Ten Terrible Things About Spider-Man #700.

FOR THE UNINITIATED: (In other words, the non-nerds who are scratching their heads raw right now) the 700th and final issue of Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man unveiled the outcome of the body-switching storyline revealed last month in issue #698: (btw, the shipping schedule was accelerated) Doctor Octopus’s mutated and badly beaten body, with Peter Parker’s consciousness stuck inside, died.

Yes, they killed Spider-Man. Sort of.

But Peter Parker’s body — now controlled by Otto Octaviuss devious mind — lives on, and no one else in the Marvel Universe is the wiser…

I have an issue or two, ten to be precise, with this development.

1. I DIDN’T WRITE IT. Seriously, how good could it be?

2. THE PRICE TAG. The comic book industry isn’t immune to the ravages of a failing economy, I get that. But a $7.99 cover price? The day after Christmas when parents are broke? Does Marvel expect their fan base to resort to petty crime to be able to afford the last issue of Amazing Spider-Man? Never mind super villains, irony sucks.

3. THE MIGHTY-MARVEL HYPE MACHINE. As you can imagine, a story like this is a brilliant way for comic book companies to draw mainstream attention. Yes, I  know The Walt Disney Company owns Marvel, but some news outlets still scream “NERDS!” when they get wind of a “funny book story”. But hype can be a dangerous thing when the story rings hollow, which, as you’ll see, I believe to be the case here.

4. “OVERZEALOUS” FANS. Spidey-writer Dan Slott has actually received real death threats for “killing” Peter Parker, a fictional character. Did everyone take note of the two key words? FICTIONAL. CHARACTER. I have nothing more to say. Except this: the people issuing these death threats need to stop buying comics for a month or two and use the funds to rent the affections of an actual woman! Trust me, it’ll change your life. Send your parents to bingo or something, fellas.

5. THERE ARE NO BROODY VAMPIRES THAT SPARKLE IN THE SUN. Apparently some people (like my wife!) like that sort of thing. What’s wrong with women these days?

6. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 CONTAINS NO BACON WHATSOEVER.
Bacon rules.

7. ENDING A COMIC’S RUN AFTER 700 ISSUES IS JUST PLAIN CRUEL.
Am I the only one that realizes how rare an accomplishment this is? Most comic book creative teams have to make a deal with the “Other Big Guy” to hit a hundred issues, never mind seven hundred of them! “LAST ISSUE!” looks cool on a cover but the reality is anything but amazing.

8. THE BOOK APPEARS TO BE ENTERING DARK TERRITORY. Spider-Ock, or whatever we’re calling him now, actually fights a few villains in this issue and as you would expect, he doesn’t hold back: he hits the Scorpion so hard, his jaw flies off! Really, Marvel? Your new Spider-Man is punching villains so hard their jaws fly off? I’ve heard of anti-heroes, but come on! This brings me to my next point…

9. HE MAY BE WEARING A NEW BODY, BUT WE’RE STILL TALKING ABOUT DOCTOR OCTOPUS, HERE! Amazing Spider-Man #700 displays just what happens when two individuals switch bodies; echoes of the previous owner’s consciousness remain to haunt and influence the new owner. These echoes have apparently inspired Otto Octavius to become a better, nay, a superior (hence the new Marvel Comics title, Superior Spider-Man, debuting Jan. 9) version of the wall-crawling super-hero known as Spider-Man.

But he’s still bad guy, people. I’m all for redemption, but if Octopus turns over a new super-heroic leaf too soon or easily, Marvel will lose even more followers than they already have with this move. Spider-Man fans have taken a beating from Marvel over the years – just Google “One More Day” and “The Clone Saga” and you’ll see what I mean – and this story, if handled as badly, could prove to be the straw that broke the spider’s back.

But all of this speculation is actually pointless. Why, you ask? Because…

10. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 IS AN AMAZING CASH GRAB, FANBOYS! Anyone that believes otherwise is more delusional than a mad scientist. Spider-Man is Marvel’s Crown Jewel, their gem. And Spider-Man is Peter Parker.

Period.

Media outlets are reporting that retailer reaction to this storyline has been mixed at best, with several retailers expressing concern that the initial sales surge with fade quickly while fan resentment will only continue to grow.

I couldn’t agree more with the latter. I may check out the first few issues of Superior Spider-Man - assuming my budget and curiosity hold out – but I’ll never fully buy into the premise. I actually enjoyed reading Amazing Spider-Man #700, although it was a hollow, empty read.

To put the mind of a psychotic, washed-up mad scientist – and a senior citizen to boot – in the body of one of the world’s greatest super-heroes is, at best, a risky move, but expecting the public to accept this new status quo as permanent? That is just plain arrogant of Marvel. Say what you will about comic book fans, but we’re not all stunted men-children living in our parents’ basement – and we’re not all willing to dance to whatever tune Marvel Comics feels like playing for us.

 

Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963)...

Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963), first appearance of Doctor Octopus. Art by Steve Ditko. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE SUPERNATURAL ASSASIN SERIES?

If not, you soon will. Vina Kent’s masterpiece is evolving everyday. A TV series – bound to win awards – is coming soon! Check it out here.

black-velvet-cross-cover_edited-2

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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54 Responses to Ten Terrible Things About Spider-Man #700.

  1. MishaBurnett says:

    You know, Arthur Conan Doyle received death threats when he killed off Sherlock Holmes–seriously. He brought the character back to life because his publisher told him that they were getting so much hate mail that they were concerned for his safety. So it’s not like psycho fan-boys are a recent development.

  2. Oh, my. I read what I thought was a (pardon me!) comical contrivance re: issue #700 this morning. I’m startled to realize that wasn’t a joke. I’ve never been much of a Spidey fan, but I’m still unnerved by all of this. Gah!

    At least your post has me smiling, what with all the sparkliness and bacon and the like. :)

  3. Why must people be so cruel. Peter Parker is fictional, and can always be Spider-man again in another story/ another universe. This is making me think about the big fuss when it was rumored Donald Glover was going to play Spidey in the new movie franchise… That got really ugly. No one should be upset over a story of a character… and that is being said by a girl who just realized that she is wearing a Wonder Woman crown in her profile Picture. Cheers to you and your new year!

  4. Hook, I like this post. I’ve never been on the Spiderman bandwagon, but your post reminded me of my father. He would send one of us kids into the drugstore to buy a couple of comics for him, and for one hour each week, he would sit in the car and read the best comics of the day while Mom shopped for groceries. He was really cool. … Plus your post has bacon, so I rate it a ten for that alone.

  5. Jo Bryant says:

    Fans can be sooooooo weird. Did you know there is an actual twitter whatever solely dedicated to trashing Jensen Ackles’ wife. They even talked about wanting her dead…seriously some people need to actually go out and get a life. The Spidey guy has never been a favourite of mine so i guess I don’t care they did a body swap – besides they are just copying The Boys…they did that ages ago.

  6. Michael says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they resurrected Peter later. Nobody stays dead permanently in the comics except Uncle Ben.

  7. Blown says:

    Maybe it’s now time for cockroach-man to appear and avenge Peter Parker… ;-)
    Yes, I know… I wouldn’t buy it either…
    Still, it’s a sure bet Peter Parker will resurrect at some point and take back what’s belong to him… I just think it’s another commercial trick for people to buy the next edition… :-)

  8. JackieP says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how people get all upset over fictional characters. It’s just plain weird.but I”m sure it will be going on for as long as man does. Not a big Spidey fan, but Disney is always changing things, They will probably release new and approved editions down the road. For the money only.

  9. Brother Jon says:

    I’m not sure if I understood one bit of that, but I loved it anyway. It’s something else being a Comic Book nerd that’s never read comic books. Is it worth getting into it right now? If so maybe you can lead me in the right direction.

    • The Hook says:

      The industry is overloaded with quality material now, Brother Jon. All you have to do is select a genre and do a quick internet search. or visit a comic book store. Or ask my advice on a particular title!.
      Fortunately, there is something for everyone these days from “My Little Pony” to “Star Trek” to “X-Men”!

  10. MissFourEyes says:

    You had me at #1.

    oh and isn’t #5 supposed to be a good thing?

  11. granny1947 says:

    I wonder how big the comic industry is in this country.
    Think we have enough comedic politicians.

  12. David Bowie is the HOTTEST vampire ever – and he doesn’t have to sparkle. http://www.mfa.org/sites/default/files/images/the-hunger-0001.showcase_3.jpg

    And I absolutely will NEVER read a marvel comic not written by you… I can promise that for year 2013 and any prior and future years to come…unless the Mayans were right and we cease & desist at some random time calculated by people that hang out at the bus station with signs of doom.

  13. Sounds like a good comic!!! I don’t really read anything NOT on a computer these days due to my baby thinking every thing is HIS! LOL especially with pretty pictures ! Thanks for sharing!

  14. twindaddy says:

    #6 is the most disturbing, by a long shot. How can you enjoy anything that doesn’t include bacon. Preposterous.

  15. I always enjoy reading your posts. But I must admit..this one was like reading German. Not your fault, but mine as I the world of comic books and super heroes eludes me. But I still read it and wanted to comment!
    I do remember Dylan wanting to name one of the Basement Trolls Parker if they were boys…after some comic book guy:) I dunno?
    J

    • The Hook says:

      I truly appreciate the effort, Jessica! I only wish other high-profile celebs/tv personalities like you paid as much attention to my work!
      By the way, Dylan may have been referring to the subject of this very post, Peter Parker!
      If so, Dylan is a Grade-A nerd – and an awesome guy!
      All the best to you and your lovely family in the new year.
      R.

      • Celeb/TV personality may be pushing it a bit:) Brand new writer in the deep end may be a better description.
        Yes..it was in honor of Peter Parker. Glad I had girls:)
        May your new year be filled with ridiculous book sales and hotel guests with proper tipping etiquette…and glistening vampires for the family.
        Jess

      • The Hook says:

        Thanks, Jessica! The wife will appreciate the vampire wish!

  16. Marvel is stringing people along….and without bacon. Totally cruel. (not to mention how expensive comics have gotten)

  17. Comic publishers will never get it. This is the sort of story they will work to “undo” in the near future.

  18. Karmel says:

    Me too escapes me the world of comics, I must confess is that I do not attract … but if I want to congratulate the year 2013, and is a new year full of joy and dreams fulfilled.

    Hugs friend The Hoook.

  19. bmj2k says:

    For awhile it seemed like the comics industry had gotten slightly less crass and algihtly more fan-friendly- DC’s New 52, for example. But Marvel ceased to be the House of Ideas and home of goog writing years ago. But to be specific, Steve Wacker, who has been editing Spidey for years, has always been a clown who didn’t understand Spidey. (Don’t believe me? Track down any of his old interviews where he tried to be 1/2 Spidey editor and 1/2 shock jock. Man is a joke.) But it isn’t just him, it is the whole mentality at Marvel, that lomng-time fans don’t count so they actively market to new fans and then gladly burn them in a few years in favor of new fans.

  20. 1jaded1 says:

    The end of spiderman as we know him just seems so wrong! :-( . Leah.

  21. Smaktakula says:

    Other than perhaps Superman, I don’t know of any comic character who has suffered as many publisher-related indignities as has the web-slinger–this, the clone saga, the Spider-Buggy…

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