Superior (?) Spider-Man
WARNING: Unless you’ve read Amazing Spider-Man #698, go NO FURTHER! SPOILERS AHOY!!!!
Well, that was not what I was expecting. For months, Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott has been tweeting about issue 698, even more than issue 700, which we now know will serve as the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man. So now that the dust has settled, and people have snatched up their Spider-Man 2099 #1 issues from the quarter bins hoping to turn them over for a higher profit, how does this revelation sit with a life long Spidey fan like me?
I honestly don’t know. I am both disappointed and intrigued by the idea, but much of that is tempered by the fact that nothing changes for real in the Marvel universe. And before I forget, you can put away those 2099 issues. And Kaine issues. And don’t worry, you won’t have to piece together the Alpha issues from the shredder either. The identity of “Superior” Spider-Man is something that came completely out of left field for me, even though the host of the “Cape Crisis” podcast correctly guessed it. So who is it? Do you want to know? Do you REALLY want to know?
Seriously, turn back now. This is your only warning.
If Amazing Spider-Man #698 is to be believed, Doctor Octopus is the new Spider-Man. Somehow, someway, Ock has swapped bodies with Peter Parker, and is now in control, leaving Peter Parker’s mind in the dying body of Otto Octavius. This reveal comes at the end of the issue, which followed Peter through a normal day. However, something seems off in his characterization. He seems too determined to change his life for the better, too optimistic about the future. And by the end, we know why that is.
Now, there’s a big chance that this could all be a bait and switch, that Peter somehow gets out of this and is still Spider-Man by the time Superior Spider-Man hits the stands in January (or someone else is Spidey by then). But as of right now, this does present an interesting angle on Dr. Octopus. After so many years of humiliating defeat, he (potentially) gets his ultimate revenge. This move places him in the top tier of villains, arguably even above Norman Osborn, who in recent years has become less of a Spidey villain and more of the Lex Luthor of the Marvel Universe.
OckSpidey is an interesting idea, and if it goes through, it would be something different for Marvel. As I’ve stated before in this column, I’m pretty indifferent to changes to Spider-Man at this point. I’ve stuck through worse than this, and I really don’t think it will last longer than 7 issues, 10 maybe. Seeing Doc Ock try and do the “hero” thing does have potential, but will Marvel really completely change their flagship hero?
No way, Amazing Spider-Man 2 is supposed to come out next summer!