Peter Parker fans often wonder where it all went wrong. Marvel’s flagship character has, more or less, been an inconsistent performer in his own book for years. With each passing season there are glimpses of what makes the hero so enduring, but in general it seems like he is creatively adrift in a sea of editors who don’t know what to do with him. Enter Tom Brevoort, who went a long way in terms of clearing up why the character regularly disappoints in his own title.
In response to a question about the almost universally-panned “One More Day,” where Peter Parker made a deal with the devil (for all intents and purposes) and his marriage was magically dissolved deus ex machina-style, Mr. Brevoort replied:
“The medicine may not taste good, but if it makes you better, then you need to take it.” – Tom Brevoort on why Marvel refuses to undo “One More Day.” Jan. 30, 2015.
According to Tom Brevoort, deals with the devil are fan-medicine, and if they don’t like it, then they’re just being recalcitrant fools.
The hubris of modern Marvel editors like Mr. Brevoort knows no bounds. The reason why so many horrible stories go forward is because they think they’re beyond reproach. Marvel’s Orwellian message boards long ago cleared out evidence of just how much Peter Parker fans detested the story, but at least one can still go on sites like Amazon and read some classic one-star reviews.
Here one example from a reviewer named Cindy:
Yes, boys and girls… You are now told to believe that your hero makes deals with Satan, sacrifices his wife to keep his 80-yr-old Aunt alive (who would pinch his head off if she knew what he did) and that now, in this “new” reality, Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, Mr. Responsibility, just “shacked-up” with a live-in lover, even tried to make a baby with her, but never got around to marrying her. Yeah… it didn’t work out, they split up and they are moving on… Whatever.
Cindy, Cindy, Cindy… Don’t you get it? Making a deal with Mephisto had to happen because apparently that’s a better option than divorce.
Here’s what Joe Quesada said to CBR on Jan. 28, 2008:
“First and foremost, I think Peter getting divorced to me says that they gave up on their love, that their life in love together was so awful, so stressful, so unfulfilling that they had to raise a red flag and walk away from it. They quit on their marriage and even more tragic, they quit on each other. In other words, Peter would rather be alone and single than to spend another moment with MJ.” — Joe Quesada
This, according to Tom Brevoort, is “medicine.” Even though there are countless examples of people who divorced and then eventually got back together, it was for your own good that Peter Parker made a deal with a devil to save his … ancient aunt who should already be dead and reunited with Uncle Ben.
Here is the bottom line: Tom Brevoort and his team of geniuses killed Peter Parker’s marriage and the stories still stunk. Then they literally killed Peter Parker off for over a year and made Doctor Octopus the book’s “hero.” Nothing says “good reads” like making a deal with the devil and then making the villain the hero… Then, Marvel brought back Peter Parker and made him a supporting character in his own book with Spider-Verse. Was Mary Jane the problem all along, or is it narcissistic know-it-alls like Tom Brevoort?
Years ago doctors gave women Thalidomide to alleviate nausea during their first trimester. Their babies were then born with arms and legs that were too short and incredibly deformed. If Tom Brevoort were a doctor, he probably would have been the guy who gave out large doses of Thalidomide to pregnant women. Luckily he decided to work at Marvel, where his “medicine” only damages fictional characters and his employer’s reputation.
Related: Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse: Peter Parker sadly gives off ‘Where’s Waldo?’ vibe in his own book