The Death of Peter Parker


Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963)...

Cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963), first appearance of Doctor Octopus. To think…Peter dies inside the body of his first real nemesis.  Lame.  Art by Steve Ditko. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I may be a writer, but at heart I will always be a comic book loving fanboy.  I just have to say something about the death of Peter Parker, and if you haven’t already read The Amazing Spiderman #700, you should, because one of comic book fan’s most beloved super heroes has died…and he went out like a chump.

To fill you in, Peter Parker switched bodies with Doctor Octopus who was dying of cancer, and was not able to switch back to his original body before dying in the body of Doc Oc.  Worse yet, Doctor Octopus had a relationship with Aunt Mae, and now he will be married to Mary Jane.  Needless to say, Marvel writer Dan Slott who penned the current storyline has literally received death threats, and the demise of Peter Parker has been decreed “final” by Marvel.  They will not be bringing Peter back.

As a writer, I understand that death stories sell comic books, and that is really all this is, kids.  I remember back in the 90′s when Doomsday killed Superman.  At the time, Superman comic books had reached a historic sales slump, and so the execs at DC Comics decided that something drastic had to be done.  Also during that time people started collecting comic books, and it became vogue to do so, with the hopes of finding that one special issue that would put your kids through college.  DC decided to kill off Clark Kent in some dramatic fight with Doomsday, some ugly supervillain cooked up in a lab or something (that plot point always bugged me), and Superman died, had a funeral, and spawned twenty or so issues of aftermath which we all bought.  It saved the Superman name, and then when they brought Superman back (with longer hair) everyone breathed a sigh of relief and so did DC who had revitalized the franchise.

I think Marvel is doing the same thing with Spidey.  He’ll stay dead for a while, sales will slump even further or rise up with thousands of so called “collectors” who think that issue #700 will actually be worth something, and then Peter Parker will somehow come back from the dead.  They did this to Superman, Captain America (Oh, that was a bad one), Jean Grey, Batman (even though he was actually not dead).  What has outraged fans is the way Peter Parker died.  He didn’t go out fighting, a quirky sardonic remark on his lips.  He went out in the body of a cancer ridden Doctor Octopus.  Weak.  At least, if you are going to kill off a character as iconic as Spiderman, do it spectacularly (pardon the pun).  Let him take on the Sinister Six or something like that.  I could buy that, not dying of cancer.

They won’t leave this alone, and neither will the fans.  It will be resolved.  Parker will be web-slinging again before long.  After all, if they are going to do two more films they will need the comics to ride the sales wave.  They can’t do that without Peter Parker.

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