With the 75th Anniversary of Marvel Comics well under way, many celebrations and special edition comics are beginning to pour out of the massive comic house. And with all of the confetti flying about, several Marvel writers got a few ideas rolling about their heads. They wondered what Marvel may look like with the release of the 100th anniversary of their company, AND their characters. Now, every week in July, there will be a new release, an issue celebrating the 100th anniversary of various teams and solo characters. And to kick it off, who better to start with than Marvel’s favorite whipping boy SPIDER-MAN!
Now remember, these books are looks at the 100th anniversaries of the characters, meaning they take place in the far-flung future. This is somewhat off-putting, because even knowing this, there is little to zero context for anything that is happening in the book. This issue of Spider-man takes place in the year 2061. It features Peter Parker, Wilson Fisk, Mary-Jane, and Eddie Brock. Already, I see MAJOR issues with this book. I understand that Marvel goes about various attempts to keep their characters young and therefore timeless, but at some point, people need to grow up. Peter appears no older in this book than he does in a current issue of Spider-Man.Even worse, characters like Eddie Brock (while DEAD in this issue) appear even YOUNGER than they presently are. And Mary-Jane is just a perpetual super-model, so I am not surprised that she is STILL showing her face off on billboards.
The book opens with an intro page stating that this is part 8 of 8. This is ALREADY a huge issue for me. I understand the idea of taking a glance at what our favorite characters may be like years from now, but it detracts from the novelty if I am completely lost at the tail end of a story arc I didn’t read. When you pick up a comic from a mini series, you NEVER start with the last issue. The reader becomes lost and out of place, and thus disinterested in whats going on in the story.
From what I can gather, Eddie Brock and Spider-Man have been fighting over the Venom symbiote (again), after it was altered by cybernetic enhancements. After they resolve their differences however, Eddie Brock is killed by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, who then STEALS the symbiote. Once again, I call BULLSHIT! Wilson Fisk is NOT the type of character who would allow themselves to be put on the front line of a battle. He would not take a weapon and fight his OWN battles, so why would he try and take a symbiote for himself?
Fisk, with the power of a new cyber-symbiote, becomes what I like to call “FATTY VENOM,” and bitch slaps Peter out of his building. It is here we come to yet ANOTHER issue i have with this book. As Peter falls, he latches onto a video billboard, and who is present on sed billboard? None other than Mary-Jane Watson. “Fatty Venom” descends from the building and comments on how Mary-Jane is JUST out of Peter’s reach.
This is wholly INFURIATING! Most every fan agrees to hating not only the events, but also the ultimate outcome of One More Day, yet the writers at Marvel still love to TWIST that knife just a little deeper. What this page tells us, is that even another 50 years from now, we are likely to never see Peter and MJ be completely re-united. Thanks Marvel, thanks for crushing those dreams as best you could. What makes this worse, is that the 100th Anniversary X-Men book set to release later this month features the wedding of Scott Summers and Emma Frost. If you know me, you know how much disdain I have for THOSE characters, so seeing them receive the happy ending intended for Peter and Mj, just brings my piss to an utter BOIL!
After this scene we receive a bit of social commentary from “FATTY VENOM” regarding how technology has advanced to the point where people are always plugged in and completely unaware of their surroundings. This message fell on deaf ears however, as I have long since stopped caring what this writer had to say.
And as soon as this last message is drilled into our skulls the book seems to know that it has accomplished everything it set out to do. For nearly 10 pages we are given text-less pages. No dialogue, no inner monologue, no nothing. Just the honestly gorgeous artwork by In-Hyuk Lee, which is honestly the only reason I haven’t destroyed my copy of this comic yet. Spidey fights fatty Venom in the woods and destroys the Venom symbiote. Thats about IT. After which he returns home and we are FINALLY treated to a monologue, a minimalist one, but still a monologue. And it is hear we receive the FINAL nail in the coffin for why I hate this issue. I is implied that after all this time, not only has Peter not gotten back together with MJ, not only has he not aged, not only has he apparently gone through ANOTHER Spidey-no more crisis, but it appears that Aunt May has also long since passed away.
-In-Hyuk lee’s gorgeous artwork stopped me from destroying this book before finishing it, but only JUST.
-Nothing has changed over the course of 50 years including age.
-Peter will NEVER find happiness apparently (according to Marvel).
-Wilson Fisk acts completely out of character.
-Unnecessary and unwanted social commentary.
-Dropping us at the end of what was aparently an “Epic” story arc is just plain disorienting and confusing.
-I am left with more questions and fears, than I am hopes and answers.