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Wednesday, December 26, 2012 

The AP Wire fawns over Dr. Octopus' mind-theft of Spider-Man's body

The AP Wire writes one of their predictably unobjective articles about how Peter Parker, with his mind stuck in Dr. Octopus' body, loses out to Otto Octavius, whose own mind now dominates Spidey's body, in the 700th Spider-Man issue, with the relaunched volume focusing on Doc Ock becoming "inspired":
After 50 years of spinning webs and catching a who's who of criminals, Peter Parker is out of the hero game.

But Spider-Man is still slinging from building to building - reborn, refreshed and revived with a new sense of the old maxim that Ben Parker taught his then-fledgling nephew that "with great power, comes great responsibility."

Writer Dan Slott, who's been penning Spidey adventures for the better part of 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."
And people like him sure know how to make it stale. The whole goal here seems to be insulting the fans' heads by bringing back Mary Jane Watson when Peter's not in his own body.
And in the pages of issue 700, out Wednesday, it's not just shaken up, it's turned head over heels, spun in circles, kicked sky high and cracked wide open.
Well at least they got that right. And when it comes down to earth, it's splattered all over the pavement like Humpty Dumpty.
Parker's mind is trapped in the withered, decaying dying body of his nemesis, Doctor Octopus aka Otto Octavius. Where's Doc Ock? Inside Parker's super-powered shell, learning what life is like for the brilliant researcher who happens to count the Avengers and Fantastic Four as friends and family.

The two clash mightily in the pages of issue 700, illustrated by Humberto Ramos and Victor Olazaba. But it's Octavius who wins out and Parker is, at least for now, gone for good, but not before one more act of heroism.

Slott said that it's Parker, whose memories envelop Octavius, who shows the villain what it means to be a hero.

"Gone are his days of villainy, but since it's Doc Ock and he has that ego, he's not going to try and just be Spider-man, he's going to try to be the best Spider-Man ever," said Slott.
His whole storyboard here is a big lapse in logic. Ever since Doc Ock took that blow from an explosion in the laboratory he worked for (and come to think of it, even before), he's always made up his mind to take up a criminal path. For him, becoming a hero overnight makes no sense at all.
Editor Stephen Wacker called it a fitting end to the old series, which sets the stage for a new one - "The Superior Spider-Man" early next year - because it brings Peter Parker full circle, from the start of his crime-fighting career to the end.

"In his very first story, his uncle died because of something he did so the book has always been aimed at making Peter's life as difficult as possible," Wacker said. "The book has always worked best when it's about Peter Parker's life, not Spider-Man's."

And with Octavius influenced by Parker's life - from Aunt May to Gwen Stacy to Mary Jane - it will make him a better person, too.
Well! A telling clue of where this could be going with Mary Jane - she returns, but not in a way the Spider-fans wish for. That's why this should only mark a fitting end to buying and reading the series.

And I don't like Wacker's claim that making Peter's life hard on him was always the path Lee and other, better writers wanted to take at all times. They certainly didn't want to put him in situations like this where he'd end up in defeat in the worst way possible. Already, the Ultimate series has dropped its version of Peter for the sake of multiculturalism. Now, they have to force this balderdash down everybody's throats as well. It's vaguely reminiscent of the Clone Saga, only this time, it'll come to be known as the Switcheroo Saga.

Update: USA Today (via Newser) says that Peter is
"suffering a possibly permanent defeat".
He may already have. And Wacker told them:
"We want to do Spider-Man by way of Batman — a little creepier and darker."
That's exactly what this'll turn out like, with a villain like Doc Ock in the body of the real hero.

I also have to take issue with ComicBook.Com's approach to the news:
While many fans are obviously upset over the idea of a former villain as Spider-Man (not to mention the death of Peter Parker), the biggest challenge Marvel appears to be facing is convincing the press and fans that the changes are real. In a comic book industry, where characters deaths and subsequent returns are common place, every new death announcement is always met with a healthy amount of skepticism.
Is this supposed to be an apology for the editors' and writers' directions? What's additionally offensive is that they're suggesting everybody and anybody wants these favorite heroes to die. Not so, and I definitely will not take that kind of position today. I go by the Mark Gruenwald argument that every character is someone's favorite, and their brains are too. So to suggest that fans, if not the press, are accepting and favorable to heroes' deaths taking place is not only false but insulting and puts the reporter's own fandom under a question mark. If he's going to argue in favor of Marvel having to persuade the public at large of their intentions instead of asking whether it's a good idea and if it'll only further deteriorate sales by turning Spidey's shell unrecognizable, then all he's doing is signaling he was never in this for respectable storytelling.

And why is it so wrong to have a resurrection? It's not like fictional books from sci-fi authors don't also dabble in that kind of concept. If we start turning resurrections of favorite heroes into a crime - especially if it's for the purpose of reversing a wrong -  then popular fiction cannot maintain a healthy state. The writer goes on to say:
However, in their first press release on the day of the release of Amazing Spider-Man #700, Marvel Comics is taking a pro-active stance to assure readers that these aren’t temporary changes to Spider-Man. While Marvel’s editor in chief stops short of using the word permanent, he does seem to indicate that these changes aren’t something that will quickly be undone in a couple of issues.
Then we can save a lot of money and avoid the new series for as long as this fan-baiting goes on. Peter Parker is what makes Spidey work, not a villain taking over his body.

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I also thought of the Clone Saga when I read about this for the first time. It's beyond pathetic, this "storyline." It's hardly "fresh" because this switcheroo plot device has been used thousands of times before, in comic books and elsewhere.

I would also argue that spider-man never fully recovered from the Clone Saga.

Isn't it creepy to think of a guy once engaged to Aunt May now playing the role of her adoptive son?

In better days, I'd have thought such would be overlooked. Now, I suspect the Spider team thinks that's a fascinating angle to explore. *shiver*

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