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  • One More Day #4 (SPOILERS)

    (Also posted to the moderated newsgroup)

    Today's (Friday) comic day due to the Christmas holiday (Next week also, BTW) so I was impatient to get to the comic shop to get the latest Thor and JMS's final issue on Spider-Man.

    What can I say...I kept hoping that somehow it was all hype. That Joe Q. was just screwing around with us. Even after JMS's post on Dec. 4, I kept hoping that somehow he'd pull it out and all the things I'd heard about the great reset would turn out false.

    That hope died the second I saw "Story by J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada" on the first page.

    It's beautifully written. And beautifully drawn. And I *hate* it because what JMS wrote about Peter and MJ's relationship was so *true*. I'm going to read it again and see if I can move along to 'acceptance' and because the writing deserves better than reading quickly at lunchtime.

    There are a couple of other 'features' to this issue and, I'm sorry if this makes me sound like the poutiest fangirl but *WHO the frak* thought that, after the story that makes the marriage 'didn't happen', it would be a good idea to reprint the original marriage?!? That wasn't a tribute, that was a slap in the face to the fans. I just can't see it as anything more than Joe Q sticking his tongue out at those of us who cared.

    Something very worthwhile, though, were the tributes written about JMS's Spidey run by other Marvelites including Stan.

    It was a great run, JMS. Sorry to see you leave it, and especially sorry to see this story after you brought Peter & MJ back together again.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    (Also posted to the moderated newsgroup)

    Today's (Friday) comic day due to the Christmas holiday (Next week also, BTW) so I was impatient to get to the comic shop to get the latest Thor and JMS's final issue on Spider-Man.
    Thank god.

    It was a great run, JMS.
    I really, really wasn't. REALLY wasn't.

    I've said this elsewhere, I'll say it here. JMS has had a lot of success as a writer, be it in prose, or as the writer / director / etc. of Babylon 5, to a successful screenwriter, etc.

    But his run on JMS was populated with several stories so egregiously bad that they are in rivalry with the Clone Saga for their damage to the entire reputation of the character.

    This "One More Day" shit doesn't help, even though JMS "vas just folloving orders" *clicks heels to attention*. That's part of the broader problem with Marvel under Joe Quesada, who's allowed manage of the company's oldest and most beloved comic properties go through some unforgivablely poor characterization (to the point of damn near character assassination).
    "I don't find myself in the same luxury as you. You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom, because you don't know what it is not to have freedom." ---Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll have to disagree with you Karachi. JMS's early run before crossover madness started happening contained some of the most interesting spider stories in years. Marvel had been playing it so safe for years, if you can remember (don't know if you read Spidey before JMS' run), with really lame stories that were pretty self-contained and had no impact on anything because they were so scared of the clone saga. They were pretty unreadable. And the LAST time they tried to rid of Mary Jane with a random plane crash at the end of was even worse!

      The problem came because JMS couldn't tell the stories he wanted to. Marvel ran their tight ship on their little crossovers, and there was no secret that Joe Q hated the marriage. JMS already distanced himself from this story before it came out and even SHARED credit for writing. That's pretty unusual for him. So I wouldn't blame him on this. Especially given that the first couple years of the run were so good. I loved that new ground was being broken, new villans were showing up. It was interesting and fun.

      One More Day is such a disaster on so many levels. So much of the story doesn't make sense, and it really doesn't make sense that they decided this. It's really crap, but some of the dialogue about love and all that is so beautifully written (not the story, but the way the story's written), it's hard to hate it. That said, I hate it. I hate it so much I'm going to do a knee-jerk fanboy reaction and drop most of the marvel comics that I'm reading (and am going to write a very, very strong worded letter letting them know how angry I am!).

      I've been a Spidey fanboy since i was 5, longer than my interest in JMS by far. I have every issue since the mid-70s, and I feel so spit on that everything that happened, every dollar I spent is just completely wasted because the EIC of Marvel decides no writers are capable of writing interesting stories with a married character. I'm fuming. I'd go into detail point by point of it, but I really am too emotional about it right now and don't want to think about it.

      I don't know. Newsarama has a poll on it and it looks like most people have my same reaction. We'll see how long this lasts before they retcon the retcon.
      Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
      True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
        The problem came because JMS couldn't tell the stories he wanted to. Marvel ran their tight ship on their little crossovers, and there was no secret that Joe Q hated the marriage. JMS already distanced himself from this story before it came out and even SHARED credit for writing. That's pretty unusual for him. So I wouldn't blame him on this. Especially given that the first couple years of the run were so good. I loved that new ground was being broken, new villans were showing up. It was interesting and fun.

        One More Day is such a disaster on so many levels. So much of the story doesn't make sense, and it really doesn't make sense that they decided this. It's really crap, but some of the dialogue about love and all that is so beautifully written (not the story, but the way the story's written), it's hard to hate it. That said, I hate it. I hate it so much I'm going to do a knee-jerk fanboy reaction and drop most of the marvel comics that I'm reading (and am going to write a very, very strong worded letter letting them know how angry I am!).

        I've been a Spidey fanboy since i was 5, longer than my interest in JMS by far. I have every issue since the mid-70s, and I feel so spit on that everything that happened, every dollar I spent is just completely wasted because the EIC of Marvel decides no writers are capable of writing interesting stories with a married character. I'm fuming. I'd go into detail point by point of it, but I really am too emotional about it right now and don't want to think about it.

        I don't know. Newsarama has a poll on it and it looks like most people have my same reaction. We'll see how long this lasts before they retcon the retcon.
        Here is an interview with the devil himself (Joey Q). Link to this part of the interview in particular, because he basically throws JMS under the bus and states that JMS does very much bear blame - well, Joey Q would put it as "responsibility" since he likes this One More Day / Brand New Day dogshit - for all of this, not JUST Quesada. JMS apparently had no problem with the bullshit retcon and destroying the marriage, any of that shit, he was just pissed that Marvel wouldn't retcon it exactly in the way he wanted them to.
        "I don't find myself in the same luxury as you. You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom, because you don't know what it is not to have freedom." ---Ayaan Hirsi Ali

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah...I'm not so sure how much I buy the Quesada interview, and his rosy picture of things, with JMS completely on board. Look at what he states are facts:

          1. A group decides the best way to write the general end-of-marriage retcon.

          2. JMS decides he wants to leave spider-man.

          3. JMS turns in script for OMD.

          4. Joe Q edits the hell out of it, changes it to an extent we don't even know.

          5. JMS wants his name taken off of it because he feels it's not his work.

          To me, that looks like it had been decided prior to that meeting that the retcon woudl happen, JMS, the hired gun writing spider-man, throws out his ideas of how to do it. If you look at all past interviews, JMS enjoys writing the marriage, and this is totally not his writing style to do something like this. As a hired gun, he knows it's not his intellectual property and decides to participate in the writing process. After all, he's spidey's writer.

          That brings us to step 2. JMS decides enough is enough, he's been told what to write and confined too many times. He wants off the book, just like happend with FF. JMS just wants his own space to play with, write stories, do his own thing. We all know how much JMS loves getting notes on what to write and what stories to tell (re: TNT).

          Being still in contract, JMS goes ahead and write OMD anyway. He probably figured "well, if I write it, I'll screw it up LESS than if I left it to someone else." Which, I figure is probably true. Someone get me those original scripts! I'll pay

          Then it's edited. We all know how much JMS loves to be edited.

          I think Joe Q knows he's gonna take a lot of heat and so he shifted some of the blame to JMS as a straight up defense mecahnism. I don't think he meant anything malicious by it, but he's scared of his decision right now. As he should be, because it's likely going to cost marvel a lot of readers.

          Look at the storyline one more time. There's no way the big overall story is JMS. It just doesn't fit his profile. The dialogue definitely is his, and is some of the most beautiful dialogue I've seen in comics. Too bad it had to be for this story.

          That's just my two cents on the interview.
          Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
          True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

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          • #6
            One More Day - Joe's followup response on Newsarama

            After the third segment of the Joe Q interview on CBR, jms decided to respond to it on Newsarama. I wonder how much longer he'll be doing stuff for Marvel....

            http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=141756

            Either Marvel plans to undo this at some point or they are really going to have to keep track of what was affected and what wasn't by the "Magic".

            Lee
            Webmaster
            SFTV.org
            B520 ( http://www.azsf.net/b520 )

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            • #7
              YAY JMS!!! I'm really glad that he's not accepting the flack for OMD the way he did for so long with Sins Past.

              I don't really think Joe Q is stupid enough to kill his golden-egg-laying writer over this. Heck, he seems to thrive on controversy, doesn't he?

              Jan
              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wowzers. That really made Quesada look bad. Wonder what's going to come of this.
                Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
                True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan View Post
                  YAY JMS!!! I'm really glad that he's not accepting the flack for OMD the way he did for so long with Sins Past.

                  I don't really think Joe Q is stupid enough to kill his golden-egg-laying writer over this. Heck, he seems to thrive on controversy, doesn't he?

                  Jan
                  This may be a stupid question but with all of the restarting that marvel seems to be doing, does this mean that civil war never happened now?
                  ---
                  Co-host of The Second Time Around podcast
                  www.benedictfamily.org/podcast

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AaronB View Post
                    This may be a stupid question but with all of the restarting that marvel seems to be doing, does this mean that civil war never happened now?
                    No, judging from some preview pages I just saw of BND it must have since there's mention of (highlight)
                    'New York's licensed hero, Jackpot.


                    Jan
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You know, the saddest thing for me (having dropped AMS at the end of Civil War), is that I now really want to read One More Day to see what all the fuss is about.

                      Talk about Car Crash Comics.

                      The Optimist: The glass is half full
                      The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                      The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair View Post
                        You know, the saddest thing for me (having dropped AMS at the end of Civil War), is that I now really want to read One More Day to see what all the fuss is about.

                        Talk about Car Crash Comics.

                        It's magic.
                        Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
                        True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

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                        • #13
                          I thought of a fun comic strip this morning.

                          Panel 1:
                          JMS is writing OMD, and Joe Q (looking like Mephisto) hovers over, claiming JMS has 2 options. He can tell his story, but it has to be redrafted and he will never write spidey again.

                          Panel 2:
                          JMS considers the impact on the continuity of his life, realizes that Joe Q is editor in chief and goes with it, knowing he's a hired gun and trying to do what's best for the company.

                          Panel 3:
                          JMS wakes up in the morning His scripts are late for being turned in. He rushes out of bed to get to the studio.

                          Panel 4:
                          JMS arrives at the studio, scripts in hands, apologizing for being late.

                          Panel:
                          We see the cast members with the scripts, holding up wine glasses in a toast to the latest, greatest work of JMS, hailing a Brand New Day. The cast members we see are of Deep Space 9!!!!!


                          Someone draw this for me
                          Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
                          True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

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                          • #14
                            I asked Brevoort what the idea was, and he summed it up in two words: "Time Loop.

                            In a nutshell, the idea was that neither Peter Parker nor Ben Reilly was the clone - both were the original. How, you ask, could this be possible? Glad you asked. Brace yourselves, because here we go.

                            The idea was that Peter Parker would somehow be sent back in time five years, where he would co-exist with the Peter Parker of that time, and somehow be led to believe that he was the clone. Peter would then spend the next five years living as Ben Reilly. When Peter/Ben reaches the point in 1996 (the year this story would have taken place) where he is sent back in time to become Ben, the "time loop" is closed, and there is only one Peter Parker left in the present - the one who's lived the past five years as Ben Reilly. The Ben Reilly of 1996 then regains all the memories of Peter's adventures from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #149 on, thus validating over 20 years of Spider-Man stories and (hopefully) pleasing longtime fans.

                            This scenario met the most important requirements laid down by Bob Budiansky, which were that Peter Parker must be restored as Spider-Man, but Ben Reilly must be validated as a character, as well. Ben couldn't be written off as just another clone that was lying around, or a robot, or something else that could be easily and casually dismissed.

                            After Brevoort told me the concept, I was silent on the phone for a good long moment. I was shocked. I was intrigued. I immediately saw the potential this idea had, and was very excited about helping to develop it further. I became its biggest cheerleader around the office, defending it from any and all criticism and skepticism.

                            As time passed, we began refining the idea. I pointed out to everyone that there was one key thing we had to get around: the Marvel Universe rule that whenever a character goes back in time, he or she is not going to end up in the same time line he or she left. A new time line, virtually identical to the original one, is created by the trip through time, and that's the one the character is visiting. The best example of this rule is MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #50, wherein the Thing went back in time to the earliest days of the Fantastic Four, as part of an experiment to cure himself. The Thing realized by the end of the story that even if his younger self was cured, it would have no bearing on his current self, because the younger Thing who received the cure was from an alternate time line created by the Thing's journey back in time. Gaaaah! Hope I haven't lost you here! This is the simplest explanation I could come up with!

                            Anyway, the end result of this rule was that no trip to the past could cause any changes to the Marvel Universe of the present. And under this rule, if Peter Parker was sent back five years, he wouldn't land in the time line that he left. We had to get around this rule, so the suggestion was made that Judas Traveller and Scrier could be brought back into the story line and be responsible for the time loop. The rationale was that these characters were presented as being so vastly powerful - Traveller had once said that he wasn't God, but he was pretty close - that we could just establish that they were able to sidestep this universal rule and make sure that Peter stayed in the same time line when he was sent back in time. That seemed to work, so we went with it. Then, a short time later, I had a new idea that I felt could be inserted into the story, so I asked for a lunch meeting with Brevoort and Budiansky to present it to them. We had the meeting, they thought that my idea could work, so I wrote up an 8-page memo that incorporated everything into one streamlined story treatment.

                            In short, my idea was that we would reveal that Traveller wasn't exaggerating his closeness to God - that he, in fact, was a fallen angel, "an agent of good who somehow lost his way, and, as punishment, was sentenced to spend his existence wandering the Earth and learning the nature of good and evil." In bringing Traveller back into the story line, we would establish that he now believes in the inherent goodness of mankind, thanks to the example set by Spider-Man, that most human of super heroes. Convinced of mankind's goodness, Traveller would declare that he planned to use his powers to eradicate all evil from the Earth - at which point the enigmatic Scrier would say, "I cannot allow that to happen." We had previously seen that Scrier was working behind Traveller's back, perhaps undermining Traveller, and now we would see why. Scrier reveals his true self to Traveller.

                            Other important events would be Mary Jane's miscarriage, and the fact that Ben Reilly is beginning to have flashes of "memories that couldn't possibly be his, namely because they belong to Peter Parker!" Eventually, Peter and Ben would discover that neither of them is the clone - both test positive as the genuine article!

                            The rest of the scenario involved Traveller and Scrier, now clearly in direct conflict with each other, having concocted a contest - one in which winner would take all. "The contest, like so many of Traveller's recent experiments, would revolve around Spider-Man... (it) would settle Traveller and Scrier's dispute about the inherent nature of mankind. Spider-Man will represent all of humanity, and his actions during the contest will determine the outcome... and the winner." If Spider-Man's actions proved Traveller's theory that mankind is inherently good, then Traveller would win the contest and be allowed to remove all evil from Earth. If Spider-Man failed, then Scrier would win and Traveller would have to end his studies and would owe Scrier a very special payment.

                            Peter and Ben refuse to participate, but they're not given any choice in the matter. In a great show of power, as Ben Reilly and Mary Jane watch, Scrier blasts Peter Parker into oblivion! Peter is apparently disintegrated, gone forever! A horrified and anguished Ben, with vengeance in his heart, closes in to tear Scrier apart. But then Scrier asks what Ben would give to have Peter back. Would he offer his soul and risk eternal damnation, just to restore Peter to life? "Having come to love Peter as a friend and a 'brother,' and unable to bear the sorrow of Mary Jane, one of his closest and dearest friends, Ben says that he would be willing to give anything to bring Peter back... even his own soul."

                            And here came the kicker: "Scrier laughs, and finally reveals himself to Ben (and the readers) in his true form: MEPHISTO! He says, 'Okay, Peter's alive. In fact, he never died! Because you're Peter! You always have been Peter!"

                            Here's more: "Mephisto reveals that he never really disintegrated Peter, he just sent him back five years in time, de-aged him, stripped him of his last five years of memories, and placed him in the smokestack, where he would be found by the Jackal... Following his own agenda, the Jackal would then make Peter believe that he was the clone! This Peter would go off to become Ben Reilly, while the Peter Parker who was already living in that time period would continue in New York as Spider-Man."

                            My story treatment went on (and on and on and on), to discuss the ramifications of these revelations, how everything fit in with established continuity, the backstory of Traveller and Scrier's relationship, and so forth. Traveller would have lost the contest, because in saving Peter, Ben was in essence saving himself, thus supporting Mephisto's argument that mankind is at its core a very selfish beast. The "very special price" that Traveller had to pay Mephisto was his own soul.

                            I wrote in conclusion: "We know that involving Mephisto and all the metaphysical stuff is a bit far removed from the usual Spider-Man type of story, but the mysticism and metaphysics have been an undeniably prominent part of the series since Traveller and Scrier first appeared. The plan is to pull out all the stops, use these elements to tell and finish off the story once and for all, and then return to the types of Spider-Man stories we're all more familiar (and comfortable) with... After Scrier is revealed to be Mephisto, and Traveller fulfills his role in the saga, and we finish off this story line, we never have to see either of them again in the pages of Spider-Man comic."

                            Looking back on all this, I think it would have made for an intriguing, compelling, thought-provoking story... but not anything that should ever be done in a Spider-Man comic. In fact, what's so blatant to me now is how Spider-Man is completely overshadowed by the events of this story - he's little more than a plot device, a pawn. And that's not what the readers want to see. Hell, it's not what I would want to see, either! But somehow, I just got so wrapped up in this concept and the story possibilities and the fact that it solved so many of our problems that I lost sight of what makes for a good Spider-Man story. Obviously, I wasn't the only one, since Brevoort came up with the initial idea and Budiansky was onboard for it. But having presented myself in so many installments of this column as one of the very few "voices of reason" during the clone saga, I have to take the blame for being a key part of the "Time Loop" scenario.

                            Bob Budiansky distributed my story treatment to the Spider-Man writers and Marvel's on-staff continuity cop, Peter Sanderson, who responded with a 7-page memo of his own detailing what worked about the scenario and how things that didn't work could be made to work. This too was sent to the writers. Then Budiansky wrote up a 13-page master overview of his own that was distributed to everyone working on the Spider-Man books. This overview mapped out the whole "Time Loop" saga and proposed that the story line would be brought to a close in the Spider-Man books published in April of 1996.
                            Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
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                            • #15
                              My prior post cut off because it was too long. It was a memo from then Spider-Man editor at the time of the clone saga. If you read it, you know the implications left us with a Peter Parker sans MJ. Seems like they finally reworked that story idea with OMD.
                              Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
                              True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

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