Comic book fanatics are shocked and in some cases outraged that their beloved hero Peter Parker has died in "Spider-Man #700." Closet comic book readers are just now hearing the news.
Writer Dan Slott, who has written the majority of the last 100 issues, has reportedly received death threats for administering the coup de grace, according to Inquisitr.com.
The finale in the 50-year-old comic book series was released Wednesday and opens the door for a new superhero — not to be confused with the Spider-Man on Broadway or in the latest movie released in July.
"This is an epic turn," Slott told Inquistr.com. "Every now and then, you have to shake it up."
Spoiler alert: Geeky teenager Peter Parker, who in a 1962 issue famously heeded his uncle's advice that with great power comes great responsibility, gets himself killed by arch nemesis Doctor Octopus. The two undergo a mind swap. Parker gets stuck in Octopus' decaying body. However, Spider-Man's legacy lives on as Octopus realizes he can use his new Spidey powers for good rather than evil.
Naturally, the storyline leads to a new series, "Superior Spider-Man #1," which will hit stores Jan. 9. Diehard fans won't have to wait that long, though. Editor Stephen Wacker hid an augmented-reality execution on a page of the final issue where readers can find out the opening plot of the new series, USA Today
"This is Moriarty in the head of Sherlock. This is Prince John inside of Robin Hood. This is the greatest villain inside the body of the greatest hero and trying to do good," Slott told USA Today, "Gone are his days of villainy, but since it's Doc Ock and he has that ego, he's not going to try and just be Spider-Man, he's going to try to be the best Spider-Man ever."
Slott moves to the new series with rotating artists Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos, and Giuseppe Camuncoli.
Editor Stephen Wacker told USA Today that the book's tone will change as well.
"We want to do Spider-Man by way of Batman — a little creepier and darker."
Slott began dropping hints about the change in issue 600, when he revealed the Octopus had a year left to live after so many battles with Spider-Man.
Though many comic book fans are mourning the loss of Parker and are unsure of how the new series will play out, killing off a hero is nothing new in the world of comic books. In the 1990s, Dick Grayson took over for Bruce Wayne, and for a time, Bucky served as Captain America.
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