Part four was easily Quesada’s worst day of interviewing, as really not much was said of any note, and what was said wasn’t too good.
In Part 4, Jonah Weiland even notes that these are going to be some of the more “fannish” questions, and as is the case for most “fannish” questions, they’re mostly anal-retentive continuity wanking.
So let’s skip all that stuff. I really could care less if Mephisto’s powers were never this strong. Whatever. Again, to perhaps recap folks who haven’t seen what I’ve said about One More Day in the past, let me reiterate…
It is a dumb story.
It made little to no sense.
It was four mediocre to bad to really bad comic books.
So if you want to add to the badness of the story and also say, “Mephisto is out of character!” Then, well, fine, whatever. It’s not like there’s people who thought the comic was awesome, but now that Mephisto is too powerful, screw this – this comic is TERRIBLE!!!
I didn’t like Quesada’s answer, though, regarding why not use Loki instead of Mephisto.
And why would Loki honestly care?
Probably the story JMS wrote in Amazing Spider-Man where Loki said he “owed” Spider-Man would be a good sign towards Loki caring, no?
So that was silly. I’m fine with, “We wanted Mephisto for this dumb story that we think is necessary to get the Spider-Man books to a point we want it to be” as an answer.
There are some more questions that, again, tie into the relative quality of One More Day. I’ll skip that as well, as One More Day wasn’t good, so why would anyone care about questions about whether Peter was out of character in an already bad comic book? It’s like complaining about your meal being late to the steward on the Titanic.
Then there’s some weird arguments in favor of why it makes sense for Peter to make the deal with Mephisto. Skip it, Mr. Quesada!!! You said it best last time:
Is it a perfect solution? Absolutely not. Does it get us to where we want to be? Yes.
– ” You can’t have “we’ll take our hits,” and then try to deflect the hits! It just looks weird.
Then we go on to the retcon talk.
[W]hat I do find interesting is how so many fans are assuming things and reading things into the story that aren’t there, like assuming that we were retconning twenty plus years of Spider-man comics which was never the case.
Jordan White wrote in the comments to the last piece a similar argument to what Quesada says here, and I don’t mean to pick on Jordan, because he’s a good guy, but come on, it’s a retcon.
Jordan says, “Really, if you think about it, “Continuity” has NOT been changed. This event happened NOW in that continuity, becoming part of it. All that has changed is the “now” and the future.”
Spider-Man had organic webshooters.
Spider-Man now has mechinical webshooters.
Harry Osborn was dead.
Harry Osborn is now alive.
The stories in the past where Harry Osborn was dead are now stories where Harry was alive.
The stories in the past where Spider-Man is married are now stories where Spider-Man was just in a common law marriage.
It’s just parsing words (perhaps to placate the crazy, continuity-lovin’ fans out there) to say this is not a retcon.
In the comments to the last piece, Paul O’Brien made a great comment about how one thing he thinks Quesada made a mistake here is that Quesada should have just owned the continuity reboot, instead of trying to get away from saying “this is a continuity reboot,” because, as O’Brien notes, “Readers are likely to construe it as Spider-Man stories set in a warped version of reality – House of M, Mark II – and I think they’ve got a massive uphill struggle ahead of them to make the fans interpret the stories in the way they’re evidently “supposed” to.”
I disagree with Paul, in the sense that I do think the fans will get over it soon enough, at least if the new creative teams are good, but I definitely agree that it makes no sense to do a big continuity reboot and then try to parse words to claim that you’re not REALLY doing a continuity reboot.
Own it, and move on.
Okay, so then J. Michael Straczynski responds to some of Quesada’s comments over at Newsarama.
Right off the bat, Mr. Straczynski, I do not blame you for wanting to clear the record. Good on you. Go for it. I LIKE it when people clear the record. I do a whole column on the topic of clearing the record. I think it is a good thing. But please, just do it, don’t tell us how you really don’t want to do it – right before you do it. If you really didn’t want to comment on this stuff, you’d think you wouldn’t comment on it so much, no?
Okie dokie, on to JMS’ response to Quesada.
First, he points out how nonsensical the story is. Fair enough. He’s right. Then again, his solution, while a great deal more sensical, involved going back to 1971 and having Mephisto change events in a story back then, thereby eliminating a lot of story from after that point, including the marriage, the Clone Saga, Sins Past and Harry and Gwen’s deaths (and I guess Norman’s first “death,” too, no?).
That’s certainly a WAY to go, but seriously, would people really be bitching less about THAT idea than this one? He, too, is using Mephisto for the story. Heck, note that one of his issues is that he is pissed that Peter wasn’t involved MORE in the deal with the devil! He was irked that MJ had more of a say in it.
Then again, I do like JMS’ idea more in that JMS seems to really embrace the whole “let’s just reboot the whole durn thing” attitude, which I sorta admire.
But really, while his idea might make more sense than Quesada’s idea, it’s not like it isn’t dumb, too. It is.
I also do feel bad for JMS, as he notes that he was never able to retcon out Gwen’s kids, but I dunno, who’s to say that they WEREN’T? If Spider-Man’s webshooters were eliminated, for crying out loud, who’s to say Mephisto didn’t, for no reason, just eliminate Gwen’s kids, too? If we’re already doing dumb stuff, why not just throw that in, too?
But note that he does confirm Quesada’s take on the events of Sins Past, which means that Quesada gave him the opportunity to NOT do Sins Past, and JMS still did it, so that takes a lot of “oomph” out of his complaining about it now.
Anyhow, all said and done, JMS’ comments are fine.
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