| > > Marc Guggenheim's response to fans who are still upset over "One More Day:"|
> > "Part of the problem with the controversy behind One More Day is the understanding of what was retconned overstates the extent of what was done. Everything that happened in the last twenty plus years of comic book history happened! The only difference is that Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson weren't married. They still dated. They still lived together. They still love each other. They just weren't married. Judging from the letters and death threats we received, I think some people were confused. It all still happened. Here's my attitude, if anyone is upset about the marriage going away, then they must all be pro gay marriage. Because if you're pro gay marriage, you understand the distinction between a marriage and a civil union -- that a civil union is not equal to a marriage. We downgraded Mary Jane and Peter to a civil union. If that bothers you, then you're pro gay marriage."
It has been proposed here that what Guggenheim was driving at was to show that those opposed to the retconning of Spider-Man's marriage (excorciated as "BND-haters" by some) are making faulty arguments, blowing things out of proportion etc. That does not wash, because then Guggenheim's statement would only be preaching to those who already are convinced that "BND-haters" are irrational etc. People who do not think that way, be it because they are opposed to OMD or sitting on the fence or even those who hear about the controversy for the first time (unlikely, but Marvel claims it did OMD/BND to win new readers) only see that Guggenheim made a faulty argument himself, not that those opposed to OMD/BND made one. Also, he did not give any indication that his argument is faulty or that he himself is aware it is, that he incorrectly equated civil unions with living together etc.
Also, does he correctly describe the argument of those he rails against? He says that they overstate the extent to which events were changed by the retcon, but how does he know that, or that these fans would be more ready to accept OMD/BND if they knew for certain the real extent of the retcon? (See below for my personal views on this). And anyway, who is to blame this alleged confusion? The world of BND features a heap of changes compared to pre-OMD continuity: Aunt May was not shot, unless significantly more time passed between the OMD and the first BND stories than anyone has yet let on, then it is reasonable to assume that Harry divorced Liz before OMD (he still had to have time for two additional weddings and divorces) and in a public statement Joe Quesada said that Mary Jane probably never got married. To say nothing of stuff like Peter no longer using his organic webbing etc. If fans are confused, Guggenheim should see that as cause for self-criticism, not fan-bashing.
| > > |
> I suspect it is part of Marvel's continuing strategy of "if we can't convince all fans of approving of our new direction, then at least we'll set them against each other" (divide and conquer). In this case by bringing in a completley unrelateded issue that at least in an American context is very divisive.
> And it also fits in with the way IMO Quesada et al. keep talking out of bouth sides of their mouth re. the retcon of the marriage. On one hand they tell fans of the marriage that everything still happened etc. (see Guggenheim's version above), but on the other hand it is painfully obvious that Quesada chose the route of a deal with the devil etc. (cue for his acolytes to point out that Mephisto is not "the" devil) instead of a divorce is because that way whatever happened 1987-2007 would be so cheapened in his (and, he hopes, the readers') eyes, that the break-up between Peter and MJ is no big deal, that just because they lack the relavant legal paperwork their marriage or common-law marriage would not be worth preserving or restoring, even though e.g. we've seen during JMS's run that Peter felt incomplete without Mary Jane. And now Marvel expects at least a large part of fans to cheer for Peter getting involved with some other woman and more or less ignore that Peter and MJ were a couple for over 20 years and still could (should) be reunited.
> To clarify: For me personally it would have made little difference whether there had been a wedding or not if their relationship had been portrayed in exactly the same way 1987-2007. In real life, both among people I know and from people I learn about in the media, I've seen unmarried relationships that are more deep and enduring than some marriages (to use extreme examples from showbiz, compare Britney Spears' 58-hour marriage with Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins living together since 1988). But Quesada has made it abundantly clear that OMD is a manoeuvre to weasel out of a divorce and it is a bit much to believe that they went to all this trouble to end up with something that emotionally would be the equivalent of a divorce.