Is the Superior Spider-Man a rapist? Has Dan Slott penned one of the most insulting send offs for an American icon in the history of comics? Given that the “Superior” Spider-Man would have slept with Mary Jane if given the chance in Amazing Spider-Man #700, it would be hard to argue with anyone who says “yes” to the former. (At a minimum, he’s a wannabe rapist.) The answer to the latter is, unequivocally, yes.
Writer Dan Slott told readers to check out the book before passing judgment. Now that Amazing Spider-Man #700 has hit the shelves, the vast majority of fears regarding the issue have been realized. Besides, who needs to read the story when Slott has already spelled out exactly what his intentions were in an interview with CNN:
Dan Slott: For all intents and purposes, [Otto] was the adult Peter could have become, Spider-Man’s dark reflection. So what if we flipped it? What if we gave him a second chance? Peter’s final, heroic act was giving Doc all the memories and experiences that kept him on the right path. But is that enough? Can that overcome Ock’s true nature?
It was never Peter’s decision to give Doc a “second chance” because even in the Marvel Universe that pesky thing called the rule of law exists. A character with a history of murder, mayhem and crimes against humanity does not simply get to realize “with great power comes responsibility” and be absolved (legally and morally) for his sins. The evil cherry on top of Dan Slott’s poisonous sundae is that the villain murders the hero and then convinces himself that it’s okay because he’ll be “a better Spider-Man than you ever were. From this day forth, I shall become The Superior Spider-Man!”
Someone needs to tell Mr. Slott that you get a “second chance” after you’ve atoned for your sins. You get a “second chance” after you’ve legally paid your dues for the wrongs you have wrought on society. You don’t get a second chance simply because there’s a moment in time you realize what an evil maniacal bastard you’ve been for your entire adult life. Dan Slott’s attempt to convince readers that they should accept Otto Octavius as Spider-Man is an Orwellian effort only the Inner Party could love: War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Spider-Man is Doctor Octopus. Evil is Good. Deceit is Honesty.
There are consequences for our actions. The character Peter Parker let the thief go who ended up murdering his Uncle Ben and he had to live with the consequences for the rest of his life. Likewise, the character Otto Octavius openly stated he wanted to transcend Pol Pot and Hitler — and had the track record to prove he gave it his best shot. As much as writers would like to wonder “What if?” in regards to such a villain, a responsible creative team would never say, “Let’s kill off one of the world’s most beloved characters and try and convince his legions of fans that his arch enemy, deep down, was always the “superior” hero.”
With the release of Amazing Spider-Man #700, it’s official: Marvel has given its fans a gigantic radioactive middle finger. Hopefully, the response will be to treat the Super Spider-Man like the toxic insult he is.