January 2, 2013

Peter Parker Gets the Axe, But Spidey Isn’t Squashed

Oh what a tangled web has been woven. RIP Peter Parker. Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) – The Amazing Spider-Man #700 (2012). You will forever be missed Mr. Parker.

If you’re like any American boy (or possibly some girls), you surely spent some time during childhood climbing trees or furniture slinging webs as your ‘Spidey sense was tingling’. Well, enjoy the nostalgia because those days are gone forever.

Not because your married with two children, overweight, and balding, no. Not because you’d break the furniture or your neck either-rather, because Peter Parker is dead.

How could Marvel do such a thing?

Well, a little background on The Amazing Spider-Man and Peter Parker may be in order for some of our foreign, or not so nerdy, readers.

Peter Benjamin Parker was “orphaned as a baby when his parents were killed overseas in a plane crash as U.S. government spies. The only child Peter Parker was raised by his elderly Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Academically gifted, Peter displayed an uncanny affinity for science that was nothing short of genius. Socially, however, he was painfully shy and the target of much cruelty by his peers at Midtown High School. Attending a public science exhibit when Peter was 15-years old, he was bitten on the hand by a radioactive spider accidentally irradiated by a particle beam, empowering Peter with the arachnid’s proportional strength and agility, and the ability to cling to almost any surface. Most incredibly, he had gained a sixth sense that provided him with early warning of impending danger.”

So began Spider-Man’s legendary battles of super-villains for the last 50 years.

One of the most recent writers of the Webslinger’s adventures, Dan Slott, who has been writing the comics for nearly the last 100 issues for Marvel Entertainment, said “the culmination of the story is a new, dramatically different direction for the Steve Ditko and Stan Lee-created hero.”

“This is an epic turn,” Slott said. “I’ve been writing Spider-Man for 70-plus issues. Every now and then, you have to shake it up. … The reason Spider-Man is one of the longest running characters is they always find a way to keep it fresh. Something to shake up the mix.”

Another reason for the success of the series is because they writers have always made the story about Peter Parker and how is life is shaped by his powers and responsibility therein.

In the pages of the 700th issue, Parker’s mind is trapped in the decaying body of his arch nemesis, Doctor Octopus, also known as, Otto Octavius. Affectionately known as Doc Ock, the villain managed to swap his and Parker’s minds and bodies. Ock’s mind now resides inside Parker’s super-powered body. One can only assume that the continuation of the series will be about Doc Ock and his personal life in relation to the super hero Spider-Man.

The days of wickedness are over for him, but since it’s Doc Ock and he has that villainous ego, he’s not going to settle for just being Spider-man, “he’s going to try to be the best Spider-Man ever,” said Slott.

Although Peter Parker is dead and gone (for now), his legacy will forever live on in our childhood undies and within the comic itself.

“His life is still important to the book because it affects everything that Doctor Octopus does as Spider-Man. Seeing a super villain go through this life is the point — trying to be better than the hero he opposed,” Editor, Stephen Wacker said.

This sets the stage for next year’s upcoming “The Superior Spider-Man” series, so you can continue to climb trees and furniture while pretending to be Spider-Man; you’ll just be acting as Doctor Otto Octavius rather than Peter Parker.

I just hope the next movie is better than the last few.

Image Credit: Helga Esteb /

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