An obvious question about retcons is why it’s necessary to preserve elements of a series’ existing status quo? Why shouldn’t writers and editors embrace earlier developments? So, I considered the “Commitment to Change” approach, as a contrast to the Illusion of Change. The conclusion was that change for the sake of change is harmful for a character that’s been around for a long time, and the same is true of an approach of choosing the preferences of current fans, who may be ready for something different, over the interests of future readers, who would have certain expectations about what they’ll find in a Spider-Man comic.
Considering how the series could develop over the course of the coming years raised the question of whether Spider-Man could be replaced by a new generation of Marvel heroes. A regular Marvel Universe version of Miles Morales was one potential alternate, although it wouldn’t be the same as Ultimate Marvel. Ben Reilly was another possible substitute. although Marvel would have to figure out how to bring him back first. Another significant question was whether Spider-Man’s story should be allowed to come to an end. Which leads to the question of what type of ending would be the most appropriate for the character, a guy who doesn’t tend to get the girl at the end of the first act. Death and divorce were considered as alternatives to One More Day. Writer Kurt Busiek had argued in favor of a particular method of depicting a divorce. It was one of several potential compromises. I considered whether Peter Parker’s private life matters and if there’s even a point for the creative team to focus on anything other than the action- adventure aspects of the series. A related suggestion was to give the supporting cast members the interesting private lives. I was not in favor of either idea I considered the argument that the book could be made less like Archie, although that seemed to be based on a misunderstanding about a storied from of serial fiction. The next argument was whether the book should be less like a soap opera. And the Spider-Man comics have been influenced by both.
There was also the suggestion that there could be two titles set in different universes, with different outcomes for the characters. And that readers had other places to get their Spider-Man fix than just the regular series. And that there was no need to distinguish between the “real” Spider-Man and other versions of the character. A final claim I was considered was whether the only problem was in the quality of writers, rather than anything to do with the status quo. Or perhaps the problem is that the writers should have devoted more energy to one particular supporting character.