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Off My Mind: How 'Peter Parker' Can Return to Being Spider-Man

Nothing is forever in comics and there is an easy way for the recent events shift back to the status quo.

This does not deal with or spoil the 'twist' in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1.

By now most people have heard the latest developments in the life of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. It's been all over the news, internet and we even did a video explaining the recent events. Spider-Man's enemy, Doc Ock, was dying and managed to switch bodies with Spider-Man. During their final battle, Doc Ock (in Spider-Man's body) managed to outwit Spider-Man (in Doc Ock's body) with the result of Peter Parker dying along with Ock's body. Otto Octavius now inhabits Peter Parker's body as the mind of Peter died along with Ock's body…or did it?

Comic book deaths are nothing new. Characters die and eventually return for the most part. Because of Spider-Man's stature in comics, we know this change cannot be permanent. We have an interesting twist allowing for some different types of Spider-Man stories but at some point, the true Peter Parker has to return.

In a recent podcast, writer Dan Slott has even pointed out how when big changes are made, there's always a back door (this was in reference to the death of Hobgoblin). SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 has been released and there is another twist to the plot. It does add a new layer to these developments but returning Peter Parker to Spider-Man may not completely depend on that twist. There is another explanation to how things could return to normal.

One of the big questions many have had is how did Doc Ock actually switch bodies with Peter Parker? The explanation given was Spider-Man put himself in a situation on three occasions that allowed Ock to map out Parker's brain. This gave him a way to jump in and force Parker into his dying body. The only downside was each retained the memories of the other (which is why Ock in Spider-Man's body has the urge to be some sort of hero). The idea of switching bodies due to mapping out a person's brain seems like it could be a stretch but again, we're talking about a comic book plot so our suspension of disbelief needs to be used.

An easier way to explain this and to offer a way out is perhaps they didn't actually switch bodies. What this means is Ock never left his body and Peter was never forced to reside in Ock's. What about their actions, thoughts and speech? We know they possess each other's memories. Peter was able to see Ock's full life and vice versa. Ock's plan to switch bodies could have failed but resulted in only each other's memories being forced into the minds of the other. This massive invasion could have taken dominance in both, making them think they actually were the other person in another body. In other words, Doc Ock could have thought his plan worked and now he was really Peter Parker in Ock's body and Spider-Man now thinks he's Ock in his body. That might be a little confusing but just think about it.

When Ock's body died, it could have simply been Ock that did actually die. Only he thought he was Peter Parker, trying to switch bodies. The current SUPERIOR Spider-Man could still really be Spider-Man, only under the influence of Ock's memories, making him think he's Ock in the Parker body. At some point, these memories could be sorted out and SUPERIOR Spider-Man could realize he's not actually Ock at all. He's always been Peter Parker.

One simplified way to think about it is when a person is intoxicated. We hear about people doing things when influenced by alcohol that they normally wouldn't. Peter Parker could be drunk on Doc Ock. He could be influenced by those memories that were shoved into his brain which is making him think he's really Ock in his own body. At some point this will wear off or an expert will come in and help Peter sort out who he really is. That way, "Peter Parker" never died at all. Doc Ock didn't necessarily win. Any intimate relations between Peter and Mary Jane would have nothing to do with Octavius (and everyone can STOP bringing that up).

The fact is, Octavius REWROTE Peter's brain with his brain patterns and vice versa. This doesn't mean they actually SWITCHED bodies (like Freaky Friday).

Would this be a cop out? Not necessarily. Once Peter was able to return to having his actual mind in control, he'll have to deal with the repercussions of what happened when he thought he was really Ock in his body. We've already seen in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 that he's taken a more violent approach when dealing with his enemies. Peter will have to deal with that, getting fired from the Avengers as well as the developments that might occur with Mary Jane. There will be the question of what actions were done on his part and which by Ock's influence?

What about Doc Ock then? Does this mean he was actually the one that died? It could be. Ock has died before. If this resulted in him actually being dead, it's a good sacrifice to fuel this story and turn Spider-Man's life upside down. He may have been a smart man but would he have been smart enough to actually manage figuring out how to switch bodies?

There's also always the possibility that he didn't actually die. What happened to his body after the battle? He appeared to be dead and there was one image of his body covered in a sheet. Maybe he wasn't fully dead but really close to it. When he was taken away, it could have been discovered he still had a tiny bit of fight left in him. Or maybe even some dastardly villain took his body and put it in some sort of suspended animation to figure out a way to bring him back. Sounds like something Norman Osborn would totally get behind and we haven't seen any mention of him since he awoke from his coma and escaped custody in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #697.

This theory could be wrong of course. This is just how I see a way to revert Peter Parker dying and having Doc Ock in control of his body. While we have the seeds of another route being planted in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1, I don't feel that's the way it'll go. I see it as more of a multiple personality disorder thing. We'll have to wait and see. What should be noted is if I could come up with this plausible explanation, there's absolutely no reason to doubt that Dan Slott or the powers that be at Marvel haven't thought of an even better one.

139 Comments
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Posted by Inverno

If he doesn't Marvel would have probably dug up their own grave.

Posted by Ganthetsward20

I dont want peter back!

Posted by sturmritter

I like this theory, and hope to God someone at Marvel has the good sense to go with it. As it stands right now, I'm avoiding superior and avenging spiderman titles, even though some here at the vine have been raving about them. Nonetheless, I don't like the storyline, and therefore won't support it as it stands.

Posted by saoakden

Hmm this article does bring up an interesting point. We'll have to wait and see what happens. I'm liking Superior Spider-Man so far. It's an interesting story. I'm still wondering whatever happen to Osborn's body. I listened to the podcast where Dan Slott was a guest and he did point out some interesting things like Hobgolbin's death and Osborn. I'm interested to see what would happen if Superior Spider-Man meet Osborn. It be an interesting encounter.

Posted by hunter5024

Maybe it turns out that your theory about Ben Reilly was true, and that he has been imprisoned somewhere by some sort of supervillain, and they find a way to map Peter's memories onto his brain, so they essentially become the same person. Probably a bit far fetched, but it would be pretty cool.

Posted by ccraft

Great theory! Doc Ock might have died, but he could survive by the memories that he put in Peter's brain, and now he's in control.

Posted by Edimasta

This is why comic industry gets boring... they manage to do incredible changes and then... well... just go back to normal :(

Posted by Duo_forbidden

I thought it was too soon to reveal that Peter was still somehow inside his body (or conscious whatever) without Otto realizing it. My theory of Peter coming back was that Peter's mind was still trapped inside that golden Otto bot- the device that started this event in the first place, and it would be up to Charlie and Peter other friends to somehow figure out a way to transfer his mind back into his body. Peter and Otto would have a mind battle, and Peter would somehow end up winning.

...But I like your theory more G-Man. I still enjoyed the first issue regardless.

Posted by BAUagent

Sometimes the status quo is a good thing.

Posted by Metric_Outlaw

That's what I was thinking as well. I honestly thought Spider-Man #700 would end with Peter and Otto sharing Spidey's body.

Posted by bigboi10000

Just let it go Tones

Posted by bigboi10000

Reading this theory game me one SUPERIOR headache.

Posted by SmoothJammin

Rest easy Peter... The problem now is keeping him that way.

Posted by DATNIGGA

Osborn is back huh? oh boy... the marvel universe is in trouble...

Posted by That60sGuy

if I could come up with this plausible explanation, there's absolutely no reason to doubt that Dan Slott or the powers that be at Marvel haven't thought of an even better one.

Don't sell yourself short Tony. That was a pretty good way out... for those who understood it.

Posted by Tony_Shark

@Ganthetsward20 said:

I dont want peter back!

Me either.

This is why I love the Ultimate universe: Big changes give real consequences. Big changes shake the way everything used to be. They only move forward.

Posted by cuddles666

Mephisto'll totally help Peter out. They're bros, right?

Posted by Blues32

I sure as hell hope so...I don't care how smart Otto is. He's completely out of touch with how people talk these days and his banter is less funny and more flat out insulting...

THIS IS NOT HOW ONE BANTERS! BE FUNNY, NOT A JERK!

Posted by chocobojam

When i first heard that there will be a new spider-man, I admit that it really got my interest. but when i heard that its only doc ock that possess peter parkers body, my interest just fades away.

Posted by gotwillpower

I definitely think this will have something to do with it, but I also have to say that the ghost-catcher Horizon made will come into play. Especially after reading SSM #1.

Posted by spiderturtle

Ahem. A wild Mephisto appears!

Posted by thespideyguy

This is genius. I could have never come up with something like this.

Posted by hunter5024

You know, now that I think about it, I'm more curious how Doc Ock will eventually come back. I mean technically he's still alive, but eventually Parker's gonna have to get that body back, and where does that leave Octavius?.

Posted by Blonde shadow

Great theory G-Man in fact that theory was done in the first run of X-Factor after the events of Inferno when Madelyne Pryor died her memories entered Jean Grey and for some time cause Jean to have a split personality one was Jean and the other was Madelyne (Not to mention the Phoenix too but that is besides the point). This identity crisis with Jean and Madelyne was eventually solved once the Madelyne Pryor memories were sorted out in Jean's mind. The same can be done with Peter if he is going through the same experience as you said. He may need a telepath to intervene like Psylocke and her psychic knife.

Posted by Crackdown

@Edimasta said:

This is why comic industry gets boring... they manage to do incredible changes and then... well... just go back to normal :(

This is why I read Ultimate Comics

Posted by feargalr

I actually really like this story, and I love the idea of a villain taking up the mantle of Spider-Man, it's new, different and interesting. I just think it's a pity that it's through body switching, but only because it makes explaining it to people who don't read comics difficult...

Posted by CircularLogic

No, G-man. I won't stop bringing up how Doc Ock sleeping with Mary Jane in Peter's body is RAPE. Even if you are right, the story is still framed in such a way that it implies that it is in fact Otto in peter's body. So excuse me for being a little disgusted and apprehensive about such a vile thing that Slott is doing for the sake of humor.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

I think this a scenario I could accept. If they have this in mind, it'd work better for me, it'd be more solid. Nevertheless, I still disapprove the whol thing. The whole story was mediocre and it had murdering scenario holes. The fact that we're talking about comic staff it doesn't automatically mean there must be no logic. Anyway, I really liked this article. It's the first article related to this SSM cr... story, that makes sense and attracts in a way my interest.

Posted by Gambit1969

Slott has had a plan all along for the overall story since Big Time. I think the reason for the Jackal will be that he makes Otto a clone body for when Peter gets his own body back.

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

im calling it now

everyone finds out when flash finally meets up with parker to apologize for what he did to him as a kid, otto angry at what flash did tosses him from his wheelchair in front of everyone they know, This leads everyone to question why peter would do such a thing

Posted by hyenascar

@Ganthetsward20:

me either. Technically I think it still is Peter. Its our memories that make us who we are. After all, without our memories we would act differently to each circumstance. Our history and the way we are treated molds our experiences and how we will react in the future. Therefore it will always be partially Peter. Have you ever read anything, or seen anything about someone with full blown amnesia. They don't act the way they did until, or if they remember everything. Even then they're still changed somewhat.So if he ever lost his memory , they way he is treated would make him act more like Peter. I like the concept of Peter being influenced by Otto. This is, in a screwed up way, the most extreme redemption story. Otto thought he won, but now he received the ultimate lesson in empathy and will be more like Peter than he ever thought.

Posted by hyenascar

@Blues32:

That sounds awesome. More insults.

Posted by One_Eye

And just when I was starting to adjust to the idea of Peter being gone. The theory sounds interesting I'll admit, however, I figured that Marvel didn't have the gall to completely commit to this decision.

Posted by snootchie_bootchies

I have truly never been a big Spider-Man fan. But, one issue into this new series, and I am DIGGING it!

Posted by x_29

Not an interesting theory.

Posted by Timandm

@CircularLogic: @CircularLogic said:

No, G-man. I won't stop bringing up how Doc Ock sleeping with Mary Jane in Peter's body is RAPE. Even if you are right, the story is still framed in such a way that it implies that it is in fact Otto in peter's body. So excuse me for being a little disgusted and apprehensive about such a vile thing that Slott is doing for the sake of humor.

If Otto, in Peter's body, does sleep with M.J. then it absolutely will be rape... I said that last night in one of the forums. We haven't seen any evidence that they're sleeping together yet so, hopefully it won't happen. I'm hoping M.J. will notice the change in Peter and be put off by it...

But if it does happen, then yes, it would be rape. Much like the time the Chameleon, posing as Peter Parker, slept with Peter's roommate (the lawyer). That was rape and I found it disturbing that the Marvel writers never dealt with it.

Posted by paralaxsteve

I agree my theory is that it was just memories Peter Parker is still Peter Parker but Doc Ocks ''memories' are just more prominent at this time and will slowly go away and Peter will be back

Posted by goatman2112

@feargalr said:

I actually really like this story, and I love the idea of a villain taking up the mantle of Spider-Man, it's new, different and interesting. I just think it's a pity that it's through body switching, but only because it makes explaining it to people who don't read comics difficult...

What about Venom and Kaine? They were around and were "villainous spider-men" now they relatively good guys.

Posted by jwalser3

I don't want Peter back any time soon, at least give this series 20+ issues.

Posted by frozenedge

I hope Peter doesn't come back for a while now. The guy needs some time to rest up in Heaven of wherever dead heroes go in Marvel. At least now he can talk with Uncle Ben and all the other dead superheroes

Posted by Lvenger

Interesting theory. Quite thought provoking on the issue of whether Peter is truly gone. Nice to see you've spotted a loophole and haven't spoilt Superior Spider-Man 1 for me.

Posted by feargalr

@goatman2112: Yeah I guess, but they weren't ever the primary Spider-man.

Posted by powerhouse1122

Great theory, one of the best articles Ive ever seen.... But still feeling down until I get parker back.... This(theory) may be really great but im still confused -.- I really just hope on petey coming back

Posted by SupremeHyperion

I'm fine with oc staying as peter,

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt
@Tony_Shark said:

@Ganthetsward20 said:

I dont want peter back!

Me either.

This is why I love the Ultimate universe: Big changes give real consequences. Big changes shake the way everything used to be. They only move forward.

Except that those big changes only ever screw over good characters.
Posted by bob808

I hope Doc Ock stays as Spider-Man.

Edited by GothamRed

I'm going to be honest, I stopped caring about this rather quickly. Mainly cause we've been talking about it almost non-stop since superior was announce. All and all Peter coming back doesn't mean all that much because Marvel is still going on without him, this isn't affecting the company as a whole it's a pretty minor blip on Marvel's scale right now. If he comes back fine if not Marvel still has tons of books completely unaffected by this. Though likely Peter will come back because Comic Books are a medium where Status Quo is God.

Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude

Okay, this is a great idea. Ock may be a genius, but only when it comes to robotics, radiation, chemicals, things of that nature. Being able to completely move one mind from another and still somehow have all the memories, which doesn't make sense seeing as how if the mind goes with them the memories would too, is kinda out of his league.

Really, put like this it reminds me of a Doctor Who episode "The New Doctor" where a man found a Cyberman's infostamp that held detailed records of The Doctor. He set it off by accident which caused him to legitimately think he was a new incarnation of The Doctor. It all got sorted out though, but still the same premise was there.

With this theory in mind, I might end up buying Superior just to see if it's right and choosing to believe it is since it means Peter didn't really die in the most unheroic and outright painful ways a hero could go. Mary Jane is still an idiot though for not catching the difference

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