Has Peter Parker really weaved his last web as Spider-Man?
Well, that's the definitive word from Marvel's milestone 700th issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, which just hit stores and deems to kill off everyone's favorite arachnid high-school hero after five decades of crime fighting.
The epic edition penned by longtime scribe Dan Slott finds Parker going up against his mentor-turned-archnemesis, Doctor Otto Octavius, otherwise known as Dr. Octopus, a battle that he subsequently loses, but only after one mighty, mind-bending twist.
Spidey's alter ego and Doc Ock end up switching minds during the encounter, leading Parker to be trapped in the crumbling life form of his enemy while Octavius' brilliant mind is transferred to Peter's body.
The latter subsequently beats to death his former multitentacled shell—with Peter in it—but not before Parker makes one final heroic sacrifice that lives up to the famous credo passed down by his Uncle Ben: "With great power comes great responsibility."
Now in control of Parker/Spider-Man, Doc Ock ends up receiving the gift of his former pupil's fondest memories of fighting for good, prompting the scientist to put his evil ways behind him permanently and live up to Parker's esteemed name and rep.
Peter Parker's swan song not only officially ends The Amazing Spider-Man's seminal 50-year run (it debuted in 1962) but ultimately sets the stage for a new series Marvel has in store for the webslinger called Superior Spider-Man, which will debut in January.
The bespectacled teenage geek's death was also a shock for fanboys, some of whom even sent death threats to Slott after news of the switcheroo first leaked out. Now they're going to have to get used to the idea of Spidey's fiercest foe, Dr. Octopus, assuming the mantle of their friendly neighborhood wallcrawler, even if he is a good guy.
"Peter's final, heroic act was giving Doc all the memories and experiences that kept him on the right path," Slott told CNN.
Whether or not Ock/Spidey stays on that path, the Marvel scribe added, is an open question that will no doubt be explored in the new series.