writing lapse that I had never committed. Why this aspect was not brought up in the other interview, you'd have to ask Joe.

Mainly, the book was rewritten in the editorial offices to a degree that the words weren't mine any longer, to a certain degree in three, and massively in four. If the work represents me, I leave the name there and take the rap; if it doesn't, then that's a different situation. There's just not much of my work there, especially once you get to the last dong of midnight...everything after that was written by editorial.

Whether my work is good or it sucks, it's mine. What came out of the end of OMD wasn't, hence my desire to omit the writing credit. Joe graciously offered to share it on the last issue. I think that helped. Credit where credit is due.

What I don't want is for this to turn into a public pissing match. Joe did what he did because he thought it was the right thing to do, and as EIC that's his call, not mine. I respect and admire him. I hope this will be the end of the matter.

That’s all folks, and make sure to check out the whole long story over at Newsarama by clicking the link below.
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