TITLE: The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows vol. 1, Issue #1
YEAR: August 2015
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inker: John Dell
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Marvel Comics would destroy their multiverse and all that is left is Battleworld, a massive, patchwork planet composed of the fragments of the worlds that no longer exist and maintained by Victor Von Doom.
In this alternate reality, Peter and MJ are married and have a daughter and this is significant for us who were fans of Peter Parker and Mary Jane as a couple and were married and before Joe Quesada who didn’t like the couple, ended up destroying their relationship (thanks to Mephisto), their marriage and having no memory of it.
So, “Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows”, albeit a different timeline than the Spider-Man most of us grew up reading, is paying homage to the ’80s when Peter and MJ’s love were golden and having a child who would follow her dad and become a hero was no doubt a plus, considering how Mayday Parker was a popular heroine in the “Spider-Girl” MC2 Universe, his daughter Annie is no doubt what fans of the series wanted to see, a daughter following her dad’s footsteps.
Marvel Comics has never had the patience for relationships, may it be Cyclops and Jean Grey, Johnny Storm and Crystal, Logan and Mariko, Vision and Scarlet Witch, Thing and Alicia Masters, Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne, heck I was expecting Marvel to destroy the marriage of Reed Richards and Invisible Woman, which they came darn close to. And I guess I can see the mindset of editors when a hero has to worry about their family or loved one far too often and can’t focus on the adventure or battle. It’s understandable but I often wondered if it was the mindset of an editor/writer to not dig relationships in the comics and despite divorce on the rise, at least one married couple or even unmarried couple, should find happiness in the Marvel Universe.
As for “The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows”, at least in this alternate storyline, Peter Marker, Mary Jane and Annie try to keep their family sold.
All is not good in the world as many of the superheroes have disappeared (as well as some villains) and Peter has been working overtime as a superhero. And with heroes being found dead, such as the Punisher, Moon Knight and Night Thrasher, Peter goes to the Avengers to find out what is going on.
And sure enough an emergency meeting is being held by Captain America and those still living.
As everyone wants Spider-Man to join the Avengers, Spider-Man reminds them that he is married and has children and as the Avengers plan to take the battle to August Roman, CEO of Empire Unlimited, who is an Omega-Level Threat, Hawkeye, Tigra and Mockingbird reports in that there is a full-scale prison break at Ryker’s and everyone has broken out.
As Captain America looks at August Roman as top priority, he recalls Hawkeye and the others to leave and prepare for their battle against August Roman, while Spider-Man worries because villains can now come after his family…especially Venom.
And sure enough, when Spider-Man returns to their home, he sees Venom holding his crying child and his wife.
Wanting to protect his family, Spider-Man gives Venom all he has and makes a decision that will hopefully ensure the future of his family’s lives but also decides that in order to protect them, he may need to quit being Spider-Man and focus on his family full-time, especially with Earth’s heroes down and out.
Overall, I found the first issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows” to be entertaining. While Peter Parker has changed and evolved since I stopped reading his comics back in 1998 and it seems he has shed the nerdy side and has many women he has been with since MJ, I can’t help but think about the “Spider-Man” that I loved reading back then and how I was supportive of Peter Parker and Mary Jane as a couple.
So, when I heard what happened between the two with the coming of the new editors and creatives, my feeling was, “glad I’m not reading comic books anymore”.
But with “The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows”, despite not being Earth 616, I still can’t help but enjoy it because to me, keeping the couple together, Peter and MJ, seems right. With so much doom and gloom with celebrity marriages in reality and even crap having happened in comic books, I would at least want to see the comic book couple I enjoyed reading to be strong together versus being apart. And this comic book series, at least does just that.