Filtered By: Scitech
With great power comes great responsibility… and the ability to conquer even death, apparently.
On January 9, a supposedly authentic cover of the March-April 2014 issue of Marvel Previews went viral, prompting a series of articles from various pop culture news sites pondering the possible return of one of the world’s most beloved fictional characters.
The cover, featuring the words “Amazing Spider-Man #1” and a smiling, unmasked Peter Parker swinging across the New York skyline, seemed to tease the reinstatement of Marvel’s flagship superhero, after a long period of absence forced upon him by his arch-nemesis Otto Octavius (Doctor Octopus). Seeking to escape his own demise, Doc Ock switched minds with Spider-Man, usurping the hero’s body and life while leaving Parker to die in the villain’s diseased body.
Marvel’s silence on the matter, as well as its subsequent requests to comic book sites to take down the image, only served to fan the flames of the 50-year old icon’s rumored return to the floppies.
However, thanks to an interview published in the New York Daily News, the wait for official confirmation is over – Peter Benjamin Parker will web-swing back into the Marvel universe this April.
Parker’s death in the pages of December 2012’s Amazing Spider-Man #700 also marked the end of the first volume of the series. The title was immediately replaced in January 2013 with Superior Spider-Man, which featured Doc Ock striving to be a “superior” version of the hero whose identity he had stolen.
“To do that for a solid year of my life, that’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do — to look small children in the eye at a convention and lie to them,” admitted Dan Slott, the scribe of Superior Spider-Man and the brains behind the Amazing relaunch. “One of them with an honest-to-God Little League uniform and a quivering lip.”
“Inside, part of me was dying.”
Slott revealed that bringing back Peter Parker was always part of his plan. The timing of Parker’s return is perhaps unsurprising, as the celebrated hero, who has starred in four record-breaking box office hits, will star in another feature film this year, entitled, appropriately enough, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
“(Parker’s coming back) just in time, fancy that, for a major Spider-Man motion picture,” joked Slott, who will team up with artist Humberto Ramos for the Amazing relaunch. “It seems uncanny. It was very nice for Sony to schedule the movie around the story.”
Turn off the dark
However, Slott didn’t keep everyone in the dark about the fate of Marvel’s resident “everyman” superhero.
When the writer paid a visit to the set of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he got the opportunity to talk to film lead Andrew Garfield - a fan of the comic book character in real life. After the actor expressed shock over the latest development in the Spider-Man comic books, Slott assured him that Parker’s return was also in the works, and that the character’s death would not be permanent.
Another person who was in on the secret? Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso.
“It would have been great if you took a photo of my face at that time. I was not very thrilled,” recalled Alonso, referencing a creative summit several years ago where Slott first pitched the idea of killing and replacing Parker.
“Let’s just say that as cynical as the hard-core fanboy was, I was more cynical.”
Beware the rage of a desperate fan
If Alonso’s response to Slott’s radical pitch was cynicism, other fans’ reactions ranged from grief to serious threats of violence.
Near the end of 2012, Amazing Spider-Man #698 (the issue that revealed the brain swap) and #700 were scanned and uploaded on torrent sites days before their actual release dates. This generated a massive wave of anger and disillusionment from longtime readers of the character, causing some overly passionate “hardcore” fans to go as far as to send hate messages and even death threats to Slott.
(Not) the final chapter
Interestingly, some of the fans who were initially skeptical about the Superior Spider-Man have embraced the new “hero,” as the title continues to sell around 80,000 copies per issue.
However, that’s not to say that the original has not been dearly missed.
“I do feel people will appreciate him a little more after this,” remarked Alonso, who believes that the massive change in the Spider-verse was necessary for revitalizing interest in the superhero, after a solid fifty years of publication. “I do think people have been taking him for granted.”
By the time Peter Parker makes his triumphant return in April, he would have been gone for 15 months already. However, Dan Slott assured fans that the wild ride is far from over. “[T]here’s a twist. There’s always a twist.”
Despite being the man responsible for taking Peter Parker out of commission, Dan Slott remains just as big a fan of the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler as everyone else.
“We’ve gone over 30 issues without Peter Parker, so when we let him out of that box and he gets to put on that costume again and he gets to swing through the sky, it’s going to be the greatest feeling.” — TJD, GMA News