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YMMV / Superior Spider-Man

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  • Abandon Shipping: A number of people stopped shipping Peter and Mary Jane because Otto was in Peter's body. This went away once Peter Parker returned.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Otto as the "Superior Spider-Man" has gotten the strange treatment of getting both Draco in Leather Pants and Ron the Death Eater treatments from the readership. Was he in-fact a superior Spider-Man because he did a better job managing his personal and heroic life, even if it resulted in him Kicking the Dog? Is this a tragic tale of a villain unable to overcome his nature? Is Otto just an asshole who ultimately got hit with Laser-Guided Karma?
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  • 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 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 his second Arch-Enemy doesn't sit well with the fans to say the least.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The implication that Otto was planning to seduce and have sex with Mary Jane whilst in Peter's body did not go down well with readers at all, as such a situation would be considered akin to rape. This also wasn't too much longer after another supervillain impersonating Peter apparently had sex (or at least had an intense make-out) with a female love interest (Chameleon and Michelle Gonzales), which a number of people pointed out, could technically be classed as rape due to the consent involved. Thankfully, the following issues, Otto ends up developing some morality and breaks things off with MJ before anything more happens.
    • 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 were segments of people feeling it all got solved too quickly, and others were not happy that nothing between Peter and Black Cat was cleared up.
    • The first Superior Spider-Man run received criticism for the massive Idiot Plot due to Otto acting almost nothing like Peter and yet no one suspects him until late in the story, come the second run, Otto's cover is quickly blown by saying something Anna would know only he would say showing they would not repeat the same mistakes of the first run.
  • Awesome Ego: Fans of the series tend to consider Otto to be this.
  • Base-Breaking Character: 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:
    • 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 - received praise for how unexpected it was, but also 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Catharsis Factor: While this is somewhat cancelled by the ensuing murder, SpOck successfully outsmarting Massacre by freeing the hostages he relied on as his back-up, then promptly Curb-Stomping him is greatly satisfying, giving the killing spree we saw the man commit.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite how polarizing the run was, Superior was consistently topping the Marvel sales charts all throughout its run.
  • Critical Research Failure: Jonah Jameson somehow manages to order a death penalty for Spider-Slayer. This makes no sense, since the prison holding him belongs to S.H.I.E.L.D and even if it didn't, a mere mayor does not have such authority and New York got rid of its death penalty.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: As far as the source material goes, a number of fans stopped reading due to the direction that the character took. This stance was cemented with some by the first annual, or even earlier with Issue 9. Several of these people also claim that the series relied 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 with Otto erasing Peter in order to no longer be held back by Peter's limitations. 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 warmed up to the series after it started (probably in no small part, due to the existence of Ghost-Peter), others were still not satisfied, claiming that Ock is out-of-character, Ghost-Peter is annoying, the supporting cast suddenly became idiots, and the quality of the writing didn't improved much from when Dan Slott was writing regular Peter.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: To this day, despite how contentious the arc was, there are fans who legitimately argue that Otto was a better Spider-Man than Peter. His more immoral actions gets written off as the Ends justifying the means.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Otto successfully performs brain surgery on a young girl who was affected by his global warming scheme and receiving her stuffed doll as a thank you. When Otto tells her he can't accept such a thing, the doctors tell him that she has already replaced it with a Spider-Man doll.
    • When stranded in the year 2099, Otto has a holographic avatar of Anna Maria guiding him as a reminder of what he left back home.
    Otto: "Call me 'Otto'. I have never heard her speak that name. It would be... motivating."
  • Idiot Plot: The entire story would fall apart near instantly if even a fraction of Peter's loved ones and allies actually realised that he was acting completely differently to how he really is. The only person who realises anything is actually wrong, and is the person who figures out Peter's body has been overtaken by Otto? Carlie Cooper.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Woobie: In spite of being seen as largely unsympathetic, people 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.
  • 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 were 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.
    • 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 after Blackout had previously kidnapped and was planning to torture and murder Aunt May. To elaborate, he rips out his teeth and fingernails - which aren't presented as a heroic actions in the slightest.
    • Stealing the Venom symbiote from Flash Thompson simply because he thought he could make better use of it.
    • Massacre murdering Doctor Kafka.
  • 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. Likewise the dialogue of a number of issues including the closing ones were by Christos Gage, including the famous "Manpurse" line.
  • Narm: Doc Ock and the Green Goblin's friendship montage, which is broken up by an ideological argument that ends with Norman infecting Otto's ex-fiance with AIDS.
  • Nausea Fuel: The torture scene in the first 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.
  • Nightmare Fuel: A lot of the scenes where Otto murders criminals, beats them to a pulp, or otherwise harms them can be pretty disturbingly gruesome. One particularly horrific case is when he tears out Blackout's teeth and nails in the first annual issue.
  • 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.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A Spider-Man villain thinking he has killed the hero and then donning his costume to prove he's a superior Spider-Man than the hero was done in Kraven's Last Hunt, albeit in a far smaller run of issues and to much less controversy and divisive response.
    • Underground comics artist, Peter S. Bagge wrote a non-canon one-shot called The Megalomaniacal Spider-Man (2002) which was a Deconstructive Parody of Ditko's supposedly Randian-inspired Peter. It has Peter abandon altruism and become a businessman who markets Spider-Man and makes over-the-top speeches much like Otto's Superior Spider-Man.
  • 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 backlash his comic 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 was 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 got a lot of flack online for defending the series more by talking about the comic's sales over trying to explain why the story was important for the development of Spider-Man. Therefore, whenever a user replied to a blog post from a member of the Hatedom and mentioned comic sales, people were 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 was 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, to be fair, Carlie was only able to deduce this was because Peter flat-out told her ahead of time when he was in Otto's original body, and even then it took her a while to actually confirm this.
    • There are those who feel that Otto became Dan Slott's Superboy Prime. After Issue 25, where Otto with the Venom Symbiote is being shown to effortlessly manhandle the Avengers (including Thor), this is cemented even further.
    • Mary Jane's new boyfriend Pedro Oliveira isn't particularly well-liked in the eyes of fans, and not because of any major thing he does but rather how he further diminishes Mary Jane's character by seemingly having her settle for a "safer" version of Peter. His name really doesn't help note . Tellingly, he pretty much disappears off the face of the Earth only a short amount of time after his debut in this story.
  • 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 her. 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 had 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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, creator Dan Slott 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 was thrown out of the window in Issue 22 when he had sex with Anna Maria Marconi - which would officially make him a rapist, also according to Ernst. Dan Slott disagrees, pointing out the following:
      "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."
      • Similarly, Tom Brevoort responded to a question of whether or not Otto raped Anna-Maria with "She never knew him as anything other than Peter Parker, and she didn’t know Peter Parker. So no."
  • What an Idiot!: A common complaint about many supporting characters was 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 had 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 incited this with many fans, especially with Otto admitting that Peter was a better Superhero than he would ever be.
  • Writer Cop Out:
    • As mentioned above, while the first issue of the comic was generally well-received, it was also criticized by some for immediately setting up Ghost-Peter, the plot thread that would eventually get to undoing Peter's Comic Book Death.
    • The last two issues of the "Goblin Nation" arc have been criticized as featuring this trope. Specifically, that Otto gets off by means of a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech to Peter (which many people considered not earned) and a Heroic Suicide without at least getting a well-deserved beatdown from Peter first (given his remorseless attempt to mind-wipe Peter). In addition, there are complaints that Peter was able to make amends with most characters much too quickly.


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