An Open Letter to Joe Quesada

Dear Mister Quesada,

I’d like to formally apologize for the snarky aside I made about “Brand New Day” in the panel, even though it’s not on YouTube yet, and according to the modern digital world, it doesn’t exist. I’m not a huge Spidey fan, and I understand the want to maintain character longevity. I just feel like there are different ways to go about it; after all, Daredevil’s been outed twice, disbarred once, and has had several of his girlfriends die on him, not to mention spending time in prison. Granted, there was that whole Clone Saga, but seriously – compared to Ol’ Hornhead, Spidey has it real easy, and not once has Matt Murdock’s life been in need of a retroactive continuity change.

But, through all of that, you see one shining attribute – persistence. Matt Murdock doesn’t give up. Matt Murdock is the Rocky Balboa of superheroes. Sure, he has a radar sense, but other than that, he’s a physically normal human being, trying to stand toe to toe with the Clubber Langs and Ivan Dragos and the Kingpins. He gets beat down, stomped on, pushed to the limits of his sanity – he knows what comes, and he still keeps going. At times, it’s heroic, like Rocky I or IV; other times, it’s tragic, like Rocky Balboa or Rocky II. Other, other times, it’s just plain cheese, like Rocky V. It doesn’t matter. He just keeps going.

I’m positive this is the way with Spidey as well, but to me, Spiderman’s always been emblematic of what young life is. You struggle to find your way in the world, you meet the girl, you get the job, and you make your hard choices. But, at some point, I feel like Spiderman should be changing diapers. That’s just how it goes. You marry the girl, Aunt May dies, and after a long night of tears, you move on. You try to make sense of your life, and that’s where the kid comes in. You find a new purpose to keep doing what you’re doing, until you reach a kind of Quixotic end, where you decide, “You know what? Maybe the best death for a hero is a normal death. A quiet one, with friends and family. Nothing spectacular. No saving babies from a burning building, no brilliant fight to the end. Just the people who matter most.”

That’s the way I feel Spiderman should be. While Matt Murdock is Marvel’s Rocky Balboa – the enduring warrior, persistence in the face of suffering, triumph in the face of adversity – Spiderman is the one who says, “Once you get through it all, and you’ve had your hard times – life is pretty awesome.” He’s George Bailey, right at the end of “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Scratch that – he IS George Bailey. He’s a smart-alecky, swing-from-buildings, fight-the-Goblin George Bailey. He has some rough patches, but either by himself or with a little help, he always gets to swing above the clouds and see the sun.

So, for Matt Murdock’s sake, let Spidey have the kid. Let Aunt May die. While some heroes are made to suffer, and to quote Glenn Danzig, are “born in the soul of misery”, Spiderman is not one of them. He’s the hero that deserves something resembling a happy ending, and I sincerely hope that he gets it.

All the best,

Brian A. Lynch
a.k.a Brian St. Claire

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