200th Episode (One More Day)
July 30, 2012
It's Atop the Fourth Wall's 200th Episode! What comic could be heinous enough for the position?
Black screen, text appears.
Text Narration: Linkara recently began a journey to restore his magic gun to life. He is in good health and good spirits as he travels.
Gilligan Cut to Linkara on his journey, who is not exactly in high spirits.
Linkara: I am so lost!
Cut back to narration.
Text Narration: Because of this perilous journey, he made sure to record and edit his 200th episode in advance.
Text fades out, Linkara fades in, his chin on his clasped hands.
Linkara: Well... We made it, people. Two hundred episodes. So...what can I possibly review for such an occasion?
A quick beat as Linkara thinks upon it, then smiles looking back towards the camera.
Linkara: Okay, what the hell. Let's review One More Day.
Credits play. Footage from the previous 199 episodes showing him holding up the comic he's going to review play in a rapid fire manner as the full version of the theme song plays. The final shot of the intro is Linkara holding the "prized jewel" of his collection, a term we're using VERY loosely, with a smile that has to say "yeah, I'm finally reviewing this piece of shit and I'm not afraid to do it either".
Title card. Fade to Linkara.
Linkara: If there's a single story that has hung over this show since the first episode, it's One More Day.
Footage from various episodes play, pointing out various spots in the episodes that make Linkara's derision of this story very apparent.
Linkara: Yeah, I think I may have brought it up once or twice.
The cover of the trade and footage of the Top 15 Comics I'll Never Review appears.
Linkara (VO): The more nitpicky among you may also recall that I stated that my only problem with the book was the ending, and the rest of it was fine. Others will say that it's completely unnecessary, since I've technically already reviewed the comic in my Top 15 Comics I'll Never Review episode, wherein I spoke for five minutes about the thing that angered me so about this story.
Linkara: Well, first of all, that's not really a review, that's me ranting about a plot point. Secondly, I decided to take another look at it...and, you know what? There's a hell of a lot more that's wrong with this crap than just the ending.
Zoom out of One More Day Part Four of Four cover.
Linkara (VO): And I'm sure there is one other complaint that people would have with me doing this; that would be, "Come on, Linkara. It's been five years since One More Day. Are you still not over this?"
Linkara: Nope! ...Not at all! However, even if I WAS 'over it', there's one underlying problem. It's still a BAD story! It was a bad story in 2007, and it's a bad story now!
Cover of Cry for Justice.
Linkara (VO): Cry for Justice sucked in 2009 and it still sucks now!
Cover of Youngblood #1.
Linkara (VO): Youngblood sucked in 1992, and it still sucks now!
Linkara: And guess what, this is Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn! Let's dig into Spider-Man: One More Day, and break down why this thing sucks!
The covers for the original comics appear.
Linkara (VO): I'm reading from a trade, so no analysis of the covers. However, the covers are where you will find my few compliments to this book. The first three parts feature kind of a retro style to them with exaggerated, melodramatic captions. The fourth book avoids that but has great symbolism on the broken picture of him and Mary Jane, kind of echoing that broken photo from the cover of Identity Crisis. It's just a good image to use for this.
Cut back to Linkara.
Linkara: Now before we get into the book itself, there's a lot of backstory to cover here, so I think it's necess-
The screen turns to static, cutting off Linkara's review before it has actually began. When the static vanishes, Bennet the Sage turns up, donning his Devil outfit.
Devil!Bennet: Hello, Linkara...it is I. The Devil!
Cut back to Linkara, who's less than impressed.
Linkara: Oh. Hi, Bennet.
Cut back to Devil Sage.
Devil!Bennet: Not Bennet...the Devil! I've come to you with an offer to-
Linkara: To exchange my soul, or my show, or my non-existent marriage to erase One More Day, right?
Devil!Bennet: Well...yeah, I-
Linkara: Not interested. Goodbye.
Bennet drops the act, and his hood, frustrated with Linkara.
Bennet the Sage: Ugh, come on, man. I went and put on the outfit, can you play out the bit?
Linkara: The bit is dead, Bennet! Not to mention the deal doesn't take place for another three issues! You can make the offer again when it actually comes up in the comic!
Bennet lightens up quickly.
Bennet the Sage: Oh, okay, see you then!
The review finally gets back on track as pages of the infamous Civil War are shown.
Linkara (VO): So, anyway, backstory... In 2006, Marvel released its standard big crossover event, Civil War. The premise is that after an incident involving superheroes results in the deaths of six hundred people, including sixty children, the American Government rushes out a Superhero Registration Act that forces all superheroes to reveal their identities to the government, and officially fall under federal mandate. Iron Man led the charge in the Pro-Registration camp while Captain America led a faction of heroes who opposed it. Civil War has a lot of problems, not the least of which being that Marvel refused to actually say what the Superhuman Registration Act stated, leading to different books interpreting it differently. Now, Marvel's excuse was that the act was just so long and complicated that there was no way to release it in full, and could be interpreted in different ways', but I call bullcrap on that! It's lazy writing, plain and simple. The other big problem with the book was the ending. Despite the fact that the Pro-Registration side was vilified throughout not only throughout the main book, but also the tie-ins, the book ended with the Pro-Registration side winning, and a follow-up interview stated that they were supposed to be the right side all along! I haven't decided yet if I'm ever gonna do a full review of Civil War, mostly because it's a very polarizing, politically charged book, but needless to say, it's not very good. Now where does Spidey fit into all of this? Well, to make a long story short, Aunt May had discovered Peter's identity as Spider-Man, and after an incident where their home had been destroyed, Tony Stark invited Peter, Mary Jane, and Aunt May to live in Avengers Tower. (Spidey was also a member of the Avengers at the time.)
Over the next line, a caption reads: "To be accurate, Aunt May convinced Peter it would be the right thing to do, since she wanted the world to see him how she saw him."
Linkara (VO): Tony convinced Peter that the Pro-Registration side was the right thing to do, and that with the resources of the Government, he'd be able to protect him, Mary Jane and May from any villains who would seek revenge against them. As such, he publicly unmasks to the entire world. However, for reasons I can't quite recall, he eventually turns on the Pro-Registration side, and runs away with MJ and May. While staying at a motel, a sniper hired by the Kingpin attempts to assassinate Peter, but instead shoots and injures Aunt May.
Linkara: And that's where we're at: Peter is a well-known fugitive, Aunt May is clinging to life for the gajillionth time, and during this time, Peter put his black costume back on again, and then took it off - because Spider-Man 3 had just happened! ...yeah, the movies still screw around with stuff like this all the time.
The first page of the feature is shown.
Linkara (VO): We begin with Amazing Spider-Man #544, where a red bird is flying around in the night sky.
Narrative: Tune your ear to the frequency of despair, and cross-reference by the longitude and latitude of a heart in agony. Listen. Listen.
Cut to Linkara looking outraged. He facepalms.
Linkara: ...FIRST.... SENTENCE!!!
Linkara (VO): THAT IS ONE OF THE DUMBEST, MOST OVERWRITTEN, NONSENSICAL SENTENCES EVER PUT INTO A MAINSTREAM STORY! This is "'Punk' is nothing but death, crime and the rage of a beast" level of WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!?! "Tune your EAR to the frequency of despair"???! What the Sam flippin' Hill is THAT supposed to mean!?!? "Cross-reference by the longitude and latitude of a heart in agony"!? So - we- we're tryin' to track something on a map now!? What! Is this still connected to the frequency of despair??? W-what does an audio frequency have to do with map coordinates of "a heart in agony"!?
Linkara: And finally, most important of all, this comic tells us to "tune our ears" and "listen, listen". Kind of confusing instructions considering this is a COMIC BOOK, which we READ with our EYES!!
Linkara (VO): The rest of the page shows the bird approaching a hospital and Peter narrating about what happened with Aunt May, rightfully pointing out that he should've skipped town.
Peter Parker: I'd give anything, do anything, to bring her back from the edge. To have just one more day with her.
Linkara: And that's a lie, because in another comic, you spend time with her in mental projection form, where she tells you to let her go, and you ignore her instructions! Consistency: you suck at it!
Narrative: Worlds turn on such thoughts.
Linkara: (deadpan) No, they don't.
Narrative: Because the Universe hears them.
Linkara: (in the same tone, but with a more notable twinge of annoyance) I refer you to my last remark.
Linkara (VO): In the hospital, Aunt May lies in bed with life support equipment attached to her. Joe Quesada himself did the artwork for One More Day, and I admit there are some shots that really do work. This one, despite some wonky perspective and proportions, is one of them. What doesn't work is the writing, wherein Peter whines yet again that this is all his fault... we'll get into that a bit later. In the meantime, the doctor goes up to them and explains that, unfortunately, because she doesn't have any insurance, they're gonna have to move her to the charity care ward. Peter is indignant about it, but the doctor points out that they're just barely picking up brain function, so chances are she's pretty much dead anyway.
Doctor: If you had some kind of health insurance, that would be one thing. A bottomless checkbook would be even better.
Westley (from The Princess Bride): I mean, if we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.
Linkara (VO): Peter decides to go see a man with "a bottomless checkbook". The doctor chases after him as he starts to leave.
Doctor: Just a minute --
Peter Parker: What?
Doctor: I just... wanted to say I know what you're feeling and --
Peter Parker: You have no idea what I'm feeling.
Linkara: "No one has EVER lost a loved one before ME!" (chuckles) You know... I seriously considered reading all of Peter Parker's lines in the Superboy Prime voice. It really does come across as that selfish and whiny.
Linkara (VO): The doctor explains that Spider-Man once saved his uncle's life, and that he promised he'd repay the favor one day. He shows Peter the newspaper of his unmasking, revealing he knows who he really is, it- wait, where the hell did that paper come from? Was he just carrying that around with him everywhere...? Anyway, he says he can't do anything to actually get her any big procedure, but he can stall putting Aunt May off into a charity ward or anything until he comes back. Peter swings through the city narrating that he doesn't give a damn about not having the costume on, since everyone knows what he looks like anyway.
Linkara: Strange that nobody else in the hospital recognized him then! Or did the mustachioed Dr. Kelso back in the hospital cover his face as he was going in with May?
Linkara (VO): I also noticed the red Mephisto bird right there... I can't help but wonder if Marvel ever considered doing a "What If" story where Peter swings right into the bird and accidentally smashes it against some glass. Anyway, he arrives at Stark Tower and makes a big scene, breaking into Stark's office from the air vents. Naturally, Tony Stark is a genius and is already way ahead of him, armoring up and smacks right into Peter, knocking him out a window! Instead of trying to talk to Tony, he just webs up his engines, forcing the two of them to crash. Iron Man points out the fact that that little stunt could've gotten them both killed.
Peter Parker: Wanted to make sure... you didn't fly off... before I was done with you.
Peter Parker!Linkara: "And then I'd break my own spine so I couldn't leave either!... wait."
Linkara (VO): Iron Man tries to arrest Peter, but to make a long story short, Peter webs up Iron Man into a giant cocoon. He then rips off Tony's mask so the two can talk.
Peter Parker: Aunt May is dying! She's dying and it's your fault! I trusted you! I let you get close to me... you were like a father to me!
Linkara: Uh... not really, no... he wasn't.
Linkara (VO): Anyway, he keeps ranting that this is all Tony's fault and that he needs to go help Aunt May, since she was an innocent in all of this. Wait, weren't you ranting earlier that this was all your fault, Peter? Look, I know you're still in the "anger" stage of grief, but at least make up your mind who you're blaming for all of this. Tony, unfortunately, refuses for the DUMBEST of reasons.
Tony Stark: Any direct help I gave to you could be tracked back to me. I could be held liable for aiding and abetting a known criminal.
Linkara: She's an old woman who got shot in the chest! I don't think anybody's gonna be that pissed that you paid for her medical care! And by the way, I'm pretty sure that SHE'S not the wanted fugitive!
Tony Stark: It would undermine everything I've been trying to build since the war.
Linkara (VO): No... no, it really wouldn't.
Linkara: In fact, I think anyone who criticized your decision to help her would, in reality, look like the bigger douchebag for saying so!
Right Linkara: An innocent old woman was shot in the chest by a sniper, because she happened to be related to a person who has saved thousands, if not millions of lives.
Left Linkara: Let her diiiiieee.
Linkara (VO): But actually, let's turn this around, shall we? There is a very easy solution to this, one that either of them could suggest. Hell, there was absolutely no reason for Peter to go in all brazen and pissy like he did, when he could've just knocked on the window and done this: Peter could offer to be arrested. He could willingly surrender himself to the authorities, as long as May gets treatment. But you see, he can't do that, because that would involve taking responsibility for what he's done.
Linkara: Allow me to share a revelation I've had. For all of his bluster about "with great power comes great responsibility," Peter Parker is one of the most irresponsible superheroes ever.
Linkara (VO): He never learns from his mistakes, never takes into consideration how his life as Spider-Man affects everybody else. Now, some would say that's the core concept of the character, the constant struggle between the mask and the man. But he never actually gives any consideration to the man, preferring to make excuses about it. He disappoints people around him all the time because "something more important was happening as Spider-Man". But instead of trying to find ways to balance his two lives properly, he will go out of his way to make excuses for it and be sad that being Spider-Man hurt his personal life. If he places more importance on being Spider-Man, then he should distance himself from relationships that would hurt that. If he places more emphasis on being Peter Parker, he needs to sacrifice his time as Spider-Man. Now that's not always going to be the case for everyone in the real world. But Peter never actually changes as a result of his actions. He just makes the same mistakes over and over. During a story line called "The Other" when Peter was dying from an untraceable condition (this was also written by JMS, by the way), he admits that he doesn't even have life insurance. Peter has never made a plan about what would happen to his family if he were killed by a super-villain. He's never thought about the repercussions of his life if he should be maimed or killed while wearing the costume, to his wife or to his constantly dying aunt. In a recent issue of Avengers Academy, a group of teenage superheroes thought of several ways he could have capitalized on being Spider-Man without revealing his identity to anyone. Now admittedly, he was just a young, dumb teenager when he started out and didn't think of those things. But Peter is and has been an adult for decades now! Forget about whether you like Spidey being married or not, the character himself still seems to operate like he's in high school, never growing up, never seems to recognize adult relationships, and never actually taking responsibility for his life and the choices he's made. This is one of the reasons I decided to finally review One More Day. The deal with Mephisto is symptomatic of a bigger problem for the character and the people who write him: the unwillingness for the character to become an adult. He's supposed to be roughly 25 years old at the time of this story - maybe closer to 30. And yet he repeatedly approaches his problems like a 16-year-old would and is never actually prepared to act like a mature adult.
Linkara: I've made several jokes in the last 200 episodes about how Peter Parker's life is an endless spiral of shame and misery, what with his friends and loved ones dying all around him or becoming super-villains because of his life as Spider-Man - and I mean it. The truth is that if Peter Parker ever cared about taking responsibility for his actions... he would have given up being Spider-Man a long time ago.
Linkara (VO): But hey, maybe that's just the reasoning of a jaded individual looking at this stupid-ass comic in hindsight. Of course I don't want Peter Parker to stop being Spider-Man. What I want is for him to be written like a goddamn adult already! But the writers - and Marvel Editorial - seem to steadfastly refuse to let that happen. Spider-Man is just escapist fantasy to them. The reason why they don't think there's "drama" in marriage is because marriage is an aspect of real life and they don't want the escapism of Peter Parker swinging through the air and stopping bad guys being infected with the drama of things that people have to endure in the real world. And that's just hilarious since Spider-Man is supposed to be the character who does face the real-life challenges of the world! That was what made his character so appealing to begin with: his ability to relate to the reader. But the truth is that the reader has grown up. The reader got married, had kids, has relatives that die and they have to move on. The reader changed... but Peter Parker has not.
Linkara: You know, recently, there was a rumor that Marvel was doing its own reboot to compete with the one DC did last year. They're not of course, they're just releasing a whole bunch of new #1's, but you know what? Maybe they should reboot Spider-Man. After all, if the creative teams are unwilling to let him get out of his high school life... then why the hell isn't he still there?
The screen goes to static. Cut to another hooded figure, whose face is actually completely obscured.
New Hooded Figure: Hello, Linkara.
Linkara: (confused) ...the Last Angry Geek?
Cloak #1: No, it's Cloak #1.
Linkara: Oh, right, you're a different character from him. People get confused about that.
Cloak #1: They think THAT'S confusing? Why am I suddenly one of your bad guys when you weren't even in the group I was harassing in Suburban Knights? Would it make more sense if I were this guy?
Cloak #1 snaps his fingers and suddenly turns into presumably the real Last Angry Geek using a lion hand puppet. (Could someone please fact-check me on this? I honestly don't know who this is.)
Lion!Last Angry Geek: I am a creature of the ancient world! I demand respect!
Cloak #1 suddenly appears from the right side of the screen, rather nonplussed about what the Last Angry Geek is doing.
Cloak #1: Wait, wait, wait, what the hell is that?
Last Angry Geek: Well... Spoony destroyed my other one, so this is my backup.
Cloak #1: Oh, get out, get out!
Cloak #1 shoos the Last Angry Geek out of the scene and turns back to Linkara.
Cloak #1: (getting back on track) Anyway, Linkara, I've got an offer to make to you. I can make One More Day disappear forever, and then-
Linkara: (cutting him off) Suuuuure you can. And if One More Day never existed, that would mean I never did a crossover with the Last Angry Geek about One Moment in Time, right?
Cloak #1 raises his finger and prepares to say something, but Linkara clearly brought up a good point about the potential paradox.
Cloak #1: ...Er, I'll call you back.
The screen goes static again and cuts back to the comic as the review re-rails itself a second time.
Linkara (VO): Anyway, enough of my rambling, back to the comic! Tony Stark arrives back to his tower and finds a photo taped to his wall of him celebrating with Peter, MJ and May at some party.
Linkara: "Dammit, I really need to stop taping random, ironic, sepia-toned photographs to my walls."
Linkara (VO): Jarvis, the Avengers' butler, walks in and asks him if he needs anything. Tony tells him there is one he can do and we cut back to the hospital, where Jarvis is arriving claiming to be May's cousin. And naturally, he has brought a "bottomless checkbook". There's a good moment where Jarvis has to stop and collect himself. See, he and May were developing a relationship in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. We'll bring that up again later. However, the doctor says that at her age, there really isn't anything else they can do.
Doctor: Son, there's nothing humanly possible to stop her from dying.
Linkara: "Dammit, if only we knew a way to treat a gunshot wound to the chest! (raising his fist and shaking it) Curse you, medical science!"
Linkara (VO): Peter leaves again saying he'll find somebody out there that can help, ending the issue with him swinging off as Spider-Man. So, the truth here is that this entire issue accomplished nothing, since we're right back where we started. He also has the costume on now even though he said earlier he's "not playing games" and "it doesn't matter".
Linkara: Wow. A full quarter of the way through the story...and nothing has happened.
Neal (from Planes, Trains and Automobiles): Here's a good idea; have a point!
Linkara (VO): Part Two opens with Spidey swinging towards what appears to be an abandoned building. In reality, it's the home of Doctor Strange, who is still in hiding after the events of Civil War.
Spider-Man: I have to see you, doc! It's a matter of life and death!
Doctor Strange: It is never anything less that brings someone to my door.
Doctor Strange!Linkara: "Yes, even for the mailman."
Linkara (VO): Spidey explains what's happening and was hoping that magic could offer some assistance. Instead, Doctor Strange feels the need to talk about his origin story.
Doctor Strange: Long ago, my hands were shattered in an accident, rendered useless for someone who wished to be a doctor, a surgeon, a healer.
Linkara: A dental technician, a nutritionist, a reconstructive urologist.
Doctor Strange: I searched the world for someone who could fix them. My quest took me to the Himalayas, where I met the man who I would one day call 'Master'.
Doctor Strange!Linkara: "Until that time I called him Larry."
Doctor Strange: He told me that there are limits to what even a sorcerer supreme could do. He could not fix my hands... But he could give me a purpose, and the chance to save lives. Had he simply healed me, there would have been no one to stand between the forces of dark and light when intercession was most needed.
Doctor Strange!Linkara: "Who knows what could happen if the McRib became a permanent menu item?"
Linkara (VO): Then again, this is stupid beyond belief! Not only is this guy the master of the mystic arts, but he's a skilled neuro-surgeon of the highest caliber! And don't give me any crap about how his "hands don't work for surgery anymore"! He can't conjure up magical telekinetic hands to do it for him? He can't cast a spell to take over the body of someone else and use their perfectly good hands?! Or hell, he can't just CONSULT and ADVISE on a procedure?!? Oh no, bullet wounds are completely outside of his power! What a load! Peter says he'd be able to accept this if she died peacefully in her bed, but since this is "his fault", he refuses to let it happen. Dead is dead, Peter! With the way you're acting, even if she had died in bed, I could only imagine that you'd be dragging her corpse around everywhere trying to find a zombie spell! Oh, but it gets better, my friends. Doctor Strange is incapable of healing a bullet wound, but he is able to break the laws of space and time so Spidey can visit multiple places in the world AT THE SAME TIME, TO CONSULT EVERYONE HE NEEDS TO IN THE HOPE OF FINDING SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP AUNT MAY! This is truly incredible, people! He sees Mr. Fantastic, who can build dimensional portals, but not heal bullet wounds! He visits Hank Pym, who can make himself grow or shrink, BUT NOT HEAL BULLET WOUNDS! He visits the Black Panther, whose country THAT HE RUNS, is the most technologically advanced in the world, which includes medical technology, but he can't help heal a bullet wound! None of them can help! He even visits Doctor Octopus and Doctor Doom! The answer is the same from all of them: there's nothing they can do to help. This is insanity! I could see Doctor Octopus being able to help but refusing because he hates Spider-Man, but Doctor Doom?! Come ON!! This is the kind of bullcrap he lives for! He would make Peter grovel and talk about how awesome he is, and then he would accept in return for a favor at a later time, or information, or to serve him for the rest of his life or some bullcrap like that! Admittedly, his solution would probably turn Aunt May into a cyborg or something, but it'd save her life and Peter would accept in heartbeat!
Linkara: (clearly exasperated) I'm sorry, I still can't get over this. Doctor Strange, you can make space and time play dead and roll over, you can get Peter to consult with the smartest people on the planet all at the same time - who have fixed a lot worse problems than this - but no, no no no, this! This is completely outside your power! Th-There's contrivances to make your stupid-ass story work, and then there's "We're too lazy to think of a better explanation"!!!
Linkara (VO): This is a remarkably simple thing to write out. Doctor Strange wasn't at the sanctum. He was in another dimension, or you could say that he was fighting some other creature at the time. Boom! Spidey wouldn't have had time before Aunt May died to consult with many people, and he would've had no way to contact them. There, done! Oh, no no no! We need to make it so completely hopeless that it is simply ludicrous! I am calling this what it is: lazy! Anyway, this little spell has drained Spidey and Doctor Strange walks away for a minute to get him some water. Peter, seeing the magical doodad that let him take a joyride across the space-time continuum, decides to try screwing around with it on his own!
Linkara: (facepalming a little bit) Oh, yeah, yeah, that seems like a good idea, Petey... Stay the course! (a brief beat) You just know he's gonna end up smeared across three different countries in five different time periods!
Linkara (VO): And now it is time for the meat of this issue: complete and utter pointlessness! Using Doctor Strange's little handheld TARDIS, Peter has been sent back in time to the night where the assassin shot Aunt May. The problem, however, is that Peter is stuck in an astral projection. He can't touch anything, and no one can see or hear him. All he does - ALL that he does - for six pages is relive the events of an issue published previously! Okay, he also briefly fights Lovecraft's line of children's toys, but again, pointless! It all happens again, and Spidey's astral self is dragged back to the Sanctum Sanctorum by Doctor Strange so he can be healed. There's some more pointless call backs to a Spider-Man issue from a long while back, and then Strange returns to Peter, who asks why he can heal his wounds now, but not heal Aunt May.
Doctor Strange: Magical cures for magical ills.
Linkara: Ha ha ha, bullcrap! Not only has Doctor Strange healed people before without it being magical in nature, but in One Moment in Time, the follow-up to One More Day, he heals Mary-Jane, who is injured by ANOTHER assassin-!
Linkara's rant is cut short by a sudden surprise appearance from the Continuity Alarm, which hasn't been seen for a while. He looks off to his left in confusion.
Linkara: Where the hell have you been? It's been like a year!
Continuity Alarm: ON VACATION. I'VE BEEN BUILDING IT UP SINCE THE SHOW BEGAN.
Shaking his head, Linkara goes back to reading the comic.
Linkara (VO): Strange tries to reassure Peter that there was nothing he could've done to help May and that it isn't his fault and he doesn't need to feel guilty.
Peter Parker: Yeah, well, the day I actually believe that, I'll be sure to let you know.
Linkara (VO): You know, if May had died, I'd bet there would be a belltower and a rifle in your future, Petey. Also DEAR GOD THE ARTWORK!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?!? Anyway, Doctor Strange's final advice for Peter is that he should go and spend whatever time May has left with her, since her spirit is still there and can hear him. And so Peter leaves and spots the red Mephisto bird... following it for some reason. However, the story ends with a little girl with red hair appearing in front of Peter and telling him that she can change his destiny.
Linkara: Congratulations! Half your story is finished, and nothing has been accomplished!
Linkara (VO): I can think of like three ideas right off the top of my head that this time could have been spent doing, like building up Peter's desperation. We could've had an entire issue of Peter reflecting on May's life with him, the good and the bad. Really connect emotionally and see why he's not ready to let her go. Put him in a position where we can understand why he's so desperate beyond a few lame sentences about how "it's all his fault"! We could've seen him appealing to people who were in the area instead of giving him some astral projection into the past, and to all of the people who SHOULD of been able to help, or maybe add a ticking clock variable that implied that they couldn't get there in time or something!
Linkara: But noooo! We are now halfway into the story, and have achieved nothing that we didn't already know! But now it's time for Part 3, where the girl with the red hair appears to him-
A third static cut-out as the scene suddenly cuts to...the girl with red hair? Actually, it's none other than Obscurus Lupa, apparently playing a similar role to Bennet and Cloak #1.
Obscurus Lupa: Hello, Linkara. You might not be able to make One More Day have a point...but I can.
The screen cuts to black as the words "TO BE CONTINUED" appear on the screen, followed by the words "RIGHT NOW" appearing just below them. As the review had to be split into two parts because of how long it was, this supposed cliffhanger is meant to segue into the second part of the review immediately after the first part. As such, the second part opens up with Lupa attempting to act mysterious and enigmatic.
Obscurus Lupa: Wooooooooooo... Wooooooo... Ooooooooh...
As Lupa continues her schtick, the camera cuts back to Linkara, who looks...less than amused at her sudden appearance. He stays silent for a few seconds before he starts trying to get her attention and make her drop the act.
Obscurus Lupa: Oooooh, I'm so mysterious...!
A few more seconds of Lupa attempting to sell the mysterious gimmick before Linkara finally snaps.
Obscurus Lupa: (incredulously) What?
Linkara: (visibly annoyed) You've been doing that for ten minutes! Is there a reason that you called?!
Obscurus Lupa: Yes, but you're not at the point in the comic yet for me to explain.
Linkara: (rubbing his forehead) I'm a busy guy, can't you just do it now?
Obscurus Lupa: Yeah, I can tell you're really busy breaking that promise you made to never review this. I'll let you get to it and then call you back later.
Another static cut and the review gets back on track.
Linkara (VO): Anyway, Part 3 begins with Spidey telling the girl it's not safe for her to be out here all alone at night, but the girl just cryptically tells him that somebody needs to protect him and that she can help him out of his current dilemma. ...And then she begins to walk in the most awkward of ways.
Linkara: Seriously, this is what she looks like while walking!
The camera then cuts to Linkara imitating the rather ridiculous looking walk the girl is seen doing in the comic.
Linkara (VO): Peter, not having two brain cells to rub together, still thinks she's just some innocent kid and asks where her parents are. She says she's smart for her age and takes after her dad, but she'd rather take after her beautiful mother.
Peter Parker: Well, I'm sure you'll grow up to be very beautiful.
Red-Haired Girl: And what if I never grow up?
Linkara: That's right, Spidey. The only one who can help you now...is Peter Pan!
Linkara (VO): Actually, I'm jumping ahead a little, but you wanna know who she is? This is Peter and Mary-Jane's daughter. To be precise, the daughter that they would have had if they remained married.
Linkara: Because as we all know, it's impossible for people to have children unless they're married!
Linkara (VO): I'm not kidding either; in the aforementioned One Moment in Time, Joe Quesada wrote that Mary-Jane wanted to someday have children, but it was impossible for her to do that unless she was married to him. More brilliance from the man who brought us 22 Brides. Anyway, it seems that this young girl reflects my own opinion of this story.
Peter and MJ's Daughter: You know what your problem is? You're selfish! You're selfish and you're self-involved and you always put your pain at the center of the universe! As long as you can go to sleep with a clear conscience, you don't care who has to pay the price for that good night's sleep! The whole world has to answer for your pain, and you know why? Because making the pain big makes you big, makes your revenge big, makes you feel big!
Peter Parker: Those are awfully big ideas for a kid.
Linkara: You'll notice that he didn't have an answer nor a rebuttal to that.
Linkara (VO): It's almost like J. Michael Straczynski hated writing this crap and pointed out the big lingering character hole of this whole mess. Oh, yeah, and this is probably a good time for me to correct a mistake I made. Back in my Superman #701 review, I said that JMS was fully on board with undoing the marriage. I was actually wrong about that, basing that assumption on my own faulty memories of the time. While JMS was still willing to write the story, he was against splitting them up, and liked them as a couple. My mistake, though I still don't know if he thought bringing Mephisto in on that was a good idea or not. Anyway, the girl mentions that it's time for her to "let everything go" and leads Peter down an alleyway. Oh yeah, I almost for got, this little girl, Peter and MJ's daughter? She became Spider-Girl in an alternate universe and has had several comic series with a devoted fanbase. This story basically tells you "Yeah, that'll never happen in this continuity, so buy our next event comic where the heroes fight each other instead of the bad guy". As Peter keeps looking for the girl, he spots a slightly overweight man sitting on a park bench reading Atlas Shrugged. Considering that - as we'll discover - this is an alternate version of Peter Parker, the reason he's reading Atlas Shrugged is probably a reference to the fact that Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko is an objectivist. Otherwise, like so much of this comic, it serves very little purpose. Peter asks who the guy is and naturally he can't just say his name because that would give away the "shocking" twist that I already spoiled for you. Instead he answers with his profession.
Alternate Peter Parker: Oh, well, I mainly work in software design and testing. Computer games, mostly. ...First person shooters, space combat games, super hero stuff.
Alternate Peter!Linkara: "Right now, I'm working on the ending to Mass Effect 3. I think people will really like it!"
Linkara (VO): Peter comments that it must be a fun job, and Game Designing Dude is quiet for a minute...
Software Design Peter: You know why guys like me get into games like that?
Linkara: For...fun...? The same reason everybody else does...?
Software Design Peter: Because there's something missing.
Linkara: (dismayed) Oh no... You're not gonna do this, are you?
Software Design Peter: We look around at a world where there used to be a chance of being a hero, of being important. ...And it's just not there the way it used to be. You can't just pick up a gun and become a gunfighter, or go off and explore for a new world, or pull a sword out of a stone, or rescue a damsel in distress...
Linkara: Scientists explore new possibilities all the time. Police, firefighters and doctors are heroic in many ways. You're an idiot.
Software Design Peter: So we play games and read books because the world we got isn't the world we were supposed to get, the world we thought we'd been promised by somebody.
Linkara: My...god! Clearly, this version of Peter Parker has been placed here to try and make us transfer our irritation of the original's whining onto them! What the writers did not bank on, however, is that I am perfectly capable of finding them both annoying, just for different reasons. Though, I do have to say, whining about how tough life is, and how unfair everything is, while you hold a job that many people can only dream to possess...yeah, you're not lookin' like the better man.
Software Design Peter: Because things didn't turn out the way they're supposed to. So we go someplace else.
Peter Parker: But those places don't really exist.
Linkara: (utterly shocked) You're seriously doing this, aren't you?!
Linkara (VO): (finally exploding) ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Seriously, look at this again! "You know why guys like me get into games like that? Because there's something missing." And then we have "Because things didn't turn out the way they were supposed to, so we go someplace else." This frickin' comic just said that the reason play video games and enjoy escapist fiction is because they're losers who want something more with their lives!! I don't know if it was Joe Quesada or JMS that wrote this, but considering JMS's body of work concerning speculative fiction, and the fact that issues 3 and 4 of One More Day were heavily rewritten, I think it's fair to assume that Joe Quesada wrote this, in which case, I have something to say...
Linkara: (genuinely angry) YOU INSULTING, PATRONIZING DICKHEAD!! How dare you! How dare you insult video game creators and players! How DARE you criticize people for enjoying escapist fiction WHEN FRICKING SUPERHERO COMICS ARE ESCAPIST FICTION!!!
Linkara (VO): If JMS wrote those bits then those remarks can go to him! Either way, this scene is another reason why I decided to finally talk about this story. Forget about the deal with the devil, I am shocked that NOBODY ever talks about this!!! That's what this thing is saying!! "You buy our crap because you're a loser, so keep buying our crap, loser!"
Linkara: Oh, and pardon me if I've become a broken record, but, uh, yeah...all this? Completely pointless to the story. ...You know why this comic is called "One More Day"? It's because you want one more day after the one you just wasted reading this!
Linkara (VO): Anyway... Peter is still preoccupied with finding the little girl, yet again not figuring out that perhaps this is not normal. I don't get that. On every other day, the dude fights alien symbiote costumes, guys in big rhino suits and weirdos who dress up like goblins...but all of this seems completely normal to him! He then runs into another possibility, this time a rich version of him that sacrificed his personal life and used his intelligence inventing things and becoming a multi-billionaire. However, he doesn't feel any fulfillment in life.
Rich Peter Parker: There was a young woman I once knew from high school. Beautiful. She was all I ever really wanted. I lost her.
Rich Peter!Linkara: So instead, I made a tiny statue of her and put it in this wine glass. ...That's not weird, is it?
Linkara (VO): So, yeah, he feels all sad and stuff because he's soooo rich and powerful, but he'd trade it all for the love of his life.
Linkara: (feigning concern) Awww, pookie... Please tell me more about how hard your life is because you don't have a girlfriend.
Linkara (VO): I mean, you freely admit you made millions before you reached the age of 20, so it's not like you were incapable of trying to pursue romance before your current age bracket. He walks with Peter a bit and talks about how he lives in a ten-thousand square foot apartment overlooking Central Park, has works of art and advanced tech at his beck and call, but of course, he'd trade it all in a heartbeat to be with the woman he loved.
Linkara: (entering sarcasm mode again) No no, please, wallow in self-pity some more! I just feel so sad for you, what with your luxury apartment, multiple TV sets and billions of dollars! Please, go on! I'll just be sitting here hoping I'll have enough money for groceries in a month.
Linkara (VO): So Petey walks down an alleyway and runs into a woman in a red dress. This one I really don't understand. Yeah, it's Mephisto finally, but why this image? It doesn't affect anything in the plot, it's just really vague and stuff. A few tiny sparks go off in Peter's head as he finally states, "Hey, this is kind of surreal" and points out that he's had dreams like this.
Female!Mehpisto: How do you know this isn't a dream? How do you know your whole life hasn't been a dream? Maybe this is where you finally wake up...
Linkara: (imitating Morpheus, complete with shades) That's right, Peter Parker. You've been living in the Matrix this whole time. This comic is just one really stupid dream.
Linkara (VO): Actually, I'm not that far off. In the Spider-Man daily comic strip, they also did One More Day...sort of. They just kind of erased the marriage without bringing up the the whole deal with Mephisto...and then some time later, it was revealed that it was all a dream and they were still married. Life is fun sometimes.
Peter Parker: Yeah, well, if I wake up as J.R. Ewing in the shower...
Linkara: (frustrated) How is it that I've never actually WATCHED Dallas, but I know that you got that reference wrong!?
Footage from the infamous Season 9 finale of Dallas showing Pam waking up from a dream (the dream in question being the entirety of the show's eighth season) and finding Bobby Ewing (who died in Season 7 following Patrick Duffy's departure from the show) alive in her shower.
Linkara (VO): It was Bobby Ewing in the shower, not J.R., and it was Pam who woke up in bed to find him in the shower! I know this may seem like a weird thing to get irritated at, but Peter Parker, snarky joke machine that he is, should not screw up a pop culture reference like that! It'd be like if he said completely seriously "My favorite thing about Lord of the Rings was the U.S.S. Enterprise!"
The footage goes back to the comic scans from here.
Linkara (VO): Anyway, Mephisto, as the Woman in Red, explains about how different cultures believe people have 'dream selves' each living alternate lives, alternate futures and et cetera, and how we only encounter them when we're sleeping.
Peter Parker: Sorry, never really believed in that sort of thing.
Linkara: (visibly annoyed) You live in the Marvel Universe!!! Alternate realities are an established scientific fact for you people! In fact, I'm pretty sure you've BEEN to alternate universes before!!
Linkara (VO): So what's the purpose of all of this? Mephisto tells him about how those two he met were alternate versions of him. Two possibilities where he didn't get the spider bite.
Female!Mephisto: Those are only two out of an infinite number of possibilities...though I confess I find it interesting that in nearly all of those iterations, you end up alone.
Linkara: I find it interesting that you're able to quantify "nearly all of those iterations", when you just said the possibilities were infinite! Tell me, tell me, did you sit and count every single one where he wasn't in a relationship up to infinity?! ...You must have a lot of free time on your hands.
Peter Parker: Yeah? Is that so? So in which of those iterations do I end up a little girl?
Linkara: (holding a list of alternate universe iterations instead of the comic) That would be...iteration #516. It's actually a really interesting twist on everything! Ooh, in iteration #29, you're a pig! (beat) I'm not even kidding either, Google it! Spider-Ham!
Linkara (VO): Peter tells Mephisto to stop wasting his time (which is what I've been saying too), and she just tells him that he's already failed, that Aunt May is gonna die, thus transforming himself back into his proper form.
Linkara: (in a very deadpan tone) Yep, there sure was a point in Mephisto looking like a woman in red for four pages just so he could tell Peter about alternate possibilities. (beat) Oh man, there was such a point in all of that. (another beat) It was so pointy.
Another static cut. Obscurus Lupa appears again as previously promised earlier at the halfway point of the review.
Obscurus Lupa: Okay, I'm back now!
Linkara: (in the same deadpan tone as before) Oh, joyous day.
Obscurus Lupa: Woooooo... Linkaaaaraaaaa... There are an infinite number of possibilities could have taken had you not started reviewing comics...
Linkara: Is there one where I'm not being bothered because I'd love to hear about that one.
Obscurus Lupa: Wooooo... (quickly) Shut the hell up and listen. Wooooo... This is what your life would've been like if you decided to review horror movies instead...
A static cut changes the scene from Lupa to Phelous sitting on a couch with a fairly blank expression on his face with the vocals to match.
Phelous: (flatly) Boy, it sure is glorious reviewing horror movies, but I would trade it all just for one comic book.
Linkara: (obviously not buying it) That doesn't make any sense!!
Obscurus Lupa: ...okay, that was a bad example. Uh, let's try this again. Um...what if you reviewed sci-fi movies?
Our second static transition reveals That Sci-Fi Guy reading from a script and putting all of the same effort into his inflections as Phelous; as in, obviously none.
That Sci-Fi Guy: (with a similar flat joy to Phelous) Oh man, my life is just so great because I review sci-fi films instead of comics. In fact, I don't even know what a comic book is. (dropping the act) Okay, this just doesn't work. I mean, I'm actually a really big comics fan too. In fact, I just bought the new issue of Green Lantern Corps.!
Obscurus Lupa: Okay, fine, we'll just get some other sci-fi reviewer.
Third time's the charm, the next static cut reveals none other than the usual blue star image of reknown sci-fi reviewer SF Debris. Lupa seems confused as to why he's not showing his face.
Obscurus Lupa: Wait, where's the picture?
SF Debris: Picture? There's no picture! Cameras steal your soul! This is all you're getting.
Obsucurs Lupa: But you're really happy because you don't review comic books, right?
SF Debris: ...who are you?
Linkara: (clearly getting sick of the constant interruptions and Lupa's schtick) I think we're done here, Lupa.
Obscurus Lupa: Waitwaitwaitwaitwait, I can show you the future! This is really cool! Ooooooh... This is what your life will be like if you continue to review comics...
Yet another static cut reveals the future; an aged Linkara (played by Lovhaug's father) is reading what appears to be a comic book. His hat seems to have changed.
Future!Linkara: I miss my old hat.
The scene static cuts back to the present time.
Linkara: Oh, how truly dreadful. And what does my future hold if I stopped reviewing comics?
Another static cut. This future Linkara is identical to the first one, except that he still has Linkara's current hat.
Alternate Future!Linkara: I need a new hat.
Another static cut back to the present; Linkara doesn't look at all amused as he stares at Lupa, tapping his fingers impatiently against his face. Lupa just looks back and forth, not really sure what else to say; that's pretty much all she had.
Linkara: So, Lupa, if you're the girl with red hair, does that mean you're my future daughter?
Obscurus Lupa: ...I'm not talking to you anymore.
With that diversion out of the way, Linkara continues the review from here.
Linkara (VO): Anyway, let's continue. This is a good time to make another correction. Way back when I talked about this in my Top 15 Comics I'll Never Review, I said that Mephisto had horns and hooves like the stereotypical devil image. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking, because Mephisto doesn't have either of those. I don't know, I think the pointy ears, complete redness and the fact that he's still a demonic being just kind of painted my mental image of him. However, my point from that still stands; HE'S THE DEVIL!!! This story is literally about making a deal with a demon! And if there are seriously still people out there who try to contend that he's "not the devil"... Well, where in the hell do think the name "Mephisto" comes from?! Mephistopheles! The demon who made a pact with Faust to sell his soul! His name is derived from the Hebrew words for "destroyer" and "liar"! Why would you believe a single damn thing he says!?! Ugh...anyway, he guarantees he can save Aunt May.
Peter Parker: And in return, you want my soul, is that it?
Mephisto: Your soul? Hardly. I stopped making that deal with people like you ages ago. Do you know what someone like that does in Hell who has sold his or her soul to help someone else? They suffer righteously, nobly, sustained through eternity by the knowledge that their actions saved someone else. And really, where's the fun in that?
Linkara: You know... He's got a point. Then again, it is still endless torment and they could still break if they were lied to or events get manipulated so that their sacrifice was for nothing... You gotta work for this stuff, man!
Linkara (VO): He says that there's still a good chance that Peter's soul would eventually belong to him anyway, implying that Peter could turn evil at some point or commit some horrible sin. Fair enough. That does take away another complaint I had about this. The fact that when Peter and MJ eventually die of old age or something, their souls would be reunited in Heaven anyway.
Mephisto: I deal in the currency of misery, loss, despair, hopelessness, pain, regret and sadness. they are as sweet to me as the most beautiful music ever composed.
Mephisto!Linkara: Or as any Katy Perry song. Either way works for me, really.
Linkara (VO): And at this point, Mary-Jane is brought in, where it's revealed that Mephisto is explaining the offer to her as well. Hi, Mary-Jane! How nice to see you suddenly have an important part in this story line, even though you've only been in like six pages so far in this whole damn thing! Yep, your marriage and your character's relationship are on the line, so it's a good thing you've barely been a part of the story! This is like Arsenal in Cry for Justice; let's punish and torment the person who wasn't actually in the comic until now!
Mephisto: What I want is greater than what one paltry soul can provide me. What I want is the one thing in the universe that is truly greater than the sum of its parts and tastier than any soul I could devour.
Mephisto!Left Linkara: "I want...to gets to be in the audience to Saturday Night Live."
Right Linkara: "But I already used those tickets years ago..."
Mephisto!Left Linkara: "What?! Aw, dammit! Do you know how hard it is to get those?!"
Mephisto: I want that which gives you joy, that which sustains you in your moments of greatest despair, the source of not your power, but your happiness and strength, your dreams and your passion.
Linkara: And two issues after One More Day...
The footage switches over to the title panel from Spider-Man: Brand New Day.
Linkara (VO): (in a rapid fire deadpan tone) Oh, yeah, look at that, Peter making out with some random woman. Clearly, his soul is in complete agony. He is in a well of despair and angst that he shall never recover from. His dreams and his passion and happiness have been torn asunder. What a tragedy has befallen him.
Mephisto: I want your love. ...I want your marriage.
The Impressive Clergyman (from The Princess Bride): Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today!
Linkara (VO): And shockingly, Peter is the one who says this is bullcrap and he can shove the offer where the sun doesn't shine! But nope, it's Mary-Jane who says they should hear the terms! Issue 3 ends with Mephisto saying that neither of them will remember what they lost, and that they'll only have one more day together, and at the end of that, their entire world will change.
Mephisto: But there will be a very small part of your soul that will remember, that will know what you lost. And my joy will be in listening to that part of your soul screaming throughout eternity.
Linkara: Er...didn't you just say that souls being sacrificed for a noble cause "suffer righteously"? Yes, I think the deal with Mephisto is stupid on Peter's part and he should just accept Aunt May's death, but the two of them are sacrificing their marriage so that someone will get another chance at life!
Linkara (VO): Wouldn't a better deal be that they remember everything, that if they try to get back together, Aunt May will just fall over dead? That seems like a bigger torture for them! But no, like the contrivance of him asking for their marriage, Quesada wanted to eliminate anything related to the marriage being in continuity ever, because people can't relate to a Spider-Man who is married and he can't get a divorce, because that would make him a divorcee and older and blah blah blah! This deal says that everything in the last twenty or so years happened exactly as it was printed, just minus the wedding ring! Because that makes perfect sense! Last time I talked about One More Day, I mentioned a Flash story line that was One More Day done right, where the love between the hero and his wife won out over evil. But let's say you really wanted to do this tragedy route. Then, may I ask a question? Why wasn't Mary-Jane shot? Think about it; Aunt May is going to die of natural causes sooner than anybody else in Peter's family - and the readers know this! And yes, I know in a meta-textual sense that she'll never really die because the writers won't ever let that happen again, but I mean her living an extra year before she keels over from natural causes doesn't make this much of a grand sacrifice. But had the assassin's bullet hit Mary-Jane instead? Suddenly, this is a story about saving the person you love, an even more desperate act! Then Mephisto comes in with his deal; save Mary-Jane's life, but he has to sacrifice his marriage and he can't be with her! BOOM! That is tragedy! That has emotional depth to it, especially if Peter knows that he did it, but no one else does! You wanna know how I know it'd work?
Footage from season 1 of Angel is shown (specifically the episode "I Will Remember You" as he mentions it here) as Linkara talks more at length about how this tragic love rescue plot would work.
Linkara (VO): Because I've seen it happen before! Season 1 of the TV show Angel, specifically the episode "I Will Remember You". The title character has a shot at happiness with the woman he loves, but the cost is that she's going to die. He sacrifices his own happiness, becomes a monster and she doesn't even know he did the sacrifice, and he get to live knowing what he lost!
Linkara: But no, we get this nonsense instead, where these two chooses Peter's aunt over his WIFE!
Linkara (VO): I'm sorry, but...no! If this love that they have is so strong, so powerful that Mephisto hates it and wants to see them suffer...then there's no way that Peter can care more about his aunt than he does Mary-Jane! And likewise that Mary-Jane could choose his aunt over Peter! Marriage raises the stakes in the relationship. It's bigger than just "that guy or girl I am romantically affiliated with". You are saying that you want to spend the rest of your life with this person. They have become your family! And that's why none of this rings true. This isn't a grand tragedy about two people who must sacrifice their love for the greater good! It's about Peter being a gigantic man-child who will never grow up!
Linkara (VO): (quite frustrated with the comic) Ugh, god, this...story!! It just pisses me off so much every time I think about it! I just wish that sometimes I could undo it, make it so it never happened!
Another static cut. This time, it's the Cinema Snob apparently trying to do his best Caligula impression. Someone must've missed the memo. Linkara starts off silent but tries to get his attention throughout the skit.
Cinema Snob: I've existed since the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night! Although I have taken the form of Caligulus Snobulus, I am all menace as I am no man (?), and therefore I am-
Cinema Snob: (cut short) WHAT?!
Linkara: (perplexed) ...What the hell are you doing?
Cinema Snob: I'm doing the Caligula thing!
Cinema Snob: Because it's your 200th episode. Aren't you reviewing the Caligula comic?
Cinema Snob: (embarrassed) Oh...well...eh heh... This is awkward. And to think I used Lloyd's favorite blanket for this...
A second static cut changes the scene back to Bennet the Sage, who has notably been absent since the beginning of the review.
Bennet the Sage: ...so, is now a good time to-
Linkara: (extremely hostile) NOT IN THE MOOD, BENNET!!!
Linkara (VO): Anyway, issue 4, the final part of One More Day, has Peter and Mary-Jane talking in a dark, illusionary hotel room that Mephisto conjured up because...the Kool-Aid Man is red. I don't know! Mary-Jane is stressed about all of this and suggests that maybe it's just May's time and the right thing to do is letting her go. And, of course, all Peter can do is whine about it's all his fault, he's responsible for it and how he couldn't live with himself because it's his fault, AND EVERYTHING IS ABOUT HIM!!
Dr. Perry Cox (from Scrubs): Did you feel that you weren't quite annoying enough without adding a delusional sense of grandeur? Because I promise you... You are annoying enough; in fact, you are the number one contender for the middleweight annoyance crown.
Linkara (VO): Peter somewhat redeems himself by saying he could live with her dying if it's a decision they made together. So we have two pages of silence and a third where Peter tries to say something but she shushes him. ...This would be really emotional if the dilemma wasn't so utterly stupid. And despite them supposedly having hours left, suddenly, time's up and they need to make the call! Yep, they just sat alone in silence for several hours, this being their last day together! Mephisto appears and Peter wants to know the details of how this all works, but Mephisto just says it isn't important and removing their marriage will affect nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Linkara: It's like if Tommy Wiseau came out from behind Mephisto and started telling the comic readers "Ha ha ha, don't worry about it! Nobody betray you! You're my favorite customer!".
Linkara (VO): The clock starts signalling that time is up. Naturally, the only sound effect we could use for this is "BONG", because no doubt several bongs were used while this comic was being crafted. MJ points out the plot hole that even if May is saved, Peter's identity is still known to the public, and Mephisto gives his spiel about "oh how pure and awesome their love is", that taking it away is an offense against God or something like that. I have stopped caring. Mary-Jane says the answer is "yes" and then whispers into his ear the bullcrap I talked about back in the Top 15 list, though that didn't exist originally, and they just had some vague crap there and it doesn't meld at all with what we've seen here. And just to really show how much this is truly an emotional powerhouse of a comic - worthy of song and praise! - Peter Parker lets out all of his rage and passion!!
Peter Parker: NYRAAARGH!! (Linkara pronounces it as "Nyaaargh".)
Linkara: (in a deliberately tepid tone) Ah... "Nyaaargh"... Just hits you right here, doesn't it? You know, in the thymus gland?
Linkara (VO): As Mephisto starts working his magic, he says the woman in red was "a possibility yet to come" that should be discussed another time. As far as I know, it has not be followed up on, meaning it was - say it with me - POINTLESS!!! Oh, and then he reveals that the girl was their daughter that will never come to be. There you go, kids! Evil wins!
Kerr Avon (from Blake's 7): What a very depressing thought.
Linkara (VO): MJ says they'll find each other again and that their love is stronger than God or the Devil, but of course, that hasn't happened either.
Linkara: I will make a promise to you all though. Since One More Day, I have refused to buy any Spider-Man story that takes place after it. So, if someone asks me my opinion on something like Spider Island, I have no idea. If I read it, it's just because I'm bored and I'm in a bookstore somewhere. ...If the deal with Mephisto is reversed, if they undo that somehow - and I don't mean them getting married again, I mean, the deal with the devil itself...that's reversed - I will buy every...single story that happened since then. Happily.
Linkara (VO): So yeah, the deal is done. Marriage gone. Satan wins.
Joel and the Bots (from Mystery Science Theater 3000; specifically from the episode "Attack of the Killer Shrews"): (in a low monotone) Yaaaay.
Linkara (VO): Peter wakes up in his old house and realizes he's late for something. Aunt May is in the kitchen making wheat cakes and, in an attempt at misdirecting the reader, he calls him 'tiger' off-panel before we see her! Just like Mary-Jane would! BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH INCESTUAL OVERTONES WITH THEIR RELATIONSHIP ALREADY! But yeah, Aunt May is alive again! Hooray! Man, isn't it great that May is back in her squalled roach-infested old house, living on Social Security instead of back in a big tower alongside a man who loved her deeply? Yeah, that Jarvis and May relationship is completely gone now! Thanks, One More Day!
Joel and the Bots: Yaaaaay.
Linkara (VO): Peter goes to a party where he learn that - ZOMG! - Harry Osborne, Peter's best friend and the former Green Goblin, is alive again!
Linkara: Wow, thanks, One More Day! This story could never have been told if they were married!
Linkara (VO): And so our comic ends with everybody toasting a brand new day, where we get to see that Spidey has proper web shooters again instead of the organic ones that he had gotten because that's what the Sam Raimi movies did. Yep, couldn't have reversed that without a deal with Satan!
Linkara: (lifts the comic up and prepares to toss it...before suddenly stopping) THIS COMIC...is actually better than I thought it would be.
A brief beat...before Linkara suddenly explodes and tosses the comic to the floor.
Linkara: OF COURSE IT ISN'T! THIS COMIC SUCKS!!!
Linkara (VO): Put aside whether you agree or disagree with splitting the two up! Three issues - THREE...issues of a four issue story - are completely unnecessary!! Instead of building up what was supposed to be the emotional core of the story - the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary-Jane - we're treated to two issues of Peter flailing around and begging for help from people, and a third issue which only serves to point out the very obvious lesson of "Hey, if your life had gone in a different direction, your life would have gone in a different direction!" Let's not even get to the insulting remarks that issue made about people who enjoy escapist stories like superhero comics, but when you actually start digging into the characters, everyone is stupid, or selfish or useless to the actual story! Even the title is a flat out lie! If the pacing of the comic is to be believed, they had at most AN HOUR. The promotional material for this asked "What would you do with one more day?" Well, apparently the answer is "If you have one more day with your wife, you sit on your ass not doing anything!" No contemplation of your lives together, no reminiscing of the good and crying over what you will lose; in fact, the only thing we get out of this as a celebration of their lives is a two-page spread that's basically a middle-finger to anyone who gave a damn about their relationship!! "Hey, remember all these great times they had together as a loving couple? Yeah, that's over with! enjoy this new character that's named after Joe Quesada's daughter! She's the love interest now because we say so! Enjoy Brand New Day and our stupid, over-hyped issue with President Obama in it BECAUSE WE LOVE JUMPING ON A BANDWAGON!!!
Linkara: (eerily calm) Okay, I-I may have gotten off-track there. (angry again) Point is, THIS COMIC SUCKS, AND I HATE IT!! I just...wish it could get undone and have never happened at all!
One final static cut reveals our final guest star for this review; none other than That Guy with the Glasses himself.
That Guy with the Glasses: Ah, Jolan Tru, Linkara.
Linkara: ...That Guy with the Glasses?
That Guy with the Glasses: Yep, that's me!
Linkara: ...What do you want?
That Guy with the Glasses: Why, to offer you a deal, of course!
Linkara: ...I'm listening.
That Guy with the Glasses: If you give up your little comic review show, I'll totally erase One More Day from existence.
Linkara: You can do that?
That Guy with the Glasses: That's a very good question. And the answer is: of course I can! I'm the Devil! Why, just look at this!
That Guy with the Glasses snaps his fingers. All of a sudden, he appears in a completely different place with a blank white wall instead of the wall full of liquor and wine.
That Guy with the Glasses: See? Now I'm in a different place. And my beard has grown a little bit.
Linkara: Huh... So you are.
That Guy with the Glasses: And all you have to do is just sign that paper that's in your hand.
The next shot Linkara appears in, he's suddenly holding a piece of paper, which startles him.
Linkara: (oddly complacent about this deal) Huh... Okay. Oookay.
Linkara signs the paper and hands it back over to That Guy.
Linkara: Here you go.
That Guy with the Glasses: (looking at the paper) "No chance in hell, you piece of..." I can't even pronounce that.
Linkara (VO): Look, I hate One More Day. That should be clear by now. But what irritates me about it the most is the complete rejection of effort. If they had just stopped and thought about how some of this stuff could have been handled, we could've had a much better story. Hell, even the deal with the devil could have been made to work! I've said how it could've been made to work, and this is not me contemplating long and hard over it; these are things that they should've thought of themselves. Instead, they took the easy route. The lazy route. Sometimes, life hands you difficult problems and people feel the need to take the easy way out of them. I don't seriously want One More Day just ignored; that's the easy way out. I want a solution. I want a follow-up story that expands on everything, that solves the problems created by it. I want effort. I want a good story. I want characters to look back at their past actions and grow from their experiences. I want them to change and evolve. There's nothing about the idea of growth that prevents good stories from being told. Everyone who buys a comic, a movie, a game, they're critics. The phrase "everyone's a critic" is used to try to brush off critcism, but it's the truth. We all hold an opinion about something. Customers are critics, because it's our money to spend and our voice to be heard. We speak out not for its own sake, but to hope that the next thing that comes along is better. And that's what I want in the end, what we all want; a better story than what we got with One More Day.
Linkara: So you can take that deal, That Guy with the Glasses, and shove it!!!
In response to Linkara's defiance, That Guy with the Glasses prepares to presumably attack Linkara...before getting unceremoniously shot dead by someone off-screen. That someone being one last surprise cameo; Linkara himself as That Guy with the Hat.
Linkara: Thanks, That Guy with the Hat! Haven't seen you in a while. Glad to know you still got my back.
That Guy with the Hat: Oh, not a problem at all, Linkara.
That Guy with the Hat leans down to pick up the newly-discarded pipe of That Guy with the Glasses.
That Guy with the Hat: This is That Guy with the Hat saying "There's no such thing as a stupid question..."
He looks down at his robe, which appears to be looser on him than before.
That Guy with the Hat: This robe doesn't fit me anymore.
He walks off the screen.
Linkara: Thank you all for joining me for two hundred episodes! ...Hopefully the next two hundred will be a lot more fun than this one. Take us out, Vincent!
A quick cut to black before Vincent's new song, The Ballad of Linkara, begins playing to close out the 200th Episode. Once it ends, it fades to black and rolls the credits to "One Day More" from the Les Miserables musical
Peter Parker iteration #264 is a zombie, but is also happily married to an insurance agent. He laughs at our Peter Parker.
I'm serious. I haven't bought any issues of Spider-Man that take place after One More Day. I have no opinion on any of the storylines aside from "what exactly was it about the marriage that kept all this from happening?" Oh, right. Peter going on dates. Because it's really entertaining seeing him fail at his life over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.