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Opinion Piece: Who Is Truly The Superior Spider-Man?

May 13, 2013 Leave a comment

I have begun writing this piece a dozen times over in my head the past couple of days.  So let’s begin at this:  SPOILERS AHEAD.  If you haven’t read Superior Spider-Man #9 and will, go read it.  I’ll wait…

Now, what I’m about to say is probably going to induce some anger, rage, and confusion, but here goes:  this book has actually made me care about Spider-Man again.

Yeah, clean up the spit from your monitor.  You read it right.  A book in which Peter Parker is NOT Spider-Man, has induced something within me that actually makes me want to read about Peter Parker.  That hasn’t been the case for 10 years for me, so I don’t say that lightly.

 

But why would it?  Why should it?

These are the adventures of Doctor Otto Octavius (aka Doctor Octopus), attempting to steal away Peter’s life from him in the most sinister and evil way.  He has changed how Spider-Man is viewed by the average joe, his relationship with the authorities and the media, as well as created suspicion within the ranks of the Avengers themselves.  It brings something that makes me want to see more, and that is something that galvanizes you emotionally.  Love or hate the story/scenario, but you cannot dismiss it offhand as some hokey, shock value move on Marvel’s part as I originally thought myself.

Issue #9 finally brought it home, Peter Parker as it stands now, is dead.  I am certain that he will return, in some form or another, but the fact that Octavius actually bested Peter makes perfect sense.  Peter focused on his guilt and responsibility over Ben’s death to the point of tunnel-vision.  The observations made by Peter as Ock lives his life for him, serve as a reminder as to just how truly inefficient he was as a hero, and how flawed he was a man.  He was selfish by keeping MJ close to him.  He let his brilliant mind atrophy due to his preoccupation with just getting by financially.  Even though these are hard truths to see, they are what made Peter so compelling.  He was a REAL person.

Now that Otto is free from Peter’s “ghost”, he can truly embrace his calling as a hero (as he sees it anyway).  I am torn by wanting to see more.  If you think I want Ock to be Spider-Man, you misunderstand.  I see this as an opportunity for Peter to see just what he was doing wrong.  So much time wasted by patrolling the city, when Ock created a city-wide monitoring system.  He works WITH the police as opposed to around them.  He protects his loved ones by divorcing himself from them, knowing that attacks on him are attacks on them.  Dan Slott has made many mistakes while in charge of Spider-Man (Spider-Island, anyone?), this isn’t one of them.

In the end, I am attracted by the new.  Things I have never seen before.  This story, in the magnitude and scope, has not been done before.  That intrigues me.  And isn’t that WHY we read comics in the first place?  To escape the mundane?  The same stories over and over begin to tire and fatigue me.  I want to wonder.  I want to speculate.  Hell, I want to be AMAZED.  This Superior Spider-Man may be here temporarily, but until he leaves us, he is Amazing to me.

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Categories: Art, Comics, Internet
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