The release of Amazing Spider-Man #800 in May 2018 will see one of the biggest creative shakeups to the Spider-Man titles in some time. After ten years chronicling the wall-crawler’s adventures — and as sole writer for eight of them — Dan Slott will be leaving Peter Parker behind and moving on to chronicle the adventures of Tony Stark, aka Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man. With Slott having faced criticism from segments of fandom for turning Peter Parker into a Tony Stark-esque character during the latter part of his run, it seems a fitting move to trade one hero’s webs for another’s armor.
Slott’s run on Amazing Spider-Man broken= new ground and saw many landmark events in Peter’s life. The death of Marla Jameson, the establishment and fall of Parker Industries, and Peter’s ‘death’ and replacement by Otto Octavius are only some of the key events to have occurred on Slott’s watch. But for all the acclaim that Slott’s stories have often generated, his portrayal of Peter Parker has often proved controversial, sparking debate among fans about whether Peter has been portrayed in a manner consistent with his rich history.
Peter has certainly been portrayed in a number of different ways throughout Slott’s run, running the gamut from inventor to ‘memory ghost’ to CEO to sofa surfer. Yet despite the myriad of changes that he’s been through, there’s a strong argument that throughout his run Slott merely built on what has come before, taking the essence of Peter Parker and utilizing it in new and exciting ways.
This was evident from the start of Slott’s solo run, when Peter began working at Horizon Labs. For someone that designed his own web fluid at the age of 15, it had always seemed a waste of Peter’s talent that he never got to fully embrace his scientific side. A similar plot during Howard Mackie and John Byrne’s late-’90s revamp of the Spider books was never fully developed, but Slott took the opportunity to show how Peter putting his smarts to good use could not only help him in his costumed identity, but could also benefit society as a whole.
This theme was taken to the next level when Peter found himself the CEO of Parker industries – a global conglomerate. This may have given him previously undreamed of wealth and access to a whole host of shiny gadgets, but underneath he was still the same Peter Parker. He used the resources of the company not for personal gain, but to try and make the world a better place. And, as with Horizon Labs, the memory of Uncle Ben and the importance of family was a primary theme dictating his actions.
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