In December of 2012 I examined what it would mean if Dan Slott’s body-snatching Spider-Man slept with Mary Jane under false pretenses. If I had a twin brother, pretended to be him in the dark, and slept with his groggy wife I would be a monster. Likewise, if Doctor Octopus — living a lie in Peter Parker’s body — sleeps with a woman, for all intents and purposes he is a rapist. These are uncomfortable truths, but truths we must face because this is the state of the comic book industry in 2013.
With Superior Spider-Man 22, Dan Slott’s creation goes full body-snatching rapist. Didn’t anyone ever tell Mr. Slott and Marvel’s editors never to go full-rapist? (i.e., They could have “merely” kept it to Doctor Octopus pleasuring himself — in Peter’s body — to thoughts of Mary Jane.)
Chris from Spider-Man Crawlspace reviews the issue:
[W]hile I have seen stories in which bad guys have used stolen bodies to get laid (the Buffy-Faith body swap is the example I can think of right now), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a romantic relationship in such a scenario unfold naturally over the long term quite like the relationship between “Peter” and Anna Maria. After months of development, that relationship reaches a new stage in this issue, as the art and dialogue strongly imply that the two began to have sex until they were interrupted by “Peter” being called to action as Spider-Man. Obviously, obtaining consent through deception makes Otto despicable. Earlier in this run, it seemed like practically every online discussion regarding Superior Spider-Man I came across was dominated by anxiety over whether Otto, impersonating Peter, would sleep with Mary Jane, and whether such an event would constitute rape. Curiously, I have not seen the same online fervor now that Otto has actually done this to someone. People in the comments section, can you help me figure out why that is?
Indeed, Chris. Asking: “Here, now? Are you sure?” and then having Anna Maria reply “Yes. I’m not wasting a moment either…” is more than a strong implication. Those two glowing jellyfish attempting to tangle themselves together in the background as Anna says “while we have the chance,” seem to seal the deal.
Sadly, there are readers who just don’t get it. “Hairychap” weighs in to answer Chris’ inquiry — and fails miserably:
“Sleeping with Anna isn’t taking advantage of a pre-existing relationship established by Peter, heck she never even meet Peter before he was Ock.”
It’s a good thing we don’t live in a world where real body-snatchers or telepaths exist because inevitably it would be populated with “Hairychaps”… Regardless, here are a few reasons for Chris why he hasn’t seen the online furor that was displayed at the start of Superior Spider-Man:
- Readers have had nearly a year of experience with this “Superior” Spider-Man and aren’t shocked anymore. He blew off a guy’s face at point-blank range, the supporting characters act as if they’ve been lobotomized in order to keep the debacle going, and even Bleeding Cool was forced to call out Marvel on the “nazi-like” torture scene approved for the annual.
- Dan Slott has admitted that he turned Peter Parker into a “meat puppet.” There really isn’t much else to say. At some point Mr. Slott (consciously or unconsciously) decided to come clean. Once a writer says that a character is being used as a “meat puppet,” there’s really nothing left for readers to expose. All they can do is reiterate how awful the editorial decisions on the book are.
- Dan Slott makes weirdly veiled legal threats when people who give his work hard-nosed critiques, sends his Twitter followers to block people, and generally throws online tantrums where he proclaims that he’s “done” with the internet and message boards — before coming back hours later. One of my favorite Dan Slott memories is when I started talking about Superior Spider-Man at Comicvine and he decided it was the appropriate time to discuss my writings on … Trayvon Martin.
- Remember Marvel’s Orwellian comments section, where tactful comments went down the Mighty Marvel Memory Holes when they hit a nerve? I do.
- It’s the holiday season. People are spending time with their family, Christmas shopping and eating good food. Most websites see a dip in traffic this time of year. My guess is that the kind of people who understand the moral bankruptcy of Superior Spider-Man are also the kind of people who check out from online message boards during November-December.
- Perhaps Crawlspace might have a problem replying to inquiries regarding its comments section? There is one person who would like to comment on the rape situation over at Crawlspace, but can’t — me. I used to be able to comment there, but on July 22 that stopped. Below is a screenshot of my email to the website. (In full disclosure, I haven’t checked since July since there wasn’t a response to my inquiry.)
I’ve been trying to post in your comments section, but have been unable to for some reason. I was wondering if there is a glitch in the system or if I’ve been banned for some sort of breach of etiquette I was unaware of (I haven’t used foul language or attacked other individuals in the comments section).
I tried to comment in both Firefox and Safari and neither of those worked. [Any] insight you can give me would be appreciated. I enjoy your podcasts and updates and would like to comment, if possible.
It’s interesting that I never received a reply.
Regardless, the reason why Chris sees less “anxiety” these days is because people are resigned to the fact that Dan Slott has done vast amounts of damage to the Spider-Man brand. They’re really just waiting for the day when a new creative team can come in and pick up the pieces.
How much lower can this title go? I’ll let you know in the months ahead.
Related: Bleeding Cool calls out Dan Slott’s creation — a ‘Nazi-like’ Superior Spider-Man
Related: Dan Slott: I love Peter Parker so much I turned him into a ‘meat puppet’
I can already see Dan Slott’s comments and Twitter posts (using CAPS LOCK for emphasis) defending this with the fact that there was no pre-existing relationship between Peter and Anna-Marie.
However, the real question should be “would Anna-Marie have slept with Otto Octavius by choice?”
The answer to this must surely be no. I haven’t read Spider-man regularly for years so I can’t remember but I assume Otto is known to be Doc Ock – a man known for trying to destroy the Earth. The whole storyline is built around deception.
I guess the idea appeals to the demographic marvel is aiming for; the 35 -55 year old men who never grew up.
Still, not buying the current Spider-Man book means that I can save my pennies and buy the back issues from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
It is hard for him to resist that Caps Lock button, Andrew! 😉
In the end it won’t matter, though. No matter how you slice it, the Superior Spider-Man is now a rapist. You can not steal someone’s body, pass yourself off as them by assuming their identity, take credit for their past accomplishments, introduce the victim’s family as your own, withhold the fact that you’re a cold-blooded killer who also almost murdered six billion people, etc. — and then sleep with a woman and not be a rapist.
Please let Dan Slott try and defend this.
Spot on Doug. I look forward to his twitter feed later.
One thing I know for certain is that I am happy that I do not buy this book anymore. I hope they can return this book to a point that is worth reading again. Also for the record Dan Slott loves to say how children love his Spider-Man book well I can say for a FACT that my child does not like it and he wants to have his hero Peter Parker Spider-Man back again. This book clearly is not for children.
In some sense, Dan Slott is right — the readers who “love” Superior Spider-Man are little kids whose minds aren’t developed enough to truly grasp how morally repugnant this book is. Adults who also fail to grasp the disgusting philosophical truths, like “Hairychap,” are also Marvel’s target audience. Bravo, Marvel. Bravo.
I do wonder how people will look at this book 10 years from now. I think this book will go down in history as a negative similar to the clone sega. I know shock writing sells books but where do you draw the line.
I think it will be very interesting to see how this era of Spider-Man is regarded a decade from now. Dan Slott owns this. It’s his baby. Unfortunately, I believe most people will think of it more along the lines of Frankenstein’s monster.
I just looked and noticed that once again Slott makes a tweet about you.
“Today I read an earnest comment on a message board that a Spider-Man story was “1 step below the Holocaust.” Ok, message boards… I’m done.”
I love how he twists the truth and then hides or posts about you where he has you blocked so you cannot respond.
That one wasn’t in response to me. I believe the comment can be found at Comicvine, but it isn’t me he’s talking about there. I generally refrain from commenting on most comic forums these days because Dan Slott inevitably shows up and turns the conversation into my views on Trayvon Martin and how I’m a “bad” person instead of talking about Superior Spider-Man. Then the readers get angry and the moderators get angry and I’m somewhat held responsible — even though the last thing I wanted to talk about was Trayvon Martin or my blog.
It’s funny you mentioned the blocked status. Not too long ago I checked out his Twitter page, perhaps after reading a post by Hube, and it appeared as though I was unblocked. I think this was done so that he could see my tweets, which is rather hilarious… When you block someone, you also are unable to see their activity on Twitter.
I see, sorry about the misunderstanding. I mistook that for another one of his cheap shots at you (since that is his style).
Yeesh, not only is this story absolutely repugnant, but so are creatures like Hairychap who don’t see what the problem is. Unfortunately today’s fandom is filled with Hairychaps, people whose mental development never progressed past elementary or middle school. They’re like mindless drones, always defending Slott no matter what.
Truth: Slott, as you probably know, is infamous for constantly trolling message boards and harassing people who dislike his storylines. He is so immature that he cannot handle constructive criticism. At all. He’ll tell you to “f**** off” or threaten legal action against you.
I’ve refrained from message boards for the past couple of years. Too many of the fanboys on there are immature weirdos like that Hairychap.
Oh my goodness. Thank you. I’ve been saying this crap for months now. Even if it’s not full-blown raping by deceit, he’s still pretending to be someone he’s not. Which is disgusting in more ways than one. I mean, did “Peter” reveal to Anne that he tried to burn the world? That he’s murdered police officers? Held people for ransom? Tortured people?? Has he told her he murdered someone and stole their body so he could escape death like the coward he is???
If he was actually honest with her, I highly doubt she would ever speak to him again, much less sleep with him.
Oh, I also wonder if he’s going to tell her that he beat the crap out of a woman afterwards.
You’re not alone, Mitch. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
Indeed, the implications for what Slott has done have always been obvious, but for whatever reason Dan Slott and his fans keep putting their fingers in their ears while screaming, “La!La!La!La!La!” It’s bizarre, because on a long enough timeline people will be able to objectively look back at this era and judge it. When they do, Dan Slott’s place in Spider-Man history will not be a pleasant one.
You said you’ve been trying to spread the word for months, Mitch? Good. Keep doing it, because your observations are spot-on.
What also is stupid about Inferior Dr. Octopus is that the comics review media has gone out of their way to sugarcoat the storyline and have praised it “for going against the status quo.” (to quote one review I read) Wow, so the fact that he’s a rapist and a genocidal freak doesn’t concern them?
Yes, I’ve felt like a lot of reviewers have used kid gloves on the title. Even Spider-Man Crawlspace will have reviews where they kind of dump on an issue and then give it a decent grade. I sometimes feel like they’re just trying to engage in some weird balancing act instead of just judging the book on its merits. To Chris’ credit, he did bring up the rape issue…but then he doesn’t really dig into the long-term implications. He just sort of passes the baton off to the readers — including guys like me that are, ummm, not able to post for some inexplicable reason.
^—Yeah this is what I mean by a stronger reply. Good comment, Mitch.
Though again, who has ever been completely honest with a potential paramour. Shame, these are all some great storytelling questions and fertile soil for a narrative yet I doubt the comic writers are bother going to utilize them the way they should be.
Though it would be darkly humorous if it turned out that Anna was some sort of body-stealing villainess who did far worse than even Ock to the point that he’s horrified about being deceived by her. XD
Agreed. However, it appears as though the writers these days are aiming for the lowest common denominator. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s like Mr. Slott is using the same kind of mentality kids bring to the table when they’re playing with their action figures. They just come up with a “cool” idea without thinking it through, and then take off with it. That’s fine if you’re playing with action figures, but it’s not fine if you’ve been given the responsibility to write one of the most iconic comic book superheroes of all time.
Well, there is a slight difference between not being honest with how many people you’ve been with or how insane your family is and hiding the fact that you nearly wiped out humanity… that’s what I was getting at.
Though, who knows? Anna may be a freak like that…
Well as someone who wrote a story involving cyborg vampires and ninja werewolves I can’t throw too many stones on that front.. 😉
Actually isn’t stuff like this what ultimate Spidey was supposed to be for? Oh wait, USM did do that in a story where Wolvie swapped bodies with Pete because of Jean Gray.
Hmm… ok! New game! You get to pick the body swap and run with it for a period of time. Who do you choose? I think I’ll start with… Magneto & Spider-Man actually. Pete is enough like a mutant that Magneto wouldn’t feel too alien in the body while being treated as human enough that Mags could experience something new.
Gotcha gotcha, now I’m on the same page as everyone. (not that I was really disagreeing, just getting some clarification)
Ok, I’ll defer to you since you probably have more context but…
First thing, this is obviously a Space Whale aesop on some level since we currently don’t have body snatchers or shapeshifters or holodecks.
Second thing, I’ll go ahead and say that it’s pretty clearly a case of Ock raping Peter’s body obviously, even if Anna’s murkier.
Third thing, this really gets into the debate about the “real you” inside and out. So, let me unpack this by my understanding. I’ll call it… the “palate swap rule”: if you were to do a find/replace of all appearances of the character in question with something different, how much would be changed? For example: Mary Jane. Would she sleep with Ock if he was wearing his own face & body, not Peter’s? I think the answer is “obviously not”. Now would Anna? From the context I have, it seems like the answer is “yes” assuming she remained somewhat physically attractive to Ock.
As was pointed out to me once before, “Rape by Deception” was designed to cover situations like you described, pretending to be your twin brother and getting it on with his wife. However if we extend this to EVERY time people lied to get laid… Well only religious adherents would stay out of jail. (I mean, from a philosophical standpoint, aren’t women doing the same when they put on makeup as Ock is here?)
And that’s not even getting into classic romances which would fall under this. Just from Disney: Aladdin? Cinderella? Beauty & the Beast? One could go on…
Not that I’m justifying Ock here, I just think the case you make needs to be shored up and strengthened more.
Are you equating a woman who puts on make-up to a genocidal maniac who kills a man, uses his body as a “meat puppet” (Dan Slott’s words), and then uses his victim’s identity to avoid having to answer for countless crimes against humanity?
I understand what you’re saying (and as you mentioned, these are questions good writers would explore), but your examples are making me cringe. Cinderella and the prince from ‘Beauty and Beast’ aren’t anything like Doc Ock. There’s a huge difference between someone who was cursed … or who must take on a new identity to hide a humble past, as opposed to a guy who plotted and planned a mass extinction event before turning into a murderous body-snatcher.
There is a difference between the person who lies about bits and pieces of the mosaic that makes up his life and the person whose entire canvass is, for all intents and purposes, one big lie.
Now now Doug, we should both know each other better than that. What I was asking was about whether it was the principle of the issue or this particular situation. Which brings us to:
So then you’re saying the problem is with the particulars of this spot, not the principle? I was just wondering because if it was the principle, then it wouldn’t matter of Mr Rogers was in Peter’s body (or “meat puppet”) it would still be wrong. (even if, by degrees, less wrong that Ock) If it’s specifically about Ock doing this, then I think the case can be made clearer. That’s all I’m saying, I think you’re making a case about the particular and Hairychap was making a case about the principle.
True true, though this is one of the dilemmas we face as Christians. We are commanded to love and forgive, meaning that, if Ock was real, even God would want him forgiven and saved. But then justice must be served, so should such a monster, if he was repentant, be shown mercy? It would be hard for any of us to remain on the straight and narrow, much less integrate into wider society if any of us had our sins constantly being thrown in our faces. (then again, if you’re a white male, I guess you do anyway, lol) Though this is all stuff much wiser and better christian thinkers than I have grappled with for centuries so I doubt we’ll find any answer in comics.
So how much do we know about this Anna girl in the comics? Any chance she’s also lying and covering up a mountain of skulls? (Marvel has no shortage of female villains, right?)
Of course this debate as a debate is of interest to me since I like to write layered characters with shady, secretive pasts (plug! http://spnverse.wordpress.com/ lol) and various quests for redemption. Heck one ebook I wrote had a character who’s body was hijacked by someone else so questions about identity always intrigue me.
This makes no sense. If Mr. Rogers was in Peter’s body for some reason, he would tell people. Yes, in principle people should honestly represent themselves. However, people are so multifaceted that if you’re talking about something along the lines of “rape” then you really do have to break it down into particulars. As was established, it gets more difficult in a fictional world filled with superheroes and super villains.
It seems like you’re going down the same “killing is always wrong” line of thought that’s been covered in other posts. “Heroes don’t kill because killing is always bad even if someone is about to stick a gun to your head and a cop in the doorway pulls the trigger in a split second to save your life.” It plays right into a moral relativist’s hands.
I can forgive a murderer, but still demand that he sits in prison until he’s paid the price for the damage he has inflicted upon society. You don’t show “mercy” to someone who is repentant for, say, murder, by absolving them of the legal consequences of their actions. If someone committed murder and they asked me to pray for them, I would. If they were thirsty, I would provide them water. If they were hungry, I would not deny them food.
As long as men like Dan Slott are writing the comics, you’re probably right. As long as the writer views his craft as “just” some silly medium to tell tales of heroes and villains beating the snot out of one another, then it isn’t very likely that any deeper truths will be conveyed. And that, my friend, is truly sad.
Only “going down” as a hypothetical in discussion. As for myself, I agree with you even if we might quibble over application. 😉 But then hard choices are the stuff drama is made. I for one am thankful that we only have to deal with this in stories and (hopefully) not in our every day lives.
Though I will say that I’ve seen some Catholics who would call your position consequentialism and condemn that too. (ex http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2340/The_Most_Popular_Moral_Heresy_in_the_World.aspx#.Up_SpuIUZ8z)
Of course. Forgive me I was just spinning off into theory extrapolation. Just slap me out of it sometimes.
Though Supernatural might end up examining something similar this season. A demon, named Crowley, has arguably done far worse than Ock (especially since he’s had more centuries to his name and is dealing with souls, not just lives). Yet there is a ritual that can “save” him by… well so far as we know it pretty much restores guilt and at least awareness of the moral compass. In the show, he was as incapable of remorse as you or I are… of teleportation (which is something Crowley could do). I’ve been asking in my reviews of this season, do the boys have an obligation to “cure” him? To force a sense of remorse onto him against his will so that he can repent?
Then to bring this all back around, what if Ock was incapable of repenting UNTIL he was in Peter’s body? (why? Magic, it doesn’t have to be explained) After a stint, what if he starts experiencing remorse (which is new to him)? What do you think if, at the end of this arc, Ock finally experiences guilt and releases Peter back to his body? Maybe then goes on a quest for redemption?
Should we start a betting pool on whether Slott will do it or not? XD
*raises a glass* You said it.
I don’t actively read comics but I’ve always liked Spider Man as a character. Having followed your coverage of this, everything this title has done to Peter Parker’s history seems outright wrong.
That said, the true tragedy here is the legitimate narrative arc Slott’s missed. What if Otto just stayed Otto and attempted to legitimately reform and redeem himself from his (very) real sins? As in, what if one of the Marvel world’s most evil characters actually tried to earn forgiveness by practicing good for the first time in his life?
That would be so much more interesting and realistic to me. Events like this would have bigger ramifications too – could someone love and respect an ex-murderer who had repented and tried making amends for their crimes? Would this scenario between Otto and the girl here happen if she had to accept what he had done and what he was trying to do better in the future?
In a fallen world, everyone sins and must wrestle with the implications thereof. It’s sad Marvel took the easy way out with an absurd, mythos-killing idea like this instead. Here’s hoping the original webhead comes back, bigger and morally better than ever before.
Your gut serves you well, Mark!
Again, you’re on the money. I’ve said in random posts or comments sections that there is a place for a “reformed” Doc Ock in the Marvel universe, even if he becomes an anti-hero. They didn’t need to kill off Peter to accomplish that goal, but they chose to anyway.
1) Ditto to all of the above.
2) I haven’t checked in awhile, but isn’t this all something the Batman titles did with the Riddler? Last I checked he was making an effort at reforming.
Yeah, he became a detective for a while, until 52 happened.
Of course it was Nu52. Ugh. *spits on it*
Also, I don’t know if this has been pointed out yet, but has anyone else noticed that this is basically a longer, much dumber version Kraven’s Last Hunt?
Yep. The difference being not just Kraven pretending to be a “Superior” Spider-Man, but also that Mary Jane was able to catch on right away that “Spider-Man” was not Peter, as opposed to what we’ve been getting thus far in Superior Spider-Man. Not to mention this series is also reminiscent of a Chameleon story Fred Van Lente did for Amazing Spider-Man just a few short years ago during the “Brand New Day” era, which, incidentally, had the Chameleon disguised as Peter seduce and make out with Peter’s then female roommate.
I think another reason why readers aren’t being as up in arms about Otto’s relationship with Ana Maria Marconi as they were when Slott teased Otto “getting back together with Mary Jane” is because of the way their relationship is being portrayed. The romance between SpOck and Ana Maria come across as sweet and tender, and It’s obvious that Otto loves her and her love for the man she believes to be Peter Parker shows and reminds the reader that Otto has the capability of being completely reformed and redeemed.
But you are absolutely right, Doug–SpOck’s relationship with Ana Maria is fundamentally wrong.
Even though Otto does love Ana Maria, and Ana Maria had no prior history with Peter, there’s no getting around the fact that Otto has completely taken advantage of her academically, professionally, and emotionally in order to suit his own goals and needs. What’s even worse is that Otto doesn’t even believe that what he’s doing is wrong, that his romancing of Ana Maria by pretending to be Peter Parker is actually leading her on and setting her up for a tremendous amount of heartache. Then again, this is the same Otto who, while claiming to honor Peter’s legacy as Spider-Man, isn’t the least bit sorry that he was responsible for Peter’s death and actually believes that Peter being dead is for the greater good. Like it or not, Ana Maria, more so than anyone else in the supporting cast, is the one being victimized by Otto the most, and what makes it even sadder is that Otto doesn’t believe he’s actually doing any harm to her at all.
Very well said, Mike.
Question: How do they handle this when people comes back? Short of killing Ana Maria, they’re going to have a mess on their hands. Do they do some stupid thing where Peter “dumps” her and tries to unsuccessfully avoid her in future issues? Do they make the real Peter fall for Ana and create some really bizarre love triangle? (Since so many of the masterminds hate M.J., I could see them doing that out of spite.) They’ve opened up a can of worms that, quite frankly, no fan of Peter Parker should ever have to deal with.
Hey Douglas, speaking of interesting instances of morality, if we did actually isolate the ‘homosexual gene,’ and doctors could tell early on if your child would grow up as one, do you think that the people celebrating a woman’s so called ‘right’ to choose would be as adamant about abortion?
I mean, if that happens, what kind of pre-born child do people think is going to be targeted for death before they’re even born?
I can see it now: I respond to this inquiry and as I’m commenting on Comic Vine one day Dan Slott appears and says, “Do you really want to listen to this guy? He said [fill in the blank with crazy distortion about genetic engineering, abortion, gay people, etc.]!”
So, is that a yes that liberals would turn right back around on their stance?
Here’s the best I can do for you and still “pass” on this conversation: Decades ago, when unions thought that immigration from Mexico would hurt them…they were not in favor of open borders.
Plus there’s also the fact that this is off-topic and the subject is supposed to be Inferior Doctor Octopus..
Back on topic, I actually talked to Slott once, not long before I started my blog. He used to show up at Avi’s blog from time to time to gush about how high sales for Spider-Man were/are. Most recently here:
It’s a typical Dan Slott post. It just affirmed my belief that he’s an immature man-child.
He also showed up here (http://fourcolormedmon.blogspot.com/2010/01/geoff-johns-tries-to-apologize-for.html) and here (http://fourcolormedmon.blogspot.com/2010/12/dan-slott-screwed-up-on-cbr.html#comments)
So…does anyone here know how big the fan back-lash currently is or was on this?
It’s more-or-less down the middle on it. Half of them hate it, half love it, most seem to dislike it, but they’re so blinded by fanboyism, they still buy it to ‘enjoy the ride’ (and complete their collection) until Peter comes back. The problem with ‘enjoying the ride’ is that it’s hard to enjoy a ride when the car’s gone off a cliff. That’s the main reason it’s still selling strong.
Fanboyism is one of those things that really gets under my skin about modern comic fandom, no matter the company or the character, that pathetic need to buy the comics no matter how crappy they are. The same people also put comic creators on pedestals and worship them as if they were gods, going after anyone who dares to dissent. I just don’t understand this kind of mentality.
It’s the same mentality that sports fans have, I think has some tie to our primal, territorial natures and competitive sides, along with the need to never be wrong.
The need to “never be wrong” is a big one. It’s tough when one’s entire worldview needs to change. People will convince themselves of some strange things to keep from admitting a mistake.
One of the reasons I collected ASM for so long was because I grew up with the character. It’s like a dog you love that gets old and you know that you should put him down…but you can’t. You hold on and you hold on when the writing is on the wall. I walked away from most Marvel stuff after OMD/BND. You always hope things will get better, but at some point you have to cut the ties.
I think the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was the way that that this crew treated fans. If a fan disagrees with something you’ve done, your job as an ambassador for the company is to conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. I know that is difficult, but people do it every day. I had constituents yell at me when I was an intern on Capitol Hill, I had people say hateful things to me when I worked at a conservative think tank, and I’ve had people say ridiculous things to me at my current job at a D.C. newspaper. I “get” it. What I don’t get is how Slott, Wacker, etc. actually get away with some of the verbal diarrhea they spew at fans. It might make them feel good in the moment to get it out of their system, but they’re doing long-term damage to fan loyalty.
I agree Doug.
I think one of the most worrying aspects of the SSM saga is how Dan Slott handles himself with the public. Most big organisations have some sort of code of conduct regarding representing the company outside of the office (e.g. not doing unsavoury things wearing the company uniform) and a lot of people have gotten themselves into trouble with their employers simply by posting stupid things on Facebook.
The bizarre rants that Slott does online are not a good look for Marvel, particular when Slott is effectively the “showrunner” so to speak of the main Spiderman title (which is usually Marvel’s flagship title). You’d never see someone like Jos Whedon harassing/trolling people online that don’t like his work.
It boggles the mind why Marvel’s HR/PR department don’t crack down on Slott hard for his “bizarre” online behaviour. I think people on both sides of the Superior Spiderman argument can all agree on Dan Slott being a renowned forum troll.
Personally I expect someone in Dan Slott’s position to be more professional (he’s certainly being paid enough). When he comments, he should be selling the positive aspects of his products in both an eloquent and professional manner. What he shouldn’t be doing is trolling/harassing critics or posting meaningless garbage like “join the ride baby” or “it all changes here”.
Yep. Whedon does he thing and moves on. When you have confidence in your work you don’t need to spend hours scouring the Internet for negative reviews.
I’ve always kind of took it as a badge of honor that Dan Slott reads what I write here (including my opinions on Trayvon Martin), but won’t actually step into the arena. He’s referenced me on Twitter and engaged me on other message boards, but not here. Telling.
I think to some extent the people who are angry over SSM are basically “done” being angry. They’ve said their piece and they’ve walked away. Unless you’re some guy with a blog **cough** who wants to chronicle how rotten this era of Spider-Man has been, you’re not going to read the issue and take to the message boards. I suppose some people will, but for the most part I think Peter Parker fans have thrown up their hands and said it’s not going to get better until a whole new creative team is in place. When will that be? Who knows.
I just went on his Twitter and I saw that he’s complaining about how Superman killed General Zod at the end of “Man Of Steel” (never mind that it was the only way to prevent further destruction after the catastrophe in Metropolis), when he has had “Peter” kill numbers of people just so he doesn’t have to deal with them again. And his argument makes sense… How?
Thanks for adding to the discussion, Kung Fu Cthulhu. I think you and I are on the same page regarding Superman: David Goyer is right: The ‘Superman doesn’t kill’ rule hurts the character
I suggest engaging Mr. Slott on Twitter. See how he responds. It might be … informative. 😉
How odd. I did leave a few replies to him, but he seems to have deleted him (or my internet is acting up – there’s a blizzard going on here). I posted the argument that I did here, and he said that it wasn’t uncharacteristic for Otto to kill people, but it was uncharacteristic for Superman. i also said that that scene seemed to serve as a traumatic moment for Kal-El in that it would probably reinforce his “there’s always a better way” philosophy. I figure it’ll come to play in “World’s Finest/Batman VS Superman”, “Justice League”, and anything else in the forthcoming DC Cinematic Universe.
On the subject of the comic, I think he’s stopped trying to sell this story as a Superhero one, and more as a Supervillain with a Superhero’s resources. Which, given that we’ve seen Otto as a rapist, a body-snatcher, a henchman overlord, an ultraviolent murder/torturer, and a self-centered megalomaniac after supposedly renouncing his genocidal ways, isn’t surprising in the least. Though it’s concerning that Slott ended up using the most recognizable and family-friendly character that Marvel has at its disposal to do this.
If I wanted to read about a Superhero turning into a Supervillain, I’d personally prefer to read Mark Waid’s “Irredeemable”, which deals with the whole concept in a more believable light. The companion series “Incorruptible” also deals with a Supervillain becoming a Superhero in light of the moral decay of Earth’s greatest champion, which is what I think Slott was trying to go for with early issues of “Superior” before he started relying more on “ShOck” Value.
I’d have to go back and look at interviews from months ago (something I don’t want to do), but it seems as though the rationale behind Superior Spider-Man has shifted. If memory serves me correctly, it was insinuated that there could be some sort of redemptive arc … then he was an “anti-hero” … and then ultimately he was just treating Peter as a “meat puppet” because, ummm, what Peter Parker fan wouldn’t see the creative genius in that?
I don’t think Dan Slott really thought out some of the finer details of his Frankenstein monster. I don’t think he really delved into the implications of what he was doing, and now that it’s turned into a mess he’s forced to defend it. I think he came up with an idea, and because he’s so impressed with himself he just ran with it. Then, because he’s generally surrounded by his buddies, they hopped aboard the S.S. Superior. Unfortunately, it’s a wreck. A lot of people bought tickets for the Titanic, too…
I have noticed in the interviews that change in what Slott says he has been admitting that Otto is still a villain now. I’ve been very calm about this series for the past few weeks and I owe it to you Doug I thank you for giving me a place to vent in the past. The Otto Anna relationship was the closest thing to a redeeming part SSM has had and it’s really disappointing Slott went this route. (The cover of SSM #28 confirms that she’s going to die) It is rape and though Anna is attracted to Otto’s personality and it may not be as bad as him raping MJ he’s still raped her. Any sexual act constitutes rape even if the woman knows everything he did he’s still using Peter’s body meaning Otto has physically raped Peter at least twice (counting the masturbation) Mentally raped MJ murdered Peter twice and mentally raped him a couple times for good measure. As for the fan who said OMD was a step below the Holocaust that was me I posted a long polite comment on the sales thread addressed to no one with a very nice paragraph at the end in case Slott read it so that he wouldn’t overreact. The paragraph included an invitation to a thread where I had an INSANELY KIND AND NONJUDGEMENTAL message for him. Anyway he made fun of me on the sales thread and then skipped my message on the other thread. I noticed that my Holocaust remark didn’t have very good context so I repeatedly put post that included my 17 satanic crimes list I put here I repeatedly explained my religious criteria for judging and how I wasn’t trying to hurt Marvel with sales talk ecetera and that I actually want Slott to succeed as a writer. I know I did come off as a whacko and I accept that but Slott and his lackeys did a very good job of skipping the more rational parts of the posts or the sickeningly respectful light I wrote them in. I don’t respect Slott but I’m not even angry at him at this point thank you Doug for letting me get this out the past couple months. I’ve gone further than letting go of my hate now there are only two people I know that are worth my anger and Slott isn’t one of them.
If this blog or anything I’ve said to you over the past few months has led you to let go of any amount of hate, no matter how small, then that makes me happy. Life is too short to allow the behavior of others to needlessly debilitate our senses. Indeed, there will always been some people we have a hard time forgiving … but I think you’ve made a wise move in cutting certain Marvel writers from the list of people with undue or unwarranted sway over your emotions.
I’m assuming you’re not a fan of Metallica…but I think now calls for a little dose of ‘Wasting My Hate.’
I am sorry for how I acted, Doug. I allowed my own hate and vitriol for red menaces being lavished to get to me and became the liberal menace dictating to someone on property they own that I hate so such. I was prideful, arrogant, and spiteful. I still hate Mandela with the white-hot fiery passion of a million foreman grills, but that was not an excuse for my presumptuousness.
Onto the subject at hand in this post, how much lower could he possibly take it before people have had enough? I’m serious here. At WHAT point would the masses STOP buying this tripe. What set of standards, if ANY would cause these supposedly great ‘sales’ to stop? Are people REALLY that debased and interested in shock material? Isn’t that what Family Guy and South Park (a much better written series) is for?
After considering all the debauchery of the Ultimate Universe, like Wanda and Pietro being caught up in a creepy incestuous relationship and Tony Stark being an even bigger parody than he’s already become in the movies and comics…my god…I think I know where Slott gets his inspiration for stuff from!
He gets it from the Ultimate Marvel Universe! The moral relativistic creep of that Universe has spilled out into Slott’s head and the resultant miasma of bad ideas has slipped into 616 in general, but Spider-Man in particular!
*Takes deep breath*
*Coughs until accent is deep and British*
Gentlemen (and whatever ladies may or may not be reading this. Mostly may not considering the beta-male cry baby that I am)! I propose a theory! I propose that the lowest Dan Slott can go and get away with before sales start to finally go down, is Peter Parker getting it on with Aunt May!
Why do I propose that it will come to such a despicable act for him before Marvel Editorial and the readers grow a brain stem and stop it?
Because, it was at around that point in the Ultimate Universe in the Ultimates books (The Ultimates are the Avengers of the Ultimate Universe) that said Universe began it’s dip in popularity before coming to the collapsing crescendo that was Ultimatum that forever tarnished the Universe and sent it to the dust bin of comic history along with the Wildstorm Imprint, Milestone Comics, and anything Rob Leifeld ever created that wasn’t Cable or Deadpool!
Of course, if anyone has any competing model for how low Dan Slott can take Peter and Ock, I’d be more than willing to hear.
No problem, Emmanuel. I think you’ll find that I always try to wipe the slate clean. I don’t like to hold grudges. As it pertains to the conversation that got you a quick 24-hour ban, I’ll only add this: Even when someone who turns my stomach dies, I still try to refrain from doing an end zone dance over their grave. They had family and friends who cared about them who may not have been communists/terrorists/hateful people/etc., and so I think my behavior in the hours and days after anyone’s death says a lot about me as a person.
You just answered your own question. In short, on many levels you can give Spider-Man the “Family Guy” treatment and get … Superior Spider-Man. People will buy that product. But (and here’s where I disagree with you on South Park), there are always guys like Trey Parker and Matt Stone who will call out the Family Guy model. I would argue that Superior Spider-Man has its own version of manatee idea balls.
Dan Slott: “Doctor Octopus…plus Freaky Friday…plus Spider-Man…plus meat…plus puppet. Hmmm. I got it! Someone get Wacker on the phone — pronto!”
So, Doug… have you seen the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer?
What do you think?
So many posts to write… Oy! I’ll probably have a post up before midnight. It will definitely be before I go to bed. I hope to see you in the comments section. 😉
Update: The review is done. Here it is: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′: Come for the story, stay to laugh at the special effects?
Is the end nigh for the inferior spider-man?
I saw this yesterday and wasn’t sure whether I should post on it. Long story short, if Dan Slott is still in charge…I really don’t have any desire to hop on board. I would have been shocked if they didn’t bring Peter back in time for the new movie, so it makes sense to set this up a month before. We’ll see how it goes.
How can anyone have any faith in Dan “I turned Peter Parker into a Meat Puppet for Doc Ock” Slott? I don’t see how the rebuilding can begin until he’s completely out of the ASM picture.
I won’t be picking this up for the same reasons you stated. I expect more convenient stupidity from the supporting characters.
I’m using my spidey-savings to collect back issues which are a lot more rewarding.
Given the way he’s acted online, I refuse to buy anything written by Dan Slott. I really don’t think there are good writers at either Marvel or DC, and that both need to clean house.
Hey, Doug, look at this:
Unfortunately, Slott is still going to be writing the series after Inferior ends.
And that’s the rub. If he’s part of the creative team, I don’t see how the book will be salvaged. The mess that needs to be cleaned up is huge. I’ll obviously check out the new issue when it comes out, but I can’t fully get on board until it’s a whole new team.
Really interesting read here, Douglas. I’ve collected ASM for the last 30 years and Spidey has always been my favorite hero. I have to admit that when I heard that Doc Ock was going to take over Peter’s body, I initially thought it was a gimmicky idea and would go down in history as a terribly ill conceived idea in the same vein as the infamous Clone Saga. However….after reading 20 odd issues of Superior SM, I have to say it’s top on my list of most anticipated monthly series month in and month out. Sure, I agree that it’s very far fetched that not even the Avengers can figure out/prove that it’s not Pete in SM’s body, not to mention Aunt May, his close friends, etc. Having said that, I’m still a huge fan of Slott’s run on Superior because he’s making ground breaking changes that are actually fun and interesting to follow. Not just change for shock value, but change that makes sense somewhat. And is extremely fun and well made. As far as Doc Ock being a ‘rapist’ by bedding Anna (who Peter never even met) under false pretenses, I don’t this that constitutes rape. There are married/attached men/women that have flings that aren’t aware that their bedding partner is married/attached. Guys and gals that lie all day long to attract and sleep with other people. C’mon, that’s common day stuff that happens every night at every club/bar, etc. And not justifying it nor saying it’s right. It’s definitely wrong to deceive someone to get into their pants. But, as long as there’s consent and of legal age, it’s not rape. Doc Ock IS a murderer and totally despicable, yes. But a rapist? Not unless he bangs MJ, he’s not. Love your blog and your views, Douglas. You’re a class act and I’ll be visiting your blog more frequently. Ironically, I came across your post when I Googled Superior SM. Keep up the good work, sir.
I’m wondering if all the Ock- is-a-rapist whiners ever even read the issue? It’s clear two pages later Otto is berating his minions for “interrupting him at the worst possible time” which implies the deed wasn’t completed. And even if it was, the hypocrisy of slamming a book for a character you detest and mocking fanboyism for those defending book you all seem to be so well versed in yourselves is just too rich. Please, dish out some more righteous indignation from your illegally downloaded copies…
It’s only rape if you climax, right Rick? You represent Dan Slott’s fan base so well.
Another trollish Slott fanboy, posting personal attacks instead of actually saying anyting of substance.
At this point it’s just funny. Hmmm, what are the chances that some Dan Slott fan will randomly show up on the blog, hurl a personal attack, and then disappear? Magic 8 Ball says “highly likely.”
Yeah, they hurl their attacks and then crawl back into whatever dark recess of the internet they came from. Quite predictable, really.
This is interesting. I mean if he were just stuck in the body permanently and met some new woman that never knew peter or himself that would be a bit different I suppose. But he is still passing himself off as peter right?
Granted its not the normal violent thing you think of when you think ‘”rape” its more the Uther Pendragon method.
Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.
I’ve seen Dan Slott say that having this discussion is ridiculous, but as always it’s because he doesn’t want to talk about the implications of his ideas. I believe he said something along the lines of Anna Maria only loving Ock for Ock…and that her feelings for him weren’t shaped by Peter.
Let’s see, if you met this guy named Peter Parker in 2013 there’s a good chance you’d Google him and see that he’s a reputable guy who worked for a newspaper for years, an award-winning photographer, a brilliant scientist who works at a think tank, etc. You’d find out that he dated a supermodel and now he’s interested in you — a very nice woman who is not a supermodel. You would meet his family and friends and see that they’re all nice people. You’d ask him about his past. You would find out all sorts of details that were stolen from Peter Parker’s life. The mosaic that makes up your knowledge of body-snatching Peter Parker would, in large part, be shaped by what you know of … the real Peter Parker.
You would not know that this new Peter was a body snatcher. You would not know that he is a murderer. You would not know that he tried to create a world-wide Holocaust (i.e., murder six billion people). You would not know that he’s prone to torturing people and ripping out their teeth to do scientific testing on them.
In Dan Slott’s world, Otto is like the guy who told a girl at a bar that he works for a big business in order to sleep with her, when really he works at Kinkos.
Besides, isn’t Peter Parker being raped? His body is stolen! If he’s having sex, it most assuredly would be against his will. Everything he’s done for more than a year has been against his will…
You’ll notice that Dan Slott also goes out of his way to say “no rape happened” even though the way the scene is written and drawn says, for all intents and purposes, that it did. Why is he being so defensive about it? On one hand he’s telling us it would be no big thing if they sleep with each other, but on the other he’s feverishly trying to assure people that nothing really happened. Interesting.
” Besides, isn’t Peter Parker being raped? His body is stolen! If he’s having sex, it most assuredly would be against his will. Everything he’s done for more than a year has been against his will…”
Is his mind present? If so then yeah he defiantly in a weird… Although I suppose rape implies indent…perhaps molested is more accurate technically. Either way eww,
Yes, it remains to be seen how Peter will come back. Whether he’s been locked inside his own mind or if his soul will have to return to his body, the bottom line is that Slott’s run will leave a nasty stain (no pun intended) on the legacy of the character.
I think it’s been revealed that now Otto will be in ghost-form that Peter was in for the first 9 issues of Superior…before Otto killed Peter…a second time.
Even if you LIKE Slott, fans should admit that Slott’s run on there needs to end.
Wow, I’ve never thought about rape happening until you mentioned it, and yeah that totally is rape. I am so glad I read Superior Spider-man by renting it at the library and not having to pay for it. Well done!
First of all, I really like your blog, I think I found you many years ago when Superior Spider-Man was being released and quite liked that you were one of the few (at least at the time) people calling out the tripe that it was. ANd right from the get go.
I know this is quite a bit late for a question about the wondrous story-telling that was “Superior Spider-Man”, and I tried to find a way to ask privately, but sadly you don’t like chumps like me sending DMs. Fair enough.
I was wondering if you’ve thought about the return of ‘Peter Parker’. The way he died, and was brought back.
In ASM#700, we see Peter dies temporarily, getting a taste of the afterlife, but returns after Ben and Sable tell him he has work to do before he earns his rest or some such. He tries to take his body back, but instead he intensifies the memories that Doc Oc had stolen, making it seem as though Doc Oc had lived through Peter’s most prominent life-events, and with this he claims he will be a hero, and Peter dies after Doc Oc has his enhanced memories.
When SSM#1 picks up with Doc Oc no longer having his memories entangled with Peter’s, but a ghostly Peter seems to haunt Doc Oc, but he lives in Doc Oc’s head, and not as a spiritual entity. And we saw Peter die AFTER the attempted mind switch. So what if this ‘Peter’ is just the imprint of Peter’s memories gaining a self awareness after being denied and ignored by Doc Oc – much like the Hulk persona does with Bruce Banner (if I’m not mistaken).
This would mean that when Doc Oc ‘sacrifices’ himself by deleting his memories to allow for ‘Peter’ to ‘regain’ control, the real Peter Parker is still dead. The Peter that has been running around since the end of SSM has been a copy of Peter’s memories paired with the soul of Doc Oc. The real Peter is still off in the after life.
This would mean that even with the return of ‘Peter Parker’ Dan Slott can knowingly continue on with the knowledge that Spider-man will now, and forever be his fan-insert Doc Oc behind the wheel. No matter who comes in afterwards and writes the greatest story; it will always be Otto “Dan Slott” Octavius that is truly in control of Peter Parker’s body.
I didn’t put much stock in it other than “terrible writing” until I started watching some of your videos and those of D&C and the like, but the more I look into Slott, the more likely it seems that it’s not error, but rather intention that nobody really noticed?
Anyways, once again I’m sorry for the revivification post, and hopefully you see this, I’m interested to know what your thoughts on this is.
*Thank for your time
*Many apologies if double post, my comp had some time-out issues.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, COIP. It wasn’t a time-out issue on your post, but me just making sure the first comment by someone isn’t spam. I’m going to crash tonight, but I can definitely answer sometime tomorrow. I’ll just add an update to this reply.
If you ever wanted to DM me, then just look me up on Twitter. I DM with people from Youtube all the time. 🙂
The short answer is that I do NOT like the way any of it was handled.
Give the following a read and then let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to answer them! 🙂
Ah, don’t know how I missed this. Thanks for the link to it, and sorry about the redundant/unnecessary post then…
Seems it was just a bad ending to a terrible story.
I’ve also stopped buying Marvel almost outright because of Slott and his SSM.
So you said it’s a soulless memory fragment, but he could still have the soul of Octavius in all his evil glory, albeit without his memories. You are more caught up on it than I. and far more knowledgeable on the ongoing stories; so do you think (as a fan and critic) which was more likely, to you.
a) Slott spites fans by permanently (if only keeping to himself) killing Peter Parker and keep Octavius around as present and future Spider-man.
b) Slott identifies with Octavius and he becomes his self/fan insert into the comic, and the ending was how it was intentionally to keep Slott’s preferred character (and by extension, himself) in the driver’s seat of the character.
c) simply bad writing and the shutting down all critical analysis of the book
As I said in my previous post, the more time goes on the more I feel the second seems more likely. Or am I grasping at straws?
Having read a few more posts and watching some hangouts, I couldn’t find a your thoughts on the “why” of the events, so I apologize if this is once again something I missed. If I did miss something, just let me know and I’ll dip away and spare you from rehashing content you’ve already posted.
*Apologies if I missed something
*Thank you for your time