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Comic Book: Superior Spider-Man

This page contains unmarked spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man Issue #700, and the story arc as a whole. You Have Been Warned.

Part of Marvel Comics' Marvel NOW initiative, Superior Spider-Man is the new main Spider-Man ongoing series released in January 2013. After the events of the 700th and final issue of Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker and Dr. Octopus have switched bodies and Peter dies in the body of Dr Otto Octavius, but not before forcing him to relive Peter's life and force a Heel-Face Turn. Now there is a new Spider-Man in town—smarter, stronger, and SUPERIOR.

The title ended in April of 2014, after which Peter Parker retakes his body and resumes his normal operations to a degree in a new The Amazing Spider-Man title, just in time for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.


Tropes used in The Superior Spider-Man include:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: When Otto deletes himself to give Spider-Man his body back. Peter clearly has some pity towards him, even after all that Otto has done.
  • Anti-Climax: In a sense, Issue #30. A lot of people were hoping that Ghost-Peter would get a rematch against SpOck to smack the Supervillain out of his body. Ghost-Peter even says that he's ready for round two to Otto's face. So, what does Otto do? He simply gives up and takes Peter to Parker Industries so he can get his body back, all while Otto is erased. What's particularly odd is that previous issues seemed to be building up to a showdown between the characters, but at the least there's still the Goblin King to deal with. However, it's obvious to see that Otto was reaching a Villainous Breakdown of epic proportions by that point, so he just can't bring himself to care.
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Hero Substitute: The new Spider-Man is the formerly villainous Doc Ock's mind in Peter Parker's body, who's also not above killing villains, starting with Massacre. To the point that Frank Castle, the Punisher himself, approves. In addition, he's not so much on board with the "Great Power and Great Responsibility" mantra. Part of his reason for being a hero is to do it better than the original and leave behind a greater legacy.
  • Anti-Villain: Otto's motives are partially heroic (with great power comes great responsibility) and partially selfish (he wants to make sure everybody knows he's "superior" to Peter). He's also not above beating the tar out of anyone he faces, be they hero or villain. By the end of the series, it's established that he's a villain more than anything.
  • Attention Whore: Otto's goal is to leave behind a legacy, and the steps he's taking aren't half-assed.
  • The Atoner: Otto takes up Peter's mantle as Spider-Man to atone for his deeds as Doctor Octopus. It later becomes apparent that he's doing what he's doing to stroke his ego more than anything.
    • He later erases his own memories so that Peter wouldn't have any distractions, leaving only Peter behind.
  • Asshole Victim: The bullies that were picking on Anna Marconi for being a little person. Sure what Otto did was Disproportionate Retribution, but those guys were hardly innocents. Same goes for many of the bad guys that Otto has beaten up or killed.
  • The Bad Guy Wins
    • In Issue #9, Doc Ock battles Spidey inside his mind and defeats him by delivering a stinging What the Hell, Hero? by pointing out that the villains he put away earlier came back doing even worse, ending in taking Peter to task to the fact that he nearly allowed a little girl to die just so Octavius couldn't find him in a Moment of Weakness. In the end, a defeated Peter can only watch in horror as Ock seemingly erases him.
    • Tiberius Stone got away with everything he had done in Issue #19, including ruining Horizon and killing Superior Spider-Man (temporarily).
  • Bait the Dog: Initial stories in the comic make it seem like Otto is willing to change to become a better person. However, later developments in the story indicate that he's a particularly unflinching (and occasionally hypocritical) Well-Intentioned Extremist that is willing to use methods Not So Different from his stint as a villain.
  • Bad Future: Due to Age Of Ultron, Battle Of The Atom, and the Hulk causing various anomalies, Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099) comes to the past. And gets stuck there.
  • Battle Butler/Robot Buddy: The Living Brain, a Killer Robot battled twice by Spider-Man early in his career, reappears as a member of the wannabe Sinister Six. After defeating it, Otto reprograms it to be his assistant.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Happens between Otto and the remnants of Peter Parker. Otto is victorious and wipes Peter from his mind.
  • Becoming the Mask: In an attempt to bide his time, Ghost Peter hides in Otto's memories, living through his enemy's entire life until he completely forgets that he isn't Otto Octavius. It continues until the point where Peter-in-Otto died and he received all the memories he gave Otto to do a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Berserk Button
    • Bullies, and anything that triggers Otto's memories of being bullied cause him to react with Disproportionate Retribution.
    • He also reacts rather violently to being called "low tech" by Miguel O'Hara.
    • When the new Carnage remarks that he is "superior" to Cletus Kasady, Otto is livid that he uses that epithet.
  • Big Bad: The Goblin King, though he doesn't get to doing much to SpOck until the last arc. Technically, SpOck himself could be considered this in a way.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Otto has set up numerous robotic spider drones to patrol the city, allowing him to watch over everything and determine which threats to deal with and which ones to ignore. Also to spy on people, like the CEO who hired Massacre.
    • Insecurity Camera: Not that it stops the Goblin King from hacking them to include a "Goblin Protocol" so that anyone with a Goblin tattoo or mask is ignored by Otto's bots.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Peter gets back his body, reconciles with Spider-Man 2099, the Avengers, Aunt May and Jameson Sr., stops the Green Goblin and saves Anna Marie, but learns that Anna did love SpOck, he quits Parker Industries, J. Jonah Jameson retires as mayor after the Spider-Slayer incident and Carlie and MJ leave New York, tired of being targets for Peter's enemies.
  • Break the Haughty: Otto does not take his own failures well. Especially with his loss of the Venom symbiote, which ends with him being interrogated by the Avengers and childishly quitting the team. The entire "Goblin Nation" war in New York finally succeeds in breaking him completely, causing him to commit Heroic Suicide so Peter can fix his mistakes, since he knows he's not able.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Otto successfully erases Ghost-Peter from his mind... but that has the unfortunate effect of erasing all the memories of Peter Parker, which was the main way he managed to pass as Peter in first place, making his job as a vigilante much harder than it was.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Once Otto sees Vulture — his old friend — using children to do his dirty work he flips out and realizes how bad a person the Vulture really is.
    • The Avengers started to see Peter as this, following his executing Massacre, an unrepentant serial killer - Wolverine makes the point that all of them have done something similar at one point or another. Once he brutally beats Jester & Screwball into a bloody mess, however, Wolverine agrees that the Avengers need to deal with him.
    • Kaine sees Peter as this as well.
    • Add MJ and Max Modell to that list too.
    • And now, we add Black Cat and J. Jonah Jameson into the mix.
    • And Flash Thompson and Spider-Man 2099 as well. It's pretty safe to say that Otto has been on one hell of a bridge-burning spree.
      • In the end, many of the bridge burnings were put out and rebuilt with Peter's return.
  • The Bus Came Back: Stunner, Otto's former accomplice and girlfriend, finally comes out of her Convenient Coma.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: When Peter races in to aid the Avengers in taking back New York, Captain America points out that he quit. Peter's response? "I did? Like I would ever do that. You know what they say: 'Once an Avenger...'"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Stunner's virtual reality equipment which is used by Otto to blackmail his colleague into revoking the plagiarism claims of his work.
    • Peter giving Octavius his memories back in Amazing #700. It ends up being what brings Peter back in full.
  • The Chessmaster: The Goblin King spends most of the series quietly amassing an army of the thugs and henchmen that Otto lets slip through the cracks, before finally declaring war in the final arc.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Early on, Otto takes this idea up from Peter. This is later subverted as he takes more extreme stances on crime along with a Never My Fault mentality. It takes the Goblin King to take everything from him to get him to realize why Peter went this way.
  • Covers Always Lie: With the cover to Issue #20, you would think that Black Cat would play a significant role in the story and have a small romance with Otto. Instead, he just punches her in the face after meeting her, webs her up, and leaves her confused, bitter, and really pissed off, for the cops.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When Spidey attempts to reconcile with Miguel during the finale, he uses the whole "It was Doc Ock mindswiping with me" spiel. Miguel points out that it's so stupid that it has to be true and buddies up with him.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • The Kingpin has a Body Double whose only purpose is to sit around until he needs to fake his own death by killing the double and leaving the body to be found by the authorities. Furthermore, his double had his code genetically altered to match Kingpin's exactly, in order to convince everyone that the body really is him.
    • Otto is this in regards to fighting Spider-Man's enemies. When preparing to fight Carnage, he equips his Spiderlings with sonic emitters, and arms himself with a wrist-mounted flamethrower to kill Agent Venom.
  • Damsel in Distress: Anna Maria in #28.
  • Darker and Edgier: The new Spider-Man is a dangerous and self-serious Anti-Hero, a far cry from the fun and quippy original. Then Spider-Man executes Massacre and the Spider-Slayer, after he beats Boomerang, Screwball, and Jester to near death.
  • Deader than Dead: Ghost Peter, once Otto erases him.
    • Not Quite Dead: Thanks to Otto focusing too hard on Peter's memories in issue #19, it's shown that Ghost Peter has dug out of the rubble from issue #9.
      • He's Back: Ghost Peter gets all his memories back as Otto erases his own.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Ghost Peter.
    • Otto occasionally also falls into it, it's not the same as Peter's quipping though.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Alistair Smythe was already dying, but Otto still revealed his identity as he laid dying.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mary Jane, one of the most prominent characters in Spider-Man's entire mythos, is given a backseat in most of the action and is barely involved in any of the plots, to the point where she largely interacts with Peter via phone messages, and one of her biggest story arcs revolved around whether or not she listened to a message on her cell. Many other established supporting characters in Spider-Man's world have also been shuffled offstage.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Otto's beatings are excessive.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Otto hacks all the displays in New York to tell the citizens to be on the lookout for Phil Urich, the man behind the Hobgoblin costume. He even shows pictures of the two to make sure.
  • Dramatic Irony: Otto himself was crippled due to the constant beatings he sustained at Peter's hands. Now he's delivering even more brutal beatings and doing the same to other villains.
    • Also, Stunner trying to kill Spider-Man for killing her beloved Otto... do we really need to say it?
    • Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #7 has SpOck trying to talk Sandman out of going berserk, only for Sandman to reveal that he'd used to believe in Spider-Man... but that Doctor Octopus was right all along.
  • Easily Forgiven: Many of Peter's friends do end up forgiving him for his asshole-ish actions, though it's shown that Mary Jane and Carlie are utterly tired of being in the crossfire of Peter's enemies and decide they don't want to be anymore and leave.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Implied to be the case with Peter Parker given that the Amazing series is returning. Otto Octavius apparently erases his own mind so that Peter gets control of his body again after having his memories returned.
  • Even Semi-Reformed Evil Has Standards: Ock Spidey draws the line at harming small children, and is appalled at the Vulture putting them into battle.
  • Evil Counterpart: The title character serves as this to Kaine, Peter's self-described evil clone, especially as shown in their "Sibling Rivalry" Bat Family Crossover. Kaine is legitimately trying to help on his own, distinctly separate from the many heroes in New York, and does use lethal force on occasion for deliberately benevolent reasons, denying being a hero the whole way through even as he works as The Atoner. Otto instead uses lethal force as a simple means to an end instead of an unfortunate consequence, and aims to make a legacy instead of help out. Kaine even points out how much of a Broken Pedestal he is in the crossover.
  • Evil Gloating: Superior Spider-Man doesn't do the jokes and quips so much as the original. He tends to ramble about how brilliant he is, and how he's outthought whichever foe he's up against. It's still the trope, just being used by kinda-sorta-reformed-evil.
  • Evil Laugh: Ock!Peter still laughs like a Mad Scientist. It scares even the Kingpin.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Averted. The symbiote Venom notes that Peter's taste is horrible compared to before because of Otto and quickly tries to go back to Flash.
  • Evil Versus Evil: As Otto slides more and more into his old habits, ways, and viewpoints, the comic quickly descends into this, making him only slightly better than the villains he fights.
  • Exact Words: Ock!Spider-Man asks J. Jonah Jameson to be extremely explicit when he tells the hero that he wants to make sure the Spider Slayer dies. He records it to blackmail Jameson into giving him the Raft as a superhero base.
  • Eye Scream: Otto ended up shattering a spotlight into Vulture's eyes, blinding him, and then mini-Spider-Slayer bots burrowed into them.
    • Though the latter was to restore the damage caused by the former.
  • Failure Hero: For all of Otto's boasting that he was the "Superior" Spider-Man, the series was a case study as to why an arrogant man like him will never be superior to Peter Parker - blackmail, murder, spying, attacking and alienating his friends and family, recklessly using his powers and smarts for personal gain all came back to bite him in the rear come the end, ultimately leaving Otto to give up and die peacefully, giving Peter back his body and memories.
  • Faking the Dead: Wilson Fisk had a body double solely for this purpose.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The entire story comes out of one between Doc Ock and Peter, where Peter died in Ock's body. Alistair Smythe, the Spider-Slayer, also tried, but Otto had prevented it the same way he did it when Peter tried in Amazing 700.
  • From Bad to Worse: It starts out as bad when Otto tries to get rid of Peter once and for all, and he stoops lower and lower from there. And things start going bad for him once the Avengers start trailing him and the Goblin King makes his move.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Pretty much every issue shows how Ock uses technology to make crime-fighting easier. In particular, his Spider-Bots, which monitor the city for him, and allow him to catch crime he would normally be unaware of.
  • Genre Savvy: Otto during his second fight with Cardiac.
    Otto: You don't get it, do you? This is the rematch, and Spider-Man always wins the rematch.
  • Ghost Memory: As a result of Peter's last attempt to get his body back. Also doubles as a Soul Fragment.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The lenses in the new Spider-Man mask provide Stat-O-Vision, Night Vision Goggles, and so on.
  • Good Feels Good: Otto after successfully performing brain surgery on a young girl who was affected by his global warming scheme and receiving her stuffed doll as a thank you.
    I have never received a token like this. Never had this kind of victory. Being a hero? This... suits me. I've finally found it, haven't I? The greatness I was born for.
  • Grand Finale: After building up over the entire run, "Goblin Nation" serves as this for the whole series.
  • Grand Theft Me: You know who.
    • Alistair Smythe tries the same trick. It doesn't work.
  • Heel Realization: Otto realizes that the real Spider-Man was the superior one all along when the Goblin King brings everything down around him. Thus he sacrifices himself to give Peter his body back so that Spider-Man can do what Otto failed to do; protect Anna and stop bad guys the right way.
  • Hero Antagonist: Ghost!Peter trying to reclaim his body from the Villain Protagonist. He succeeds, with some help.
  • Heroic BSOD: In issue #28, Otto watches as the Goblin Army tears apart Spider-Island. All he can do in response is to say "I don't know" when his Spiderlings ask him what to do.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Spider-Man 2099 attempts one, deciding that a future without Alchemax is more important than his own existence. Doesn't work, however, once he realizes this could have a negative impact on his loved ones or even lead to a worse future.
    • Don Lamaze throws himself between Octavius and his hacked waldoes, getting speared by them. And he ends up dying, believing that the Spidey he's looking at is the real hero.
    • Heroic Suicide: Eventually Otto decides to just erase himself so that Peter isn't distracted while dealing with the Goblin King, killing himself since Peter Parker is the Superior Spider-Man.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Actually inverted; despite being a total douchebag at times, Otto's actually won over most of the police (minus Carlie Cooper and J. Jonah Jameson after Issue #13), especially after he killed Massacre. This goes so far that just about all the cops are willing to lie about him killing Massacre to Captain Watanabe in order to avoid him getting in trouble.
    • Of course things change as the series goes on due to his later actions, culminating to the people watching the Venom-possessed Otto fighting Captain America and finally speaking their mind how "big brother" is finally getting annoying.
  • He's Back: Thanks to the Venom symbiote, Ghost Peter comes roaring back. This time, though, he's playing it safe, and keeping a low profile while he plots to fully resume control unless Ock decides to completely and utterly screw up. Eventually comes back for good when Otto gets pushed into a corner and decides to just give Peter his body back.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • He's able to blackmail Jonah into giving him the Raft by recording his Exact Words in killing Smythe.
    • Otto is subject to many of these himself. According to Dan Slott, the main reason Otto's plans always failed wasn't because they were ones that Parker would have come up with, but Octavius. The events of this series really hammer that point home.
      • In Issue #19 his deletion of Peter's memories ends up leaving him unable to stop the destruction of Horizon, and by trying to surpass Peter he ended up caught in the blast. It would have been a permanent death, if not for Max Modell. In addition, his desperate attempt to remember something in Peter's past allowed Peter to reemerge from deep within Otto's subconscious.
      • In Issue #25 We find out that Ock had erased the files over Spider-Man's diagnostics way back in issue #7... except for the security camera installed by Iron Man, who was Properly Paranoid thanks to Secret Invasion.
      • Issue #28, we find out that the police are looking for Carlie and Peter's the prime suspect in her disappearance since he was the last one to be really seen with her.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: One of the reasons this storyline lasted as long as it did, beyond the complained usage of Idiot Ball, is the fact that the storyline happened during a time where a number of big-name heroes and characters who would have blown the lid off of this almost immediately are taken out of the picture through their own storylines, such as Avengers vs. X-Men, the then-current run of Fantastic Four and the Iron Man storyline "The Secret Origin of Tony Stark".
  • Hypocrite/Hypocritical Humor: Hypocrisy, thy name is Otto Octavius.
    • At the start of Issue #1, Otto swears to become a hero and leave his past behind. A couple of pages later, he gets quite angry at the "unmitigated gall" of a bunch of C-List villains using the name of "his" old group, the Sinister Six.
    • Otto constantly brags how he's a Superior Spider-Man to Peter. He's also the guy who called the X-Men arrogant for using superior in homo superior.
    • Throughout the Ends Of The Earth, Otto bemoans the fact that he's been effectively crippled by Spider-Man, even though this was because he'd been breaking the law and running into Spidey so many times instead of receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown like he claimed. What does he do when he becomes Spider-Man? Deliver excessive beatings to all criminals.
    • One of his major arguments against Peter is that he's too selfish to be Spider-Man. Yes, this is coming from the egomaniac that's trying to Attention Whore his way to fame.
    • In Avenging Spider-Man he scoffs at Scott Lang's past in thievery as if he hasn't done anything as petty. In another issue, his monologue concerning the Hobgoblin is about how the villain's smugness and thoughts of being better then everyone else grates on him.
    • In Issue #11 he actually cuts himself off from doing this while going on a rant about how the Spider-Slayer couldn't be a changed man since he was a lifelong criminal and murderer... which he was up until he bodyjacked the original Spider-Man. It's for this reason, in the "Sibling Rivalry" arc, his criticism of Kaine falls short considering they've pretty much done some of the same things. He's just mad because he was killed by Kaine. He also blasts cloning when he's the one cloning the members of the original Sinister Six.
    • In the "Sibling Rivalry" crossover between Superior Spider-Man Team-Up & Scarlet Spider, Otto complains about Kaine "stealing [his] life". Obviously, he's not really in any position to complain about people doing that.
      • Similarly, during the Infinity tie-in to Mighty Avengers, Otto freaks the hell out when he sees Ronin (known at the time as "Spider Hero") wearing a knock-off Spider-Man costume. He has the gall to get indignant at another hero "ripping him off" despite, y'know, having killed Peter and stolen his life.
  • Idiot Ball: A common complaint is that most of Peter's friends, family, and allies have become total idiots in order to keep from derailing the plot. Some people were actually relieved when Carlie actually found evidence that Otto is pretending to be Spider-Man until she gets kidnapped.
  • Ignored Epiphany: In spite of his intelligence, Otto doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes.
    • After the Superior Six debacle, Ock is on the verge of quitting and surrendering to the Avengers. Then, Namor decides to give him a pep talk in his own arrogant way. Ock knocks him on his ass and swings away as thanks, once more full of himself.
    • It also seems this way concerning what memories Otto decided to save: Ghost Peter realizes that many of them are memories that defined who he is, but Otto obviously doesn't make any connections, as evident when he decides the memory of Gwen Stacy's death would just merit "further study".
  • I Hate Past Me: After being threatened by a pre-recorded tape of himself in one of his old bases, Otto quickly decides his past self was a joke, constantly self-sabotaged by pointless vanity.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Wraith and Sajani vs. Monster who is Carlie Cooper after having been given a dose of Goblin formula unwillingly.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: Superior Spider-Man, in a fight with the Spider Slayer, "lets slip" that his Spider-bots are powered by the Raft's power grid. The whole thing was a ruse to trick the Spider Slayer into going for that.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Green Goblin is referred to here as the Goblin King.
  • Internal Reveal: Several times in the series, with people finding out what's wrong with Superior Spider-Man. Finally, most people are told the situation in the finale.
  • Irony:
    • What is the first thing that destroys everything Otto has worked for? "Stealing" his own work for his doctorate thesis, putting himself, his step-uncle and co-worker in the mercy of the bank. This gets resolved with a bit of technological trickery.
    • In Issue #27, Goblin Knight (recently the previous Hobgoblin) mentions that the storming of Spider-Island is just like his storming of Shadowland... except it's Otto's turn to see how it feels to have everything come crashing down.
    • The thing that forces Otto to return Peter and get erased himself? Being forced to save the same child that he blamed Peter in trying to kill.
    • On more then one occasion Otto referred to his former self as "Spider-Man's greatest enemy." In the end, it took Spidey's true greatest enemy, the Goblin, to destroy everything Otto worked for.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Otto ends up breaking up with MJ after she got captured by some of Vulture's goons realizing that she'd never be safe. Even Peter is impressed that he had the guts to finally break it off.
  • Jerkass: Otto. Good God, Otto. It's bad enough that he drives away almost everyone that Peter loves or is friends with.
  • Just Between You and Me: Just before Alistair Smythe dies, Otto reveals his true identity to him.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: J. Jonah Jameson finally loses it and constructs an army of Spider-Slayers to kill Spidey.
  • Kick the Dog: Otto beating Peter to a bloody pulp and afterwards erasing him from his mind in Issue #9.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Otto has no trouble murdering criminals after they've been defeated, disarmed, and unable to defend themselves.
  • Knight Templar: He thinks anything he does is superior to the rest of the Hero Community (especially to Peter), from blackmailing to outright murder, going by crippling, and that he can't ever be wrong because he is a genius.
    Ock: (after being accused of plagiarism by Dr. Lamaze and planning his revenge) Just think of all the good I've done! Why should that suffer? All because Lamaze wants to meddle in my affairs! He's at fault here! And dealing with him? Why that's for the common good! Yes! I'd definitely be in the right!
  • The Lancer: Ghost Peter is an odd variation of one seeing as how Otto can't see him but he's there most of the time snarking at him. Until Octo erases him.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: The concept of the comic spoils the end of the Amazing run.
  • Let's You and Him Fight/Friend or Foe: Otto's attitude puts him into conflict with a lot of the superheroes Peter was good friends with or who admired him, including the Avengers, Spider-Man 2099, and Agent Venom.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Ultimately, even after finding out about the whole "Freaky Friday" Flip situation with Peter, Carlie Cooper and Mary Jane Watson both leave New York City in the wake of the Goblin Nation, realizing that being one of Peter's love interests is just too dangerous.
  • Love Triangle: A really confusing one Mary Jane still loves Peter and dated "Peter". Ghost Peter still loves Mary Jane, and is pretty pissed about Otto dating her in his place. Otto has feelings for MJ due to having Peter's memories and reliving parts of his life, but broke up with her since he didn't want her to get hurt. Seeing as Ghost Peter gets wiped and Otto is avoiding her, it's resolved by MJ getting fed up and finding a new boyfriend named Ollie. It's reinforced in the finale when Peter returns, it's implied that Mary Jane figured it out, doesn't care and wants to get out of town before another nut case comes after him.
  • The Mafia: Goblin King is setting one up to deal with Superior Spider-Man. As of Issue #14 he controls over 52% of all crime.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Issue 31 reveals that under the alias of "Mason Banks", which Liz Allan knew to be a front, Norman Osborn funded the creation of Alchemax-616 in order to leave a legacy for his grandson, Normie, with Liz Allan approving of his involvement.
  • Mega Corp.: Alchemax is outright called one upon its assembly in Earth 616.
  • Moment Killer: Otto's romance with Anna Marconi is interrupted when his henchman inform him about Flash Thompson, forcing him to leave before it got hotter.
  • Moment of Weakness: Ghost Peter endangered a child to protect himself. Being called out on it is a major reason Ghost Peter loses their Battle in the Center of the Mind.
    • Ironically, that very same child that Peter endangered is the same one who convinces Otto that he is not the Superior Spider-Man, when Ghost Peter forces him to save her rather than keep searching for Anna Maria.
  • Morality Chain: Ghost Peter is really trying to be this, forcing Otto to pull a Heel-Face Turn before he died, and preventing him from killing Boomerang. Unfortunately he isn't very successful at keeping Otto from killing Massacre and eventually gets erased himself.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: As of Superior Spider-Man #21, Dr. Peter Parker is in the house.
  • Mood Whiplash: Happens from time to time, but Issue #6 really sums it up. "Oh hey, Jester and Screwball are playing pranks on JJJ! That's pretty funny! Oh, and they're doing it to Spock too! That's hilar—oh wait, now he's beating them to death."
    • Issue #10 has it shifting between Otto on a date with Anna Marconi and MJ caught in a fire, waiting for him to save her.
  • Mooks: Otto turns the Raft into a base and gathers an army of Mooks at the end of Issue #13. They help him take down the Shadowland.
  • Mook Carryover: After Otto starts killing members of his Rogues Gallery, their surviving mooks seek employment and protection from the Goblin King.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Otto tacks four Ock-esque spider arms onto his back in #15.
  • Multi Layer Facade/Secret Identity Identity: Otto really is start to get confused about who he is, one minute he's referring to himself as Doctor Octopus and moments later as Peter Parker.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Otto's reaction after seeing a young girl whose brain damage worsened after his global warming scheme.
    • Gets another one after his "Superior Six" plot spectacularly collapses.
  • Mythology Gag: In the weirdest of places. As Ghost Peter is getting mind wiped, his attempt to remember his name comes out as "Peter... Palmer?", a name Stan Lee's narration mistakenly called him a few times during the superhero's early days.
    • In the final issue, a panel has a slightly altered version of the iconic panel in which Mary Jane first appeared.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • So, Spidey and his army has liberated the Shadowland from the hands of Wilson Fisk and the Hand and forced Fisk to flee. That's good and all. Too bad the Goblin King has decided he was going to take over, swooping up the remaining members of the Hand from that area and rebranding himself the Goblin Kingpin of Crime.
    • Nice job knocking out Spider-Man 2099, the only guy who could save Horizon after you deleted Peter's memories.
    • Nice job using your old tech as Peter Parker, Ock. Now you got everyone thinking he's a fraud, a thief and worse!
    • As a whole, the "Goblin Nation" arc seems to be reaching this conclusion - Otto's actions end up making things much worse in the long run instead of better. He finally realizes this, and commits Heroic Suicide to let Peter fix what he can't.
    • Ghost-Peter runs into this. Having lost most of his memories after Otto tried to purge him from his consciousness, he hides within Otto's own memories in order to wait until the opportune moment to strike to take his body back. He ends up becoming so lost in the memories that he starts thinking that he's Otto. Then, the trope is inverted when he reaches Otto's last memory, when Peter Parker/Doctor Octopus forced his memories onto Otto Octavius/Spider-Man's mind, which causes Peter to snap out of it and gain access to every single memory he's ever had, giving him the strength to confront Otto.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Hard to track, but the Goblin King technically leads to the redemption of Spider-Man, since his breaking of Otto leads him to give the reins of the body back to Peter, giving back the one thing that he believes can stop the Goblin Nation.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Otto's using Peter's strength to the fullest when he fights. While Jester and Screwball got beat badly, he blinded Vulture, knocked Scorpion's jaw off, and nearly killed Boomerang.
  • Not Brainwashed: Liz Allen.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore:
    • The series opens with a new Spider-Man, and Peter Parker dead.
    • The series ends the same way. Although many of the relationships with Peter's friends and family are repaired, and Peter gets his body back, Peter still has Otto's memories melded with his own, the Shadowland has been freed from Kingpin's influence, Otto is dead, J. Jonah Jameson retires as mayor after the Spider-Slayer incident, and Carlie and MJ leave New York, tired of being targets for Peter's enemies.
  • Oh Crap: When the Goblin King calls Spidey "Otto". A little bit later, Otto's soldiers flip out when the Goblin Army attacks Spider-Island and they have no idea how they slipped by.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Peter, though he doesn't use any ghost like powers. He just follows Otto around, webslings with him when Otto is out as Spider-Man, and gets access to Otto's memories.
  • Pass the Popcorn:
    Peter: (when Ock throws down the gauntlet at the Avengers) Oh, what I wouldn't give for some ghost-popcorn right now.
  • Pet the Dog: Though Otto performs morally questionable actions, he does have his moments where he acts as a hero should.
    • Otto performs successful brain surgery with Cardiac on a girl who was brain-damaged by one of previous attempts to take over the world, having felt guilty and trying to atone for it. This was after he tried to take the helmet off of her for his own use while she was alive before Cardiac stopped him and explained the situation. In return, the girl gave Otto her personal doll and got a Spider-Man doll for herself. And then it's revealed he did this so he could get rid of Peter.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: Possibly - Issue #19 strands Spider-Man 2099 in the present and it's said that it's setting up the stage for a brand new Spidey 2099 comic.
  • Psycho Serum: The Goblin Formula. Those who take it go insane, even though they can convincingly act sane. Carlie is transformed by this into "Monster" but she is given an experimental cure by Sanjay later on that seems to have worked.
  • Rage Quit: When the Avengers attempt to get information out of SpOck, with the reasoning that they think that they can do so just because he's an Avenger, he throws himself out the window and screams "I QUIT!"
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Superior Spider-Man's costumes are red and black rather than red and blue, and Otto becomes increasingly antagonistic as the series goes on.
  • Ret Canon: Arune Singh confirmed at Comic-Con that the new Spider-Man outfit is the same one Alex Ross designed for the first Spider-Man movie. The design ultimately went unused in the film, but was leaked online and even appeared in some of the video games.
  • Ret Gone: Otto tried to do this with Peter's memory. It didn't work.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Otto and Anna Marconi getting snuggly in her lab is being shown as two large jellyfish being close to each other.
  • Spirit Advisor: Subverted - Peter is technically still alive, but Otto has no idea that Peter's along for the ride and can't hear him when Peter talks to him; and the only influence Peter is able to exert over his body is stopping Otto from crossing lines he would never cross, until Massacre is killed. Then Peter gets a Disney Death, too.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Otto wasn't exactly a saint before, but, rather disturbingly, he seems to be becoming increasingly brutal and amoral the longer he acts as Spider-Man.
  • Spider-Man Grabs A Gun: How he deals with Massacre.
  • Something Only They Would Say: The Goblin instantly knows the original Spidey is back in town when the latter quips at him rather than talk like an evil scientist.
    Goblin King: Aaand here he is at last! The hero of our little drama. Just in time for the thrilling climax! But wait— a twist! The "hero" isn't one at all. In fact, he never was. Really, Otto, you're just embarrassing yourself with this charade. Granted, you were never on my level, but being a bad guy suited you. Saving that little lady is your last remaining achievement as Spider-Man. When it all goes boom, you'll have nothing left! Hahahaha!
    Peter!Spider-Man: Except the dignity of knowing I never carried a man-purse.
    Goblin King: ... it's you.
    Peter!Spider-Man: The one and only.
  • Storming the Castle: The Goblin's Army attack Spider-Island, obliterating it.
  • Super Team: Otto tried to make one of these out of the Sinister Six, called the Superior Six in the Team-Up series.It failed horribly.
  • Superior Successor: Otto certainly likes to think he is. Issue #19 proved him wrong, but it doesn't seem that Otto took the lesson well until #30.
  • Take That: To the Bat-Signal. JJJ installs a Spider-Signal; Otto trashes it as soon as it's turned on, pointing out that it just tells every enemy where they can find Spider-Man.
  • Taking Up The Mantle: Doctor Octopus becomes the new Spider-Man after he's forced to experience Peter Parker's memories — good and bad — learning how and why Peter is Spider-Man.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given by Otto to the ghostly version of Peter inhabiting his mind after he tries doing the same thing to him, essentially telling him that he doesn't deserve to be Spider-Man because of how ineffective and childish he is. He points out how Peter being so lax on villains like Massacre and The Vulture because of his moral code is foolish considering all the harm it ends up doing, and that Peter's earlier interference almost cost a little girl her life, all because Peter was afraid Otto would eventually find him.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Deconstructed. After killing Massacre, SpOck mentions to Ghost!Peter that dropping this trope is necessary since it did more long term harm than good in both the safety of New York City citizens and public relations, which he is kinda right. Even Wolverine mentions that some of the Avengers such as Captain America had to use lethal force in most extreme circumstances even though they may not like to do so. Said deconstruction and Wolverine's rationalization is then subverted when SpOck is subsequently far less judicious about lethal force.
  • Traitor Shot: Liz Allen holding a Goblin Mask, proving she was the one who sabotaged the Spider-Slayers for the Goblin King.
  • Trapped in the Past: Miguel O'Hara is trapped in the past at the end of Issue #19.
  • Unexpected Character: Boomerang's Sinister Six included the Living Brain, which Spider-Man fought exactly twice, once in the 1960s, and again in the 1980s.
  • Villain Protagonist/Nominal Hero: If you didn't already know this from the protagonist being a super villain who murdered the iconic hero, stole his life, and dated his girlfriend in his place, then SpOck is rapidly approaching this status as his morals decline further and further, being an Anti-Villain at best. He begins as an aversion of Peter's Hero with Bad Publicity status after his early acts of more extreme violence, but turns toward a Villain with Good Publicity by the end of the "No Escape" arc.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Word of God is that that this is one of the differences they wanted to showcase by showing Otto being proactive how a villain would rather than simply running into trouble.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The first thing Massacre does after escaping from prison? He goes to a fast food restaurant.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Well, since Otto IS a villain, his rant in #26 is easily this when he throws himself out of Avengers Tower, he starts ranting that they were nothing without him and that he doesn't need anyone.
    • He did it again in Mighty Avengers #5 after being humiliated by She-Hulk.
    • The entire "Goblin Nation" arc is this, showing Otto just how much he sucks at being a hero.
  • Walking Spoiler: The identity of the new Spidey (Otto Octavius) is one for the end of Amazing Spider-Man.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Goblin King makes this offer to Otto, seeing how they'd never been enemies or even rivals before Otto swapped minds with Peter. Otto refuses, so the Goblin decides to tear down everything Otto has built up.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In Issue #9, Otto seemingly wipes Peter from his mind, though later revealed to just be him successfully suppressing Peter's consciousness.
    • Issue #19: Miguel O'Hara is trapped in the present, Horizon Labs exploded, Otto has lost all credibility, Carlie has more or less figured out what is going on, Liz Allan turns Allan Chemical into Alchemax, and Otto's attempt to save face by dredging up the stored memories he'd already found has reawakened Peter's consciousness which is fighting back once more, thereby undoing the "erasing" in Issue #9.
    • Issue #20: More of Parker's life is smashed up as Octavius beats up and arrests the Black Cat, who vows that she'll never forget what he had just done. While trying to obtain a doctorate by passing off technology he had invented as Otto as Peter's, he is exposed as a fraud by an old friend of his from when he was Octavius, and the woman whom Octavius allowed to become the Stunner (last seen in a coma after she helped bring him back to life the first time) returns and takes up her old identity vowing to crush Spider-Man
    • Issue #21: All the problems brought up in the previous issue are solved, but the Goblin King has Carlie's evidence on Otto being Spider-Man after one of his goons kidnap her. Oh, and Peter Parker's grave is empty.
    • Superior Carnage #5: Carnage knows Spider-Man is Doc Ock and Cletus Kasady is no longer lobotomized.
    • The entire "Goblin Nation" arc, which basically screws Otto over in every way possible.
    • Issue #30: Ghost Peter reveals himself, and Otto decides that Peter is the superior one, erasing himself and bringing Peter Back from the Dead.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Issue #8:
      Ghost-Peter: I am going to find a way back!
      Otto: No, Peter. You won't.
    • In Issue #19. This is less of one, since it was implied to be in progress, but the Wham comes from how it is solidified.
      Liz Allan: Mr. Banks. Mr Stone. Let me be the first to welcome you to this bold endeavor. The foundation of this all-new mega corp, Allan Chemical, merged with my son's holdings in Oscorp... and the intellectual properties Tiberius helped us acquire from Horizon Labs. Gentlemen, I give you Alchemax. Long may she stand.
  • Wham Shot: Peter digging his way out of the rubble in issue #19.
    • Issue #30 and Peter standing in the original red and blues, fully in control of his body and ready to take back everything from the Goblin King.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Brought up in the Sibling Rivalry story. Otto sees clones as abominations, while Peter wasn't exactly thrilled but supported his surviving clones.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: SpOck is able to trap Agent Venom by giving him artificial limbs but separating the symbiote from Flash Thompson. Once Flash realizes what he's done, he reads him the riot act right before the symbiote breaks free, fuses with SpOck and turns him into the Superior Venom.
    • The next issue, Mary Jane FINALLY confronts Peter and demands to know what's going on. When she finds out about the symbiote? She sics the Avengers on him.
    • In Mighty Avengers #5, Jessica Jones is so livid that he brought his little army in in front of her kid, that she punches him hard enough to shatter his mask lenses.
    • In Issue #28, one of the workers in Parker Industries snaps at him when she finds out he's hiding Spidey Tech in the building, wondering why he's trying to draw out all of this attention to his building.
    • In Issue #29, Gloria Grant chews out J. Jonah Jameson for using the Spider Slayers on Spidey and not using them on the invading Goblins before turning around and quitting.
  • Wild Card: Mary Jane Watson in Issue #28 calls herself this.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: At the end of Issue #13. It's more disturbing than rousing, as it signals Otto completely abandoning his Unscrupulous Hero status for a Nominal Hero one.
    Otto: Write your stories, fools. Mark this day well. For today, I cast off the last of the chains Peter Parker saddled me with...and begin to craft my own legacy. I am no more bound by Parker's life than I am about my own former existence. I shall create something entirely new. Something wonderful. This shall be my legacy. A Brand New Day... No, A Brand New Age. The Age of the Superior Spider-Man. The Greatest Hero of them All. And nothing will stand in my way.
  • Would Hit a Girl: No matter if it's a criminal Femme Fatale like Black Cat - who, making it even worse, was one of Peter's girlfriends - Otto would rather just punch her in the face and leave her to the cops.
  • Worth It: Spider-Man 2099 punching Tiberius Stone in the final issue. He knows he can't change the future too much, but he absolutely loved being able to sock him in the face to save Spidey.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Goblin King's entire plan. Norman Osborn and Liz Allen conspired to give Normie Osborn something to rule over and even though Spidey liberated New York, Normie's set to inherit Alchemax when he's older.
  • You and What Army?: In Superior Spider-Man Team Up #9, Otto asks this of a mole in his Spiderlings. The answer?
    Mole: Your own! HAHAHAHAHA! (cue two page spread of him, Daredevil, and The Punisher surrounded by Otto's men wearing stolen supervillain gear)
  • You Are Too Late: When Peter attempts to convince J. Jonah Jameson to not quit, returning the Spider-Bot with the blackmail video from way back in issue 11, Jameson mules it over before smashing the device, screaming that it would of mattered if he wasn't 30 minutes late.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Issue #30, Otto delivers this speech to Peter Parker. He claims that unlike Otto, a flawed man who overcompensates to hide his failings, Peter Parker was always superior but kept sabotaging himself because he didn't feel like he deserved to be superior.

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alternative title(s): Superior Spiderman
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