Is Peter Parker Dead? Superior Spider-Man

Last Page Amazing 700
Last Page Amazing 700

It truly is a new age in comic writing some things I like and somethings I don’t but that that is the way it is. I just read an exclusive interview by Newsarama with Dan Slott the Marvel writer who changed the Spider-Man character into a so called Superior Spider-Man in the story arc that ended in Amazing Spider-Man 700. I thought I would leave the subject alone for a while to see how fans reacted but could not keep silent after reading the interview. Dan is really committed to the current story of Spider-Man with no Peter Parker. Not a clone but with the mind of his arch Nemesis Doctor Octopus (Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius) possessing Peter Parker’s body and life as Peter and Spider-Man.

After explaining how they made the decision to go in this direction He was asked a series of questions I want to highlight what Dan Slott said.
Newsarama: It’s actually very fun to think about how this character will work with all these other heroes, but as a comic fan yourself, I’m sure you recognize why it’s upsetting that Peter Parker is gone and Doc Ock is in his body.

Slott: Upsetting? Why? Why would fans possibly be upset? You make it sound like I took some character that was in the Macy Thanksgiving Parade and popped their balloon, some character that people have grown up with for 50 years of their life, people raised in Spider-Man onesies, and you make it sound like I destroyed that.

Nrama: [Laughs.] You did!
Slott: I did? Noooo!!!

Nrama: OK, I get the humor, Dan. But there are also fans who are saying this isn’t permanent. We’ve seen mind-swaps and people with leftover memories or personalities before in comics, like Rogue and Carol Danvers. Most people think it’s only a matter of time before Peter comes back, so was the mindswap technique used to leave that door more easily opened?

Slott: I love that response. I love that immediate response of “this won’t last.” To me, that’s the same kind of mindset that says, “Oh, well, Mr. Freeze trapped Batman in a snowcone machine, but he’ll get out next week.” When I think of the number of times I’ve put Spider-Man in, like, a death trap or a terrible situation, and readers immediately go, “Well, come on, the book’s called Amazing Spider-Man. What? They’re not going to publish it next month? Of course he’ll get out.”

And it only took us to go, “Hey, guess what? We’re canceling Spider-Man at #700″ to make people realize this is real.

It’s like people freaking out that Wally West was The Flash. “There’s only one Flash! It’s Barry Allen!” Or before that, when they said, “Barry Allen isn’t the Flash! It’s Jay Garrick!” I know every single person has done that for The Flash at some point.

You can read the whole interview HERE.

The mind set with writers is change because the complaint by readers is everything that could be done to their favorite has already been done in the past by other writers. While I can appreciate the difficulty of coming up with new ideas in story telling people cling to a personality in superheroes for a reason, something they see that they like, that they can relate to. Superman, is Clark Kent everyone know that. The man behind the secret identity makes the hero. Superman is strange visitor from another planet who is a farm boy in tights. It makes him who he is and drives the decisions he will make.

Peter Parker lost his parents hardly knowing them and was raised by uncle Ben and Aunt May till he lost Uncle Ben and was taught with great power comes great responsibility. These are things the reader can relate to. The classic ideas that make people do extraordinary things and become a hero is not super powers but life experiences. You put super powers in the mix and it amplifies the decisions that individual makes. Power in many people corrupts them but in some it makes them better people because of the life experiences. Some people rise to the occasion and Peter Parker was one that made the most of his abilities for others.

Doctor Octopus was a promising Doctor who could have accomplished much with his abilities but because of an accident became fused with powerful mechanical arms that gave him great power but he chose a life of crime and became a real villain. He is arrogant and self seeking and showed that in the new name he chose for himself the Superior Spider-Man. We are to believe because of the memories that Peter imparted to him in leaving that he is changed and perhaps he has but he is no Peter Parker and that is what people are upset about. The hero is gone and we are left with psychotic mess of brain waves and personalities. For those of us who liked Peter Parker it is a huge disappointment. Don’t know if I will read the Superior Spider-Man or not.

On a scale from 1 to 10 on the things that bother me in life this is a 2 or 3 at best so life goes on but things are always changing in the comic world that is what makes it so interesting. Still don’t know what Dan Slott was thinking (read article) but time will tell if it was worth the trouble. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt