Few comic book characters have the sheer worldwide popularity of Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man. The friendly neighborhood web-slinger has been one of the top dogs at Marvel Comics for decades now and is rivaled only by the two caped crusaders patrolling the DC Comics universe when it comes to media visibility. Still, despite nearly everyone growing up with some form of Spider-Man or another, very few can say that they’ve actively kept up with his published adventures since reaching adulthood. To put it mildly, Peter Parker’s been through some stuff in the meantime.
Casual fans may be most surprised to learn that the fate of their favorite wall-crawler has been in the hands of one solitary man for the better part of the decade. Writer Dan Slott is in the midst of a truly historic run on the title, having now been behind more Spidey tales than Stan Lee himself. While there are few bigger fans of Peter Parker than Slott, some critics on the Internet have accused him of secretly harboring a grudge against Spidey, based on the sheer amount of awful things he’s personally put our hero through. While that seems unlikely, it can’t really be argued that there have been some devastating Spider-Man storylines under the pen of Dan Slott. Here are some of the most horrible things that have happened to Spider-Man.
Having His Body Stolen
The most serious of consequences suffered by Spider-Man during Slott’s run began with this horrific revenge brought on by Doctor Octopus. Doc Ock was dying from a degenerative disease, and when his last crack at world domination failed, he decided to go for the ol’ brain swap trick. Ock managed to swap his brain into Spidey’s body and vice versa, meaning he had access to all of Spider-Man’s powers and memories, along with a much better body. Peter Parker, meanwhile, was left in the dying and decrepit frame of Otto Octavius. All of this was revealed in the thrilling twist ending of Amazing Spider-Man #697, during which the reader had no idea they were reading the adventures of Doctor Octopus until the final page.Is this awful?
Viewing Countless Deaths
Ever since that whole Uncle Ben thing, a specter of death has followed Spider-Man’s career, with those close to him, like Gwen Stacey and Jean DeWolff, paying the ultimate price for his superheroic deeds. Slott’s run on the title has been no different, and Spider-Man has once again had to face the loss of those dear to him. Upon watching Alistair Smythe murder J. Jonah Jameson’s wife, Marla, Spidey vowed to never let anyone die again, which just isn’t a smart promise to make. Soon thereafter, he had to leave his long-time ally, Silver Sable, to be brutally drowned by the Rhino in order to stop Doctor Octopus from frying the world. Sometimes, responsibility sucks.Is this awful?
Accidentally Seeing An Intimate Memory Involving His Aunt
While the entire Superior Spider-Man experience was undoubtedly awful for Peter Parker, one moment, in particular, stands out. Peter was not entirely erased from existence, but lived for awhile as a sort of “force ghost,” stuck inside Doc Ock’s head and forced to watch him commit atrocities. During his adventuring around his own brain, Peter managed to gain access to Doc Ock’s memories, which he immediately regretted. Some may remember that Doc Ock was once engaged to Aunt May, and Spidey discovered firsthand that the couple didn't exactly remain chaste before the wedding. This is the kind of horrific event that could only happen in a comic book.Is this awful?
Watching Doctor Octopus Impersonate Him
Doctor Octopus, upon claiming his rival’s body, almost immediately began describing himself as the Superior Spider-Man. While Doc Ock was earnest in his efforts to be a greater hero than Spider-Man had ever been, he had some different ideas about what exactly that constituted. He quickly installed some vicious claws into the Spidey suit, and used his upgrades to off some of the mildest villains in New York City. Doc Ock occupied this role for well over a year but ultimately gave the body back to Peter when Norman Osborn punked him and he was unable to save the day.Is this awful?