It’s been a busy week for Marvel Comics! This past weekend new Marvel editor-in-chief CB Cebulski apologized for using the pseudonym Akira Yoshida in a piece for The Atlantic. Since then, many revelations about the future of the Marvel line have come to light.
A wave of cancellation announcements have been made since CB has taken over the reigns as well. Titles including Guardians of the Galaxy, U.S. Avengers, Royals, Uncanny Avengers,Iceman, Jean Grey, Hawkeye, Unbelievable Gwenpool, Like Cage, Secret Warriors and Generation X are all confirmed as canceled. All but confirmed as canceled include America, and Defenders, though Defenders could be on hiatus because of Bendis’ recent health issue. His leaving the company could end up putting the book to bed either way.Another book, Captain Marvel, appears to be going on hiatus for an unconfirmed amount of time as they appear to be changing editorial direction while keeping the creative team in tact.
These are the sort of big changes one may expect from a comics publisher bringing in a new editor-in-chief. It’s hardly the first time we’ve seen major shake ups like this and it will not be the last. While it’s disappointing to see a number of comics cancelled that prominently feature underrepresented communities with creative teams also representing those communities, it is important to note that all of those characters still exist in the Marvel Universe and will hopefully be heavily featured in other titles soon as well as giving other more diverse characters the chance to have the spotlight.
We wish Marvel the best during this transitional phase and most importantly we look forward to reading the new Marvel Comics that will be announced in the New Year.
Some of you who read my Facebook posts might have already seen this, but I think that it’s important enough to repeat the story. It’s from the “See Something, Say Something” school.
Yesterday I was walking down the block to the store and I passed a parked car with two dogs in it and all the windows closed, including the sunroof. It was 95 degrees here in Bayonne, which meant that inside the car it must have been at least 10 degrees hotter. I went into the restaurant on the corner and asked if anyone owned this car. No. So, what to do? I waited about five minutes to see if the owner came back – nope. So I called the police. I’m happy to say they showed up immediately. They went from door-to-door up and down the street, and to the storefronts to see if they could find the owner. I asked them if I should wait by the car, but they said no, they could track down the bitch or bastard who had left the dogs with the license plate if need be, and, if worse came to worse, they would open the car. So I went home, but I am still wondering – no, really hoping – that they gave the unfeeling owner a summons.
I have a bunch of comics sitting on my kitchen table that I just haven’t had time to read. They include the “rebirthed” Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka (writer), Liam Sharp (artist), Laura Martin (colors) and Jodi Wynne (letters); Liam and Laura’s work on the covers alone is just amazingly beautiful. Tomorrow I am bring this comic plus the others (Superman: American Alien by Max Landis and Francis Manapul; Betty & Veronica by Adam Hughes; Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring, and VC’s Joe Caramagna; The Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Guiseppe li, Cam Smith, Marte Gracia, and VC’s Joe Caramagna; and the “rebirthed” Superman by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, and Rob Leigh) to work to read at break and at lunch…if I get a break and lunch.
I have discovered a new tactic when defending Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, thanks to the New York Times. (Again, some of you may have already seen this on my Facebook page.) It is a video from the Times’ website, and it’s called “Voices From Donald Trump’s Rallies, Uncensored.” And boy, is it! It’s more than uncensored, people, it’s downright sickening. After the various people who are against Hillary watch this, I say, “Do you really want to be associated with people like this?” And then I add, “This time it’s not about politics, it’s about love of our country.” I have gotten various reactions, from nervous laughter to “Oh, shit,” to shrugs.
Seriously, folks…check it out.
Like I said, if you see something, say something.
And before I sign off for the week, I want to give a ginormous hug to my fellow columnist and beloved friend, Mr. John (Johnny-O) Ostrander. Last week John and his bromance-for-ever main man Mike Gold attended the World Premiere of Suicide Squad in the Big Apple, where Mr. Ostrander received accolade and so-long-deserved R-E-S-P-E-C-T, as Aretha sang it. I am so happy for you, John! I am kicking up my heels! I am dancing in the streets….
The Super Bowl was this past weekend. I’m sure you know this, as it is a (unrecognized) national holiday. I enjoy watching football; it is a fun pastime to me. (The shock! The horror!) However, the game this year wasn’t all that great. There were too many fumbles and too many errors. Very disappointing indeed. But then again, the Super Bowl isn’t really about the game anymore. It is about the commercials.
This commercial revelation isn’t a new thing either. It has been at least a decade of excitement over the commercials. But even that is beginning to fade a bit as everything gets released online in advance. Now we get trailers for commercials! Or in our case, (bringing this back around) trailers for movie trailers.
As geekdom has become “normal” and accepted, comic book movies seem to have exploded in popularity. This past weekend saw at least five comic book movie trailers, plus commercials that featured comic book characters. However, you didn’t need to watch the game to see them. They were all released on the internet almost immediately after airing.
For those who skipped the game, the weekend also saw a minor feud start up (or possibly flare up) between creators Rob Liefield and Dan Slott about credits on the new Deadpool movie. Things were said, tempers rose, and we all got the ringside seat. In the past, this would have been an internal comic fight but the internet brought it straight to us.
Geeks connecting outside of their basements or comic shops is still a good thing. Now I know geeky people all over the world. Still, with great connection comes great responsibility. We all use the internet as a platform for expression, but it is always interesting to watch companies and celebrities use it to reach the masses.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing that we are all connected. Now, creators get recognized for their own work globally. Before the Interwebs, we would have had no idea who Rob Liefield was, much less any quotes taken out of context. Bill Finger still would be an unknown and Superman creators Siegel and Shuster would have never gotten any credit in the history books. And without the interwebs, we wouldn’t get tangled up in creator fights or five trailers for the same film that provide no extra info.
About 20 years ago, I asked Batman editor Denny O’Neil if I could attend DC’s annual editorial retreat. I was their Publicity Manager at the time and I thought that if I could sit down and watch how the creative teams worked I could better promote the various Batman titles.
Denny was cool with it, and my boss was cool with it, so I went up to Tarrytown NY with them. It was a really interesting experience… for about a day. Then, for some reason, the big boss found out I was there and demanded I return.
His fears, as I understand them, were that, as part of the marketing department, I might interfere with the creative and editorial decisions. That was certainly not my intention. And it was also pretty insulting to Denny, to Alan Grant and Jo Duffy and Chuck Dixon and the others who were there who were more than willing to tell me to shut up if I overstepped my bounds.
Things have certainly changed since then.
Earlier this week, the New York Daily News ran a story by Ethan Sacks about the Marvel editorial summit. In attendance were Joe Quesada, Axel Alonso, James Robinson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Michael Bendis, Emily Shaw, Sana Amanat, Nick Spencer, Sam Humphries, G. Willow Wilson, Dan Slott, Tom Brevoort, Dan Buckley, and probably a whole bunch more.
This is amazing. I can’t think of any other kinds of story meetings that involve the press. Did Matthew Weiner let reporters into the Mad Men writers’ room? Did Jann Wenner send someone to sit in with Lennon and McCartney?
The article did not say if any marketing people were there while they planned the next storylines which will, apparently, involve the death of a major character. According to the piece, this is something that Marvel plans to happen every quarter. Dan Buckley is quoted as saying “The death is a marketing hook,” although he goes on to say that the story has to pay off. Still, it seems pretty damning to me, and indicative of a thought process that seeks out the lowest common denominator.
To my mind, they did this backwards. They decide that some character has to die, and then try to figure out who it should be, and from there, what the story is. I think they should first have a story, see which characters make sense to be part of that story, then see if one of them dies in the course of events. I’m on record saying that I think death is over-used as a plot device. We know the character isn’t really dead. By going to that story-well four times a year, Marvel runs the risk of cheapening the death of heroes. It’s not special. It does not inspire awe for a hero’s self-sacrifice, or tears for the tragedy.
We know the character will come back to life in a few months or years. Hell, if there must be destruction, blow up an entire planet.
A wedding would be more engaging. A birth.
It’s encouraging to see that there were more kinds of people in the room than the usual white men. Some were even women. It is my hope that this is a trend that will continue and grow. That’s how you get new perspectives on the stories, and new ideas. Perhaps if Marvel invites a reporter to the next summit, they’ll permit the women to speak to the press, just like the boys do.
It’s still astounding to me how an art form like comics can, on the one hand, celebrate the creative contributions of individuals while, on the other hand, leave behind a tragic history and rotten track record for its treatment of these creators. The debates on this topic continue to rage on. Recently the appropriate level of recognition for a particular creator, who has long since shuffled offstage, dominated the online comic conversation.
As part of an ongoing series exploring today’s creators’ reactions to their comic creations’ successful crossovers into other media, I caught up with Mike Allred, who along with Chris Roberson co-created Vertigo’s iZombie. It’s a hit series on the CW network and has been renewed for a second season. Fans of Allred have always been delighted with his rich body of work: his brilliantly independent Madman, his innovative, genre-busting X-Statix, and more recently, his quirky FF series and Batman 66 covers. In this interview, I explore his involvement in and thoughts on the popular iZombie series.
Ed Catto: Comics has a sad history of many creators not fully sharing in the economic success of their literary creations. Fans know the tragic stories of Siegel and Shuster, Gerry Conway has discussed issues concerning creator credits of certain DC characters, and Wally Wood’s contributions to the Daredevil character and mythology have been debated. Given today’s realities, do you think current creators are better prepared to protect their own rights, or is it still the same old story?
Mike Allred: Everyone always tries to make the best deal for their own interests. On all sides. It will always be that way. But it’s up to the individual to protect themselves. Despite all the history to learn from, there will always be bad deals. I was lucky with my first major success being something I completely created and own myself.
I couldn’t get a gig with the “big two” starting out, so I was content to create my own worlds. That brought me opportunities and the freedom to choose where, when, and how I play in the wonderful world of comic books. I’m as big a fan as anyone, so I get a big kick out of playing with established company-owned characters, but I do so with eyes wide open knowing that I’ll have to fight for ownership of anything original I bring to the table. I balance that with my own creations. It’s always been clear to me what is mine and what rights I have to my sole creations. Collaborations get a bit more complicated and every contract has its own challenges.
I’m keenly aware of the shoulders I’m standing on and how I’ve benefited. Thankfully, so far, I have very little to complain about personally.
EC: Back when you were developing iZombie and the look of the comic series, what were you trying to create and what were some of the challenges you found working on a zombie/horror story?
MA: Chris Roberson and I were wanting to do something different, something askew. We were eager to do contemporary takes on classic monsters. Priority one for me was to make an attractive, appealing lead character who also happened to be a zombie.
EC: Were you pleased with how the comic series turned out? And what would you have done differently if you could go back and do it over again?
MA: I’m extremely proud of it. There were two paths. One was sticking with the “brain of the day” template and have each new brain become a new storyline, and the other was going epic and blowing out our world, which obviously is the path we took. There was a part of me that kinda wished we’d stuck with the more intimate stories involving the people whose brains were eaten, but since the TV show picked up that baton I’m completely satisfied on every level.
EC: How did you find out that your iZombie concept was going to be a TV series? How long did it take to reach network television and can you tell us some of your reactions and thoughts along the way?
MA: I’m pretty sure Shelly Bond at Vertigo told me first. She was very much a collaborator in every way on the series. It simply wouldn’t exist without her. Geoff Johns gave me a call too around the same time. He had all the details. It all happened very quickly.
Initially I was a bit perturbed with the changes. Most especially Gwen’s name change to Liv. But I’m a big boy and know that there is no such thing as a completely faithful adaptation of any entity from one medium to another. My immediate concern was that it was good and something I’d be proud to have my name on. Once I saw that Rose McIver was hired as our zombie girl and how the production bent over backwards to make her look how I designed her, my fears started dropping away. When I saw the completed pilot it felt exactly like falling in love. And now I’m thrilled with virtually every creative choice that has been made. Rob and Diane and are the best. All the writers are killin’ it in the best way. Every cast member is the coolest. And Rose is a dynamo rocking a showcase of personality quirks. I feel crazy lucky. This could have gone bad in so many ways and it’s done the exact opposite.
EC: The opening credits of iZombie showcase your artwork. Can you tell us a little about how that came to be and the process behind it?
MA: Rob and Diane thought it’d be cool and wrote it up. I’ve always loved the animated opening titles to the 60’s Batman TV show, so I jumped in with both feet. I drew all the images that they asked for and more, wanting to make sure they had more than needed. I even drew the spiral by putting a piece of paper on a turntable and moving my brush from the center out. Laura (Allred, Mike’s wife and an award-winning colorist) then colored all the illustrations and various layers separately which were then edited to the theme song and… Ta-Dah!
EC: What’s your involvement in the TV series now? What’s your reaction to what they’ve done and what they’re doing?
MA: At this point I’m simply sitting back and enjoying the show for the most part. I’ve never been busier so it’d be difficult to increase my involvement, but I have a nice rapport with everyone and may throw in more if we score a third season.
EC: Are you pleased the show has been renewed for a second season?
MA: Over the moon!
It’s not lost on me how difficult it is to get anything at all produced. My Madman property has been optioned and in various degrees of production since 1995.
So, we leapt the first major hurdle of getting it produced, then on the air, then well received. Lots of great stuff doesn’t find an audience, let alone get a second season. We’re very, very happy.
EC: On Free Comic Book Day, the fans at one of the stores I stopped by started raving about your work on Silver Surfer. The fans collectively said they enjoy the new character you and Dan Slott created, Dawn Greenwood. But is there a different thought process that now goes into creating a character for a company?
MA: There is and there isn’t. I know going in that Dan and I will always have bragging rights on what we’ve created to support a legendary Marvel character. Here it is largely about compensation. I go in knowing that I’ll have little to say in what happens with my creations after I walk away. So it’s important for me to feel creatively satisfied, which I am. I hold no illusions that I’ll be self-publishing a Dawn Greenwood mini-series. It is what it is. I get a sweet paycheck and get to play on this big wonderful stage I’ve loved my whole life. If I want to work on purely creator-owned material I can do that too whenever I want. It’s how I started out, so I’m completely aware of all the circumstances.
EC: What’s coming up next for you, Mike?
MA: I’m having a total blast working with Dan on Silver Surfer, so I’m gonna ride that wave all the way to shore. I’m always planning and working on the next Madman special, where I do my most personal work, as Frank Einstein is pretty much me. And I’ve co-created an all-new Vertigo series, which will be announced at the San Diego Comic-Con.
EC: Last one: Who would win in a fight: iZombie or X-Statix’s Dead Girl?
MA: They would never fight. They’d have a nice lunch and then go to the movies.
Marc tips back on his heels, juts his chin out well beyond his neck and claps his hands together with a swagger like no other…
So have you seen the news lately? Seems like no one at Marvel can keep their race, gender, or sexual preference the same. It’s like Dormammu and the Living Tribunal decided to challenge Galactus and Eco The Living Planet to beer pong! I kid, I kid.
But yes, it seems that Marvel is making the dirt sheets and giving early Christmas gifts to fanboys who like to bitch online by shifting some major tentpoles of a few of their bigger brand-names. Of course, any comic book fan worth their salt saw the announcements of Captain America’s new epidermis tonal-shift, or Thor’s gender-swap as staying-the-course for modern comic bookery. Changing the face under a mantle is Sales-Spike 101 in Marketing for Muggles.
If I were to only discuss the House of Mouse with these shocking plot twist redirects, I’d still be buried deep in the publishing cycle. In the past decade we’ve seen a mind-swapped Spider-Man take to Manhattan, Bucky Cap, Professor X’s death / rebirth / paralysis / re-death, Ghost Rider choosing to inhabit a Latino street racer, Pepper Potts Iron Man, a Red Hulk, Rick Jones as the Abomination, and in Hickman’s Avengers books a brand new Smasher, Starbrand, and a few others I’ve long since forgotten about.
With all those cases, the comic-buying world looked over the rumors on Bleeding Cool, bitched about the atrocity of it all on CBR, and then posted a few selfies of them eventually reading the damned books when they came out. And given enough time, Peter Parker came back to the mantle, so did Steve Rogers, as did Tony Stark (though I guess he never really truly left the mantle… but you get my drift).
In short, a change of race, creed, gender, or underwear preference only shuffles the deck long enough to make some noise. And while creators will carry their changes as long as they hold the attention of the masses (the masses being the niche market of comic book readers), these shifts exist solely for the opportunity to tell a new story. And in my humble opinion, that’s absolutely why I think all these obvious sales ploys are great ideas.
As I noted last week: in the economics of pulp-and-paper, idea generation is the true value of the end product. As such, the clamor I’ve long heard (mostly from old farts and the old-at-heart) about how comics should just tell good stories about the core characters – never succumbing to epic events, or tawdry flights of fancy. Well, the epic event crossover thing… I get that. But if we chain the hands of our creative teams and force them to work within the confines of a limited universe, we’re removing the possibility of those teams then creating something truly memorable.
Of the aforementioned stunts, I personally was enthralled by the Superior Spider-Man. And while I knew that there’d be no way that Peter Parker would truly be forever removed from the 616, I was amazed (natch) at the balls Dan Slott showed by keeping Otto under the skin for as long as he did. He introduced us to a not-so-friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, who decided that proactive crime fighting beats the typical responsive nature of super heroism. Because of it, we were treated to month upon month of smart heroes outsmarting villainy instead of relying on dumb luck, pithy speachifying, and mindless punching. And sure, there were tropes (the manic-pixie girlfriend who sees through the cock-sure attitude, the hubris of the hero eventually being his downfall), but more-so there were stories I had not read. And that, kiddos, is worth its weight in mouse-approved gold.
So let having Falcon take a turn with the most recognizable shield in comics. Let Thor enjoy earning only 80% of the wages an equally powerful male version of herself would. Heck, let Dr. Strange turn into an asthmatic asexual narcoleptic quadriplegic Aboriginal with crippling psoriasis! If it shakes up the character, and allows the creative team to tell a story we’ve never heard before, then it keeps the ball rolling.
It’s only when we let our prose live in the predictable status quo that we stand the most chance to lose any momentum we gain in the era of the comic book blockbuster.
So I guess when the AV Club is reporting on the future death of Wolverine, the cat is out of the bag, eh? In yet another PR stunt, the mainstream comic houses show their full hand in hopes mega media attention will somehow garner a boost in pulp sales. I’m reminded of that saying concerning the definition of insanity. And surely this is a topic we, the snarky columnists of any number of media outlets, have covered… well… to death. It’s still worth another look though, so indulge me, kiddos. It’s time to beat a dead horse.
Isn’t it a shame when the knee-jerk reaction of your most dedicated fan-base upon hearing about the death of a beloved character comes with an audible snicker and eye roll? Suffice to say when I’d read the newswire piece it didn’t come as a shock, as much as a continual reminder that my favorite medium was often regarded as kitsch. And truly, no other medium comes to mind – save perhaps for soap operas or pro wrestling– where the announcement of a significant loss bares no bitter fruit as much as it comes complete with scoffs from the peanut gallery.
Wolverine to be stripped of his healing factor and killed. Peter Parker’s mind is destroyed, only to be inhabited by Otto Octavius. Batman banished forever in time by the impact of some Omega beams. Superman dead. Thor dead. Professor X dead. Steve Rogers dead. Jean Grey dead. Colossus dead. Hell… Bucky Barnes dead. Phil Coulson dead.
Feh, I say. Feh! In each instance of the leaked announcement, I immediately retort “…until sales drop, or a movie comes out.” And if you’re a betting man, you’d be smart to go all in each time. I think though, that ranting and railing against something you could count on as easily as the tide coming in, is a waste of negative feelings.
What sits at the root of all of these stabs into the mainstream ether is the soul-crushing realization that our beloved cape-and-cowl crowd are all for-profit entities, each built to harness the dollars and cents of a loyal customer base that has proven more often than not to continually purchase product even while loudly protesting it. Simply put, one need not sweat the wrath of the fanboys and girls until they leave you high and dry at the checkout counter. And as attendance at comic conventions continue to swell, and the multiplex becomes choked annually with blockbuster after blockbuster… there’s little need to fear that our ink-and-paper rags are going away while the licenses need to be coddled.
And what would you do if you were the EIC of a major comic book publisher? You’d keep hitting your cash piñatas until they stop dropping Tootsie Rolls. One can’t simply let their comic character live and die with the times. They must constantly be in a cycle or dramatic repartee with one another. They must converge on mighty battlegrounds. They must make odd alliances. They must recalibrate, reinvent, and redefine their very being every few months. The moment they stop, the attention is drawn elsewhere. Even to let a mortal man, like Frank Castle – a character whose very mission is clearly drawn in severe black and white terms – die a hero’s death, is really just another way to bookmark him for a new series later. One cannot simply let a comic character die… not when there’s a bloodstone to find and money left on the table.
To learn of Wolverine’s impending dirt map should not actually be met with a scoff, and an upturned nose. As in nearly all my aforementioned examples of re-re-retconned demises… in their immediate wake came some of the best stories I’d ever read concerning that character! When Batman was time-bulleted away, Scott Snyder’s Detective Comics gave me the Dick Grayson I’ve always wanted to read. When Dan Slott took the leap to let Otto drive as the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, he opened up a fantastic object lesson in proactive versus reactive heroism. And when Wolverine bites the big one, it will be less about ending his story as it is opening up a new chapter in the plethora of X-books that will no doubt be touched by the loss. Death, as it were, is then less about the loss specifically of the character in question, rather, it’s about the aftermath that needs to be considered.
It is sad to me that we must accept this as fate; that our heroes and villains are merely pawns in a never ending churn and burn of story arcs and universe resets. In the time since its inception, the Marvel Universe (the 616), and the DCU (whatever we call current continuity since it’s neither new, nor 52) have relegated themselves to reinvention at every turn of the corner. Unlike a soap or the WWE, where fictional characters can eventually die in real life… or even Doctor Who, who remains the same alien in spirit, but purposefully reimagined to coincide with the times – mainstream comic books must remain forever in Neverland. While DC tried hard to create legacies with a few of their major heroes (The Flash and Green Lantern, most of all), they too eventually succumbed to a massive PR stunt (the still-absolutely-unbearable Flashpoint), in order to move the zeitgeist back into its clutches.
So mourn not for James Howlett, folks. Let no tears stain your mutton-chopped cheeks for his once robust form. For now, he will join any number of other X-Men at the famed Marvel Island. He’ll enjoy the umbrella drinks, and free bacon… as the 616 spins out of control.
Because let’s face it, a world with Wolverine leaves a roster spot open on at least 1,246 different teams. And that is why we mourn.
This November, prepare for every Spider-Man…ever! Marvel is proud to announce Spider-Verse, the biggest Spider-Man story of the year from New York Times Best-Selling Spider-Scribe Dan Slott and blockbuster artist Olivier Coipel!
Kicking off this November in Amazing Spider-Man #9 (with a special lead-in story on Free Comic Book Day), Slott and Coipel assemble an legion of Spider-Men from every corner of every universe. Peter Parker, Miguel O’Hara, Miles Morales and many, many more must unite to stop a seemingly insurmountable super-powered foe. Morlun, an incredibly powerful villain has returned with a singular and terrifying goal – exterminate every Spider-Man in every universe! It will take thousands of spider-powered heroes to battle back the greatest threat to this universe or any other!
“The scope of this event is so big, the word ‘epic’ just doesn’t do it justice,” says editor Nick Lowe. “The story is just huge and heartbreaking and has necessitated spreadsheets to organize all the Spider-Men. Luckily we have a writer who has proven time and time again he can thread impossible story-needles [Slott] and the most versatile character artist in the business [Coipel].”
Fans can see the first hints of this event in April’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 but will get their first real taste of Spider-Verse in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day Guardians of the Galaxy issue this with a special 5-page lead-in story available for free at all participating comic shops on May 3rd. This fall, Spider-Verse unites every Spider-Man in history to drive back the forces of darkness. But will an army of Spiders be enough?
Don’t miss the blockbuster Spider-Man event that will have the Marvel Universe on the edge of its seat when Spider-Verse hits comic shops this November! Plus, don’t miss the start of the next big chapter in Spider-Man history in Amazing Spider-Man #1 on-sale this April!
Okay, Marvel, let me see if I’ve got this straight? The bad guy wins. That’s how you celebrate the 700th issue of your flagship character, by killing him and letting the bad guy win?
Assuming you haven’t been in a cave and know about the events of The Amazing Spider-Man #700 and the subsequent issues of The Superior Spider-Man – and in case you have and you don’t: SPOILER WARNING – you know that Dr. Octopus put Peter Parker’s mind into his own dying body and his mind into Peter Parker’s body. You also know that Doc Ock’s body died with Peter’s mind still in it and that Ock, whose mind is in Peter’s body, is now proving that with his “unparalleled genius” he can be a superior Spider-Man. Well, I like a good redemption story as well as the next guy – and for me that’s the only thing that makes this storyline interesting; can Doc Ock actually find redemption by being a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker was?