Darn that Parker luck.
One moment you're kicking back with your identically dressed supermodel wife, commenting on the daily televised screed from J. Jonah Jameson. The next, you're waking up in your aunt's house to the smell of coffee and the sounds of awkward exposition.
It's as if the past two decades never happened, and it's ... a Brand New Day.
Yes, The Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, which has been chugging along ever-so-slowly since 1977, has again fallen somewhat in step with comic-book continuity. The change was teased for the first time in the Dec. 31 installment. The next morning, readers -- and Peter Parker -- awoke to an abrupt continuity reboot.
No angst-filled build-up, no deal with the stand-in Devil. Just ... poof.
Thankfully, on Jan. 3, the editors stepped in to alleviate any confusion with a "special note to perplexed readers" that explains: "In keeping with the new Spider-Man story line at Marvel Comics, we, too, are going back to Spidey's roots. He's single, and attending college. Now let the surprises begin!"
Mystery solved! No?
But how will devotees of the comic strip react to the "surprises"? Yes, the strip has a fanbase, including a certain Mike P, who's mocked written about the wall-crawler's daily adventures for the past two years at The Amazing Spider-Blog.
The big New Year's Day reveal left Mike and his readers largely unimpressed.
"[W]hile we’re going back to Spider-Man’s roots, as Mister Lee says, we’re not … well, I’m not sure what we’re doing," Mike writes after three days of Brand New Strips. "It appears that we’ve simply gone back in time a few years. Well, more like twenty-some years."
"Do I have high hopes for this whole thing?" he continues. "No. I’ve read the strip analytically for the past two years. I’m sure we’ll have the exact same quality we’ve had for the past who knows how long."
"This is terrible," commenter Mathew Walls responds in the comments. "No more Maria Lopez, no more scantily-clad MJ, what’s left? Just lame villains and a lot of TV watching."
Another points the finger of blame at Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada: "Quesadilla has poisoned the last safe bastion of Spider-adventure!" (Additional exclamation points and frowny-faces removed for space.)