One Moment In Time, Two Years Too Late

Analogy time, kids:

Let’s say you’re dating someone. You’ve been together for years, totally happy, completely in love. Then one day you come home to find her waiting at the door with her bags packed. She’s leaving you. You try to talk her into staying but soon realize that she won’t be swayed. Nothing you can do to make her stay, you just have one more question: Why? Why is she doing this? Is it something you did? Something you said? Do you smell? Despite your pleas, she doesn’t give you an answer. “Deal with it, “ she says as she slams the door.

You’re devastated, obviously. Your whole world has just been turned upside down. First you’re angry. When that gets you nowhere, you become depressed. You start to wonder if you’ll ever be happy again. You keep asking yourself, “Why did she leave me?” but no answer ever comes. Ultimately you give up on ever getting a decent answer and decide to keep trudging forward in life. It’s either that or fall asleep in the garage with the car running. As time goes by you start to feel better. You even meet someone new. You forget all about the woman who broke your heart.

One random day a couple years later, the phone rings. It’s the ex. She wants to talk to you. In her infinite wisdom, she’s finally decided to tell you why she ran out on you. You’re torn. On one hand, she’s about to give you the answer you wanted so badly. This could finally be closure for that dark period you went through after she left. On the other hand, you’ve kind of already forged your own closure without her. You rationalized to yourself a long time ago that she left you because she was a heartless bitch and you’re not worried about her reasons anymore. There was a time when you desperately needed to hear what she had to say, but that time has long since passed.

That’s pretty much how I feel about Joe Quesada’s upcoming Spider-Man story, “One Moment in Time”. Allow me to explain…

“The story of “One Moment In Time” by Quesada and artist Paolo Rivera will be serialized in Marvel’s flagship “Amazing Spider-Man” title beginning in July’s issue #637 and running through #640, all of which will be oversized, and as the E-i-C explained exclusively to CBR, the series will turn back the clock in some unexpected ways to show what happen on the day that should have been Peter and MJ’s wedding day instead of the version published in “The Wedding!” of 1987’s “Amazing Spider-Man Annual” #21.”

Teased as simply” O.M.I.T.” for weeks now, “One Moment in Time” is a follow up of sorts to “One More Day”. You remember that story, don’t you? It was the massive retcon that rocked the Spider-Man world just over two years ago thanks to a literal deal with the devil. A lot of people, not just me, called it the worst Spider-Man story of all time.

“One More Day” changed a lot. Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson weren’t married anymore, Spider-Man’s secret identity was once again concealed, and Harry Osborn was alive and well just for starters. I wasn’t happy at all about simply waving a magic wand to change so many things about the character and his history but I had to accept it. If I wanted to read new Spidey stories in mainstream Marvel continuity, I’d have to get used to this new version.  I just wanted an explanation. Alas, no proper explanation ever came.

But even without explaining the new status quo, the stories the new writers on the book were telling in it were really good. In fact, Amazing Spider-Man has been firing on all cylinders since the start of “Brand New Day”. The book was going along so well, in fact, that it wasn’t too long before readers had forgotten all about the injustices of “One More Day”. Sure, there were still a few unanswered questions looming, but we were able to push them out of our minds thanks to the quality work of writers like Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente, Marc Guggenheim, and Zeb Wells. These guys weren’t really paying that much attention to “One More Day”, they were just focused on telling good stories in the world it had created.

And now here we are with Quesada’s new Spider-Man opus, “One Moment in Time”. He promises to finally answer all the questions “One More Day” left unresolved. Why didn’t Peter & MJ get married? How is Spidey’s identity secret again? How in the hell is Harry Osborn back from the dead?

“I’ve had it inside me for a really long time. One of the things about Brand New Day was that it did leave a lot of unanswered questions. The fact that I’ve had these answers for some time now has been frustrating from one side of it, but from the other side it’s also taught me patience. To just wait and do this properly, finding the right window where it’s going to work perfectly in this new continuity, this new world for Spider-Man. And hopefully fans will dig it.”

I really hope so, Joe. I really do. Now, I’m not writing this column to make some grandiose claim like I’m going to stop reading Spider-Man books unless this story satisfactorily answers every possible query I have. I’m a dedicated fanboy, I probably couldn’t do that if I tried. No, friends, I’m writing this column to say that if “One Moment in Time” doesn’t tie up all the loose ends left over from “One More Day”, it shouldn’t even be written. The people who didn’t drop Amazing Spider-Man at the start of Brand New Day have learned to live with the changes made to the character. We rationalized that the character changed because editorial wanted him changed, and that was that. Time and good writing have healed to wounds One More Day left, and there’s really no reason to drag this story out again.

Unless, of course, Joe Quesada actually has it in him to make this story worthwhile. If the story actually has some positive impact on the book and isn’t just saying “Here’s what you kids were whining about earlier, now shut up.” Let’s just say I’m skeptical at best.

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