Superior Spider-Man: Is Dan Slott asking readers to root for a rapist? 46

Has Marvel turned The Amazing Spider-Man into The Amazing Rapist? If the leaks about Amazing Spider-Man #700 are true, fans may be looking at the destruction of an icon.

Amazing Spider-Man #700 has been leaked, and unless readers have been given the best head-fake of all time, it appears as though Doctor Octopus is the new “Superior” Spider-Man. In short, his mind is in Peter’s body. In his final moments, early indicators are that Peter helps bring Doctor Octopus to an epiphany: Deep down, Otto just wanted to be a hero.

It brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?  Perhaps, if not for the fact that the guy who admittedly wanted to transcend Pol Pot and Hitler appears to have been sleeping with the real hero’s true love — under false pretenses. Unless Doctor Octopus disclosed to Mary Jane beforehand that his mind was occupying Peter’s body he is, essentially, a rapist. And, if the new Superior Spider-Man is a guy readers are supposed to root for, by extension Marvel is asking kids, young adults and longtime fans to give a nod of approval (in the form of strong monthly sales) to pure evil.

In my original post I voiced disgust at the idea that Mary Jane would ever consider dating a man whose crimes against humanity would embolden even the morally-bankrupt United Nations to call for his head. Having her sleep with the man turned my stomach, but it wasn’t until someone on Twitter actually used the word ‘rape’ that the enormity of what Dan Slott may have set the stage for sank in.

If Peter Parker really uses his dying breath to confer the mantle of “Spider-Man” onto Doctor Octopus it will be a tragedy of epic proportions. It would mean that Peter never truly grasped the rule of law, and that he had learned absolutely nothing — nothing — from Uncle Ben’s death. Giving Doctor Octopus the green light to essentially live his life — and thus absolving the criminal from taking responsibility for the heinous acts he has committed over the years — would be the worst send off Marvel could have ever given The Amazing Spider-Man. Dan Slott might as well have found a way to turn Uncle Ben’s killer into the new Spider-Man; it’s that bad.

Think of all the murder, carnage, destruction and evil that Doctor Octopus has wrought upon the Marvel Universe. For God’s sake, the guy was the mastermind behind The Sinister Six. And yet, because he has a psychological sob story readers are supposed to clap when Peter hands over his “great power” and implores his executioner to do the right thing? It’s sick.

Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man seems poised to be the poster child for the worst liberal moral relativism has to offer. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. One man’s Spider-Man is another man’s Doctor Octopus. Consequences for our actions? That’s so Uncle Ben of us to expect. Why shouldn’t a guy be able to take the world within an inch of Armageddon one day and then skip his day in court the next because he wants to put on the red and blue tights of real superhero? In the modern Marvel Universe, he can!

With that, I pray that I’m wrong. But what is a fan to think after the infamous deal with (for all intents and purposes) the Devil? Norman Osborn’s rape of Gwen Stacy? (And if it turns out that Mary Jane is the latest victim of such a crime, one must ask why Marvel is so obsessed with having the women in Peter’s life treated in such a way.) It’s hard not to believe the worst at this point.

Perhaps the only consolation I have at this point is the belief that the writers and editors have given themselves an escape hatch. There’s always an escape hatch. Granted, Marvel has pummeled Peter’s reputation into the ground, but with a strong creative mind at the helm there’s always a way out — even if takes them a decade to crawl to the surface.

If the worst predictions about Superior Spider-Man turn out to be true, I hope all die-hard Spider-Man fans do the right thing and encourage others to withhold cash.

While I'm not into Spider-Man porn, I am the "neo-con" who wrote about Spider-Man's absurd "no one dies" mentality proved what a naive loser he has become with Slott at the helm. Maybe Dan Slott never read up on North Korean gulags. It's a shame.

While I have nothing to do with Spidey porn, I am the “NeoCon” who wrote about how Spider-Man’s absurd “no one dies”mentality  proved what a naive loser he has become with Slott at the helm. Maybe Dan Slott never read up on North Korean gulags. It’s a shame. He might learn something about how the world really works. As it stands, he has to resort to misrepresenting my positions in order to continue denying his own ignorance.

Another example of Dan Slott addressing me in a way that I would never see unless I was stalking his Twitter feed or a kind reader brought it to my attention. I wonder why I wasn't tagged or why Mr. Slott didn't comment here... Perhaps because he wouldn't be able to make disingenuous claims without having them shot to pieces.

Another example of Dan Slott addressing me in a way that I would never see unless a kind reader brought it to my attention. I wonder why I wasn’t tagged or why Mr. Slott didn’t comment here… Perhaps because he wouldn’t be able to make disingenuous claims without having them shot to pieces. Someone needs to ask Mr. Slott why Peter’s “no one dies” crusade really meant: “No one dies — except me. By the bad guy.”

Related:
Amazing Spider-Man #700: Doc Slott pens ending only villains could love
Amazing Spider-Man #700: Marvel gives radioactive middle finger to its fans
Dan Slott’s Spider-Man won’t kill N. Korean soldiers or waterboard a man to save 6 billion
Dan Slott’s Spider-Man: War Zone liability thinks small in big situations
Dan Slott’s Spider-Man: World’s Dumbest Super Hero
Is Dan Slott’s ‘Superior Spider-Man’ really a Superior anti-Semite?

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46 comments

  1. In “The Other” storyline, didn’t Peter use his Spider-Sense to change Ezekiel’s mind by showing him all the good things Peter has done, and there for Ezekiel took his place instead. Why didn’t Peter do that to Otto? Oh, I know why, because Dan Slott and Marvel changed Peter’s courage, strength, and made him give up. Peter would not hand the Baton to Otto, no matter how much good Otto wanted to do. And Otto is a selfish, arrogant pig, and is truely evil. He let Peter die. And gloated about how much better and “Superior” he would be. I don’t know about Otto being a rapist. I mean Mary Jane is an adult now. And I never knew that Otto raped Gwen? And I don’t know why North Korean Gulags are related to Dan, and this other guy, and new spidey. I just don’t understand the way Dan did this. He could of done it in a non-insulting way to Peter. I always imagined Peter dying protecting the ones he loves and other innocent (or guilty) people”like he did in the Ultimate Universe” Peter would of used his memories to convince Ock to actually be a man and give Peter back his life. But Ock is so selfish and evil that he didn’t take off his armored mask and put the Octo Bot on his neck. What a mess. I wonder how Stan Lee feels about this.

    • Hi Ian, thanks for the read. I agree with many of your points.

      Here’s why Otto is very likely a rapist (again, this is all based on what I’ve seen and read online): If Mary Jane sleeps with a man she thinks is the real Peter, but who is instead Otto pretending to be Peter, it is rape. Mary Jane’s character would never sleep with Otto if he told the truth about who he was and what he was doing. There must be deception. And so, any romantic link between she and Superior Spider-Man makes Doc Ock that much more evil.

      In regards to Gwen Stacy, that was Norman Osborn who raped her. She had two children by him. Again, despicable.

      • in the new issue, Otto not only didn’t kiss MJ, like he’s doing on the cover, but he then tells her at the end that they can never be together. I assume because he reads the blogs of some butthurt shitheals who care more about MJ than they do about actual people who have been raped in real life.

  2. Give it a year. Sales will lag (or they won’t) and Marvel will retcon this whole thing by claiming “Peter” was really Identity Crisis’ Ben Reilly. The real Peter and the Doc Peter will have a huge battle and then the real Peter will assume the mantle again, and Doctor Octopus will have some secret clone he will transfer his mind into. This whole storyline reminds me of Woo’s Face/Off with Travolta and Cage. It’s a bold move and an interesting diversion, but there’s only one outcome for a AAA title: the hero wins in the end. Peter will be back.

    • I wish I could. But how long has it been since One More Day? Five years? They didn’t fix that, either. Marvel won’t budge. In the face of lagging sales they doubled down on failure. Then they went to a bi-monthly format to hide the loss of loyal fans. They lost tens-of-thousands of them, and all that was left were the hard core guys who wanted to wait it out … and people who probably think Jar Jar Binks is a good character. Marvel played other shell games (variant covers) to get people to buy the book. It was just ridiculous and I dropped the title but kept tabs on it because as I said before, I love the character.

      Peter may be back, but there comes a time where so much damage has been done that it’s hard repair. A good team could do it, I have no doubt, but the leadership at Marvel right now does not inspire hope. They have openly mocked guys like me and have rubbed their editorial decisions in our face. They chose to be antagonistic instead of taking the high road. It would be like me writing a post on an issue I know will push your buttons and then finding a way to call you out by name and essentially say, “Here’s a little F.U. for good measure, MeAgain. Ha!” I have no idea why they’re taking up that business model. It’s bizarre.

      • Have hope. It’s always darkest before dawn. I don’t see Marvel’s Disney overlords allowing sales to drop very much before bringing in a new team and ret-conning the while mess away. If sales increase… well, maybe we’re too old an audience.

  3. I think comic book writers could learn a lot from Tom Clancy, one of the few writers who actually gets it when it comes to modern-day politics and counter-terrorism measures. It doesn’t surprise me that Slott would resort to sliming you on Twitter and misrepresenting your views while also providing his lack of knowledge regarding North Korea.

    • I’d love to have a debate with Mr. Slott. Whenever someone resorts to “NeoCon” you know they have no clue what they’re talking about. It’s another one of those terms that is supposed to end the debate right there. “Oh, he’s an evvvvil ‘NeoCon’ … so his arguments aren’t valid.”

      Well, it doesn’t really work that way. Dan Slott would get intellectually rolled if he came on these boards, and he knows it.

      • I’ve encountered him at Four Color Media Monitor… the dude is just about the most immature person I’ve ever encountered, aside from my sister. He cannot handle any any criticism whatsoever and if you disagree with him and/or dislike his stories, he accuses you of distorting the facts. He claims that sales at Marvel are hunky dory, without providing any evidence.

      • What doesn’t this guy have the stones to comment in the actual thread instead of taking pot shots I’ll never see unless I randomly run across them (as was the case last night) or if someone is kind enough to point it out to me (as you’ve done here)?

        Oh, yeah, because he knows he can’t swim in the deep end of the pool.

        Thanks for the heads up.

  4. He did it again.
    Dan Slott ‏@DanSlott
    “Mr. Slott, what do U think of this link to a post/blog where someone writes a long rant about you?” I dunno. That they’re a tool? :-D #Duh
    Expand

    • Well, the one thing I will say that it isn’t about him personally but his history of horrid editorial decisions regarding Spider-Man.

      He can call fans of the character names all he wants, but it doesn’t make the criticism regarding his editorial judgment any less sound. If it turns out Slott is essentially asking fans to support a rapist I think the vast majority of readers will fall on my side of the fence.

  5. I despise what Slott has done to Spider-man. I’ve been a fan of Spider-man for years. And fans of Peter Parker aren’t just going to “die out.” We’ve been following the character for too long to just forget about him. That’s why people hated “The Clone Saga” in the 90’s, because they tried to replace Peter Parker with someone else.

    It’s a joke is what it it. Why does Marvel think these characters have lasted so long? Why do they think DC’s characters have lasted so long. There is an appeal to who is under the mask and what they stand for, because in this crazy world we live in, the good guys in the comics who are always the good guy are the good little thing to make us feel better about the world we live in. Batman has remained relevant because people like Bruce Wayne. They don’t want to see anyone else under the cowl (the stuff with Dick Grayson was awesome, but people still held out for the return of Bruce Wayne). Superman has remained relevant because of Clark Kent’s stance on truth, justice, and the American way. And Spider-man has remained relevant for 50 years no matter how much Marvel messes his stories up because people like PETER PARKER. Not someone in Peter’s body. Not Miles Morales. Not Ben Reilly. PETER F***ING PARKER!!

    I’ve read all of Slott’s stories because I’m a diehard Spider-man fan. And I held out hope that he’d give us a story that would shake up the status quo, but essentially keep Peter Parker the same old Peter Parker. Instead he pissed all over the status quo and laughed in our faces while doing it. I hope sales are so bad that Marvel fires Slott just to try to get sales back up. It’ll serve him right.

    My business is strictly with DC now, because I’ve been a diehard Batman fan even longer than I have of Spider-man, and I can only hope that DC never hires Slott. Because if Slott tried to mess up Batman I’d give up comics forever.

  6. I should say though, that Ock didn’t sleep with MJ yet and it remains to be seen if he ever will get close enough to her for that. However, in 700, he did mistreat Mary Jane and showed some very obviously obnoxious behaviour, and she did not seem to pick up on the massive character change. This is the same Mary Jane who easily told when Peter was being impersonated by the chameleon. This is just terrible writing, truth be told.

    I personally think this is also an awful ending to the life of Peter Parker. Listen, I get it. Sometimes we need new things and sometimes comic characters die. But you don’t kill off a 50-year old beloved character in such a pathetic, undignified way! Look at Bendis’ Spider-man! He died fighting five enemies at the same time while injured and bleeding from a gun-shot wound just some minutes prior to the start of the battle. He died unmasked and as a hero, surrounded by his loved ones. This Peter dies in the crippled, deformed body of his enemy without any of his loved ones ever being the wiser, while some impostor steals his life and love away from him and is given free rein to do whatever he wants in his body. This is defilement and desecration of the character. How could someone who ‘loves’ Spider-man do this?

    When Bendis’ spider-man died, I said that if 616 Peter were to ever perish, it would have to be a battle of epic proportions. It would have to be a climax of everything that made Peter Parker what he is. It would have to be a fitting end to a character who has represented a classic brand of heroism that burns bright in the hearts of marvel fans old and new. This is how you end his story? Please, get us a new writer already.

    • Agreed! No matter how you slice it, this ending is an insult to the character. As I said before, I think if this was a smaller story arc and executed properly (no pun intended) it could have been an interesting read. But to have Peter go out like this? It’s hard not to conclude that they went out of their way to provoke longtime fans.

  7. I’ve been reading Spider-Man for the better part of 20 years now, almost as long as I can remember being into comic books. I’ve always loved Spider-Man for the fact that even though he’s a hero, he’s one of the few heroe who has a “real-life” that is relatable to the readers and fans and why I think he is such an icon. It is the one character that I know I can always come back to when I have been away from comics and never be disappointed becuse despite what the particular storyline is, I’m there for Pete/Spidey as a character. Its no surprise that Pete did what he did with the “Nobody Dies” arc or that he took pity on Otto and offered himself up the way he did. Everything in his character has always led him to do what he thought was right and in his own way. He protected a city and in particular certain individuals who hated and wanted him dead for his entire career. If you’ve read the comics and Peter/Spider-Man’s story meant anything to you oridentified with him/it, you should understand that the way he went was entirely in line with his character. There was no justice in it, and I agree the total justice would have been that Otto removed the mask and let the bot transfer them back, but Peter Parker was never about justice for himself, just for others. If he convinced Otto to honor him by striving to be a better individual and be a hero, then Peter knows that Spider-Man will continue to do right wrongs for other and provide some kind of justice, even if he gets none. Now I hope that the fans (myself included) who are incredibly shocked and dismayed by this turn of events, (I am beside myself in disbelief and unsure about my future readership with Marvel and the title) will get some justince and hopefully see Peter get some justice. There are certain things that I think were hinted leading up to the turn of events. It seems to me that in Peter’s struggle to devise a plan to correct the issue, he visited a few places where he could have left some evidence of the transfer and possibly have left some kind of imprint to bring him back at a later point. It seems to me that part of his point in getting to Avengers Tower was so that he could attempt a message with his fellow allies and might have left something for the big brains to work out. Also, he may have had access to something of Stark’s behind the scenes and was able to download himself in a manner that Stark was able to in the Stark Disassembled storyline. Even before that, there is a chance that something happened off-panel when Peter encounters Carlie at the police evidence locker after she gets hit by the ricochet but before he re-emerges and takes off with Scorpion, Hydro-Man and the Trapster. I think this is hinted again when Carlie shows up at the battle later. And there’s the Octobot, which unless it happened off panel, has not been shown to be destroyed. Throughout the time Otto has been living as Pete, several characters have already cued in that something is different about him, so I am hoping that it can’t be long before he slips up enough or breaks down from the pressure of having to live up to what Peter set out for him to do. It’s at this point, unless I’m reading into it too much, I think Slott will use the clues he left to show how Pete will come back. I could be wrong and just be delusional and in denial that this is the fate they have resigned our hero for. I can also always hope for a speedy ret-con. As far as the rape issue is concerned, I can’t discredit your conclusion, however I think that takes it too far out context and is not the conclusion that should be drawn from the intent of the creative staff to provide a good-natured and compelling story. But we each have out opinions.

    • Mr. Spence,

      Indeed, we all do have our opinions, but you’re glossing over two indisputable points:

      1. If Doctor Octopus is in Peter’s body and is romantically involved with MJ without admitting what happened, then he is deceiving her. If he sleeps with her, that is rape. It doesn’t matter what the intentions of the editorial staff are if the outcome constitutes rape. There is no way MJ would ever willingly date Peter’s executioner, and if she does it would be completely out of character.

      2. No matter how you look at it, Doctor Octopus would have an endless string of warrants out of his arrest. Murder, espionage, war crimes, etc. You name the law, he has broken it. And so, no matter how much Peter would like to believe in the redemption of a man like Otto, he would also know that the rule of law demands the man stand trial. Peter Parker would not willingly pass the mantle over to a man who had not paid — at least legally — for his crimes.

      Regardless, thanks for the read. You’ll have to circle back after you’ve given Superior Spider-Man a chance to let us know what you think.

      • Ok, your points are valid. Part of me is hoping that maybe Pete let it happen, knowing he had a fallback, and the exercise, while fruitless for Otto, might prove to teach him a lesson when Pete does return and prove he outsmart him. I could just be trying to stay optimistic because I’m still in denial… I’ll try superior and let you know what I think though.

      • Maybe Peter dying in such a cruel way is actually meant to happen. What if Peter had a plan that wasn’t mentioned in the comic. Like he made a machine that would amplify his brain waves in his original body, and over time, Doc Ock will slowly start acting like Peter such as (being sarcastic to ma villian, saying jokes) And he will gain more feelings for innocent people. And eventually, Peter’s memories and thoughts will take over and though, he won’t have his soul I think, he will have his body back, and Ock will diminish away. And Peter will be back in his body. But, even though he will have his brain patterns and memories back, he won’t be the same Peter that died.

      • I thought about that too, that maybe Pete knew he’d be able to suppress Otto’s personality at a later point and that he was still in there consciously to some extent, I mean he managed to make Otto see and feel all his memories so even though he was in Otto’s body… The soul thing is an interesting mention; is your soul in your mind? If Pete’s consciousness returns and suppresses Otto’s, would his soul not be in tact also? Pete’s soul never died as his physical body did not die, Otto’s however did, and he just has a (hopefully) temporary lease on Pete’s soul as it should’ve remained with Pete’s body. Another concept ocurred to me too, what is the possibility that maybe it didn’t happen at all and Otto actually died. However, Pete, in his infinite capacity for compassion (as absurd and childish as it is sometimes, but hey its part of why we have always come back to or have stuck beside Spider-Man), rather than just let Otto die, he devised a mechanism and transferred Otto’s consciousness to it and in doing so devised this computer generated fantasy that spared Otto’s mind from death and with Pete’s suggestion/programming gave him the capacity to try and redeem himself in a virtual world. The thought ocurred to me because the ending of the movie (spoilers, in case you haven’t ever seen it) “Repo Men” popped into my head.

  8. imagine a situation where a blind woman loves a man and some guy impersonates that man and takes advantage of her.
    this is essentially whats going on

      • I read 700 and 15.1 it was honestly a great story. I am all for Superior Spider-Man and applaud Dan Slott. I was just mad because I only saw the ending of the leaked issue. But now I understand. I’m not even worried about the “rape” thing. I’m sure Dan won’t let it get that far.

      • Well, change is sometimes a good thing. It would be pretty dull if things were the same. And another, I just have a good feeling about this. MARVEL won’t let Dan Slott write something that is freaky. THey review everything and the writer’s history so I think everything will be fine.

      • You don’t think Doc Ock refusing to disclose the truth about who he is while trying to sleep with MJ is freaky? At a minimum, the “change” Marvel is asking you to root for is a wannabe rapist.

      • Wow, um I just realized that your not just blogger with attitude, you think that because someone has their own opinion about a character that isn’t even real, thats in a story that isn’t even real, you have to resort to name calling like a little kindergardner. I wonder how you react when you see rape jokes on family guy. Don’t get pissed because people have a different view point. Thats what blogging is all about, shooting ideas and talking, not acting like a kid when someone makes a joke. “Oh no, MARVEL and Dan Slott might be asking us to support a rapist, oh no” Get real, that shit isn’t going to happen, and if it does. SO what, he is still a villian in his own way. Get used to it dude. Good job, you just lost one of your followers. Keep it up, and see how much more people read your bull shit. You might have to resort to writing your thoughts in a diary.

      • Hes not even wannabe. If this mj thing goes through marvel is gonna have a rapist as the title character of its flagship book

  9. I agree with your assessment. I’ve never believed Dan Slott should be trusted to lead on Spider-Man. Part of his problem is that he has always been a person that cannot accept that a person can disagree with him unless they are wrong. I’ve actually gone through the stages of grief because of the way he chose to have Peter die, and have found the key to acceptance in the “Prayer for Serenity” (I type while watching Nathan Fillion in “Castle”). I simply accept I do not have the power to change the comic and accept that I must wait for someone else to fix it. That said if I could ever get my foot in the door at Marvel I would knock the door down and rush my way into a writing or editing position.

    Personally I hope they retcon back to pre-Brand New Day, where Aunt May was dead, Peter was married, MJ was pregnant, and they were living with the consequences of their decisions. If not that, then they should start over from scratch. If they go with a fix, I suggest it be Norman Osborn that does it, after Octavius blows Peter’s secret identity. Simply put, Norman’s hatred for Parker is so great he would not be willing to accept that anyone else killed him and would set out to revive him and wipe Ock’s identity. And Norman would never be satisfied by killing any Spider-Man other than Peter Parker. Additionally, I wish they would explain away the Gwen Stacy/Norma Osborn twins, by having Norman admit they were another woman’s children and he brainwashed her in order to hurt her and Peter. (Seriously she was in a bikini in the Savage Land about 2 months before their birth and was not showing in the least bit.)

    Finally, if comic writers want to be edgy by tarnishing immortal heroes, don’t make them stop being heroes. Instead make them mortal. A revolutionary comic writer would swear to make their character age and eventually retire or die. They always talk about the characters’ possible futures, but they never let them happen. If this were to happen for every character in the Marvel universe (that could possibly become mortal), then the stories would instantly become epic. Because, what thrill is there in knowing that a hero will always survive or at least come back from the dead. Also, with a permanent death, authors like Dan Slott would be less tempted to have heroes die in such disgusting ways.

    • Issaac,

      You provide many good points here. It is comforting to know that if a skilled writer ever lands in the captain’s chair he could creatively fix much of the damage that Mr. Slott has done.

  10. It’s sad to read how many people on this Bleeding Cool forum don’t know what rape is and is not. I have worked as a therapist for years with sexual abuse victims, and what Ock is doing to MJ is rape,period. Any sex without consent is rape. PERIOD. It’s not a controversy. MJ is NOT consenting to sex with Ock – she thinks it’s Parker. This is rape.

    I get so tired of this shit in comics. The usual excuse is “this happens in real life so it’s OK to depict it”. Well, child rape, cannibalism, and bestiality all happen in real life – I have seen all of these in the last few years of practicing therapy in Oregon. Does that mean they make good material for comics? Slott obviously would shout “YES” to the heavens – but I would be he’s never had to help someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder work through a sexual assault.

    • I just read the Bleeding Cool piece and can’t stop shaking my head. The author is trying to tie himself into intellectual knots to give Marvel an out for the disgusting road they’ve decided to go down.

    • I love how all these ‘It’s RAPE’ arguments are flying everywhere on this little blog when… and this may throw you all for a loop: NOTHING HAPPENED. Rape, by definition, is an act of sex. Generally violent, but always unwanted, sex. Mary Jane and “Peter Parker” did NOT have sex. No sex. No rape.
      Cute try, though. I understand what you’re doing, Douglas, trying to get attention by making outrageous claims and accusations about things that never happened hoping to leech off some of the furor currently going on about this issue. But you can’t call someone a rapist if they never actually raped anyone.
      The issue was great. If you actually paid attention to not only this issue buy the few that came before it you would actually understand what’s happening. I’m assuming you haven’t read them because in another Spider-Man post you admitted to not actually reading the series currently. If you haven’t read it then you really can’t make such claims when you’re taking everything out of context.

      • Skott,

        The scene in question implies that Doc Ock would have very well had sex with MJ if she had not hesitated. As I said: “At a minimum, he’s a wannabe rapist.” I’m “trying to get attention”? I’ve been writing this blog for years now. I write on a wide range of subjects — and comics have been one of them since I started. My blog has grown at a respectable pace since day one, well before ASM #700. Nice try.

        It’s also been said that MJ and Peter are going to be together. I wrote this post because if that turns out to be the case, then unless Ock comes clean he will be a rapist.

        I’ve clearly kept up tabs on the book since OMD and BND, so your attempt to cut into my credibility on the subject doesn’t work. Sorry.

        I’m “taking everything out of context”? I think the fan reaction to ASM# 700 says otherwise. I should do a post on the Google searches people are using to get to my blog in regards to the issue, Dan Slott, and the editors at Marvel. My WordPress stats have been classic. My favorite so far is “Why is Dan Slott such a shithead?”

        If Hollywood makeup artists made me up tomorrow to look exactly like Dan Slott (that would be a lot of material) and I somehow managed to get his wife to kiss me, would she be able to successfully file charges when she found out the truth? You bet. And Doc Ock did steal a kiss from MJ under false pretenses.

        Regardless, if you want to be an apologist for Marvel’s disgusting treatment of its flagship character, be my guest. ASM #700 was a travesty. Dan Slott doesn’t love Spider-Man. He’s a modern day Brutus. ‘Nuff said.

        Editor’s Note: For those who are interested, “Skott” is the same “skottoffables” who allowed himself to be punished in the comments section of a previous Spider-Man post (the one where I discuss how Dan Slott’s Spider-Man spent precious seconds during a possible mass extinction event worrying about the well being of the overseers of North Korea’s gulags).

  11. There’s absolutely no way this new path can sustain intself. The only slim reason that brand new day was able to last was due to the fact that in many ways it actually reduced the amount of story telling needed to explain to new readers what exactly was going on. Can you imagine if they had to mention in the next fifty to one hundred issues that doc was spidey. Some strange extraneous voice bubble where he contemplates a dual identity in every issue. It also becomes a moot point when you thoroughly contemplate his sense of identity. Essentially the only difference between the two men at the end of issue 700 is the body the inhabit. If doc oc has all of peter’s memories then i would imagine peter has all of his and so they essential become dualistic personalities. My point is that there’s no difference from a doc who has peter’s memories and a peter who has doc’s memories. So what you’re looking at essentially is a peter parker who’s personality has been mixed with doctor octopus. the constant restating that doctor octopus now inhabits peter’s body is an attempt to piss off readers but it’s a flawed concept and it will eventually lead to the blurring of the characters so they wont really even have to write pete back into the story. essentially he never left, he’s just been effected by the memories of doctor octopus.

    • Interesting analysis, Joe. However, if one believes we’re not just a collection of memories — but that we are body, mind and soul — then it becomes more problematic. Where is Peter’s soul? I’m assuming it’s with Uncle Ben and Gwen in Heaven … so we can never really be reading about Peter unless his soul is also present.

      If I was an atheist I’d probably warm up to your take a lot more. Regardless, I think it’s safe to say that in the hands of the right team there would be some pretty cool stories to tell over the next year. With the current editorial team behind the wheel? I’m expecting car crash after car crash.

      • Yeah, I do have a heart you know. I am talking about a story that isn’t real though, and so are you. Am I going to make jokes about a story that isn’t real, yeah. Am I going to make jokes about that in real life, no. I’m not heartless. So don’t act like I’m some random piece of shit that doesn’t care about what happens to people.

  12. I realize this is months old, but I came across this as I researched if anyone else felt as repulsed about the situation, and I’m happy to have read a thoughtful and insightful article as yours. This especially helps ease my horror at viewing an article attacking a female who put out this same idea.

    What I find troublesome about this extends past the treatment of Mary Jane and Peter, it permeats all of mainstream comic books today, and why, sadly, this 36 year old has given up his 33 year comic book “career.”

    Although I’m waking up to the misogyny and sexism that has plagued the industry throughout its history (although even at age nine I recognized part of it with the demise of Supergirl, crippling of Batgirl, and so on), it seems that today’s comics are deliberately pushing towards extremes with the depiction of women, on the covers and in their pages. Granted, there are some very strong and compelling portraits of women through art and storytelling, such as with Batwoman, for example, but with the continued use of “broken spines”, “crotch shields,” and the (tired) use of assault or attempted assault, it is a disturbing landscape out there.

    Wonder Woman, though not always perfect, is now fan fiction at its worst, with Amazons who rape and murder, and Diana(s) with a violence first attitude. Most recently she even became a victim of assault as a way to add “humor” in recreating Orion as a cad.

    Again, there are positive portrayals of women in comics, but it seems that they are far more hidden than in previous years. Heroism in itself is something tarnished, where violence for “shock value” and killing as part of the hero’s “moral” code is a given. Although comics aren’t just for children, I feel sick that I could not give most comics to a child these days, nor would I have given them to myself as a child. While I acknowledge there are many great comics for children out there, it’s sad that I wouldn’t feel comfortable handing over some super hero staples to a young reader.

    While Marvel at least has a few that are geared as All Ages, and even has magazines on newsstands marketed toward kids, DC has very little toward reaching out to their future customers. They cancel such hits with very young readers as Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, cancel animated series and tie-in comics for older yet still All Ages audiences like Young Justice, as well as cancel their popular Super Best Friends Forever shorts, which was not only a favorite across genders, but the perfect way to reach out to young female fans.

    I won’t argue the successes and failures of today’s marketing to children any further but just mention that since it exists, there is that possibility that a parent will thus buy comics for their child. It’s increasingly difficult for a parent to find something acceptable for their child, and the Big Two, especially DC, seems to be ok with that.

    As mentioned many times by others before, no other company could get away with the business model these two companies have, insulting their customers, and deliberately being rude to them. However, despite the droves of customers (not just “fans,” we *are* customers) who depart, there are still those who latch on and approve of such behaviour. The fanboy of today also sickens me, and makes me ashamed to ever have read a comic. Their often violent verbal or written assaults on those who can rationally voice concern or indignation over a topic, suggests something far worse than simply being immature or socially awkward.

    The problem lies too with those at the helm of Marvel and DC, who display themselves as spoilt brats who must live vicariously through their characters lives, and whose moral standards are below par. Quesada’s own marriage failed and suddenly Peter Parker had to be single and promiscuous. Perhaps suffering from their own failures in life, or suffering from a mid-life crisis, suddenly to be “relatable” DC’s leading married men were made single also, even so much as having Jay Garrick being “cool” and “relatable” as to having “make-up sex” prior to the dissolution of his neo- relationship with his long time companion Joan.

    The poor treatment of such *customer*-favorite characters as Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain and the dismissal of *customer* concerns over why they are treated as such is disturbing. Instead of rational input, these persons in positions of authority rudely ignore or make juvenile remarks.

    We have those who claim such fans/ customers as myself have no right to judge certain books or treatment of characters and yet, as has been brought up, if it the product was a beverage one would not be expected to continue to buy it in case it might improve one day. I, for one, would stop buying orange juice if it was now 80% apple, and that addresses another comment made by all too many: “you’re old and cannot handle change.”

    I have endured many changes throughout my comic book buying years, and although I’ve been less able to handle some, I’ve continued to read and collect. Previously, however, the changes made to characters has been generally in keeping with the character’s, well, character. The Wonder Wonen of yesteryear have all been warriors, yes, but they’ve all been about being active ambassadors to peace *first*, and never needed magic guns or a sword her constant companion to save the day, as it were. They were raised by women who endured suffering but were a people of peace, of tranquility, and would be bold enough to help a man, despite what they had learned from their past. Diana never needed Daddy Issues to be relatable to male readers. In addition, Superman didn’t need to be portrayed as angry, eyes glowing red to be “cool”, nor Supergirl unfeeling toward humanity to be seen as alien, and Peter Parker certainly never had to be “relatable” by how many women he slept with nor be shown as letting a murderer take over his body to depict his greater moral code.

    These changes not only depict the questionable morals of those writing and editing these characters but also show how the comic book today is about the gimmick first, story second. Peter Parker was already killed off in his Ultimate title, and Marvel received publicity not only for that but for the addition of Miles to the role of Spider-Man. While Miles can be seen as positive, the point is that unless he was to become 616’s Spider-Man also, they had already killed off one Peter Parker so to have the demise of another so soon after seems like another attempt to grab some attention. Peter Parker was unmasked for publicity, and after that news had quieted down, he was also quietly masked again – though in an issue of Avengers, Post-BND, he unmasked for them – which was anti-climatic at best.

    Growing up, comics sold more and were seen in grocery stores, convenience stores, and comic shops, and they didn’t need constant gimmicks to be sold. There were even digests featuring reprints of early DC and Marvel featured stories, “best of” stories, and even candy attached to mini origin stories of favorite super heroes. Reruns of cartoons furthered the marketing of super-hero comics. While Supergirl’s and Robin’s deaths were heavy in the media, as well as Suoerman’s marriage and a new Robin’s new costume, I don’t remember the constant attempts at creating a media buzz by the companies, or major gimmick running in the titles to try to keep people reading. Yes, Superman’s death was a big one, but it was still at a time where a character wasn’t killed only to be resurrected again in time for a major movie.

    With regard to Peter Parker, we know that he’ll be back in 616 as himself in time for the next movie. We also know from experience that the villains in the comic will be reflective of those in the next film. While I may not like that, it is an effective marketing tool, and yet, it still fails.

    There is the constant need for “the next big event” with comics tying into those events, and an almost constant press release if something shocking in the industry to try to gain new readers, and yet it’s not working.

    We had DC reveal that the New 52 would be targeting 18-34 cisgendered heterosexual man-children, which is not new nor expansive. We saw them deliberately disrespect certain customers and almost gleefully lose many previous customers, we see them market their Non-All Ages books to children (New 52 Squinkies, New 52 Superman in an all ages book), and mention the New 52 as making the characters more marketable all while the retro versions of the characters being more marketed than ever (from blankets to shot glasses).

    We see Marvel and DC put out questionable story lines and situations for characters that in their 50-(almost)80 year history never needed to be done to attract readers or keep the current readers on, and even in this controversial approach, the comic book industry is failing.

    It makes it much more sad a display when polite, mature, thoughtful rebuttals of your kind are lambasted by these creators. Not only does it promote a community of unrest, immaturity and stereotypes, thus diminishing the roles of creators and editors of the past, but only confirms to many why “comic books are for losers,” why certain people interested in comic books don’t explore that interest any further, and displays part of the problem with the comic book industry: it is being mainly run by small minded men with big egos.

    I apologize for my rant and my digression from the topic at hand, but it just upsets me to no end at the current state of comics. Of course, the treatment of Mary Jane also underlies the sad truth of the treatment of women in this century, that although it should be enlightened, it is far from it.

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