Update: The title of this has been changed after a civil conversation with reader xmenexpert. To see the conversation, click here.
Dan Slott is incredibly proud of the Superior Spider-Man, both as a hero and in regards to sales. And why not? It’s his creation. And to top it all off, he has plenty of fans who tell him at comic conventions how much they love the book. But that still doesn’t change the fact that one could arguably call Doc Ock the Superior anti-Semite.
Quite a charge, is it not? Is Doctor Octopus an anti-Semite, or was his actual end game “just” to kill six billion people (all the Jews included)? Let us revisit the “Ends of the Earth” storyline, shall we?
“But the human race is resilient and the first thousand or so who climb out of the wreckage … they’ll rebuild. Life will go on, and they’ll remember me. For that new society I shall live on in infamy — a mass murderer worse than Pol Pot, Hitler, and Genghis Khan combined!” (Doctor Octopus).
Here’s a little history lesson from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate just how evil of a man Otto would have to be to transcend Hitler, Pol Pot and Ghenghis Khan combined.
German SS and police murdered nearly 2,700,000 Jews in the killing centers either by asphyxiation with poison gas or by shooting. In its entirety, the “Final Solution” called for the murder of all European Jews by gassing, shooting, and other means. Approximately six million Jewish men, women, and children were killed during the Holocaust — two-thirds of the Jews living in Europe before World War II.
Got that? Doc Ock had a “Final Solution,” but it involved being a “superior” version of Hitler; he would implement a plan that would in effect kill all of the Jews instead of just those residing in Europe. And now he’s Spider-Man. In Peter Parker’s body. In fact, he’s Dan Slott’s Spider-Übermensch.
Kind of sick, isn’t it? And the only retort Dan Slott and his fans could possibly have is that Otto didn’t want to kill millions of Jews — he “merely” wanted to kill six billion people, which would just so happen to include all the Jews.
Silly me. The guy who “just” came within inches of an extinction level event because he hated all of humanity is now housed in Peter Parker’s body. And fans “love” the story. It’s what brought them back to the book. Congrats Mr. Slott, those are the kinds of winners I want giving me high fives and pats on the back at comic conventions…
With that said, it is also important to once again revisit how on earth Marvel fans could get a run-of-the mill genocidal maniac swinging around New York City in Peter’s body. Mr. Slott’s recent Newsarama interview gives the answer.
Nrama: With Superior Spider-Man, you’re writing Doc Ock as a lead character for really the first time, and a more long-term Doc Ock story than has really been seen before. We’re seeing the character put in very different situations, interacting with totally different characters. What kind of task has that been — approaching his mindset and his attitude in the position of a lead character?
Slott: He’s trying his best to be a hero, but he’s doing it in a very Doc Ock way. And Doc Ock’s an egotistical, annoying sh*t. It makes him an interesting character. At his core, he’s someone we don’t really think of heroic. But is he any more annoying than [former villain] Hawkeye used to be?
Hmm. Good question. Is Hawkeye “more annoying” than Otto, or has Mr. Slott’s moral relativism inadvertently produced Marvel’s first genocidal maniac superhero? Let me revisit the Holocaust Memorial Museum one more time:
The Nazis frequently used euphemistic language to disguise the true nature of their crimes. They used the term “Final Solution” to refer to their plan to annihilate the Jewish people. It is not known when the leaders of Nazi Germany definitively decided to implement the “Final Solution.” The genocide, or mass destruction, of the Jews was the culmination of a decade of increasingly severe discriminatory measures. …
After the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union, SS and police units (acting as mobile killing units) began massive killing operations aimed at entire Jewish communities. By autumn 1941, the SS and police introduced mobile gas vans. These paneled trucks had exhaust pipes reconfigured to pump poisonous carbon monoxide gas into sealed spaces, killing those locked within. They were designed to complement ongoing shooting operations.
Question for Dan Slott: What issue did Hawkeye triumphantly declare that he would be remembered as a worse murderer than the guy who deployed gas vans to exterminate Jews? Just asking. Was that an annual, or a Comic Con exclusive?
Does a character go from wanting to transcend Hitler, Pol Pot, and Genghis Khan in terms of perpetuating pure evil upon the entire world to a “hero” just because a really good guy beamed his life story and “with great power comes great responsibility” into his head? Probably not. And since we’re talking about the Superior Spider-Man — the guy who blew a defenseless criminal’s face off — Magic 8 Ball says “Why would you ask me such a dumb question?”
Superior Spider-Man is an abomination. It’s an insult to Stan Lee, long-time Peter Parker fans and anyone with a shred of respect for the character. Sales may be fine for Superior Spider-Man, but history will not treat the book kindly. One day a group of editors with a working moral compass will be at the helm of the Spider-Man books and they will look back at this era and ask, “What were they thinking?”
The end of the book can not come soon enough, and the ‘Ends of the Earth’ arc tells us why.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Holocaust image that was previously here has been removed after reflecting on the request of a reader named Rogue. You can view her comment here. If Dan Slott had acted like an adult from the very beginning and demonstrated half the intelligence and grace as Rogue, it is very likely the picture would have been removed in May.
Update: Here is an email I received from a reader disagreeing with the decision to remove the photo:
- “I think Rogue is way off on the sensationalism and especially the testosterone rationale. It is important to show what Slott so casually put in his dialogue and inside Spider-Man’s head. I agree they are real people with no voice, I agree it was horrible, I agree it’s grisly — but it was Slott who betrayed their legacy — and that needs to be shown. Obviously his own grandfather’s story didn’t keep Slott from writing a tasteless story with an iconic hero, so maybe that image drove it home. I respect Rouge’s opinion, but I wouldn’t have changed it. It was Slott who inserted this awful chapter of history into the comic,” (douglasernstblog.com reader).
Removing the image was an incredibly tough choice for me. The reader accurately sums up my feelings on the issue, but in this instance I think removing the image sends a more important message: How you conduct yourself with those with whom you have fierce disagreements will often determine the amount of progress you make towards finding an amicable solution.
Update: Dan Slott has called me a “bad” person and “immoral” for writing this blog post. He then was so incensed that I’m able to tactfully defend my decision that he requested the moderator close out the thread. In Dan Slott’s mind, asking if a character who wanted to transcend Hitler, Pol Pot and Ghengis Khan in terms of evil perpetrated upon the world is the same thing as accusing Dan Slott of being anti-Semetic. Reasonable people can separate the two, but Dan Slott can’t. That’s why he sticks to forums where he can control the moderators and count on his devoted fans to verbally attack. His moral relativism has warped his mind so badly that he now puts my soul on equal terms with real life dictators and despots. Telling.
Update II: Dan Slott is upset that the moderator at Comic Vine put him in his place, so now he’s trying to send his 39,000 followers here to give me grief. Welcome! Here’s the abridged version for some of you:
What Dan Slott doesn’t get (in some sense because moral relativism has warped his mind), is that this post points out the obvious — it doesn’t matter what Dan Slott’s intentions are if the end result is that a monster worse than Hitler is in Peter Parker’s body.