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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 the_laughing_man

I got a question. Why does it just have to be one person?

Why cant we have a duel personality? Doc oc and Peter. A constant struggle between two different ways to fighting crime.

Posted by InfinityAce

Don't see why people are saying hope Peter stays dead. A:he's not resting in heaven or whatever. B: if you want to see a Darkish hero with spider powers fighting spiderman foes go to kaine and venom. I want a wise cracking spider on the streets. Good theory by the way. It'll be hard for marvel to come up with a better one. I think some other people has this lookout as well.

Posted by PassionFlower

I like Peter as much or more than I do the Spider Man persona so I'm not interested at all.

Posted by COBRAMORPH

Probly the thing in fiction that always hurts my brain more than time travel is body swapping. Does Ock in Spidey's body have Peter's memories?

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Very interesting theories going, and once again, it shows just how tricky and yet interesting Slott has become in his Spidey runs. In all honesty it just makes me all the more interested to get reading more about this and come to my own conclusions, for the more I read into this the more it reminds me of what happened temporarily with Bruce Banner/Hulk in the ongoing Incredible Hulk series before Indestructible NOW.

Posted by Diamondblade

MJ can figure out that otto's not her tiger. Dr Strange can help Peter too....

is there a golden octobot with Peter's toughts out there?

Posted by Phaedrusgr

Slott said that Miguel will appear in SSM. I think that his appearance relates in a way with Peter's current problems. I could imagine this mind swapping between Peter and Otto is a time distortion or something like that. I believe that Slott would be really interested in doing something so doctorwhoish (time travel to fix the time line), since he has declared in the past he's a Doctor Who fan (Picture with M. Smith on his Tweeter). So, what do we have here? Otto Octavius is in Peter's body pretending he's Spiderman, while Jameson becomes Marvel's Gordon with that stupid Spider - Beacon. In the meanwhile, Miguel finds the TARDIS and ... CABLUI! That was my poor mind.

Posted by LordRequiem

This is a dumb story simply because at some point they will have to revert him back with one of these contrived theories, in which case there is no point having put us through this in the first place.

Posted by friendlyNeighborhoodSpidey

I like this explanation. It would make the storyline more interesting to me, since Peter would be forced to find a new body for Ock (which could have been Ock's backup plan). My question is where is Doctor Doom in all of this. When I think of body swapping, I think Doom. Would be interesting if Peter had to go to Doom for help, like Hulk did.

Posted by TheMadMonkey

I think that this is more like what happened in Quantum Leap. Sam "leaps" into the body of Lee Harvey Oswald just before the assassination of JFK takes place. Sam does his thing and everything goes back to normal. Except...not quite. Oswald managed to hitch a ride with Sam and, over the course of the season, begins to fight and take over Sam's brain.

In the case of Spider-Man, there could still be a little bit of Peter left that could, until the plotline starts waning, be building up enough strength to take on Otto and a big battle royale could ensue inside Spidey's mind. And because comic books are comic books, Peter will win and Otto will be completely vanquished...perhaps with the help of Doctor Strange.

Posted by CrimsonAlchemist

I was thinking Dr.Strange or Brother Voodoo take Peters soul from heaven and put it back in his body something like that.

Posted by CrimsonAlchemist

@AranhaMarcial: Hey like they say another man's junks is another's treasure.

Posted by heroesgold

To be honest, after reading issue one I find Otto as Spider-man kind of interesting so I don't want Peter back.
Yet....

Posted by MexFaletti

I like G-Man's theory. Pete has been under malevolent influences before, like when he was turned by Norman Osborn into the 6th Green Goblin. It could be a simple back door to restore the status quo without making deals with the devil. Meanwhile, i'm enjoying Superior Spider-Man... i think is the best idea they had in a while and it's less revolting than "The Other" or "One More Day", the combination of both causing me to drop Spidey for quite some time.

Posted by wolfflame21

@CaioTrubat: Read issue #1

Posted by FatFriar_16

@the_laughing_man said:

I got a question. Why does it just have to be one person?

Why cant we have a duel personality? Doc oc and Peter. A constant struggle between two different ways to fighting crime.

That would be too much like Venom. lol

Posted by FatFriar_16
Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

Nice theory, but I am still betting the golden octopus still has Peter's brain just waiting to uploaded correctly

Edited by Teerack

Anyone else think it's weird Doc Ock would take interest in the living brain? Or even think it's Odd the living brain was in this issue? Maybe Ock will eventually put his mind in a robot... or maybe marvel is going to try and one up their bad ideas by putting Peter in a robot.

Edited by SpitfireINK

Why is everyone forgetting that with Octo-Parker courting Mary Jane - MEPHISTO is going to take notice?

You don't make a deal with the devil and get to eat your cake too.

The Parker ghost at the end of Superior Spider-Man is eluding to the notion that Peter may in fact go to MEPHISTO himself to reclaim his life - and of course save Aunt May - If the deal is broke then there are some SERIOUS Repercussions that will ensue - Greater than Octo-Parker's current handling of the Spider-Man mantle!

And of course this would entail making yet another DEAL with the DEVIL!- nuff' said!

Posted by Phaedrusgr

I don't think Marvel paid attention to the Spiderman continuity before the OMD. The deal with Mephisto has been violated in many ways, but nothing happened. It seems that Mephisto was bluffing! LOL

Posted by Trodorne

Yeah its a good explanation. with the idea of multiple personality disorder would make for good future stories or maybe they would eventually merge the two concisenesses together to create Peter Octavius Parker which would be blind ambition of a hero to try to do good in the field of science and treat almost everyone like they are beneath him but snaps out of it once in a while to hang out and party.

Posted by Taylors005

i am so glad to learn that i was not alone realizing this door was left open and i really hope they use it. im only reading SSM to see how long it last.

Posted by hugemonkeyman

Marvel did something similar to this a few years ago with the character Onslaught. Onslaught was the body of Charles Xavier with the mentality of Pro-mutant Magneto. It was a big crossover event that lead to the Heroes Reborn story lines. I see a similar thing happening in Superior Spiderman - Peter's consciousness starts as a small spark but gradually takes over his body. Doc Ock sensing that once Peter takes over his body again, his mind will be wiped out. Doc Ock makes a clone of Peter Parker (it has been done before) and puts Ocks consciousness into the clone.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

@hugemonkeyman: You know I was thinking that the new Doctor Octopus (the tentacle version, not SpOck) will have Peter's face, as a clone or something crazier, don't know.

Posted by TheEd

Ghost Peter will make a new deal with Mephisto to screw Doc Ock. Problem solved.

I actually liked this changed the moment I heard about it. Peter became a boring and stale character decades ago.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

Am I the only person in this world that really liked the Other and the direction Peter was heading?

Edited by IfDCRuledTheWorld

Reminds me of the Heroes episode where Sylar was stuck in Matt Parkman's brain and took control. Then there was the episode where Sylar became Nathan. Hope it all works out for Peter.

Edited by carcharodon

I certainly hope they bring Peter back. I never liked Doctor Octopus as a villian, let alone as the new Spider-Man. If they don't bring him back, then that final scene from the first issue is, in my opinion, a middle finger to the fans. Now, I'm certainly not going to write Dan Slott a death threat, but I can certainly understand the outrage of some fans. Such anger is inevitable when you kill off such a popular character. It only makes things worse when you replace him one of his main villians. Well, I for one want no part of it. I might pick up one or two issues out of curiosity, but I staying away from the Spider-Man comics for now. Until this whole Superior Spider-Man thing runs its course, I'm sticking to the Venom comics.

Edited by abeyance

This is a very good method to bring Peter back, but whats done is done. I said it before and I'll say it again. The Ultimateverse gave Peter a proper heroic death he deserved with his loved ones there and him being viewed as a hero. They even gave him a proper replacement in Miles Morales. The Amazing Spiderman send off was a slap in the face to the 616 character. After everything he's done for the world, he dies inside the body of a villain. He will not get a hero's funeral and will not be missed. You have Doc Ock (or simulated persona of him based on G-man's theory) going around living Peter's life and nobody can tell the difference. He may have Peter's memories but acts nothing like him. I know Kaine is doing his own thing in Texas, but something should happen to make him take over as Superior Spiderman. It's the only way i feel they can salvage this without returning things to normal and going back to their problem of how to make Spiderman more interesting.

Posted by BAUagent

How to bring Peter Parker back to life, get his soul to meet Death who would totally dig him, this will force Thanos to put Peter soul back into his body and expel Ottos. Cuz he'd have zero chance in competing against someone like Pete.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

@Smart_Dork_Dude: You know, Slott is a big fan of the Doctor. Perhaps, you've just found the pattern. (Nice episode by the way. They did it, cause for a while that actor whose name I forget was supposed to replace Tennant).

Edited by DreamKing

He is still Peter. Here is why: the mind is made up of memories, opinions and desires to which we add new ones every day. When doc added his memories to peters he did simply that added them not replaced them. What we now have is a man that looks like Peter Parker but has 2 life times off memories as such his desires and actions are effected by memories Peters and Docs. For example he still wants to fight crime (an action which comes from peters set off memories) but he now does it in a much more violent and uncaring way (an action which comes from Otto). In this way he is no different from any of us. I am one person today holding certain beliefs and desires based on my experiences (memories) but as I form new memories my beliefs and desires change with them. We are constantly re making the mind that inhabits our body by adding new memories that is why the character we all love is still alive he is simply much much different.

Posted by PunyParker

Posted by Mikemartin6543

I think the Nano-bot will transfer Peter's brain patterns to a mannequin, and he will only become Spider-man at night, after the store closes.

Posted by lupham35

@Ganthetsward20: Why would you say that?I mean,Peter has been around a LONG time and you don't want him back?!Seriously what's wrong with you!

Posted by consolemaster001

@PunyParker said:

@PunyParker said:

LOL

Posted by Fallen_Crippled

Marvel has received hell about this one. Peter better return.

Posted by swrwizard

I already expressed the idea of the simultaneous imprinting of each of their memories on each other simply making them believe they were each other on a different blog site for Spider-man! My additional reasoning is that you can't swap souls from one body to another through the use of science....My only acceptable plausible possibility to do this would be by an actual brain transplant! It also occurred to me that Ben Reilly really is Peter after all & the testing that Ben & Peter did to determine who was who was flawed or misread.