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FB Repost: Why Dying Wish Offends Me FAR Less As a Story Than OMD

Originally posted a couple weeks ago on my blog, The Comics Cove.

Warning: This post has spoilers about the story arc leading up to Amazing Spider-Man #700. If you don't want to be spoiled, then please don't read any further. You have been warned.

In the aftermath of ASM #700, I've been hearing a lot of hate directed at the storyline, its writer Dan Slott, and the overall state of Spider-Man in general. I've heard terms like "disrespectful," "lame," and "unfit" bandied around and lobbed like grenades in reference to the death Peter Parker endured. A number of long-time Spider-Man fans and readers have declared they will not stick around for a Spider-Man title that doesn't include Peter Parker. There have been unfavorable comparisons of this story to the Clone Saga and the egregious One More Day. In other words, the reactions have been extreme, voluminous, and plenty.

As one of those long-time Spidey readers and a fan who considers the web-slinger my favorite among superheroes, I have to disagree with the large volume of negative chatter out there. To be sure, I wasn't exactly thrilled at Peter's death, but I came away from this story far less offended than I had been by the end of One More Day (henceforth OMD).

I've already reviewed the final issue of the series, but I didn't expand much on how this storyline, for me, bests OMD, another controversial storyline that bequeathed a huge change to the Spider-Man status quo. I'd planned to do so as a follow-up post in this blog, but a friend's response to my review link on Facebook prompted me to write it there. He had issues with the amount of disrespect he perceived in Peter's death, as well as other loose plot ends, such as Octo-Spidey's (btw, PLEASE stop calling him Spock, people. There's already a very popular character by that name in the Star Trek franchise) relationships to MJ and Aunt May.

I address those things, as well as make a direct comparison to OMD, in my re-posted response below:

We don't always get the ending we want for our heroes. I had this same debate with Alex during the whole "will Bruce die in DKR?" discussion many months ago. I think the moral victory is what becomes important in these cases, and I think that's where Peter won out in this conflict. Sometimes they have to win where they can in these kinds of situations, and I feel that's what happened.

What was important to Peter Parker at the end? Yes, getting his body back and beating Ock would have been best. An all-out sacrifice saving those he loved would have also worked. But neither of those things happened, because Octavius out-muscled and out-thought him on both fronts. Which makes sense, as they're both brilliant men who know how the other thinks.

When it became clear that neither of those things was going to happen, did Peter give up? No. At that point, it became paramount to not let Doctor Octopus run around in his body, using it to do evil as Spider-Man and Peter Parker. THAT ending would have been a huge middle finger to the character. Peter used their connection to show all of his most important memories to Octavius as Peter's life flashed before his eyes, in a sense bonding them to him, making Octavius really see things from another perspective.

Octavius, shaken and humbled, becomes a different man, and vows to carry on as best he can in Peter's name. He's still Octavius, of course--hence the "better than you ever were" moment at the end--but he's been diverted from his more sinister original intentions. He will try to be a hero. Peter wins, at least on that front, and it can be argued that's the most important one at this point.

And as for mourning, appreciation... Peter will get those things from Octavius. Not ideal, I admit, but it does work in an odd way, given everything that's gone down.

Regarding relations with MJ... well, I'm not sure how to feel about that, but it's been made clear that he's pursuing her on that front. I think it's less of a problem for me than it would have been if they were still married, but the OMD train wreck effectively nixes that. From that point to now, there's been the unspoken possibility of them getting together, but nothing solid--until, ironically, Octavius arrived. And while I get the squick factor in Octavius having sexy time with MJ, I'm thinking that this subplot is one of those tests for Superior Spidey's new character. I'm curious to see how it pans out, and really not sure what to think until then.

Regarding May... yeah. Weird. I'm pushing that out of my head. I'm sure Octavius will, too.

I think what makes this story much more palatable for me than OMD comes down to two points.

First and foremost, different and better choices were made by the hero. In OMD, Peter chooses to selfishly sacrifice his marriage to bring back his dying aunt, who by all measures should have been allowed to die. He just couldn't handle the guilt. It was one of the most un-heroic moments in the mythos, and was chiefly the result of a lack of testicles on the part of the editorial staff to tell some actually realistic Spider-Man stories in the wake of Civil War. It's what made me nerd-rage like I never have in the past.

Here, Peter doesn't take the easy way out. He fights, and never gives up despite the overwhelming situation he's in. And even when he knows he'll die, he still fights on, trying to convert Octavius into a hero. It is, in my opinion, one of the most respectful ways to have your hero handle that kind of no-win scenario. That he does convert Octavius is what makes this his final victory.

Second, this story didn't come out of left field, like OMD did. In OMD, May gets shot, Peter tries desperately to save her (which he should), and is (quite literally) magically shown there's nothing he can do to save her. All is lost, and then ALONG COMES MEPHISTO, offering a deal. It's Diablo ex Machina, with all the magic trappings thrown in to emphasize it. The editors wanted Pete and MJ's marriage dissolved, and quickly, and it plainly shows here. No respect given to that at all.

Here, this story's been building for quite some time. Clues and red herrings have abounded for the last 100 issues, from when Ock returned. If you look back to Spider Island, Ends of the Earth, etc., you can see pieces of the puzzle, and shudder at how they've been used in the most recent storyline. There was planning that went into this story, and it shows. You can not say that for OMD.

The points I made above are pretty much what I would have said in a follow-up post, and are the primary reason I urge Spider-Man readers to give Dan Slott the benefit of the doubt here. I know Octavius in Peter Parker's body is a controversial, unnerving, and distasteful proposition. But it's also a huge opportunity to tell some very interesting stories that you couldn't have done with Peter Parker, and Slott has been all about the interesting stories in his run on this series.

I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here. I think true fans of Spider-Man will be, as well.


Photos of My Spider-Man Costume!

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...

I know these are about a month overdue, but this is one of the costumes I got delivered to me, the day before Halloween, and of course it's the one I chose to wear to work. Black suit Spider-Man was well received by co-workers and the general public alike at my library, and it was great fun to wear.

It's a full-body zentai suit, for anyone curious. I specified that the mask be removable, so I was able to take it off when needed (like whenever I was eating). Another zipper was also put in so I could use the restroom without too much trouble.

Typing through the gloves was

interesting. Not something you

want to try every day though!

Strike a pose... at the library!

One thing I ended up asking myself at the end of the day was, how does Spidey make it through all that web-slinging and wall-crawling and crimefighting without any shoes on?! Seriously, by the end of the day, my feet were not happy with me!

In any case, I can guarantee you I've got plenty of cosplay material for future cons now--not to mention, future Halloweens!

Hey, who's this dude in the
poster next to me?


Christmas Time on All Hallows' Eve

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...

So, I can't help but feel like the holidays have already started for me, personally, as a bit of a miracle happened today.

For those of you who've read my posts from earlier in the year, I've basically put forth two goals for this year, my comics and cosplay New Year's resolutions, if you will. They were:

  1. Attend a comic convention outside of Houston; and
  2. Get my cosplay together! Essentially get a couple of costumes this year, for both Halloween and cosplay purposes.

For the sake of timeliness, I won't say here what costumes I've been working on. I will say, however, that I finally had to break down and just order them, as I'm lousy at assembling costumes, and expect I always will be. So, I did. In the middle of this month.

Ideally, I would have gotten them in time to wear to Wizard World Austin, which I was just at this weekend (and which I will talk about in more detail later. In short, it was AWESOME!). That, however, didn't happen, and I wasn't surprised about it. I was secretly hoping, however, that they would arrive in time for Halloween. I wasn't optimistic about it, given how late in the game I'd waited, and the likelihood that most costume companies are probably backlogged with last-minute or semi-last-minute orders like mine.

And then, score!

I got a call today from someone trying to deliver a package. My heart virtually skipped a beat, and I went home far more excited and upbeat than I'd expected. The package ended up being BOTH of my costumes, and with Halloween tomorrow, it was a Christmas story for the annals of Halloween. I tried them both on, and they both fit great and look great.

Expect pics tomorrow.

In the mean time, I'm just happy. :-)

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Marvel NOW! Marvel, What?

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...

Okay, I gotta say: little raccoon with a
minigun is pretty sweet!

Over the summer, a lot happened while I wasn't writing. Yesterday I mentioned the recent kiss between Superman and Wonder Woman. Superhero films The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises came out and caused long lines at theaters (reviews in the near future). Some big names at DC jumped ship from the New 52 titles. Oh yeah, and Avengers vs. X-Men is still going on, though it's apparently due to wrap up soon (ish).

AvX has gotten better as it's gone along over the summer, and I'm both eager and apprehensive about its impending conclusion. I want to see what comes out of such a vicious struggle between these two groups, as it at least in part stemmed from their relative insularity from one another. Both Emma Frost and Cyclops have made comments that the Avengers have never bothered to help the X-Men with any of their major problems, and the X-Men have responded by often remaining neutral and getting minimally involved in events where the Avengers have had a large stake in matters, such as Marvel's Civil War from a few years ago. After AvX, this appears to be getting addressed, and I'm interested to see what shape this takes and where it goes.

Yep. "Nick Fury's" getting a "new

But what makes me more than a little nervous is the sheer number of canceled, new, and "revamped" titles coming out under this new marketing initiative, Marvel NOW! Characterized as NOT a reboot, but instead a major shifting of the Marvel Universe due to the events from AvX, there will be new teams, new status quos, and new perspectives explored by Marvel's stalwart heroes. Some of the noteworthy changes I've observed so far seem to be a new regular team that consists of both Avengers and X-Men; a new "version" of Nick Fury who closely resembles the Nick Fury from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (who, as it happens, resembled Ultimate Marvel's interpretation of the character); and the return of Jean Grey, who's deaths in comics have never been permanent, though often well-thought out.

It's all very exciting, but it's also confusing. To cancel so many long-standing titles like The Fantastic Four and Invincible Iron Man and immediately do another volume of the same title certainly feels like a reboot, or at the very least an unnecessary change. And you can't argue that this is "just another phase" Marvel's going through, like Civil War, then Secret Invasion, then Dark Reign, then Heroic Age. To my knowledge, those arcs didn't have anywhere near this scale of canceled and new titles, nor the number of fundamental changes. Something's going on that's clearly bigger than the storylines of previous years, but not quite as sweeping as an overall reboot like the New 52 was.

It feels like Marvel saw how successful New 52 was, and decided, "We need to do something big and sweeping! But, er, not quite a 'reboot,' per se. Let's see what we can come up with!"

Now (pun intended), we're still a few weeks from this, and of course, I'm going to give it a shot. Despite the reactionary feel to it, I know to give the minds at Marvel some leeway for the most part (except for Quesada. I will never forgive One More Day. You better not screw this up, man!). And it does look interesting. I'm just feeling a little unnerved by the scale and timing of this particular change.

Bring it, Marvel. I'm apprehensive, but still eager to see what you do with this one.


The Kiss That Sort of Shook the Comics World

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...

Okay. Back in earnest. Here we go.

So by now you've probably at least heard the news that Superman and Wonder Woman share a passionate kiss at the end of Justice League #12. It's certainly been making the rounds in comics circles, and major news outlets are at least taking note of the fact that Superman is kissing someone other than Lois Lane. Images of Jim Lee's cover have flooded the Internet, and the hardcore fanboys and fangirls are lining up on both sides of the "Will it last?" question.

Regardless of how one may feel about this development--which, thus far, consists of a single kiss--I find it more than a little shocking that this is such a big deal. It's not even like it's never happened before. Since at least the 1980s, there have been stories and indications that show how Superman and Wonder Woman could be a good match. In the alternate reality story Kingdom Come (which, by the way, is excellent, and I can't believe I haven't reviewed yet), Superman and Wonder Woman not only get together, but she is pregnant with Superman's child.

I suppose another factor in the shock and discomfiture of this pairing has a lot to do with the fact that this is NOT Lois Lane, who we are taught to think is "The One And Only True Love" Superman is supposed to be with. This may be true in the movies--which, despite their popularity, are not real source material--but the comics tell a very different story. Aside from Lois Lane, Superman has had other, admittedly more minor or less timely love interests--Lana Lang admittedly being the only one who jumps readily to my mind (my knowledge of Superman trivia is not as extensive as other areas). Superman fans, feel free to help round out the list for me.

Our cultural obsession with the "one true love" thing is something I find off-putting, particularly in a necessarily timeless (and time-bending) medium such as comics. I don't know how many articles I've already read where people are essentially saying, "Superman and Lois WILL get together eventually. I know it will happen. This is just a temporary thing." It's like they can't stand the idea of ANY OTHER romance working, simply because the Lois Lane one worked so well, and nothing else will possibly compare.

Little question: How do you know it won't compare as well if you don't explore the other possibilities?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: superheroes are one of our modern mythologies. Mythologies are necessarily open to reinterpretation, revision, and re-telling. Things should happen in a more or less organic way and be respectful of the audience, but aside from that, anything goes.

And a little thing about the New 52: it's a perfect point to reinterpret it characters' lives. We've already seen quite a few controversial changes, such as Victor Fries's motivation for becoming Mr. Freeze, Bruce Wayne possibly having a sibling (!), and so forth. If these things are fair game, then so are relationships and who loves who.

I've also personally felt superhero relationships with "civilians" were too contrived to work. I've never been a huge fan of Spider-Man's marriage to Mary Jane, and have usually longed for him to have companionship who could survive on the same level as he could. This is many times as true with Superman and Lois Lane. I mean, Spider-Man's arch nemeses are supervillains, like the Green Goblin, Doc Ock and the Kingpin. Superman's arch enemies include Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Darkseid, other pissed-off Kryptonians... basically cosmic-scale adversaries, for the most part. How the hell is Lois supposed to be kept safe against them? Wonder Woman is not only able to defend herself against these threats ably, but she has her own rogues gallery to contend with. She'll be likely saving Superman's hide once in a while.

I've never been a huge fan of either of these heroes individually, but I find myself saluting Geoff Johns and Jim Lee for this development. Only time will tell, of course, but I think there's the potential for a lot of awesome, creative, and fresh storytelling with these two as a potential couple. They can play on each other's level, and they are both outsiders within the Justice League. And in this new interpretation of the DC Universe, I think this is a promising glimpse of things to come.


I'm Back!... Well, Sort of...

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...

Summer really took me away from my regular writing, and forced me to consider other ways of doing comic reviews and continuing to post here on a consistent basis. In effect, I had to take a "vacation" from writing. Well, vacation's over!

... sort of.

While I can't promise to write every day--I've been devoting some of my writing energies to my fiction, and will continue doing so--I will be experimenting with other ways to keep doing these posts, from writing to video reviews... who knows, I might even consider podcasting down the line.

At any rate, the video here is my first attempt at setting up *some* kind of background for doing comic reviews that doesn't look entirely like I'm filming in my room (which, of course, I totally am). Have a look, feel free to laugh at my n00bishness, and most importantly, feel free to send any tips my way, so that when I next do this, things will look a little better.

It's good to be back! Thanks for bearing with me the last couple months while I've been away!


A Post for My Sisters: Thoughts on the Aurora TDKR Tragedy

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago.

Hi. I'm back, for a moment.

I know I've been away for a while, and I don't plan on re-posting regularly again for a while, but I felt the strong urge to comment on this. It is, after all, related to the existence of a comic book property.

Whenever tragedies such as the one that occurred in Aurora, CO last night happen, I am always shocked, saddened, and angered.

Even though I take the occasional snide jab at all the "crazy people" out in this crazy world of ours, it's still mind-bending for me to wrap my head around the idea that someone, somewhere out there, thinks it's okay/permissible/acceptable/part of God's will/destiny to armor up, grab guns and other weaponry, go out in public, and turn them on the general public. I mean, hell, I often have a hard time just arguing in public, out of a keen sense of not wanting to disrupt other people's lives with my own business. That someone will willingly go and insert themselves so violently into others' lives is far beyond my understanding.

And it saddens me deeply that this person even got to the point where they felt this way, and that his victims have paid such a steep price, be it through loss of life, bodily injury, or a shattered sense of personal safety and security. Many of those victims were doubtlessly comic book, sci-fi, or pop culture fans, eager to see The Dark Knight Rises first and enjoy the end to Christopher Nolan's take on the mythology. Sadly, that will probably be the furthest thing from their minds for a very long time to come.

But I think, right now, perhaps out of shock, I want to focus on my anger. Because right now, there's so much of it bubbling in me.

I'm angry at the violence inflicted on the public. The concept of taking any human life, to say nothing of multiple lives, is upsetting and provokes a visceral response from me. In the moments I hear about it, I get the instinctive urge to lash out at the killer, to cause them as much pain and suffering as they've doubtlessly caused others. It's further intensified when the violence is as apparently unprovoked and directed at innocent bystanders as this most recent incident was.

I'm angry that this is being and will be sensationalized, compared to Columbine, etc. by the media. The media, as always, love to focus on the tragedy, the bad news, the shocking thing. They blow it out of proportion, and, by excessive exposure, glamorize it, whether they intend to or not. It's gotten to the point that it's automatic for them. It's just "what they do." And by continuing this behavior, they send the message to their viewers/readers/listeners that infamy is the only thing that's newsworthy. That bad and depraved actions are the norm. And that human life is disposable. There is so little focus on the more positive, or at least damage-mitigating sides of the journalistic coin, that no one cares for them.

For example, see if you can answer these questions, in the wake of the tragedy: What resources are in place for the victims of the Aurora shooting? What resources are there for people like the shooter, who might need help or watching? How are they doing, funding-wise? How did the local Chik-Fil-A help out in the immediate aftermath of the shooting?

Any answers I have to these questions didn't come from the mainstream media, who could find this out and report it in a heartbeat. But no, they'd rather focus on the shooter, the panicked public reaction, and stupid comparisons of the influence The Dark Knight Rises had on the incident. Grow a pair and try some actual journalism with standards, you morons.

I'm angry that this will be used by idealogues to try to influence the way you think and act. Much like the media--who will sensationalize this to attract viewers/readers/listeners--pundits, talking heads, idealogues, and Rush Limbaugh will take a similar tack and try to say stupid things, like "This is the result of liberal/conservative stances on gun control! Think and vote the way I do and it'll go away!" Religious fundamentalists might say this is God's/Allah's/Yahweh's punishment to people who aren't pious enough, and that Batman is the ultimate symbol of that infidelity. We don't, as a culture, have the propriety to treat this for what it is--a horrific act of a lone madman--and leave it alone. We have to subvert it for political purposes, and that pisses me off to no end.

I'm angry that more isn't done to prevent people like the shooter from getting to that point. I'm not just talking about Barry Lyga's very practical implication that insane people shouldn't be allowed access to guns, though that would of course be helpful. There are services, institutions, resources out there that help people with mental issues like this, and frankly they need more funding and better support from governments at all levels. We're living in an economic world that is slowly and methodically destroying these resources, even as the need for them increases. If an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure, then why are we cutting back on spending for mental health facilities, treatment research, and staff to carry out these helpful services?

This last one's the most selfish, and the most personal.

I'm angry that, if it had occurred somewhere else, any of my sisters could have been among the victims. This of course applies to all my loved ones and friends, but I can't help it. Whenever a shooting went on at a school, or any public place, my first impulse is to think of my three sisters and thank my lucky stars that they weren't shot at, or shot. I'm the oldest child, and the only male among us, so I feel a strong sense of protection towards them, and the idea that even the remotest possibility exists that they could ever be involved in an incident such as Aurora fills me with a rage and uncertainty that I often just have to bury, lest it overwhelms me.

Because at this point, in this world, it ain't goin' away.

So, though I doubt anyone will hear this or be moved enough by it to act, I offer up a plea. It's directed as much at the reporters and pundits as it is at the potential would-be shooters of the world, and it's this: whenever you act, think about your little sisters. Think about your friends and loved ones. Think about the kind of world you want them to live in, that you want to leave behind for them. Act to bring that world about for them, so that we might all have it.

They don't deserve to grow up in a world where this kind of lunacy exists. No one does.


Spider-Man, or The Amazing Spider-Man? The Case for Reboots in Mo

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...

Since we're on the precipice of The Amazing Spider-Man's premiere, I thought I'd go ahead and address an issue that seems to come up when film franchises reboot.

In the last few weeks, I've found a plethora of opinions, both online and otherwise, as people compare the last trilogy of Spider-Man films with the one that's rebooting the franchise in just a couple days. More often than not, people complain about Tobey Maguire's absence and how dark The Amazing Spider-Man seems in comparison to the previous films. Others have mentioned their discontent with the idea of reboots and "repackaging the same stories" for the purposes of making money off the public. Overall, the comparisons are not favorable for the new kid, and reek of nostalgia for last decade's movies.

I think I've made my position on these kinds of situations clear on several occasions, but it bears repeating in light of the negativity I've seen for the upcoming film. Too often, I've seen people get too used to a particular actor in a particular role, and base their opinions on reboots and recasting on that comfort. It makes them less receptive to what could otherwise be an excellent change in the mythology or narrative, and brings an unnecessarily negative perception to something that's biggest flaw seems to be that it's different from what previously came to pass.

Despite all the apprehension and, in some cases, outright hate I've seen directed at The Amazing Spider-Man, we all know it's going to do extremely well. It's too high profile, and the mythology is too popular for it not to make a big dent, at least come its opening weekend. Hopefully enough of the naysayers will be convinced to give it a chance by that point, but in the mean time I think it's worth pointing out some of the non-peer pressure reasons for checking it out.

The Spider-Man films from last decade were good, there can be no denying it (except for Spider-Man 3, many will argue). I can understand a certain amount of attachment to them, as they were very well done. But I think it's both short-sighted and unfair to spite the successor before it's even arrived, simply because you like the previous stories so much.

One of the most common arguments I've found against The Amazing Spider-Man have centered around Andrew Garfield's interpretation of Peter Parker / Spider-Man. What seems to be said most is that he's too snarky, and not nice enough as the sensitive, put-upon Peter Parker they remember from the movies, and in some cases the comics.

While that's a valid concern in some ways, there have been other interpretations of Peter Parker as a still-nice, but more confident and sarcastic teenager, most notably in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man, also from the previous decade. Even without that source material, the alteration to Peter's personality, while noticeable, isn't substantial enough to make him essentially a different character. With a reboot, you essentially get the opportunity to use the same characters and settings to tell different stories, and that includes changing some aspects of the characters' personalities.

But, of course, many people have issues with the idea of a reboot in the first place. As for why, that's something I'll discuss tomorrow, as well as why I think reboots, when done well, are fair game.

Until then, don't hate the new films just because you love the old ones. There's plenty of room for both, or at least holding off judgment as long as it takes to give the reboot a fair shake!


Why Norman Osborn Is Peter Parker's Greatest Love

Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...

If this article seems hastily written, my apologies. I'm perpetually short on time, and on deadline.

I recently read a pair of articles on ComicVine that make arguments for why Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy are each the best romantic interest for Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man). The MJ article really pissed me off, as I could list off a multitude of reasons why I think she was a lousy match for Peter. Needless to say, I'm none too pleased at the direction the comics are currently taking with them, as they seem to be angling to put them together post-One More Day travesty. The Gwen Stacy article, while I have fewer issues with it, still seems a little too mired in the sentimentality of the past.

Still, the comments section of any article is either a source of great humor or angst, and in reading the replies to both articles, I was inspired by one of the commenters to respond with one of the more hilarious takes on this topic. Namely, why Norman Osborn is Peter Parker's greatest love.

Don't believe me? Step up to the stage, skeptic! :-P

Norman Osborn, in case any of you don't know, is the Green Goblin, one of Spider-Man's most iconic and long-standing foes. It's easy to say that he's obsessed with Spider-Man, in much the same way the Joker is obsessed with Batman (and vice versa). So like MJ and Gwen, he's been in Peter's life for a very long time. And unlike one of these potential true loves, Norman's come back for the dead for him!

He's the father of Peter's best friend, Harry Osborn, and has on multiple occasions lamented how much better a son Peter would have made for him than the unmotivated, underachieving Harry. On more than one occasion, Norman has indicated an obsession with making Peter his surrogate son in Harry's stead, an offer which Peter always refuses. So in that sense at least, you have Peter playing hard to get, and Norman always pursuing him.

Even when he knew Peter's secret identity as Spider-Man (or vice versa), he's never actually spilled the beans to the public, something Peter did himself in the Civil War. Sure, he may have manipulated, threatened, and driven him crazy, but at least he never killed Aunt May or put her in any kind of terminal condition--which Peter essentially did do. So in a warped sense of irony, he knows Peter better than Peter knows himself, and treats Peter better than Peter often treats himself.

Then there's the storyline Sins Past, where we find out that way, way back in the past, Norman Osborn actually slept with Gwen Stacy and fathered children with her. Now clearly, Norman had no real feelings for Gwen--he certainly didn't think twice about killing her--and was much more interested in furthering his obsession with creating a worthy heir, but by this point in their history, he had to realize he wasn't going to get anywhere with his other obsession, Peter Parker. But given Peter's closeness with Gwen, what better way to feel close to the object of your affection (short of killing his girl, which he succeeded at doing) than nailing his love and getting her pregnant with twins?

If he wasn't able to have Peter, he could at least make himself a permanent fixture in his life.

Finally, there's the letter.

You know what I'm talking about. From the story arc The Last Stand. Spidey has just defeated the Goblin after being put through a specially taxing series of gauntlets, managed to rescue his Aunt May, and finally earned himself some rest. And what do we see going in the mail as this happens? A letter, from Norman Osborn to Peter Parker, thanking him for providing challenge, structure, and purpose for his otherwise boring and humdrum life. He wishes him all the best, and hopes for a speedy recovery so they can eventually meet again.

If that's not obsession...

Peter may not love Norman Osborn, but he has in his way obsessed over him just as much as Norman has obsessed over Peter. You can't dispute that he's an enormously important figure in Peter's life, and as time and writing have shown, he'll never leave him the way Gwen did--never mind the technicalities of him killing her, which I would argue is yet another result of his obsession with Spidey. They give each other meaning and purpose, and definitely strive to be at their best when they get together.

I'm not saying it's a perfect love, and I'm not saying it isn't more than a little twisted, but it is for the reasons above that I believe Norman Osborn, more than Gwen and MJ, is the number one love of Peter Parker's life.

This article is, in case anyone freaks out, intended as a joke. I don't really think Norman is Peter's greatest love, though this did arise from a sense of discontent from the ComicVine articles. Comparing Gwen an MJ is really not fair, so I figured another unfair comparison was, ironically, fair game.