For decades, comic books have had major shakeups in their pages, with varying degrees of fan support — and outrage.
In 1992, well before the advent of social media, Superman was killed and comic books went flying off the shelves.
In 2007, social media like Facebook and Twitter were in their infancy when Captain America died.
And now — due in part to the abundance of social media and the intense interest in Spider-Man’s alter ego, Peter Parker — a firestorm has erupted, after Marvel revealed that Parker will die, and the role of Spider-Man will be taken over by his archenemy, Doctor Octopus.
The just-released “Amazing Spider-Man” #700 marks the end of one of the most popular comic book series of all time after 50 years. All parties involved maintain that the changes are quite permanent, and next month, the saga begins anew with the release of “The Superior Spider-Man” #1, with the Doc, Otto Octavius, stepping into the Spidey suit.
Otto believes that with the combination of his intelligence and Parker’s inherited memories and spider powers, he can be an uber-Spider-Man. He can live Parker’s life better than Peter could — from fighting crime to getting back together with on-again, off-again girlfriend Mary Jane Watson.
When issue #700 was leaked early, fan reaction — both positive and negative — went into overdrive, with a few posted death threats directed at the issue’s writer, Dan Slott.
Slott reacted on his Twitter and Facebook by saying he would report any threats: “Reality check: There is NO such thing as a ‘funny death threat.’ Especially if you TAG someone in it.”
Slott later noted that the reactions were getting more civil as time went on.
[Read more about the end of Spider Man]