In addition to writing about police brutality and his efforts learning French for THE ATLANTIC, Coates wrote about pop culture. And this had included Spider-Man. He wrote two pieces for their website shortly before RENEW YOUR VOWS was announced. At the time, he was a Spider-Man fan hoping for Peter and MJ to get reconciled. He wrote a piece about why he liked Spider-Man’s marriage, comparing it to his own family.
It’s certainly possible to disagree with Coates on comic books and Spider-Man. I personally think getting rid of the marriage was ultimately a good idea. I’m sure there are some fans of the marriage happy to have Coates on their side, who still disagree with some of his rationales, as well as his love of some recent comics like SECRET WARS. But it is refreshing when one of the premiere cultural critics of the day cares so deeply and specifically about Marvel comics and Spider-Man.