Speculation has run rampant after the announcement of Marvel NOW's new Spidey title, The Superior Spider-Man. Not only would it a feature a new-ish costume, but it was announced that the man behind the mask is actually not Peter Parker. Rumors and fan opinions started flying as everyone and their sidekick threw ideas into the ring as to who the new Spider-Man would be. And all while the story is still building up over in Dan Slott's Amazing Spider-Man, which is keeping all the fans guessing.
Now, after the events of Amazing Spider-Man #698, another piece of the puzzle has finally dropped that throws a ton of those fan opinions out the window. This is your official SPOILER WARNING, so if you haven’t read #698 yet, maybe don’t read on. First of all we have to acknowledge the fact that even though it’s been said the new Spidey is not Peter Parker, there is a chance it is still Peter Parker. We could just be dealing with some creative wordplay from Slott, who loves to dangle clues and misdirections when it comes to his Spidey stories.
So let’s first list the facts. What do we know about the Superior Spider-Man?
- Spider-Man is not Peter Parker. Yes, it might be all a ruse, but chances are pretty good that it is not Peter Parker.
- Spidey & MJ will be getting back together. This creates even more of a stir when we think about the fact that Spidey is not Peter! My brain hurts already.
- The new Spidey is apparently as smart as Peter Parker, according to Slott.
- The new Spidey will also be featured in the ongoing The Avenging Spider-Man.
- Slott ‘accidentally’ tweeted to artist Ryan Stegman a possible clue, or a huge misdirection. The tweet is below:
So that’s what we know. Let’s move on to some of the possibilities and just who the new Superior Spider-Man might be. We’ll go from least likely to most likely, as decided by me.
Yes, I know this first choice is a long shot, but I do have a reason. For anyone who read the crossover series Spider-Men, you can remember that we were left with a little bit of a cliffhanger when it came to the identity of the 616′s (mainstream universe) Miles Morales. We are led to believe that Peter Parker is incredibly surprised when he googles Miles Morales and learns about his counterpart in the 616. This is of course never revealed to us, and still hasn’t been.
This would still leave a ton of unanswered questions and make the preceding story in Amazing not really matter, but it’s an interesting thought. Certainly opens up the direction the series can take. As to how likely it really is, I have my doubts. While it would show some similarities between the 616 and the Ultimate universe with both Spidey’s being Morales, I think it would detract from the story that is being built up in Amazing and for whatever follow up to Spider-Men that I’m sure is coming.
Many of us were surprised by the introduction of Spidey’s new ‘sidekick’ Alpha. Not only was it kind of sudden to just give Spidey a sidekick, but it was over crazy fast. No sooner had Alpha gotten his powers (he was energized by Parker Particles, a new invention of Peter’s) and became a superhero, then it was over and he was stripped of the majority of his powers and pretty much forgotten about. There is a new mini-series coming out soon starring Alpha, which is said to feature Peter Parker. Unfortunately we don’t know for sure if it is a present day series or set before the mysterious events of Amazing Spider-Man #700.
Again, I find this to be pretty unlikely considering his powers were not spider-based at all, and he goes against some of the facts we already ‘know’ about Superior Spidey. He is only worth mentioning here as I am still pretty sure there is more coming from Alpha, who had much too big of a marketing push to be written out of the Spidey titles so quickly.
Now, if Kaine wasn’t currently wearing the duds of the Scarlet Spider he might be my number one pick. He can easily pull off the role of Spider-Man, he isn’t Peter Parker while still kind of being Peter Parker (he’s a clone), and he can certainly pull off some of the savagery that is evident in the few released images of Superior Spidey we have seen. He’s pretended to be Spidey before while working alongside Peter Parker (like he did during Spider-Island) so this would really be just another go around with the classic webs.
Except he is currently Scarlet Spider, a fact which isn’t going to change anytime soon. Especially since the series is continuing on relatively untouched by Marvel NOW! or anything Spidey-related. Plus, with writing duties on Avenging Spider-Man being handled by Chris Yost (writer of Scarlet Spider) come January, I would expect the two characters to meet up sometime in the near future.
Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus
So now we get to the meat and potatoes. The real candidates for the man behind the Superior Spider-Man’s mask. While everyone we have previously talked about could possibly be that man, I have outlined my reasons as to why I don’t think any of them will be. And if you have done your required reading (namely ASM #698) you know that Otto Octavius has fiendishly and mysteriously taken over the body of Peter Parker. Which leaves the real Peter Parker stuck in Doc Ock’s body as it goes into cardiac arrest.
Ock (as Parker) would certainly fit the title of the book, as Ock has been trying to prove himself the superior intellect in the Marvel Universe for quite some time now. Even more interesting, we still don’t even know exactly when Ock made the switch over to Peter’s body, with some fans thinking it could have happened as early as Amazing Spider-Man #600, or even possibly at the finale of the Ends of the Earth storyline. While it remains to be seen what happens to Pete in Ock’s body (or vice versa), chances are pretty good that the Superior Spider-Man will be a huge change to the status quo, and we may see one of Spidey’s greatest villains literally filling his shoes.
Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099
And my number 1 pick for who will be taking over the webs in Superior Spider-Man is none other than Miguel O’Hara, who most fans will remember from the awesome Spider-Man 2099 series by Peter David and Rick Leonardi. While it does seem like a bit of a stretch, Marvel NOW! is certainly not shying away from timeline issues. Just look to Brian Michael Bendis’ All New X-Men, where the original 5 X-Men are brought to the modern day era. If we can accept that highly unorthodox and frankly paradox causing event, than it’s no small stretch to imagine Miguel in the present day.
And with some of the changes to the Superior Spider-Man like the suit and the talons, the theory of Miguel keeps making more and more sense to me. All you have to do is look at the picture of Superior Spidey below to really see those talons in action, a trait which was exclusively Spider-Man 2099′s. As referenced in the ‘red herring’ tweet above, Slott is certainly stoking the fires of the Miguel rumor, but maybe his ‘red herring’ is meant to throw us off the case by tricking us with the truth. Which sounds really confusing, I know. But seriously, look at those talons!
And if that wasn’t enough reason to pick Miguel as the Superior Spidey, some new variant sketch covers from Diamond Forces seem to be agreeing with me. They have two covers that show Spidey 2099 on the Superior Spider-man cover. While these exclusives aren’t from Marvel so they can’t be confirmed as a legitimate reveal of the character, they are an early indicator of the public’s assumption of who the new Spider-Man will be.
So who is the Superior Spider-Man? As we can tell by my list I really don’t know, and it’s driving me crazy. Which is exactly what Slott and Co. were trying to do. So mission accomplished everyone. Way to go. You have succeeded in winning my hard earned money as I wait patiently for the release of Superior Spider-Man in January. I know a lot of die hard fans will not be picking up the book if it won’t be Peter Parker behind the mask, which is a shame. I say give it a chance, we might all be pleasantly surprised.
Who do you think the Superior Spider-Man will be? Anybody I missed that you think deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments section!