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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    100% agreed. Also of note, JMD said the marriage was KLH's 'emotional fuel.'
    That's something a lot of fans and continuity wonks don't grok. The emotional center of the story is what gives all the plot, character, and big moments the meaning it does. Remove it, and the scene played as it is, would no longer have the meaning it once did.

    A good example is Spider-Man Homecoming which uses the lifting machinery scene from If this be my destiny...most people agree that scene felt flat because it doesn't have the same amount of meaning the original moment did. Remove MJ and the marriage, and the stories told in that time no longer have an emotional center.


    The 80s on the whole is the period where Spider-Man really grew up in every sense. The stories for the first time had an overt sexuality to it with Felicia and MJ, there were stories that dealt with violence in more detail than the past (The Death of Jean DeWolff, KLH), stories with a more mature literary quality, a bigger scope and detail. The stories were essentially laying the groundwork for an older, more mature Spider-Man. I mean after you do a story like The Death of Jean DeWolff which deals with a serial killer, did anyone seriously think that audiences needed to do another story about Peter getting wheat for Aunt May's cakes or something? Peter was dealing with more grown up stories well before he got married, so it was a logical fact that since the stories were growing up and becoming mature, Peter needed to be. I mean in The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man, you sort of gain a sense that Peter could maybe be a dad someday, because he's clearly so much older and mature to Timothy Harrison.

    All the Wedding does is confirm what had already come to pass. Spider-Man was becoming mature, his readership and audience was also expecting and holding the stories to a higher standard (as is obvious from the more serious stories written in that time), so it lead to that.

    And of course, the Wedding happened on Spider-Man's 25th Anniversary. First published in August 1962...the Proposal and Wedding Annual were likewise published between June and September 1987, so it was almost exactly on the Anniversary. And it led directly into KLH. 1987 was a good year for Spider-Man, one year before I was born


    David Michelinie's first real story arc really hit it home;
    "To the rest of the world, I was a loser today. Just a clown in a costume. I should be angry, frustrated, smashing my fists into walls! But...I don't feel that way. I did what I had to do. I know that. And somehow, that's enough. Well, I'll be. Take yourself a bow, Peter Parker. I think you just became an adult."
    — Closing thought bubbles. Amazing Spider-Man #297, written by David Michelinie. (1988)

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    IT's the emotional center that gives Venom's entry its major impact, as is apparent with the conclusion of the story where Peter renounces the black suit for good.

    There was a lot of ideas and inspiration for Venom. The editors wanted something big for #300, Michelinie had a story with the Symbiote which he had set up in Web of Spider-Man that he wanted a pay-off for, and Todd MacFarlane wanted to ditch the black costume and bring back the red-and-blues.

    The story David Michelinie told grounded all that in emotion and character. Peter and Mary Jane were married and living and settled together when a monster invades their home and attacks them where they lived. This monster was dressed in a costume similar to what Peter was wearing. So when Peter arrives dressed in that, MJ initially reacts to shock. And then when Spider-Man chases and confronts Venom for the first time, Mary Jane insists she ditch the black costume for good and wear the red-and-blues for good.

    So she's the emotional center of that story, as in the case of KLH. The fact that there's someone living with Spider-Man, made a commitment with, and reacts to the choices and consequences of his superhero career drove that story. If there was no one for Peter to go to, the horror of Venom having the same costume as Spider-Man doesn't work, if it was Felicia who inspired Peter to put on the costume to start with then it wouldn't have the same impact and meaning.

    Emotionally, MJ Parker, conveys the following stuff in a flash.
    -- Venom knows Peter is Spider-Man and where he lives.
    -- Venom derives from the costume that Spider-Man wore and is a double.
    -- Venom represents the darker side of Spider-Man which Peter must reject.
    Venom had been in the works before the marriage, so the story would still have occurred if Shooter had vetoed the marriage.

    Do you really think the story would have been discernibly less popular if Peter & MJ weren't married?

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Venom had been in the works before the marriage, so the story would still have occurred if Shooter had vetoed the marriage.

    Do you really think the story would have been discernibly less popular if Peter & MJ weren't married?
    Probably. A good part of what made Venom work was the introduction of the character menacing MJ alone in her home. That's an iconic moment in comics and referenced multiple times.

    You can't undersell the importance of an iconic introduction especially in a monthly comic book. A good part of what made Venom work was that he tapped into the sense of zeitgeist, late '80s and late '90s, heavy metal and excess and proto-90s edginess. The zeitgeist is something unpredictable. Remove one element and you can't guarantee it would have the same impact.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Probably. A good part of what made Venom work was the introduction of the character menacing MJ alone in her home. That's an iconic moment in comics and referenced multiple times.

    You can't undersell the importance of an iconic introduction especially in a monthly comic book. A good part of what made Venom work was that he tapped into the sense of zeitgeist, late '80s and late '90s, heavy metal and excess and proto-90s edginess. The zeitgeist is something unpredictable. Remove one element and you can't guarantee it would have the same impact.
    Sure. But I suspect Venom scaring Peter's girlfriend Mary Jane would still be almost as big a deal, especially given what's happened to one girlfriend in the past when a villain who knew his secret identity went after her.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Sure. But I suspect Venom scaring Peter's girlfriend Mary Jane would still be almost as big a deal, especially given what's happened to one girlfriend in the past when a villain who knew his secret identity went after her.
    That was played out by the 80s, with stuff like Felicia Hardy being hospitalized by Ock during The Owl/Octopus War, then Jean DeWolff (not a girlfriend but a kind of "love interest") gets killed randomly by a serial killer completely unconnected to Peter.

    Threatening the girlfriend doesn't have much of upping the ante in the context of the 80s...threatening Spider-Man at "My home, where my wife sleeps" (to quote Al Pacino from The Godfather II)...that's next level.

  6. #36
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That was played out by the 80s, with stuff like Felicia Hardy being hospitalized by Ock during The Owl/Octopus War, then Jean DeWolff (not a girlfriend but a kind of "love interest") gets killed randomly by a serial killer completely unconnected to Peter.

    Threatening the girlfriend doesn't have much of upping the ante in the context of the 80s...threatening Spider-Man at "My home, where my wife sleeps" (to quote Al Pacino from The Godfather II)...that's next level.
    And . . . (if Peter and MJ had been allowed by Marvel to have offspring) "Where my child plays with her toys!"

    (Sorry. Just wanted to continue The Godfather II reference.)

    That said, I do agree that threatening someone's family in their own home definitely ups the ante, as it demonstrates that the villain/antagonist has (almost) no boundaries when it comes to what (s)he's willing to do to get the better of his (or her) enemy.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That was played out by the 80s, with stuff like Felicia Hardy being hospitalized by Ock during The Owl/Octopus War, then Jean DeWolff (not a girlfriend but a kind of "love interest") gets killed randomly by a serial killer completely unconnected to Peter.

    Threatening the girlfriend doesn't have much of upping the ante in the context of the 80s...threatening Spider-Man at "My home, where my wife sleeps" (to quote Al Pacino from The Godfather II)...that's next level.
    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    And . . . (if Peter and MJ had been allowed by Marvel to have offspring) "Where my child plays with her toys!"

    (Sorry. Just wanted to continue The Godfather II reference.)

    That said, I do agree that threatening someone's family in their own home definitely ups the ante, as it demonstrates that the villain/antagonist has (almost) no boundaries when it comes to what (s)he's willing to do to get the better of his (or her) enemy.
    Peter being upset after Kraven robbed weeks from his newlywed life with Mary Jane was also a major emotional component of KLH.

    I remember as a reader feeling anxious that Mary Jane would be killed off after the wedding.

  8. #38
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    I agree that the marriage upped the ante for Spider-Man's villains. Suddenly it wasn't just a single guy and his aging Aunt who they were able to harass, but a married guy and all that entails. Its different to have to defend a wife versus just a girlfriend.

    The Clone Saga of the 1990s, love it or hate it, doesn't work nearly as effectively with a single Spider-Man. Its almost dependent on there being a marriage.
    Every day is a gift, not a given right.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    I agree that the marriage upped the ante for Spider-Man's villains. Suddenly it wasn't just a single guy and his aging Aunt who they were able to harass, but a married guy and all that entails. Its different to have to defend a wife versus just a girlfriend.

    The Clone Saga of the 1990s, love it or hate it, doesn't work nearly as effectively with a single Spider-Man. Its almost dependent on there being a marriage.
    I agree with you.
    The 90s Clone Saga was created to invalidate the marriage by making it that Mary Jane married Peter Parker's Clone instead of the real Peter Parker (supposedly Ben Reilly).
    The Clone Saga made me like Mary Jane more and more.
    It was her staying with Peter and risked her life and helped him break the Jackal's programming that did it for me.
    I created a thread about Dick Grayson/Nightwing and Koriand'r/Starfire.
    It is to acknowledge and honor their iconic and popular relationship.
    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/teen-...rfire-1975639/

    I created a fan page about Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson.
    This page is for all the Spider-Marriage fans.
    http://www.facebook.com/SpiderManMaryJane/

  10. #40
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrius View Post
    I agree with you.
    The 90s Clone Saga was created to invalidate the marriage by making it that Mary Jane married Peter Parker's Clone instead of the real Peter Parker (supposedly Ben Reilly).
    The Clone Saga made me like Mary Jane more and more.
    It was her staying with Peter and risked her life and helped him break the Jackal's programming that did it for me.
    Agreed on that last part. Say what you will about the overall quality of the saga, but Mary Jane refusing to abandon Peter because even if he was a clone --- which he turned out not to be --- he was still the man she loved and married was definitely one of the best and most awesome moments there.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  11. #41
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    The marriage was at the emotional core of the Clone Saga.

    For Peter, it upped the stakes significantly. He was happily married and expecting his first child, so it was a really bad time for him to have an existential crisis that made him question his value as a human being.

    For Ben, it highlighted the nature/nurture differences between two men who were genetically identical and thought of themselves as having the same experiences up to ASM #149. Peter had the support system Ben longed for but didn't seem to cope as well. Ben had a bit tougher skin from being a loner for so many years.

  12. #42
    Spectacular Member JGC's Avatar
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    My top 10 list of 80’s stories in terms of importance to Spider-Man’s character:

    10. Amazing Spider-Man 248 - Kid Who Collects Spider-Man
    9. Amazing Spider-Man 243 - return of MJ after being out of the comics for 60 issues
    8. Amazing Spider-Man 263 - birth of Normie Osborn, Peter the Godfather
    7. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man 107-110 - Death of Jean DeWolfe
    6. Amazing Spider-Man 238 - debut of the Hobgoblin
    5. Amazing Spider-Man 226/227 - debut of Spider-Man/Black Cat relationship
    4. Kraven’s Last Hunt - ‘nuff said
    3. Amazing Spider-Man 252 - new Alien Symbiote costume debuts
    2. Amazing Spider-Man 300 - debut of Venom
    1. Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21 - Peter/MJ get married

    As a young kid and teenager in the 80’s, these stories really affected me and changed Spider-Man for me in terms of his responsibility as a young adult and dangers he faced as a hero. And all these stories still have an impact on the character today. The 80’s were an amazing time for Spider-Man.

    - Jason G. Carr

  13. #43
    Incredible Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man and Nothing Can Stop The Juggernaut were both great, fondly remembered stories, that had no significant impact on the series as a whole.
    Agreed on both counts, I'd rather point to ASM #243 and 251, where Peter quits his studies and JJJ steps down, as editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle.

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