If the current direction is an illusion of change approach in which writers and editors aren't beholden to the series as a clear linear narrative, an alternative would have been a commitment to change, in which major developments were not contradicted and remained part a consistent part of the character's history. And you can certainly make an argument for it.
I was reading Malcolm Macdowell's Blink, in which he cites the example of an improv comedy troupe, and how the're able to create one act plays seemingly spontaneously. One of the things they do is always make sure to follow through on what their costars set up.
While there's a major difference between something as finite as a one act play, and a serial with no end in sight, this blueprint could be applied to serial fiction. It's a medium in which the story is told chapter by chapter, and in the case of the Spider-Man comics, without a clear idea of how it's going to end.