Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spider-Man's Marriage Update

This is too rich. You may remember how a while back I ranted about Marvel Comics and how they decided to end Spider-Man's marriage by having him make a deal with the devil (because really, that's what heroes do, right? nothing like teaching the kids if you can't win, just make a deal with the prince of darkness). Marvel has stood firm on this even amid a severe backlash from fans. They're convinced the only way Spider-Man can be a viable property is if he's swinging single (pun intended). And they refused to have him get a divorce (because that would "damage" the character) and having mary Jane die and him become a widower wasn't an option because that would make him appear too old (and again, they really aiming for that younger crowd). They say these things even though the comic book audience isn't growing by the addition of any younger readers and they're getting by only on the older fans that have stayed with the hobby. And with the undoing of the marriage they've seen sales on their flagship title Amazing Spider-Man go from 123k per issue down to about 70k per issue over the last six months (with a minor blip on that one issue where they had Spider-Man meet Obama and it sold over half a million copies once you take all the various printings into account). The drop in sales hasn't changed their minds though, and they're sticking to the dissolution of the marriage. Now here's where it gets good. Spider-Man also appears in a daily newspaper strip, and the folks responsible for that, wanting to present a cohesive view of Spider-Man, dissolved the marriage in the newspaper strip also. So imagine everyone's surprise when regular folks (non comic book fans) complained (rather loudly it seems) about the change and suddenly in the newspaper strip Spider-Man is married again. It appears they pulled a Bobby in shower and claim "it was all a dream."

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