So I mentioned in the update that I would not be doing One Moment in Time just yet. That story arc tends to put me in a bad mood, and I have been in a pretty black mood for the last few months anyway. So instead I am going to do a story arc that I really enjoyed. The one leading up to One More Day. We are going to look at Back in Black.
That maybe the tallest logo I have and will use. Anyway, a little back story. Back in Black was the Spider-Man fallow up to a Marvel wide event known as Civil War. In this event the superhuman community had been split in two. See, after an incident in the city of Stamford Ct. involving the super hero team the New Warriors and a group of escaped convicts led to a school bus being blown up, the government wanted ALL super powered beings to register with them with their real names. This was called the Superhuman Registration Act. Many opposed this because:
- Having their real names be public knowledge put their loved ones in danger. (They were told though that their names would be kept safe in a private database)
- They felt that they would lose what they themselves stand for, and instead what the government wanted them to stand for.
- Many were worried that they would be used as weapons by the government (the character Trauma was almost used this way, but instead was guided to counseling work, much to the government’s dismay)
Spider-Man had been convinced by the acts biggest supporter, Iron Man (I hate Iron Man) to register. Not only register, bit publically reveal his true identity to the world. Later he switched sides, after seeing the the prison that those who defied the act were sent to. However his face was out. People knew who he was, knew who his family was (remember his wife was a model/ actress, her face was everywhere). All of this led to Wilson Fisk aka, The Kingpin of Crime, ordering a hit on him. That brings us here.
Back in Black starts with a gut check. Mainly this:
That’s um… yeah. That’s Peter holding his aunt after she was shot. What does he do? Well he does the only reasonable thing a person can do. HE THROWS A HUMMER AT THE SHOOTER!!! Also he misses. What follows is Peter beating (and I mean beating the s#!* out of) the criminal underworld. Working his way up until he finds that shooter and the person who hired him… I already spoiled that didn’t I? Ah well. It also has Peter dealing with the fact that he is now a criminal, the very thing he fought against. At one point he starts listing off his crimes that he has committed (including forgery, insurance fraud, wrongful imprisonment, etc) and you can tell that he is broken. He is hitting the end of his rope. We even see Peter try to give a blood transfusion but it doesn’t work. All of this leads up to fight with the Kingpin in Ryker’s. I’m not going to tell you how the fight went. I’ve spoiled enough.
What I will say is this. We saw Peter getting desperate. The walls were closing in on him. We saw him falling lower then he has ever been. If the story had not led into OMD, I can’t Imagine what Peter would have done next.
But now we come to the question. What if? What if Mary Jane had been shot instead of May. That would be an interesting story wouldn’t it. Well…
In this story Peter saved Aunt May from the round instead of Mary Jane. I hate this book. It’s just… we don’t see Peter having the walls close in on him. The sub plot involving Peter trying to save the one that was shot is removed. She is just dead. And Peter? Peter just goes on an unholy rampage of blood and death. He kills people left and right hunting for the Kingpin. The thing about Back in Black is that we saw Peter at his worst and we didn’t know how far he would go. In this we know for a fact that he will kill. He does it right in the beginning. We don’t get to see his journey to his lowest point because he is immediately there. I know that they had to condense so much because it was a single issue, but they could have made it a double issue and spread it out more. In the end Aunt May disowns him, and he says that he never would have married Mary Jane if he knew this was going to happen. That’s it. I just saved you a few bucks. Enjoy.
I loved Back in Black, because it shows a man falling to his lowest, which means his raise back should have been glorious. What did we get instead? One More Day.