Amazing Spider-Man Issue 638 “One Moment in Time, Part 1”

By Vince

This is a story I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. Three years, and almost 100 issues ago, Peter and Mary Jane Parker sacrificed their marriage to the interdimensional, trickster-demon Mephisto in exchange for saving Aunt May’s life. This was a huge shake-up to the Spider-Man lore and was not received well by the fans. While I personally enjoyed the plot twist, it did leave some question marks over the past twenty-odd years of Spider-Man comics. So, just a few short months before the “Brand New Day” era of Amazing Spider-Man comes to a close, Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, and mastermind of the original “One More Day” storyline, Joe Quesada is bringing us “One Moment in Time.”

The first issue of “One Moment in Time” brings us back to the day Peter and Mary Jane were supposed to be married. Mary Jane shows up at Peter’s apartment with a bottle of wine to talk about that fateful day in the past. In a very interesting publication twist, actual panels from the Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 wedding issue are included, but with small changes detailing Mephisto’s influence on the timeline.

So, the issue has an interesting style, artistically. You have Quesada’s art for the “present day” scenes, the original 1987 art of Paul Ryan and Paolo Rivera’s art depicting the changes in the flashbacks. While it takes a little getting used to, it creates a very interesting effect. Many fans, even those who read the Annual back in ‘87, don’t remember the severe doubt both Peter and Mary Jane were having at the time. Mephisto didn’t come in with his giant, demonic paintbrush and alter everything. No, he made some small influences on some minor players to nudge things in a direction they could have easily gone in the first place.

The end result of this concept is a solid, unexpectedly emotional story. Amazing Spider-Man has been the most consistently good book on the shelves for the past 3 years, and Issue 638 lives up to the standard. Fans may still be pissed at the changes to Spidey’s backstory, but if the next 3 issues can continue the trend set by this one, maybe they’ll quiet down a bit.

Amazing Spider-Man Issue 638 “One Moment in Time, Part 1”
Marvel Comics
Story: Joe Quesada
Art: Joe Quesada, Paolo Rivera, Danny Miki, Richard Isanove

Vince is the self-proclaimed “Massive Nerd.” His interests range from video games and comics to anime and Transformers collectibles.

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