‘Amazing Spider-Man’: Dan Slott talks Peter Parker’s fate

Dec. 26, 2012 | 10:14 a.m.

Peter Parker’s never had the best of luck — last year, the little he had finally ran out when Brian Michael Bendis placed Peter on the losing end of a confrontation with the Green Goblin at the conclusion of the Death of Spider-Man story from Marvel’s Ultimate Comics.

But with the final issue of “Amazing Spider-Man,” which arrives today, Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos have crafted a different and even more controversial end for Peter, not to mention a rather unexpected new beginning for his web-slinging superhero alter-ego.

(The spoiler-averse should stop reading now.)

The issue that brings the landmark comic book to a close sees Peter die once more in a turn of events that leaves his nemesis Otto Octavius wearing the costume — and carrying Peter’s own memories and experiences, too.

It’ll be Octavius in the signature suit when “Superior Spider-Man” No. 1 arrives in January.

Needless to say, fan reaction to the dramatic — some critics might call it cruel — twist has been intense since word of it first leaked online. Still coming to terms with the controversy, Slott recently took time to answer a few questions about the artistic choices he made for “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 700 and what it was like to write a bittersweet ending for his lifelong hero, a character that celebrates his 50th anniversary this year.

A panel from the first Spider-Man story. (Marvel Comics)

A panel from the first Spider-Man story. (Marvel Comics)

HC: You had said that you had planned to go into hiding when the issue came out.

DS: Yes. My exact phrase was, “I’m pulling a Salman Rushdie.” Peter Parker means a lot to people. Not just comic book fans, but fans of the movies, cartoons, toys and even the Thanksgiving Day balloon. He’s been with us for over half a century. And this version of Peter Parker is the one who was there at the very beginning. This the same Spider-Man from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15. This is huge.

HC: How long have you known the story would conclude in this way?

DS: We started sowing the seeds for this story literally a hundred issues ago, and, through different story arcs over the past two years, we’ve been leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the readers. It wasn’t till two issues ago that we started springing the trap.

HC: What made it the right ending for Peter Parker?

DS: He’s not Superman. Spider-Man doesn’t always win. He’s us. We do our best, but sometimes we fall short. What makes him heroic is that he stays on the right path. There’s a victory in this story for Peter if you’re willing to see it. Any superhero can look heroic in the winner’s circle, when they’re adored and showered with praise. But when you’re in a losing battle, when the world’s against you, when everyone thinks you’re a menace, but you do the right thing anyway … that’s when you’re better than a superhero. That’s when you’re Peter Parker.
Ultimate Spider-Man #160

Peter Parker died in “Ultimate Spider-Man” #160 (Marvel)

HC: You’ve been an “Amazing Spider-Man” fan for years. Was there any part of you that found this tale difficult or bittersweet to write?
DS: Absolutely. Since the start of my run, I’ve gone pretty easy on the guy. I gave him his dream job. Had him lead the Avengers into battle and save the world. It was tough to do this. I’ve been a Spider-Man fan since age 8. Short of my father, this guy’s been my lifelong hero.

HC: Do you think it’s fair to describe what happens as dispiriting? It just seems like a last unlucky break for Peter.

DS: He’s facing certain defeat. He’s promised his father-figure, Uncle Ben, that he wouldn’t leave a man like Otto Octavius running around as Spider-Man. And, in a last ditch plan, he uses his remaining seconds of life to find a way to be true to that promise. What looks like his trademark “Parker Luck” is actually a testament to his spirit.
HC: Are fans likely to embrace a darker incarnation of Spidey when “Superior Spider-Man” begins its run next month?
DS: I think after “Superior Spider-Man” No. 1, they’ll be more than ready. We still have one more trick up our sleeve.

— Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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22 Responses to ‘Amazing Spider-Man’: Dan Slott talks Peter Parker’s fate

  1. George says:

    I have a bad feeling about this.

    • gilbert costello says:

      wow is this true? i think it's an aweful idea but i do agree it's time for a change in the super hero's mythos. i thought they were on a good track just before brand new day. it's time he grew up and became spider-MAN. he can still stay true to his values and ideas but take the kid gloves off and lose the boyish naivete once and for all. so till i see that happen i will have to continue not to pic the book up and stay with the old stories i grew up with. so yeah george i agree, bad idea marvel. smh

    • Sean says:

      I do 2 I mean come on! Whats next green goblin being venom? Stop making crazy ideas cus they aint working. Peter Parker stays. He is the legend and nobody could live up 2 him. Every single comic that has been made about spiderman has been somehow killed off and then a new guy comes in like Miles Morales and now DOC OCK?! It makes no sense. Dan Slott u have just broken the reputation of spiderman. All these years and you decide to change him? I disagree. Maybe keep the amazing comics going but make a mini series in a different comic and maybe that will work out better! Btw will the other series callled astonishing spiderman which clusters some comic series's together stop? My final thing is that theres so many comics that use the amazing spiderman ones as a base for most of their stories. If you take away that hospitality less and less comics will be sold. If i do say so myself spiderman is a best seller!

  2. Linda says:

    It all seems really forced to me. However, I'll give the new Superior Spiderman a try along with the new Bionic Man vs Bionic Woman mini-series in January. It just seems like the comic book folks have run out of ideas.

  3. W Morgan says:

    Does anybody really think this version of Spider-Man will last? Peter Parker will be back soon.

  4. W Morgan says:

    Does anybody think this version of Spider-Man will last? Peter Parker will be back.

    • dmass says:

      Yep, nothing lasts forever in mainstream comics. Allow me to guess: Peter Parker's conscious remains dormant in his body, eventually takes over and forces out Doc Ock. I give Superior Spider-Man two years at the most.

  5. MsM says:

    Why must authors think they have to kill off their fictional characters? I hated when Agatha Christie had her two most popular ones die when she did. It ruined reading the older ones for me. The revelation that the children died in the end of the series that started with "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" made me ill. No one killed off Alice in Wonderland, or Peter Pan, or Beavis & Butthead. Much better choice to let fictional characters live on. To kill off your famous character is the ultimate selfish act of an owner.

  6. Eric says:

    Not to worry though as we all know he will be brought back to life in some way after a month or so (If it takes that long!) Another ploy to sell a collectible must have only to destroy the value shortly thereafter. Anybody remember the death of Superman storyline?

    Sad sad ploy.
    Perhaps this whole line is a way to wrest the franchise from Sony so that Disney can buy the Spiderman story rights (Hmmmmm).

  7. Jin Bowman says:

    Does anyone remember the "death of Superman?" This is just another ploy to sell more comic books since the comic book market has been stagnate for years. If this is what it takes to bring more readership than so be it. .

  8. Scott green says:

    First off I loved the last few issues of ASM both in concept and excecution, as long as dan keeps writing I don’t think Pete is going to magically reappear though a split personality fighting for dominance seems more likely or dr ock losing himself in the strong emotions and motivations of peter’s memory and experience and forgetting which one he truly is, some may see that as a magical come back but I think it’s better than what happen to superman or any number of superheroes who survive death

  9. CashCow says:

    The thing is, this story is entirely pointless since the reset button will eventually be pushed and Peter will be back. That is a 100 percent certainty. So why would Marvel and Slott think people would want a story like this, given that it will ultimately have no impact whatsoever on Peter’s life? In the end, this, like all superhero deaths, will be undone and forgotten.

    • Nilla says:

      Except the Death of Superman story line hasn't been forgotten. Nor has the death of Captain America or many others. It's all about telling a good story. So why cry about it when you "know" that Peter Parker will be back eventually?

    • Dr_Jest says:

      It's an interesting story and has been well-told so far. That's its value. If you think stories only have value if they "count", that's your own problem.

      • cayne says:

        1st of all,leting peter and otto have this uber lame bonding session was stupid. 2nd pete will be back next arc

  10. Fabbar says:

    awful….horrible….Peter is Spidey,no other.
    silly.Peter dies in Ultimate(sad but epic and basically,imho, acceptable due the "ultimate line" concept),Peter "dies" in amazing(no words). Dan slott go home. you're not a real fan.
    i want Peter back.stop "one more day" foolness,stop oTTo as spidey( he's a monster,has killed ,snapped neck …no more ideas.
    Superman, Batman, Cap deaths didn't teach you nothing?
    Peter come back asap.we're waiting for you…Excelsior

  11. Justin says:

    I like it. it's different. I want to see how this turns out.

  12. eddy says:

    this was one of the dumbest things i've read since "one more day". if these writers want to kill someone, why not make it aunt may? a huge part of me doesnt even want to read the new book, but no one stays dead in marvel, so i'll give it a go. its just another bad ploy, an expensive one at that.

  13. Dave says:

    Comic blasphemy. The Adventures of Otto the Spider-Man body thief is something I have near zero interest in reading. Peter Parker's character deserves better than this perverse way of getting his ticket punched.

  14. James Picard says:

    This is a dumb idea, but thankfully it's not likely to last too long. Really, how likely is it they'll leave Peter permanently dead? And hey, maybe we'll get lucky. Maybe Mephisto will somehow be involved with Peter's resurrection and restore his marriage to MJ. Probably not, but it's an idea.

  15. Mr. North says:

    One of the great crimes of mainstream comic books, especially those from Marvel, is that death has been rendered meaningless by relentless overuse as a plot device. Peter Parker is dead? Big whoop. As soon as Marvel figures it's milked this story line enough, he'll be brought back, fresh as a daisy and ready for new adventures, just like all the other Marvel heroes and villains who've bought it over the years. It's manipulative BS like this that caused me to stop buying mainstream comics nearly two decades ago –though, as you can maybe tell, I still dip in occasionally to find out what's been going on; but now I do my comic reading, such as it is, at the library. No way I'm going to subsidize this kind of lameass storytelling by spending money on it.

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