Thursday, January 24, 2013

Superior Spider-Man #1, Avenging Spider-Man #16, & Otto Octavius as Peter Parker

If you haven't heard by now,  Otto Octavius (AKA, Dr. Octopus) diabolically switch bodies with Peter Parker near the end of the Amazing Spider-Man title, and the young hero died while trapped in the terminally ill body of his longtime nemesis. Yes, this is another trick to boost sales, and it worked- well, for myself it did. I went out and picked up Superior Spider-Man #1 the day after reading Amazing Spider-Man #700, and then went on to hunt down most of the Avenging Spider-Man issues, eager for more of the webbed wall-crawler! I realize not all were thrilled about Marvel killing Peter off (again!), but the Otto's sarcastic, selfish dialogue coming from the mouth and mind of Parker was really well done and fascinating. In Superior Spider-Man #1, Otto is so bent on dispatching the Sinister Six, that he alienates his boss at Horizon Labs and Mary Jane, with whom Parker recently reunited- this is somewhat refreshing.

When Otto corners the Sinister Six, who Parker tried to use in getting back into his own body before dying in Otto's, he's playing for keeps, surprising the unsuspecting villains with his ruthlessness. 

The ultra-competitive Otto is stopped just short of killing them before he is stopped by the spirit of Peter Parker, who, unseen by Otto, vows to never allow him to take a life, and to find a way back! So yes, they will bring Peter back to life- I can promise you that! 

Marvel carries Otto over into the Avenging Spider-Man title with issue #16, guest starring the X-Men. I love this title featuring Spidey with different guest heroes in every great issue!

Otto soon realizes a typical day for Peter Parker may involve any number of surreal and often life threatening situations, including a giant Spider scaling a skyscraper.

The X-Men show up, asking Spidey to step aside, but the competitive Otto uses his knowledge of arachnid physiology to bring the spider down- I'm unsure how Otto became familiar with this knowledge other than his genius-level scientific mind, but the others look on dumbfounded as Spidey unexpectedly reacts to Wolverine's condescension, delivering the clawed mutant a swift beat-down.

When Wolverine peels himself off the sidewalk and gets the jump on Otto, he commands Hope to scan his mind to see who is really inside his friend's head, suspicious of Spidey's shifted personality. But Otto pulls from Parker's memories to use the hero's charm to talk his way out it. Spidey knows that the girl who appeared in place of the giant felled spider is a genetically engineered being, but leaves Beast to discover that she's also a clone by himself. But who's behind this? The character on the last page reveals what our heroes have yet to discover...!

This is so much fun! Spider-Man is as big as ever! I also loved the recent Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man with middle-schooler Miles Morales taking over for the Peter Parker killed off in that book (poor guy). So great! In my opinion, both these books took a chance reinventing one of the world's most beloved comic book characters, and did so inventively. Every time this happens, fans and critics dismiss it as hype to sell comics, and that's what it is. Tell us something we didn't know. Something has to happen in the book for it to keep selling, and let's not forget, in the dangerous world Spider-Man comes from, the odds are against him surviving. Why not play with that idea? And why not move Parker into adulthood, far removed from his beleaguered beginnings as a nerdy high schooler? We'll still have all the tales we loved from the character's long & rich history. Yes it's cheezy how almost every comic hero that dies comes back to life, but it's fantasy. I've enjoyed Spider-Man comics from the last year as much as any I've read in my life, perhaps due to my somewhat fresh re-emergence into the subject as an adult, but for another reason as well- that is my belief in appreciation of art not on my terms, but in observance of it's creator's vision.

More Later- Make It FUN!


  1. I am enjoying Spider-Man more than I have in a long time. Spider-Island was fun but this Doc Ock stuff is gold. I want to see him change from a bad guy to a selfless hero, against his will if possible.

  2. Thanks for posting the pics! If I ever get back to the states I would love to be a comic geek again.

  3. I'm still hesitant. I haven't bought Superior just yet, but did read a friends copy and was pleased to see Parker's spirit at the end.

    I may find myself going against my vow and pick up Superior and Avenging this weekend.