Geek Couples: Peter Parker/Spider-Man & Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Geek Couples: Peter Parker/Spider-Man & Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus

Chris Morley charts a quite different Superior Spider-man coupling.
As a sign-off to Spider-Man & his various bonds, we now come to one seeded firmly within his comic appearances - Doctor Octopus's mind occupying his body. The final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man as published in 2012 ran with a storyline, Dying Wish, which saw a dying Doc Ock finally succeed in swapping bodies with Spidey, a plotline first hatched with the Ends Of The Earth story earlier the same year when he learns that he's not got long left after years of pushing his body to its absolute limits.
As you can imagine, the whole thing generated a degree of controversy. But actually upon closer examination, what could have massively bombed had it focused on the new Superior Spider-Man emerging from the process simply taking on a super villain mantle similar to the body Octavius just left, proved just as radical a departure for him as Peter Parker was able to give a few key memories over to Otto which provoke something of a rethink of his old ways.

And so, its a case of new body and indeed new start as the Superior Spider-Man becomes an anti-hero, with a redesigned suit making room for tentacles protruding from its back as Octopus merges with Spider and sets about trying to prove himself a better man than his former self and a far greater Spider-Man than the old one ever was!
But was that ever truly the point? Not so, says IGN Comics.
“The point wasn't to show that Otto was a better Spider-Man than Peter, because for all his fancy gizmos and ruthless efficiency, he clearly wasn't. The point was to make a formerly unrepentant villain see the value of heroism and acknowledge that his old foe was truly the better man.“
A point which started to be made with My Own Worst Enemy, forming issue 1 of a Superior Spider-Man series following the discontinuation of The Amazing Spider-Man. A first taste of heroism for this new Superior Spider-Man comes when he defeats the Sinister Six, winning the acclaim of the public, but some of its burden causes him to push Mary-Jane Watson, whom he's come to love thanks to Parker's memories, away from him purely out of concern for her own safety.
If that weren't enough, he then tries to talk the Vulture out of a life of crime, a previously unthinkable course of action! What follows, though, is perhaps more in keeping with the Ock of old - beating him half to death when he learns children are among his old Six team-mate's henchmen.

A glimpse of college life from the other side follows as the former teacher becomes a student, using his new body to in a sense allow Peter to complete his own doctorate. The focus on education is a key part of his original back story. Otto was something of a child prodigy as far back as issue three of The Amazing Spider-Man, not just an excuse for Stan Lee to “call somebody Octopus. And I want him to have a couple of extra arms just for fun'” as the great man recalled of his creative process of that period. Starting with the name, Lee followed up with 'well, now that I've got the name, who's the character going to be and what will he do?'” Little did he know that that would lead to Superior Spider-Scribe Dan Slott hitting upon an equally bright idea years later.

Not that it was without fault, one big no-no in the mind of one reviewer was the early fruits of the Superior Spider-Man's attachment to MJ.
“The larger problem is that it's incredibly creepy to see MJ throwing herself at a man who very fundamentally isn't who she thinks he is. The sight of a lecherous Octo-Pete guzzling champagne and ogling her breasts at dinner is just... blegh. I'm assuming Slott is mindful of the murky waters he's treading in here.”
But at least away from that, Slott...
“...showcase[s] the new ways in which this Superior Spider-Man conducts business. There are some neat new inventions Otto deploys, and Slott continues to explore the ramifications of someone wielding the proportionate strength of a spider without restraint. “
By the second story, A Troubled Mind, Otto-Pete uncovers Spider-Man's consciousness still within his mind after using a brain scanner to see exactly what was going on there- immediately prior he's put it to work treating a little girl's own brain injury in a sure sign that he knew deep down what the scan later confirms for him!
By now he's an Avenger, but their own tests don't show any evidence of the mental battle going on between Spidey & Doc Ock even after the Superior Spider-Man uses violence to dispose of criminals Jester, Screwball & Massacre, gaining a new love interest in the form of college tutor Anna Maria Marconi even while all this is going on.

It's somehow not until the Goblin King, aka the Norman Osborn of this continuity, reveals he knows Octavius is using Spider-Man's body that anyone is really any the wiser as to what's going on in a wider sense during the Goblin Nation narrative, the culmination of the roughly year-long standalone Superior Spider-Man series.

But, could the character return as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? A hint was dropped during Spider-Man- Homecoming 's conception, concept art of the Superior Spider-suit, as it were, being drawn up with the intention for its use in a future film. And with the news that Alfred Molina is set to return as the character he portrayed in Spider-Man 2 for the as yet untitled sequel to Far From Home (curently set for release by December 17 this year) could we be about to see at least a teaser for Doctor Octopus's incursion into the Spider- mind?

Given that its said to pick up from Peter's predicament at the end of Far From Home & contain some of the “most dark and gritty moments in a Spider-Man movie,”, a Superior Spider- film or even full television series of anti-heroism is surely a mouth-watering prospect?

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