Sunday, July 14, 2013

RE: Superior Spider-Man Part 3 (Or "Enjoying It, but I'm Madder Than Before!")

Dan Slott – the author of this abomination Superior Spider-Man – promised Spidey fans that Superior Spider-Man #9 would provoke more hating than the despicable Amazing Spider-Man #700.   And he was right.  I was shaking in rage after reading it.  Uh, I have calmed down now, enough to be able to write about it.  It’s just a comic book anyway.  Insignificant in the general scheme of fate and the cosmos.  But the disgust about it still lingers.   


Doc Ock was able to learn that the memories that Peter Parker had uploaded into him prior his demise had created a personification of Peter Parker’s consciousness “alive” in Peter Parker’s body and mind (which Doc Ock had hijacked as his own).  Thus, he decided to eliminate Peter Parker once and for all.  And that’s what happened in Superior #9: the death of Peter Parker has been made definite at last (at least, as far as the Superior’s run is concerned).
I find it stupid for two reasons.  First, it negated the narrative impact of Amazing Spider-Man #700’s climax.  In my prior rant on the Superior Spider-Man (you are encouraged to read that first), I’ve mentioned why there can be some brilliance and beauty found on that development.  There was novelty on how this Superior Spider-Man came to be; Peter Parker still “won” even though he ultimately lost and perished.  Because despite of Doc Ock succeeding in stealing Peter Parker’s life, Peter Parker still ensured in his final moments that Doc Ock was obligated to stop being a villain and to carry the responsibility of being Spider-Man instead.  And Pete accomplished that by giving his memories to Doc Ock.  Now, I like to think that it was because of Pete’s memories that forced Doc Ock to choose becoming a hero; that makes that entire moment powerful and original.  So without those memories, what is keeping Doc Ock from returning into the life of a super villain?  Why would he choose to continue being a hero if he no longer empathizes with Pete’s “With great power comes great responsibility” mantra?  It doesn’t make sense.  That is, unless Doc Ock’s heel-to-face has never been dependently based on the integration of Peter Parker’s memories into him after all.  And that actually makes things worse!  It substantially cheapens Peter Parker’s awesome last moment sacrifice. 

Second, it negated the impact of the delightful twist at the end of Superior Spider-Man #1, in which it was revealed that Peter Parker’s consciousness still exists, though helpless, hidden inside the brain of Peter Parker, though already inhabited by Doc Ock’s own mind.  Pete’s last statement, “I don’t know how.  But I am still in the fight!  I am Peter Parker.  And I swear I will find a way back!”, has been powerful and optimistic.  It significantly lessened the blow of Amazing #700.  It gave us the feeling that though it might take some time but the return of Peter Parker – the Spider-Man we love – is just around the corner.  It has a calming effect. 

That’s why if they intended Peter Parker to “die” anyway, then they should have made it “permanent” (again, as far as the Superior’s run is concerned) on Amazing Spider-Man #700 already!  Why bother extending Peter Parker into 9 issues when he was never going to be a fixture anyway?  Really annoying!

Okay, so the logical reason for doing this is for pissed Amazing Spider-Man readers, i.e. Peter Parker loyalists, to stick around long enough to be exposed to the Superior Spider-Man first.  And once it was done – 9 issues later – Peter Parker is finally removed permanently out of the story.  If that is the reason, then that’s one heck of a shrewd move.   But it was nonetheless exploitive of the fans’ loyalty.  Implying that Peter Parker would linger and would return soon gave false hopes to us fans.  And to give false hopes is pure evil because it breaks hearts.    

* * *

I really miss Peter Parker’s quips and wisecracks.  Being funny is part of Spider-Man.  But fooling around was never Otto Octavius’ thing; he doesn’t have Peter’s wittiness and humor.  Still, there are times when his demeanor would cause some unintentional funny moments. 

* * *

As I’ve mentioned before, I admit that the Superior Spider-Man has been actually pretty cool.  Not only because the “heel-face turn” done on him has been the first of its kind, or because he also possesses the “brilliant A-hole” charm that the character of Dr. Greggory House has, but, most importantly, it is because he is a superhero with a supervillain approach on superheroing.   And I am forced to admit that that is actually quite interesting.   

Oh, yes, Otto Octavious is quite sincere on wanting to be a hero.      

But his methods, however, are very much that of a sociopathic villain.     

In the conclusion of the latest story (as of writing), Otto blackmailed Mayor Jameson into giving him Riker’s Island, so that he can transform it into his HQ.  
Then, he started refurnishing his new lair and proceeded to recruit some henchmen. 
Minions?!  That is so like a villain.    

Also, after having a costume change just barely seven months ago, this proposed “new age” would bring another costume change to Spider-Man. 
Those spider-limbs – which I presume are going to be retractable and mechanical – look completely awesome.  Given Otto Octavius’ past as Dr. Octopus, which had him wielding mentally-controlled mechanical tentacles, I will also presume that the same technology used on Dr. Octopus’ tentacles is the same technology applied on these new spider-limbs.    

Also, it’s quite interesting that this new costume has debuted already in Avengers #15 when it hasn’t even been introduced on the Superior Spider-Man comics yet (which will happen in issue 14).  And it’s funny that in Avengers #14, he has still been wearing his old costume, and the narrative left no room for a costume change between #14 and #15. LOL. 

* * *

A couple of interesting things are lined-up for the Superior Spider-Man: 

a.) He is set to meet with the Scarlet Spider (who is the “Spider-Man” character I am currently fonder of because of obvious reasons) for the first time in a two-part story called “Sibling Rivalry”, happening in Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2 and Scarlet Spider #20.  Kaine, the Scarlet Spider, is going to pay his “brother” Peter a visit.  Unbeknownst to him, Peter is now dead and it is Otto that possesses the body of his “brother”.  This is going to be an intriguing meeting considering that, back in the 90’s, Kaine (when he was still a villain) killed Otto Octavius. 

b.) He would then clash with another Spider-Man, this time the Spider-Man of year 2099.   Why is Miguel O’Hara time-travelling to the present?  Is it possible that he somehow knows that Otto Octavius has taken over Peter Parker’s body? 

c.) And if that is not enough Spider-Men for you, Ben Reilly (the original Scarlet Spider and had even replaced Peter Parker as Spider-Man, after both Ben and Pete erroneously thought that Ben was the real Peter Parker and  Peter was a mere clone) is returning!   Kaine is the one set to face this “Ben Reilly” – still not confirmed if this is going to be the real Ben – but if he is the real deal, then a meeting between him and the Superior Spider-Man is inevitable. 

d.) The Superior Spider-Man is going to be part of the roster of another Avengers’ team, this new Mighty Avengers.   

e.) The reunion of Black Cat and Spider-Man.  Black Cat has always had the hots for Spider-Man but can never stand his alter-ego, Peter Parker.  But now that it’s Otto occupying Peter’s body, would Felicia Hardy be finally attracted to “Peter Parker”?    

f.) The solicitation of Superior Spider-Man #21 implies that this is the issue where “Peter Parker” would gain his PhD (after Otto chose to go to school for it since it annoys him that he has no doctorate in the life that he is currently living, the life of Peter Parker).   There is a list of great things that Otto has accomplished or established for “Peter Parker” that the real Peter Parker can enjoy once he returns (it’s a guarantee to happen; the only question is the “when”).  And for me, the top of this list is going to be that PhD. 
On a side note: I don’t like that Otto began a romance with one of his classmates.
Now, I like that Otto has decided to leave MJ alone.  Because it would be creepy if he didn’t.  But I consider this new romance as one of the items in another list – the list of screw-ups done by Otto as “Peter Parker” that Peter has to bear with once he returns.  

 * * *

I find reading Superior Spider-Man an ironic and remarkable experience.  I enjoy reading it.  But along with the enjoyment comes the roaming feeling of fury, displeasure, and loathing.   But that’s just it!  I might find the stories and the titular character of Superior Spider-Man entertaining and interesting, but I can’t stop hating the whole concept.  I am a big Spider-Man fan, and Spider-Man is all about Peter Parker being Spider-Man

I won't ever acknowledge that Otto is indeed “superior” to Peter Parker as Spider-Man; because no matter how remarkable, interesting, and efficient his approach is, he never really personified the true essence of Spider-Man.  No matter how cool the Superior Spider-Man turns out to be, no matter how entertaining his adventures would be, the conclusion will remain the same: he is a mere bastardization of what being Spider-Man is about.   


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