If you’re like me reading the current “One Moment In Time” run on Amazing Spider-Man is like watching the middle of a movie or TV show, this is where it drags. It’s not that the hero himself has any drag, it’s just this whole “One Moment In Time” arc, the story trying to clean up the mess Marvel made with Brand New Day, continues to feel thrown into the mix with no real direction.
Issue #638, the debut of the story arc was passable but unnecessary, issue #639 was actually really good, so I figured #640 would be the spectacular ending to the whole mess. Nope, Marvel’s going to drag it out even longer; surprising since the Marvel website claims this to be the conclusion. It’s not, not by a long shot.
Don’t get me wrong here, the writing by Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada is fine, as is the action, but the whole thing feels like it’s being purposefully stretched out. When I reviewed issue #638 I said that the whole idea of cleaning up the One More Day/Brand New Day mess seemed out of whack. Sure, rectifying it may have always been in the cards, but the “One Moment In Time” arc seems forced, as if Marvel is rushing to get it done. That feeling doesn’t end here and now Marvel is taking their sweet time getting to a resolution.
That presents a problem in two separate areas. The first is a structural issue stemming from the fact that fans were never told exactly what happened in the “new history” to break up Peter Parker and Mary Jane, it just was. “One Moment In Time” fills in those blanks but since it’s being told in flashbacks as modern day Peter Parker and Mary Jane reminisce over a past we never knew about, the whole story becomes very confusing. Marvel tries to ease that pain by drawing modern day Mary Jane and Peter Parker differently than the story told in flashbacks.
Adding to the confusion of the whole thing are the new plot elements being added to a story we never knew happened, but didn’t really happen, being told by two people who don’t remember what really happened. Much like ICP trying to figure out magnets, my head hurts now.
To make it even more confusing Quesada adds outside elements, parts neither Peter nor Mary Jane were there for, into a story supposedly being told in flashbacks. Structurally, “One Moment In Time” is an absolute mess, which when added to the feeling of being forced on us, renders the story moot.
The art on modern day Peter Parker and Mary Jane is offered up from Quesada, Danny Miki and Richard Isanove isn’t bad except that one of the three decided Mary Jane should be ugly. The flashback story art is handled in a much more noir and subtle way by Paolo Rivera and while I’m still not a huge fan of his style, at least Mary Jane is hot again.
I honestly think fixing the whole One More Day thing is a good notion but with fans accepting the new history and the issues that followed being so solid it could have been eased into. Instead, Marvel jumps us with it and tries to mask its weak structural integrity by hitting us with everything from The Kingpin to Doctor Strange. In the end, “One Moment In Time” is weighing down a series that works best when kept at a fast and consistent pace.