A Few Quick Thoughts on Superior Spider-Man.

Posted by CircularLogic (282 posts) - - Show Bio

HEAVY SPOILERS

I've been thinking about this for awhile, since way back when Amazing Spider-Man 698 broke out and everyone could see what was happening to the character from a mile away. Only now, though, do I finally have a solid idea on how I feel about it and what I'm going to say.

I should preface this by stating that I was one of many who could not stomach ASM issue to issue after the travesty that was One More Day. I know, I know, how edgy of me. I don't feel I have to focus on this point, but it's good to understand how I see the book and Peter Parker in general. And basically I feel like Marvel has A LOT to fix about the character before I could possibly get invested in him again.

I also don't feel I need to talk much about the nuts and bolts of the story itself. We all know the twist that Otto and Peter switched bodies isn't all that clever. Remember Secret Invasion? An entire EVENT based on the premise of Super Villains stealing the identities of Marvel's heroes. Clearly Dan Slott did what most of us chose to do and forgot about the whole thing, which is fine and dandy, though I suppose something about how Doc Ock stole his greatest foe's mind the same way he'd steal credit card information rubs me the wrong way. But for what it's worth, Slott is by no means a bad writer, regardless of how you feel about the story being told.

And do I really need to explain how this premise has a very low shelf life? Does anyone really need to hear about how no higher up would ever allow Peter to be dead when there's an entire new film franchise is in production? They couldn't even resist CREATING ANOTHER BLACK NICK FURY to match up with the cinematic universe, even though we already had one, and the new guy is probably the most boring thing to happen to comics in a while? (But that's a rant for another time). Bottom line is, it will last about as long as DC's sales bump from the new 52 (too soon?)

That's all negligible. It doesn't matter all too much. From my perspective, as someone who just can't really care about Spider-man anymore, someone who gets all his web-slinging from the under appreciated Scarlet Spider, I need to judge this on it's own merits. And my Judgement, based on what I know so far?

Who the F@&% wants to read about Doctor Octopus as Spider-man?

Imagine that Peter Parker as we know him never existed, but Otto Octavius is the same person, still in existence, and you care about him the same way you always did.

Do you really want to see him in a Spider-suit?

Nothing about this premise appeals to me. As much as Slott wants to act like he can make a lasting conflict out of Otto trying to be good, do we really care about him that much? Are we that invested in the character that we want to see him carry on his own book? Really?

That is what I think is the core problem with this title. A book doesn't just survive on the story it is telling. You need a character you can latch onto, someone to MAKE YOU CARE about the stakes and the conflict, and actually hope that they succeed.

I don't get any of that from those 3 issues of the last arc of ASM.

All I got from it was the fact that Doctor Octopus is probably going to rape Mary Jane. And make no mistake, people. If you have sex with someone under false pretenses, especially one as important to a relationship as IDENTITY, that is rape.

My Hero.

But let's ignore all this for a second. Let's look at the title of the new Spider-man flagship.

Superior Spider-Man.

Superior.

What makes him Superior. Is it Otto's ego, and the title is a slight wink to his arrogance? Maybe. and if that is the case, I won't mind it.

His increased intelligence? Maybe, but Peter is no slouch and has outsmarted Doc Ock more times than I care to remember.

How has Dan Slott and his partners at Marvel explained the title?

"He's more EXTREME" " More violent" "unpredictable" "DARKER".

Some other words come to mind with these.

EDGY.

GRITTY.

Any fan familiar with the dark ages of comic books, the 90's, should be very familiar with what Slott is doing here. What makes this book superior isn't a more interesting character than Peter. It isn't a step up in the quality of the writing (since it's the same author and all).

It's the fact that our hero is now an anti-hero, fresh with all the angst and violence only an ill conceived attempt to revive a fan base that long since disappeared could produce.

That really is what rubs me the wrong way. Of all the changes Slott could have picked, he chooses this. I utterly despise these kinds of things, where a character could only be improved by adding grit and violence to him.

In fact, I remember such a thing happened in a well known story. One that may have been adapted into the 2nd biggest movie of this year.

hmmmm....

Remember Knightfall?

Yes, knightfall. A tale of the man who broke the Bat. And who replaced the Bat when he was unable to continue?

John Paul Valley. Azrael. A man far more brutal than his predecessor. A man willing to maim, cripple, and even kill, out of the belief that his actions are more effective. SUPERIOR, you could say.

The difference here is that Monsieur Valley was removed from his position, and returned to obscurity. Why? Because he was meant to illustrate a point: that bloody, violent means don't make a better Batman. And if that didn't make a better dark knight, that certainly doesn't make a better Spider-man.

That's all I really have to say on this. I should add, I clearly have not read Superior Spider-Man, so all I'm saying is just conjecture, and may in fact be entirely wrong as the title continues. I also don't believe that Dan Slott's Superior spider-man will be "bad", per se. Just... Inferior.

But hey, I'm just some guy on the internet, right? Like my opinion should really matter.

#1 Posted by Loki2u (235 posts) - - Show Bio

or we can just read the same old stories year after year and come here and complain how there are no new ideas anymore. :P

This won't last forever. I'm a little disappointed in the ending, but really looking forward to a new chapter in the life of spider-man.

#2 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1667 posts) - - Show Bio

These are words of pure wisdom, my friend. I agree with you. Marvel, were you in need of another anti-hero? And Slott, you thought that it'd be interesting to read stories of Otto Octavius impersonating Parker and Spiderman? Some people say, hey let's give it a chance! We haven't seen it roll yet! The result could be good. Well, it's not always necessary to see the end of an action in order to understand whether it's good or not. A simple example, a guy wants to jump from a certain height that could kill him. Do we really need to say, well, this could go well! Let's wait and see what happens. No, it's a bad idea. Don't jump. No, it's a bad idea. Don't use Otto as Spiderman. I don't know if I'm interested in giving it a chance.

#3 Posted by VenomMelendez (407 posts) - - Show Bio

Considring how well ASM #700 is selling, people do seem interested. And Marvel didn't have an African-American in Nick Fury in the main universe and it's understandable that they would add one after the success of the films. Besides, Marcus is far from boring and he's being used well working with his partner Coulson.

#4 Posted by Lamenoire (197 posts) - - Show Bio

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2012/12/25/amazing-spider-man-700th-issue/1746039/  
 

    2 things interesting in there :

    “It’s also what the good part of our first year of Superior is about: Doc behaving in a manner he’s not accustomed to. We see a more sympathetic side of Doctor Octopus. We couldn’t have a Spider-Man who was running around murdering people. And I have no interest in seeing that sort of character win.”

#5 Posted by Lamenoire (197 posts) - - Show Bio

Jean Paul Valley had been indoctrinated by the order and was psycholigically borderline. 
Knightfall point was that not everybody could be Batman. Bruce Wayne made a mistake by trusting Jean-Paul. The man under the cowl was important as well. Dick Grayson filled the role pretty well after knightfall, and recently... 
 
Concerning Marcus Johnson : Nick Fury is old. Even with the infinity formula. It was unrealistic to have him as a field agent : a man with this kind of experience will not be on a battlefield. 
Marvel made a good choice. After all having Nick son take the mantle is way better than make Nick young again : And the son thing existed already in Avengers EMH. 
And  matching up with the cinematic universe is not a problem, as long as they don't change 616 history just for that sake (black Nick Fury being the only Fury...)

#6 Posted by Lvenger (21143 posts) - - Show Bio
#7 Posted by lykopis (10746 posts) - - Show Bio

As a fellow non-reader of Spider-Man (I am now though) I feel the same way. If anything, why Doc Ock? This whole "like a magician, I will not reveal my secrets" really annoyed me.

And yes, impersonating someone and sleeping with their partner is rape.

#8 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio
Who the F@&% wants to read about Doctor Octopus as Spider-man?

#9 Edited by CircularLogic (282 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lamenoire: I had already mentioned that the change wasn't permanent, and the possibility of new stories isn't what bugs me. I just don't find Doctor Octopus to be a character I actually give a damn about in a role other than a villain, which I'm sure will be what ultimately causes the end of this book once the controversy dies down. The billing of this new Spider-man as "Superior" is what truly irks me just in the fact that it seems to be telling us that "anti-hero" = better

#10 Posted by EscGamer (125 posts) - - Show Bio

ok OMD wasn't to bad for me although I'll admit it left a sour taste in my mouth. Like drinking a week old carton of milk before realizing too late that had gone bad. The stories told after were pretty exciting though. The Gauntlet was great they really pushed Spidey over the edge and Grimm Hunt was a finely tuned note to end it on. All of it pretty much showed Spidey on a high and low time which I loved seeing play out. I'm looking forward to Superior because I want to see how he handles the pressure of the mantle. Not everyone can be Spider-man. The responsibilities that come with that power is not for the faint of heart. Just like Batman something that big can drive someone mad. I want to see Otto handle that kinda pressure because Ben and Kaine have barely managed when they were in the respective roles, although Kaine is doing a pretty good job right now. He might not have the Parker intellect but he has the Parker heart (Kaine btw). One thing I don't like but I find very appealing is the fact the the suit is decked out tech wise. Why don't I like it? because it's pretty much Batman with powers. Everything enhanced with wall crawling included. Sure I like it and was wondering when Peter was gonna move into it but it doesn't retain that feel to it. Then again Ock is someone who thinks things ahead and comes up with already thought up ideas but further improves on it. Pete was somewhat of a reflexive thinker and was very creative. One thing Irks the S*!T out of...which Spider was considered the greatest hero of all? Peter Parker or "Peter Parker"

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