Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: David Michelinie
Pencils: Todd McFarlane
Inks: Bob McLeod
Lettering: Rick Parker & (#299) Ken Lopez

I've always found it weird when a TV series recasts a particular role.

Not so much when there's an explanation for it in the storyline, like plastic surgery or something, but when they just replace the actor, period.

I find I can accept that the new performer is playing the same part, but I can't accept that the other characters haven't noticed the enormous change.

The fictional person may suddenly have a different height, a different build, a different voice, and, oh yes, a completely different face to yesterday.

Their wardrobe now contains clothes in a different size. Even pre-existing photographs of the person are seen to have strangely morphed to reflect the individual's new features, as though they have always looked like this.

I can't help but infer that some unseen force has not just subtly changed their appearance and the length of the fabrics that they wear, but silently seeped back through their entire life history too.

Sometimes even the series' opening credits will have been refilmed with the new actor performing the same actions and pose as their predecessor.

A few years ago there was a rather brilliant season-opener of Due South, in which Constable Fraser spent much of the episode building-up a whole portfolio of why this complete stranger could not possibly be his cop partner Ray Vecchio. It was the only way he could express his exasperation to his apparently oblivious colleagues.

But I guess it goes back to the theatre. When an actor falls ill half-way through a performance, then the understudy takes over and the audience graciously suspends their disbelief to help them do their job.

Of course, thankfully, nothing like that can ever happen in a comicbook.

Unless there's a new artist.

Fig. 1: Peter Parker and his new new wife, Mary Jane.

Author David Michelinie may enjoy removing Spider-Man from his everyday life (in this story he goes to New Jersey), but swapping his wife for another one is messing with his head too much.

Curse you, Mephisto!


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