Back from the brain dead, Peter Parker returns to ‘Spider-Man’ comics

Story highlights

Peter Parker, out of commission more than a year, returns as Spider-Man

Peter Parker's return is one of the most anticipated comic book events of recent years

His loss in late 2012 -- and replacement by Dr. Octopus in a brain switch -- was controversial

CNN  — 

In late 2012, some comic book fans were completely outraged.

How could Marvel Comics lose Peter Parker, its most famous character, to a brain switch with Dr. Otto “Octopus” Octavius, so that “Doc Ock” would take over the role of Spider-Man?

That development in the final 700th issue of “Amazing Spider-Man” sent shock waves across the comic book industry and gave rise to “Superior Spider-Man” with the new Spidey, who was secretly “Doc Ock.”

All of that finally comes to an end with the relaunch of “Amazing Spider-Man.” The first new issue (#1 of course) hits stores on Wednesday, and the anticipation is so strong that at least 600,000 books have already been preordered (it doesn’t hurt that it comes with the comic “Inhuman” #1 for free).

CNN spoke again to once and future “Amazing Spider-Man” writer Dan Slott on the new developments surrounding the return of the original Spider-Man.

CNN: So why lose Peter Parker and then bring him back?

Dan Slott: With “Superior Spider-Man,” we took Peter away from everybody for a year. And we showed you how having someone who should never be Spider-Man be Spider-Man, how much you’d miss Peter Parker. And now he’s back! Just in time for the movie. It’s almost like we planned it.

Originally, when we were planning out Superior Spider-Man, editorial was like “This is a six-issue arc,” and we said “No, we can go longer than that.” Then it was “OK a year,” and then we said, “You know if we go a little further, we can make it to the movie!” It was a lot of faith from Marvel editorial, and I’m grateful they let me try it.

CNN: Why do you think Peter Parker is so beloved and important?

Slott: Peter is the one and only Spider-Man. He’s beyond comic book superhero, he is folklore, he is myth, he is legend! Peter Parker is always gonna be there for us, for every generation, like Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes or Hercules. This is an enduring hero for all time, the greatest superhero there ever was.

It’s weird because when we swapped brains with Doc Ock, one of my editors said “You’ll know you did your job right, if when they switch him back, everyone goes ‘No!’ “

It’s kind of fun that there are so many people out there who have become “Superior Spider-Man” fans that this has become a tragedy. No matter what you do, something’s gonna be a tragedy!

But there’s also people who are grateful and happy. They’re ecstatic Peter Parker is back.

CNN: What’s new about the new Peter Parker and the new book?

Slott: He’s the underdog and when he gives his all, he comes through. And with Peter Parker, he has all the problems we’ve had. And for 50 years, he’s whined about it. Now he’s the guy who has a new lease on life. This is his second chance, and he knows it. The mopey Peter Parker, that’s what’s dead. This Peter Parker will try to rise above it to grow up. This Peter Parker is very much a Rip Van Winkle.

It’s very much the old Chinese curse of “May you live in interesting times.” Peter Parker is coming back to interesting times. Doc Ock broke it off with Mary Jane. Mary Jane is now dating this fireman. Also, Doc Ock was dating this scientist, Annamaria. She moved in with him. And suddenly Peter Parker wakes up to that! What does he do?

We also learn that there was another person bitten by a spider at the same time as Peter. We never knew this all this time, and now this mysterious person is gonna show up. [Editor’s note: We have now learned that this character goes by the name Silk.]

CNN: What do you say to fans who have seen it all in terms of superheroes dying and resurrecting?

Slott: Let’s be fair. Peter Parker didn’t die. They swapped brains. So you’ve seen Peter Parker’s physical body up and running for a year and a half. And now he’s got his body back. I don’t think we’ve seen a brain-swap in comics last this long!

This isn’t death of Superman, Captain America or Human Torch – there’s been a really weird spin on this. You’ve seen that body up and about the entire time. As far as the other Marvel superheroes go, they don’t know he’s been dead or missing. They just think he’s been a colossal jerk.

Doc Ock’s body was buried and in “Superior Spider-Man,” we learned that grave is empty! Ooooh …

CNN: What else can we look forward to in the new stories?

Slott: The whole world now looks at Spider-Man differently, some good, some bad.

Same great power, all new responsibilities!

You’ve always dealt with a mopey Peter Parker but now that he’s coming back with this can-do attitude – when life gives him lemons, he’s gonna make lemon-flavored web fluid.

That’s our new positive, upbeat Spidey.