Spider-Man: ‘One More Day’ Reflection

This article was originally published on Kyle’s Tumblr page, Heroes of the Modern Age. You can also find his Facebook page here

Spider-Man went through many trials in the past few years. He faced the entire island of Manhattan growing sick and developing spider-based powers in Spider-Island, dealt with Doc Ock taking over his brain and his life for a year in The Superior Spider-Man, and finally helped stop Morlun and the Inheritors from destroying every alternate realities’ respective Spider-Man. If you don’t know what those are, then go ahead and look them up or find the issues. But none of that would have been possible without the highly controversial One More Day and Brand New Day arcs back in 2007 and 2008 respectively. While not a clean deal, One More Day retconned much in Spidey’s universe and allowed for some great stories, which is all I could ask for.

One More Day was the second arc that Spider-Man went through following the huge crossover event Civil War from 2006, which detailed the Marvel Universe splitting into two teams, a Pro-Registration Act team helmed by Iron Man and an Anti-Registration Act team led by Captain America. Without getting into too much detail, Civil War had the superheroes argue over the Superhero Registration Act which required all superheroes to reveal their secret identities to the government so they could be tracked and potentially arrested for crimes against the general public. Spider-Man was one of the first people to publicly reveal his identity in this event and side with Iron Man, which meant that Spidey’s family, Aunt May and Mary Jane, were now at risk. Spidey would later switch sides after learning that those who refused to register would be imprisoned, but his identity was already known at this point and the damage done.

Following Civil War, Aunt May was shot by a hitman hired by Kingpin to kill Spider-Man. Missing Peter, he hit May and left Peter searching for ways to save his dying Aunt. After many failures, Peter and Mary Jane turn to the demon Mephisto to save Aunt May. He agrees to save Aunt May and make everyone forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, but only if Peter and Mary Jane will give Mephisto their marriage. After much discussion, Peter and Mary Jane agree. The next day, Peter wakes up alone in Aunt May’s house since he never married Mary Jane and no one remembers that Peter is Spider-Man. Cue Brand New Day and Spider-Man’s newer adventures.

 When I heard of this decision, I was disgusted. It wasn’t that Marvel wanted to rein Spider-Man in and make him more appealing to a younger audience by divorcing him and Mary Jane, but how they did it that bothered me. In all senses of the term, this was a deus ex machinima. In a world ruled primarily by science, the only way to destroy Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage was to bring in a supernatural demon to wipe away his problems; I’m not buying it. What else didn’t make sense was why Marvel would want to do this: after all, we had a younger teenaged Spider-Man in the Ultimate Spider-Man series, so why bother making the excuse that they wanted to appeal to a younger audience when another Spider-Man was doing just that? I think Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage no longer fit the story Marvel wanted to tell, so they axed it in as quickly a way as possible so they could move along. Again, I wasn’t a fan of the decision and I’m still not.

But the outcome, in my opinion, seems to have been worth it. All the stories I mentioned earlier – Spider-Verse, Superior Spider-Man, and Spider-Island were all great all-around stories that progressed the mythos rather well. They weren’t perfect by any means, but they were worth a read and enjoyable enough. I believe Spider-Man benefited from One More Day and has continued to benefit from its aftermath, and I’m confident we’ll continue to receive great stories from the team at Marvel. In the end, that’s all that matters with these heroes: telling good stories and One More Day enabled Marvel to do that.

 What probed me to reflect on this decision was the recent ending of the arc of Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, which detailed an alternate version of Spidey’s world in which he was still married to Mary Jane and had a daughter with her. The arc was made primarily to appease fans who were still upset over One More Day’s results nearly eight years ago, and while it’s a short arc, it does show how Peter would act as a family man and is a nice little entry to read if you opposed One More Day’s decision. While One More Day was a tough decision to accept, I think it was one that aided in Spider-Man’s development.

 Until next time, keep reading and stay amazing!

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