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"Amazing Spider-Man" #700 cover
© / "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 cover
Marvel's Peter Parker in perilous predicament
By MATT MOORE, The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- After 50 years of spinning webs and catching a who's who of criminals, Peter Parker is out of the hero game.

But Spider-Man is still slinging from building to building: reborn, refreshed and revived with a new sense of the old maxim that Ben Parker taught his then-fledgling nephew that "with great power, comes great responsibility."

Writer Dan Slott, who's been penning Spidey adventures for the better part of the last 100 issues for Marvel Entertainment, said the culmination of the story is a new, dramatically different direction for the Steve Ditko and Stan Lee-created hero.

"This is an epic turn," Slott said. "I've been writing Spider-Man for 70-plus issues. Every now and then, you have to shake it up. ... The reason Spider-Man is one of the longest-running characters is they always find a way to keep it fresh. Something to shake up the mix."

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And in the pages of Issue 700, out Wednesday, it's not just shaken up, it's turned head over heels, spun in circles, kicked sky high and cracked wide open.

Parker's mind is trapped in the withered, decaying dying body of his nemesis, Doctor Octopus, aka Otto Octavius. Where's Doc Ock? Inside Parker's superpowered shell, learning what life is like for the brilliant researcher who happens to count the Avengers and Fantastic Four as friends and family.

The two clash mightily in the pages of Issue 700, illustrated by Humberto Ramos and Victor Olazaba. But it's Octavius who wins out, and Parker is, at least for now, gone for good, but not before one more act of heroism.

Slott said it's Parker, whose memories envelop Octavius, who shows the villain what it means to be a hero.

"Gone are his days of villainy, but since it's Doc Ock and he has that ego, he's not going to try and just be Spider-Man; he's going to try to be the best Spider-Man ever," said Slott.

Editor Stephen Wacker said that while Parker is gone, his permanence remains and his life casts a long shadow.

"His life is still important to the book because it affects everything that Doctor Octopus does as Spider-Man. Seeing a supervillain go through this life is the point -- trying to be better than the hero he opposed," Wacker said.

"Doc has sort of been inspired by Peter's life. That's what I mean when he talks about the shadow he casts," he said.

The sentiment echoes what Uncle Ben said in the pages of "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15, Slott said.

Editor Stephen Wacker called it a fitting end to the old series, which sets the stage for a new one --"The Superior Spider-Man" early next year -- because it brings Peter Parker full circle, from the start of his crime-fighting career to the end.

"In his very first story, his uncle died because of something he did, so the book has always been aimed at making Peter's life as difficult as possible," Wacker said. "The book has always worked best when it's about Peter Parker's life, not Spider-Man's."

And with Octavius influenced by Parker's life -- from Aunt May to Gwen Stacy to Mary Jane -- it will make him a better person, too.

"Because Doctor Octopus knows all of those things and will make decisions on what he saw Peter going through," Wacker said. "In a way, he gets the ultimate victory as he becomes a better hero."

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Dec 27, 2012 5:48AM

Better Bring peter back or I am thru with the series  this is such a perverted twist grasping at straws to breathe dollars into a storyline. that sickens me   as a fan of peter parker for more than 40 years now. I vow to not buy or support any spiderman comics  stories or paraphernalia of any sort ( even at request of my kids) until the return of peter parker ( the real one)

Dec 27, 2012 6:14AM
Dec 27, 2012 6:19AM

I agree George1111 DC and Marvel have really screwed up comics to the point of insanity. They install all kinds of political crap, Gay agenda's, comie points of views, Muslim hero's that  (see current Green Lantern comics) try and stray from the truth about the truth. Its all so obvious!! Who are these writers trying to kid!!  What happened to the great comics of the past? Gone!!

Dec 27, 2012 8:27AM
Just awful!!! The worse decision ever. Get a clue Marvel and kill off your writer not Peter Parker. If this stays you just killed your franchise.
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