Just so you know before you read further Spider-Fans: *********MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT***********
Okay, so now that the massive Hoohah that is The Amazing Spider-Man #700 and it’s Love it/Hate it revelation have passed, the reality of the situation has kicked in, and that is, that for the next year or however long else Marvel decide to milk what it essentially a bit of controversy, hence publicity, Doc Ock is Peter Parker.
Now I like Dan Slott as a writer, and as a reader I feel he’s delivered some of the better Spidey tales in recent years. #700 was the culmination of a years worth of arc’s, and while Peter Parker’s death was the cheapest, nastiest, low blow death any superhero could wish for – trapped in the cancer riddled body of your worst enemy while he beats you to death in front of your family and friends in your own body, and knowing that he now has your life to ruin how he chooses as you croak it – it was ballsy and interesting and got people all riled up and interested. Interested to the point where copies of #700 are already gathering a pretty penny on E-Bay, as are Superior Spidey’s first appearance in DareDevil and Avenging Spider-Man #15.1.
That said, it’s also a crock of sh*t, albeit a well conceived one. Though when you think about it, this current status quo can’t and wont last. And here’s a few quick reasons why not only won’t Doc Ock last as Spidey, he can’t last as Spidey and anyone who’s read The Superior Spider-Man #1 will know the reversion has already begun:
1. Ock’s A Dick
There’s a trend for snarky characters at the minute, which fits perfectly with Otto Octavius as Doc Ock’s is an irrefutable dick. He may be interesting because he talks like an olde timey mad scientist, he’s mad smart, short on patience and would prefer to kill folks if he had the option, but he’s still a bowl hair cutted, podgy little dick, albeit now all those characteristics in the body of the greatest superhero ever written. And since Spidey is everyone’s favorite and often first superhero (I know he was mine growing up), Ock just can’t stay as Spidey.
The moral every-man that is Peter Parker offers ultimate accessibility to all folks of all ages and thus must inevitably return. Because people like him….and Ock’s a dick!
2. This Has All Happened Before
(A.K.A. Publicity Stunt!)
Stunt’s like this, if anything, sell comics. Spidey isn’t the freshest character, what with him being 50 odd years old, and so re-jigs cause fans to go nut’s, get people interested outside of comics and thus sell comics. Captain America got some of the same when Steve Rogers was killed and replaced by The Winter Solider Bucky Barnes (in a similar ‘Terrible Death’ shot by the brainwashed woman he loved on the courthouse steps after being tried for starting a superhero civil war against all his former best pals. Sucky way to go, so lucky he was coming back) and then there was Batman in Final Crisis, Superman in The Death Of Superman etc. etc.
Steve came back just in time for his own movie and Bruce Wayne reclaimed the mantle of the Bat from Dick Grayson in more than good time for The Dark Knight Rises (but more on these interesting links in a moment). Supes never recovered from sh*tty sales, but the point is, these characters die, get temporarily replaced by new characters and come back regular as clockwork, all of the time. And in the meantime comics sell like hotcakes to fans so annoyed they can’t believe they’re still buying them!
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony, Disney and thus effectively Marvel would loose out a rotter if come Andrew Garfield’s doe eyed second outing in Amazing Spider-Man #2 fans of the movie rushed to their nearest comic shops/Comixology App for their fix of Peter Parker goodness and found something a little more sinister instead. ‘Why is Doc Ock in the webs?’ they might wonder, before promptly not buying the title due to lack of access.
Now if there’s one thing big companies love it’s dirty lira. They aren’t going to loose out because of the wrong character in the wrong place ant the wrong time, so they’ll profit from the controversy of Ock in the Webs right now, sure. But they aren’t going to miss a buck on the ASM 2 movie by not bringing Pete back just in the nick of time.
4. Dan Slott Talks A Good Game
Slott (and Spidey Editor and fanboy dick teaser extraordinaire) has said this era of Spidey will be akin to a changing of the guard in a similar fashion to the multiple versions of The Flash (Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West etc.) that have inhabited his title over the years. But the problem is that while there may be many Spidey legacy characters – Venom, Scarlet Spider, Spider-Girl etc. there’s only one Peter Parker: The Amazing Spider-Man. And while Slott might not like his artistic vision being screwed with, as the above points denote: Money talks, and the ultimate call will be a corporate one from up top.
5. The Reversion’s Already Begun
******SPOILER ALERT****** The final panel of Superior Spider-Man confirms what we already suspected, and that is: Spider-Man cannot function without Peter Parker in the role. The brand is just too big, and even now Marvel are assuring fan’s, like Stan Lee did in the letters column of ASM #700, that nobody stays dead forever in the funny books.
And thus all that brass ballsyness from the #700 death goes out the window due to a bit of safe play. Fool us once Marvel, shame on you. But try to fool us a further gazillion times, and well – we’re not all f**king idiots!
And for an extra takes on the whole thing, here’s MovieBob on ASM #700:doctor octopus, peter parker, spider-man #700, superior spider-man, superior spider-man #1