You’re Okay by Me, Joe

If there’s one guy in comics who consistently gets a bad rap, it’s Joe Quesada. You all know him as Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, as an infrequent, if not entirely late, artist, and the guy who either ruined or redeemed Spider-Man. I’m not sure there’s anyone else working in modern comics who gets so much vitriol flung his way, and for the life of me, I just don’t understand it.

Quesada's DaredevilI first heard of Joe Quesada in 1998, when he and Jimmy Palmiotti took over an imprint known as Marvel Knights. This was about the same time that I was returning to comics, and beginning to buy books again. I’d read a few books from Marvel, and they were okay, but nothing was blowing me away. Then, I picked up Kevin Smith and Quesada’s Daredevil, and for the first time since rejoining the world of comic readers, I was floored. Around that same time, I found Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s Inhumans series. I had never seen or read comics like these before. They were beautiful for one thing. The coloring and production was top notch, and the stories were better than anything I had expected to find in a comic book. There were flops from Marvel Knights as well, but the thing is, I don’t remember them. I do remember the great books though.

Therefore, it didn’t come as any surprise to me when, a couple years later, around the time when we started up iFanboy, Joe was made Editor-in-Chief, of Marvel Comics, replacing Bob Harras. All I knew of Harras was that I wasn’t really enjoying Marvel Comics that much, outside of the Marvel Knights books, and that the Spider-Man books were just awful.

When Joe took the reins, Marvel wasn’t in the best of shape. They were coming out of extreme financial hardship and bankruptcy in the wake of the mid-90’s crash, and there just wasn’t too much buzz around the House of Ideas. But a lot has changed since then, and from my vantage point, Marvel Comics is in a much better position that I’ve ever seen it in my lifetime, thanks in large part to Joe Quesada.

None of this is likely news to anyone, but when I look at message boards around the internet, Joe’s name and actions are frequently being attacked and belittled by fans (who still buy every book) claiming Quesada is ruining the comic books they love, and I just don’t get it. Here is one such example. Others are not hard to find.

However, these are some of the things that I think about when I hear Joe Quesada’s name.

He brought incredible talent to Marvel.

If for no other reason than giving Brian Michael Bendis a chance to show what a star he could be, Joe should be commended. But besides Bendis, Marvel has Ed Brubaker making history on a regular basis. Before Quesada’s time, you didn’t see guys like Garth Ennis, Mark Millar, Warren Ellis, David Mack, Neil Gaiman, or Grant Morrison writing for Marvel. We take it for granted now, but when Harras was in charge, the flagship book was Howard Mackie’s The Amazing Spider-Man, or maybe one of Scott Lobdell’s books. It was not a memorable time. It seems that in the creation of modern comics, the cream rises to the top. The best guys making books at Marvel right now are the best guys making comics. It’s easy to think of Bendis as the most mainstream writer there is, but when Joe hired him at Marvel, he was a tried and true indie comic creator.

People are talking about Marvel constantly.

UnmaskedYou may have complained and moaned about Civil War, and One More Day, and World War Hulk, and House of M, and the Ultimate line, but you are talking about it. You’re talking about it, on the internet, and at the comic shop, and with co-workers who don’t know anything else about comics, other than they read that Spider-Man took his mask off in the newspaper. But you’re talking about those comics, and you’re very likely buying them. And you might say that you hate what they’re doing with such and such a character, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to know what’s happening. There was a showmanship about Stan Lee that got away from the EIC’s over the years, and Joe Quesada has consistently maintained an atmosphere where, like it or not, the events of the Marvel Universe will make you take notice. After that, it’s up to the books to get you to stick around. You might complain about the overload of events, but Marvel is constantly keeping fans on their toes, wondering what will come next. Joe doesn’t seem to mind raising the hackles of the web based Marvel purists; quite the opposite really. He seems to have grabbed onto the fact that if you hear something good enough, it will make you curious. Conversely, if it’s something that outrages the hordes of internet trolls, they’ll complain vociferously, creating, in turn, someone else who becomes curious when reading about what could possibly make someone on a message board so angry. Even though it started as a rant, it’s going to create some buzz, and more people will at least look at the books.

He is entirely accessible to Marvel readers.

I’ve been to quite a few panels at various comic book conventions hosted by Joe Quesada. He makes a point to go in front of several thousand fans, many of whom may well be outright deranged, and takes any and all questions.  I’ve seen this many times. What other company head does this? When he can give you an answer, he’ll give it. When he can’t, he says he can’t. And he does it with an incredible politeness and affability. See how you react to a ridiculous question about Hellcat, when the four previous questions were equally absurd. Imagine how you would handle being accused of making wrong decisions constantly. I’ve seen Joe do this, in front of huge crowds, and remain entirely graceful. Then he comes back and does it again. Last year, someone asked a question about the Daredevil: Father series Quesada created, and in telling the story of how the delay plagued mini-series was influenced by his own father’s death, he broke down in tears in front of the assembled masses, baring himself completely. It wasn’t staged. It was completely sincere, and I remembered thinking that I couldn’t help but like the guy. If you couldn’t make it to the conventions, he’s very frequently found at places like Newsarama, answering questions, and interacting with fans directly. He doesn’t have to do any of this. He may not follow the advice of the masses (nor should he), but it can’t be said that he hasn’t heard what they have to say.

The guy loves comics.

Joe Q on Colbert ReportAnyone who has made their living as a freelance comic book artist must love comic books, because there are a whole lot better ways to make a living with the kind of talent and time involved in making comics. He might be head of the big company these days, but he was just another freelancer at one time. I know nothing about his business practices, or what he’s like to work with. But in all those interviews, and appearances, it’s abundantly clear that he wants to make comics that are fun to read, and of high quality, and he’s willing to take the jabs necessary in order to make them. A complaint I hear a lot is that all he cares about is selling comics, and I would say that, to an extent, that’s true. He’s the head of a comic book company. He should be concerned with selling comic books. If he didn’t, the company would fail, and he’d be out of a job. His approach seems to be to sell comics by making good comics. This is opposed to selling comics by producing lenticular covers and coming out with #1 issues of books that have been around since the 60’s. Sure there’s some hoopla involved, but this is the superhero comic book business. There damn well should be hoopla. I’ve heard him talk about comics, and why things get done at Marvel, and I truly believe he wants to make good comics. Because he might get you to buy a comic with his circus sideshow act, but if it’s not good, or at least interesting, you’re not going to buy any more, and he’s smart enough to know that. You might hate what happened in One More Day, but the fact is, he made the hard call to make Spider-Man books better. And from what I’m hearing, people are liking Spider-Man a lot more these days than they did a few months ago. Sure, he did this to sell comics, but I think that at the heart of that, he really loves what Spider-Man is, and was right there with the readership in being disappointed with what Peter Parker became. But Joe had the ability to do something about it. I certainly can’t fault him for trying. But I don’t think he was trying to upset comic book traditionalists. I think he was trying to sell books by making good comics, and if that upsets some people, then that’s too bad. I can’t help but respect that.

The next time you see someone flinging some hate Quesada’s way, ask them what he actually did to deserve that. Or ask yourself if he’s the target of your tirade. If you love Marvel, how can you not be happy that the company and its comics are in better shape than I ever remember seeing them? We’re not going to go back to Stan and Jack’s Marvel of the 60’s, and I sure hope we don’t go back to the Marvel of the 90’s. Ask yourself if Marvel, and comics in general are worse or better off for having Joe Quesada around, and I think the answer is pretty clear.


  1. Quesada definitely takes a lot of mud slinging that he really doesn’t deserve.  While I didn’t love how One More Day was handled at least now I have a weekly Spider-Man book that I’m enjoying!  He makes decisions whether people like them or not.  i respect the guy AND I am enjoying Marvel books week after week.  Where’s the love guys?

  2. I’ve been wondering exactly the same thing for a while, Josh.  I’ve been a comic reader for 30 years (since 11 yrs old – do the math) with only a brief gap in the mid-90s like many others.  I personally think Marvel comics are better than they have ever been.  So when I read one of these nasty, all-damning, "your a loser" attacks against JoeQ, I can’t figure out who these people are.  Sure, I have some concerns about BND, but that hardly invalidates everything Joe or Marvel have done in the last 5 years or so.

    I sometimes wonder whether these "purists" are younger readers who don’t know how bad things can get, or older readers who remember the early days through perfectly rose-coloured glasses.  It reminds me of older people I know, who unfailingly remember the 50s as a wonderful, morally flawless time, but conveniently forget the massive racism and sexism, Senator McCarthy, the Korean War and hoola hoops.  Some comic fans are a bit like that, only recalling a previous era by the good books and the great creative runs.  Forgetting the crap.

    I love Marvel, I’m glad they are still around and doing so well.  I thank JoeQ (flaws and all) to a large degree for this. 

    I repeat: Comic books, especially Marvel comics, are better than ever.  Fans should blame Joe for that.  Thanks for speaking out, Josh.  Hope you’ve got your raincoat on for the possible vitriol spray.

  3. Overall, I am a supporter of what Joe Q. has done for the company, but at the same time, I think a lot of people forget that a lot of the late 90’s and early 00’s turnover at Marvel, when it slowly started churning towards what it has become, came about by Bill Jemas’ (yes, fucking Bill Jemas!) shrewder business practices, and hell, his putting Joey Q in a position to take on some of these guys. I know in the end BJ (hah! I just now realized that!) self-destructed himself a lot and looked horrible, but he’s really one of the biggest driving forces of getting the ULTIMATE line going, using Joe’s contacts to get the talent.

     That’s right, you think you just went out on a limb there Josh? I just fucking backed Bill Jemas. How about them apples?

     Oh, and my problem with Joe Q, not from an editorial standpoint, but after having encountered him at several panels, yeah, the man is just too smug for his own good. Entertaining? Yes, of course, but he’s got an air about him that tends to rub some people the wrong way. He acts like everything the company he does around him is like him shitting gold, and you’ll hard pressed to ever get him to admit when the company drops a giant, natural deuce in the middle of the room. He’s got more spin than a Used Car Salesman he does…

     Marvel really needs to see about the ICON line though. I understand its more a playground for the company boys to play around with their creator-owned stuff, and I’m grateful for it housing POWERS and CRIMINAL, but I don’t how you can funnel something like that, that could be such a great funnel for raw talent, ESPECIALLY looking over at how successful Vertigo titles can and have been in the past, and not try and push that more for company expansion. Hell, Jason Aaron has basically made a home at the company now, imagine the feather in Marvel’s cap if they could be touting such a raw, gritty project like SCALPED in their lineup. There’s a lot of missed opportunity going on there, I can tell…

  4. Jemas and Quesada are definitely hall of fame, even if things have been getting away from Marvel the last few years. I don’t doubt we’re still benefitting from that creative boom of the early 00’s, but with the mass success of the feature films and various comics properties, it seems to have gotten a little self-involved with various fatty pockets popping up on the catalogue. Old habits die hard, I guess.

    The good comes with the bad.
    It just so happens the bad is sometimes more memorable in the spread, and I think healthy context is always going to be the key. Heading into the arse-end of 2000’s, for every unhinged and deranged personal attack, there’s someone with an equally extreme fear of critique and/or opinion.
    I don’t think anyone has to pretend OMD was creatively admirable, just because they’re glad there’s a weekly Spider-title. Just like noone needs to forget Marvel Knights just because he systematically reversed the progress of Morrison’s X-Men.


  5. Great article, can’t say I agree with it in general but there are compelling arguments.

    Obviously he has done well for Marvel (you only have to look at the recent sales figures to see that) but as the previous comment mentioned his attittude leaves a lot to be desired. The recent string of interviews with him regarding the OMD and BND debacle have amounted to little more than him saying ‘I don’t care what you guys think – we’re right’.

    Also some of the high profile turnarounds stretch his credibility a bit ‘Dead is dead’ vs. ‘Welcome back bucky, colossus, etc.’ or ‘Spider-man unmasking is permanent’ vs. ‘We always planned to undo the unmasking’.

    Also I definitely can’t agree with the ‘best guys making books at Marvel right now are the best guys making comics’ comment that you made, I would take DC’s stable over Marvel’s anyday of the week – Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Paul Dini, Darwyn Cooke, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek, James Robinson (soon!), Gail Simone, Jim Lee, Frank Quitely, Cliff Chiang, EVS, etc. etc.

  6. Very persuasive article.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are two sides (at least) to everything.  Well done. 

    Let’s up the ante, though.  Topic for next article:  In defense of Rob Liefeld’s ankle depictions. 😉

  7. My only complaint about Joe Quesada is that everytime I see his name I immediately want to drive to El Burrito Loco and eat some fat ass quicken quesadillas.  

    How can you hate a guy who brought you Brubaker, Millar, and Bendis and sure his Spiderman shit was controversial, but in the end we all know it was the right decision.  I think people forgot how bad comics were before Quesada (mmm…quesadillas) and that he helped bring about an age of storytelling that the world really hasn’t seen the light of since…well ever.  We all hold a dear place in our hearts for comics, but I think someone like Quesada (mmm…more quesadillas) has a passion for the artform that shines through in interviews and panel discussions.  I think in the end Quesada (I’m a bit bloated, but mmm…quesadillas) has the best interest of comics at heart and I think we can all appreciate that.

  8. Joe succeeded in no small part to Bill Jemas.  Not everything he cooked up worked, but he infused Marvel with a ‘go for it’ attitude and allowed creators to try new things.  Bill Jemas and Joe Q saved Marvel.


  9. This needed to be said, Josh, and you made some great points. I’m tired of everyone blaming EVERYTHING on Quesada. Tom Brevoort recently posted his own blog entry on the subject, explaining how editors get credit for little, and blame for everything.

  10. I agree 100%.  I did (and still do) hate that he felt the only way to tell a good Spider-Man story was to rip apart the marriage, but since it is comics, there is always a chance to undo that.

     In any case, he’s done FAR more good than bad and think that, overall, he’s been great for comics in general.

  11. I don’t care that he ripped apart the marriage, but he used a story line so silly that Passions wouldn’t touch it.  Still, I read the first issue of Brand New Day and liked it, so I’ll probably pick up a trade at some point.

  12. The only reason I started to read Spider-man again was because it was revamped. I can’t stand married super-heroes. I like Joe. He’s talented and very open to spreading the Comics gospel. I’ve even heard him on Howard Stern’s Sirius show. He pops up everywhere. I think he genuinely loves comics and works harder then (or is it than) any of us on comics. I love his reboots of characters. Red Hulk, Spidey, Capt. America, and Black Panther… not to mention actually getting me to read some of the main Marvel books (instead of just the Ultimates books) by pumping up the Avengers and re-vamping story lines that were old and dreadful. Some of the stories and characters have aged with the readers but am I the only one who doesn’t want a geriatric Spidey or a Grampa Reed Richards? Oh, did I mention that Spider-woman is back and hot as ever and what about Iron Fist? I love that he’s revamped characters and stories.

    P.S. Why doesn’t my spell check on Firefox work on iFanboy’s comments? Spellcheck always makes me seem a litter smarter. I have horrible spelling skills. Can you guys fix this? Oh, well… if I misspell things get over it people.

  13. I love Joe Quesada. He’s like the Drum Major in the comic book parade, forever extolling the medium’s merits. That being said, there are more dynamic storytellers out there. (Didn’t he create Ninjak and Ash?) What he thinks of as cool is not always in accordance with fan opinion. And that’s–okay. Because he’s good enough, he’s smart enough–and doggone it–people like him.


  14. As much as I’d love to be contrary and controversial, Joe is OK by me.

    My reading habits fluctuate from year to year, but the dominance of Marvel on my pull list always seems to reassert itself. If recent sales are anything to go by, I’m not alone. I’m not saying "if it sells, it must be good" or validating the Jay Leno Ratings Paradox, but there must be something there. These top-ten books ain’t buyin’ themselves. The guy at the wheel seems to be doing something to please the crowd.

    Not that you’d know it from going online. The OMD brouhaha just about broke me; I got so tired of reading Quesada-based arguments that it essentially drove me off of the internet and nearly drove me off of the iFanboy forums. Joe Q seems to be a focal point, but in a lot of ways I think Q-hate is just a symptom of a larger disease, a crabby negativity that is pandemic in the reading community. Quesada simply sees that disease and dares it to come at him.

    I do sort of miss the old Nu Marvel. I’m still excited by my books, but there was a scrappy "throw it all at the wall and see what sticks" mentality when they were still clawing out of bankruptcy that is largely absent now that they have 9 of the top 10 books. They’re not as hungry as they were, but luckily they don’t have to be.

  15. I don’t think Joe Q created Ninjack, but he did draw the first run of it from Valiant. That is still my favorite work of his. He was really on a roll at that time with Sword of Azrael and The Ray mini-series he did. I don’t think he got any better as an artist. Overall though, he has left his stamp on the comics world.

  16. Bravo, Josh.

    Am I the only one that is now hoping that Conor gives us a piece on what Dand DiDio should do to bring DC back to glory?

  17. I’ve never hated Joe as a person, but I have been quick to disagree with some of his decisions.  There’s no denying that in 30 years, he will still be talked about by Marvel and comic fans alike.  He resurrected the company, and you really can’t knock the guy for the success that Marvel is having right now. 

    I was very much against the revamp of Spider-Man and I was one of the dissenters as it happened, but I can’t really hate Quesada for making the hard choice (and ultimately the right one).  But I can still disagree with how it was done, which I think most people take issue with. 

    But ultimately, he’s been on the ball with where Marvel needs to be, and you have to credit his ballsiness (who ok’s the death of Captain America?!?).  I think he’s just in one of those positions that, no matter what, people will hate or dislike him.  And often, when people feel this way, they tend to seem to be the majority.  Kudos to Josh for daring to be different.

  18. Lets also not foget the all important FACT, we fanboys will continue to purchase through all the complaints and cries. Unless you’re one of those fanboys who actually thinks that subtracting your $2.99 is going to make anything but a moral point. 

  19. Joe and I created ash and painkiller jane. I think it was mark moretti that created ninjak, but joe did the fantastic design and made that character cool. 

     before MARVEL KNIGHTS, marvel was putting out some not so great books and when joe and i got there we focused on what we thought were the things that needed help. color was super important, the writers needed to fit better with the characters and the art needed a boost.

    books like DAREDEVIL were getting cancelled till we came in  with kevin and brought more attention to the character. we got Steve Dillon and Garth Ennis working on punisher, got Grant Morrison and j.g jones on marvelboy, got Paul Jenkins and Jae lee on Inhumans and so on. those two years changed the way marvel was making comics and personally joe kept it going to what the company is today.

    Sure,  bill Jemus was there too, but that came after things were put into motion. 

    I personally think joe is doing a killer job and deserves a lot of credit and along side with dan buckley, they are doing some great books.


  20. i got nothing realy agienst joe Q. i will say one more day made no sence and seemed genuinly awful, i won’t be buyng spiderman but i wasn’t before. the charactor was so far gone to me i just don’t care. (it should be noted that spiderman got me reading comics in the first place but they have been too awful for too long.) but the dude does love comics and NOBODY should be personly attacked the way he has over the web. (o you faceless cowards.) if you don’t like what he did you should say so and, dare i say it, not buy the comic!!! it is after all just a comic, and he is, after all, just a man. attack the choise, not the man.

  21. One of my favorite books of the "New Marvel" is X-Force/X-Statix.  It’s been all but forgotten now.  Boo-hoo.

  22. I’ve always liked Joe Quesada. I first experienced him on Daredevil with Kevin Smith, and then found out he was EiC. I’ve agreed with many of his editorial choices: mutant minorities, unmarried Spidey, more and better trades through an exensive revision of the program, the extent of the Ultimate universe… His policies and market sense are both brilliant and it’s fantastic to see a fan of comics running a major company. I have super respect for Joe Quesada and how he runs the company. He sees hard choices and throws himself at the mercy of the fans when he does something questionable. He takes so much flak, and for no reason. People need to get off their righteous horses. Joe Quesada is the best thing to happen at Marvel in a long time…

    So… everyone else? Deal with it. 

  23. I’m with BigE.. Conor needs to do a dissertation on Dan Didio… Let’s see it happen!

  24. I couldn’t agree more dude. If it wasn’t for Joe Q bringing talant to Marvel, I wouldn’t be reading comics today. I had quit in 1995 or so because I didn’t like what I was reading and had only started again because I heard how amazing Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man and the Avengers were.


    Marvel comics have never  been this good, and it’s because of Joe Q giving these great creators a chance in the first place.

  25. The "blame the coach" mentality is not cool in my book.

  26. good call josh. 

    i’d say joe q is the best EIC marvel’s had since jim shooter. hopefully he doesn’t cack out like shooter did.

    quesada’s brought on a rennaissance at marvel. he’s got me reading avengers again. i loved this book growing up, and it’s better than it’s ever been i think. disassembled was an ugly mess, but it did bring on some interesting stories.

    i think you’re spot on my friend.

    one question though? what’s with the double spaces after periods?  

  27. Does he really get that much flack?  I know recently, with One More Day, he has definitely been the target of a lot of angry fans but I find it hard to believe that anyone can argue against the fact that Marvel is much better now than it was before Joe Q took over.

  28. Nothing against Joe but I can see where some people might not like the way he steers the good ship Marvel. He’s done more than anybody to bring Marvel entertainment to the forefront of pop culture. Joe is very showy. There is a lot of PT Barnum in him. He goes on Stern, gives Caps (mighty) shield to Colbert. He’s great for grabbing real world headlines with his stunt story telling (Spidy unmasked, Cap gettin’ capped and the Parkers getting cancelled) On the surface this is all great, anything to get comics noticed by the masses is OK in my book. But time is going to tell whether these stunts actually served the story and the character. It’s too soon to tell. I love me some Marvel goodness but I don’t want the future of some of these characters dependent on the attention of the casual/non-fan. I’m sure we all know the type. The dude in the office who has an opinion on Spider-Man because he read an article on the Yahoo front page and saw the movies. Or the chick who thinks it’s OK that Wolverine is 6 foot 2 and for Jean Grey to be 25 to 30 years older than her beloved Scott Summers. I don’t want these people in the test audiences giving the thumbs up to watered down comic based entertainment. I may be wrong and I hope I am but I can see that what Joe is doing might be helping that along. It might not be the best analogy but it kinda reminds me of what Vince McMahon did to the WWF. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing the Rock or Stone Cold on the TV, selling milk in magazines and riding the couches on late night. And it wasn’t just wrestling fans buying into the hype. Regular Joe’s and Joanne’s were buying into it. They rode pretty high there for a while in the late 90’s and early 2000’s by pushing the envelope and being different but the bubble did eventually burst, everyone but the most ardent fans disappeared and pro wrestling is back to being a guilty pleasure for many people. Joe has to be careful how he treats the real fans of the genre. Those are the people you want to keep coming back. I was a big wrestling fan and Vince lost me. I don’t want the same thing to happen to comics.

    Not sure how much sense that made…just a rant i guess. A humble opinion if you will. 

  29.  Most definately Joey Q deserves credit. I’ve always picked up Marvel Comics since I started reading, and since Q took over, I have been consistantly excited about SOMETHING that Marvel is publishing. Marvel is having the best bunch of years since Stan, and whether or not it’s true, I heap the congrats on JQ.

     As for people getting on his case for "Selling" the comics, I think it’s great that he gets out there and proves that he believes in his product. And he’s doing his damndest to get NEW readers, which is awesome. I’ll be sad when he steps down. I think his run as EIC will be highly-regarded, if only eventually.


  30. I will always be inclinded to dislike/distrust Quesada after Azrael‘s reign of terror in Batman, however small his part was in creation (probably just design).  Thankfully, I haven’t read a non-Ultimate Spider-man comic in many years, so I can just sit back and laugh at the One More Day fiasco.  However, my grudge doesn’t bleed into Marvel Comics in general.  I enjoy many Marvel comics, so I assume he’s a good EIC.  Although, Civil War was retarded, Secret Invasion should be good… I think.

  31. 100% agree.

  32. I’ve been reasonably vocal about my hatred of OMD and my dislike of BND. I dropped Spider-Man because of it and I’m not picking it back up anytime soon. Still, I am a die-hard Marvel Zombie and I’ve never bashed Joe Q. He and I disagree about Spider-Man, but I can’t shit on a guy who’s essentially running the company that puts out great stories about the characters I enjoy the most. So, the guy made one decision I disagree with; hell, my friends do that all the time.

    "Everything’s fine at Marvel. We’re not having a Crisis." -Joe Q, ComicCon ’07 

    I grinned my ass off at that. Still am.


  33. Let me start with stating that I am one of those who hated hated hated OMD and the lazy storytelling it exemplified and dropped Spider-man as a result for the slap in the face I felt it was to those of us who have followed the exploits of Peter Parker over the years. Joe Q should be held accountable for the decision behind tearing MJ and Peter apart and forcing the issue through the storyline. But he shouldn’t be attacked personally for it nor should there be calls for his head on a platter. It was a horrible decision in my opinion and a horrible story but his tenure as EIC has seen more peaks than valleys. Without Quesada would I be enjoying Brubaker on Captain America? or having seen Bendis on Daredevil? I’m personally upset with OMD but please people get a grip. Chances are if the outrage is this evident it will be wiped away in a year with Peter emerging from the shower to a stunned MJ a la Dallas. The worst part in my opinion is that writers are supposed to tell stories that move forward not backward. It’s a lazy and misguided writer who tries to rewrite yesterday’s stories for today. I’m sure Spidey was AMAZING in the 60’s and 70’s but why rehash stories in that vein when we can make him relevant today? Brubaker isn’t repeating Cap stories from the 40’s is he? The problem with Spider-man wasn’t the marriage it was the writing. Some people may feel a married Peter Parker isn’t relatable but that’s why there’s an Ultimate Spider-Man, read and enjoy that. Any married person can tell you a million conflicts which would arise from just being married let alone a super-hero to boot. This could be explored. Peter is supposed to be the most relatable character to us. Explore the emotional resonance of their love being strained only for it to grow stronger in the end. Don’t beat us over the head with it but take advantage to the complexity and new layers it adds to the super hero plot. The worst offense of OMD was in not killing Aunt May who’s day in the sun should have ended long ago, and instead having Peter indirectly opting out of his marriage to the woman he supposedly loves in order to save Aunt "May Die Any Day Now!" My issue with Joe Q isn’t one of venom but rather one of accountability. You must accept responsibility for not only the good at Marvel but also be man enough to admit when you take a misstep. He’s been a great EIC overrall but everyone makes an error in judgement once in awhile. Just take responsibility for it instead of spinning it. That’s all I ask and I’m sure others (hopefully) feel the same way.

  34. All I know is that every month I say I’m done with Marvel and every month I end up picking up more and more books. I may not hate Joe Quesada by my wallet does!

  35. I’m actually not a fan of Quesada’s art style, and the OMD thing was pretty poorly handled but at the end of the day he’s made my favorite comic book company a far better place putting out far better books.  And I agree one thousand percent with Josh, he’s a star for giving Bendis a chance to shine and constantly supporting him.  I don’t agree with everything Quesada does, but I’d never slag him off.

  36. My pop got me into comics, and he’s remained a fan since he was a boy, so I’ve always been immersed in that world. Marvel was the company to beat in the sixties, and many periods there after.  But in the mid-late ninties there were times that it seemed like Marvel was following the lead of companies much smaller than them. I feel like they’re the leader again, and if I recall correctly, I think they’re sales back that. Joe Q has gotta have something to do with that.

  37. @Mark4Myself

    My thoughts exactly.

    I’m still hating BND for being such an obvious turnback to the 60s, including old fashioned "Stan the Man" narration boxes.  I’ve groaned through every issue so far, although I did like parts of Dan Slott’s arc.  Mr Negative is cool.

    To me, BND feels like the disjointed result of a bunch of old comic book fans (40 and over, like JoeQ and co.) who remember Spidey being way cooler when they were kids in the 60s and 70s. 

    I would’ve accepted the "we just want Spidey fun again" excuse if they’d only made Peter single again with a secret identity.  But Harry’s return, May’s rebuilt house, the ‘who is the Goblin’ mystery, the mechanical web-shooters – all these things seem old guy fanboy stuff to me.  I can hear them over beers one night:  "Oh, yeah, man, how cool would it be if Mary Jane were a super-hero called Jackpot.  Irony, man."

    Personally, I have no malice toward Joe for OMD and BND.  I think he’s let the comic fanboy inside him influence editorial decisions beyond what being a fan reasonably should.  The five or six issues of OMD so far have been lots of fun, but ultimately pointless.  I don’t think the nostalgic love people are feeling toward ASM will last.  Comic fans, even 40+ ones like me (and Joe and Dan Slott), don’t want to read re-hashed back-issues.  Not for long, anyway.  And the younger fans, I imagine, think it’s all a bit hockey, like their dad’s Spidey.  "Spidey never runs out of web in the movies, Dad".

    My only worry if (big, unlikely, if) they turn things back is the loss of a weekly ASM.  This was an inspired decision.

    I still think, despite these reservations, that Joe is the best thing to happen to comics in decades. 

  38. Personally, I think Brand New Day was the best thing to happen to Spider-Man in the last 20 years.

    If they ever revert back to boring, married Spider-Man I’ll be out… again. 

  39. I definitely agree. I only started reading comics just about a few years ago (around the time it was building up to Infinite Crisis). But I’d have to say that I since I started reading, that my love for Marvel has definitely grown, and I attribute that to Joe Quesada doing such a kick-ass job with putting out good comics and letting the writers really take control of the stories. Unlike DC, which forces every book to stay on line to keep with whats going on in the entire universe, Marvel has Ed Brubaker running amuck killing off Americas most treasured heroes, then giving him a rebirth that just blows my mind.

    I think a lot of people think Joe doesn’t know what he’s doing, when I think he does, but its mostly him putting a lot of trust in the writers do a good job, and thats how it should be.

    That, and he’s appeared on Colbert Report, like, three times now, which means he’s putting comic books out into the forefront of popculture, which is pretty amazing.

    Cheers to Joe Q. 

  40. Joe Q is EASILY the best editor-in-chief Marvel has had in a long time. Almost every thing he has done has been spot on. Sooner or later he was bound to mess up. Unfortunately it was on Spider-man… Brand New Day sucks. It is so completely NOT thought out it feel as though Joe Q had a temper tantrum and said "I Want Spider-man This Way Because I Say So And that’s How I like him and I’m The Boss and I’m Alaways Right!!!" That being said I still think Joe is the freakin’ man!

  41. @Conor

    Think you’re safe.  It’s very unlikely they’ll turn this back.  I didn’t actually find married Spidey that boring – maybe cos I can relate, being married a long time myself.  I accept that everything had been done with Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage of all these years, though.  (I really better not relate to that or I’m in deep &^*%).  It’s the excesses they added to the reboot that annoy me.  The unnecessary stuff, like Harry and the web-shooters.  Joe and co got carried away, IMHO.

    Glad you’re liking Spidey again, though.  I’m giving it more time.  As I said above, I liked Dan Slott’s arc.  Guggenhiem’s, not so much.  Let’s see what the 3rd arc is like.

  42. Quesada saved Marvel.  I have been reading Marvel books for 34 years and the quality of the  books is better now than at any other time of my life.  Maybe the early Lee/Kirby/Ditko days were better, but nothing beyond that can top the quality of talent, both writing and pencilling, that we see today.  This alone, under Quesada’s reign, makes him hall of fame worthy.  He not only helped restore Marvel to financial solvency, but he brought a new level of quality, especially to the main titles. 

    Joe Q. has also made some mistakes, but in my opinion they are minor compared to the whole body of work that has been produced under his watch.

  43. I’ve had exposure to comics all my life but I never bought them on a regular basis.

    Then Civil War happened. Some people may not have liked it and may be sick of all the crossover events in the books but I can definitely say that these events bring new readers into comics. I’m one of them, and probably 75%-90% of the books I buy are Marvel. Joe is good in my book.

  44. I am sorry to say that I disagree with Conor about Spider-Man. I really did like him being married to MJ because I started reading Spider-Man when they were together in the mid 90’s. That is the way I saw Spider-Man. I am still reading the comic now only because I am hoping MJ will come back. I think it is a little unrealistic to think he should never be married. That is the only thing I have against Joe Quesada. Everything is just great with me.

  45. @Conor

    Not to derail but, I struggle to understand the marriage was boring opinion (especially with the current stories being little more than bland rehashes of what spider-man used to be 20 years ago – they seem to have regressed peter past ‘lovable loser’ into ‘downright pathetic’!). Up until editorial started messing around, JMS’s run was the best Spidey has been in ages and the interaction between Pete and MJ was a highlight. But as a previous comment said I can’t see them reversing their decision anytime soon (although I said that about the unmasking so fingers crossed!).

    Different strokes for different folks I guess – on the plus side dropping Amazing has opened up three slots of my pull list which have been filled with Hellblazer (based on Josh’s recommendation!), Green Lantern Corps and Booster Gold, all of which are great…

  46. Webshooters being back – also a plus.