Yes, One More Day was THE stupidest story in Spider-Man history. Not only does Mary Jane make a deal with Mephisto(the most trustworthy person in the Marvel U), but Mephisto makes a deal for the lamest reason I ever heard of. So one guy feels bad whenever he sees a woman who stays out of his life? What is that worth, truly, even in a suffering denomination? And I won't get started on why Peter would trade the rest of his married life for a woman who has to be five years from death. Yes, she raised you but bringing her back to life wouldn't keep her out of the hell his life had become. Jesus, that was stupid.
Damn, I'm ranting. What this post is about is that from that steaming pile, something beauty grew, the new era of Amazing Spider-Man. It's more than just a return to past greatness, it's great new stories. Old characters are revitalized in this series. The rise of Norman Osborn, defense czar, has roots in New Ways To Die, where Osborn sics the Thunderbolts on Spider-Man and Eddie Brock returns as Anti-Venom with the usual Venom powers but with the ability to heal people of their "poisons". I initially balked at the idea of Anti-Venom, but the story was great with Spider-Man dealing with the 'Bolts and two dueling Venoms and a confrontation between crazy Norman and a maybe crazy, resurrected Harry Osborn. Awesomeness.
With Mark Waid, Dan Slott, Joe Kelly and Marc Guggenheim running point on this series, Amazing Spider-Man has become one of the best written series published by Marvel (and if anyone makes some kind of joke about Marvel's writing, remember DC keeps giving books to Bruce Jones). Peter has his wit back and even with his bad luck, isn't going through the depressing crap that characterized the book from the 90's to OMD. His supporting cast has been expanded, giving him the grounding he's been sorer lacking for some time now. I don't remember a clear time when Amazing Spider-Man was as big a draw for me since McFarlane was on the title.
It's a great time to be reading Amazing and anyone out there who been holding back because of One More Day or the lackluster to good years before it, I challenge you to read New Ways To Die or any of the Brand New Day storylines and still stay away. Yes, it was bad before but good times are here again.