View Poll Results: 10 Years Later, was the deal with Mephisto worth it?

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  • Yes

    37 20.11%
  • No

    147 79.89%
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  1. #556

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vixx View Post
    It's fixed the way my dog is fixed ... What was there functioned fine, but wasn't what I wanted to deal with ...

    I don't expect Spiderman to age with me, but I also wouldn't compare Quesada and Lassader in the same breath; only one actually understood only some of those love letters were bad; the good needed to be updated and brought to the forefront because a bunch of Hollywood douchebags let them fall into disrepair to make a quick buck on what the brand meant to people.

    I don't remember seeing Bambi 3 - where it's revealed that Bambi's dad put a hit out on the mom. I do remember those direct to video sequels disappearing.

    Ups and downs happen - but the stuff that most on this board are pissed about are from the early 70s - mid 80s, not the 90s. By that measure - it did revamp childhoods, not love letters to them.
    It was a reference to his first years as EIC, when he got JMS on Amazing Spider-Man.

    Quesada's first mandates as Editor in Chief was to fix Spider-Man and the X-Men. "It's not unlike Disney's return to prominence, when they realized that animation was at the core of their business," Quesada said. "Marvel had just lost its way... the stories had no longer been about us, but were love letters to our childhood. Writers wrote stories that reflected what they read as kids."
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #557
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I know. I said there were several changes and additions



    I know. That's what I said.
    It's a fundamental change to that character and her relationship with Peter from the classic comics (even Ultimate built on the classic "likes Peter/hates Spider-Man" before transitioning into its own thing.) Of course you could make the argument that these changes were to the detriment of the movie and didn't work at all. (Or that, really, nothing about those movies worked.)

  3. #558
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinroc View Post
    It's a fundamental change to that character and her relationship with Peter from the classic comics
    I never said it wasn't.

    I was arguing against the idea that the movie Gwen Stacy was based on Mary Jane.

  4. #559
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I never said it wasn't.

    I was arguing against the idea that the movie Gwen Stacy was based on Mary Jane.
    Even Gerry Conway said she was.

    https://twitter.com/gerryconway/stat...06944960593923

    If the Gwen Stacy of the comics had been more like Emma Stone, she'd have been MJ. So, probably no.

  5. #560

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmyb52 View Post
    So...a book that was selling 80,000 to 90.000 units a month before OMD and has since that time consistently been losing sales and readership is a "fix"? How is a book that now only sells about 50,000 units or so now better exactly and not in a detested state? What exactly was "fixed"?
    If you're arguing sales to suggest that something is a poor decision, you're also arguing that sales would clearly be better if not for other changes.

    That's pretty dicey in this case, given other factors that would also affect a married Spider-Man.

    Technically, JMS's Amazing Spider-Man was at 72,000 copies a month before it had 21 straight issues of events (The Other, Civil War, Back in Black, One More Day.)

    There have been periods when Spider-Man sold better after Quesada's departure as EIC, so if anything happened to hurt sales, it's probably not his fault.

    Amazing Spider-Man has recently been the best-selling Marvel Universe title, so an argument that it should be doing a lot better has to take that into account. How much better than the best-seller do you expect the book to do?
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  6. #561
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    We're trying to determine if Mary Jane is absolutely essential to telling good Spider-Man stories that feel like Spider-Man. In order to determine that we need to figure out what it is about MJ that makes her essential, that makes any part of the Spider-Man series she doesn't appear in false and insufficient.

    If her knowing Spider-Man's secret ID before she met Peter isn't the key feature then we're back to square one and need to figure out what is.
    People have already stated multiple times the reason that MJ is essential to the Spider-Man mythology. The fact is that she evolved to become Peter's closest confidant, best friend, and most compelling love interest. Its a status that no love interest or supporting character of Peter's ever reached before or since. She was revealed to have known his secret identity before anyone else and her character was the most well-developed of any supporting character in the Marvel Universe. That is what makes MJ essential, even if she didn't start out as such.

    You said Gwen was X not Y. I corrected you - Gwen was Y then became X.
    She still became X. That's the point.
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  7. #562
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    People have already stated multiple times the reason that MJ is essential to the Spider-Man mythology. The fact is that she evolved to become Peter's closest confidant, best friend, and most compelling love interest. Its a status that no love interest or supporting character of Peter's ever reached before or since. She was revealed to have known his secret identity before anyone else and her character was the most well-developed of any supporting character in the Marvel Universe. That is what makes MJ essential, even if she didn't start out as such.
    You're giving reasons why Mary Jane is significant and has played a large role.

    But can you explain what makes Mary Jane mandatory? How does a Spider-Man story fail to be a Spider-Man story if Mary Jane isn't in it? How does a series of Spider-Man stories fail to be Spider-Man if Mary Jane is absent?

  8. #563
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    You're giving reasons why Mary Jane is significant and has played a large role.

    But can you explain what makes Mary Jane mandatory? How does a Spider-Man story fail to be a Spider-Man story if Mary Jane isn't in it? How does a series of Spider-Man stories fail to be Spider-Man if Mary Jane is absent?
    You're just restating the same question I've answered back at me. This is what makes her mandatory: No other character plays the role she does. Period. Not Aunt May, not Harry Osborn, not J. Jonah Jameson, not anyone. She is basically Peter's Alfred, if Alfred was an attractive woman who the hero was in love with. She knows Peter better than any of his supporting cast and what's more is that even after OMD, she was still the only person who knew he was Spider-Man (until Carly Cooper found out). And nobody said a Spider-Man story fails to be a Spider-Man story if she's not there. That's a parameter you invented. But the larger Spider-Man story and more importantly, the story of Peter Parker, sure do seem like something is missing without her in her classic role as his main love interest because, like I said, she is (still) his best friend and confidant.
    Last edited by Zeeguy91; 07-15-2017 at 07:21 AM.
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  9. #564
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    Peter Parker isn't "essential" either. But that doesn't stop the character from being the most influential one...

  10. #565
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    And nobody said a Spider-Man story fails to be a Spider-Man story if she's not there. That's a parameter you invented.
    It's what the word "essential" means. If Mary Jane is "essential" to Spider-Man, then it cannot function without her, by definition of the word "essential". Essential doesn't merely mean "very very important", it means mandatory, necessary, absolutely required.

    So we've reached an agreement that Mary Jane is not essential to telling a Spider-Man story.

    From here we can discuss if a series of Spider-Man stories can be told without Mary Jane's presence.

  11. #566
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    It's what the word "essential" means. If Mary Jane is "essential" to Spider-Man, then it cannot function without her, by definition of the word "essential". Essential doesn't merely mean "very very important", it means mandatory, necessary, absolutely required.

    So we've reached an agreement that Mary Jane is not essential to telling a Spider-Man story.

    From here we can discuss if a series of Spider-Man stories can be told without Mary Jane's presence.
    Is your argument that if a character isn't essential for one story then they aren't essential to the mythos?

  12. #567
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    It's what the word "essential" means. If Mary Jane is "essential" to Spider-Man, then it cannot function without her, by definition of the word "essential". Essential doesn't merely mean "very very important", it means mandatory, necessary, absolutely required.

    So we've reached an agreement that Mary Jane is not essential to telling a Spider-Man story.

    From here we can discuss if a series of Spider-Man stories can be told without Mary Jane's presence.
    You can have a single Spider-Man story without Mary Jane. Nobody ever debated that. You can also have a single Superman story without Lois Lane there (and there are plenty of examples). But you wouldn't have the complete Spider-Man mythology without MJ's role as main love interest, just like you wouldn't have the Superman mythos without Lois Lane in that role.

    She's absolutely essential to his mythology and his life, even if she can be missing for some issues. Even when MJ was absent, no other love interest for Peter EVER reached the level of importance that she did. That's fact. And you keep ignoring the main point: NO other character plays the role that MJ does for Peter. She is the supporting character who knows Peter the best and his closest confidant. That's just simply how it is.
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  13. #568
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Honestly, not a whole lot. It's too malleable. What they say they intend today could be different 10 years from now. George Lucas is a famous for that. Revisionist history that he always intended despite what he actually produced and presented.

    For me, Whatever the grand, long-term plans are or were... don't matter if they don't make it into the finished project. Webb can say he planned on MJ showing up and being important... but nothing I've seen in the two movies show that. Compare that to something like the Green Lantern movie. Sinestro was intended to be the major enemy of the sequel that never happened... but he was shown arguing with the Guardians and ended the show wearing the yellow ring... It didn't happen, but the trail was there. If Webb had actually shown MJ and recreated some famous moments... then sure, I could see where he was headed. However as it is... He can say it was going to be MJ in the 3rd movie... or it could have been Black Cat. Or Silk. Or Ultimate Spider-woman/Peter Clone... Or he could have been revealed to be a spider-alien from another dimension....

    Random ideas shot back and forth in a brainstorming session just don't hold any water for me. You can just see that with all the 'supposed to be' ideas from the old X-Men. Mr. Sinister was a child... Gambit was a Summers brother... Cable was no Summer at all... Wolverine was an actual evolved wolverine... These didn't happen, they aren't canon...

    Now if Webb released a Director's cut of his movies with things twisted around and extra scenes added in... I'd change my opinion. But I believe final products have to be taken at face value.
    Okay.

    However, in the case of Mary Jane and ASM2, isn't that a bit more concrete? We do know for a fact that scenes with the character were shot (and what they were) even if they didn't make it into the final production. I mean, behind-the-scenes decisions do shape the story. (Now, in regards to the planned ASM3, I do see your point. The popular theory was that the B-story would be Peter meeting MJ and starting to move on from Gwen, but you also get rumors that the movie was going to be about Peter cloning or resurrecting Gwen somehow, and who's to say which, if any, of those would've been the ideas used for the final product.)


    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Agreed. MJ works just fine without Gwen. She may not get the growth that fans want, but my two favorite media MJ's were Ultimate and the 90's cartoon and there was no Gwen there.
    Didn't Gwen cameo in a inter-dimensional episode or something? (The rumor I heard as to why Gwen was excluded in the first place was because the feeling was the character's only purpose was to die and that wouldn't work on the show.)

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    As for Cap? I think there is a difference between 'A man out of time' and 'A man from the 40's'. We need a Cap with the mindset and thoughts of WWII heroics... and we got that in First Avenger. He was a man out of time to US.. just not to the people in the show. Although 1) He was still portrayed as 'better' than everyone else in mentality... AND 2) they DID give us that ending with actually being out of time. So while not a traditional Cap story, I would argue that that 'essential' character was very well represented.
    Okay. What I was trying to get at was just because something is "essential" doesn't mean that every single story or installment needs focus or feature it. Hey, they've even done Spider-Man comics where Spider-Man himself is not the focus of the tale.



    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Yeah, she wasn't 616 Gwen for sure. There was some serious modernizing going on, but that seems inevitable. From my memory she was more likeable than 616, but I'll admit I didn't read a ton with her in it. I believe there were more similarities to the classic 616 Capt Stacy and NGSD stories than there were in Any of the last 8 batman movies and his comic version
    I haven't had a chance to read that much 616 Spider-Man myself (I've recently gotten to collecting the AMS Epic Collections series, but haven't gotten to the Gwen stories yet. From second-hand information, I've gathered that most people agree with you that Emma Stone was more likable than the original character. However, since I've read nothing with 616 Gwen in it, I can't really say for sure how close or different Stone's version was

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    It's the curse of constant modernizing. "IF" Gwen had been in High School with Peter... That's pretty much how it would have looked.
    Maybe. As I noted above, I can't say for sure since I haven't read enough material, however I have heard second-hand the idea that in the comics, Gwen was posthumously given ____.


    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Interesting breakdown.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    I haven't read a lot of those in years so I can't really comment too much on them. Maybe he was going for an ultimate MJ vibe... or maybe he was going for 'modernized High school kid' like Bendis and both ended up there.
    Yeah, that is a fair question. How much of this was the filmmakers specifically taking inspiration from the comics and how much of was just them trying to do something similar, so we end up with parallels by default? As far as I know, no one involved has outright said: 'We based our Gwen on Ultimate MJ" (like how the people involved with the Raimi movies confirmed that their version was written was a composite of MJ and Gwen). I did just find this interview with Mark Webb were he talks a bit about the characterization: "To me there's parts, like Gwen is a little bit more like The Amazing Spider-Man, early on, because in The Ultimates she was more of a punk rock girl, and we never went in that direction. I looked at the Mark Bagley art for the Spider-Man body – we were very specific about body type, and I really liked that work in The Ultimates. And there's something about the texture of the relationships, the romantic relationships in The Ultimates as well."

    So, does that mean that Gwen's characterization was more 616-influenced (at least in early development, but the "Ultimates [sic] romantic relationships" being a factor mean that MJ's role in those comics informed Gwen's in the film? Really wish that Webb had been a little more clear, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Peter was always the shy outcast so naturally the girl makes the first move now days...
    I'm not sure if 616 did much with that, but I will concede that that could be paralleled by happenstance.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Hiding under the bleachers is just what kids do...
    Not exactly. In the comics, we see them taking while sitting in the bleachers. It's a superficial enough detail that I suppose it could be more of a nod to the comics in general than a clue of how Gwen was translated onto screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    You make some good points about the individual panels, but I'm not sure the similarities outweigh the differences.
    I guess my view always was that Gwen's personality was it's own design. It was her role in the story that felt like it was based off of Ultimate MJ. Given that interview I found, that could be in fact what it is, although, as noted before, the explanation in the interview is a bit vague.


    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    know-all-sciencey-stuff-needed-to-advance-the-plot.... Capt Stacy dying telling Pete to keep Gwen Safe... Failing to keep Gwen Safe... Not being friends before hand... these are big hurdles that say that Gwen was Gwen who was obviously Gwen...
    Sure, those are major differences.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Pete Telling her his identity... Honestly didn't like that, but that's become a Comic movie trope this last decade or two. The number of movies where the Love interest does NOT get told who the hero is.... MAN they have dwindled. It's like people can't figure out how important secret identities are... Regardless of Bendis doing it USM... I believe that was going to happen regardless :-/
    While I questioned how wise a decision it was in the movie, given that Peter barely knew Gwen (at least with MJ in the Ultimate comics, the fact they'd been good friends most of their lives made his trusting her understandable), I frankly didn't mind that much as a story-telling beat. First of all, the previous Spider-Man movies had already played with the idea of the would-be girlfriend not knowing, so it's a change of pace. I also kinda think the premise has been overdone.

    It's also been deconstructed to a sense as to how that could cause friction, just beyond the whole canceling dates and whatnot. I mean, in 616 it turned out that it had been pretty hard on MJ knowing that Peter was keeping her in the dark (she took it as him not trusting her and still seeing her as the flaky party girl). With both Spider-Men in the Ultimate comics, the reasons they told their significant others was out of wanting to be honest with them (Miles even specifically mentioned that if his girlfriend was secretly a superhero, he'd want to know). Now Miles' did turn out to be cautionary tale in how that could backfire, but I personally think it makes for more a more interesting setup. Besides, in a more serious relationship, it would need to eventually come out.

  14. #569
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinroc View Post
    In the classic comics, Gwen loved Peter but hated Spider-Man. That was the dichotomy of their relationship. They removed that element in the ASM movies and replaced it with poor foreshadowing that Gwen was going to die. Gwen was never Peter's confidant. That element was borrowed from MJ (both Ultimate and classic), who we still see serving as Peter's best friend and closest confidant. Of course MJ was not always that (unless you specifically only count Ultimate). She became that over the course of story and characterization.
    I always read that as Peter growing up

    He treated Gwen a bit like he treated Aunt May - using her dads death to solidify his position; despite his dying conversation with him

    He thought he was protecting her by holding everything in - in reality he was saving himself from potential rejection and taking away her choice to participate; which - at some level - he's still acting like the kid that got these powers, and hid them in a drawer with other treasures - blaming her inability to hang rather than his inability to trust/share.

    When she died anyway, he realized keeping Spiderman secret was keeping part of himself secret, and holding Peters growlers back - that he'd have to be vulnerable and trust someone - and risk rejection for the reward of acceptance.

    To him it's this big huge thing hanging over his head, to MJ it's like a good friend admitting their gay or something; she always cared about Peyer first - and accepted SM as an extension of that - seeing not as necessary (Pete could be Pete without SM) but a "good"

    That was a big moment for him. He finally wasn't alone or fractured. She accepted him the way he never thought Gwen would - and it opened up paths for them to trust and grow; something new for both of them.

    MJ was always the MJ in 122 - she does didn't share her secret identity either until something bigger than both of them forced the leap of faith - happens all the time.

    Think MJ reacting this way was about as expected as Gwen finding out and telling the press - he underestimated them both. He underestimated a lot of folks in his life, and it was always under the banner of taking on a burden for their benefit - rather than admitting to himself it was his limitation is accepting their change in perception / relationship status he was really afraid of.

    It's one of the little tweaks that stories that mess with that era (especially Sins) inadvertently impact - because it's not explicitly in the dialog. If Gwen dies from Gwens actions - Peters is more reacting to the finalized situation than it being the catalyst for a significant evolution in himself (it also complicated Norman from having a singular focus to a more nuanced Logic path) ... Which has never sat well with me.
    Last edited by Vixx; 07-15-2017 at 11:32 AM.

  15. #570
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    People have already stated multiple times the reason that MJ is essential to the Spider-Man mythology. The fact is that she evolved to become Peter's closest confidant, best friend, and most compelling love interest. Its a status that no love interest or supporting character of Peter's ever reached before or since. She was revealed to have known his secret identity before anyone else and her character was the most well-developed of any supporting character in the Marvel Universe. That is what makes MJ essential, even if she didn't start out as such.



    She still became X. That's the point.
    She became X then Y then Z decades later - z puts her ultimately between X and Y. Y has an assumption that X and everything leading to Y is defined and understood. Think it's safe to say he missed a few details that came out later

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