Written by SomeNerdThing.com
Fans were livid when Marvel announced that they would be killing off peter Parker and that Doctor Otto Octavius would be taking over his life as the self proclaimed “Superior Spider-Man”. We didn’t want to believe it. “How could marvel kill off peter Parker?”
After an extensive battle with Spider-Man (arguably lasting several years), Doc Ock was dying; and in his last moments he successfully switched brains with Peter Parker who proceeded to die in his body as Doc Ock lived on behind Peter’s face. (See ASM #700)
The silver lining is that once they switched bodies, Doc Ock re-lived peter’s life in the blink of an eye; all of his defining moments. Doc Ock felt the loss of HIS uncle Ben and HIS love of Aunt May. He remembered the tragic loss of HIS beloved Gwen Stacey. He resolved to be Peter’s replacement. What started as a desperate attempt to stay alive and win his final battle roped Octavius into the rest of his life as the defender of New York.
I was disheartened when Peter died. I connected with Peter Parker better than any other comic book character. I understood Peter. The only reason I kept on with the series was my love for writer Dan Slott, but as time went on, I grew more and more ok with Doc Ock as spiderman. I slowly began to refer to him as “Otto” in conversations with friends. I grew to trust, depend on and even root for Otto.
Dan Slott’s wonderful story-crafting (did I just invent a new WOW profession?) takes the band-aid off slowly. In the beginning you’re still racking your brain trying to figure out how Peter will make his triumphant return, but after so many issues, you finally accept that Peter is not coming back; this is forever.
Otto is, in a lot of ways, the superior Spider-Man. He develops thousands of spider drones to constantly search the city for damage, assess the threat level and either alert the local authorities or Otto himself.
Otto is completely dedicated to protecting the city. He understands that with great power comes great responsibility. There is also an element of his pride in effect. He views being a better Spider-Man than Parker as his ultimate “win”.
Otto is flawed. He is smarter than Peter, but he is over-calculating. He weighs risk and reward and sometimes makes decisions that hurt people fo . Otto also does not have Peter’s desire to preserve all life. He will kill a criminal if he thinks that is the best way to eliminate the threat.
This series was an emotional roller coaster. Fans spammed Dan Slott’s twitter with messages of hate and disgust, but then contacted him again to apologise after reading the series. When Marvel Announced that “Amazing Spider-Man”, and therefore Peter Parker, would return, Fans wondered how Peter would get back into his body and how he would deal with the fallout of Otto’s actions as Spider-Man.
I loved this series. I was on the edge of my seat every month as I found out the next piece of the story. I longed to see Otto both succeed and fail at the same time. I fell in love with him and was disappointed when he would make decisions unbefitting of Spider-Man. I have not felt this much Passion for a villain since Doctor Horrible.
When I truly thought Peter was gone for good I was actually ok. Part of me was believing Otto was a better Spider-Man; and in a lot of ways he really was, but he doesn’t have peter’s inherent love of people and life; the carefree-ness that makes Spider-Man who he is. Peter loved being Spider-Man, but Otto took it as a serious job.
This series is amazing. I put it above many others as one of the best written story arcs in recent comics (in both Marvel and DC). Dan Slott is a Story-Crafter that stands among the greatest of modern comic writers. He writes Otto and Peter as two completely different characters and he understands them deeply and intimately.
This is the best comic series I have read since I began collecting Comics almost 10 years ago, and I am a DC buff, not a Marvel one (so I am not biased to Marvel).
Superior Spider-Man ran for 31 issues with the final issue releasing April 16th 2014. You can buy the issues at your local comic shop or online from Marvel in both print and digital.
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