Oh, no! Can it really be true? Peter Parker is [REDACTED]?

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Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

Retailers may have had copies of Amazing Spider-Man #700 for a week now, but they've done their best to remain tight-lipped about its contents. Today is new comic book day, though, and the word is spreading fast—Peter Parker is ...


That's right. Everybody's favorite, friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man has bit the dust—and not in an Ultimate Universe kind of way. In the comic released today, Peter Parker, trapped in the body of the ailing Doctor Octopus, fails to get his own body back and, despite his every effort, croaks.

So is this the end for Spider-Man or even Peter Parker? Well ... not entirely. You see, folks, in Petey's final moments he gives Otto one parting gift—all the empathy that comes with being Spider-Man. Octavius may have had the memories, but he lacked the feelings behind them. No more. In those final moments, Peter, quite literally, shows Otto why he must carry on the credo "With great power, comes great responsibility," and Otto swears he will do that code justice by, perhaps, being an even better Spider-Man than Peter Parker ever was.

Writer Dan Slott is already making official statements on the book, saying, "This is Moriarty in the head of Sherlock. This is Prince John inside of Robin Hood. This is the greatest villain inside the body of the greatest hero and trying to do good."

And what manner of Spider-Man will Otto be exactly? According to editor Steve Wacker, "We want to do Spider-Man by way of Batman—a little creepier and darker."

On the one hand, that could be very interesting, but on the other, we already have a Batman who is doing just fine as a one-man-show of his own. So is there anything left of the Spidey we know and love? Says Slott, "This is a guy who now gets to be in the body of Peter Parker. This opens up whole new things. He had to be a hero in his own eyes, and on some level Otto Octavius is facing that struggle not with Spider-Man's world but with the readership. How do you get more Peter Parker than that? Now the readers think he's a menace. That's exciting. On a meta level, that is Spider-Man."

So what do you think? Will you be reading Otto as Spidey in the upcoming Superior Spider-Man?

(via Comic Book Movie)