January 7, 2008

Spider-Man's Deal with the Devil

Okay. So.

The Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics has been publicly saying for a while now that Spider-Man's marriage held the character back. "There are no stories that can be told with a married Spidey that can't be told with an un-married Spidey, but there ARE stories you can't tell with a married Spidey that you can tell with an un-married Spidey." He's gone on to say how married life is so much less exciting than unmarried life and a bunch of other stuff.

I don't read Spidey. I read The Incredible Hulk. (Click on those three links for one of the best comic storylines I've read in recent history from a major comic book company, excluding, of course this one and this one -- but I'm biased.)

I haven't read Spidey in a long time. I always did find his marriage to go against type. I mean, Peter Parker, the Spider-Man, is supposed to be a down on his luck guy and he's married to a supermodel who loves him very much and is fun and intelligent.

The guy has it good.

HAD it good.

So Marvel's EiC and the Spider-Man editorial staff decide a married Spider-Man is not a character kids can relate to. And they figure out a way to make it so he was never married, he lives in his aunt's house, and he's still thirty-something.

That's right, the kids will be able to relate to that version of Spidey better, right?

Now, they couldn't have Spidey get divorced, because that would be sitting a bad example for the kids who don't relate to him. So how can they get Spidey to be able to get single again so he can live with his aging aunt and be able to "have *** and download ****" (direct quote). (Hm, maybe I shouldn't include the actual words since I have no idea what the Google Ads will turn up if it focuses on those as keywords, but you can click the link, which will take you to a worksafe convention report where some upset fans confronted the Marvel EiC about the issue.) (And yes, I'm aware of the irony that "divorce" is considered a bad example for kids, but "pre-marital relations" and dirty pictures from the internet are used as and example of the good life that makes being single so exciting but I guess aren't so much of a bad example for the kids who aren't reading Spider-Man because they can't relate to him being married.)

Whew. Okay, so I'm being a little facetious and I'm sure that Mr. Q was as well. He made a stupid joke about things single Spidey can do that married Spidey can't do and he got called on it and now it's on the internet for everyone to see.

Here's the real problem I have. First, restrictions on characters enhance creativity in my experience. When you have restrictions that you have to deal with, you end up pushing yourself creatively. So a married Spidey SHOULD be pushing the creators to be creative, find a way to make the stories work. Make the stories relevant.

Second, the way Spidey gets separated from his wife is . . . he makes a deal with the devil.

A literal deal with the devil.

See, his aunt is about to die and the only option is the devil (not the ACTUAL devil, but a high level alternate from the Marvel Superhero Universe), who says he'll give Spidey his aunt back if Spidey gives up the one thing that gives him the most happiness: his marriage.

Now, let's keep in mind . . . Spidey is an educated man. A scientist able to create web shooters when he was in high school. He's fought some of the world's most evil people . . . some of the universe's most evil beings.
Okay, forgetting for a moment that Spidey is a genius -- literally. Don't you think he may have:

1. Noticed how some of his friends who have made deals with the devil and end up getting the bad end of things . . . ?

2. Seen some of the half-dozen Twilight Zone episodes where someone makes a deal with the devil and it backfires horribly . . . ?

3. Read some of the great literature, from Irving to Faust, showing how evil presents something that looks wonderful to us at first glance, but ends up hurting us more than it helped us . . . ?

4. At LEAST seen the Saturday Night Live Halloween episode where Jon Lovitz plays the devil going to People's Court, where he is being sued by a woman who signed a deal with him to make her to best hair stylist in the world, only to become SO good that they only need their hair done once and then never again, meaning NO RETURN CUSTOMERS!!! The devil's answer: "I'm the devil, it's what I do."

"It's what I do!!!"

C'mon, Spidey! Even Jon Lovitz knows this!!!

And that's the problem I have with this whole debacle.

Spidey, your Aunt's about to die and the DEVIL comes to you with a way to bring her back, and you're gonna trust him? I don't care HOW distraught you are . . . something's going to go wrong! Remember the hairdresser! She had NO RETURNING CUSTOMERS! And that was just a business deal. We're talking life or death here!

Wait, here's another example from your good buddy Ghost Rider. (Remember? You were in the Fantastic Four with him.) He makes a deal with the devil (same devil you just made your deal with) to save his father from an incurable disease. Only to have his father DIE the next day in a STUNT MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT!

So remember kids, when it comes to marriage, DIVORCE isn't a very good thing to do . . . but making a deal with the supreme evil of the universe to nullify the marriage so it never happened is.

~ Ben

1 comment:

Unknown said...

couple of things i would like to address...

1 yes its never the best thing to sell your WhatEver to the devil but you need to understand spider man knows the concept of good and evil. after the civil war allot of bad things happened, to think love was the only thing he wanted i dont think tricking you after words he wouldn't need to. think about it for a sec mj is the girl of your life, taking that beautiful love away already kills him to know that shes gonna be gone in your life. that's why i dont think (the devil) wouldn't go any farther then that. and yes (spoiler) at the end of the deal he turn into a little girl...their daughter that they will never have. but again making this deal you knew that was gonna be true. but their fate is so strong they find each other again and have two kids spider girl and a baby boy ben who got exposed by the symbiote.

2. the whole page was like you getting very pissed off at spidey for a stupid mistake that you thought it was. first lets not forget He Is A Cartoon Character. and second this was much bigger then him so he needed to do it especially what happened in the series the civil war this was the next best thing to happen. so you saying getting the deal is a lose lose scenario but if i were you keep readind and it will be a win win instead.