Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Big Picture: "The Devil & Mr. Parker"

18 comments:

Rarer Monsters said...

Very spot on...although I have to note it didn't really require much on your part, comic book continuity just lets you sort of describe it and it'll sound like some kind of hilarious satire.

But it does remind me of something: why do comic fans still like canon? I mean, canon is like being shackled to a really awful relationship that you hate but then some attractive new stable girl shows up and says "Hey, want to start a new storyline?" you get all antsy and go "No, no, I'm committed to this, I have to stick to this!"

I mean, yes, you've been comitting to it, but why waste that commitment and dumb stuff?

Comics only even have continuity so its easier for new writers to go on autopilot. I mean, look at Marvel Zombies, where Kirkman essentially shows us that the stories have became so droll and regular that even if the characters were flesh-eating monsters it would still unfold the same... okay kind of a tangent here.

What I'm saying is, comic fans should welcome new story lines as a chance to do a fresh take on a familiar character unburdened by the mistakes of the past, not fearfully cling to stories that read like annotated lists of trivia points.

KevinCV said...

You should watch Linkara's video regarding that storyline where Spidey makes that deal, Bob. He ripped it a new asshole, and also considered that explanation of "everything still happened, except no marriage" to be a rather big cop-out. Just a thought.

Adam said...

I never got why the writers hated MJ so much. Mind you I was about seven when he got married so I didn't exactly follow the story and continuity beforehand. To me, the MJ thing has always been about the syndication culture that comics have always suffered from.

Peter Parker getting married was one of the few 'step forward' moments that actually stuck in comics. This wasn't Spiderman defeating the Sinister Six only to have four of its members conveniently break out of prison in time for minor roles in next weeks plot.

As much as fans 'disliked' MJ (which is probably far more because of the crazy and stupid silver age style stories she gets put in rather than her being peters wife) but Aunt May dying looked to be a big pay off that they got screwed on.

From a story and character evolution standpoint, Aunt May being kept alive is a travesty. Taking an opportunity to show how a more adult peter parker deals with loss. A punctuation to the story so far of Spiderman. He looses his uncle to irresponsibility, he looses his aunt because he tried to do the right thing.

But you're correct, and frankly a little pathetic. For a genera that can treat crazy concepts like how godlike powers affects day to day life with maturity and respect they seem to be either incapable or unwilling to treat real events like death of loved ones and marriage.

In fact, I remember this being lampshades in the X-factor relaunch. Where one of the characters simply refused to grieve for a love one and simply stated 'how many times have we died and in perhaps a year or two they come back?' the fact that you can have that kind of continuity, so much so that saving an 80 year old woman is worth risking your soul with the devil is sad.

Christopher said...

I simply didn't like the WAY they got rid of the marriage = the whole devil angle seems pretty ridiculous.

By the way, Bob. Could you possibly make a post identifying who each of the figureheads you use in the Big Picture videos are? I know I recognize some of them, and it shames me that I don't know who these guys are

rob said...

[mild spoiler warning]

Ok, Bob's doing One More Day, I like his in-depth analysis and this might make a fresh perspective.
Sorry, but "Comics are weird" and then reading us the comicbook is not your best work.

Let me say, I liked 1 more day, I just read comics for the extreme stories, I enjoy the fantasies of talented writers (though ASM writers are not my favorites, Garth Ennis is).

Peter Parker's life was hell, it could not get any worse. If May died because of Peter's mistake, he'd have gone completely mental, donning a black suit and emo hair, maybe some chains, now would you have preferred to see that? Now, how to get out of hell? Go to the devil, Peter didn't want to, but MJ basically pushed it through and she is the one being punished, still having all the memories. He never wanted to do it, visited -everyone- who might be able to help but was out in the cold. Then someone offers you everything you want... try and visualize your mom on the brink of death because someone came after you, you'd do anything.

I personally think DC has a better example, the easy return from death in the DC universe was "Because Superman came back from death and he kind of left the door open for others".

And a better example in Marvel: How come everyone always starts trusting Norman Osborn again?!

Also, the artists really went all out on the atmosphere in this arc, looks stunning.

Civil War was also kind of a maturing phase for Marvel, going to the "Little did they know that xxx is actually yyy" to having a realistic world with realistic civilians in it, the Youtube generation, each hero and character have a fulfilling, full-time roll. I like how spidey is being screwed with in the modern New York and conclude for myself, and this far too long post with the fact that if I started collecting comics a few years earlier, I'd have stopped doing so.

Oh, PS, and as far as weird is concerned... Shrooming Plumbers.

Popcorn Dave said...

Good video, although I knew most of this stuff already thanks to SFDebris. For those who aren't familiar (mostly he does very funny Star Trek reviews on Youtube), here's his take on the matter:

http://sfdebris.com/everything/nmsm1.asp

Bryce said...

Mephisto ain't the Marvel Satan. Marvel already has a Satan.

Who do you think Daimon Hellstrom's dad is?

Lucas Neumann said...

Sigh... comics are not weird, they just are a never ending story.

Look, when you have more than half a century worth of comics, this stuff is bound to happen. Iron Man's story is a mess, so is Captain America and let's not even talk about the fantastic Four. With a story wroten in years and by various hands, it's no wonder that sutff like One more day happens.

And Marvel is not alone, DC is so confusing that makes your head spin, all those deaths and rebirths.

New Day is a reset button for Spider Man, kinda like a reboot if you may. But without the balls. And why do you assume writers can't cope with a married Spider Man? They did that for almost 20 years, and some of the best Spidey stories ever was while he wore a wedding ring.

The thing is, more than separate the Peter-MJ couple, the whole Mephisto thing was a fresh start. Yeah it might piss of the guys who have been reading comics for most of their lifes now, but the kids who are just picking them up, they couldn't care less about that. And that's what Quesada is looking for, new readers

Yes, it's stupid as the Clone Saga, but that's how they went. Would been a lot better to just finish with Spiderman, the end, fim, and start a new Story. But oh no, the canon must continue. Marvel could've ended their heroes saga in a awesome way on the civil War, and Start Fresh again,but that would take a major risk... (I know, there's ultimate Spiderman, still)

And people prefer movies because it's a way more confortable media to know your characters than print. Just to get the major Spiderman villains, origins and stuff, you need to read a lot of comics, as in a movie they present everything in a couple of hours. It's available for everybody, and not just people who been reading them for at least than 10 years.

So yeah, I did't get this show, just saying comics are weird and then explaining one more day without making a decent conclusion.
This new show is not coming out that good Bob...

Lucas Neumann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jameshayes said...

I LIKE THE NEW SHOW

there, someone had to say it

ZAENGO said...

joe quesada can go eat a dick. that whole "one more day" storyline can go eat a dick. everyone can go eat a dick.

Darren said...

@ ZAENGO:

Sounds tasty :P

On another note, I wonder if moviebob should ever get married seeing as he is a nerd and that the stereotypical one never has a significant other, or if doing so would hurt his internet persona. Probably not but that thought sounded interesting for a second :/

Dave Kraft said...

Uhhhh, Bob? Here I get to correct YOU on some Marvel stuff....

Read a fairly recent book from this past summer called "A Moment in Time". It explains that Peter and MJ were SUPPOSED to get married, but the night before their wedding, Peter (wearing the black costume for some odd reason) was hit in the head with a brick and slept through the wedding, with MJ being stood up at the altar. What you make out to seem like a domestic partnership of sorts didn't last very long, MJ moved out and Peter has a new female roommate who's a royal bitch to him. Peter and MJ no longer live together, and no, none of their "adventures" happened. 20+ years of continuity have indeed been erased, Spider-Man now wears a weird TRON-esque costume that has light-up parts which change colors (red, blue and green), and kidnapped Harry Osborn's baby. It's all kinds of fucked up.

You can go right ahead and thank Mephisto for making Parker one of the lamest characters in comics today. But first, go ahead and catch up on your comics, because your understanding of what Spidey's goin' through as a swinging bachelor isn't a very accurate representation of the source material.

Lord, I hate the spread of misinformation.....

Oh, and here's that TRON-ified Spidey costume I was mentioning before. http://www.comicbookresources.com/images/cons/sdcc2010/slott/1280099699.jpg

Bob said...

@Dave Kraft,

Believe me, I'm aware of O.M.I.T. and the glowy costume. I generally have to keep these shows under five minutes, and as much as I tried there was really no way to ALSO explain Brand New Day, OMIT, etc. with any kind of satisfactory payoff.

If the "Comics! Are! Weird!" bit plays well, I hope to do some more and maybe they'll wind up in there (though not before stuff like the DC Multiverse and Frog Thor get their due...)

JDude said...

Hahaha. I've heard Linkara go on and on about this before. Hope he sees this, I bet you two would have plenty to discuss with each other.

Dave Kraft said...

@Bob & JDude:

Actually I'm a big fan of Bob's, and once I can get my goddamn blog up and running I've got a few videos of my own I'd like to pass by him for a healthy peer critique (that'd be HIM critiquing ME, as I'm rather new to the whole video blog thing and I welcome constructive criticism).

Unfortunately, post-New York Comic Con's work schedule has been hell due to catching the con crud and getting a full-blown flu bug, so I've been playing catch-up for quite a bit. But hey, Newsarama interviewed me and that video's going up just as soon as I send them some artwork from my upcoming books for them to splice into the footage, so it ain't all bad.

Plus, I promised you guys a few pics of Batman 3 Harley Quinn, and once I get back on schedule that'll be one of the first things I'll share with y'all. :)

But Bob, I must say.... I don't really think the face pics in your Big Picture vids work as well as the images you use in your TGO and MovieBob segments. They're more distracting than anything. Just my two cents, and I enjoy them nonetheless. :D

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Spider-man fans are the WORST the comic world has to offer. Understand that I am a fan of stories. I like stories to progress, characters to evolve, having them react to changing situations. Sure, this marriage crisis (something that's never been a crisis to me in 7 years of marriage) was a game changer, but it could have proven to be something far more interesting.

The problem lies in mass media's idea of marriage: if there's no CONFLICT, the marriage is boring. This is why every marriage in every sitcom ever written pits the husband against the wife in some way, shape, or form. Never mind that Mary Jane and Spider-man could have been a cohesive team, a single unit. There are a million and one ways that they could have had them both adapt to their marriage, but like Bob said...they chose to implement the one where Spidy and his wife are at odds most of the time. Sure half of all marriages end in divorce, but the ones that WORK can work to the benefit of both.

It could be interesting, but no...the writers thought it wouldn't be. Maybe because they couldn't do something that involved guns, boobs, or snorting coke. Who knows? It doesn't take much to make a story interesting (current pro wrestling organizations and NBC could take some lessons, for sure) but resorting to the oldest cliche in all of fiction is just creatively bankrupt.

That leads me to Spider-man's fans in general. They lead lives of stagnation, afraid of even the slightest change. After several years, they whine and bitch about how the comics have grown stale and nothing ever happens.

So the writers change something and give Spidey a new costume and the fandom reacts thusly: "OH SHIT NEW COSTUME! I HATE IT! THIS IS THE WORST STORYLINE EVER CREATED! BURN THE HERETICS WHERE THEY STAND! KILL THEIR CHILDREN AND--Oh hey, they brought back the old costume."

Several years later, the same fans who cried and moaned will look back on the costume they hated with longing as "the good old days"

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Michael said...

This was funny when I first watched it and even the analysis was interesting, but lacked the knowledge necessarily to actually get the meaning of why the Devil got the good part of this deal.

The devil wanted the end of MJ and Parkers marriage not to erase some meaningless pictures and memories. It was to erase Mayday Parker. Oh yea you're probably only acquainted with one or two spider-man comics. May "Mayday" Parker is the child of MJ and Parker who in the MC2 universe is Spider-Girl. Sometime within the last 10 years She teamed up with the Avengers of that timeline and Beatup the devil.

In 2010 they ended the Spider-Girl series which ended all of the MC2 stories. Up until that point Joe Q at marvel was of the mindset that the MC2 universe was the natural progression of the Marvel-616 story, but if you're not going to publish that anymore it's kind of a dead end.

They then used the devil again as a plot device to gracefully erase Mayday from the timeline of 616. This gave the devil his victory over the future Avengers.