Shooting You with My Smile (box_in_the_box) wrote,

Superior Spider-Man #2: On Dan Slott's portrayals of Otto, Mary Jane, Peter and Carlie ...

So, I was wrong about Otto raping Mary Jane in this issue.

It turns out that he rapes Peter instead.

Things that are terrible:

1. Otto's dialogue and actions are so obviously unlike those of Peter that Peter himself asks why no one is noticing this, which ties into the writing rule that, if your own characters are criticizing your plot, then your story is objectively badly written.

2. At no point does Mary Jane say to herself, "Gee, since Peter suspiciously seems to be like a completely different person, I wonder if he might actually be the Chameleon? Or one of Peter's clones? Or a Skrull?"

3. In spite of Otto-as-Peter insulting Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man #700, ignoring her attempts at conversation except to stare directly at her breasts in Superior Spider-Man #2, and behaving out-of-character enough for her to call him out on it in this issue, the closest she comes to hesitating or pulling back is to "take things slow," and indeed, the worse Otto-as-Peter treats her, the more Mary Jane seems to fall in love with him, to the point that it takes Otto himself choosing to end the relationship, in spite of Mary Jane supposedly being Peter's soul mate who knows his heart better than anyone else.

4. Otto's repeated attempts to commit the rape-by-fraud of Mary Jane, by wearing Peter's body and assuming Peter's identity during the series of dates when Otto is clearly aiming to get her into bed, are not treated as deeply creepy and horribly wrong, which they should be, but are instead rendered fodder for lighthearted comedy, with even Peter laughing over how funny it is that Otto is getting cock-blocked.

5. Otto uses Peter's mind and body to masturbate to Peter's memories of having sex with Mary Jane. Yes, I consider this a form of rape. Especially since the narration captions make clear that Peter is not only being forced to relive those memories because Otto is summoning them up, but also that Peter is being forced to play audience to Otto's sexual self-gratification to those memories. Which means that, from now on, every time Peter recalls those same memories of being intimate with Mary Jane, he's also going to relive the sensations of when Otto was inside of his head, getting off to those same formerly fond memories. Worse yet, the aftermath of this explicitly sexual violation is likewise played for sitcom-style yuks, with Otto smirking over how soundly he slept, with his frustrations over Mary Jane now out of the way, and Peter objecting to where Otto is putting his hands in the shower.

6. In spite of Otto having no ethical qualms whatsoever with trying to deceive his way between the legs of first Mary Jane, then Peter's coworker at Horizon Labs, by letting them think he's still Peter, Otto suddenly and inexplicably connects with Peter's feelings for Mary Jane for the first time after rescuing her, which is almost as much of a deus ex machina as Otto's supposed redemption through Peter's info-dump of his memories into Otto's mind in Amazing Spider-Man #700 in the first place.

7. Not only does Otto-as-Peter end things with Mary Jane in a way that seems designed to ensure that Peter can never get back together with Mary Jane, even after getting back into his own body and explaining to her what happened, but it's treated as an example of Otto being not only mentally superior to Peter, but also morally so, because Peter and Mary Jane's reactions to Otto's words are meant to convince us that they need to quit trying for a romantic relationship, even with Otto out of the picture. Bonus points to Dan Slott for sending the misogynist message that it's The Man's place to decide for The Little Woman what she is or isn't capable of dealing with.

8. At the same time that Carlie is set up as being the only member of Peter's supporting cast who's smart enough to see through Otto's charade, Dan Slott doesn't seem to realize that, yet again, he's proven her to be the world's worst human being, because he establishes that she's had suspicions brewing ever since Amazing Spider-Man #700 that Otto's mind might be piloting Peter's body, and yet, she never says ANYTHING to Mary Jane about it, in all the dates that Mary Jane has with Otto-as-Peter, which means that Carlie has been KNOWINGLY ALLOWING Mary Jane to risk being RAPED BY OTTO this whole time.

Anything else, that anyone else sees in these pages, that I might have missed?
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