With Peter Parker having returned as the Amazing Spider-Man for several months now, I believe that it's about time we take another look back at the very controversial run that Doctor Octopus had at being the Superior Spider-Man.
For those of you coming into this article and thinking "whoah, Doc Oct was Spider-Man?" Here's a little catch up.
During the "Ends of the Earth" storyline, a dying Otto Octavius swaps his mind with Spider-man's, causing Peter Parker to die within his body, while Otto Octavius would live on within Peter's body:
However, in order to make sure that the future would always have a Spider-Man, Peter Parker flooded Otto with his memories and emotions, making Otto understand his mantra of "With great power, comes great responsibility". From that point on, Otto understood the great weight that came with the web-slingers, and he vowed to protect Peter's loved ones, as well as becoming a better Spider-Man, a Superior Spider-Man
Welp, long story short, Peter lingered in the Superior Spider-Man's mind, and during the "Goblin Nation" storyline, Otto relinquished control back to Peter, whom he admits to be the more superior Spider-Man.
So with that mini history lesson out of the way, let's take a look at why Doc Oct's run as Spider-Man was superior in it's own way!
3. A smarter, more resourceful Spider-Man
With Otto's emergence as the Superior Spider-Man, he came up with many innovations that made his job more efficient, effective, and utilized resources that Peter Parker never considered tapping into.
For one, he came up with his own Spider-bots:
These little buggers were his eyes and ears around NYC, and they would alert an app on his phone to notify if there were any dangerous situations happening. Doing this allowed Otto to patrol the city without having to physically be swinging around as Spider-Man, which would give him more time to earn a PHD, go on dinner dates, and spend more time with Aunt May.
Another thing Otto did was create his own Spider-Army, and establish a base of operations which he aptly named "Spider Island 2".
Doing this allowed Otto to do things that Spider-Man could never do on his own, like executing surgical strikes on crime while also safely moving civilians out of the way.
With his Spider-Army, he was able to dethrone the King Pin and free the residents of Shadowland with no civilian casualties. Talk about harder, better, faster, stronger.
2. It gave us a more intimate look at one of Spider-Man's greatest villains
Notwithstanding the entertaining shenanigans that Otto were up to physically, Peter Parker (who was still lingering around his his consciousness) got glimpses and views into Otto's life, and saw what made the man tick.
From these glimpses, Peter began to understand more about his long-time rival, and he began empathizing. At one point, Peter was even swallowed up by Otto's memories, and lived out Otto's life. From here, Peter was able to see things from Otto's point of view, and it gave us, the readers, a rare look into the psyche of a super villain.
1. Otto became a reformed man as a result of being Spider-Man
As Spider-Man, Peter held a steadfast conviction that his enemies could be reformed, that often they only needed a second chance.
When Otto began his run as Spider-Man, he believed that he could be a greater Spider-Man than Peter. He may have become a smarter, more efficient, maybe even a more resourceful Spider-Man than Peter was, but at his heart, Otto lacked Peter's heart and Soul.
When push came to shove, Otto would stop and think, weighing his options, and growing more and more nervous when a solution would not present itself. This came to a head in the "Goblin Nation" story line when Otto was pushed to his physical and mental limit. It was only with the intervention of Peter's consciousness that Otto was able to save as many people as he did, and it was then that he understood Peter's great burden.
He understood that only Peter could comprehend the gravity of holding so much power, and acting upon it for the greater good, and it was at this moment that Otto truly reformed as a villain, returning control to Peter and deleting himself from Peter's consciousness.
And there we have my top 3 reasons of why I believe Superior Spider-Man to be one of the greatest runs in Spider-Man history. What are your opinions about SSM?