Revealing Spider-Man’s Identity Was A Stunt To Sell More Books

As a life long Spider-Man reader and fan the end of an era for the franchise was with Amazing Spider-Man #545 and the reboot of the status quo with Dan Slott’s ‘Brand New Day.’ The ‘One More Day’ story arc ended the marriage between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson through the magical effort of Mephisto. This journey down the rabbit hole of no return start with Spider-Man revealing his secret identity during the events of ‘Civil War’ written by Mark Millar.

We can talk the pros and cons of the change all-day long but it really doesn’t matter while Joe Quesada is the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment.

“I remember editors and editors in chief lamenting that a married Spider-Man was not where we want to be,” said Quesada in an interview with USAToday. “A married Peter Parker makes for a less interesting soap opera than a single Peter Parker going about his nerdy kind of life.”

It was too hard to write interesting stories for Spider-Man?!
I will always say that Quesada needed to find better editors and writers that don’t mind that it is difficult to write great comic books.

Here we are eight years later and Millar is opening old wounds and pouring gasoline on them. The writer did an interview with IGN about his two new comic book series: ‘Chrononauts’ and ‘Jupiter’s Circle.’ During the conversation Captain America: Civil War was brought up and Millar discussed the day they decided to revealed Spider-Man’s secret identity on national television in the original story.

“People remember that because it was such a good stunt. It’s a seven-issue series, which is 150 pages or something, and Spider-Man appears it it for three pages, one of which is a splash. It was such a tiny part of it. To be honest, it was just a way of boosting up our sales. We were just sitting there thinking, what can we do with Spider-Man for three pages? And that worked,” said Millar.

Some one at Marvel has to respect the history of the product they are working on, and this comment by Millar demonstrates that no one in the ‘Civil War’ conversation did. We all understand that it is a business and Marvel’s sole job is to sell as many comics as possible, but the gimmicks don’t work and they insult the fans that have invested time and money supporting the product.

“Looking into the future, this is really the right thing to do for the long-term health of the character,” said Quesada in 2007.

Now that time has past, almost a decade, do you think Quesada made the right decision?

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.