So, Amazing Spider-Man #700 is now out and it is time for geekdom to explode. As followers of our podcast and site will know, Spider-Man is my favourite hero (not just super-hero) and Peter Parker an inspiration for me. Obviously I’m not alone, it is the same for millions around the world, and I know I won’t be the only one outraged by the end of ASM #700.
Please Note – Spoilers Ahead – You have been Warned!
I’m not going to beat around the bush – at the end of ASM #700 Peter dies while his mind is trapped in the body of his long time foe, the terminally ill, Otto ‘Dr Octopus’ Octavius. It is a very badly written scene and doesn’t even make a lot of sense. Apparently having residual memories from Peter is enough to turn the psychopathic murderer Octavius into a hero who vows to carry on the Spider-Man legacy. Seriously. It even uses flashbacks from much better moments in Peter’s career to drive home the point that Peter is a true hero in order to push Otto into his decision. Talk about showing just how utterly rubbish your writing is, by using far superior writer’s ideas in your scene. Nice one Slott.
I’ve survived some bad Spider-Man stories in my time, ranging from laughably bad (Spider-Buggy), to insultingly bad (Sins of the Past/One More Day). But ASM #700 takes the prize as atrociously bad. Let me give you an example why. When Ultimate Spider-Man Peter Parker died, he died a true hero. He took a bullet for Captain America, and died defending his loved ones from an insane Norman Osborne/Goblin. And it worked because, even though he hasn’t been around for 50 years like 616 Peter, we still loved the character and when he died we really felt it. Sadly the same can’t be said for 616 Peter because when he dies at the end of ASM #700, he goes out like a bitch. Seriously, Hawkeye’s woeful death in Disassembled was better by comparison. Even worse, he won’t even be mourned because everyone thinks it was actually Otto Octavius who has died. And that is simply not good enough! A hero like Peter, who means so much to so many people around the world, including myself, deserves more than this!
Now I’m not an idiot. I know that this won’t be permanent. The whole ‘coming back from the dead thing’ has become so common these days that it is getting ridiculous. I can’t think of a single month in comics where some character hasn’t made a joke about it. So even though I know that Peter will be back as Spidey eventually, this whole thing still pisses me off. This terrible story deserved no more than to be a 4 issue mini/arc at most, not the last story of the last issue of one of Marvel’s flagship titles. Because of this it has/will attract far more attention that it deserves and that is a damn shame.
I’m also dreading Superior Spider-Man. Not because it’s someone else in the suit, I’ve lived through the Clone Saga so I know what that’s like, but for the inevitable sex scene between Otto/Peter and Mary Jane. It is strongly implied that they will be getting back together and Otto even seizes the moment to get a kiss from her before battling Peter/Otto. But if they do indeed have sex then that is sex under false pretenses (MJ believes it is Peter and Otto will be tricking her) and that my friends is called Rape. Now to be fair, it hasn’t happened (yet) but Slott has already shown he’s not adverse to some weird sexual antics with his scene featuring Aunt May & Otto/Peter in ASM #699 so I guarantee it will happen and that my friends will be when I stop collecting Spider-Man.
I just want to end on this note. Although I think Dan Slott is a terrible writer for Spider-Man (I enjoyed Avengers Initiative and his Great Lakes Avengers stuff but his Spider-Man stuff has ranged from boring to outright rubbish), no one deserves death threats because they have written your beloved character in a way you don’t agree with. What has been happening on Twitter and other sources has been a disgrace and those responsible should be prosecuted. I don’t want him hurt, I just want him off Spider-Man so someone better can come on and reverse all of his terrible work.
EDIT – I just noticed that the Wikipedia page for Superior Spider-Man gives the whole thing away! (although I do still recommend reading the actual issue). At least I had the decency to have Spoiler Alert 🙂