So it looks like Otto Octavius is ending his vacation inside of Peter Parker’s body and Pete’s gonna be back soon. I haven’t been reading the series (I prefer to wait for trade paperbacks), but I’ve been intrigued by the whole idea. From what I’ve heard from my fellow geekerlings, it’s been a great run.
Otto’s always been a complex villain, and the idea of him taking over Spider-Man’s body to prove himself a “superior” hero is great. He doesn’t have the emotional hangups that Peter does (he has a different set of hangups) and in many ways, that makes him better at fighting “evil.”
My friend Marc Buxton does a great analysis here, and if Marc says it (and it’s about comics) it’s probably true.
The thing about Otto is that he is a creature of cold logic, free of encumbering emotions. This allows him to make the hard decisions, stuff that Peter could never do. But in the end, he lacks Peter’s humanity, and that’s the spark that makes a true hero.
If you don’t read The Middle Spaces yet, you should. It’s a great comic resource, and the author, Osvaldo, is one of my best friends. He wrote an article some time back about how Marvel has embraced a gray area of justice, where heroes will do unheroic things, such as use torture villains or exile The Hulk to a far off planet. Even Spider-Man beat a suspect to get information out of him at one point, which is completely out of character for him, and in my opinion makes him less heroic.
I think that establishing the contrast between Peter and Otto will return Pete to his previous state, though that depends on the writer. They could have him go the other way and incorporate some of Otto’s methods, which I think is a terrible idea.
In the forthcoming novelized version of my serial, The Watchmage of Old New York (free with registration, blah blah blah), the main character suffers through a similar crisis of faith. If you have near unlimited power, how do you avoid overusing it to mold the world in your image? How do you punish evil without succumbing to it? The Superman comics have dealt with the same thing over the years, the latest example being the video game Injustice, which I enjoyed very much.
So let me be the first to welcome Peter Parker back into his own body. Otto’s good, but not “superior.”
Also, I got a new phone today and all the fancy shit on it is overwhelming me. I’m not computer illiterate, but I compute on a 4th grade level.