As you probably know by now, Peter Parker meets his untimely end in the 700th issue of Spider-Man.
While his body finally gives up, his mind will live on inside the head of Doctor Octopus, his arch nemesis. But once Parker dies, Doc Oc decides to become a hero from here on out, with the spirit of Peter, and what Spider-Man means, living on inside him.
Now the fans have not been exactly pleased about the new development, and even though this issue is on track to sell 250,000 copies, Marvel has also had to deal with death threats. (There was certainly going to be a lot of bitter online whining, but death threats is pretty ridiculous, taking vicious geek vengeance to a new low).
As Marvel writer Dan Slott, who came up with the end of Parker, told the L.A. Times, he was ready to pull a Salman Rushdie, meaning he’d disappear off the face of the earth once Parker was finally killed. Slott continued, “We started sowing the seeds for this story literally a hundred issues ago, and we’ve been leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the readers. It wasn’t until two issues ago that we started springing the trap.”
What separated Peter Parker from so many superheroes is other than his superpowers, he was a geeky kid with a lot of problems, just like a lot of teenagers his age. As Slott continued to writer Gina McIntyre, “He’s not Superman. Spider-Man doesn’t always win. He’s us. We do our best, but sometimes we fall short. What makes him heroic is that he stays on the right path.”
Lott is hoping the fans will ultimately get it, and enjoy the new direction the hero goes into with Superior Spider-Man. Again, superhero deaths and resurrections are nothing new. Superman died and was reborn, Batman either got blown to oblivion saving Gotham, or got out in time, leaving the batsuit for someone else to inherit in the future.
Once the initial knee-jerk reaction against the death of Peter Parker calms down, it remains to be seen if fans will indeed embrace this change, or if it will go down in comics history as one of the worst story decisions ever.