Written by Joe Quesada / Jim Shooter and David Michelinie (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21)
Art by Paolo Rivera and Joe Quesada / Paul Ryan (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21)
Three years ago, Marvel attempted to reinvigorate the Spider-Man franchise by drastically changing history – namely removing the over-20-year marriage of Peter and Mary Jane. If that cut your Spidey fandom like a deep wound, here’s some salt.
Mary Jane pays Peter a visit to clear the air about their break up in order to be friends again. Interspliced in this story are flashbacks to Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, the wedding of Peter and M.J.
Admittedly, I do like the touch of actually going into the original wedding issue to show just what changes Mephisto makes to alter history. It’s a nice effort, showing how specific points were altered, as opposed to brushing it all off saying they never got married.
It’s generally an alright issue, tainted by the opening two pages that ruin the issue (and quite possibly the miniseries). The opening two-page splash repeats the conversation Mary Jane has with Mephisto before everything changes in One More Day. During the deal bargaining to save Aunt May, Mary Jane whispers a secret term before Mephisto presses the retcon button and sets Spider-Man history back two decades.
And just what did she say? (spoilers) “I’ll ask him if you leave him alone.”
That’s it? The big secret we’ve waited for three years? Mephisto gives Peter a chance of happiness (sans M.J.) in exchange for leaving him alone? What kind of deal is that? How is that a secret when that’s exactly what we all saw happen? It doesn’t even make sense for a bargaining request. It puts a damper on the rest of the book, and nothing inside it is good enough to recover. I hope someone comes up with a story where Mephisto uses his hands-off deal to really screw things over, but until then, it seems Mary Jane fans are still screwed over by Quesada.
This book has three widely different art styles in it. Quesada himself handles the present-day pencils of the Peter-M.J. conversation. Paolo Rivera does the past storytelling, mixed in with the original Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 work by Paul Ryan. This might end up being an eyesore, especially since the annual tends to use especially brighter colors than the rest of the fairly toned-down issue.
Speaking of colors, it’s amusing to see the coloring errors of a 20-year-old comic mixed in with modern work. Like shirts randomly turning flesh-colored, for example. I’m not saying that should have been touched up and fixed. The original art is a cool novelty factor, and it does drive the point home that changes are actually being made to established canon. But it’s hard enough to get different artists to mix well when they’re working at the same time, let alone two decades apart. Again, cool novelty, but it doesn’t work visually in the mix.
However, to his credit, Rivera does a good job trying to replicate a simple retro look to match the book, and his work is well done. Mary Jane is the hot redhead and black suit Spidey looks great. The colors are dimmer, possibly on purpose to further differentiate from the canonical events of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21.
Quesada’s work is nothing special. Actually, his Peter actually kind of looks like himself in some panels – short hair spiked up and kind of pudgy. This begs the question – why wouldn’t Joe Quesada want to be married to Mary Jane Watson. The guy is crazy.
One Moment in Time will not be the magic fix many Spidey fans will wish for. And those wanting anything close to closure will do well to skip the first two pages. It’s got a neat novelty factor, and Rivera is good, but salt in the wound is still salt in the wound. And if you’re one of the fans who are pro-O.M.D., then this is basically pointless for you anyway.
Overall (Not an Average) 3/10
Overall (Not an Average) 3/10