Current Reviews


Amazing Spider-Man #638

Posted: Friday, July 23, 2010
By: Robert Tacopina

Joe Quesada
Paolo Rivera, Joe Quesada, Danny Miki, Richard Isanove, Joe Caramagna (l)
Marvel Comics
“One Moment in Time” (part 1: Something Old)

This story arc is a bold decision by Marvel Comics to revisit the controversial “One More Day” storyline that served as the catalyst for the dissolving of Peter’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson. Fans are still enraged to this day over this editorial mandate that reset Spider-Man to this extent. From deals with the devil to a single Spidey, I can’t recall a single event that has had such a polarizing effect on the audience. Personally, I found the change to be somewhat refreshing and has paved the way for some truly great stories that have spun out of “One More Day.” Regardless, the promise of what actually transpired behind the scenes is one that should have even the most hardcore of pundits intrigued by the story possibilities.

This opening salvo of the four part storyline goes right for the gut with a recollection of the encounter between Peter, MJ, and Mephisto. One of the biggest questions that left many wondering at the end of “One More Day” was just what exactly did MJ whisper into the ear of Mephisto? Now it has been stated that this will be resolved in “One Moment in Time” but if what was offered up in this issue is the reveal it only leaves more questions. When MJ shows up at Peter’s door in the present day it paves the way for a retrospective look back at their relationship as it unfolds from their days right before their marriage and the actual day itself. By a brilliant interspersing of the content found in the wedding issue (Annual #21) and a modern day updating and revision Quesada and company actually provide a rather compelling, albeit confusing, story.

There are many aspects of this issue that will be looked upon with question due to the fact that right now they seem out of place. For instance, a nameless Electro thug in Annual #21 is now fleshed out and is one of the key components for the marriage never taking place. However, it is the actions in between point A to point B that left me scratching my head in confusion as the thug, Eddie, seeks to take revenge on the police officer who had attempted to arrest him. As Eddie sits in the squad car an enigmatic bird lands on the vehicle and rests his talon on the door locks before abruptly flying away. But, then the doors mysteriously unlock and you just sit there thinking, “WTF? Is the bird Mephisto?” That is what I took from this development and I suppose is the foundation of how Mephisto was able to manipulate the event. That still leaves the question of what the heck is this story actually going to add to the Spider-Man canon? Is this the first step in re-uniting the love scorned couple or merely just a ploy to raise our ire? Will the remaining three issues (which I would assume would be titled something new, something borrowed, and something blue) add a substantial amount of fleshing out to bypass the awkwardness of this “Something Old?”

Which ever course of action Marvel takes it will undoubtedly piss off a good part of the Spidey reader base. At times one would think it best to let sleeping dogs lies as in the case of “One More Day.” Is there a point to even bothering to detail just how Mephisto did what he did? He’s the freaking devil!! Here are some of my biggest huh moments:

  • This was MJ’s pitch to Mephisto? Where is what she has to offer?

  • Why is Eddie so intent on killing Hepburn, the police officer?

  • So Mephisto takes the form of a bird to free Eddie from being imprisoned? Is he also the mysterious man who gives Eddie Hepburn‘s address?

  • How the hell is MJ going to outwit Mephisto?

As a result I found myself left with an odd feeling, the one much like waking up in the middle of the night because you think you are falling. While the art was good it hindered the overall appeal having the eye consistently jump between artists. Paolo Rivera’s appreciated attempts to ape Paul Ryan’s pencils from the wedding issue was a nice homage. Alas, there were just too many hands in the proverbial pot for my taste.

In the end this issue was just there. It didn’t really deliver anything “One More Day” worthy at least not that has been revealed so far. I do think that the potential for the rest of the arc to open things up and infuse those moments are potentially there. The question is, can they be executed properly?

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