The Spider-Man #700 controversy — SPOILERS, y’all

201212271041 The Spider Man #700 controversy    SPOILERS, yall

In case you happened to make it to your comics shop or tablet to purchase a copy of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 before the shocking surprise ending was spoiled for you, CONGRATULATIONS. Headlines around the world are spelling it out in big letters: yet another Peter Parker is dead, making him 0-for-2 in Marvel’s various universes. (The Ultimate version died last year and was replaced by Miles Morales.) In a final battle with Doctor Ock, who was in the Spider-Man body, Peter could not control the withered, grey wifebeater glad body of Otto Octavius to victory and perished. Doc Ock is now both Peter and Spidey, but with the memories of Parker has decided to do the best he can and becomes SUPERIOR Spider-Man, on sale January 9th.

Not that we’ve read the comic in question. Like everyone, we’re on holiday and far from a comics shop. Sure we could have downloaded it, so having the story spoiled on twitter, rss, internet and everything but the family dog is entirely our fault. We managed to keep X-Factor results unknown for weeks at a time (not that anyone cared about Tate vs Bland Direction, really) so it can be done….but not this time.

While the issue in question had been available on street corners and file sharing since last week, you could still maintain a fig leaf of doubt about the epic events. However on Boxing Day morning, Marvel Itself released a spoiler-filled PR which revealed that AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 and the followup AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15.1 are both sold out until January 30th.

“This is the single most seismic shift in Spider-Man’s history—and it’s not something that will disappear any time soon,” said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “When Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker and writer Dan Slott came to us with this story, it was clear that this was a long term plan crafted with the utmost love and respect for the character. This is the kind of story that will have fans up in arms—but also coming back to the comic stores to check out each new exciting issue.”
 
On January 9th, Marvel launches Superior Spider-Man #1, an all-new ongoing series from Slott and superstar artist Ryan Stegman (Fantastic Four, Scarlet Spider)! Shipping twice-monthly, Superior Spider-Man launches a new chapter in the Marvel mythos, as Doctor Octopus strikes out on his own to be the greatest Spider-Man this world has ever known. But can he keep up the ruse? Will Spidey’s closest allies discover the fate of Peter Parker? And can this Spider-Man truly be a hero?


 Writer Dan Slott sold the story line in USA Today:

This is Moriarty in the head of Sherlock. This is Prince John inside of Robin Hood. This is the greatest villain inside the body of the greatest hero and trying to do good,” says writer Dan Slott, who moves from Amazing to Superior Spider-Man with rotating artists Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli.


So…a dramatic storyline spoiled by marketing and publicity concerns. Are there any winners here? Probably everyone. If you don’t know to stay off the internet during dramatic storylines by now, who’s the fool? Marvel has gotten massive publicity (albeit in a news-desert time period) and lots of buzz for the new series, previewed below.

The losers? Idiotic numbskulls with no moral compass or sense of scale who made death threats against Slott. It’s only lines on paper, folks.
Superior Spider Man 1 1 The Spider Man #700 controversy    SPOILERS, yall

Superior Spider Man 1 2 The Spider Man #700 controversy    SPOILERS, yall

Superior Spider Man 1 3 The Spider Man #700 controversy    SPOILERS, yall

Comments

  1. UHHHHHHH EXCUSE ME DIDN’T BOOMERANG JUST WANDER OFF INTO THE NEXUS OF ALL REALITIES IN “THUNDERBOLTS” HOW COULD MARVEL DO THIS TO ME THEIR LOYAL FAN FIRST THEY KILL SPIDER-MAN AND THEN THEY SCREW UP BOOMERANG/THUNDERBOLTS CONTINUITY IS THEIR CONTEMPT SO BRAZEN AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THIS “NEW 52″

  2. bad wolf says:

    “When Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker and writer Dan Slott came to us with this story…” a good demonstration of editorial-driven comics, order or importance and all. Which begs the question: why did Slott get threats when he’s just following orders?

  3. Rich Harvey says:

    “…it was clear that this was a long term plan crafted with the utmost love and respect for the character.”

    Hmmm … I’m seeing more press releases with statements like this. They make me suspicious. The idea is basically a retooling of the clone-saga which spun out of control in the 1990s. Storylines like this are basically testing grounds, using established characters. Peter Parker will be back before long, and Doc Ock will be spun off into his own series. See War Machine, Venom, etc.

  4. Rich Harvey says:

    “If you don’t know to stay off the internet during dramatic storylines by now, who’s the fool?”

    The Beat?

    This is the first I’ve heard of this “dramatic storyline”, since I don’t make it a point to follow the news. But then again, it doesn’t sound like there were any suprises to spoil.

  5. MBunge says:

    “It’s only lines on paper, folks.”

    Yes, threatening someone’s life over this is completely unacceptable.

    HOWEVER, I’m more than a little tired of this reflexive response whenever fans get upset about anything a pro/internet hack thinks they shouldn’t be upset about. If you can’t get angry about what happens in a comic, why should you ever be happy or excited about it? Isn’t “women in refrigerators” only lines on paper as well?

    Mike

  6. Mesektet says:

    So we are supposed to follow the adventures of the man who MURDERED Peter Parker and is trying to rape MJ? And that is respectful to the character how?

    I already enjoy reading about NOT Spider-man in Venom, Scarlet Spider and Ultimate Spider-Man so i think i will give this ridiculously stupid story a miss.

    Is there anybody who thinks this was a good idea?

  7. This’ll be the SUPERIOR whose announcement had everyone convinced that it was going to be the entry-point for Marvelman into the Marvel universe, right?

  8. Starman mike says:

    I just threw up. I just finished 700. The entire dc universe GONE! Now Peter Parker. This is not a great idea doc occ as Spider-Man omg I just threw up again. Thanks god for the Independant comics. The best stuff is coming out of them them these days. Check out whistling skull. Over at Dc now that a good story

  9. I bought the story for the spectacle. While the story is somewhat fresh (mindcontrol to the nth degree), it has the feeling of, wait for it, a crazy comic book story. I enjoyed the story for what it was, but am not interested in seeing where it goes. I don’t care about Doc Ock as Spiderman whatsoever. And there are so many backdoors that I’ll just wait until Pete gets back from the mind transfer he executed at the last second. Now on to eBay to see if some dumdum wants to give me a lot of money.

  10. Thomas Wayne says:

    And the poor excuses for PROFESSIONAL storytelling continues at the BIG TWO….very sad.

    This is the very essence of “I don’t have a real story to tell so let’s try to shock people with insert-b.s.-shock-here”

    Clone Saga anyone? I’m sure they thought that was brialliant at the time.

    This is why sales will continue to slide even if they have had a bump in the last couple of years…

    You will only get so many new readers on board….and when old readers come back to find Peter Parker dead replaced with a hybrid of Doc Ock its not going to be with arms wide open.
    Again, maybe I’m old (sadly, at 40) but what ever happened to just telling great stories without the need to try to make everything life changing and epic every issue?
    Maybe it is a case of poor editorial management and a need to convert this to that to support this because Disney is now running the show…but wow…will Dan Slott be proud to have his name on this a few years from now?

  11. “So we are supposed to follow the adventures of the man who MURDERED Peter Parker and is trying to rape MJ? And that is respectful to the character how?”

    Well, since Peter Parker made a deal with the devil a couple of years ago…

  12. “Starman mike” probably should have gotten a flu shot last month. :)

  13. Also a few years ago, there was a story in which Mary Jane and Aunt May put on old suits of Iron Man armour and joined Spidey in going to Latveria to fight Dr Doom. Let me know when something stupider than that comes along.

  14. Suzene says:

    @Mesektet – More sexual consent issues in comics, more “It’s not us, it’s you!” from the people making them: http://www.chaoticgeek.com/2012/12/amazing-spider-man-700-avenging-spider.html

  15. honestly, how can this be a controversy. It’s a mind-switch story line. Every piece of nerd fiction, from Buffy to Star Trek, has done this thing before. Regular Peter will be back eventually, probably within the next two years.

  16. Superior Spider-Ham. ORGANIC

  17. Has anyone seen screenshots or examples of the actual death threats? I’m not saying they didn’t happen, but I’ve never seen any actual proof that they happened, just the response from Slott and a lot of other people denouncing death threats, as if something like that really needs to be denounced.

  18. Torsten Adair says:

    “Is there anybody who thinks this was a good idea?”

    Me.

    As a child, going through my superhero phase, I would swing from the weeping willow in the backyard and pretend to be Spider-Man.

    As a teenage nerd, I escaped into the comics of Spider-Man (both the new Secret Wars-clothed Spidey, as well as the Marvel Tales reprints), identifying with a nerdy teenager/young man who had problems similar to mine.

    As an adult living in New York City with an overactive imagination, I constantly ponder “what if…” scenarios on the subway, walking down a dark street… …anticipating and plotting what my reaction would be if Something Happened. Or I hear a report on the news, and wonder what I would have done in that situation.

    This story goes to the soul of a superhero comics fan. What would you do if you found yourself in the body of a superhero? Would you do the best you could? Try to capitalize on the success and fame? Use your power for the greater good, even if that meant taking over the world, herding the sheeple toward that Bright Big Beautiful Tomorrow? Keep it a secret? Be mischievous? Indulge your every desire?

    With Doctor Octopus, you have an amazing storytelling device. A dying villain takes over the body of his foe, one of the most visible superheroes of New York City. It is part revenge, as DO tries to be better than PP. It is part redemption, as DO tries to make up for the schemes of the past. I’m sure Mr. Slott has even more themes to explore, but it’s a great start so far.

    Sweet Kirby Crackle! The Fundamental Theory of New York City is that EVERYONE who moves here gets a chance to start over! To make a better life for oneself. It’s the City of Dreams (any dream, take your pick) where anything is possible!

  19. Torsten Adair says:

    Rick, reading his older wall posts, the death threats seem to be on Facebook.

    Zach, I know of at least two mind transfers in Fantastic Four, one a really good early story with Mr. Fantastic (great cover!) and the Dr. Doom switch during John Byrne’s run (as well as the recent Hickman “download”).

  20. Dan Slott is mo-ron.

    Can’t believe anyone would take this clown seriously.

    Not on the internet, not in relief.

    He can write the next Star Wars movie sequel adaptation for Marvel in 2015.

    I would like to see how he could mess it up even more.

    This is the most entertaining part of modern comics.

    Sad but true

  21. @Torsten, Thanks for the info. I don’t have Facebook anymore, so I couldn’t see any of those. It’s strange that anyone would post a death threat via Facebook since a person has to use a real name.

  22. Synsidar says:

    I’d guess that the hobbyist reader doesn’t care much about spoilers. The casual reader, who worries that heroes might die permanently, hates spoilers.

    This’ll be the SUPERIOR whose announcement had everyone convinced that it was going to be the entry-point for Marvelman into the Marvel universe, right?

    Marvelman has been tied to the “Age of Ultron” storyline.

    I haven’t read ASM #700–the only Spider-Man titles I’ve bought were MARVEL TEAM-UP and UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN–but unless the brains were physically switched (and souls as well), Parker’s spirit is still in his own body. Only a copy of his mind was superimposed on Octavius’s brain. Slott, et al. could have Parker’s spirit rise up and regain control of his body any time they care to.

    SRS

  23. Rich Harvey says:

    “Slott, et al. could have Parker’s spirit rise up and regain control of his body any time they care to.”

    Sure! Then they can do a storyline where Doc Ock returns from the “dead” … maybe in a cyborg body, or maybe as a spirit (ala Hammerhead way back in the 1970s) … and then we can run through the revenge storyline cliches.

    Dan Slott is a talented writer … loved his run on She-Hulk … but this one is a swing and a miss.

  24. I still can’t get over the freaky friday thing.

  25. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Sooo…are all the people angry over this honestly oblivious that Peter Parker will be back to normal at storyline’s end or are they metagaming hard and pretending fan outrage as if the comics industry has become pro wrestling?

  26. Synsidar said: Marvelman has been tied to the “Age of Ultron” storyline.

    Much like the sainted Mr Moore himself, I approach a lot of this from a position of profound ignorance, so could you elucidate on that for me?

  27. These story lines can’t win. Either the new character proves to be a better version, which makes you doubt the greatness of the original or they suck and you stop reading, waiting for the original to come back. This happened with Ben Reilly and with Speedball, Speedball grew to be a powerhouse and then you learn he is a clone and that the orginal couldn’t use his powers as well. Who cared about the original after that. The cloned Spiderman had some great adventures, (cosmic Spiderman, venom suit, fighting with Silver Surfer) gaining some amazing experience and then you learn that wasn’t the real one, who never met SS. That left a bad taste in my mouth. Clone stories are failures.

  28. Harry says:

    This is so bad it’s already a classic.
    As someone in BC wrote: This story must be an order from Joe Q, in order to make OMD look good…

  29. Synsidar says:

    Sure. Last month, The Beat’s Steve Morris was in on a P.R. call about the “Age of Ultron” storyline. The report had this:

    Bendis is trying to keep things secretive – allegedly only 6 people at Marvel currently know how this book will end. He invited people in the call to try and guess, with iFanboy’s Ron Richards wondering if this might provide an entryway for Marvelman.

    All went silent. A tumble-weed gently rolled past.

    That’s not proof, of course, but informed speculation about story endings isn’t often wrong.

    SRS

  30. Synsidar says:

    Sooo…are all the people angry over this honestly oblivious that Peter Parker will be back to normal at storyline’s end. . .

    Well, that’s one of the negatives of writing for people who are really into a character. They want the stories written for them, and for the hero to behave as they want him to. Doc Ock as Peter Parker takes the real Spider-Man away from them for months. Compare the storyline to an episode in a sci-fi TV series which has the star’s body taken over by someone else. The viewer knows the hero will be back to normal by the end of the show; the question is how the writer will pull off the switch back. If the switch lasted for several episodes, the show would lose viewers. Marvel is betting that upset readers will continue to buy the Spider-Man titles, even while they’re angry, and that the change and publicity will get more readers.

    SRS

  31. The TV comparison is a good analogy, Synsidar. While my first thought upon hearing about this was “This is a terrible idea,” that’s with the knowledge that that is the new, ongoing (though obviously not permanent) state of affairs, and it’s a completely uninteresting plot to me. If it were one or two issues, eh, I’d stick with it just to keep my run unbroken. But the fact that I think it’s a stupid idea, and they’re asking me to pay $8 a month for god knows how long to read something I think is stupid upfront? Yeah, not gonna happen.

  32. James Van Hise says:

    Captain America died amid much hand wringing and fan anguish. Then he got better. The Human Torch died which “changed everything” in the FF, then he got better. In Civil War, Spider-Man’s secret identity was revealed to the world and Marvel claimed that this was the new status quo and wouldn’t magically change. It magically changed one year later. So now fans have to sit around and wait for Marvel to wring as much PR out of this storyline as they can until they bring Peter Parker back in a new “event” storyline.

  33. Keyser says:

    The House of Original Idea is truly over and creatively bankrupt.

    Great job Marvel!

  34. Peter’s death works really well as a plot device to push the story forward and in to a new direction. It just feels so terrible because we’ve grown to love him through so many different mediums. Film, TV, and the all important comic book. Check out our ASM # 700 review. http://www.shockthink.info

    This is coming from true-blue, web-heads.

  35. thunderfinn says:

    it’s time to bring back Jim Shooter as Editor-in-Chief at Marvel!

  36. John Warren says:

    Dan Slott is one of the best writers working at Marvel, and he has a deep love for Spider-Man. There’s no reason to get upset. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

  37. thunderfinn says:

    or it’s time to make Jim Shooter Editor-In-Chief at DC Comics!

  38. Mesektet says:

    I think Slott is trying to be remembered by doing something outrageous because although his run has been good it’s also pretty forgettable.

  39. This is a huge improvement to rolling your characters back to zero and starting again. At least this is progression you may not like it, it may get reversed but it is brilliant compared to Spider-Man is 20 and he just got his powers. This is something I might actually read because NOTHING is less interesting than Spider-Man is a wisecracking teenager struggling to handle is suphereo life and personal life. Marvel is actually rethinking their characters rather then simply rolling everything back to the beginning. I would give Marvel huge points over their relaunch rather than DCs uninspired reboot.

  40. DarkAscent says:

    “Utmost love and respect” my ass. Marvel weren’t just content with murdering ultimate Peter Parker they have now done it with 616 Peter and have replaced him with one of his deadliest enemies. This is one of the single worst ideas in comic book history and I for one am done with Spider-Man, retconned later or not.

  41. Hmmnn. I feel like there’s many things to say here about making a decision to take old and familiar characters into a new direction. Yep, those are editorial decisions.
    And Spidey has suffered through some of the worst of those in the past twenty years and still managed to bounce back because of the sheer, overwhelming and undeniable appeal of the basics; being a kid who just wants to do good, suddenly has the super-powered chance to, and approaches hard problems with responsibility and humor. That’s the nutshell of the character and that’s what a good writer, editor and trademark coordinator should really be aware of.
    But the worst decision ever?
    The elevator pitch that people in-the-know of Spidey’s history will take away from this story:
    “We kill the hero everyone knows and replace him with a villain trying to learn from the experience.”
    The really bad decision is in calling that Spider-Man SUPERIOR.

    Decent enough idea, but have you read the other six-hundred-and-ninety-nine issue? And you want to tell regular readers that THIS idea is SUPERIOR?

  42. Comic2read says:

    I mainly read DC and Independents and the occasional Frank Cho Shanna but Spider-Man #700 won me over. It was a joy to read. Like the old Stan Lee/Ditko issues.

    I like the idea of Doc Ock trying to do good after living Peter Parker’s memories and not having the physical obstacles he once had.

  43. This is Freaky Friday whitout the classy Lindsay Lohan. All of Lohan’s mistakes pale in front of what Slott and editorial is doing to Spidey. Oh, one is a real person and the other is a fictional character. Well, I guess it’s more then proven that people take those fictional characters much more dearly then stupid sub-celebrities.

    There’s a connection between audience and fictional characters, a bond of trust. With Spidey, that was broken when the mariage vanished and now it is again with a villan taking the body of the good guy.

    Marel fails on a basic level. And it does with Dan Slott, one of it’s worst witers.

  44. Boner says:

    Spider-man has been garbage for years, there’s much better stuff out there to read.

  45. OK, I haven’t read #700 yet, but it’s already obvious from #699 that the mind switch thing isn’t that clear cut. My guess is that Doctor Octopus’s “consciousness” will fade over time and Peter Parker’s brain pattern will re-assert itself more and more. Eventually, Peter Parker will be “back”, (though he was never really gone in the first place), but he will be a slightly different Peter Parker after Doc Ock’s “consciousness” was the driving force for a time. I doubt that there will ever be a moment when Peter Parker’s “old” consciousness that was switched into Doc Ock returns, but the two will integrate with Doc Ock fading more and more.

    That story of the integration and how it plays out sounds like it could be a very good one. I’m not completely sold, but Dan Slott has earned the benefit of the doubt from me.

  46. Spider-Man’s worst enemy has learned all of Spider-Man’s secrets, and what’s more, has taken over the body of the webslinger. Spidey himself appears to have died.

    That’s exciting comics. I can’t wait to see how Peter Parker gets out of this jam.

  47. filippod says:

    @Dave – Hey! That’s a good idea!

  48. Gary Dunaier says:

    Rob Berry wrote: “Decent enough idea, but have you read the other six-hundred-and-ninety-nine issue? And you want to tell regular readers that THIS idea is SUPERIOR?”

    I can accept “Superior Spider-Man” because, according to the storyline, Octavius feels he’ll be superior over how Parker was as Spider-Man. So it’s “Superior” from Octavius’ point of view.

  49. Allen Rubinstein says:

    Superheroes are very silly.

  50. Michael P says:

    No, superhero *fans* are very silly.

  51. MattComix says:

    Yes but this story is pretty shitty.

  52. Under the right conditions, doing something risky like this would be good, perhaps even great. But Spider-fans were screwed over so many times not too many years ago. The Unmasking! Good lord. The Unmasking! What a big concept and a waste. I could write an essay on how wrong that is. First off, he’s not like Peter Parker anymore, he’s a magic and on occasion, he’ll be reborn in a cocoon or something. He’s got a new costume to go with his new job and new costume. They were changing Spider-man every month. If that had not occured and the book had gotten back on track, this or an unmasking story could of been great. If they had made a story out of it I guess.

    Yes, this looks like it has a plot set up, but Doc Ock and Spider-man were changed so much that everything seems pointless to us older fans. It’ll be interesting to see how it does sales wise. Spider-man books never recovered.

  53. wind2light says:

    anyone watched Heroes (Mind of Nathan and Sylar: Volume 5 Redemption)??

  54. When you killed Peter by letting a murder take over his life and rape MJ you lost a marvel fan. This poor storyline seems like a desperate attempt to come up with a storyline with no consideration for the legacy of the character. This is along the lines of putting a serial killer into a decorated US solider with a wife and having dreams of being good. Prior to recent years the honor of the character was maintained by past writers. I think it’s about time to stop reading any marvel comics so that the memories of other characters are not soiled.

  55. I have just decided to catch up on the ASM series, tough times had caused me to put down my comics for awhile. Just got to ASM 700 and wow! As a long time super-fan of The Amazing Spiderman I have come to expect bad story lines (Clones, A New Day, Civil War, etc.). But this! Even though I know they will write some ridiculous way to bring the “real” Parker back, I’m really sick of it. This all comes down to the people managing Marvel. Another dumb mistake with their flagship character. Horrible!!

  56. I have just reread the first 100 issues of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man and it was a joy to reread them. Original stories, great drawings, everything a superhero comicbook aught to be. And then ASM #700, absolute crap, Doc Ock winning ?!? Peter dead ?!? I felt cheated when aunt May died and then came back, when Ben Reilly replaced Peter Parker (or was it the other way around ?), when Peter and MJ got married and then they were not … for me ASM #700 is the end of the line, no more spider-man. I’ve been reading SM for over 30 years now and PP is dead, let him rest in peace, i will spend my cash on non-marvel comics, …

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