main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: Superior Spider-Man

  • Abandon Shipping: A number of people have stopped shipping Peter and Mary Jane because Otto is in Peter's body. This went away once Peter Parker returned.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
  • Anvilicious: The moral of the story is that the classic, ideal hero is preferable to a morally-grey or unstable asshole like Otto or the many other Anti-Hero characters who've populated comic books. Many comic fans will point out this story has been done before in many other comics like Kingdom Come, Knightfall, and What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, And The American Way? to name a few.
  • Arc Fatigue: Let's just say that there are plenty of people who think the story has overstayed its welcome. The big complaint is that it took nineteen issues for someone to figure out that Otto is impersonating Peter, especially in a world where mind control, possession and/or body surfing is so common that the police should have a code for it.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Taking one of the nicest, most upbeat characters in the Marvel Universe, having him murdered while his loved ones express their hate for him, and replacing him with a prominent member of his Rogues Gallery hasn't exactly sat well with some fans.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Issue 31 has the returned Peter doing quick damage control over all the bridges Otto previously burned. He's back to being on good terms with his Aunt May and Jay, Spider-Man 2099 immediately believed him, The Avengers seemed to have listened, and MJ and Carlie both understand but have washed their hands of him nonetheless. Of course, there's now segments of people feeling it all got solved too quickly.
  • Awesome Ego: Fans of the series tend to consider Otto to be this.
  • Base Breaker: SpOck became one shortly after he was created. Some enjoy watching him attempt to be a super hero using Mad Scientist like methods while others just want Peter back. This only intensified after he became more of a Jerkass Knight Templar.
  • Broken Base: Oh, boy...
    • When the title was announced, Superior Spider-Man had some people willing to give it a chance, and some not going for it based on the concept itself. Some hate it with a passion and others think it's an interesting development. A lot of people were particularly sore with the way that Peter was killed off in the first place, along with the idea that Doc Ock, a villain who had nearly turned the planet into a Death World, would be taking over.
    • The Reveal from the end of Issue 1 - that Peter Parker is along for the ride but unable to do anything other than stop Doctor Octopus crossing certain moral lines - has received praise for how unexpected it was, but has received plenty of hate for being a fairly obvious twist people could see coming, and coming in the first issue.
    • Subsequently, how often Ghost-Peter actually appeared, some like it while others just want him to shut up.
    • Then there's the matter of Otto removing Peter from his mind, which basically made people on both sides more vocal about their stance on the series.
    • Fans are also peeved that Mary Jane has given up on looking after Peter following Otto's misbehavior.
    • The broken base for the comic and SpOck are taken to extremes on certain websites where saying anything good or bad about the comic can lead to flame war.
    • Fans of the comic are divided on whether the story was better as a Redemption Quest or if it is better as a story with a Villain Protagonist, as the former is pretty much dropped for the latter.
    • Fans are conflicted over the way that the final confrontation between Peter and Otto was handled, with one group seeing it as a genuinely moving Redemption Equals Death moment and the logical progression for the storyline, another group seeing it as an Anti-Climax that goes against what the story was building up to since the end of the "Superior Venom" arc, and another group is just relieved that Peter's back and the arc is nearly over.
    • Was much of the dark content in the series meant to get people into the story by means of shock value, or to develop Otto as a character? It depends on what part of the Spider-Man fandom you ask.
    • The ending and the fact that Mary Jane just pulls up her stakes and bails again because she's tired of being a target of some sort.
  • Canon Defilement:
    • In the story, the public's positive reaction to Spider-Man straight up killing someone reeks of this - especially considering that a pair of "What-If?" stories published in 2010 and 2011 showed that things would end very, very badly if Peter chose to kill a supervillain.
    • A potential difference being that Otto is not Peter and the act of killing would not cause the same effect on his character as if Peter would kill someone. And in the end, Otto's actions do cause things to end badly.
  • Captain Obvious Aesop: The story's moral is that the Ideal Hero is superior to the Unscrupulous Hero/Nominal Hero in every way, particularly on grounds of morality and leading others. Really, who would have guessed? There are those who would argue that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped in light of the various Anti-Heroes populating the genre.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • There are those who feel that Otto has become Dan Slott's Superboy Prime.
    • Fans have also taken issue with Carlie Cooper, Peter's girlfriend from the earlier days of Slott's run, who seems to be the only member of the supporting cast that has been able to successfully deduce Otto's deception and seems on track to exposing his charade until she gets kidnapped by the Green Goblin with no one noticing. Justified by the fact that Peter (in the body of Doc Ock) flat-out told her that they had swapped bodies. Furthermore, she is a member of the police and being in a somewhat objective spot, she'd be able to link eerything together.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: As far as the source material goes, a number of fans have stopped reading due to the direction that the character has taken. This stance is cemented with some by the first annual, or even earlier with Issue 9. Several of these people also claim that the series relies too much on shock value to boost sales instead of telling a satisfying story.
  • Death of the Author: Dan Slott claimed that Issue 9 was supposed to come across as a Shoot the Dog moment. However, the response to the event is widely seen as a Kick the Dog moment.
  • Designated Hero: Otto isn't meant to be a straight-edge hero, yes, but a number of his actions aren't heroic by any measure, such as killing a defenseless criminal on live television or (briefly) wiping the last remnant of Peter from his mind.
  • Designated Villain: Peter (at least in Otto's eyes) is initially portrayed as being in the wrong for wanting control of his body back. It doesn't help that his only vice (not wanting to help save the life of a little girl out of fear that it'd reveal his presence) never would have happened if Doctor Octopus hadn't tried to cause the apocalypse in the first place.
  • Dork Age: While people have warmed up to the series after it started (probably in no small part, due to the existence of Ghost-Peter), others are still not satisfied, claiming that Ock is out-of-character, Ghost-Peter is annoying, the supporting cast have suddenly become idiots, and the quality of the writing hasn't improved much from when Dan Slott was writing regular Peter.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Anna Maria Marconi is liked even by people that hate the series. That says a lot about the character in a series this divisive.
    • And as you may notice from the rest of this page, Slott's portrayal of the Goblin King got a lot of praise from fans.
  • Evil Is Cool: Otto has a fanbase, and the Green Goblin/Goblin King.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Disney's purchasing of Star Wars, after Ghost-Peter first appeared & resembled the Force Ghosts seen in that series thanks to simply coloring Ghost-Peter a pale blue. Cue jokes about how Peter Parker was strong in the Force, and that Superior Spider-Man was the first crossover between the now-owned-by-Disney Marvel & Star Wars universes.
    • After Kaine killed Otto in the Clone Saga, Peter donned his gear for a short-lived stint as "The Amazing Octo-Spidey".
    • Near the end of Kraven's Last Hunt:
    Kraven: I "killed' you, Spider-Man. Buried you. And after I "killed" you, I took your place.
    Spider-Man: You drugged me, Kraven. Threw me into a state simulating death.
    Kraven: You could just as well have been dead had I wished it. I only allowed you to live, so that you could know that I "killed" you. That in donning your costume, in replacing you, I proved myself in all ways your superior.
    • Carlie almost getting a Goblin tattoo becomes this once Otto's spider-bots are hacked to ignore anybody with one.
  • Informed Wrongness: A number of Peter's arguments in Issue 9 are dismissed by Otto rather quickly, even though a number of them have merit.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Back when it was announced, it got so bad that there were even death threats over the replacement of Spider-Man.
    • After Dan Slott "accidentally" tweeted Ryan Stegman a message hinting that the Superior Spider-Man was Miguel O'Hara/Spider-Man 2099, he received so much hate after this was confirmed as a Red Herring that Slott had to actually apologize over the matter and reassure readers that Miguel would eventually make an appearance in the series.
    • The Ship Tease for a reunion between Mary Jane & "Peter", with readers pointing out that any relationship would effectively mean, unless Otto reveals he's the one in Peter's body, the moment anything happens would effectively mean Doc Ock was raping Mary Jane. It's all resumed very quickly when Ock gets a guilt-trip and breaks things off with MJ before they go that far.
    • Now, there's Issue 9 with the erasure of Ghost-Peter.
  • Jerkass Woobie: In spite of being seen as largely unsympathetic, people have felt bad for Octavius in the "Goblin Nation" arc.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: A Double Subversion occurs with Peter Parker, who's shown as a "ghost" through the first nine issues - then, he is erased from Otto's consciousness, only to return when Otto tries remembering Peter's past. On a meta-level, this is played straight - plenty of people knew that he'd come Back from the Dead in time to make money off of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
  • Love It or Hate It: People either like the new direction and find SpOck amusing, or absolutely detest it and all that it represents. There isn't much of a grey space, due to all of the Broken Base and the fact that the main character is a Base Breaker.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Otto can come across as this at times, such as his defeat of the Spider-Slayer.
    • Roderick Kingsley is still this. The Hobgoblin that the Green Goblin killed with his own hands in issue 19 turned out to be Roderick's butler, Claude, who he brainwashed to pose as him. The issue concludes with Roderick resolving to lay low while building up his criminal empire, all the while brainwashing yet another hapless individual to serve as his fall guy if a future situation calls for it.
    • The Goblin King, who not only anticipated many of Otto's actions and had several countermeasures prepared against them, but is shown effortlessly toppling his little empire, leaving his adversary in a state of shock. There's a reason people have been Rooting for the Empire.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon: There are a number of potential crossings for the title character. When (or if) this trope occurs in the story depends on the reader.
    • For starters, there are fans who will point to how Otto stole Peter Parker's life in the first place and his plan in Ends of the Earth as evidence he'd crossed it long ago and no-one should be surprised at his actions as Spider-Man. Ends of the Earth is a particular sore point, as it was Otto's last appearance before the Dying Wish arc, and featured him trying to kill most of the life on Earth. In addition, the entire Kill and Replace gambit that he had carried out immediately before becoming a superhero doesn't really leave him in a sympathetic light.
    • The killing of Massacre on live television. While he was an Asshole Victim for sure, killing him in front of millions of men, women, and children is something abhorrent. You know that something's wrong when the Punisher gives you his seal of approval.
    • Issue 9 is a big example, because he ends up (temporarily) erasing Peter's existence entirely instead of simply trying to subdue it, and gloating about how he's finally free.
    • In Superior Spider-Man Annual, he decides to torture Blackout to study him in a Mengele-like fashion simply because he can. To elaborate, he rips out his teeth and fingernails - which aren't presented as a heroic actions in the slightest.
    • Stealing the Venom suit from Flash Thompson simply because he thought he could make better use of it.
    • In-Universe, Wolverine seems to view the horrifying beatings SpOck gave to Screwball, Jester, and Boomerang as this. In addition, Black Cat shares this view after SpOck beats her. Agent Venom also fell into this to being conned by both "Peter" and Spidey.
  • My Real Daddy: It's somewhat common to find fans who do not enjoy Slott's SpOck in Superior, but rather enjoy Yost's in Avenging/Superior Team-Up.
  • Nausea Fuel: The torture scene in the Annual. To elaborate, it involves Otto hanging Blackout up on hooks and tearing out his teeth and fingernails.
  • Never Live It Down: It seems that Slott will be remembered more for killing off Peter Parker than for writing the numerous improvements in the series's narrative after Brand New Day.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Intended by Dan Slott. Since it's the best selling comic of 2012, it worked to say the least.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The "Superior" version of Spider-Man became this before the first issue was released. Word of God claims that this is deliberate. Dan Slott wants to take Spider-Man's Hero with Bad Publicity element to a meta level. It says quite a bit about the character's status as this when more people were celebrating his death than mourning it.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Some people warmed up to SpOck as a character, mostly due to readers looking past all the Internet Backdraft his comic has caused, and enjoying the hilarity of Otto Octavius as Spider-Man.
    • People seemed to like that Octavius actually came to realize that he was in the wrong by the end of the series, and that he's not the hero that Peter Parker is.
    • Ghost-Peter was more well-liked after his resurrection, given that Otto basically turned Spider-Man into a Supervillain at that point in the comic.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • A substantial amount of people actually want Otto to stay Spider-Man, or at least a part of the Spider Family.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, a large section of the fanbase is now rooting for anyone who's against SpOck. Anyone. Yes, that includes the Goblin King. Solicits for the "Run, Goblin, Run!" arc make it seem like this is the point, and by the time SpOck started using the Venom suit, some people pretty much stopped supporting the character in favor of his enemies.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Dan Slott gets a lot of flack online for defending the series more by talking about the comic's sales over trying to explain why the story is important for the development of Spider-Man. Therefore, whenever a user replies to a blog post from a member of the Hatedom and mentions comic sales, people have been quick to decry them as being Slott using an obvious pseudonym. There is precedent for this, as Slott did go after one such blogger through his Twitter account (without using the blogger's name) and has a tendency to be an Orwellian Moderator at the Marvel forums, but it would be a hyperbole to say that everyone that disagrees with these bloggers is Dan Slott.
  • The Scrappy: Carlie Cooper is back to being this again, thanks to being the only supporting cast member to deduce Otto's impersonation, ahead of characters who had known Peter for much, much longer. She also earned herself some bonus fan hatred for blaming Peter for the time she turned into a giant spider-monster, claiming it wouldn't have happened if she hadn't known him. Since nearly every person in Manhattan became a spider-monster whether they knew Peter Parker or not, the logic was deemed rather flawed. Although Carlie was only able to deduce who Peter was because 'Otto' flat-out told her ahead of time and even then it took her a while to actually confirm this.
  • Squick:
    • Otto masturbated in Peter's body. Ghost-Peter is understandably grossed out by this.
    • Doc-Ock was once in love with Aunt May, and it's canon he still has feelings for. He's now posing as her nephew, the one she raised as if he was her son.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: There are a number of "What the Hell, Hero?" speeches towards Octavius throughout the story - a number of which are cited by the Hatedom as reasons that Octavius isn't a good replacement. Otto has enough people hating him that plenty were overjoyed when the Goblin King started to make his life a living hell.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Spider-Island arc seemed to be the first step in reuniting Mary Jane and Peter Parker, but this was thrown out the window once Otto took over. This is a Justified example, given that there would be plenty of Unfortunate Implications about Mary Jane and Otto-posing-as-Peter getting together - especially in terms of a sexual relationship.
    • The Redemption Quest aspect of the story is thrown out the window about nine issues in, which, depending on who you ask, undermines the whole point of the series. There are those that think the storyline would have worked better if it had been shorter and if it had kept focused on this theme.
    • Some even say that the series would have been better if another character had been placed in Peter's shoes. J. Jonah Jameson is commonly cited as one such character.
    • There are those that feel as though Otto's decision to Face Death with Dignity and relinquish control back to Peter denied the audience the satisfaction of seeing a rematch between the two.
    • Some feel that the ending was wrapped up much too quickly, and that Peter didn't really have to deal with the repercussions of Otto's actions.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Octavius tends to fall into this. Given that he had stated that he wanted to kill over 6 billion people and that he hijacked his archnemesis's body while leaving him to die painfully, it's hard to give the character any sympathy, even when he states that he wants to do good.
    • As the comic goes on Otto seems to be moving into being intentionally unsympathetic as he commits more and more evil acts in the name of "justice", especially after he screwed over the completely innocent and good-hearted Flash Thompson to get the Venom symbiote. Of course, whether that was intentional to begin with or if it was made in response to fan complaints is up for debate.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • The entire premise of the story is based upon Otto's foiled actions in the Ends of the Earth arc - specifically, his plan to burn billions of people alive and leave a fraction of humanity around to suffer. However, when talking about the character post Heel-Face Turn, he claimed that Otto was always an "egoistical annoying shit" who was just like Hawkeye after he became good. This raised a red flag with blogger Douglas Ernst, who pointed out that Otto explicitly said he wanted to be worse than Adolf Hitler during the previous arc he was in and dismissing that simply as "being annoying", and that comparing a Misanthrope Supreme (even one that tries to be heroic) to a character who had previously committed minor crimes before turning good is concerning. (Ernst initially included images of human remains from Dachau to further his point, which didn't go too well with Jewish writer Dan Slott - though he since removed them at the request of a reader, albeit months after the initial post.)
    • Remember how Mary Jane and Otto-Peter went separate ways so that Otto wouldn't be considered a rapist for impersonating Peter Parker? This is thrown out of the window in Issue 22 when he has sex with Anna Marie Marconi - which would officially make him a rapist, also according to Ernst. Dan Slott disagrees, which either nullifies the Bed Trick undertones or amplifies them depending on who you ask.
      "Anna Maria Marconi only knows Peter Parker as this Otto Octavius person, and right off the bat, when they have their first meeting, she's like 'wow, I thought you were just this slick veneer, this handsome Peter Parker type guy, but you're an Otto Octavius genius, and I like that.' She has looked right through the veneer to this guy on the first real sit-down the've had. So if there's chemistry, she has it with... well, with Otto Parker. That's who she has chemistry with."
  • The Untwist: See Stranger Behind the Mask.
  • Villain Sue:
    • Otto has been criticized as being no better than most criminals in the Marvel Universe and still retaining public approval. This isn't helped by Slott's own stance on the story.
    • After Issue 25, where Otto with the Venom Symbiote is being shown to effortlessly manhandle the Avengers (including Thor), this is cemented even further. For reference, in a fight between Symbiote Spider-Man and Thor in the Ultimate universe (where Thor is usually estimated by fans to be weaker than his mainstream counterpart), Thor curb stomped Peter so hard they were afraid he might've killed him.
    • Eventually subverted as he gets completely defeated and Driven to Suicide by the Green Goblin, proving he is neither Peter Parker's greatest enemy nor, as Otto himself admitted, a Superior Spider-Man. How much this is related to Dan Slott's Parody Retcon is debated by fans.
  • What an Idiot: A common complaint about many supporting characters is that nobody seems to recognize that anything's up with Peter until it becomes blindingly obvious. This is probably most evident with Mary Jane, who has been able to easily spot Peter/Spider-Man impostors in the past. In MJ's defense, the other impersonators (Chameleon and Kraven) didn't have access to Peter's memories like Otto did - though this argument doesn't hold up as well once Laser-Guided Amnesia kicks in on Otto's part. Although at this point MJ had distanced herself from Peter for the most part.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Predictably, Peter's return has incited this with many fans, especially with Otto admitting that Peter was a better Superhero than he would ever be.
  • Writer Cop Out:

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy