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Off My Mind: Why Peter Parker’s Return Won’t Be Easy for Spider-Man

Fighting Doc Ock is one thing. Once the dust settles, there’s still plenty to straighten out.

Otto Octavius defeated Spider-Man. We’ve been witnessing Dock Ock inhabit Spider-Man’s body as the SUPERIOR Spider-Man. He’s done things in a different way and proclaimed to be able to be Spider-Man more efficiently than Peter Parker could. Of course things started blowing up in his face during Goblin Nation.

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From the first moment Peter was defeated and Otto took over, most of us knew this wouldn’t last forever. Peter Parker would somehow someday come back. Marvel announced Peter’s return along with the relaunch of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN in April. As SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN winds down its last few issues, detailing how Peter’s return could happen, there are other things to think about. Peter may have been in the fight for his life, literally, but even by winning against Otto, the fight is not over.

Otto may have done a lot of things in a very efficient manner but he’s forsook a lot in Peter’s life. Peter can’t simply announce to his friends, family, and colleagues his body had been taken over by the memories of Doc Ock. Things like this might happen in the Marvel Universe but it’s not something just anyone can use as an excuse. Peter has a lot of messes to clean up.

Mary Jane

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SpOck was downright rude to MJ after he abandoned trying to get intimate with Peter’s former love. He may have saved her against the Vulture’s minions when they attacked her nightclub but as time went on, Otto grew less cordial with her.

With Mary Jane knowing Peter was Spider-Man, Otto used this to bark orders at MJ when he couldn’t be bothered coming up an excuse for Peter’s sudden disappearance. It appeared as if MJ might have been ready to possibly rekindle her relationship with Peter but after SpOck failed to save her burning nightclub, MJ has fallen into the arms of a New York firefighter.

Carlie Cooper

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Peter’s more recent ex could be of help when Peter tries to put out the fires in his social life since she was able to figure out what Otto did. The problem is, this knowledge and her relationship with Peter cost her a little. Getting kidnapped and turned into a Goblin isn’t something that can be easily overlooked and forgiven. Secrets often have a price and this wasn’t even her secret. Being close to Peter can have serious consequences.

Aunt May

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Otto may have wanted to marry May Parker once upon a time but he’s clearly moved on. Aside from his usual brisk and rude nature, when Aunt May didn’t react to his new girlfriend, Anna Maria Marconi, Otto got pretty raw on her. Peter’s never barked at his beloved aunt before. With Peter also defending Spider-Man, even after she witnessed what he did in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 after she was kidnapped, she’s really going to question Peter’s judgement.

Anna Maria

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Otto decided Peter Parker needed a doctorate. While going back to school, he met and fell in love with Anna Maria. They even moved in together. We can all assume they’ve become really close. Will Peter recall this relationship? What will he tell her once he’s back in the driver’s seat in his body? Although, with Anna Maria being kidnapped by the Goblins, who knows what her future will be?

J. Jonah Jameson

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JJJ always had a hatred for Spider-Man but it wasn’t as deep as he would let on. After coming around to SUPERIOR Spider-Man’s ways, Jonah quickly was reminded of how much of a menace Spider-Man could be. SpOck ended up blackmailing Mayor Jameson to get what he wanted. This pushed Jonah to play his old games and commission a new batch of Spider-Slayers. While this will have repercussions for Jonah, he will, of course, place all the blame on the wall-crawler.

Parker Industries

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Peter has a business now. A lot of money was borrowed and sunk into it all. With the recent attack by the Goblins, there’s the question of how much of Parker Industries will be salvageable? Hopefully Otto was superior in his thinking and took out a really good insurance policy. Peter will have the responsibilities of running his business. Even if he doesn’t want to or doesn’t have anything left to run, there’s still the money that will have to be repaid.

The Avengers

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How will they ever trust him again? As superheroes, they may be more willing to accept the body-switching or mind control excuse. The problem is, all of their sensors told them it was the Spider-Man they welcomed onto their team. How can they trust him in the future? It’s not like they could set up a password or reference some old shared memory because Ock had them all. But then again, Peter might be too busy trying to fix his life to spend time with the Avengers.

And of course he's also ticked off others like Black Cat and Spider-Man 2099.

Peter’s return will be more than just a return of the classic Spider-Man we knew before. He has a lot to deal with. It’d be easy to just tell everyone, “Doc Ock took over my body by inserting his memories into my brain! It wasn’t me!” Of course everyone would think that was absurd. And look at how things turned out for Bucky, who was brainwashed into being the Winter Soldier. That, at least, is a little more believable. The whole, “It wasn’t me” defense wouldn’t go too far.

Peter Parker has always suffered from the “Parker Luck.” He probably hasn’t seen anything yet. There may be a brief moment for Peter to celebrate coming back but there won't be many around that will want to celebrate with him. He's going to have a lot to clean up before others will trust him again.