There happen to be plenty of adjectives that you could use to describe Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man so far. Crazy, blasphemous and shocking immediately spring to mind. One word that you’ll never read next to one of his stories? Boring, as Slott has managed to consistently spin out Spider-Man tales that take the webhead in new directions. Hit or miss, they’re always solid and never humdrum.
Fresh off of the events of The Clone Conspiracy, Peter Parker has a brand new headache to deal with. Two actually, as Doctor Octopus is once again walking around in a body comprised of Parker DNA and is ready to strike back as the Superior Doc Ock. He’s not the only threat on the horizon however, as Norman Osborn is also plotting his revenge. A revenge that has seen him purge the Goblin formula from his system entirely and becomes a far more cunning and dangerous adversary than ever before in the Osborn Identity.
“There are all these years of stories where he’s the guy who had it all and lost it. At one point, he was almost running the world with H.A.M.M.E.R., and as leader of the Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts,” Slott said of Osborn’s new focus on sanity to Comic Book Resources.
He now has one piece that other versions of him never did: He’s not being ruled by the insanity
He’s had his time in the sun, and something always destroys it. He’s landed the best blows ever on Spider-Man; he’s hurt him in ways that no other Spider-Man enemy has, or ever will. At the end of the day, though, he’s still a loser. At the end of the day, Spider-Man still takes him down, no matter how high he rises up.
So he’s like, “Why does this always happen?” This version of Norman has the Goblin Serum completely cleaned out of him in such a way where it can never come back. He now has one piece that other versions of him never did: He’s not being ruled by the insanity. He can take the cunning mind of Norman Osborn and come after Spider-Man in very deliberate ways. Spider-Man has never fought this version before, and maybe that can finally give Norman the edge he needs.
This story arc is my first time working with artist Stuart Immonen. The talents that he brings are awe inspiring. He can do it all. He can do small, personal moments that are just flawless, and he can do big, action set pieces right out of the movies. with that enormous canvas, part of me is just like, “Okay, let’s bring it all!”
There’s a point where you’re working with someone whose skill sets are off the chart where you realize, “Wow! I can open up anything and this guy can just knock it out of the park!” The pages that are coming in are amazing! I think you’re going to see, especially in this first arc, me just having way too much fun with that. “Okay, here’s the giant, epic battle! Here’s the mano-a-mano battle. Here’s some quiet moments! Here’s the big moments! Here’s everything!”[quotes quotes_style="bpull"]
Once Parker is done with his globetrotting adventure, he’ll be back for a Secret Empire tie-in that has him facing off against the Superior Octopus, as the persistent villain has aligned with HYDRA to accomplish goals of his own. Goals that clash with Spider-Man of course. “We were always coming here! To do “Superior Spider-Man” and then do “Spider-Verse” after it, we knew we had to cobble a way to give Doc Ock a window to come back,” Slott explained.
There had to be some time-travel shenanigans so he could be there for “Spider-Verse.” Once you’re playing with that, it’s like, “Now there’s a crack in the door! He can change his future. We could totally bring Doc back post-‘Superior Spider-Man.’” There was a lot of different input going into the character.
One problem we always seemed to have with the suit was everyone kept saying the Octopus insignia looked too much like Hydra’s symbol. Then “Secret Empire” happened, and it was like, “Great!” [Laughs] It was fantastic. We couldn’t have planned that better. In “Amazing Spider-Man” #25, we showed that Otto has something he’d like done. Hydra also wants that done, so this is very much a marriage of convenience. They both want the same ends, so Otto is going to use their means for as long as it suits him.
This isn’t the pudgy Doc Ock who runs around with a bad haircut either, as he happened to have inherited the perfect clone body that Ben Reilly had developed. Which means that not only does the Superior Octopus have his own genius mind, but also all the powers of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man for good measure. With a little twist of course. “He’s got a body that’s a hybrid of a Spider-Clone and Otto Octavius. That means he has all of the Spider related powers along with Octavius’ genius.,” Slott said.
My Octopus sense is tingling!
It also means he does not look like Peter Parker under the mask.This is a body that allows him to do everything he could in “Superior Spider-Man.” His ego now, though, is rebranding everything with Octopus, “My Octopus sense is tingling!” [Laughs] Which is the kind of craziness you can only do in a comic.
God, I love comic books.
Last Updated: April 25, 2017