Regent SheThor

Marvel scribe Dan Slott hit a home run with 2015’s Renew Your Vows, but the feat happened despite the creation of a lame villain — Regent. ASM #14 attempts to once again elevate the character into upper echelons of evil, but one cannot help but think of the old line about putting “lipstick on a pig” while reading. Giuseppe Camuncoli puts forth a worthy effort to make the character look cool in costume (don’t ask about supporting cast), but readers care more about the side-stories than the main event.

Here is what you need to know about ASM #14.

  • Ms. Marvel, Nova, Captain America, Vision, and She-Thor are all captured by Regent.
  • Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and MJ tell Miles Morales’ parents that their son (also taken hostage) won a science contest, but is safe … somewhere … with no internet access … on purpose. (Note: This kind of idea only worked in Captain America: Civil War because Peter Parker wasn’t missing.)
  •  MJ tells Peter, “You have no idea how glad I am to have all of this ‘secret identity’ nonsense out of my life. Tony’s not perfect, but with him everything is out in the open.” (Don’t tell Dan Slott, but that is 180 degrees from the truth — Bendis’ Tony Stark disappears for weeks at a time for undercover missions, and no-one knows if he’s dead or alive.)
  • Aunt May coughs up blood and keeps it from her husband.
  • Harry Osborn Lyman calls for a meeting with Augustus Roman and reveals that he knows the businessman is Regent. Harry says he knows Betty Brant was kidnapped, and then uses webware to warn Spider-Man that he is in danger.
  • Spider-Man and Iron Man are crushed by Regent, whose suit was pushed to its limit.

Even if one were to take the position that Regent is an exciting new character, it doesn’t change the fact that readers are getting a rehashed version of Renew Your Vows less than one year after its publication. At least when Marvel does something as tired and worn out as Aunt May dying…the company waits a few years before hitting the “recycle” button. This is like a rerun of your favorite television show after the first three episodes of its new season.

Aunt May

As is often the case with Mr. Slott’s work, there are a lot of pieces shuffled around the chessboard while ultimately not a whole lot goes on. The story bounces from setup to setup (You’re going to love how this comes together in Dead No More, kids!) while ignoring the attention to detail that makes single issues soar.

For instance, Regent dispatches with heavy-hitting heroes like Vision and Captain America in a single panel. He battles She-Thor in what is teased as an epic clash, only to show her captured in an energy bubble two pages later. It’s jarring. It’s strange, and it just isn’t enough for a relatively new character who is met with indifference by most fans.

Regent

If you are the kind of Marvel fan who has collected ASM since 1975 and don’t want to break up your complete set, then make sure to head on out to your local comic book shop this week. For everyone else, I suggest waiting until the reviews for Dead No More are published before you consider opening up your wallets.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

46 comments

  1. You write like how I feel, this was not only boring, but (shaking head right now) I guess you could say frustrating, and what MJ told Peter just, well you can image how I would feel about that. Slott really does seem to get a kick out of making Spider-Man fans not care anymore. because I certainly don’t. And based on this I have no expectations for 15, even if Slott does turn out to have told the truth and Mary Jane does wear the Armour.

    And like you, I see no connection to Renew Your Vows, at least that was fun. all this, at least to, is basically Mary Jane saying how hard that life was for her and how she’s happy she’s no longer in it, where in reality it wasn’t hard for her, she could have left anytime, but she didn’t, she chose to stay and involve herself in Peter’s life as Spider-Man and we’re just suppose to believe that all that meant nothing, come on.

    From my perspective, Slott is using this story not to tell what’s going on with Regent, but to establish Mary Jane telling/show Peter, how much her life has improved since she no longer has to deal with Peter’s Spider-Man life, and Peter is still doing nothing to fix things between them, instead comes across and douche, I mean yes, Miles is in danger, but can’t he just put a few minutes aside and talk things through with her, is that too much to ask for a relationship that supposed to mean something. I mean he can walk her home and talk to her, but Slott has to play the douche card.

    boy, I will be soo happy to see the back of Slott when he leaves,and I might even bake a cake to commemorate the event, because he has systematically destroyed everything that made Spider-Man Spider-Man.

    Now that I’ve gotten that out of my chest on another note
    Don’t know if this means anything, but if you read the preview for Might Thor #8 Jane foster mentions “Tuesday” in a similar context ASM #14 where Mary Jane and Peter are talking outside Mile’s house, who also mention “Tuesday” as in when something like this happens we call it “Tuesday”. Now I might be reading too much into but I just thought I’d mention it.
    http://comicvine.gamespot.com/articles/exclusive-preview-the-mighty-thor-8/1100-155672/

    1. “Slott really does seem to get a kick out of making Spider-Man fans not care anymore. because I certainly don’t. And based on this I have no expectations for 15, even if Slott does turn out to have told the truth and Mary Jane does wear the Armour.”

      I was talking with the owner of my local comic shop after Hyrda-Cap came out, and we had a conversation about how things are bad when fans just don’t care. If a fan is angry, then it means he still cares. If he becomes apathetic and just resigned to whatever happens, the book is in trouble. You shouldn’t feel like Dan is staying on the book for some arbitrary personal goal to reach an entire decade, knock out “x” number of issues, etc. You shouldn’t feel like entire months are mere filler until the next big event. You shouldn’t feel like the book is on autopilot. You shouldn’t feel like a writer takes glee in getting under your skin by referencing low-points in the title’s history.

      Unfortunately, it looks like fans have another two years of this if I’m not mistaken.

      “This, at least to, is basically Mary Jane saying how hard that life was for her and how she’s happy she’s no longer in it, where in reality it wasn’t hard for her, she could have left anytime, but she didn’t, she chose to stay and involve herself in Peter’s life as Spider-Man and we’re just suppose to believe that all that meant nothing, come on.”

      The whole conversation felt fraudulent based on Peter and MJ’s history, her established personality over the course of decades, etc. Being Tony Stark’s personal assistant would be a nightmare of epic proportions. The whole reason why Bendis had MJ waffle on taking the job for multiple issues is because he knows no one would eagerly jump into the job — especially MJ.

      “I mean he can walk her home and talk to her, but Slott has to play the douche card.”

      Often times it is obvious that a writer has had personal experience with a subject matter when you read his work — or that he’s truly baring his soul for all the world to see. The way Dan Slott write serious conversations between men never comes off as authentic to me. That leads me to believe he’s writing based on what he sees on Dr. Who, or he just doesn’t want to give a glimpse into his own personal heartaches over the years.

      Most guys have experienced a relationship that ended with a woman the thought might be “the one.” Often times the relationship sputters as they try and repair it before someone raises the white flag. Sometimes the two people go through a rocky period, work through the difficulties, and the relationship is stronger in the end. In each case, I can say that I don’t recall Dan ever writing a convincing conversation between Peter and MJ, or Peter and [insert random love interest here].

      “Don’t know if this means anything, but if you read the preview for Might Thor #8 Jane foster mentions “Tuesday” in a similar context ASM #14 where Mary Jane and Peter are talking outside Mile’s house, who also mention ‘Tuesday’ as in when something like this happens we call it “Tuesday”. Now I might be reading too much into but I just thought I’d mention it.”

      I’ll check it out. Thanks for bringing it up. I’m not sure, but it’s good that you’ve got eagle eyes for that sort of thing. 🙂

    2. You know I’m not really used to disagree with you Animehunter however I don’t think that Peter came off as a douche because, IMO, the one who came off as a complete douche was MJ.

      Because if a person, who blames you for everything wrong that happened in their life, keeps calling you by names like “jerk” and saying stuff like “you have no idea how happy I am without you and your problems in my life”, yeah I wouldn’t be the one to be stik around for that person.

      I said this over at Crawlspace : MJ is still operating on the aspect that she is still right and Peter is to blaime for everything that Octavius has done and that is something terrible to do to a victam.

      There are two though process that could/Should have come up for Peter :
      1=I don’t need this coming from a person who abandoned me right as I came back to life and blames me for the actions of another
      or 2 (The one I prefer)= She seems pretty pissed off around me so it would be ussless to try to talk to her right now maybe later we can try to talk more calmely.

      I know that this completely OOC coming from MJ but what can we do when a writor like Slott is on the book.

      PS : Also when she puts on the Iron-Spider Suit she will become the biggest hypocrite ever! Thanks Slott.

    3. “You know I’m not really used to disagree with you Animehunter however I don’t think that Peter came off as a douche because, IMO, the one who came off as a complete douche was MJ.”

      Well, you’re in luck Berna — you and I are still in agreement. 🙂 I replied to Animehunter’s “douche” comment, but take a second look at what I said. My reply was focused on Dan Slott’s inability to write convincing dialogue between men and women. I then told zariusii that Peter should have called MJ out for lying about her true feelings. I think we are very much on the same page as it pertains to that scene.

    4. “You know I’m not really used to disagree with you Animehunter however I don’t think that Peter came off as a douche because, IMO, the one who came off as a complete douche was MJ.”

      Well, you’re in luck Berna — you and I are still in agreement.:) I replied to Animehunter’s “douche” comment, but take a second look at what I said. My reply was focused on Dan Slott’s inability to write convincing dialogue between men and women. I then told zariusii that Peter should have called MJ out for lying about her true feelings. I think we are very much on the same page as it pertains to that scene.

      —-

      You know what, you and Dough are right to disagree with me on this, after much thought you are bought right. I place down to it being MJ and me not wanting her to sound like one. But you might also agree that while Peter was in the right, he still acted a little douchy, I mean as I said why not take some time to actually talk to her and tell why she’s wrong for what she said, instead of waving her off the way he did and calling it a “soap opera”.

    5. Well I wouldn’t say douche but I would call Peter in this issue like a mumbling idiot who can’t talk to MJ right or stand up for himself.

      In the previus issues, when Peter said stuff like “Tony Stark stole my girl” or “Two can play at that game” and then he tries to replace MJ for Pepper, yeah I would 100% agree with you Animehunter, Peter is being a complete douche

  2. MJ’s little speech to Peter is once again contradictory b.s, Peter DID have his identity out in the open ten years ago, and we all know the circumstances that came out of it, so why she’s comfortable at all with Tony’s stance is a fundamental betrayal of not only the previous continuity, but Slott’s very own ground rules for why MJ parted ways with Peter as she thought, secret identity or not, she would still be a target of Peter’s enemies.

    Once again, I feel this is an intentional bit of character assassination to make people dislike MJ all the more so that by the time we get to Dead No More and what it could potentially do (reverse the Mephisto deal), nobody will want her back in Peter’s life, or it’ll set up the next generation of anti-MJ fans who will write her out of the book. Thank goodness for the newspaper strip, where MJ is not only right in the thick of Peter’s adventures, but holds her head up high and tries to involve herself in said adventure without fear or hesitation. I can only hope that strip never has an end date when one or both of the Lieber brothers passes on.

    And that brings me to Aunt May…so once again they’re teasing she’s not long for this world…which makes Mephisto’s visit in Spider-Man/Deadpool last month make all the more sense, he knows she’s on borrowed time and is rubbing Peter’s face in the fact the deal proved ultimately to be for nothing (as we all knew it would)

    1. “MJ’s little speech to Peter is once again contradictory b.s, Peter DID have his identity out in the open ten years ago, and we all know the circumstances that came out of it, so why she’s comfortable at all with Tony’s stance is a fundamental betrayal of not only the previous continuity, but Slott’s very own ground rules for why MJ parted ways with Peter as she thought, secret identity or not, she would still be a target of Peter’s enemies.”

      MJ’s speech did not ring true at all. The only way the scene could have been saved is if Peter called her out on that and put a giant spotlight on the fact that she was lying to herself to cover up her true feelings for him. I read that scene and just sort of cringed.

  3. I would like to say something:

    I think this issue pretty much confirms, to me at least, that Dan Slott hates Peter Parker. Because ever since the beginning of Vol. 4 all we had is pretty much Peter Parker come off as a irresponsible, annoying man-child who has done nothing to deserve his success because all of it comes from Otto Octavius’ work, not Peter’s.

    So pretty much we had Peter Parker ripping off the sucess of another person’s work. So knowing Slott he will make sure that Peter fails, and fails hard, because of it.

    Another Example: In this issue we are presented with Peter Parker talking to MJ, a character that Slott does not enjoy.

    IMO, this was a chance for Slott to make Peter come off on top of Mary Jane like saying: “Look what I have achieved without you in my life” after MJ telling Peter how better off she is without him. (This would be completely OOC coming from the both of them however this is Slott so what can you do.)

    However, all he does is say “I’m sorry” for something that he didn’t do while being the person who suffered the most due to Octavius’ actions. And look an incompetent person who can’t talk to Mary Jane!

    All I have to say is this: Thanks Dan Slott. You never ceases to amaze me!

    1. “However, all he does is say ‘I’m sorry’ for something that he didn’t do while being the person who suffered the most due to Octavius’ actions. And look an incompetent person who can’t talk to Mary Jane!”

      MJ sort of walks all over Peter in this one-on-one and he just takes it. As I’ve said in the past, Slott’s Peter Parker is an emasculated Peter Parker. When a woman embarrasses him, it’s somehow proof of his strength. Heh.

      Women do not respect a man who is spineless. They want a leader. They want a man who can take charge at any given moment. That don’t want a mumbler who just slinks over and says, “Ummmm….okay. Grumble, grumble…” when he his challenged.

      It’s sad to see Peter Parker written in a way where 95 percent of most women would say, “Yeah, she’s better off with Tony Stark. I hope they become a couple.”

      Peter needs to speak up and say the equivalent of, “I’m not your stepping stone!” 😉

  4. Strange that Tony is the only one who doesn’t remember. I hope we eventually learn the real reason why Tony has such a grudge against Peter. I have a feeling there is more to it than Peter being a successful competitor. At least Peter has finally put aside his childish jealousy he has displayed the last two issues.

    1. What’s even stranger is that Jarvis remembers, because it was a Skrull who dated Aunt May.

      This was a hamfisted, boring issue on all accounts.

      Superhero battles off panel, because that’s exciting: Yawn.

      A Mary Jane in name only (maybe she’s the Skrull) written without a shred of the character’s personality, charm, empathy, intelligence and history: It’s so to be expected from Slott, I can’t even work up outrage about it. Wake me when he’s off the book.

      Manchild Peter Parker shooting off his mouth without thinking of the consequences: Ditto.

      Super duper all powerful two dimensional villain who takes down Avengers and Norse Gods and X-Men and Daredevil and Squadron Supreme in the span of a few days, if that, and no one notices except Iron Man and Peter Parker Spider-Man: Eyeroll. Plus, didn’t we see this type of unstoppable villain already in…no, not just Renew Your Vows, but Spider-Verse? Dan Slott is officially out of whatever little creativity he possessed.

      Dialogue so painful it makes your eyes bleed: But of course.

      Deus ex machina device instead of Peter using his brains: How convenient of the Regent to shut down all satellite and electronic surveillance, but to leave Betty Brant’s Parkerware intact. How super duper convenient Parkerware works even when encased in liquid/goo. How even more convenient that the Regent wears his the logo of his “secret” identity’s business on his chest. Most convenient of all: only Betty, Harry and MJ noticed the logo on his chest.

      I feel bad for the trees that were pulped to make this thing. They deserved a better afterlife.

      Can’t wait until next issue when MJ trips over the power plug or something just as stupid and suddenly the Regent can be taken out with a single tap.

    2. “Deus ex machina device instead of Peter using his brains: How convenient of the Regent to shut down all satellite and electronic surveillance, but to leave Betty Brant’s Parkerware intact. How super duper convenient Parkerware works even when encased in liquid/goo. How even more convenient that the Regent wears his the logo of his “secret” identity’s business on his chest. Most convenient of all: only Betty, Harry and MJ noticed the logo on his chest.”

      It wouldn’t be Dan without Deus ex machina! Haha. 🙂 Maybe we can call him Dan ex machina Slott.

      “Can’t wait until next issue when MJ trips over the power plug or something just as stupid and suddenly the Regent can be taken out with a single tap.”

      You’re cracking me up. I’m looking forward to your comments after ASM #15 comes out.

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  6. RealThor has killed extraterrestrial gods and giant subterranean monsters. He’s even fought Mephisto. The idea that anyone with Mjolnir in their grip should have a problem with Regent is laughable. The suit works on electricity, doesn’t it? Just electrocute him with multiple lightning bolts.

    Marvel doesn’t care what sloppy stuff Slott cranks out, as long as it’s colorful.

  7. Hi, Doug
    To be honest I have been unsure if I should post on your site. You see I am liberal or at least I have liberal leanings (to be honest with everything going on I don’t feel like I am liberal) and I was unsure about responding to a Conservative blog. Yet I enjoy reading your reviews and rebuttals to mister Dan “internet crybaby” Slott, and you atleast explain your views, reasoning, and give good explanations to why a story or plot point doesn’t work.

    I been seeing you have been enjoying Daredevil my favorite Marvel hero (along side X-Men’s Beast and the Defenders’ Hellcat aka oh my god what have they done to her!) and I am thinking if I have room on my pull list (DC Rebirth is dominating it right now and I am trying to avoid titles that use heavy politics like Green Lanterns, Aquaman, and Green Arrow I am sticking to titles that are fun superhero stories or personal struggles) to put the new Daredevil series on it after the second story arc seeing due to your word of mouth.

    I been following some youtubers who have been talking about how things are one sided and hypocrtical on the liberal/sjw side such as Sargon of Akkad, Steven Crowder, Stefan Molyneux, and Paul Joesph Watson. Have you watched them? I think you would like them.

    1. “To be honest I have been unsure if I should post on your site. You see I am liberal or at least I have liberal leanings (to be honest with everything going on I don’t feel like I am liberal) and I was unsure about responding to a Conservative blog. Yet I enjoy reading your reviews and rebuttals to mister Dan ‘internet crybaby’ Slott, and you at least explain your views, reasoning, and give good explanations to why a story or plot point doesn’t work.”

      Cosmo, first off: Welcome! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. You should never feel hesitant to share your views here. You have “liberal leanings”? No problem! You’re a complex guy, and it would be weird to try and but you into an ideological box. Instead of thinking of things as “conservative” or “liberal,” perhaps for now we’ll stick with, “What ideas are the most pro-liberty?” and go from there. 🙂

      “I been following some youtubers who have been talking about how things are one sided and hypocrtical on the liberal/sjw side such as Sargon of Akkad, Steven Crowder, Stefan Molyneux, and Paul Joesph Watson. Have you watched them? I think you would like them.”

      I check out random videos as they show up in my recommended YouTube feed, but I don’t go out of my way to watch too many. Sargon of Akkad sounds familiar, and I’ve seen Crowder’s stuff before. I’ll have to look into the other two.

      Anyway, like I said, feel free to share your thoughts here anytime. This is a free speech zone, my friend. As long as you’re tactful and don’t start swearing up a storm, we’ll be good to go.

      If you want me to mail you some DD comics before you take the plunge, then let me know. One own my regular readers, Carl, hasn’t taken me up on the offer. I’m willing to mail them — free of charge — if you’re interested. I just can’t give you an exact mailing date since…it’s at no cost to you. Heh.

  8. I can’t figure out who Slott hates more at this point; the fans, Mary Jane, or Bendis for putting him in the position of having to use her character again.

    1. “I can’t figure out who Slott hates more at this point; the fans, Mary Jane, or Bendis for putting him in the position of having to use her character again.”

      Bendis certainly did Slott no favors by reviving interest in MJ. By raising her profile, it draws attention to Dan’s difficulty in handling the situation. He has no clue how to use her. As strange as it sounds, he awkwardly writes “awkward” dialogue when finesse is needed. 🙂

    2. “Bendis certainly did Slott no favors by reviving interest in MJ.”

      Thing is, I don’t think interest in her ever went away at all, no matter how much Marvel and Slott tried to make that happen.

    3. “Thing is, I don’t think interest in her ever went away at all, no matter how much Marvel and Slott tried to make that happen.”

      True. I’m sorry if that was clumsily worded. I meant more in a way where previously fans may have been resigned to not seeing her again until after Slott left and then suddenly it’s going to happen because someone else forced his hand.

    4. “Thing is, I don’t think interest in her ever went away at all, no matter how much Marvel and Slott tried to make that happen.”

      That’s mainly through two things: perseverance of the fans and the fact that in the newspaper strip Mary Jane has remained very much in-character and loyal and supportive of Peter.

  9. I think at this point, the only thing that would satisfy me if they killed off Post-OMD Peter Parker and replaced him with the Pre-OMD Peter Parker. DC recently did this with the New 52 Superman and the Pre-Flashpoint Superman (that is married to Lois Lane). It could happen like this:

    Reveal that the married Pre-OMD Peter is living in some kind of pocket universe where he’s alive, married and has a daughter. The Post-OMD Peter and Mephisto kill each other in some kind of final battle. This results in a paradox where the Post-OMD Peter never existed (due to Mephisto’s deal never happening). New status quo occurs where the married Pre-OMD Peter Parker essentially replaces the Post-OMD Peter (who never existed). This Peter is married to Mary Jane, has a daughter, owns Parker Industries and is not a spineless jack-ass. Furthermore the writers/editors never mention OMD, Mephisto or Dan Slott for the next 15 years (LMAO).

    Problem solved.

    1. “I think at this point, the only thing that would satisfy me if they killed off Post-OMD Peter Parker and replaced him with the Pre-OMD Peter Parker.”

      I agree with you that Peter Parker fans are in dire straits. I’m not sure how I feel about that option, but I can’t hold it against anyone for suggesting it, given the circumstances.

  10. Stillanerd’s review for ASM #14 just went up:

    “What little conversations there are between Peter and Mary Jane, and what Peter describes as their ‘soap opera,’ rings totally false. The issue would have its readers believe that the main reason behind Peter and MJ’s current separation was all due to Peter’s dishonesty when it came to maintaining his secret identity as Spider-Man. Except even the most causal Spider-Man fan knows that MJ has been aware of Peter’s double life almost from the beginning, and is someone who maintains a “secret identity” of sorts herself by pretending she’s just a vapid “party girl.” […] Likewise, her claim that Tony Stark, unlike Peter, puts ‘everything out in the open’ is utterly ridiculous. Never mind how there’s been multiple–and much crueler–instances of Tony deceiving his friends, lovers, and allies, including the most recent issue of Invincible Iron Man, it conveniently ignores how Peter revealing his secret identity during Civil War is what lead to their relationship ending in the first place (deals with Mephisto notwithstanding), which made MJ an even bigger target from his enemies. If anything, she’s in more danger now working for a superhero with a public identity like Iron Man than she is still hanging around her ex.”

    Check out the whole thing if you get a chance.

  11. A couple of new articles on CBR which will definitely be of interest to you, especially the 1st one

    IS “ONE MORE DAY” COMING UNRAVELED IN “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”?
    http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/is-one-more-day-coming-unraveled-in-amazing-spider-man

    “SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL” PICKS AT THAT “ONE MORE DAY” SCAB
    http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/spider-man-deadpool-picks-at-that-one-more-day-scab

    Comic Book Legends Revealed #580
    http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2016/06/17/comic-book-legends-revealed-580/
    COMIC LEGEND: The Clone Saga was developed as a plan to get Spider-Man single again.
    STATUS: False

    1. Thanks for sharing, Animehunter. I’ll respond to this:

      “So, is the end of “One More Day” really in the cards for Peter and MJ? It’s too soon to say, obviously, and Marvel isn’t telling us anything. But DC Comics is currently finding great success with a similar storyline, bringing back the married version of Superman it erased from the DC Universe five years ago, indicating there are some aspects of characters fans will welcome back into continuity with open arms. With Marvel’s reality having been undone and remade twice in recent months, it’s not a crazy theory to propose that maybe — just maybe — the original deal to save Aunt May’s life might be falling apart.”

      Here’s the thing: Undoing OMD would be a giant reversal for Marvel. It was Tom Brevoort who said OMD was “medicine” for the fans that they “needed” to take. Is he now admitting his “medicine” was poison? Think of all the times that Marvel’s editors/creators gave a giant middle finger to the fans over this issue, and then ask yourself if they are really going to right past wrongs.

      Would it be nice if the infamous deal crumbled? Yes. Do I have any faith in Marvel to make things right at this point? No.

      If Dan Slott brought back the marriage before he left the book, then it would certainly complicate his legacy. On one hand you would have a guy whose body of work savaged Peter Parker and treated him like a “meat puppet,” but then on the other he would be the guy who corrected OMD. He would always have that one beautiful feather in his cap, and no-one could deny it.

      Does he go for the feather, or does he take a dump on fans one last time? Good question. If he goes for the latter option, then OMD will also stand for Slott’s “One More Dump.”

  12. “I meant more in a way where previously fans may have been resigned to not seeing her again until after Slott left and then suddenly it’s going to happen because someone else forced his hand.”

    If that’s the case, then why did Slott bring back the MJ character for his RYV entry in “Secret Wars”? It might be set in a parallel universe and intended as a one-time thing, but Slott has gone on record that writing a story about the marriage was his idea (and he did seem to bring his A-game to it as well, which would be ironic if he dislikes that element of the franchise as seems to).

    As far as Slott’s legacy goes, I don’t think he’s going to leave much, even if he undoes OMD for good, simply because comics are loosing their relevance to the franchise as far as the general public is concerned in favor of the movies (which have and are taking more cues from “Ultimate Spider-Man “than anything else). I don’t think that the comics readership are that big a part of the fanbase anymore (no offense).

    I’d frankly be surprised if OMD is ever undone in the near-future, since the dichotomy of the Peter/MJ marriage was that it was hated by Marvel’s staff overall, but loved by the readers overall. I don’t really see the motivation for Marvel to back off. They’re not loosing enough money over the change, they’ve found readers for the new set-up, and I don’t think there are enough supporters at Marvel to make it happen.

    On the other hand, a reversal would make RYV seem less random (other than just being a testbed for Regent) and would explain why Slott wanted to tell that story (giving him the benefit of the doubt that he wasn’t just saying that for PR) and why Marvel even okayed something that pretty effectively argued against OMD’s thesis in the first place. But, since the point of “Secret Wars” was partially to revisit old stories and setups and the married years is, for many readers the definitive version of the characters, I could also see them just doing it for the sake of revisiting the past, which is why I’m suspicious that nothing’s going to change any time soon, sad to say.

    1. “If that’s the case, then why did Slott bring back the MJ character for his RYV entry in ‘Secret Wars’? It might be set in a parallel universe and intended as a one-time thing, but Slott has gone on record that writing a story about the marriage was his idea (and he did seem to bring his A-game to it as well, which would be ironic if he dislikes that element of the franchise as seems to).”

      Dan Slott essentially told us why he brought back the character. I covered it March 20, 2015:

      “With any story where you give people what they want—there’s a difference, as a storyteller, between what your readers want and what your readers need. In a good Peanuts story, you want Charlie Brown to kick that football. But if Charlie Brown kicks the football, it’s over!” says Slott. “All the best stories in serialized fiction–it’s always about teasing the greatest wishes and wants, but monkey-pawing it. Always giving you what you want, but not the way you want it.”

      I also covered why the Charlie Brown analogy was stupid, so check it out if you get a chance. 🙂

      Here’s another thing to think about. Yes, RYV brought back MJ, but at the time I believe Dan made weird comments about Peter’s decision to kill Venom. It was basically framed as, “Peter crossed the rubicon, he would never be the same, etc., and that sort of thing would never have happened if he didn’t have a family.”

      The problem for Dan is (look at his Twitter feed to see how he feels about law-abiding Americans defending themselves with lethal force) — millions of Americans see nothing wrong with Peter killing a supervillain if a.) it really was the only realistic option, and b.) his wife’s and daughter’s lives were at risk.

  13. Slott has said writing MJ in RYV was “something new” for him and the most “fun” part of the story was writing her…which is weird given he said Peter’s love for her was anti-marvel and that her best years was as the party girl before DeFalco fleshed her out…yet Slott’s best work with her is that neutering kindly supportive MJ.

    When he butchered “Mayday”‘s family in Spider-Verse, he also pushed hard the idea MJ would “never leave him in his hour of greatest need” when she stood her ground against Daemos and almost died, and urged “Mayday” to continue her role as a costumed web-swinger despite just losing her husband to that lifestyle…so I think Slott is trying to sell us on the fact that under normal circumstance, not circumstances brought upon by a devil’s magic spell, MJ would be in-character, and that the only reason she currently is’nt is because of OMD.

    Someone brought up the idea that Peter from the pre-OMD reality is living in a pocket universe…well my theory is that the “Renew Your Vows” Parkers ARE the pre-OMD Parkers from 616 transferred to a different universe, either by the one-above-all taking pity on them after their “supreme sacrifice” to Mephisto, or through some other cosmic anamoly, and the Peter, MJ, and May we’ve been tailing this whole time are not who we suspect they are. Marvel will no doubt prove me wrong on that, but it’s a nice thought to have and I hold out hope we’ll see the RYV Parkers again. 2017 is the 30th anniversary of the marriage, so it’s little surprise they are teasing a reversal of OMD.

    1. “Slott has said writing MJ in RYV was “something new” for him and the most ‘fun’ part of the story was writing her…which is weird given he said Peter’s love for her was anti-marvel and that her best years was as the party girl before DeFalco fleshed her out…yet Slott’s best work with her is that neutering kindly supportive MJ.”

      Are you saying that Dan Slott contradicts himself? I don’t believe it! 😉

  14. Marvel had an interview with Giuseppe Camuncoli

    Where they discussed Peter, Mary Jane, Iron Man and Regent
    For the full interview – http://marvel.com/news/comics/26300/amazing_spider-man_and_friends

    This is the question about MJ

    Marvel.com: This series also brings Mary Jane back into the picture. There’s always some awkwardness with exes. Does that come across on the page?

    Giuseppe Camuncoli: Well, I hope so. With Mary Jane and Peter right now it’s a mixed-emotions thing on both sides, I guess. Add Tony Stark in the mix and you’ll get the picture. I think that Peter will always love MJ and MJ will always love Peter, although they’re not together anymore and sometimes they might seem like they hate each other. She’s like the ultimate “ex,” the one that you can’t forget and that you don’t want to forget. But one that you still love seeing, even if it might hurt.

    and a first look at her in the Spider-Armor
    http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/animehunter2k13/Comic%20Pages/ASM%2015/5762db4f70ca8_zpshzbsgico.jpg~original
    http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y331/animehunter2k13/Comic%20Pages/ASM%2015/5762db993fb24_zpszuyyr8d3.jpg~original

    1. Giuseppe Camuncoli: Well, I hope so. With Mary Jane and Peter right now it’s a mixed-emotions thing on both sides, I guess. Add Tony Stark in the mix and you’ll get the picture. I think that Peter will always love MJ and MJ will always love Peter, although they’re not together anymore and sometimes they might seem like they hate each other. She’s like the ultimate “ex,” the one that you can’t forget and that you don’t want to forget. But one that you still love seeing, even if it might hurt.

      I get what he’s saying, but I don’t think anyone should let the idea of MJ as “Marvel’s ultimate-ex” sink in.

      My response to MJ in the Spider-Armor is just…eh. Regent took out all of the Avengers with ease, but MJ puts on a suit for the first time and she’s going to help Spider-Man take him down. Ummm, okay.

      There’s a difference between MJ having the courage to smack Madam Masque in the face, and then taking down a Regent. Marvel wants us to believe Regent took down Captain America, Vision, and She-Thor with relative ease. Now he falls to MJ in Spider-Armor? Sigh.

  15. Dan Slott essentially told us why he brought back the character…I also covered why the Charlie Brown analogy was stupid, so check it out if you get a chance.”

    I don’t think Slott even understands the point of the football routine in the first place. Popular understanding is that it’s about Charlie Brown’s perseverance and hope that makes him willing to keep trying one more time. Schulz reportedly said the point is that Charlie Brown is too weak-willed to just walk away like he should, but either way, the point wasn’t that he failed every time. And on top of that, there were a couple of instances where Lucy didn’t pull the football away, and the last time the routine was used, it was left unanswered if the ball was pulled away or kicked. (Even discounting that Charlie Brown has his moral victories and wins on other occasion, too.)

    “Here’s another thing to think about. Yes, RYV brought back MJ, but at the time I believe Dan made weird comments about Peter’s decision to kill Venom. It was basically framed as, “Peter crossed the rubicon, he would never be the same, etc., and that sort of thing would never have happened if he didn’t have a family.”

    I never understood how the alleged money’s paw was supposed to work here. Now, had RYV only been that first issue, I might understand it (I’d still have trouble attaching any blame to Peter under the circumstances). It does work as a deconstruction of the idea of someone in Peter’s position trying to raise a family and the new priorities that arise from that.

    But, the next several issues reconstruct the idea of a superhero with a family. Peter becomes Spider-Man again because his family is in trouble and at the very end, chooses to follow is original code and morals because of his family (he wants to be someone his daughter can look up to). So, if the point of the story was to show that a family was bad for the character, why have the story make the family the crux of the solution to the problem and show it as one of the best things to happen to the characters?

    (Also, if Slott thought that killing Venom was way out of character, he could use a refresher in Spidey history. There have been a few stories where, when people he cared about were harmed or killed, Peter seriously considered killing the villain responsible, e.g., “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” “The Death of Jean De Wolf,” “Back in Black,” “Ultimate Spider-Man: Public Scrutiny,” “Carnage,” and “Clone Saga” to name a few. Even through in most of those cases he didn’t follow through or the story reinforced the idea that he didn’t want to become a killer himself, the point remains if instances like that were enough to push him to the edge, is it really a stretch that his wife and daughter being in the crosshairs would push him all the way, esp. if the villain was promising to do it?)

    “Someone brought up the idea that Peter from the pre-OMD reality is living in a pocket universe…well my theory is that the “Renew Your Vows” Parkers ARE the pre-OMD Parkers from 616 transferred to a different universe, either by the one-above-all taking pity on them after their “supreme sacrifice” to Mephisto, or through some other cosmic anamoly, and the Peter, MJ, and May we’ve been tailing this whole time are not who we suspect they are.”

    I’m not very good with 616 history, but as I understand it, RYV branched off from 616 shortly after Peter and MJ got married; in issue one, when MJ is wishing that the other superheroes would take some of Peter’s slack, she says: “You have a wife and kid now.” While not conclusive, it does imply that they became parents relatively early in their marriage. This Spidey also never joined the Avengers, meaning that “Civil War” couldn’t have happened, esp. when Regents takes over.

    This makes it seem unlikely that these Parkers are the 616 ones given a new home after OMD created alt. versions. On the other hand, if it does branch off (implied since the Parkers recall or discuss events that happened in 616), then they are the 616 versions of the characters in the sense that, up till the fork in the timeline, 616 ASM is part of the RYV continuity, so the Peter Parker in ASM #1 is the RYV Peter, etc.

    So, I guess I agree with the spirit of your theory (that the RYV Parkers are the original ones), if not the mechanics of it. (And the good news is that apparently, Marvel established that the different dimensions that made up Battleworld in “Secret Wars” survived the end of Battleworld and were allowed to continue on their way as they were before the incident. Hence, the RYV Parkers are still alive and well, even if they’re not starring in any comics.)

    1. I understand your point about the continuity being different in RYV, but I was kind of going with Marvel potentially copying what DC are doing with Superman. N52 Superman clearly had a different origin and backstory, but we’re learning the DC universe was tampered with, character deaged, 10 years stricken from the record, and events and whole histories altered to weaken the characters. The same can easily be said of RYV and it would allow all stories to count while protecting Peter and MJ from all of the damage inflicted on them. You could still say the versions from post-OMD were Peter and MJ, only it was the “worst elements” of the characters brought to life (Peter’s immaturity, MJ’s shallowness) , and eventually, both would have to merge to strike a proper balance.

      And yeah, I hear the Spider-Man Unlimited game is going to have the RYV Parkers as unlockable characters, so they will have a presence again before long.

  16. The reason Slott’s “moral point” in RYV failed was because it wasn’t wrong for Peter to kill Venom.

    Slott, blinded by his own weird progressivism, presented Venom’s death as if it would cause a horrified hand-to-mouth reaction from Spider-Man readers. But almost no one agreed with Slott (judging from reader comments at the time) that killing Venom was wrong. So the alleged “tension” of the story didn’t exist, at least for anyone other than Slott.

    If a crazy alien monster vowed to eat my little daughter’s brain, you can bet I would kill him quite dead, ASAP. And then we would a victory party afterward, with cake! So, as a result, Peter not killing Regent at the climax wasn’t a moral victory, because it wasn’t wrong for Peter to have killed Venom earlier. It wouldn’t even have been wrong for Peter to kill Regent, given those circumstances.

    I think Dan Slott is very out of touch with the way most people feel and think, and that is why his stories seldom resonate on an emotional level. It might also explain why his climaxes fizzle. His stories are processed through his outlooks on life (of course), but his outlook on life appears to be disconnected from people’s normal, day-to-day emotional and social realities. So, as a result, there’s little or no emotional satisfaction experienced by the reader at the climaxes. Or to put it this way: I cannot for the life of me figure out where Dan Slott is coming from, or what he believes in other than some sort of pervasive left-wing cynicism. As a result, his stories just sort of bloop out, like air leaking from a balloon.

    1. “Slott, blinded by his own weird progressivism, presented Venom’s death as if it would cause a horrified hand-to-mouth reaction from Spider-Man readers. But almost no one agreed with Slott (judging from reader comments at the time) that killing Venom was wrong. So the alleged ‘tension’ of the story didn’t exist, at least for anyone other than Slott.”

      Jack, I know I’ve said this before, but I love your comments. I can just imagine how you would deliver these lines in person and it cracks me up. I need to get a podcast of my own rolling one of these days… I’d love to get you on something like that for 30 minutes. I think it would be golden.

      “I think Dan Slott is very out of touch with the way most people feel and think, and that is why his stories seldom resonate on an emotional level. It might also explain why his climaxes fizzle. His stories are processed through his outlooks on life (of course), but his outlook on life appears to be disconnected from people’s normal, day-to-day emotional and social realities.”

      Again, I can imagine you saying this in a matter-of-fact way, perhaps even to Dan at a comic convention as he sits across from you at a table. There’s no malice in your voice at all. You don’t hate the guy. You’re just stating the truth, which of course can cut deep.

    2. Part of it is, I’m not fully confident I’m right. I’m remembering something C.S. Lewis once wrote, about reviewers conjecturing about his time-specific state of mind from his stories and them always being wrong. But I think that’s different from a guy’s worldview, and how bits of it comes across through reams of stories, combined with interviews and on-line materials. I’m pretty sure I get the worldview, if only from things DS himself has said about it. Another part of it is, as exasperated as I get by modern Marvel (since I have such fond memories of their comics from when I was a kid), and as turned off I am by today’s Spider-Man, I want to hope that people are able to see themselves and improve. Not just DS’ writing skills, but himself. If he really is angry, lonely, and unhappy, I don’t wish that for him.

    3. “Part of it is, I’m not fully confident I’m right. I’m remembering something C.S. Lewis once wrote, about reviewers conjecturing about his time-specific state of mind from his stories and them always being wrong. But I think that’s different from a guy’s worldview, and how bits of it comes across through reams of stories, combined with interviews and on-line materials.”

      Regarding a writer’s worldview, Twitter makes it incredibly easy to verify where he or she stands. Dan makes it easy since he is on there all time time, openly admits his activism, etc. Then you can go to someone like Nick Spencer’s account, where he says Republicans are all “evil”…while writing stories that shove Republican talking points into the Red Skull.

      “Another part of it is, as exasperated as I get by modern Marvel (since I have such fond memories of their comics from when I was a kid), and as turned off I am by today’s Spider-Man, I want to hope that people are able to see themselves and improve. Not just DS’ writing skills, but himself. If he really is angry, lonely, and unhappy, I don’t wish that for him.”

      I think it comes across that you don’t wish anyone ill will. You’re just calling it like you see it.

  17. “I understand your point about the continuity being different in RYV, but I was kind of going with Marvel potentially copying what DC are doing with Superman. N52 Superman clearly had a different origin and backstory, but we’re learning the DC universe was tampered with, character deaged, 10 years stricken from the record, and events and whole histories altered to weaken the characters.”

    Isn’t the “original” family man Superman now replacing the new dead one, or something? I might be able to go for that in “Spider-Man,” although I doubt it would happen, since the company line is that that the post-OMD Peter Parker is the “real”/”original” Spider-Man, and I can’t seem them ever replacing the real one (whatever that even means now).

    “The same can easily be said of RYV and it would allow all stories to count while protecting Peter and MJ from all of the damage inflicted on them. You could still say the versions from post-OMD were Peter and MJ, only it was the “worst elements” of the characters brought to life (Peter’s immaturity, MJ’s shallowness) , and eventually, both would have to merge to strike a proper balance.”

    Um, I don’t think so. If they RYV characters are coming back, I’d rather them just stay themselves rather then get folded into the OMD versions for whatever reason. Frankly, I think a best case scenario at the moment would be to just let Marvel do whatever the heck they want with the main ASM series and restart RYV as a side series, like “Spider-Girl” and “Ultimate Spider-Man” were back in the day.

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