Just how spectacularly irritating is Spider-Man? Consider this. Over the past few days, Spidey’s been trying to come up with some vaguely plausible story that would explain why Mary Jane barged in on the sexy three-way he and Wolverine had going with Doc Ock but not reveal the shocking truth: that Spider-Man was some schlubby reporter nobody cared about. Since Spidey is not what you’d call “quick-witted,” or even “posted-speed-limit-witted,” the only thing he could think of was to suggest that MJ had actually burst onto the scene because she was following Wolverine. Wolverine is also not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but you could at least see the gears beginning to turn, which promised some kind of tedious, irritating love triangle, which is the exactly the sort of thing that I bitch about in Spider-Man all the time.
And yet I found myself being actively disappointed in today’s strip, in which our studly mutant sweeps aside all thoughts of any such plot points with a meaty paw and barges his way out of the newspaper Spider-Man strip, presumably forever. This is not because I’m secretly a fan of superpowered romantic intrigue; rather, I’m a fan of the basic constraints of traditional narrative, which, postmodernism be damned, are there for a reason. The only thing worse than unlikeable characters beginning the machinations of an unbearably lame plot are unlikeable characters beginning the machinations of an unbearably lame plot before deciding not to proceed with said plot, because eh, why bother. And yet that very failure in storytelling is newspaper Spider-Man’s major contribution to the world of literature. At least this plotting feint lasted a whole three days; the legendary “intercom fake-out” incident got it done in two.
And with that single word, Mrs. DeGroot has provided the most sensible idea anyone has had in the entire 5+ years of the Brad-Toni arc. So can it be over now, please?
SPECIAL JOSH ABUSE OPPORTUNITY! Hey Baltimore-area kids! Would you like to hurl balls at a target and cause me to drop into a large bucket of water? You can, this coming Sunday, September 13, between (UPDATED) 3:30 and 4 pm, at the Abell Avenue Street Fair! The fair is on Abell Avenue (duh) and proceeds from my dunking will benefit our community association. There will be many other fun activities, though obviously my ritual humiliation will be the highlight. (Note that I had originally said I’d be there from 12 to 1, but have just been disabused of that notion.)