Who is the Superior Spider-Man? To whom is he superior, and in what way?
It seemed at the end of Spider-Men (or at least this is how a lot of people read it) that Miles Morales does indeed exist in the regular, non-Ultimate Marvel Universe. And who would make more sense, if Peter were to survive (as interviews have suggested he will), for him to cherry-pick as his replacement than someone he's already see do the job pretty well?
Why not him? Well, take a good look at the cover at right. Unless they're intentionally circulating a misleading image to sell the mystery, Spidey looks pretty unmistakably white here.
Eddie always kind of fancied himself a hero in the early days, and even acted as an anti-hero pretty often during the '90s when Venom's star was high and fans couldn't get enough of the character. Could "Anti-Venom" be given a chance to shine? It would explain the "alien" look of things...!
Dan Slott seems to have teased this character as a possibility, although most of us by now just kind of assume that he was messing with the readers. Still, there were a couple of variant covers that popped up online this week with different artists drawing Miguel on the cover.
It's pretty unlikely, but consider this: What if Miguel isn't the lead character, but still appearing in the book? In the recent past, Slott has tweeted that people were taking a quote--the one about "a new Spider-Man"--out of context.
"[P]eople are getting the quote wrong," Slott said. "I said something VERY specific and people are paraphrasing it and changing the meaning."
We'll come back to that later, but in the meantime let's consider that he may have applied a similar strategy with the Miguel thing. He said something specific--that Miguel can do something--and that was taken by some people to assume something pretty big.
More "alien-looking" features? A totally different attitude? That could be the Japanese Spider-Man, certainly.
And the totally off-the-wall approach to the wall crawler taken by that show could certainly mesh well with Dan Slott's writing style. People sometimes forget after years of him writing high drama with Peter Parker that this is the same dude who brought some of the best, funniest comics in recent memory during his runs on The Thing and She-Hulk.
There's not a ton of evidence to support this, as far as I can tell, but it's a pretty obvious choice, no? And if he returned, there's a segment of the audience who would be pretty pleased to see it.
If Doc Ock could somehow manage to maintain control of this body, and Peter ends up being revitalized/revived in some other way (because, as we've established, he'll still be around), it could be interesting to see what Otto Octavius could do with a clean slate and some inside information on how to deal with Spidey's rogues gallery. And those little claw-things that everyone thinks indicate Miguel O'Hara? Those could be pincers a la the things he has on the ends of his Doc Ock tentacles.
Let's take a look back at what exactly was said back when it seemed they had confirmed that Peter wouldn't be Spider-Man. A close examination of the comments indicates that they never actually said anything of the sort.
“Peter Parker has spent a lifetime living up to the responsibilities his powers foisted upon him but his Amazing story finally ends dramatically in the historic Spider-Man #700,” Marvel said in a statement. “NOW! the new Spider-Man has arrived and he is better in every single way. Smarter, stronger…Superior.”
“This is still very much the world of Spider-Man. There may be a new Spider-Man here, doing things in a new and different way, but you’re going to see the Spider-cast reacting to this,” said Slott. “You’re going to see how this Spider-Man will deal with our Spider-Man’s villains. How will he react to this Spider-Man’s supporting cast? That is clearly the world of this book. The world hasn’t changed, just the hero.”
“Spider-Man has learned a lot during his time as a super hero, making him not just amazing anymore, he’s more than that,” said Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “Dan and Ryan have Spider-Man on a path that will challenge him in every way. Just because Spider-Man is Superior, it doesn’t mean things are even close to getting easier!”
Honestly, two of the three seem to suggest--but certainly don't say outright--that Peter will be replaced. That third comment, though? It sure sounds as though Alonso is suggesting Peter's still our man. The most likely scenario seems that it's actually Peter, albeit with a new attitude and a new outlook on his power-responsibility equation.
The question then becomes: Will his more decisive, violent manner be a result of having his mind "mixed" with Doctor Octopus's, in a Fury of Firestorm kind of way? Or perhaps just the result of having broken his vow that "nobody dies" by putting Doc Ock down once and for all?