My triumphant return from the Indy world, I picked the right thing to read.
Dan Slott, you are Mr. Spider-Man.
I’d been waiting for this final chapter for a while, my library was late to order it, and it somehow hid from me until now…
Well it was worth the while.
Otto realizes that the Green Goblin has defeated him, NYC is burning, everyone is turning against him, there’s no one left to trust…
But we see Otto keep fighting, not giving up, and asking himself “What would Parker do?” in a split second decision…but Otto doesn’t have to wonder, because the Soul of Peter Parker has survived inside the Mindscape of Spider-Man, and screams out to Otto to act!
The result saves a life, but lets the Goblin escape. In the process, Peter reveals to Otto that his soul is still alive in Spider-Man’s body.
We see Peter’s soul hiding from Otto, so much so, that he dives into Otto’s own memories, and experiences his whole life, which nearly robs him of his remaining memories as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The struggle is played out very well, convincingly, with Peter losing himself at times, only able to recall who he is by the very strength of self and powerful memories that cannot be taken from him.
This 2 page spread covers the entire history of Spider-Man, with art way back from Ditko all the way forward. It is in web form all around Peter, who’s just established dominance in the Soul of Spider-Man. He focuses on how important his memories were, the ups, downs, triumphs, tragedies, and the fun, surprisingly, (or not, actually) he focuses on how much FUN he had.
It’s so effective.
Once Peter re-emerges, he and Otto back and forth, except, it’s not nearly what you’d expect. Otto owns up to his arrogance, and tells Peter that he’s always underachieved, and he (Peter) could be so much more.
Otto swings back to Parker Industries (which Peter is totally confused to see) and (view spoiler)
Peter realizes just how true the love Otto has is, and Otto’s final words to Peter: “only YOU can save her. Because you ARE the Superior Spider-Man.” and then Otto fades to nothingness…
OK, I cried when I read it for the first time, and I’m not afraid to admit I’m misty right now. Curse you Dan Slott! For hitting it right on the nerve. (hide spoiler)]
His oldest enemy stole everything from him, only to discover that even with his victory, Otto would never be Peter. It’s positively powerful what Otto does, and with it, the greatest act of selflessness of his life, towards the person he had hated longer and more than anyone…
To me, this is the pinnacle of the entire series right there. Yes, we still have some stuff to do, but I’m sure you can figure out what we do from here…and you should absolutely read this.
Dan Slott is the Scott Snyder of Spider-Man. A very creative, super planned out, and cognisant of the history of the character, respectful, incorporating it into the present, but also paving new grounds.
The Coda of the book/epilogue if you wish, shows just how much damage was done between Otto’s arrogance, and Osborn/Goblin’s destruction. Broken lives, damaged relationships, forever change the whole scope of Peter’s world.
It’s Greek Tragedy, in a sense, because although there is a resolution, and what needs to happen happens, the return is not as triumphant as one would think. Poor Peter, struggling that hard to survive, and this is what you come back to…
But. If there’s one thing anyone knows, it’s that Peter Parker is Amazing, and he can make it back from this. He will, and I think it makes me appreciate him a whole lot more…I think many of us took him for granted and just joked about his whipping boy status in Marvel.
This was an eye opener, and I hope I don’t take the Wall Crawler for granted anymore…poor bastard, welcome back Pete. We missed you!