Well, it’s finally here. The issue of Superior Spider-Man that writer Dan Slott said would anger fans more than Amazing Spider-Man #700 did.
It needs to be said that there WILL be spoilers in this review so if you haven’t read it yet this is where you need to stop reading.
Still here? Then I assume you’ve read the book or have no issues with spoilers so let’s get to it, shall we?
The dust had not yet settled on Amazing Spider-Man #700, which featured Doctor Octopus doing the one thing he’s never really done before: defeat Spider-Man and in a most complete manner, before Superior Spider-Man #1 was unleashed upon the world and people began to see the full extent of what Dan Slott was doing. Doc Ock was now Spider-Man and there wasn’t a single thing anyone could do about it. Sure, there were a LOT of detractors (from some guy on YouTube making a video of himself complaining about and burning ASM #700 while admitting he hadn’t actually read the book all the way to some poor sap of a blogger trying to make the argument that Slott and Marvel were pro-rape and were trying to get Spider-Fans to cheer for a rapist and even thought this issue was a bad idea proving that just because you have a blog it doesn’t mean your opinion have value… unless it’s my blog) but as new issues came out those detractors found nearly every complaint they had totally destroyed.
As far as the first 8 issues of Superior Spider-Man go, this series has been even more entertaining than Amazing Spider-Man was (and that series was highly entertaining from Brand New Day on, with only a few missteps here and there) but the one thing that tied Superior to Amazing was the ‘spirit’ of Peter Parker who had been in Ock’s mind and was trying to reassert himself as the dominant personality.
For a while now Parker has been trying to get back in control and it’s been making Otto wonder about his mind and what may be wrong. It’s a bit of irony that he fully discovered what the situation was because of the Avengers. They insisted he take some tests to see if he was who he claimed to be. Their concern, however, was Spider-Man may have been a Skrull. It was the brain scan that brought it to light that he had two different brain patterns in his head. After some searching he discovered it was Peter and set out to remove him permanently.
So, in #9 he locates the part of Parker’s memories that have taken on a life of their own and, after failing to remove them, enters his own mind and faces off against the Parker memory face to face. What comes next is an interesting battle where Parker pulls anyone and everyone who was a source of strength to him into the fight to help him regain control. Otto fights back with Parker’s failure and fears. As the fight progresses, Otto begins to delete more and more of Parker’s memories and Peter begins to forget those who were most important to him… Even Uncle Ben! But what really puts Parker in his place is something that happened last issue: Parker almost prevented Otto from saving the life of a little girl because the device he was going to use could also expose him to Otto. It was this action that finally allowed Otto to gain the upper hand and, well… It’s better to just show you:
So the issue ends with, we assume, only one mind in the head of Peter Parker’s body. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out if Otto actually completely destroyed Peter Parker. If Marvel’s prediction that these events will anger those who hated ASM #700 even more than they were then… Peter Parker is no more. However, it could be that Peter, always the best at getting out of tight situations, was somehow able to retreat into a deeper part of his mind in order to buy time to figure out another way to get his life back. I mean, we all know that Peter isn’t gone forever but wouldn’t it be fun if he was gone for a very long time? I think it would be.
So now begins an era for Spider-Man that will truly be interesting and unpredictable. I, for one, am very much looking forward to it and am very glad that we have Dan Slott in the Captain’s chair during this era. With Peter Parker gone it will really be a Brand New Day… Big Time. But on the other hand I do understand why people are upset with this (though that blogger’s issues make no sense unless you’re a Glenn Beck fan): for years Peter was the lovable loser, the every-man. He was always able to win even when he lost, no matter the situation, and his fans loved him for that. He was an inspiration. Then Slott came along and kicked the whole world of Spider-Man onto the floor and changed the rules. Peter Parker lost. His fans weren’t prepared for that. Normally I would be with them but this is something the character needed for some time, a massive change that showed that even Peter Parker has limits. The thing that makes this better than other changes in the Marvel Universe, like that stupid thing they did with Nick Fury (Jr.), is that this was organic. the story flowed and made sense. It wasn’t sudden or forced. I like that.
It won’t last forever but I plan to enjoy every moment.