As part of Marvel NOW! – my thoughts on which I’ve already shared a while back – Spider-Man is going to undergo a very big change. Spider-Man’s flagship comicbook, The Amazing Spider-Man, is going to end with its 700th issue, which will come out this late December. It’s going to be replaced with Superior Spider-Man, its first issue coming out this upcoming January. Something will happen in Amazing #700 that will change the Spider-Man we know of. He’s no longer going to be the carefree, happy-go-lucky, wisecracking hero that we love. The Superior Spider-Man is going to be a no-nonsense Spidey. Grittier. Darker. And more powerful.
Moreover, it is confirmed that this Superior Spider-Man IS NO LONGER Peter Parker.
This was my worst fear, as I’ve already mentioned in the article of my initial thoughts on Marvel NOW!
First of all, what’s up with replacing “Amazing” with “Superior”?! I don’t dig “Superior” as the adjective for Spidey at all. The adjective “amazing” has already become Spidey’s iconic description. Moreover, “amazing” is a throwback to the comic book which Spidey first appeared, Amazing Fantasy (formerly Amazing Adult Fantasy). “Amazing” is cool and sensible. “Superior” is obnoxious!
Second, Spider-Man is not the dark, serious type of superhero at all. It’s not what makes this character special. If I want a dose of a gritty, brooding superhero, I would go check out Batman. But with Spider-Man, I expect warm wit and humor.
There are talks that this Superior Spider-Man is going to be Miguel O’Hara – the Spider-Man of the year 2099. Now, Spider-Man 2099 was indeed awesome and I’m actually cool with A gritty, serious Spider-Man like Miguel O’Hara a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099 or the current Scarlet Spider identity of the Spidey clone Kaine. I emphasize “A” there since I mean it as far as a version of Spider-Man is concerned. But making THE [main] Spider-Man gritty and serious? No way! Again, being gritty is NOT what makes THE Spider-Man.
Being a witty smartass is an integral part, not only of Spidey’s character, but of his arsenal, as well. Humor has been both a weapon to psych out opponents and a defense mechanism in dealing with all the antagonisms and problems he constantly experiences both in his personal and superhero life. His humor – along with his strong sense of moral responsibility and conviction – helps him in having a positive outlook in life in spite of all the rotten things that fate throws at him.
Which leads me to the third and most important point: Stan Lee created and designed Spider-Man to constantly wrestle with personal problems and dilemmas, whether big or small, that normal people experience so that we might perfectly relate to him and, thus, be inspired by him. Because despite of being constantly bombarded with problems, Spidey never gives up being a hero. He continually lives out his motto of “With great power comes great responsibility.” He always selflessly and bravely chooses to do the right thing, regardless of what’s the effect of this – even if it’s harmful or painful – on himself, or if he’ll be appreciated for it or not. He courageously makes a stand for good even against immense odds or threats. When he is knocked down, he will stand up and continue to fight. He is tempted and discouraged – because he’s human after all – but he overcomes in the end. And throughout all these struggles, he remains cheerful and positive in life.
Therefore, it is imperative that Peter Parker should be Spider-Man, because it is Peter Parker who has these necessary characteristics that makes the Spider-Man character great and inspirational!!! If Peter Parker is no longer Spider-Man, how can we relate to and be inspired by the character?! Spider-Man is Peter Parker, and Peter Parker is Spider-Man. That should be the formula and the status quo forever!
Yes. Spider-Man has inspired me. That’s why I really value this comic book character greatly, that this “Superior Spider-Man” reboot – especially replacing Peter Parker – hurts me and makes me mad. At least, when Ben Reilly temporarily replaced Peter Parker as Spider-Man back in the late 90’s (during the Clone Saga), the vital personality and values of a Peter Parker remained intact with Spider-Man since Ben Reilly, being a clone, was still technically a Peter Parker.
Moreover, it gets worse…
So it seems Spider-Man and Mary Jane is going back as a couple. Only that is, Superior Spder-Man is not Peter Parker anymore. And since it’s no longer Peter Parker, what’s the sense now? It only pisses me more that after that stupid “One More Day” storyline brought Pete and MJ apart, there is no more chance of bringing them back together (or, at least, a reunion delayed indefinitely). Seeing this new Spider-Man freely kissing Pete’s MJ is so heartbreaking.
I’m praying those guys at Marvel would realize how stupid this Superior Spider-Man concept is; that after a few months of Superior Spider-Man recording poor sales, they would decide to cancel it and bring us The Amazing Spider-Man back with Peter Parker returning as the one-and-only Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.
Before I end this, let me give my theories on who this Superior Spider-Man could be…
a.) Miles Morales
I actually don’t like when the Peter Parker of the Ultimate (Earth-1610) universe died. But I’m not really that mad since it wasn’t the main continuity after all (Earth-616) and tons of popular characters – Wolverine, Daredevil, Cyclops, etc. – had died in the Ultimate universe, too. Moreover, Miles Morales, who has replaced Peter as Spidey in the Ultimate universe, has been an entertaining Ultimate Spider-Man so far. Now, could it be that Marvel has decided that Miles Morales (but Caucasian and adult in this universe) should be the Spider-Man of the Earth-616 main continuity as well? Moreover, what does the conclusion of Spider-Men (the comicbook min-series this year in which the Earth-616 Peter Parker and Earth-1610 Miles Morales met, and marking the first time the two Marvel Universes interacted with each other) mean? After returning to the 616 universe, Pete googles “Miles Morales” and is shocked by what he found...
Was this a hint for Superior Spider-Man?
b.) Miguel O’Hara
This teaser art for the “Age of Ultron” event implies that “Age of Ultron” significantly involves Superior Spider-Man.
Thus, since Ultron has connection with future timelines, it’s a strong possibility that Miguel O’ Hara will time travel to the present to become the new Spider-Man. Also, take notice of the fingers of Spidey… it appears to be the retractable talons that Miguel O’ Hara a.k.a Spider-Man 2099 has.
c.) Someone possessing Peter Parker’s body
In the current Amazing storyline, Doctor Octpus has been able to switch bodies with Spider-Man. Now, Marvel is being stupid with this Superior Spider-Man development, but I don’t think they’re that stupid to indeed settle with Doc Ock possessing Pete’s body as the Superior Spider-Man. However, the storyline established that the “body-switching” medium is available, thus, it could be that at the end of #700, someone else – a good guy and not Doc Ock – is led take over Pete’s body. However, it won’t explain the “more powerful Spider-Man” element of Superior Spider-Man considering it’s the same original body after all.
d.) Peter Parker
It’s still Peter and Marvel was just trolling us when they said that the Superior Spider-Man is no longer going to be Peter Parker. Maybe what they mean by “not Peter Parker” is that Pete will just change his name and identity at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man #700. Now, I like this theory best. It’s unlikely though :,(