Much of the discussion about One More Day and its consequences, the actual quality of the story was mostly ignored. An indication of this was the review of the first three parts of OMD from Variety’s Bags and Boards blog which mostly dealt with dealt with fan reaction, and concerns over what may happen in the fourth part. Two sentences described the quality of the content, without going into specifics.
Quesada is undeniably a talented penciller, and the script from the departing J. Michael Straczynski tries very hard to execute a concept that’s a hugely difficult pill to swallow in just about every way.
Even the parts that mention what happened in the story focus more on consequences.
Aside from Mephisto not being the type of villain that works in Spider‑Man stories, this strains credulity and raises more questions than it answers about how Marvel intends to go forward with the character and his place in the entire Marvel Universe.
At least on message boards, comic book fans seem more upset about what happens in a story rather than how ts told. Some fans sum up the clone saga as Peter hitting Mary Jane and Marvel revealing that the Spider‑Man most readers grew up with isn't the real deal, ignoring that much of the clone saga was also atrociously told, which made it significantly worse than One More Day (or Sins Past or The Other) when reviewed in terms of craft. This seems to explain why many of the people complaining about One More Day were willing to buy every $4 issue, while vowing to ignore what came next. They’re concerned with the general status quo rather than the quality of specific stories.

If you disliked the notion of a retcon so much you were willing to drop the next creative teams, you weren’t going to care for a well written one. A poorly written retcon does add insult to injury
and an excellent storyline might have converted some undecided readers, with ties to Spider-Man’s history or at least earlier elements of JMS’s run to make such a dramatic change to the status quo more convincing as the payoff to his run. The effects of either scenario were somewhat minimized as J Michael Straczynski was not writing Brand New Day, which began with a complete changing of the creative teams.

Personally, I enjoyed the first two parts of "One More Day" and I disagree with the oft-mentioned notion that nothing happened. The first issue tied up some key relationships (Peter/ Tony, Jarvis/ May) and resolved the immediate problem of getting Aunt May stable medical care, while the second established that no one Spider‑Man knew could help him and featured a nice mindbender with Doctor Strange. It wasn’t until the third part that we received a significant indication into how the likely retcon is going to occur.

The portrayal of the alternate versions of Peter Parker in the third issue and its implications hasn’t been discussed much. I like the billionaire's comments about drinking, as it nicely compliments the teetotaler we’re all familiar with. The girl the billionaire remembers from high school is meant to be Mary Jane, but can't be anyone other than Liz Allen. In this case, Mary Jane's not presented as particularly essential to Peter, if another woman can fill the void. The computer designer version of Peter Parker is painful, resembling what young comic fans definitely don't want to become.

The two alternate versions of Peter do work in the context of JMS's repeated theme that Peter Parker was always meant to be a hunter and always "angry.” The revelation that Peter Parker's usually destined to end alone is unsettling, and a rather depressing set up to “Brand New Day." My take (and I can't fault JMS for having a different interpretation) is that Peter Parker will usually have a happy ending (wife, kids, etc) but the demands of serial fiction mean that the comics shouldn't show him getting that. It is worth noting that Mephisto is a renowned liar and that Mary Jane’s deal with the devil in the last part gives Peter the possibility of happiness.

There was an unsatisfying element concerning the plotting of One More Day. Writers may spend less time than many readers prefer dealing with the ramifications of a story. They also sometimes spend significant real estate (every page is valuable) setting up major plot beats that readers know are coming.

One More Day would be an example of that. The first two and a half issues of that storyline, which was the culmination of a 60+ issue run, were spent getting Peter Parker to the place where he would consider a deal that would bring his marriage to an end. Due to various promotional images, pretty much every reader who picked up the book knew that particular beat was coming. So they were more likely to be disappointed with the issues that were setting up that beat. What was expected to be the focus of the story was instead the final act.

There were some behind the scenes reasons for other flaws in the story, including a mad scramble after JMS delivered a script for the last two parts that was quite from what Joe Quesada, his artist and editor, expected. Though, the end result was still customers buying a book that wasn't as strong as it could have been.

It is reasonable to hold One More Day to a higher standard than the typical comic book. Because it was so important to the characters, it's going to be read more often than the typical four issue arc. And it was also the conclusion of a popular writer's run on the series, so expectations were quite high. It's a discouraging reminder for readers that a run they're enjoying may not end well, which may cause a few to be less forgiving of weak periods in books they follow.

But the quality of the story was ultimately a minor concern.

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Spider-Man Reviews
features as many updates on the latest developments in Spider-Man comics as we can, along with reviews, commentary, news and discussion. Occasionally we try to throw in some game reviews as well.

We're in no way related to Marvel, but do recommend you read their comics.

Drop a comment anywhere you like on the blog, or join the discussion board. Enjoy!

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