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Marvel Comics dropped off one of those cryptic cover images to Amazing Spider-Man #545 with the only message saying “End of an Era”.

There is some speculation Peter and Mary Jane are about to split up, probably over that Adam Hughes cheesecake statue debacle. Or could it be something else? Remember there is still the “What would you do with one more day?” thing floating around.

Take the jump for the full cover and then post your thoughts in the talk back!

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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21 Comments

  1. Kienan
    August 7, 2007 at 4:05 pm — Reply

    Looks like Joey Q. will finally get his stupid wish of MJ and peter not being together. I am getting sick of seeing my favorite hero getting stomped on and basically being the marvel punching bag. Why exactly would you want your flagship character put through so much misery. Can Pete have some good times please? Am I right or am I right?

  2. Brent F.
    August 7, 2007 at 4:21 pm — Reply

    Quesada’s wanted Peter and MJ to split up for ages, but he hasn’t managed to find a way to do it that won’t piss off the legion of Spider-Man fans who want them to stay together.

    Apparently a happy marriage just isn’t something you can have in Marvel anymore. Your wife either leaves you for another man or woman, is killed horribly, or is retconed. God forbid something like that should happen to the husband though.

  3. August 7, 2007 at 5:51 pm — Reply

    Damn the Interweb. I know that the Marvel U exists within our ‘reality’ but this is just a little much. Marvel’s marketshare is killing right now, do we really need another event to drive sales? Shit, they’re going to have me picking up every other Spidey title just catch up with this “One More Day” nonsense. Argh.

  4. davek
    August 7, 2007 at 6:53 pm — Reply

    Another comics website ran an interesting poll today, asking if they think Spidey should be married. 67% said yes. The sad thing is…. no matter what they say, they’re going to be ignored by Joe Quesada who inherently thinks his opinion is correct. Not unlike his spin about Iron Man from Civil War, which Marvel has quietly tried to repackage since the upcoming movie requires a push of the character.

    And yeah, I think it’s ridiculous to say Peter Parker has to go through turmoil in his lovelife to justify the “character arc.” Being married isn’t the end of character development. I’ve been married awhile and I find my character being developed whether I like it or not. ;-)

  5. Roy
    August 7, 2007 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    What’s next? Is Marvel going to have a super-villain break into the New Avengers’ satellite hideaway and brutally rape Mary? Er, wait………

    BTW, whose glove is that holding the shard of mirror? It’s not Spidey’s……

  6. Brother129
    August 7, 2007 at 7:23 pm — Reply

    I think it may be the mysterious person in red that’s been referred to in One More Day arc. I swear if Joey Q. kills off MJ or divorces them we need to start a campaign or something. This is ridiculous. What are the chances these Marvel geniuses are making us sweat for nothing?

  7. August 7, 2007 at 8:43 pm — Reply

    Hate to disagree, but as long as they don’t kill MJ, I like the idea of a break up. Just to add a little spark to his stories, and some opportunities for some other women to get involved. It would give the writers more to work with than Peter and MJ drinking coffee and reading the paper. They could break them up for a couple of years, and then get ’em back together… no harm done.

  8. Brent F.
    August 7, 2007 at 9:10 pm — Reply

    Eric: I would agree with you if Spider-Man stores were too happy or lighthearted, but right now Spider-Man comics are almost nothing but tragic stories for Parker.

  9. The Dave
    August 7, 2007 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    Spidey has always been the character that evolves the most of any comic book hero… Wolverine’s berzerker edges may have softened over the years (and I guess he quit smoking somewhere in ther too), Reed and Sue may have fights and brief seperations, but Peter Parker’s status quo has always changed, from high school student to teacher, from single to married, from a very closely guarded secret identity to going public. Joe Q. may think this is a necessary step backward to take 2 steps forward, but the Spider Man I grew up with was happily married to a relatively norman civillian (as normal as any world famous super model actress, anyway), and I think that made great comics. I think the only place to go with a Peter MJ split would be that it totally destroys for a long long time. I also think that they should have done more with what the House of M did with Peter… getting your hearts desire, and finding out that it’s not your wife of however many years they’ve been married in 616. Maybe that’s what this story will deal with.

  10. Maximus Rift
    August 7, 2007 at 10:29 pm — Reply

    I’ve already had enough of Peter dating and now you want me sit thru it again? No thanks.

    Also, you don’t need to break them up to have a love story. Their marriage does that quite well. Marriage isn’t the end of a love story. What? Marriage can’t be a love story? If the writers really wanted to write about love, they can do it easily without a divorce. Besides, do you really trust Joe Q to get rid of MJ “for a little while”?

    This is all just 1 thing in the whole move to take Spider-Man back to square one and it p###es me off. What they are trying to do is retcon a s###load of stories because they can’t accept that their teenage superhero is in his 30’s. The icing on the cake is that there are already comics out there that ALLREADY HAVE SPIDER-MAN SINGLE AND YOUNG. Wasn’t Ult. Spidey, MJ loves Spidey and MA: Spidey enough that you need to make 616 Spidey the same way?

    I’m sorry if I went too far but I really feel passionate about this.

  11. Jim
    August 8, 2007 at 1:12 am — Reply

    Joe Q. (and nice “coincidence” that he gets to draw these covers, eh?) has felt emboldened by the fact that Marvel is killing DC in sales right now. His philosophy seems to be ‘well, people complained about Civil War but they bought it, so we’re doing something right.’ I actually heard him speak and say basically our (sales) numbers prove we’re doing the right thing.

    So if everyone here is as annoyed by this as they seem to be (and as I am), stop buying Spider-Man! If they butcher this thing and especially if they off MJ, I’lm totally gone. If people stop buying, then they’ll listen to the fans. I don’t want to see a retcon. How about just good writing without the gimmicks, huh? I guess everything with the big 2 has to be “events” these days.

    Oh well, I can always read through the previous 40 years of Spider-Man stories if Joe Q. gets his way….

  12. Jeff
    August 8, 2007 at 4:59 am — Reply

    I wonder if Peter will come home only to find MJ dead and stuffed into the refrigerator?

  13. Leroygrey
    August 8, 2007 at 7:05 am — Reply

    never mind MJ; aunt may’s dead… that’s my prediction, anyway…

  14. J'osh
    August 8, 2007 at 8:29 am — Reply

    I think we’re all a little too sure that she is gonna die for that to be it. We’re all sure that the marriage is ending one way or another. Why buy the cow when we got the milk for free? This is gonna be the biggest swerve in comic history.

    Marriage can be done well Busiek is handling Lois and Clark well. Ya know Peter isn’t hurt as character by the marriage if any character suffers its MJ herself because most don’t know what to do with her, not them. Make and effort to have MJ become something more then just Peter’s wife.

    Matt Fraction wrote an excellent MJ in the Sensational Spiderman Annual recently have him do it. Actually that book is part of the reason I don’t think their killing her, it laid out how things are between them so well. I mean Peter needs a steady light in his life. At least one constant. A motivation. So the better alternative is to have Peter with a string of pointless relationships?

  15. Alec
    August 8, 2007 at 8:34 am — Reply

    I’m going to piss off a bunch of people here. Oh well. I have to say that I’ve never liked MJ as Peter’s wife simply because I’ve never felt the writers have ever written her in an interesting way. She’s either been written as the “overly supportive of the Spiderman cause” wife or the “wants Peter to quit being Spiderman” wife with little effort being made to create a deeper and more interesting character. Peter is complicated. Aunt May (with her inclusion into the grand secret) is complicated. MJ? Not so much. She’s been little more than a marvel version of the “cop’s wife” and that’s a shame, I think. I think Peter does deserve some happiness in his tumultuous life–I just don’t really believe that MJ provides it. She hasn’t really been a developed character since Peter was still wearing black and hitting defenseless roof-tops going, “I’m happy… damn it… I’m happy!”

  16. Maximus Rift
    August 8, 2007 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    I was already pissed, so technically you didn’t piss me off Alec. :p

    I am willing to give in to the point that MJ’s development has been lacking (Sensational Annual did loads for her), but that just means they need to work on her rather than get rid of her. If they can do it in Ultimate, they can do it here.

    Second, Joe Q doesn’t want to split them up because she’s boring. He wants to split them up because (according to him) she doesn’t fit with Peter’s “average-joe” mojo. That’s it. Because she’s too glamorous for Peter and Gwen wasn’t. Apparently a glamor girl marring a geek is too fictional for Joe Q.

    Last, like it was said, the theory is that there is going to be a “reset” in Peter’s life where nobody will know he’s Spidey and he’ll be single to prevent any harm from coming to the people he loves. In other words he’ll be Emo-Spidey and that is what has me peeved. The way the writers describe it, this is probably what will happen since I don’t see him getting an average job with everybody knowing who he really is.

  17. JacinB
    August 8, 2007 at 1:29 pm — Reply

    Eric Shepard wrote:
    “Hate to disagree, but as long as they don’t kill MJ, I like the idea of a break up. Just to add a little spark to his stories, and some opportunities for some other women to get involved. It would give the writers more to work with than Peter and MJ drinking coffee and reading the paper. They could break them up for a couple of years, and then get ‘em back together… no harm done.”

    Now, from what I’ve read about the way it is being done, M.J. is not going to die, but become the Super-Hero known as ‘Jackpot’ (as in, ‘You’ve just hit the jackpot, tiger.’). She will join Tony’s Initiative, which will result in her splitting from Peter.

    Still like the idea of the break up … ?

  18. Mike B
    August 8, 2007 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    I am going to say, big time swerve. Or at least I hope. I think Pete will have a choice to go back in time for a chance to change things so he can have more time with either Uncle Ben or Aunt May….my guess would be Ben if it were a reset of sorts where he is single, but I think ultimately he realizez what he might lose (MJ) if he does this and doesn’t go back…..leaving both his Aunt and Uncle dead.

    I don’t see how one character would reset the Marvel U which this would have to do in order to be a reset and if that’s the case then what’s the point with World War Hulk, and every other major story for the last 20 + years.

    I hope it’s a swerve because the poor guy has gone through enough.

  19. Alec
    August 9, 2007 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    I get what you’re saying, Maximus. Interestingly, MJ hasn’t been glamourous for a long time now, or that quality that she once had has been quietly swept under the rug. The concept of Peter with someone who’s out of his league appeals to me (having been in that position once or twice) but it’s a card that stopped being played because Peter’s home life has suddenly (if the last how ever many years can be “sudden”) become about Aunt May. MJ is pretty tertiary. I think that MJ has reached a point that many writers don’t know what to do with her anymore (much the way the Joker faded from view until VERY recently) and JQ is just realizing that he has a one-time major character that doesn’t fit the vision he has for Peter’s future. And while I like the idea, as I said, of Peter being married to a glamour girl, I’m not locked into it. Something has to change. I’m not saying that MJ has to go, because it’s a weakness in writing to kill, remove, retcon a character when they don’t know what else to do–I’m saying that it’s time for a change in Peter’s “private” life. Now, and I totally respect anyone’s decision to disagree, I never really felt that Peter and MJ were going to stay married in the first place. I didn’t expect her to go the way of Gwen. I expected her to leave Peter long ago… I think a lot of writers have peppered that into their scripts and JQ might just be taking the shot the other writers never had the green light to Finally, I have to say that as a writer myself it is incredibly dificult to write stories to please everyone. There are some unpleasant directions that need to be taken to tell quality stories. I applaud any writer that can take a chance of pissing everyone off and treading new unbroken ground. Especially if they piss me off. Doesn’t mean I’ll give up on the series, they’ll just have to show me why they made that choice and prove that it was inevitable all along.

  20. Brother129
    August 9, 2007 at 10:47 pm — Reply

    Ugh. I will be transparent in saying that I am very pro-MJ and the marriage. That being said, I can see both sides of the issues. But the real issue for me continues to be how many times and how many different ways can you beat down Peter Parker? This goes so beyond the old days when Spidey worried about paying the rent and keeping his costume clean. You don’t have to kill off/remove major supporting characters to establish ongoing adversity. It can be lazy writing. I read a Tom DeFalco interview where he complained that two many writers go for the “big idea” without giving any real thought to the long-term effects. Essentially leaving it for others to do the dishes…

  21. Carswell
    August 10, 2007 at 10:12 am — Reply

    MJ’s probably a skrull.
    The way things are going.

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