Last time, I suggested that whether One More Day was a good story or now was ultimately minor concern. So it seems like an appropriate time to address other minor complaints about the storyline, and the changes to the characters.
It Happened in The Flash
When One More Day came out, one common criticism was about how similar it is to something which occurred during Geoff Johns’s run on The Flash. In the two hundredth issue of that title, Wally West begged the Spectre to erase the world’s knowledge of his secret identity and the Spectre changed the world so that no one knew that West or Barry Allen had ever been the Flash. Of course, Marvel had done some similar stories years before that. Decades ago, in Captain America, the Space Phantom made the world forget that Steve Rogers was Captain America. Doctor Strange also had a role in making the world forget that the Sentry ever existed in that mini-series. House of M was another example of reality warps playing a significant role in the Marvel Universe.
I've seen this particular argument a few times. Some compared retconning the marriage in the Spider-Man books to hypothetical Simpsons writers deciding to shake-up the series by retconning away Homer’s marriage to Marge and making him single. It's a poorly-thought comparison. While Homer is a popular character, he’s not the sole protagonist of The Simpsons, which has always been about one nuclear family, with very limited changes to the dynamics. Making Homer single wouldn't bring the show back to its most popular period, or any earlier era. It would create a status quo the show has never seen before, at the cost of great and popular characters (IE- Bart, Lisa and their friends.)
Some fans of the marriage want to know why those who think the book is better with a single Peter Parker think he can’t get a girl like Mary Jane. Personally, I'm pretty sure he could. He’s handsome, witty, intelligent, kind and in great shape. He’s the type of guy who could and should marry the babe.
Some detractors have used comments by writer J. Michael Straczynski for ammunition to criticize OMD. Shortly before the final part of One More Day was to come out, JMS revealed that he had considered taking his name off the final two parts of the story. Some asked whether or not his actions were disrespectful to Marvel, although I didn’t see how. He didn't explicitly insult the story or anyone at Marvel. He didn't raise the issue, but responded to a question. He told the truth as he saw it. He made sure to mention that he was convinced that Joe Quesada was doing what he believed was best for Spider‑Man. He had every reason to correct the erroneous assumptions.
If JMS really wanted to trash the story, there was more he could have done. He didn't have to write the story, and could have insisted to have his name taken off. I'm sure Marvel could've found a last minute replacement. Someone like Mark Millar would probably have taken the job, and there were all sorts of excuses Marvel could use to explain away Straczynski’s departure (for example, the Clint Eastwood Directed Angelina Jolie film he was writing.) For all the claims that Marvel could sue him for breach of contract, I can’t think of a single instance in which they’ve done that. His comments even increased the buzz for the final chapter of the story.
Some complained that One More Day should have affected many of the great Spider‑Man stories of the past, which hinged on other people learning Spider‑Man’s identity (“The Kid Who Collects Spider‑Man,” “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” and any Venom or Harry Osborn Green Goblin story came to mind.) There was no suggestion that the spell from OMIT would retroactively affect the actions of individuals who learned Spider‑Man's identity and then died or somehow forgot it, as that had nothing to do with Spider‑Man's Civil War problems, and would have ruined classic stories in an unnecessary manner, as opposed to undoing the marriage, which would ruin significantly less classic stories in what I believe to be a necessary manner.
The Last Twenty years Never Happened! (Circa 2007)The suggestion that the twenty years of Spider-Man comics in which Peter and MJ were together no longer mattered ignores the care Quesada took to preserve most elements of the backstory. While what's on the page is a little different from what the characters experienced after the retcon, in most cases, it’s a minor change in par with anachronisms.
The Reference to “No One Knowing Spider-Man’s identity”
The first Brand New Day issue included a two page primer on the new status quo by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. Some have argued that a mistake in those pages demonstrates that the rules in flux. It was explicitly said that no one knew Spider-Man's identity. Expect it later turned out that Mary Jane did know. So, this was one unambiguous mistake from the Brand New Day era (101 issues, two annuals, three extras, various mini-series and other projects). And it happened in the first issue, which is usually when stuff is the least defined for the writers and editors. Suggesting that this represented all subsequent Spider-Man comics represents a level of scrutiny most books can't withstand.
Does Something Feel “Off” with Peter Parker?
At CBR, there was a 1000+ post discussion about the intangible question of whether Peter Parker seems like a different character since One More Day. This is something that bothered several readers, and some speculated that it may be intentional, a soon to be dealt with ramification of One More Day.