Sunday, January 06, 2013
A few days ago one of my bestest friends by mistake spoiled Amazing Spider-man 700 on me. It was not her fault, I think she had assumed that the comic had been released, and that I hence already knew about the shocking twist of an ending to the monumental anniversary issue that just happens to land on the characters 50th anniversary. I will now commence with the spoiler in question, so on the off chance that you don't know this Spidey news and care, you might want to skip this blog post for the time being.
A couple of issues ago, a death bed ridden Doctor Octopus called Spider-man to his bedside. Being a nice guy, Spidey honoured the request from his nemesis, with the Avengers waiting out in the hall. Using his mad scientist skills, the super-villain somehow swapped brains with Peter Parker. Octavius could now start his life over and get rid of his greatest enemy in one fell swoop. Culminating in the 700th issue, signs pointed towards Peter Parker outwitting Doc Oc, winning the day, and more Amazing web-crawler stories would continue into his second century of super-heroics.
Here's the twist...Peter didn't win the day, his brain stayed in the now deceased corpse of Doctor Octopus, and the bad guys plan worked. There was a great story twist even on top of that surprise, in taking over Peter's brain, Otto also picked up all of his memories. He got to see what a life surrounded by loved ones and good deeds and great power and great responsibility brought Peter that Otto never had. With his dying breath, Peter encouraged Otto to do good, and seemingly the all of a sudden former villain was seemingly won over away from the dark side.
I told my friend this story via texting, and she agreed that it was a very interesting story. I loved not only the story, but the whole issue (there's a couple of back-up stories that are equally impressive). Dan Slott wrote a great super-hero comic and Humberto Ramos supplied impressive as per usual artwork. As with any form of entertainment that takes a bit of a risk, especially in the age the interwebs, there has been considerable backlash. I find this attitude immensely frustrating and always come to the defence of the creators of the work. Dan Slott has even gotten death threats, which is pure insanity.
In these situations, storytellers seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don't. If Spider-man was still in high school and living with Aunt May and working for the Daily Bugle, there are a section of readers who would call it stale. If the publisher takes a risk and shakes things up in a major way like this, some readers cry fowl and fear change and say that their childhood has been ruined. Whether you approve or not, what must be taken into consideration is that comic books tell stores, and these characters are decades old. If not for these giant imaginative twists and turns, things would be pretty dull...all comics would be The Family Circle or Garfield.
What is really stunning is the geeks who get so angered at this kind of thing and lash out online and loose their minds of the soap opera like ways of super-hero comics. Ok...you are upset that Peter Parker has been killed. Were you upset when Doomsday killed Superman or Bane broke Batman's back or Wolverine lost his adamantium? Well guess what? Superman came back from the grave, Batman got cured, and Wolverine got his shiny claws back. Peter will be back in his own body before you know it. I just hope Marvel takes their time, because I look forward to reading the further adventures of the Doc Oc brained Superior Spider-man for a lil while at least.