Print is a dying breed. Newspapers and magazines are seeing subscriber numbers dwindle in the wake of the digital revolution. Why should folks pay for a physical copy of a publication that may not survive the wrath of a poorly trained paperboy or a malicious mailman when they can get the same content on their mobile device?
Comic book companies, while still selling pretty consistently, are finding ways to adjust to the changing ways folks buy their products. Marvel Comics stands out with their Marvel Unlimited app. For $9.99 a month or $69 a year, subscribers have access to over 17,000 comics and counting. New comics hit every Monday. Comics that are on sale at your local comic book store today will hit Unlimited about six months after they hit shelves. Marvel Unlimited is a great tool for folks that want to dive into the Marvel Universe, yet are hesitant due to not knowing where to start reading.
Every Tuesday I’ll showcase a story that you can find on Marvel Unlimited which interests me. I’ll also include a list of new releases for titles or characters you may want to catch up on. This week I’m diving in with some classic Spider-Man.
“Spider-Man: One More Day” is the story about the dissolution of one of comics’ favorite couples, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Coming on the heels of the original Marvel “Civil War” series, it finds Peter struggling with guilt over the grave wound Aunt May suffered at the hands of a sniper, a wound she received as a result of Peter letting the world know he was Spider-Man. The subsequent steps that he takes in an effort to help Aunt May get better change his life forever.
I enjoyed the emotion J. Michael Straczynski brought to the story. You got a sense throughout of the kind of sacrifice Peter was considering to save his Aunt’s life. When Peter and Mary Jane spend their final hours together, the reader gets a real sense these characters love each other which makes their ultimate sacrifice all the more sad.
The issue I had with this story had to do with the last couple issues. The ending seemed sudden and forced. Once Peter and Mary Jane arrive at the motel where Aunt May was shot, the “One More Day” we were promised ends up being nothing more than a few minutes. Did I need to see everything they did during that day? Of course not. That said, unless they spent the last 24 hours of their marriage going at each other like wild animals in heat, spending a day in a motel room just sitting there would not be on my bucket list of things to do if I had just one more day to spend with my wife. To me, there could have been at least one more issue in this story that would have fleshed things out.
The artwork was a little sloppy for my tastes. The characters were drawn with too many rough edges which took me out of the story at times. The locations did not come across as real which was another knock against it. Being that the artist of the piece, Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, was responsible for the work, I expected something a little more polished than what was presented. I’ve definitely seen worse through the years but the art here wasn’t impressive.
Overall I felt the story was a solid piece of work. Is it the best Spider-Man story ever told? No, but not every story is going to be great. This story set out to capture the emotion of what it would be like for Marvel’s number-one couple to split and did so beautifully. Do I agree with that decision? No. Peter and Mary Jane belong together like peanut-butter and jelly. But Marvel found a way to make the story of their split entertaining and that’s enough for me.
“Spider-Man: One More Day” Reading Order
1.The Amazing Spider-Man #544
2.Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24
3.Sensational Spider-Man #41
4.The Amazing Spider-Man #545
List of new Marvel Unlimited additions
1.Cage (1992) Issues 1-20
2.A-Force (2016) #1
3.The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #6
4.Contest of Champions (2015) #4
5.Deadpool and Cable: Split Second Infinite Comic (2015) #6
6.Deadpool (2015) #5
7.Doctor Strange (2015) #4
8.Guardians of Infinity (2015) #2
9.Howard the Duck (2015) #3
10.Invincible Iron Man (2015) #5
11.Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War Prelude (2015) #3
12.Nova (2015) #3
13.Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #1
14.Rocket Raccoon and Groot (2016) #1
15.Spider-Man 2099 (2015) #5
16.Spider-Man/Deadpool (2016) #1
17.Spidey (2015) #2
18.Star Wars (2015) #14
19.The Totally Awesome Hulk (2015) #2
20.Uncanny X-Men (2016) #1
21.X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever Digital Comic (2016) #1