By now, everyone has heard about or read for themselves the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #700 and has formulated an opinion on the events that have transpired. In case you didn’t hear, the bottom line is that Peter Parker is dead and so is Doctor Octopus. But neither is really completely and totally gone. Doc Ock’s brain now resides inside his formidable foe’s body and this Octavius-Spidey hybrid is now known as the Superior Spider-Man.
As with any major change in comics (or just about anything really), long-time fans express very loudly that they are for or against the new status quo. But in this case, I’ve generally found that the fan reaction to this new development in the story of Spider-Man has been overwhelmingly negative. So much so, that writer Dan Slott is getting death threats over the internet for this massive shake up. There are talks of boycotting the character and all his titles, but I find all this talk to be extreme overreaction.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t a fan of this new Spider-Man at first. Mostly it was just because I didn’t think they’d actually have the balls to do what they did. Actually replace the mind of one of the greatest heroes with the mind of one of the greatest villains and keep it that way? Simply unheard of. BUT THEY DID IT! They had to have known that this would cause quite a stir, but they did it anyway. And you know what? I’m glad that they did.
For something that’s been running as long as ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ the constant challenge is keeping things fresh. Some time after ‘Brand New Day’, I stopped reading Spidey because things started getting repetitive. Sure they changed some things about the villains, but essentially these were battles we’ve seen many times. Also, they started releasing it three times a month and I just couldn’t justify adding this to my monthly expenses. Besides the lack of funds, it just seemed to me that we were getting the same old thing in a new box. But with something as big as this happening, how could I not read it? This was just the enticing development necessary to bring back fans that may have thought the same way as I did. Whether they loved it or hated it, people were reading ‘ASM #700.’
Then, when I finished it, I found something poetic about the end. In his final act on this Earth while he was trapped inside the body of his long-time nemesis, Peter Parker inspired Otto Octavia’s to turn over a new leaf. Just as Uncle Ben did for him, Peter taught Otto that sentence that no comic book fan will ever forget: “With great power comes great responsibility.” I thought that was an amazing moment that brought Spider-Man full circle.
But for those who don’t see the beauty in what Dan Slott did, just remember that no one in comics ever stays dead minus a very select few. Bucky Barnes didn’t keep the mantle of Captain America for very long. Same goes for Dick Grayson with the Batman name. This won’t last, but while it does, I say that it deserves a chance. ‘Superior Spider-Man’ is really interesting because what Dan Slott has done here is switched the roles of J. Jonah Jameson, notorious Spidey hater, and the readers. Now we’re the ones that know that the new Spider-Man has villainous tendencies and everyone else thinks he’s a hero. This whole thing turns the Spider-Man dynamic on it’s head and I for one find it completely interesting.
Finally, it’s pretty obvious how things will get back to normal if you read the story carefully enough. As Axel Alonso points out while defending Slott against death threats, “Peter’s memories embed themselves in the consciousness of the next guy to wear the tights.” Things will go back to normal, but in my opinion, this change is interesting enough to last for a little while. I’ll say maybe a year at most. And during that time, it’s very possible that your minds will be changed by The Superior Spider-Man.
Have your own opinions on ‘Superior Spider-Man’ and ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #700? Share them in the comments below!