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Cancellation Letter to Marvel January 4, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Stuff.
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This is a copy of the actual letter I wrote to Marvel about cancelling my subscription to Amazing Spider-Man. I decided to repost it here so that you can get a better understanding of how I feel about this issue, and so anyone who wants can use portions of this letter, if they wish, in their own letter to Marvel. I will soon be writing another letter to Marvel, in response to what Joe Quesada has said in recent interviews, and will post it here as well.

The letter:

December 28, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

I have recently canceled my subscription to The Amazing Spider-Man, and I have decided to inform you why. The recent retcon of the last 20 years of Spider-Man history (which includes the best fictional marriage ever written) is unacceptable to me as a reader. This action says that every issue to come out since September of 1987 is worthless. It is an insult to J.M. DeMatteis, Ann Nocenti, David Michelinie, Al Milgrom, Tom DeFalco, John Byrne, Howard Mackie, J. Michael Straczynski, and everyone who has written a Spider-Man comic in the last 20 years by telling them what they wrote no longer matters, it is no longer considered “canon.” Everything readers have invested in no longer matters. If this is being done to appeal to a younger, newer to comics audience, it completely fails. I am only 19, and I have only been reading comics since May of 2007. It was an issue of Amazing itself that introduced me to comics (issue #540 to be exact). In that short time, I have fallen in love with what the world of comics has to offer, and I have delved deeply into its mythos, including reading every issue of Amazing ever printed. (I did this using the Complete Collection DVD-ROM). So, being both young and new to comics, I am completely turned off by this move.

Perhaps even more upsetting than erasing 20 years of some of the best comics ever printed, is erasing the best fictional marriage ever written. The marriage of Peter Parker to Mary Jane Watson was one of the elements that I loved the most in this series. In fact, I would venture to say that Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21 (the issue in which they got married) is not only my favorite issue of Spider-Man, but my all time favorite issue of any comic. You have now taken my favorite part of this series, and my favorite issues, and completely alienated me. Once again, if this marriage was done away with to appeal to a younger audience, because kids can’t “identify” with a married Peter, this is completely untrue. Marriage is something I, and many others my age and much younger, look forward to one day. Reading about this marriage gives us a wonderful look into what marriage has to offer, even if it is fictional. Even for those who did dislike the marriage, two other out-of-continuity series exist that were specifically written to appeal to a younger audience by featuring a younger, unmarried Peter (namely Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel Adventures Spider-Man). There was absolutely no reason to make Spider-Man’s flagship title the third to feature such a Spider-Man.

This is not just another “everything Marvel puts out is crap, and I’m going to complain about it and not appreciate anything” letter. I actually enjoyed much of what Spider-Man readers complained about, and for that matter, many of the things done in Marvel comics that readers complain about. I thought the introduction of totems in Spider-Man was completely innovative. I thought “The Other” story-line was genius. I looked forward to how Spider-Man’s unmasking would permanently affect the series. But now all of that has been taken away from me. I believe I would have tolerated any change Marvel made, even if it meant the death of one of my favorite characters. But one thing I will not tolerate is being told that some of the best moments of comic history, no longer matter. I will not tolerate the possibility that a major part of a story I love can retconned away at the whim of a dictatorial editor in chief. Until this is resolved, I am done.

The Amazing Spider-Man was my favorite series that comicdom had to offer, the series that I really looked forward to reading every month. In the space of one issue, it has become a series that I no longer have any desire to read. I wouldn’t accept a copy if it was given to me. This has even lessened my interest in other Marvel comics, though I will continue to purchase them for the time being, but if my interest continues to wane, I may give up comics entirely. That said, I will definitely return to this series if both the marriage AND continuity is restored. I may return if one of the two is restored, but it would depend on how it was done. So, until Marvel undoes what I consider the worst mistake in comic history, I will no longer purchase any issues of Amazing Spider-Man and any other Spider-Man titles that may begin, until these two things are restored. Until then, I do not feel you deserve my money. I will also being extremely vocal in this opinion, and encourage others to do the same if they feel the same. The only way Marvel will understand what a horrible decision this was is by loss of readership, and I hope readership goes down by the tens of thousands.

Bring back the Peter/MJ marriage!

A disgusted reader,

[signed my real name, which I will not reveal here]
aka “LOTRKing” on the Marvel.com boards

Just for your info, I sent this to the following:

Marvel Subscriptions
PO Box 110
Newburgh, NY 12550

Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
417 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Spideyoffice@marvel.com

Dan Buckley
c/o Marvel Comics
417 5th Avenue
New York City, New York 10016

Joe Quesada
c/o Marvel Comics
417 5th Avenue
New York City, New York 10016

Steve Wacker
c/o Marvel Comics
417 5th Avenue
New York City, New York 10016

subscriptions@marvelsubs.com

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Comments»

1. Nighthawk - January 4, 2008

I don’t blame you, buddy. I’m not happy with it either, and I’m one of the “older” readers. I’m glad that you stated your age, thereby letting Joe Q. know that he does not speak for all of the readers and fans of the book (including the younger ones), but only himself (and possibly those who are in favor of these recent changes). Unlike the death of Captain America, Mr Quesada has continuously “hinted” at his own disdain for Peter and MJ’s marriage, so the outcome of One More Day has been a forgone conclusion as far as I’m concerned, but repeatedly stating his own dislike of the marriage does not “convince” me to agree or support his own opinion. And you’re correct, when fans stop spending their money, then they will be heard instead of being told what they like.

2. 945stevenb - January 4, 2008

I have been a spiderman fan since 1965. (I’m a 50 year old boomer) I grew up with Steve Ditko, John Romita and Stan lee. I was delighted in the 80’s to see that Peter and M.J. had finally tied the knot. Imagine my utter shock and disbeleif to have stumbled upon the disasters of “Civil War” and “One More Day”. In his tenure, Joe Q. has manged to completely destroy the entire marvel universe. Civil war was a disaster and the dissolution of Spidey’s marriage was like rubbing salt into an open wound. (Ouch!) What a complete and utter cop out!
Just because Joe Q exhibited the worst planning and plot development in the history of the publication, It frosted my butt to see the hackneyed way that he destroyed over close to 50 years of Spider man continuity in order to bail himself out of the mess that he made. I have decided to react to the results of “One More Day”, with ” Not One More Dime” of my money going to any future Marvel publications. I’m a beleiver in voting with my pocket book! At least I can take solace in the realization that I have all of the early Spiderman masterpieces in the Marvel masterworks series. As far as I’m concerned, the last two years of Marvel history never occured!!!!

3. Rocko - January 4, 2008

I’ve never written to a comic book company in years and this prompted me to do it. I agree with you. Total cop out. Sad really. Thanks for posting your letter.

4. Mike Haynes - January 6, 2008

I’m not picking sides or anything but Quesada actually stated in an interview that this doesn’t necessarily cancel out 20 years of continuity. He said that the only thing canceled out was the actual marriage. Anything else is just repercussions from the actual marriage never existing. You still have a number of the classic stories that happened in continuity with this one.

For the record though, I agree that OMD was one of the most poorly planned and terribly executed stories in recent memory. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

5. lotrking - January 6, 2008

Re: Mike Haynes

This letter was written before that interview, I’m waiting until the fan-based questionnaire is answered and until BND parts 1 & 2 are out until I write another letter (the only reason I’m getting BND 1 & 2 is because they are leftover from my subscription, I’m only going to read them once, mostly to tear them down here, then sell ’em on eBay). Trust me, I will definitely be addressing his so called “continuity is still in tact” in that letter, which I will also post here. Two main points are going to boil down to this: one, do you honestly expect me to believe they would have lived their lives the same had they called off the wedding, but still decided to live together? Doesn’t Mephisto himself say that life was defined not by broad stroaks, but the tiniest of brush lines? Going by that, wouldn’t a “tiny” thing of not getting married largely affect his life? (If not, the Quesada is contradicting himself). Two, I always assumed the theme of Spider-Man was responsibility. you’re gonna tell me that a “responsibile” Peter is going to deeply love MJ, go through many trials with her, and almost have a baby with her, without EVER marrying her? You call that responsibility? I thought marriage and family were the ULTIMATE responsibility.

Also, how can anyone say continuity is still in tact if Harry is alive and the web shooters are back? Quesada must expect us all to be idiots.

-LOTRKing

6. dylan555 - January 7, 2008

I’m not sure I can add anything here. I can only hope that at some point writers will allow Spidey to see a crack, confront Mephesto and allow Aunt May to pass with some dignity. This is a great letter!

7. Spiderman « It’s a Mad House, a Mad House!! - January 7, 2008

[…] 7 01 2008 Click here for a great complaint letter to Marvel regarding the recent Spiderman mess and the One More Day […]

8. JOHN - January 7, 2008

Thanks for helping me save the money that I spend on Marvel Comics every week. I for one am done with Marvel. One More Day was a total slap in the face of anyone (like myself) who loyally supported Spiderman Comics or Marvel. The only way it could have been any worse is if you decided to bring back Jean Dewolf, Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacey, and Ned Leeds. The marriage was fine to me and any other spider fan I’ve talked to. If you don’t like it you always have Ultimate Spiderman. I guess since Uncle Joe didn’t like the marriage he wanted to burn the company to the ground. Good Job Joe, insert gas and match here. I would still by Ultimate Spiderman but I’m sure Joe will shortly reverse Pete telling MJ that he was Spiderman in issue 13. All other issues never will shortly never happen. I’m so pissed at One More Day I’m not going to see another Spiderman movie if made, or the new Cartoon.

9. Metal Misfit - January 8, 2008

Kudos.

Don’t worry though, this is gonna blow up in Joe’s face and they’ll use the MJ Whisper as their out.


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