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All right, I'm not sure what else I can say about this issue that hasn't been already said by others, and with certainly more eloquence than myself, but I figure I might as well add my more in-depth thoughts about part 1 of [I]One Moment in Time[/I] (Amazing Spider-Man #638) anyway:

*First off, the highlight of this issue has to be Paolo Rivera’s illustrations, which not only evoke a sense of nostalgia, but are only wonderfully detailed without being excessively so.  On the other hand, Joe Quesada’s art, while beautifully colored, has no uniformity at all.  Sometimes MJ is gorgeous and slender, other times she’s homely and dumpy.  Sometimes Peter is lean, other times putting on pounds, and at one point looks like a dead ringer for Joe Quesada himself. 

*As for the story, a word which I can think of that best describes it is “choppy.”  First, it is finally revealed what Mary Jane whispered to Mephisto. All it comes down to is MJ will get Peter to agree to the deal on the condition that Mephisto promises to leave Peter alone “for the rest of his days.”  For something which was made out to be such a big deal in [I]One More Day[/I] and the promotion of this story, this revelation winds up being anti-climatic at best.  What’s more, because this is proceeded by actual dialogue from [I]One More Day[/I] itself, it winds up being nonsensical and redundant.

From there, we shift to the present, in which MJ comes over to Peter’s apartment in an effort to try and re-establish their friendship.  Not only is this heart-to-heart talk between these two characters long overdue, but this scene could also be interpreted as an admission on Quesada’s (and Marvel’s) part that MJ, even though having been brought back as a supporting character in last year’s 600th issue, has been criminally short-changed up until this point.  So, it’s nice to see that this could be a sign of MJ having more involvement in Peter’s life again.  Although, the two of them wondering what their lives would have been like if they had gotten married is a bit much, considering that the readers HAVE seen what it was like and Marvel’s official word has been that all the stories, save their marriage, still happened virtually the same anyway.

The rest of the issue is a flashback to the time of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 in which the Peter and MJ’s wedding took place.  And for two-thirds of this issue, it literally IS the Annual, since Quesada has chosen to cut-and-paste actual pages from that very issue by Jim Shooter, David Michele, and Paul Ryan, along with his “new scenes” penned by himself and illustrated by Rivera.  Granted, Quesada does a capable enough job weaving in the new material with the old, despite the sharply contrasting art-styles and dialogue between the two (even though it is still an incredibly lazy way to tell a story, which mostly winds up not being his anyway).  However, three of these “new scenes” just serve to underscore what the Annual’s story already was--that both Peter and MJ were having doubts about getting married--and thus comes across as unnecessary and pointless padding.

*That leaves us with the new scenes that actually deal with how Peter and MJ didn’t get married according to the new continuity.  Thanks to the intervention of Mephisto in the form of a red pigeon magically opening a cop car (um, okay?), one of Electro’s goons, a guy named Eddie Muerte, escapes.  This leads to him going after the cop who arrested him and the cop’s wife, with Spidey forced to save them both.  As a result, Spidey (despite his spider-sense giving him fair warning) gets hit in the head by the crook with a cinder-block. As he gives chase, Spidey attempts to save “Eddie” from falling off a building, but because he’s still dizzy from his head injury, he misses snagging the building with his web and falls to the ground.  However, he saves “Eddie” by using his own body to break the crook‘s fall.  And because he’s unconscious with a fat and equally unconscious felon on top of him for literally hours, Peter never showed up at his wedding, causing the guests, and MJ herself, to think he jilted her at the altar. 

Again, just so you understand: Spider-Man missed his wedding because he was knocked unconscious by Electro’s fat slob of a stooge falling on top of him.  Are you $%^&ing kidding me!?

To be fair, it makes sense that Peter would have been late to his wedding as a result of something Spider-Man related; furthermore, it’s definitely in keeping with the concept that he is a hard-luck hero.  But after almost three years, THIS was the best Quesada and company could come up with?  It’s not only uninspired, it’s outright laughable--and not in a good way.

I understand that while some readers would much rather Marvel get as far enough away from One More Day as possible, that story created a lot of lingering and unexplained questions that needed to be addressed.  Also, I don’t envy Quesada with having to do the thankless task of attempting to revise Spider-Man’s history in a way which explains how we came to the post-Brand New Day era while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the earlier stories.  But based on this first part alone, is shaping up to be a very disappointing and unsatisfying story.  Granted, it’s not nearly as terrible as [I]One More Day[/I], but then that’s like saying [I]Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen[/I] is a better movie than [I]The Last Airbender[/I].  At the end of the day, it’s still mediocre.  Hopefully, in part two, we won’t have to endure reading reprinted material to pad out the story.


Michael James McNulty

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