Amazing Spider-Man #700 was the comic that got me back into comic books. I had been cruising my local comic shop for a couple of months. I’d step in with my wife and son, just to take a peek, just to reminisce and see what was new. The feeling of nostalgia was so strong. All those new books on the shelf, the colourful art… I couldn’t resist forever.
When I picked up Amazing Spider-Man #700, I didn’t even know it was supposed to be the last issue of the series. I had a pretty extensive collection of Spider-Man comics from the 80s. I grew up on Amazing Spider-Man. I thought I’d treat myself to a milestone issue and see what was going on with one of my favourite characters.
When I initially read the “Death of Peter Parker” story in that issue, I wasn’t impressed. I felt kind of ripped off. I was looking for a nostalgia high and instead got a story about the hero of my youth dying in the body of an old man. The metaphorical correspondences were not pleasant.
I didn’t pick up Superior Spider-Man #1 right away. The series had been running for about a year and a half before I actually picked one up and read. It was the Superior Venom story arc that piqued my interest. After that I started picking up back issues off the rack. I’ve now got most of the series in my collection.
It’s a good story. Surely you know the details by now. Doc Ock pulls a body snatcher routine and implants his consciousness in Peter’s body. As Spider-Man, Ock then starts applying a super-villain’s sensibility to Spider-man’s heroing work. He hires goons; he amasses an arsenal of evil genius weaponry; he stops showing mercy.
Most importantly Superior Spider-Man is fun. It’s an enjoyable read. Also, important: it’s coming to an end. The series isn’t wearing out its welcome. The publisher has never seriously suggested that Peter is gone for good and Spider-Ock is the new status quo. This is a self-contained story, that takes Spidey in an interesting direction for a limited period of time.
The story has been received very positively by Spider-Man fans, impressive for such a dramatic assault on the character mythology. When one recalls how vehemently fans objected to the Clone Saga, the support for Superior is all the more impressive.
All of these factors suggest that, over time, issues of Superior Spider-Man are going to go up in value. This isn’t a quick-flip proposition. A year from now, no one is going to be shelling out $40.00 for Superior #1. However, this series has all the necessary ingredients for long-term growth. Spider-Man is a blue chip character, and Dan Slott has written a good story that’s popular with fans and has lasting implications for the character’s mythology. If you’re looking to add a good series to your collection, a series that has a good chance to appreciate in value in the long term, go buy every issue of Superior Spider-Man.