Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Shape of Things to Come

Over on Fark, they have a recurring comment whenever two similar things happen, referring to the old wives' tale about bad things coming in threes, that "the trifecta is now in play". Sometimes you don't realize a trifecta is in play until it's over, at which time it becomes obvious.

Today's trifecta: Marvel Comics has no idea why anyone reads Spider-Man.

First incident: Trouble, a five-part 2003 miniseries that may or may not be in continuity. It was probably intended as the first of a new line of comics aimed at girls. It didn't look like anything else on the stands: It even had variant photographic covers intended to resemble paperback teen romances, but they looked more like Lolita to me. Had the series been better received, the Spider-Man connection probably would have been better publicized: One can read the comic and enjoy it (if one does enjoy it, which apparently few readers did) while knowing nothing of it. As it is, it's one of those Mopee moments that the publisher probably wishes we'd forget about.

In Trouble, it's established that Aunt May actually is Peter Parker's biological mother. See the blonde on the cover? That's her, the tramp getting ready to sleep with her best friend's boyfriend, Richard Parker.

Yes, this mini contains the never-before-revealed conception of Peter Parker.

Second incident: Amazing Spider-Man #509-514, the notorious "Sins Past" storyline of 2005. Peter, and Spider-Man, are separately being stalked by a couple who, it is revealed, are the adult children of Gwen Stacy. Writer J Michael Straczynski originally intended that Peter Parker would be their father, but Marvel editorial thought that having adult children would make Peter "too old" for his readers, so a workaround was substituted: The children are still Gwen's, but their father is Norman (the Green Goblin) Osborn.

I would have thought that the creep factor involved here (Norman is the father of one of Peter's and Gwen's friends', and Gwen was still a teenager at the time) would be far worse than Pete being a couple of years older than we thought he was, but go figure.

In flashback, this encounter is shown on-panel. I've spared you that.

Third Incident: Spider-Man: Reign, a current miniseries set in Peter Parker's old age, intended to be an "homage" to The Dark Knight Returns. Everyone Peter knows and loves is dead. In the course of a battle with the reanimated corpse of Mary Jane Watson Parker...

Even in comic books, some premises are so bizarre that they don't fully register the first time, so allow me to repeat:

In the course of a battle with the reanimated corpse of Mary Jane Watson Parker, Peter exposits:
Oh God, I'm sorry! The doctors didn't understand how it happened! How you had been poisoned by radioactivity! How your body slowly became riddled with cancer! I did. I was... I am filled with radioactive blood. And not just blood. Every fluid. Touching me... loving me... Loving me killed you!

Like a spider, crawling up inside your body and laying a thousand eggs of cancer... I killed you.
Spider-Man, in other words, has radioactive sperm.

Anyone want to bet they're going to time the release of the trade paperback collection of this mini to coincide with the release of a certain blockbuster motion picture?


Ragnell said...

Different writers and different artists for all three. The common threads?

Axel Alonso and his unholy lord, Joe Quesada.

Daniel said...

How radioactive are the salts in his sweat? D'you suppose Pete glows in the dark when he's naked, like a radium watch?

Thom said...

Well, the answer is obvious. He must divorce MJ and marry Jen Walters. She's already radioactive.

Ami Angelwings said...

And also he lost an eye, ripped out a guy's throat, died and then gave birth to himself XDDD

Or something like that.. >.>

But they've messed up Spiderman so much that it's disgusting :(

And I remember Trouble XD Apparently Aunt May rly let herself go.