J. Michael Straczynski signed off his highly acclaimed run on Amazing Spider-Man with his most divisive story on what had hardly been a selection steering clear of controversy. One More Day also had involvement from Joe Quesada, wearing two hats as both artist and editor-in-chief, and several years later Quesada revisits the controversy to stoke the fires.

At its simplest, One More Day saw Peter Parker and Mary Jane Parker willingly sacrifice their marriage, revising their memories in order to save May Parker’s life, with a side deal also being the world forgetting Peter is Spider-Man. This was via a deal with the devil, or Mephisto if you’re in the Marvel universe. Quesada revisits those events during One Moment in Time, part of which is an exercise in filling in how events played out in the revised continuity. A well conceived opening chapter mixes pages from the 1980s Jim Shooter, David Michelinie and Paul Ryan story in which the couple were married, with new pages by Quesada and Paolo Rivera explaining the circumstances in which that didn’t happen.

Beyond Rivera’s always remarkable art, that first chapter is about as good as it gets. Quesada doesn’t have much wriggle room to begin with, and what would have been a good standalone explanation is instead dragged out by a present day discussion between Spider-Man and Mary Jane and further continuity implants. After three more chapters of this the feeling is that time had moved on, the audience accepted the new status quo, and there was little point in raking over the coals. Quesada labours the point about why Spider-Man is needed, and really drags on a final chapter to the point where it plummets into melodrama.

Whatever your feeling about One More Day, it would have been better left alone.