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  1. #1

    Default DC Editor Brian Cunningham remembers Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21

    There was an interesting twitter discussion on Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 kicked off by DC group editor Brian Cunningham.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cunningham
    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #21 walked down the aisle on this day in 1987. To this day, I dislike that Peter married Mary Jane. It removed a key part of Pete's soap opera romantic life that his Spidey time always made
    volatile. And fun. I now brace for the vehement disagreements...
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cunningham
    I could accept Peter marrying MJ if it were, say, the final issue ever of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. And they ride off into the sunset giving Pete a happy ending at last. Until then, Peter's heart is broken time and again. And we love him for it because he always gets back up. Always.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cunningham
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Shayer
    One More Day broke my heart... never picked up another Spidey issue after that.
    It may be cold comfort to hear, but there have been some truly excellent Spidey stories since then. Stories that validate why you love the character to begin with. Not all the post-OMD choices are home runs...but the ones that matter most were really well-done.
    Fabian Nicieza responded, remembering what it was like at Marvel at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian Nicieza
    most of us disagreed with it too, but editorial was trapped on a runaway train.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cunningham
    Oh, I bet. It had to be tough having a fundamental disagreement with both the EIC and the co-creator of the character. Where do you take that grievance?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian Nicieza
    if memory serves (was there less than a year at that point) publicity/licensing departments got so excited about the concept (which came from Stan and the strip syndicate) that it basically became a fait accompli.
    editorial gave up figuring they could say it was Mephisto's fault
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cunningham
    That was also a pretty tense time in Editorial. My impression is no one was very happy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian Nicieza
    pretty much eliminate the word "very".
    (and it was a year and half for me by that point)
    it was a whirlwind of activity in the promo dept. but my takeaway from it all was that the "live wedding" at Shea was held the game Gooden came back from his first rehab to pitch!
    Nicieza was also asked his thoughts on One More Day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian Nicieza
    Never read it can't say... though I do think the worlds of Spidey and Mephisto rarely play well together
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Celgress's Avatar
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    If a person is creative enough she or he can tell a compelling story within any status quo. Anyone who says otherwise is simply a lazy writer who is looking for excuses. That is my final comment regarding this subject.

    Edit sorry for the vitriol folks but I'm so tired of hearing this same excuse over and over again. It comes across as a combination of a crutch and simple whining to my ears. And I'm not even a hardcore Spider Marriage fan.
    Last edited by Celgress; 06-11-2018 at 07:38 PM.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    This is kind of disconcerting considering Cunningham is taking over the Superman family of titles with a married Superman (and with a child to boot).

    Although I think the argument that Peter's marriage to Mary Jane made his life less of a soap opera or volatile, or that there's no drama to be had with married protagonists, is very much incorrect.

  4. #4
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    The sooner this generation of writers and editors who are allergic to forward thinking are tossed out of the industry the better.

    In the meantime, I take great pride that even today, the marriage still finds a way to cling to life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    This is kind of disconcerting considering Cunningham is taking over the Superman family of titles with a married Superman (and with a child to boot).
    And it's no coincidence the first story under his watch has Lois and Jon written out
    Last edited by Miles To Go; 06-12-2018 at 12:26 AM.

  5. #5
    The Detective Man The Dying Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    The sooner this generation of writers and editors who are allergic to forward thinking are tossed out of the industry the better.

    In the meantime, I take great pride that even today, the marriage still finds a way to cling to life.



    And it's no coincidence the first story under his watch has Lois and Jon written out
    Yet Bendis said that the readers will see that they really do care for Superman and his family. A very weird things to do when Brian Cunningham is wholly against marriage in comics. Unless it's just Spider-Man's marriage he has issues with. I know a guy just dislikes the idea of Superman and Batman having kids on the grounds that it takes away from the fantasy. I'm not even sure what that even means but given how he already hates Damian for allegedly being in his eyes an infallible Mary Sue but yet I can see that Damian has flaws and weaknesses. I think he thinks kids of Batman and Superman are bound to be unbeatable. What is wrong with comics? You can't marry people off and you can't let them have any kids it's a sad life these stuffy old men have. Interesting that Fabian Nicieza didn't like it since he was the architect to giving Tim Drake the Batfamily's Spider-Man lots of issues with romance in his Red Robin run.
    Last edited by The Dying Detective; 06-12-2018 at 01:32 AM.
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  6. #6
    Tyrant Sun User leokearon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    The sooner this generation of writers and editors who are allergic to forward thinking are tossed out of the industry the better.

    In the meantime, I take great pride that even today, the marriage still finds a way to cling to life.



    And it's no coincidence the first story under his watch has Lois and Jon written out
    Exactly, instead of moving forward the keep going around in circles. Instead of say the X-Men moving closer to Xavier's dream they decide to have another mass-extinction event.
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  7. #7
    Mighty Member whiteshark's Avatar
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    Lol at fans hating comic books professionals for making creative decisions in regards of keeping a character the best creatively speaking(Something that means making decisions like say changing the Status Quo)
    For all the times i read these negative reactions as "Oh Noes.how did they dared changing the Spider-Man stories after twenty years worth of stories of Peter and MJ married.Why can not the stories remain the same forever?" i just find it silly that there are some fans that would actually read the same stories with the same Status Quo forever and find it dificult to realize that any comic book can not have the same type of stories forever.
    Last edited by whiteshark; 06-12-2018 at 03:04 AM.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member whiteshark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    This is kind of disconcerting considering Cunningham is taking over the Superman family of titles with a married Superman (and with a child to boot).

    Although I think the argument that Peter's marriage to Mary Jane made his life less of a soap opera or volatile, or that there's no drama to be had with married protagonists, is very much incorrect.
    Err,or Cunningham have a diferent opinion of what work for Spider-Man is not the same that what works for the Superman family.
    And considerating that 90% (or more) of all super heroes that have a comic book are bachelors this idea that married protagonist work less better that single characters is not that far fetched after all.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteshark View Post
    And considerating that 90% (or more) of all super heroes that have a comic book are bachelors this idea that married protagonist work less better that single characters is not that far fetched after all.
    Both work just as well as the other

  10. #10
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    I don't wanna go down this rabbit hole again but I think it's important to remember that decisions about these characters are portrayed have always been somewhat fluid as Stan/Steve surely didn't expect Spider-Man stories to still be told in 1970, let alone 2018 when they first started on the title. Nor did anyone at Marvel. By 1987, Spidey was arguably the world's most famous super-hero and the USA was in the midst of a big-time marketing/money-making era: New Coke was launched and then walked back, retail was exploding and meetings were quickly convened at every company to decide how they could make headlines and more $$ quickly; the marriage was green-lit. Then, by most accounts, it dawned on editorial that it wasn't a very good long-term plan for storytelling and more meetings were quickly held to try and figure out how to back away from it (and that is how the 1990's Clone saga came about). So....the point is that it was never a viable long-term plan for Spidey to be married to anyone despite some great stories told with MJ and despite how much anyone likes her character.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    So....the point is that it was never a viable long-term plan for Spidey to be married to anyone despite some great stories told with MJ and despite how much anyone likes her character.
    It still took them 20 years to back away from it, proving just how viable it proved to be.

    Also Stan and whoever helps him produce the strip has spent the last 31 years also proving how viable a long-term union of the two is.
    Last edited by Miles To Go; 06-12-2018 at 04:28 AM.

  12. #12
    Moderator oldschool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    It still took them 20 years to back away from it, proving just how viable it proved to be.

    Also Stan and whoever helps him produce the strip has spent the last 31 years also proving how viable a long-term union of the two is.
    Except they tried several times to back away over those 20 years until finally doing it (despite the poor method) with OMD. Look, I am not arguing about whether or not good stories were/can be told with Peter and MJ married; just that, as a corporate entity----and that's what comic book characters are----it was not a sustainable status quo regardless of the 20 years they spent married in the comics (don't forget the Clone Saga circa 1994 tried to undo the marriage by replacing Peter with single Ben and then the horrid Howard Mackie story circa 2000 tried killing off MJ in that plane crash so a good chunk of time was spend during that 20 years undoing the marriage).
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool View Post
    Except they tried several times to back away over those 20 years until finally doing it (despite the poor method) with OMD. Look, I am not arguing about whether or not good stories were/can be told with Peter and MJ married; just that, as a corporate entity----and that's what comic book characters are----it was not a sustainable status quo regardless of the 20 years they spent married in the comics (don't forget the Clone Saga circa 1994 tried to undo the marriage by replacing Peter with single Ben and then the horrid Howard Mackie story circa 2000 tried killing off MJ in that plane crash so a good chunk of time was spend during that 20 years undoing the marriage).
    People constantly exaggerate the Clone Saga and even the maritial problems/plane crash of the 1990s, acting as both were a big chunk of the marriage's existence, Peter and MJ were still married during the entirety of The Clone Saga, even if the intention was to posistion Ben as the true Spider-Man, they were not trying to rock the boat the way the circumstances with MJ and the plane crash attempted, and even that only lasted two and half years, once JMS took over we had seven pretty compelling years of the marriage before OMD ripped it away.

    Hell, they tried removing it in the newspaper strip, only to bring it back a mere six months later.

    If the marriage were as "unsustainable" as you claim, Marvel wouldn't stop going back to the well, or would stop promoting the thing altogether.

    Be it 616, Spider-Girl, Renew Your Vows, or the daily strip...31 years of consistent uninterrupted marriage stories is'nt proof it's sustainable?
    Last edited by Miles To Go; 06-12-2018 at 04:54 AM.

  14. #14
    The Detective Man The Dying Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles To Go View Post
    People constantly exaggerate the Clone Saga and even the maritial problems/plane crash of the 1990s, acting as both were a big chunk of the marriage's existence, Peter and MJ were still married during the entirety of The Clone Saga, even if the intention was to posistion Ben as the true Spider-Man, they were not trying to rock the boat the way the circumstances with MJ and the plane crash attempted, and even that only lasted two and half years, once JMS took over we had seven pretty compelling years of the marriage before OMD ripped it away.

    Hell, they tried removing it in the newspaper strip, only to bring it back a mere six months later.

    If the marriage were as "unsustainable" as you claim, Marvel wouldn't stop going back to the well, or would stop promoting the thing altogether.

    Be it 616, Spider-Girl, Renew Your Vows, or the daily strip...31 years of consistent uninterrupted marriage stories is'nt proof it's sustainable?
    Not counting 616 the only reason those three examples still exist it's only because Joe Quesada knows it won't matter as long as it doesn't touch the 616 one.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dying Detective View Post
    Not counting 616 the only reason those three examples still exist it's only because Joe Quesada knows it won't matter as long as it doesn't touch the 616 one.
    The point is Marvel clearly understand it's still sustainable, but they'd rather condition people into thinking it isn't just to justify a stubborn need for status quo, afraid to look forward where it counts. It's a very weird stance to take.

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