Does the plot for Amazing Spider-Man 2 the movie, throw a wrench in the direction that the fan base is expecting for the Superior Spider-Man Comic Book run? Check out the theory below and share your thoughts after the JUMP!
Ever since Doctor Octopus took over as the central character in Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man, fans have assumed that there was not only an expiration date on the story (something Marvel has tacitly confirmed with comments along the lines of “When this is all over, fans who complained about it will look back and remember it fondly, as they have with other big Spider-Man stories over the years”), but that it was a pretty specific deadline–April 2014.
Why? Well, because when Steve Rogers was killed and replaced as Captain America at the end of Marvel’s Civil War story, fans all said, “Well, we know he’ll be back soon enough–there’s a movie about to come out.” And those fans were right; Steve was back from the dead not long after, and back in the Captain America suit right around the release of Captain America: The First Avenger.
And so it went with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, due in theaters in April. While there was some outrage about the move to make Doc Ock into “the” Spider-Man at the time, many fans handwaved the controversy. Obviously, they reasoned, Peter Parker will be back in control of his body by the time the second movie rolls around. The logic seemed sound and I’ll admit that I was working on the same assumption.
But then Rambo creator David Morrell tweeted last week that his two-part story with Klaus Janson would be released in October as the first two issues of a new series titled Peter Parker: Spider-Man. The immediate instinct, of course, it to say “A-ha! Look at that! We were right!”
…But were we?
Even as we reported on the existence of such a series, we speculated that the book could be an “Untold Tales…”-style title, something to keep Peter Parker alive in the public consciousness as he plays a smaller role than ever in the main monthly comics of Marvel NOW!. Or, one step further than that, the stories might not be in-continuity at all; rather, it might be an anthology series giving writers and artists an opportunity to jump on, tell their one great Spider-Man story and leave.
That second option seems a bit less likely simply because it’s Marvel, not DC, who is publishing the book. Right now, Marvel is rolling out a line of original graphic novels that seem to play it fast and loose with continuity in the interest of telling the best possible one-off story with the Marvel characters.Warren Ellis is doing an Avengers book while James Robinson and Mark Waid are doing Spider-Man…so it’s hard to imagine that if this series was just a “tell your one great story”-style revolving creative-team book, Robinson and Waid’s story wouldn’t end up there first.
Nevertheless, we’re left with the possibility that this series is not being told in current continuity and that, therefore, we’ll have a Peter Parker: Spider-Man title (presumably with the classic, non-Superior duds) before Superior Spider-Man ever gets a status quo change.
In fact, creating such a title and keeping it alive through Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s theatrical run next year (not much of a task considering that the run would start about six months after the first issue is released) would more or less eliminate the need to be rid of Superior Spider-Man at all. Fans looking for a more traditional approach to Spidey would have no problem finding it, but Slott and company can continue to tell their story on their terms and not be rushed (assuming that there is any rushing at play) for the benefit of other media.
Furthermore, does it really matter whether they make the jump back to Peter Parker in the 616 continuity anymore if there’s a monthly title featuring the character and an original graphic novel coming? It’s really only the hardcore fans who care about “continuity,” and the casual fans we assume will be impacted by things like rushing out to read a book after the movie won’t really care about the difference, especially if there’s a recap page that lets them know the difference between the two versions of the character.
That said, it might discomfit the hardcore fans a bit, being that it’s been the better part of a year now that they’ve been laboring under what may or may not now be a false assumption. Even at the time, though, Dan Slott and editor Steve Wacker promised that this new status quo “wasn’t going away anytime soon,” so perhaps people should be more prepared than they are for a shock to their system.