Ahead of NYCC 2012, Marvel have now revealed the meaning for their final one-word teaser from a few weeks ago: “Superior” stands for Superior Spider-Man, a new series relaunching from the ashes of Dan Slott’s ominous Amazing Spider-Man #700. The book will see a darker and edgier tone to the world of Spider-Man, as artists Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli join Slott for the 2013 series.

Marvel have been teasing the issue for quite some time now, suggesting that Amazing #700 is going to do something drastic and shocking with Peter Parker. We still don’t know what that is – Doctor Octopus is involved somhow – although Slott mentions that Superior Spider-Man (whose identity isn’t confirmed) will be taking a more aggressive approach to crime-fighting. For more evidence, take a look at this preview work from Stegman, who will draw the three-issue opening arc. Pointy bits! Black! Emotionless eyes!

The announcement piece points out how Spidey has been increasingly angry and brutal in treating his villains – from Doc Ock to recent confrontations with Lizard and Morbius, as well as Alpha – suggesting this could well reach a head with #700. Whatever happens in that issue, Superior Spider-Man promises a new approach to the “wall crawling menace” concept of the character, alongside a new Sinister Six and some “very messed up” ideas from Dan Slott. Who, it appears, should now be given the adjective of Dastardly Dan.


  1. A retractable claw in his big toe???? A dark and edgier Spider-Man??? Apparently none of these creative people have read Spider-Man before. Dan Slott should be ashamed after writing such a great series as Spider-Man/Human Torch. I had to sit through that lame ass Mark Millar/Terry Dodson/Frank Cho series a few years back since they tried the darker/viloent version of Spider-Man and failed with it.

    But Marvel should be thanked for saving me money by helping me stop all my Marvel purchases when Marvel NOW starts! Thanks Marvel!

  2. Could that cover be any worse? That’s rhetorical. No it couldn’t. The title character is drawn in a way that most people wouldn’t recognize him and the logo is virtually illegible. It’s hard to believe Marvel has been in the publishing business as long as it has and has no clue how to properly present it’s product. And I’m curious…how many joints does Spiderman have in his fingers? I count four. Is that a spider power thing?

  3. Slot’s a good guy, I’m definitely leery of it but who knows. Also every time I see that artists name on first glance I think Stegron is coming back and then I’m always a little disappointed.

  4. “The announcement piece points out how Spidey has been increasingly angry and brutal in treating his villains…”

    “Angry and brutal” doesn’t really go with “superior”. Maybe they should call it Sadistic Spider-Man.

  5. *sigh*

    And here I was recently getting into Spidey by picking up one-shots and such.

    Ah, well. There’s always trades of any good stuff I’ve missed over the years.

  6. Ugh. No. Just–just, no. I love Spider-Man, I own hundreds and hundreds of Spider-Man and am sitting on a 230+-issue unbroken run. I stuck through One More Day, I stuck through the moderate ups and huge downs of Brand New Day, and was really enjoying Slott’s solo run. But this? This just sounds god-awful, and completely tone-deaf as to the appeal of the character. Spider-Man doesn’t need to be, and SHOULDN’T be, “dark and edgy,” and putting someone else behind the mask (if they do go that route–their coyness on this front is NOT endearing) isn’t exactly huge news when they just did the same thing to Ultimate Spidey, what, a year ago?

    I mean, jeez, guys. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Marvel zombie, and Marvel Now seems like it was specifically designed to drive me away. Next thing you know, they’re going to tell me they’re kicking Mark Waid off Daredevil…

  7. I doubt that Spider-Man has ever starred in a MAX miniseries. I’ve bought MAX minis about Luke Cage, Howard the Duck, and Thor, and didn’t think that any of them interpreted the lead badly (the THOR mini was MAX because of the gore level).

    If Spider-Man were to appear in a MAX mini, and was shown using four-letter words, having sex with someone, or in scenes with half-naked women, would that damage him in your eyes? I’m just wondering whether so many people view Spidey as the classic superhero, choosing the needs of the public over his own repeatedly, etc., and being a model citizen for the nation’s youth, that giving him rough edges is practically unthinkable.


  8. as far as i can tell, they’re still gonna have spidey continue to show up in the avengers, avenging spider-man, etc… is this whole “brutal” persona of spidey gonna be showcased in any other titles where spidey is gonna show up ( which are plenty) or are we gonna get the wise-cracking “do the right thing” spidey we all know and love?

  9. Jeez, what’s with the outrage.

    Everything hurts fans so badly and everything makes them ” quit” comics

    New 52- that’s it I’m out

    Marvel now- great jumping off point. I’m out

    Titles re-numbered- that’s it I’m out

    Changes to character- I’m out

    No changes to the character- Marvel and DC are stale and refuse to change

    We all KNOW this is a temporary change and the normal Spider-man will be back after a while. So why the heartbreak?

  10. I’ve enjoyed Dan Slott’s run on Amazing, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here. My main concern is that Marvel will be without a title called The Amazing Spider-Man for the first time since 1963. The superhero comics industry seems to be really, really scared of tradition right now.

  11. …or want to be perceived as bucking tradition. After all they’re still focusing on characters who have been around since my dad was a kid. They haven’t had the ability to create any new, compelling characters since the late 80s so the closest to keeping things “fresh” they have is shuffling the deck.

    I was expecting “the Uncanny Spider-Man Academy”, though, so I guess they still have a trick or two left!

  12. There’s been points in time when there wasn’t an Amazing Spider-man title.

    Scarlet-Spider replaced the title in the 90s.

    This is NOT the first time.

  13. Marvel destroyed the character and comic in the terrible Unmasking story, because what’s there to do now. It never felt like Spider-man around that time and doesn’t fell like it at all anymore. Theyjust changing things constantly like their other titles.

    At the very least, they could acknowledge how bad all that Other, Unmasking, and OMD stuff was. They refuse too. Again, what’s there to do now? You’ve got a robo-Doc Ock who could be any characther he looks so different. He’s Gaunt from the CLone Saga. Spider-man’s happy and happy and tells jokes. I guess you could kill him? Oh wait, that was that lame other thing. You could kill Aunt May? Oh, they did that. It was pretty classic.

    Another costume change. Another… costume change. Again.

  14. I assume this is directed mostly at me, so I should point out, I’m *not* one of those guys who is constantly quitting comics. But I’m a guy who loves traditional Big Two superhero comics who finds myself getting more and more bored with them, and it bums me out. The New 52 didn’t make me quit DC, the garbage they were putting out before it did, and the New 52 brought me *back*: I went from one DCU title before the relaunch (Batman Inc.) to trying out about 20 first issues to sticking with about 13 for a while to currently buying 9. Change, in and of itself, doesn’t make me make grand pronouncements about quitting comics.

    But everything I’ve seen from Marvel Now just looks so….BORING. It just seems so desperate, calculated, and “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”-y, and there doesn’t seem to be any creative soul in any of it. The only announced titles I can think of off the top of my head that excited me were Hulk (Mark Waid!) and Deadpool (written by an actual comedian!).

    The Spidey relaunch is kind of the opposite in that it does actually sound creatively-driven, but it stands out to me because unlike the rest of Marvel Now, this doesn’t look boring: it just looks exceptionally, egregiously BAD. I love Spider-Man, I want to read Spider-Man comics, and this is actively pushing me away.

  15. Seems like they are going with the “dark and edgy” theme for Marvel NOW. Very bad choice. I’m not even sure whether I’ll be able to let my kids read Spider-Man now. Besides, for the dark and edgy Spider-Man, isn’t that the purpose of Scarlet Spider?

    I hope, at some point, Marvel will circle back around and try making comics like in the 60’s through 80’s, where anyone from 6 to 96 could enjoy them. Right now, the younger age group is cut right out of the target market, and that’s really sad. It’s kind of a necessity when the comics cost a fortune, though, I guess.

    That said, I’m going to give this series the benefit of the doubt, because Slott is such a good writer.

  16. They’re going to kill / retire Peter, and this is Alpha as Spider-Man. Just to spell it out. It’s pretty obvious I think, and I would other people are thinking the same thing. It’s the only explanation I can think of for such a tone-deaf take on the character.

    I thought about it for a while, and realized it doesn’t really matter. As long as I have Miles, they can do whatever they want to the ‘main’ titles, and I won’t care. Despite wanting to.

  17. “Jeez, what’s with the outrage.”

    So, it’s bad for fanboys to complain about this…buuuuut it was was perfectly fine for different fanboys to throw a fit over BEFORE WATCHMEN?


  18. i think the closest marvel came to the “60’s through 80’s” feel in their books was the whole “heroic age” themed books from the past couple of years. this “now” direction seems to be a direct response to dc’s “new 52” books which have a “dark and edgy” feel to them. i guess marvel is gonna try and “out-dark and out-edge” dc. yuck. i guess we’re all gonna have to wait for this “now” stuff to run it’s course before marve “circles back around” again. it probably won’t be too long a wait, considering the increased frequency that marvel (and dc) keep revamping and relaunching their entire line of books.

  19. They haven’t had the ability to create any new, compelling characters since the late 80s so the closest to keeping things “fresh” they have is shuffling the deck.

    The problem is less the quality of the new characters than how they’re handled, and not marketed.

    Suppose that a cable channel has a bunch of superhero series that appeal to a pool of about 300,000 viewers. They don’t advertise the series or do promotions to increase the pool; they just run house ads during the shows. The management wants more viewers, though, so the channel tries launching a bunch of spin-offs and new superhero series. Still no advertising and promotions, though, so the viewers all come from the existing pool of viewers. Would anyone be surprised that the ratings for the new stuff aren’t as good as the ratings for the original series that are still airing?

    The lack of efforts to market and promote the characters, which is about the only way to increase the readership pool, is probably due in part to the difficulty of marketing single issues of serials–like hyping a single episode of a soap opera–but it’s also probably due in part to the belief that the superhero comics won’t appeal to the general public. Whedon, in commenting on his AVENGERS movie, emphasized that he made it for people who weren’t familiar with superheroes, not for fans. If just picking up and reading something has to be treated as an (expensive) hobby to be enjoyable, as opposed to a quick, throwaway read on a commute, then it’s also not surprising that increasing the pool of readers takes efforts and money.


  20. Or… They’re going to “kill” Doc Ock, but in one final grasp at defeating death, he’ll get his mind in Spidey’s body somehow. (Which would explain why it’s “Superior” instead of one of the other adjectives.)

  21. Dan Slott understands Spider-Man. He understands what makes the character work better than any writer since Stern/DeFalco. So he understands exactly how to make all of you nervous with this new direction.

    I trust him completely and can’t wait to see what he does.

  22. The rest of the world knows the Marvel and DC superheroes in their most iconic forms, as seen in animation, merchandising, any licensing artwork, etc. I’d kind of like to see that approach taken in the monthly comics again–Peter Parker’s a photographer for the Daily Bugle, wears a red-and-blue Spider-Man outfit, dates Mary Jane, worries about his Aunt May, argues with J. Jonah Jameson; Clark Kent wears a red-and-blue Superman outfit with red trunks, is a reporter for the Daily Planet, has a love triangle with himself and Lois Lane, lives in Metropolis; the Fantastic Four wears matching blue outfits, the team is Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing, they live in the Baxter Building, and Reed’s experiments lead them into crazy adventures; etc.

    There are probably still plenty of stories to be told within that framework, and I think there’s something to be said for comic books that a kid who watches Justice League Unlimited or the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies can pick up and immediately get into. “No status quo” has been the status quo for so long that there’s a radical shift in most superhero comics at least once a year.

  23. There are probably still plenty of stories to be told within that framework. . .

    That’s questionable. It’s not so unusual for a writer to use one theme in his stories repeatedly, but he varies the settings, characters, plots, etc. But if the characters, settings, plots, and themes are the same, as they would be with Superman and Spider-Man as you describe them, what constitutes new stories? Showing a hero just being heroic, or noble, or unwilling to kill his enemy doesn’t justify a story.

    Some of the harder things to do in writing a story are to devise a dramatic situation that doesn’t repeat what readers have seen before, and to make the ending satisfying. If evil acts are done, the villain faces the consequences; if he gets away with his villainy, his victims suffer the consequences. The dramatic changes in the characters comprise the core of the story.

    TV series have natural endpoints, whether it’s due to the casts aging, sagging ratings, running out of material, or other factors. The comics superheroes don’t age, but that doesn’t mean their stories can be retold and recycled forever.


  24. @Andrew Farrago – couldn’t have said it any better. So true.

    And I never get why Marvel/DC are so afraid to embrace that. It’s not as if the rest of the world buys any of the actual comics – why do they need to “innovate” when no one gives a shit about the books?

    Making comics aimed at the rest of the world would be mean $$$$$$, right? Why are they saying “no” to that? It would mean no more scraping the barrel with those dark “edgy” takes to keep their dwindling aging jaded audience interested.

    I’m disappointed with Marvel Now. Spidey going dark confirms it – this Marvel Now is basically MAX Comics (only without the cussing).

  25. i’ve heard this point before about how it’s the “jaded aging audience” that drives marvel /dc to embrace these dark/edgy story lines. speaking as a aging (tho’ no where near jaded) audience member, i would love for marvel/dc to bring their characters back to their iconic roots. i feel that it’s the younger audience (20-somethings to early thirties) that were in school or teenagers during the dark/edgy period of the mid to late 1990’s that drive marvel/dc to produce the darker stuff. i don’t know, maybe the darker stuff makes them feel better about producing and reading funny books about muscular men in tight spandex pummeling each other.

  26. What does Marvel this days have against Peter Parker, they dissolve his marriage with Mary Jane then they Kill him off in the Ultimate universe now they take the mantle of Spider Man away from him. I hope it does not cost him his life in ASM 700.

  27. Comics should be entertaining. This looks like it’ll entertain. If you’re intrigued, buy it. If not, buy something else. I’ve never understood why some fans get so irate over storylines. Marvel are in the business of selling comics, so putting a spin on the status quo of their characters every now and then makes sense to keep things fresh. We know that the status quo will return to “normal” eventually but as long as the journey off at a tangent is fun, all’s well and good, right?

  28. I certainly hope this is a temporary change. I won’t bother with a book that doesn’t have Peter in it. Alpha under the mask? Please no. If they are going to pull that nonsense then just end the character at 700, say so long, and call it a nice 50 year run and go home.

  29. “I’ve never understood why some fans get so irate over storylines.”

    For the same reason they get irate over “DC raping Alan Moore”.


  30. eh…. i dont really care… if all i wanted a comic for was the story then i just get it straight off the web.

    i buy a comic for the PRODUCT. the art, the composition as well as the writing.

    so eh… its been shit since 2000…. i just follow it and buy the occasional well drawn ones.

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