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.
• 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?