This is an open letter to Joe Quesada of Marvel Comics. This is the actual letter he was sent along with a copy of Superman # 704 which is mentioned in the letter. Feel free to put you own comments at the bottom as this is just to share publicly a letter that may never actually reach Joe's hands and if it does... well then hey, it did what it was supposed to do. Hopefully by now the letter has actually made it to Marvel and if not then it might not be as much of a surprise when it does.
Dear Joe Quesada,
Enclosed is a copy of Superman #704. Let me first say that
this isn’t an attempt at distastefully flaunting a competitor’s product in your
face. I’m not a bitter fan boy that needs to prove which corporation I give my
money to is better; no I’m simply a fan of good stories, art and characters. So
what is the reason I’ve included Superman #704, which is a fill-in story for
the “Grounded” storyline written by your former employee… I’m sure you’ll
express an unspoken opinion in your head about now. The issue isn’t great, it’s
good and that’s about all it is. The art is simplistic and if the coloring and
ink had any real depth it would only highlight those simplicities in the
That being said the story is also very simple. Lois has one
of those moments in which we question our course in life, the “what if’s” or
the “what could have beens.” After slightly experiencing the life she could
have had she’s swooped up by Superman. Nothing out of the normal right? In fact
one would have a hard time putting together an educated guess at how many times
that exact thing has happened to her character. Then again, I doubt you
yourself can recall how many times you’ve held your wife and told her you loved
And there it is that is what actually makes the issue great.
Just a couple of pages at the end of the book.; it’s a simple reminder that
regardless of who these character are, what their jobs are or social standing
their relationship is human just like everyone else’s. But why is any of this
Well it boils down to Spider-Man; you know the most
relatable superhero ever created. This issue of Superman actually reminded me
of The Sensational Spider-man Annual 2006 a story told from the POV of Mary
Jane. Really let’s cut to the chase, I’m actually writing to you about One More
Day because isn’t that what it’s always comes down too?
I bet when you were co-conspiring One More/ Brand New Day,
that the thought ever crossed your mind of it being your legacy. Not the man
who helped Marvel back from bankruptcy or made Marvel a house hold name or even
the man who made the company’s biggest announcement in history when the company
was purchased and partnered with Disney. No, instead you’re the man that
destroyed Spider-Man’s marriage.
I’ve been to enough cons’ to know your argument so allow me
to run down the demographic I fall under. I’m unmarried, twenty-eight and work
a boring job of my own choosing. My life is nothing like Peter Parker’s pre-One
More Day other than the fact that I have a girlfriend that most would say is
way too hot for me. Needless to say we don’t have much in common.
That’s the thing about comics and character like Superman
and Spider-Man, that even though we’re nothing a like we share similar
relationships and conversations. Superman doesn’t just become a better
character because he isn’t married to Lois, it’s what the creative teams do and
say with the characters that make them relatable or not.
I’m one of those people that have been robbed of Spider-Man
since One More Day. I understand that it’s a business and that series are
dependent upon sales and where the consumer spends their money. So I voted with
my wallet, not on a message board or a microphone. I simply said that I didn’t
like this course of action with the character and I’m not going to support it.
Because of that I am sure that I have missed out on a lot of fun, great and
charming Spider-Man stories because of it. Personally, I haven’t seen much or
heard about stories that couldn’t have been told with Peter married with the
exception of all the chicks he’s been sleeping with… then again…
The point I want to make is that any writer/creator can hit
the reset button and try again. It takes a great writer/creator to take a
seventy year old character and make him relatable to everyone. What you don’t
get is that some kid could relate to Spider-Man like they do their dad. Some
girl will relate because it reminds her of her first boyfriend. A married man
because it’s just like his marriage or even an older man for the same reason
before his wife passed on. The issue people have is that you told them they
couldn’t relate, but never thought to ask.
Now every issue of Spider-Man is just a story of a character
that doesn’t exist anymore. Sure he has all the mannerisms, but he’s only half
the man he used to be. I’m not looking for it to be switched back with another
back alley deal with the devil… we’re too far down the rabbit hole for that.
No, I’ll just ask that the next time you’re at a convention and someone brings
it up, you just nod and accept your legacy.