Welcome Back Mr. Parker

spider-man 1Surprise, surprise, Peter Parker is coming back to the land of the living. Of course, anyone with a brain should’ve been able to figure this out once the release date for Amazing Spider-man 2 was announced.  Yes, Peter’s finally going to be placed back in his own body in the newly announced Amazing Spider-Man #1 arriving in April. Marvel is hoping to attract that mythical “new reader” who has been intrigued by the trailers for Spidey’s next cinematic adventure.  Of course I’m excited. My all time favorite superhero is coming back!

But I’m not ready.  In the 25 issues that he’s inhabited Peter’s body, I’ve come to actually enjoy Otto Octavius’ attempts to become a hero.Even though he goes about it in a completely wrong way, it’s been really intriguing watching Otto attempt to be the “Superior” Spider-Man. the series has shown us how important Peter Parker is to the role of Spider-Man, as Otto showcases just how powerful and dangerous Spider-Man can be without the limitations of a responsible user.  We’ve seen Otto use Peter’s abilities to punch Scorpion’s jaw off, break the limbs of numerous C-list baddies, and even kill Massacre and Alistair Smythe. The age old debate of “Why don’t heroes kill” has been brought to the forefront of Superior Spider-Man, and we see first hand the ramifications of a hero putting a bullet in a villain’s face instead of hauling them off to jail. His Avengers teammates don’t entirely trust him, and Peter’s closest friends know something is wrong with him.

Every step Otto has taken in becoming a “Superior Spider-man” has pushed him closer and closer to villainy, and he can’t realize it. Sure, having spider-bots patrol the city does help cut down on crime, but what about the privacy of the citizens Otto is spying on? Creating your own police force is helpful in stopping petty crime, but is Otto’s “Spider-army” that much different than hiring random henchman? They’re really just fighting crooks and robbers instead of cops and superheroes.  Otto’s fight against crime is entertaining mainly because he’s using classic super villain tropes to fight it. Sure, he’s getting results, but can he still be considered a hero?

On the bright side, Otto’s departure from Peter’s body places Peter Parker in the spot where he shines brightest: as the underdog. The best Spider-man stories have found Peter Parker at his lowest and rising up against his challenges. If there’s a bigger challenge than piecing your life together after one of your enemies has taken over your body for a year, then I’ve never heard of it. It also begs the question of if Peter will be able to keep the things that Otto has gained for him when he returns. Sure, Otto Octavius may be able to run a company, but can Peter?

I’m hopeful that Superior Spider-Man won’t leave in a hurry. While it’s been announced that Peter will be coming back in April, there’s only a handful of Superior issues left. Despite my worries, I am ready for Peter to make his return. I think when we look back on Dan Slott’s run we’ll remark about how strange it was, but also how interesting it was too. How many titles have made such a radical change to its main character like Superior did? Sure, it wasn’t a permanent change, but it was interesting and different, and made us realize how important Peter Parker is to the Spider-Man character. It’s true that anyone could be Spider-Man, but only Peter Parker can be THE Spider-Man.

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Posted on January 28, 2014, in Comic Books, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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