As I said in My Top 5 Comics post, I tend to avoid Marvel books because they take the whole concept of a shared universe of continuity WAY too far (they’ve published at least 2 titles devoted to cataloging all their characters and stories by my count) for me to feel comfortable starting out with or jumping on to any new series.
The best case in point, after the soap opera maze that is the X-Men family of books, is Spider-Man, who has gone through absolutely everything from having his first love die before his eyes to being possessed by an alien symbiote to selling his marriage to the devil, through a bunch of books but largely through his flagship book, The Amazing Spider-Man, which I started rereading from the very beginning after the most recent film came out, and which was published for 50 years from 1963 until 2 weeks ago, concluding with issue #700, in which longtime Spidey villain Doctor Octopus switches bodies with Peter Parker and letting Peter Parker die in his body, taking up the role of Spider-Man himself in the new ongoing series Superior Spider-Man.
Confused? I was too when I found out, largely because, like I said, I don’t read Spider-Man and I certainly haven’t read Dan Slott’s multi-year run (except for the main portion of the “Spider-Island” event storyline which I thought was pretty good). But luckily, MovieBob, one of my favorite people on the Internet, devoted the most recent episode of his weekly series “The Big Picture” to explaining this story and examining its immediate impact. Also, read this blog piece of his for a little more info.
Ok so, assuming you watched that, I gotta say I agree with him. Yeah, this is a crazy shake-up stunt but that’s how comics work nowadays for better or worse. And honestly, if this one crazy plot twist, after all the crazy stuff that Spidey’s endured throughout his history, is enough to make you throw your hands up in disgust, why are you reading it in the first place?
I mean, c’mon, if we can’t have craziness in our comics, where can we have it?