Last week we told you about Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott's reaction to apparent death threats he's received over a big development in the life of Peter Parker. Now Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso is wading into the fray, and he's clearly got Slott's back. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Those of you who've already heard the news or read the comic will know that in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #700, Peter Parker dies after his mind is trapped inside the body of Doctor Octopus. Peter's body lives on, though, and thanks to a mind swap Doc Ock is running things inside. He'll continue to pretend to be Peter, unbeknownst to anyone but himself, in the opening issue of Superior Spider-Man, a new series launching next month.
We all know that comic book deaths are almost never final, and that Spider-Man readers are no strangers to controversial storylines (see both The Clone Saga and One More Day for more on that), but this particular development was met with an immediate backlash of Internet hate. The Peter Parker of the Ultimate Marvel universe died some time ago, after all, so that means that Peter Parker isn't Spider-Man anywhere in a major Marvel comic as of right now, and some fans are righteously pissed off about that, to the point that they're willing to threaten the writer who made it happen.
So what does Alonso think of all this? Well, first of all, he wants all you Internet complainers to know that you're not the only people he listens to.
"With all due respect, I don't know if the Internet is really the ultimate indicator of what fans desire, want or need," he said. "You don't predict your next president by only polling red states, know what I mean? Most of our most successful stories and initiatives have been met by Internet cynicism. Our job is to create buzz and excitement, and then deliver a quality story to back it up. The sales of Amazing Spider-Man #700 -- a triple-sized issue that's on track to sell more than 250,000 copies in print alone -- speak volumes about the popularity of the character, the deep love people have for Peter Parker. We completely understand fans' grief, rage, anger, angst and curiosity when you do something like this a day before Stan Lee's birthday. [Laughs.] How they stay tuned in months and years to come will be the ultimate test of whether or not this story was successful."
But though he seems to take negative reactions with a grain of salt, Alonso's not taking those Dan Slott death threats lighly, no matter where they come from.
"This isn't the first time a creator has received a death threat here at Marvel, and we take all threats of physical violence -- to a Marvel staffer or freelancer -- very seriously. If you threaten one of us, even if it's just as a joke, we will do a thorough investigation to determine who you are. Count on it. This announcement was met with perhaps a little more vitriol than others. Perhaps that speaks to the passion people have for this character."
And hey, if you're still mad about this whole dead Peter Parker thing, Alonso urges you to look at the details of the story and realize that, in the Marvel universe, there's always a way back.
"Hey, don't forget that we did a little story called "One More Day" a few years ago that had a lasting effect on the Spider-Man universe. And remember how long Bucky wore Captain America's red, white and blue tights? We seriously considered never bringing Steve Rogers back. Look, when people read Amazing Spider-Man #700 and see how the story unfolds -- how Peter's memories embed themselves in the consciousness of the next guy to wear the tights -- big questions will emerge. I'll leave it at that."
Are you angry about the recent developments in the life of Spider-Man? How long will you stay interested in Doc Ock's deception before you get fed up and demand the return of Peter Parker?