I explain the events that led up to Superior Spider-Man

By now you must know that Marvel’s current longest running series Amazing Spider-Man ended on Wednesday with Peter Parker’s death and Doctor Octopus taking over the Spider-Man role.  I can already hear the groans from millions of comments on Yahoo! News.  And yes, without knowing anything (and an attitude smeared in bile and rage), it’s a strange and frustrating idea.  I’m here to reassure you that nope, this will be fantastic — quite possibly one of the best things to happen to Spider-Man in a long time.  The Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott has only written genius, and as I explain it all to you from the beginning, I hope your fears will be abated as well.

The very first seeds of this switch were planted way back in Amazing Spider-Man #600, written by Slott and drawn by John Romita, Jr.  Y’see, turns out that Doc Ock’s supervillainy career hasn’t been all moneybags and maniacal laughs.

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As you figured, Otto Octavius has been pummeled quite a bit in his 50 year history.  Click on the next picture for a larger version:

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Doctor Octopus is dying.  Nothing can be done about it.  But unfortunately, a man of that ego won’t go peacefully.  Nope, time to skip robbing banks and put forth more ambitious plans.

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Now, why is this important to Superior Spider-Man?  It’s what happens next:

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Notice what happened?  Using Doc Ock’s own device, Spider-Man used his brain waves to overtake and control the Octobots.

In Amazing Spider-Man #672, written by Slott and drawn by Humberto Ramos, he uses it again in the conclusion of Spider-Island:

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A few issues later, Octavius makes one final destroy-the-world scheme.  Luckily, Spider-Man planned ahead complete with a new Doctor Octopus-proof suit as shown here in Amazing Spider-Man #687, written by Slott and drawn by Stefano Caselli:

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As you might expect, Spider-Man saves the world because Marvel comics have still been produced since this issue.

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That cool Spider-Man outfit?  One neat little addition was a device that tapped into Doc Ock’s brain waves, similar to the helmet Spider-Man has already used twice.  Normally, that’s just one more reason why Spider-Man’s so resourceful and intelligent.  Except for one simple fact: Doctor Octopus is smart too.  Like a super genius.

Cut to Amazing Spider-Man #697, written by Slott & Christos Gage and drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli.  The main story’s about two Hobgoblins running around, but that’s not important. Notice anything special on this next page?

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See that golden Octobot?  It’s shown on many of the pages, but never actually focused on.  A delightful part of the background.  I, like most readers, brushed it off until the next issue written by Slott and drawn by Richard Elson.

It’s been 98 issues since Doctor Octopus was told he had a year (at most) to live.  Time’s up.

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Honestly, I don’t think anyone saw that coming.  And they’re lying if they say they did.  Octavius’ final plan was to switch bodies with Spider-Man, taking with him all his memories and talents.  How?  Well, that’s what all this previous stuff has been about.  Click the picture below for a larger version:

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Don’t you see the amazing part?  Spider-Man’s own genius backfired on him.  His scientific knowledge and ability allowed him 50 years of defeating opponents tougher, stronger, and more numerous — and now, it’s that same skill Doctor Octopus exploited to open up and switch with Peter Parker’s mind.  Beautiful!

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Now we cut to Amazing Spider-Man #700, written by Slott and Ramos.  Parker as Doctor Octopus has broken out of jail to get his own body back.  Unfortunately, he has minutes before he dies.  And despite all his best efforts and plans, he loses.  Doc Ock wins.

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Octavius’ body has given out and Spider-Man’s in prime condition.  No metal arm waving or last minute bursts of strength.  So, in Parker’s final act, he uses the memories the two of them share to force Octavius to relive Parker’s most important memories.  Why?  To teach Doc Ock the one thing he’s been lacking all these years: empathy.

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And more.  Look, Octavius will live on as Peter Parker — that’s already been decided.  All Parker can do is make sure his legacy as Spider-Man and Spider-Man’s role in the world lives on in the right way.

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Please understand this isn’t some cheap ploy or gimmick.  Superior Spider-Man will be around for a few years at least judging from the interviews with Slott.  We get to see Doctor Octopus with a second chance on life, and more importantly, as a superhero.  A better superhero.

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Trust me, Spider-Man is my number one favorite, and now we’re getting Spider-Man stories that have certainly never been told before in Marvel history.  How can you not be excited?  If you want more, check out Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 for the first issue starring the Doc Ock Spider-Man, and Superior Spider-Man #1 goes on sale in January.  And finally, get your panties out of a bunch.

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14 Comments on “I explain the events that led up to Superior Spider-Man”

  1. sftheory1 says:

    Yes! My sentiments exactly!
    I’m not as big a fan of Spider-Man’s as I used to be, but I love this new direction. Hopefully you’re right and Octavius will be Spider-Man for years to come. Damn, this was a gutsy move on Marvel’s part.

    • Dan Legue says:

      And Peter’s soul belongs to Mesphisto who will make Peter live up to his end of the deal when he gave both his marriage and soul to him in exchange of saving Aunt May’s life. I feel that Superior Spider-Man will be Dan Slott’s last Spider-Man story to tell the way he wants to tell it. Marvel has taken this risk because Dan Slott must have given them an impressive argument about his idea. I would assume that they were planning to put Dan in another Marvel title when he begged the Editors to allow him to complete his run on Spider-Man in a way that no past Spider-Man writer has ever done. So, I say let Dan get to tell his story the way he wants. And Let Peter Parker stay in Hell until his kids arrive to free him.

  2. Jason says:

    Is Mephisto having Peter’s soul canon?

    I understood that the whole exchange was for Peter’s marriage and consequent happiness.

    After his experience with the Silver Surfer I’d suggest that Mephisto knows a hero’s soul isn’t easy to hang on to.

    • Jason Levine says:

      I’m pretty sure it was just the marriage, especially with the whole Heaven part in Amazing Spider-Man #700.

      • Zarius says:

        Peter and MJ’s child’s soul was erased/taken by Mephisto. I’m pretty convinced Mephisto hasnt altered time, just reality, meaning none of this will ever really count when it’s inevitably undone by a better creative team (can’t stand Slott or his acolytes)

  3. I’m hesitant but I’m embracing it with an open mind. If Slott can still put out quality issue after quality issue, I can look past the fact that Peter is no longer Spider-Man for the time being. It will be interesting to see if Otto is still Spider-Man by the time the Amazing Spider-Man movie sequel comes out…

    • Jason Levine says:

      I never thought about the next movie — what do they have, a year or two? Plus, when Doc Ock gets his original body back, they going to make him go back to villain? And now I’m wondering if Doc Ock’ll get to be as funny as Peter Parker. Now I’m even more excited, but maybe I’m just a sucker for redemption stories.

      • “I never thought about the next movie — what do they have, a year or two?”
        May 2, 2014. More than enough time for Superior Spider-Man to run its’ course.

        “And now I’m wondering if Doc Ock’ll get to be as funny as Peter Parker.”
        I wouldn’t count on it. Doc Ock won’t be unleashing any zingers anytime soon…

  4. lolroflmaodq says:

    good to know one minute of spidermans guilt trip can undo years of evil

  5. asdfgh says:

    Pete should be getting his body back by May. plus, Ock is doing a terrible job at keeping his cover, it has less to do with him being clever and smart; and more to do with everyone else becoming even more brain dead than the time that led to OMD.

    • Zarius says:

      Precisly why the constant praise for this book tends to baffle me. Slott’s run is the worst the book has ever been and you’d have to be someone who’s long forgotten what made Spidey special to appreciate it. I’ve had to reconcile things as just being the deal with Mephisto surpressing the I.Q of the entire Marvel Universe…it’s made a ton of money, but then so does Bayformer movies, people are unfortunatly very stupid and fall for the emperor’s new clothes, only some hardcore Spidey loyalists, true to how the character used to be, can see the emperor is naked. Thank goodness we have the daily newspaper strip

      • Jason Levine says:

        As stated on Brian Michael Bendis’ tumblr, “Anonymous asked: It makes me insane when I see people complain when a writer does something new or takes a character in a different or unexpected direction. If I wanted to read the same old story, I would just re-read one of the books I already own. Am I the only one frustrated by these ‘fans’?”



        If you don’t mind, I’m going to post this on another one of your comments too. I love Dan Slott, I love Spider-Man, and my heart completely and fully belongs to Dan Slott’s Spider-Man.

  6. anon says:

    While new stuff is always good to see, I can’t reconcile the greatness of JMS era Spider-Man with BND level stuff. Slott isn’t a bad writer,he has genuine good ideas. But most of them carry the decisions of the editors or OMD.

    For example, before OMD if Parker ever left MJ, assuming Felicia was single at the time, she wouldn’t waste a second of that opportunity to get back together. They used an universally hated character ruining moment to retcon everything to their like. They even had the gall to say everything happened the same way except without the marriage.

    Really? Then where is Parker’s new/old powers? The guy didn’t get organic webbing or 15 ton muscle class due to The Other. It was done before that.

    The Other added to those new powers. 15 tonnes became at least 25 tonnes. Organic webbing became mystically enhanced in supply. he coated an entire alley with it, trapping Iron Man during Back in Black.

    Yeah, everything happened the same way. Good for them.

    Black Cat suddenly lost years of character development.

    And Bendis really isn’t a good example to defend the new direction.

    His MO could be summed up as this:

    The guy writes a new story. Then he retcons or manipulates the backstory in a blatant way to have the narrative flow in the direction he wants. His characters all speak with the same voice. Most of the time out of character quipping.

    His New Avengers run was the worst in that way,then he used “decompression” to spoonfeed it slowly so that it wouldn’t stick out too much.

    In a mini series with limited space, his flaws become even more pronounced.

    He is the guy who tells not shows the story in a medium especially oriented to show a story.

    I wrote all this because i saw your Morlun vs Spider-Man posts. It’s hard reconcile that stories with Slott and Bendis drivel. And I liked Slott’s stories. Avengers Initiative was great.

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