Brand New Day Retrospective, Part 1: “Allow Us To Introduce Ourselves!”

When it arrived at the start of 2008, Brand New Day ushered in a new era in Spider-Man’s history, one that promised to break new ground and hearken back to the past at the same time – recapturing the feel of classic Spidey stories in a new, modern setting.

Wait … where have I heard that one before?  That’s right, folks: Brand New Day is the 2008 version of the infamous Mackie Reboot from 1998!

The Mackie Reboot is widely reviled by Spider-Man fandom, and to this day remains a lightning rod for criticism of the tenure of Bob Harras as Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief.  It effectively ended Howard Mackie’s career as a major comics writer (though I, for one, was glad to see him make a comeback with the excellent Spider-Man: The Clone Saga miniseries).  Nearly all of the major changes introduced during this time have either been undone or outright ignored by later writers and editors – including changes to Spider-Man’s origin, the redesign of the Daily Bugle, the villain revamps, and most of all, by bringing Mary Jane back from the dead.  Jill, Paul, and Arthur Stacy haven’t been seen since.  Ultimately, this era has been virtually wiped from the collective memory of fans and creators alike.

Is Brand New Day doomed to the same fate?

With the coming of “One Moment in Time,” and the purported start of Phase Two of this reboot, we thought it would be a good time to reflect back on Phase One.  We’ve got a panel of experts on hand to break it down (old-school), and to discuss the burning question of whether this era will live on in infamy alongside the horror that was the 1998 Reboot, or in honor alongside the works of such greats as Lee, Conway, Wolfman, and Stern.

Let’s introduce our panel …

Brad Douglas.  The webmaster of this very website, the host of its podcast, and the Walter Cronkite of Missouri.

Kevin Cushing.  Administrator on the Spider-Man Crawl Space message board, writer of the Spider-Man Crawl Space webcomic, and wielder of the Crawl Space banhammer.

Zach Joiner.  Administrator on the Spider-Man Crawl Space message board, webmaster of and host of its podcast, and one of the biggest Clone Saga fans in existence.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone.  Moderator on the Spider-Man Crawl Space message board, contributor to many comicthemed websites, and podcasting demi-god.

CrazyChris.  A prolific reviewer on this site (Siege, Dark Avengers, Thunderbolts, New Avengers, and The Amazing Spider-Man) before he answered the call of Satan and decided to go to law school.

Jon Wilson.  Host of The Amazing Spider-Man Classics Podcast, reviewer of Web of Spider-Man and the various Spidey-related miniseries, and guy I don’t know well enough to write something pithy about.

Gerard Delatour IIReviewer of The Amazing Spider-Man, and the ruggedly handsome, opinionated gentleman that organized and wrote this article series.

We will present our opinions in a series of daily installments leading up to the release of part one of “One Moment in Time.”  Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the three-times-a-month format that The Amazing Spider-Man has followed, including the pros and cons of such a schedule.  Friday’s installment will focus on the character of Peter Parker.  Saturday, we’ll focus on the supporting cast, including both the classic characters like Betty Brant and J. Jonah Jameson and new characters like Michele Gonzales and Carlie Cooper.  Sunday, we’ll look at the how the Webheads have handled the villains, both new and old.  On Monday, we’ll give our opinions on the best and the worst issues, story arcs, writers, and artists.  Finally, on Tuesday, we’ll reveal our overall opinions of the 2 ½ years of Brand New Day as a whole – and, looking forward, we’ll speculate on the rumored creative and scheduling change and give our opinions on what they should do differently.

A personal aside … I’d like to thank the panelists for giving graciously of their time to contribute to this article.  I would also like to thank those that weren’t able to, but still took the time to listen to my pitch – it’s too bad that you couldn’t hop on for the ride, but we’ll call you as soon as we get to the other side.

And on that note … it’s time to party.  Tune in tomorrow — same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

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