The Dumbest 'Spider-Man' Story Somehow Just Got Dumber
Spider-Man: No Way Home looks to be everything Spider-Man fans want and more ... but more isn't always a good thing. While the film seems to be a fan's dream, it also is adapting one of the most reviled Spider-Man stories ever written that has been retconned, ripped apart, and criticized ever since publication. (No, not the one where he gave birth to himself.)
It's One More Day. Quick recap: In this story, after Peter Parker's identity is revealed, he's hunted by a variety of people, including Kingpin, who ends up sending Aunt May to the hospital. To save her, Peter Parker works with Mephisto, the literal devil, to sell his marriage to Mary Jane in exchange for his identity being his secret again and Aunt May surviving. Pretty but dumb describes both Peter and this comic.
The story ends with their future daughter telling them how she'll miss existing before a big cosmic retcon happened that changed the comics to be ... basically what they had been twenty years ago -- Peter was down on his luck, single, living with roommates, it was just like the 70s again!
Eventually, the Mephisto deal, while canon, faded as the official explanation for how Peter's identity came to be forgotten. In this new reality, he had gone to Doctor Strange, who performed a spell on the entire world to make them forget Peter.
Of course, eventually -- after 10 or so years in real life -- it was revealed that Mary Jane remembered everything. After Doctor Strange confronted Mephisto, Mephisto admitted the actual reason he had made the deal ... while explaining why he made Norman Osborn the Green Goblin. Yes, it turns out that Green Goblin was manipulated by the literal devil into becoming as evil as he was after selling his own son Harry to Hell. It's fine, Harry came back as some centipedes.
The most recent big Spider-Man story, Sinister War, featuring every version of the Sinister Six/Syndicate/Etc fighting each other, ended with Peter and Mary Jane back together and Mephisto revealing the truth: That one day he would take over the world. And creating the Green Goblin, making the marriage deal, bringing Harry back as a centipede monster was all of it was to stop Peter Parker from being able to, one day, defeat him. Then, quietly, the readers see the actual reason for the marriage being removed: It's not Spider-Man who beats Mephisto; it's Spider-Girl, the main character of multiple upcoming Spider-Man productions, and the daughter of Mary Jane and Peter.
How much of that ends up in No Way Home, the MCU, or any other comic published after is still left to be seen, but if nothing else, it'd be nice to imagine a world with James Franco has centipedes crawling all through him.
Top Image: Marvel Comics