-By Warner Todd Huston
Peter Parker, Spiderman’s “normal guy” alter ego, has been killed in the 700th issue of Marvel Comic’s The Amazing Spiderman and reactions to the plot twist are decidedly mixed.
In an interesting turn, the mind of long-time Spidey foe Doctor Octopus, a metal tentacled killer, somehow inhabited Spidey’s body but experienced an epiphany turning him into a good guy that will try to carry on Spiderman’s heroic legacy. In the meantime, the mind of Peter Parker dies after being transferred into the failing body of Doc Ock.
Writer Dan Slott is excited about the new direction.
“This is Moriarty in the head of Sherlock. This is Prince John inside of Robin Hood. This is the greatest villain inside the body of the greatest hero and trying to do good. This is a guy who was a couple steps way from a bucket list, and now he’s got a whole new lease on life. That’s really going to change him,” Slott said about the biggest twist in the story.
Editor Stephen Wacker also had a few words to say about the new direction.
“His (Parker’s) life is still important because it affects everything that Doctor Octopus does as Spider-Man. Seeing a supervillain go through this life is the point, trying to be better than the hero he opposed.”
Not all Spidey fans are as excited by the turn of events. After 50 years of Peter Parker, some fans are a bit unhappy that the comic company is killing him off.
Writer Slott even resorted to some absurd hyperbole when asked about the reaction of some unhappy fans that issued a few death threats.
He told the Los Angeles Times: “My exact phrase was, ‘I’m pulling a Salman Rushdie’. Peter Parker means a lot to people. Not just comic book fans, but fans of the movies, cartoons, toys and even the Thanksgiving Day balloon. He’s been with us for over half a century.
Let’s not make such little of the threat Salman Rushdie faces, shall we, Mr. Slott.
Still, fans can be, well, fanatic, granted.
All that emotion is a bit less warranted, though, when one takes just a minute to understand that in comics “death” is only “permanent” to the point that writers decide it isn’t! Any number of comic book characters have been “killed” only to be miraculously brought back to life in later issues. Superman, Batman, and Captain America are only the most recent characters killed off only to be brought back to life — or back to their roles — in subsequent issues.
Spiderman debuted in August of 1962. The character is celebrating 50 years in print.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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