Last year, Marvel Comics shocked and angered many fans by negating Spider-Man’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson throughout the various Spider-Man titles. And while Marvel’s mainstream comic book titles are standing by the decision, the daily "Spider-Man" newspaper strip has decided to reunite the famous couple.
In the strip published this weekend, Peter Parker woke up in bed to find himself once again living with his loving wife. The past several months of stories where he was inexplicably single again? Just a long, bizarre dream.
Click on the image above for a larger version of this weekend's "Spider-Man" strip.
As any comics fan will tell you, the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane was a major event when it happened in 1987. Not only did the daily "Spider-Man" newspaper strip immediately mimic the occasion, but Stan Lee presided over a live-action “official” wedding between two actors portraying Spidey and MJ that took place in the former Mets stadium. The witnesses included actors portraying the Hulk and the heroes Iceman and Firestar (who both co-starred in the cartoon “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”).
Two full decades after Peter and MJ tied the knot, Marvel decided that Peter Parker worked better as a single guy.
In the “One More Day” story arc, the demon-lord Mephisto (an analogue for the Devil) made a deal with Peter Parker and Mary Jane that resulted in history being altered. As far as continuity in the Marvel Universe was concerned, the couple had never been married 20 years ago.
Spider-Man’s adventures in the daily comic strips followed suit with the new status quo. Unlike the main comic titles, the newspaper strips did not deliver a deus ex machina twist involving a deal with the Devil. Instead, Peter Parker simply began a new story arc in which he was portrayed as a single guy living with his aunt, and his marriage was erased without explanation.
The elimination of Spider-Man’s marriage received a lot of negative attention over the past year, not only from readers but also from writers -- including J. Michael Straczynski, who was working on the "Amazing Spider-Man" series at the time and asked his name to be removed from “One More Day."
According to this weekend's "Spider-Man" strip, the decision to reunite Peter and Mary Jane was a response to fan letters received since the two were split. Sure, it wasn't the best explanation for a restoration of previous continuity, but not the worst we’ve seen either.
Think the newspapers made a good move by bringing Peter and M.J. back together again? Think Marvels hould do the same with its comic books? Sound off in the comment section!