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How Dan Slott Saved Spiderman

Last week at the center of my hobby addicted universe aka the local comicbook store, I was told by a buddy of  mine who works there, that Spiderman is coming back! Now for those of you who aren’t up to par with your Spidey comicbook literature, let me update you in the quickest way possible; Doctor Octopus using his tech saviness swapped minds with Spiderman, hence the real Peter Parkers mind was in Doc Ocks body and Doc Ocks mind was in Peters body.

A Few humorous panels exploited the potential hilarity of it all, but apart from that it was dead serious. They ended this inevitable battle between the two with only one winner/survivor and that was Spiderman…with Doc Ocks mind! This happened in the last and (supposedly) final issue of  Amazing Spiderman # 700.

Many devoted fans of the series, band wagon trolls and all sorts of rif raf were fuming online that the original Peter Parker that we know was gone, and no amounts of cloning could bring this poor soul back.

At  First, I was just a bit like them. You see I have been and still am, a devoted
collector and reader of all things Amazing Spiderman.  For me, this event was as  socially earth shattering as seeing your favorite sports team being moved to  another city.  However, as devoted as I  was to the Amazing Spiderman franchise, I was willing to give this new story  line a chance, and I have to say … I was not disappointed.

The  last writer for the Amazing SpiderMan was Dan Slott, and he is, for better or  for worse, the one who ended Spiderman and the Amazing Spiderman  comicbook series. And I couldn’t be happier! Why you ask?  Simple,  Spiderman the series  collectively and Amazing Spiderman in particular were starting to feel  repetitive.

This is what happens when a super hero comic series goes on for  decades. Sure the stories were still fun to read and the art work was always  eye catching, but it felt like I was only going through the motions in  collecting and reading it, only for its own sake. After going back and reading  from the beginning to now, I found what I appreciated most were late 60s and  early 70s.

Everything was fresh; from the villains to the story lines and the  interrelations between Peter and everyone else. Then it started to stagnate until they brought in hobgoblin, the death of Kraven the hunter, and Venom. Those were brought in the 80s, and didn’t feel overdone.

Then the 90’s roled in with a maximum Carnage and Clonage saga… those were dark days.

Now back to my original topic which was ‘How Dan Slott saved Spiderman’. He did what the readers would only dare think or wrote in fan lit. He did what no one expected would be done to their lovable and geeky webslinger. Sure Superman and Captain America “died”, and Batman had his own near death/total pwnage by Bane. But their “final” defeats seemed to be brought on by a new character in the series, as if the current villains were not worthy of being dubbed the winner.

Dan Slott, even during his stint with Amazing Spiderman (technically Volume 2) up to issue 700 made reading fun and exciting again, as if I were a kid again and everything was fresh and new and anything could happen!

And something BIG did happen. “Peter Parker” as we knew died a horrible, lonely death. He died in the body of one of his most publicly hated villains. No one mourned the real Peter Parker, he was in the body of a criminal terrorist where people looking at the scene gave a sigh of relief that the “good guy” won and evil was again defeated. It almost felt fitting that he would end like this, as (the real) Peter would say “ I have the Parker luck”. All this to say, afterwards Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos (among other great artists) continued on with Doc Ock as Spiderman in the new series dubbed “The Superior Spiderman”. Once again I was skeptical, but each and every issue had been a nail bitter and like an addict I wanted more! This was the Spiderman without restraints, and the game completely changed for all the villains and those around “Peter”. Although I am writing this, I cannot put into words how much value is worth in picking up this series.

Dan Slott knows his Spiderman lore that’s for sure. He shows that even though things have changed, he has kept the small details of the Spiderman/Parker history quite intact and brings it out for all to see. And with this great tapestry of Spiderman knowledge he was still able to make it feel like a brand new hero with all new problems. He merged them so perfectly it felt like the transition was seamless. Now for those who still want the real Peter back, as I wrote before he is. Luckily for us Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos are creating the new Amazing Spiderman series, and I for one can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next to our friendly neighbor Spiderman, because … Dan Slott brought life back into the Spiderman  comic book franchise and all he had to do was kill him.

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