Marvel has hit their fans with yet another shocker.
The 50th anniversary of the "Amazing Spider-Man" comic book series has been met with a startling turn of events. In "Amazing Spider-Man #700," the story will take an entirely different shape with the death of Spidey's human alter-ego, Peter Parker. Furthering the drama, the latest installment will also place a new character in the Spider-Man suit, Doctor Octopus, Peter Parker's arch-nemesis. Marking the end of an era, the saga is slated to start anew with "The Superior Spider-Man #1," as the Doc picks up where Parker left off.
In the conclusion to the "Amazing Spider-Man's" 50-year run, Peter Parker bestows his memories and powers upon Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), leaving him in charge of the legacy. For Dan Slott, the writer of the controversial issue, the Doc has the potential to be the ultimate Spider-Man, having been the villain Peter Parker never became.
"For all intents and purposes, he was the adult Peter could have become, Spider-Man's dark reflection," Slott said in an interview with CNN. "So what if we flipped it? What if we gave him a second chance?"
Doctor Octopus' "second chance" now joins the company of Marvel's last bombshell, the death of Captain America in 2007 and his resurrection in 2009. The publishing company is no stranger to shock value, and according to the editor of "Amazing Spider-Man #700" Stephen Wacker, the anniversary was the perfect opportunity to shake things up.
"It wasn't originally going to be in the 700th issue, but as the story grew, we realized maybe it was time to change up the makeup of Spider-Man for good, to make a permanent change," he also told CNN. "With that and the fact that the 50th anniversary was approaching, we thought, let's go out with a bang."
This bang was of course met with a frenzy of fan reactions, as Marvel loyalists took to social media to express their support and discontent. Slott even received a few death threats from outraged Peter Parker fans.
"I've actually gotten a fair amount of 'This is awesome!' [reactions to the story], but it's been very polarizing," he said. "No one has a middling review. No one has a take of, 'It was all right.' People are very split."
Nonetheless, Slott remained confident in Doctor Octopus as the new web-slinger, and welcomed fans along for the ride.
"This is going to be the most meta Spider-Man of them all! And going from everything I've seen on social media, I am so up for that challenge," he said.