Hey Spider-Man fans who haven’t been in the loop, I’m about to get my geek on so if you still want to read some quality arachnid-themed comics without them being spoiled, close this tab right now.
Are they gone? Good, excellent. If you’ve been keeping up with Spider-Man for the last year, you might have noticed a different Peter Parker under the mask. A Peter Parker who is darker, more sinister and possibly on the dark side of justice.
And that’s because it hasn’t been Peter Parker who has been spinning webs for the last year. It’s been one of his greatest foes of all time, Doc Ock, inside his body that has been fighting crime. And as controversial as a decision that that was to replace Peter, it also resulted in the best Spider-Man seen in recent years. Pity that this particular version is coming to an end.
You’ve got a wall-crawler that is less friendly in your neighbourhood, and more of an efficient kicker of asses that swung into the storyline that Dan Slott wrote. Pulling the greatest switcheroo of all time, Parker had his mind placed in the failing body of Octavius and in a final battle, died a villain.
The twist here though, is that Parker managed to leave his sense of responsibility firmly in place in his original body, creating a Spider-Man that was more driven and ambitious than ever.
From there, you had Ock-Spidey forging his own path, upping his game and no longer pulling any punches. Ock-Spidey wasn’t just a smarter Spider-Man, he was a far more capable person as well, easily juggling relationships, world-ending threats and attending college.
And hot damn, I loved it. From taking down the Hobgoblin in a manner that left the villain nowhere to hide, taking down the Kingpin and his entire army of ninjas through to proving himself to be a real hero and solving problems with his mind instead of his fists has resulted in one of my all time favourite runs on comics.
Combined with great art from the likes of Humberto Ramos, Ryan Stegman and Giuseppe Camuncoli making the book stand out, something that wasn’t easy on a biweekly schedule. Of course, all good things must come to an end and with a new Spider-Man film due in May, Marvel obviously wanted Peter Parker back in control.
No one knows how that will play out, as Slott is keeping the plot a tight secret. “Watching Doc Ock in Peter’s life, doing all these crazy things — whether it’s alienating this person, or setting up a new relationship with that person, or starting his own company, or getting his doctorate — Peter Parker’s going to wake up, and he’s going to be “Dr. Peter Parker,” Slott said to CBR, who explained that the new stories will carry on evolving the character.
If we woke up in a world where J. Jonah Jameson was in the Bugle, and Peter Parker was taking pictures for a living, and Aunt May was in the hospital, I would shoot myself. It’s the ongoing story of Peter Parker, Spider-Man. His life moves forward.
When I got to start the “Big Time” run, we took the giant leap of, “What if Peter Parker got his dream job?” What if he wasn’t running around hand-to-mouth, or taking photos — which is something he wasn’t even earning. It was him just webbing a camera to a wall. How does that make you feel when you wake up in the morning? This is the sum and total of who you are, Peter Parker; you’re the guy who webs a camera to the wall. All this other stuff you’re doing is because you got bit by a radioactive spider. You’re worthless.
Suddenly with “Big Time,” he gets to use all of Peter Parker’s gifts and talents, and he gets this great new job. And during “Superior,” we literally blew it up. Horizon Labs exploded! Everybody who works with him thinks, “You’re responsible, and Spider-Man’s a jerk.” He had such a good job! It was there for like 50 issues of comics.
The new volume of Spider-Man kicks off in April. Here’s to another great run of your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.