Sunday Supervillainy – Superior Spider-Man #1 (spoilers)
Here be spoilers: read on at your own risk
Over at Marvel Comics, the long-running title Amazing Spider-Man has been cancelled (for now), following its 700th issue. In its place is Superior Spider-Man – and the gimmick is that Dr. Octopus has finally defeated Spider-Man by taking over his body, leaving Peter Parker, the real Spider-Man, to die in Dr. Octopus’s own damaged body (let’s turn a blind eye to the mind-body dualism implicit in all this).
So, as we see in Superior Spider-Man #1, the new book is about the adventures of Dr. Octopus in Peter Parker’s body: fighting crime; romancing Mary Jane Watson (Peter’s ex-girlfriend, and one-time wife until that reality was retrospectively altered); and generally enjoying his newfound vitality and youth. The Dr. Octopus/Mary Jane thing has caused a lot of consternation, but surely Mary Jane is going to suss things out, given her past record at this kind of thing, before this sub-plot goes too far.
If you followed the links, you know that there’s a further twist – arguably one that has been introduced too early in this new series. We all know that Peter Parker will be back sooner or later, but you’d think the creators of this book might not foreshadow it quite so quickly as has happened in the very first issue. Still, the plot is definitely thickening, with “Spider-Man” obviously acting very strangely; Mary Jane seeing this and (I hope) suspecting that something is wrong; and a problem about what has actually happened to Peter and how come is he still (in a mind-body dualist way, of course) able to assert some influence.
I’m not sure I’d be interested enough in this turn of events to, you know, actually buy the book – I’m relying on Scans Daily to keep up with what is happening. But I’m sufficiently invested in Mary Jane as a character, dating back to when I read her very early stories when I was a child, to care about how she’s going to act. The worst fear is that she’ll be turned into a rape victim (with the rape then being trivialised), but I don’t think Marvel will be dumb enough to go down that path in this particular case; the best hope is that she’ll be the one to save the day.