Just a note before you read on: I’m going to be talking about what happens in The Amazing Spider-Man #700. You’ve been warned! (Though none of this should be a surprise now, since the events of ASM #700 were all over the news and social media as soon as it was released.)
I’ve been a casual fan of Spider-Man for quite a while, but haven’t bought an issue since ASM #365. I’ve been trying to find a jumping on point since the movies were released, but it’s a daunting task with such a rich and confusing history as Spider-Man’s (especially when story arcs are retconned soon after they’re done). When I learned that The Amazing Spider-Man would be ending and a new series would start, I decided that there’s no time like the present to jump in and see how it ends.
Otto Octavius outwits Peter Parker, trapping Peter’s consciousness inside his dying body and taking Peter’s body as his own? It was pretty damn shocking! Not many will agree with me, but I have to commend Dan Slott for writing such a compelling story to end The Amazing Spider-Man and make me excited for The Superior Spider-Man. Had Peter’s story ended on a high note, I don’t believe the excitement/interest level for The Superior Spider-Man would be anywhere as high as it is now.
I really enjoyed The Superior Spider-Man #1. It breathes new life into the Spider-Man character, with Otto’s desire to be a better Spider-Man than Peter was. We get to see the beginnings of this in this issue, where Spider-Man easily defeats the “all-new Sinister Six” by having superior tech and strategy. I would almost say that it’s almost as if Bruce Wayne were wearing the Spider-Man costume, if it weren’t for Otto’s cockiness and ruthlessness as Spider-Man. Otto’s Spider-Man holds nothing back. He’s willing to maim, destroy property, and even kill. Nor does he really care about innocents. All Otto wants or cares about is to be a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker was.
But that’s not enough. Otto also wants to be a better Peter Parker than Peter was. So far, Otto’s focus is Peter’s job at Horizon Labs and Mary Jane Watson. Otto’s version of Peter Parker is quite cocky as he doesn’t care who he steps on to get what he wants – even Mary Jane. I’m kinda surprised that the people that interact with Peter on a daily basis don’t see this sudden change in his character. This is really my only complaint about The Superior Spider-Man #1. I would have at least expected Mary Jane to say something about ‘Peter’ harshly speaking to her when he’s annoyed and referring to her as “woman”.
Peter Parker’s Spider-Man was built on the foundation that “with great power comes great responsibility”. Otto Octavius as Spider-Man doesn’t have this foundation, but we see it come out in parts of the story, nonetheless. He saves a cop out of instinct while fleeing a fight with the all-new Sinister Six. The dynamic between the ruthlessness and morals is what makes this Spider-Man interesting to me. I look forward to seeing how Otto deals with this new sense of responsibility and seeing what kind of Spider-Man he’ll eventually become. (And hey, I’m very curious to see how Peter will come back to life. You know it’s going to happen. It has to!)
The Superior Spider-Man #1 is a great jumping on point if you want to get into Spider-Man comics. Dan Slott knows what he’s doing and writes a story that’s makes you compelled to read on and anticipate the next issue. If you have a local comic shop, add it to your pull list. (Though, you’re probably going to have to wait until the second printing is released since #1 is already sold out in many comic book shops.) Alternatively, you can buy a digital copy directly from Marvel and read it on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android device.