Amazing Spider-Man Issue 641 “One Moment in Time, Part 4”

By Vince

I’m actually getting tired of talking about this storyline. It started off quite well in Issue 638, but has been experiencing a steady decline in quality. It’s now absolutely clear that Quesada had no solid plan for how to execute this story. Well, maybe he had a plan and it just sucked.

Over the past decade, Quesada has been an integral part of Marvel as Editor-in-Chief. He’s been a good decision maker and has taken the company from the brink of disaster to the top of the mountain. He’s even a good artist, though his style is very mid-90s. One thing he isn’t is a writer. Sure, he’s had some solid ideas for storylines, but he’s always had actual writers to steer the ship. As much criticism as “One More Day” has received over the years, it at least made sense. Sure, J Michael Straczynski didn’t want to write it and phoned in a lot of the dialog, but the story itself worked. At this point, “One Moment in Time” just doesn’t make sense.

The story continues with Doctor Strange meeting with Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic on the astral plane. The plan is to use a massive spell to make everyone forget Spider-Man’s true identity. Apparently, it’s something they’ve done before with the Sentry, and the operation requires all three of them. The problem with this scene is the characterization. Strange manages to talk Stark and Richards into agreeing with him, which is something they, Stark specifically, simply would not do. Peter’s decision to abandon Tony and the Pro-Registration side during the Civil War was simply unforgivable to Stark. He had so much hatred for Peter at the time of this story, he simply would not have agreed to this plan. If previous issues of “One Moment in Time” have established that the timeline has not changed, why would Stark continue to hunt down Peter and the other renegade heroes, even after deciding to give Peter his secret identity back? It just doesn’t make sense.

Then, Peter decides he doesn’t want everyone to forget; he needs Mary Jane to share his secret. Once everything is over, MJ completely freaks out. Apparently, she doesn’t want to be the only one to know Peter’s secret. Wait a minute, prior to Peter publicly revealing his identity, MJ was the only one to share his secret. Sure, they decided not to get married, but still lived happily together for years. Now, she can’t handle it anymore? There’s some sort of explanation that somehow MJ knowing Peter’s identity would put her family at risk, but in the end, it just doesn’t make sense.

Why, after all this time would MJ decide that she can’t be with Peter, that somehow things would be better if he were to somehow go on being Spider-Man without her knowing? Even worse than the character shift with Tony Stark, this goes against everything that’s been established for Mary Jane, both in the original continuity and within “One Moment in Time” itself. At the end of “One More Day,” despite the tremendous upheaval it created, readers were left with hope. MJ swore to Peter that they were meant to be, and that eventually they would be together again. “One Moment in Time” was supposed to reinforce the story of “One More Day.” Instead, all it did was tear it down, pissing off many of the fans they had left.

Amazing Spider-Man Issue 641 “One Moment in Time, Part 4”
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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