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Off My Mind: How 'Peter Parker' Can Return to Being Spider-Man

Nothing is forever in comics and there is an easy way for the recent events shift back to the status quo.

This does not deal with or spoil the 'twist' in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1.

By now most people have heard the latest developments in the life of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. It's been all over the news, internet and we even did a video explaining the recent events. Spider-Man's enemy, Doc Ock, was dying and managed to switch bodies with Spider-Man. During their final battle, Doc Ock (in Spider-Man's body) managed to outwit Spider-Man (in Doc Ock's body) with the result of Peter Parker dying along with Ock's body. Otto Octavius now inhabits Peter Parker's body as the mind of Peter died along with Ock's body…or did it?

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Comic book deaths are nothing new. Characters die and eventually return for the most part. Because of Spider-Man's stature in comics, we know this change cannot be permanent. We have an interesting twist allowing for some different types of Spider-Man stories but at some point, the true Peter Parker has to return.

In a recent podcast, writer Dan Slott has even pointed out how when big changes are made, there's always a back door (this was in reference to the death of Hobgoblin). SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 has been released and there is another twist to the plot. It does add a new layer to these developments but returning Peter Parker to Spider-Man may not completely depend on that twist. There is another explanation to how things could return to normal.

One of the big questions many have had is how did Doc Ock actually switch bodies with Peter Parker? The explanation given was Spider-Man put himself in a situation on three occasions that allowed Ock to map out Parker's brain. This gave him a way to jump in and force Parker into his dying body. The only downside was each retained the memories of the other (which is why Ock in Spider-Man's body has the urge to be some sort of hero). The idea of switching bodies due to mapping out a person's brain seems like it could be a stretch but again, we're talking about a comic book plot so our suspension of disbelief needs to be used.

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An easier way to explain this and to offer a way out is perhaps they didn't actually switch bodies. What this means is Ock never left his body and Peter was never forced to reside in Ock's. What about their actions, thoughts and speech? We know they possess each other's memories. Peter was able to see Ock's full life and vice versa. Ock's plan to switch bodies could have failed but resulted in only each other's memories being forced into the minds of the other. This massive invasion could have taken dominance in both, making them think they actually were the other person in another body. In other words, Doc Ock could have thought his plan worked and now he was really Peter Parker in Ock's body and Spider-Man now thinks he's Ock in his body. That might be a little confusing but just think about it.

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When Ock's body died, it could have simply been Ock that did actually die. Only he thought he was Peter Parker, trying to switch bodies. The current SUPERIOR Spider-Man could still really be Spider-Man, only under the influence of Ock's memories, making him think he's Ock in the Parker body. At some point, these memories could be sorted out and SUPERIOR Spider-Man could realize he's not actually Ock at all. He's always been Peter Parker.

One simplified way to think about it is when a person is intoxicated. We hear about people doing things when influenced by alcohol that they normally wouldn't. Peter Parker could be drunk on Doc Ock. He could be influenced by those memories that were shoved into his brain which is making him think he's really Ock in his own body. At some point this will wear off or an expert will come in and help Peter sort out who he really is. That way, "Peter Parker" never died at all. Doc Ock didn't necessarily win. Any intimate relations between Peter and Mary Jane would have nothing to do with Octavius (and everyone can STOP bringing that up).

The fact is, Octavius REWROTE Peter's brain with his brain patterns and vice versa. This doesn't mean they actually SWITCHED bodies (like Freaky Friday).

Would this be a cop out? Not necessarily. Once Peter was able to return to having his actual mind in control, he'll have to deal with the repercussions of what happened when he thought he was really Ock in his body. We've already seen in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 that he's taken a more violent approach when dealing with his enemies. Peter will have to deal with that, getting fired from the Avengers as well as the developments that might occur with Mary Jane. There will be the question of what actions were done on his part and which by Ock's influence?

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What about Doc Ock then? Does this mean he was actually the one that died? It could be. Ock has died before. If this resulted in him actually being dead, it's a good sacrifice to fuel this story and turn Spider-Man's life upside down. He may have been a smart man but would he have been smart enough to actually manage figuring out how to switch bodies?

There's also always the possibility that he didn't actually die. What happened to his body after the battle? He appeared to be dead and there was one image of his body covered in a sheet. Maybe he wasn't fully dead but really close to it. When he was taken away, it could have been discovered he still had a tiny bit of fight left in him. Or maybe even some dastardly villain took his body and put it in some sort of suspended animation to figure out a way to bring him back. Sounds like something Norman Osborn would totally get behind and we haven't seen any mention of him since he awoke from his coma and escaped custody in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #697.

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This theory could be wrong of course. This is just how I see a way to revert Peter Parker dying and having Doc Ock in control of his body. While we have the seeds of another route being planted in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1, I don't feel that's the way it'll go. I see it as more of a multiple personality disorder thing. We'll have to wait and see. What should be noted is if I could come up with this plausible explanation, there's absolutely no reason to doubt that Dan Slott or the powers that be at Marvel haven't thought of an even better one.