While the original Spider-Man is the benevolent protector of New York City, several villains have taken on the mantle before. One changed alias on Superior Spider-man.
Villains who took on The Spider-Man Mantle
Norman introduces Gargan and the symbiote as the Amazing Spider-Man in his new Avengers. During their first mission against Morgana le Fay, Morgana transforms "Venom-Spidey" into a giant, demonic monster who then tries to eat Ares. Venom later coughs up Ares, however Morgana's magic affects Venom, causing him to lose and gain control of himself randomly. After Morgana is defeated in the past by Iron Patriot and Doctor Doom, Mac returned to his "Spider-Man" form with only a slight headache. Hawkeye promised to kill Mac one day for trying to eat him while he was under Morgana's control. Once they arrive home, he is seen arguing with Hawkeye.
Later, attempting to find out Norman Osborn's plans for his son Harry, the real Spider-Man, with the aid of the Invisible Woman, manages to capture Gargan by using a sonic generator and takes his place to infiltrate the Dark Avengers. Gargan is thrown into the Negative Zone, but is later seen back with the Dark Avengers.
Against Osborn's wishes, Gargan is seen heading out into the city to "fight crime" solo. At one point, he is seen defeating a bank robber called General Wolfram. After making out with two girls at once and getting cheered by a large crowd, he takes the robber to an abandoned roof top and consumes his arm. He then takes the money Wolfram stole and swings away. Gargan is then seen at a strip club with the money and discovers his new favorite stripper. After getting reprimanded by Norman Osborn for eating Wolfram's arm, Gargan kills the stripper and places her dead body in J. Jonah Jameson's bed while he is gone in an attempt to frame him for her murder. At the same time, Redeemer visits the injured General Wolfram and recruits him alongside other villains who have had limbs bitten off by Gargan (namely Dementoid, Doctor Everything, Eleven, and Hippo) in a plan to take down "Spider-Man" (who is believed to be the root of their problem). In another attempt to antagonize Jameson, Gargan instigates a turf war between two rival street gangs, hoping to wear Jameson down through stress and exhaustion from continuously putting out stories to cover the crime wave. At the same time, the Redeemer arms his group with cybernetic limbs to defeat Spider-Man. J. Jonah Jameson goes to Osborn for help and is given Spider-Man to help solve the city's gang problem Jameson first goes to Osborn, who decides to cut Gargan loose by sending Bullseye and Daken (in their old costumes) to kill him. At the Big Apple Festival, the two attack him, with Dementoid, General Wolfram, and both gangs involved in the turf war entering the fray to try to kill Spider-Man. Gargan ends up defeating all of them, and J. Jonah Jameson shoots a gun in the air to stop the fight. As a result, everyone credits Jameson and Spider-Man with successfully working together to stop criminals and save the festival. Gargan later returns to Avengers Tower, where he is visited by Norman Osborn. Osborn informs him that Bullseye and Daken will get over being hurt, but warns Gargan that if he goes out of control again, he will suit up as the Iron Patriot and take care of him personally.
During the opening chapter of Utopia, the Dark Avengers are sent into San Francisco to quell the mutant riots and battle any X-Men they can find. Tension is shown to exist between the Avengers and Osborn's own Dark X-Men. When Namor and Emma Frost are revealed to be double agents on Cyclops' side and defect with Cloak and Dagger, an irate Osborn gathers the Dark Avengers and the remaining Dark X-Men, Gargan included, ordering them to bring him Namor's head and Emma Frost's heart and to make sure that Cyclops sees them do it. The Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men attack Utopia and battle the X-Men, with Venom facing off against Colossus. However, due to the sheer number of X-Men, Osborn is forced to retreat when informed that the only way to win would be to kill all the mutants on the island, an option which is not politically viable.
Gargan later begins to show signs that his medications are making him emotionally unstable. On a mission with the Dark Avengers, Osborn takes Gargan off the case when he notices Gargan's outbursts Molecule Man turns Gargan and his symbiote into an inert pile of goo. He is later restored by the Sentry.
During the "Siege" storyline, Mac Gargan is with the Dark Avengers when Norman Osborn makes plans to invade Asgard. Mac Gargan and the rest of the Avengers protest. For fighting alongside the Initiative, Osborn promises to give the team their freedom from servitude. As a result, Gargan is among the mass of soldiers to launch an attack on Asgard following Loki's setup. He and the rest of the Avengers manage to overwhelm Thor. While fighting Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man after they arrive, Gargan is forcefully removed from the Venom symbiote, which takes over Ms. Marvel until Spider-Man defeats it. He along with the other Dark Avengers were arrested after Norman Osborn fell from power.
Within Peter Parker's body, Doctor Octopus starts his new career as a hero by redesigning his gear and putting his past as a villain behind himself. However, he soon finds himself the target of several villains, such as an Octavius-tech enhanced Stilt-Man, Boomerang, Overdrive, Shocker, Speed Demon, the unnamed female Beetle, Living Brain, and all of them trying to take over the place left by the seemingly dead Otto Octavius and his Sinister Six. While they're still no match for the new, more ruthless Spider-Man, his violence and new mannerisms start to tip off several of his close friends and allies, such as the whole Horizon Labs, Daredevil, Wolverine (who is explicitly forbidden to have Spider-Man's mind telepathically scanned under the threat of legal action in court), Mary Jane, and Carlie Cooper.
Despite his accomplishments, Otto Octavius is revealed to be still haunted by the lingering spirit of Peter Parker, unable to reassert control over their shared body, but actively hampering his efforts to stray from Peter's values, and trying to reclaim his body. Despite Peter's lingering influence, Octavius' refusal of Peter's values and perceived screw-ups prompts him to "rectify" some mistakes: the "new" Peter enrolls back to college, pursuing actively the PhD Peter denied himself in the past, and breaks the self-imposed "no-kill rule" by taking a proactive stance against evildoers and criminals, shooting the villain Massacre even after Massacre appeared to show signs of recovering from the brain damage that motivated his crimes, and violently assaulting Jester and Screwball for a relatively minor insult. These actions prompted the Avengers to confront 'Spider-Man' about his recent activities, recognizing that their friend would never act in such a manner. When their subsequent analysis confirms that he is still biologically Peter Parker - the team's resident geniuses being otherwise occupied and thus unable to make more detailed analysi- Otto explains that he is merely dealing with stress over recent events, Peter's attempt to scrawl a picture-warning failing. After Otto saves a child who was brain-damaged during his assault on Earth using a neurological scanner, he reveals that he is aware of Peter's presence and intends to perform a 'Parker-ectomy' to remove what remains of Peter's mind from his brain.
Attempting a mind wipe of all Parker's memories to destroy Parker completely, Doctor Octopus managed to delete the memory of the Daily Bugle. Realizing Peter would not surrender, he directly engaged Parker in his mind. After beating Parker to a pulp, breaking his spirit with the knowledge Parker was willing to sacrifice a girl to keep Otto from finding him. Doctor Octopus declared his final victory, calling Parker unworthy to be called Spider-Man, and deleted all of Parker's memories. Returning to the real world Doctor Octopus rejoices from the fact he is free from Parker, as he achieves victory over the Amazing Spider-Man.
After defeating Peter Parker, his Spider-Bots inform Otto about a new White Dragon and his thugs fighting Owl's gang. Otto takes down both gangs and brutally beats up White Dragon and Owl. Some thugs escape the fight and are rescued by men who bear the Green Goblin insignia. After the battle, Otto returns to Empire State University for his exam, he bumps into Mary Jane but shrugs her off. Mary Jane wonders why "Peter" left her like that. After this, Otto completes his exam and arranges a date with Anna. Later on during his dinner with Peter's family, Otto reveals his progress in earning his doctorate, but then Aunt May asks "Peter" to stay away from Spider-Man due to his now ruthless attitude, which also sparks an argument between J. Jonah Jameson and J. Jonah Jameson Sr. Otto leaves to his date with Anna where during their conversation, she accidentally trips causing Otto to catch the dry ice that almost fell over her. Thankful for saving her, Anna embraces and kisses Otto, but he's later warned by his Patrol App.
Otto is learning in a class at Empire State University reflecting about how in spite of defeating Peter Parker once and for all, he now has to endure the hardships he faced since he failed to get his doctorate. While conversing with Anna Maria Marconi, Otto receives an alert on his cell phone prompting his teacher Don Lamazze to burst into anger because of "Peter's" arrogance. Otto answers the phone call which was from his direct line with Mayor J. Jonah Jameson who asked Spider-Man to supervise the execution of Alistair Smythe the following day believing that he will have an escape plan. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson arrives at the Raft for a final inspection before Alistair Smythe's execution. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson is told that all of the Raft's inmates will be transferred once the Raft is shut down, highlighting the infirmary where Boomerang, Vulture, and Scorpion are being attended. Meanwhile, Otto prepares all the tech he has prepared for his supervision, but his arrogance manages to irritate his boss Max Modell. Otto reflects that while he has become a Superior Spider-Man than Peter Parker, he still has to endure the limitations of his life. The Superior Spider-Man arrives with all of the NYPD Enforcers and a small army of Spider-Bots to prepare the place and then decides to confront Alistair Smythe, who tries to taunt him by mentioning Marla Jameson's death. Since Alistair Smythe is unaware of the mindswap and that Otto wasn't paying attention due to he remembering his time locked up during his final days as Doctor Octopus, the Superior Spider-Man brushes him off. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson alongside the Superior Spider-Man, his assistant Glory Grant, and Bugle reporter Norah Winters watch the procedure of Alistair Smythe's execution while he claims to be a "better person". The Superior Spider-Man tries to reply that no one would buy that, only to stop himself once he remembers that HE just pulled that trick.
After recalling on how Alistair Smythe killed his wife, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson vowed not to leave the Raft until Marla's dying wish is made. After Alistair Smythe's escape, Jameson, Glory Grant, Norah Winters, and the remaining civilians are surrounded by Spider-Man's Spider-Bots and then are informed by Spider-Man (in a pre-recorded holgoram) that he has taken measures to counteract any attempt of escape so his Spider-Bots will safeguard them in a force field while the reinforcements arrive, but J. Jonah Jameson refuses to stand still inside the force field, willing to go and help Spider-Man against Alistiar Smythe. The Superior Spider-Man is seen fighting Alistair Smythe and is mocking him for being weak in comparison to his father Spencer Smythe. When the Superior Spider-Man says that he has called the Avengers for backup, Alistair Smythe states that he has his own backup as Boomerang, Scorpion, and Vulture show up. The Superior Spider-Man admits that the Mini-Slayers were clever but inadvertently reveals that his countermeasures are being powered by the Raft's Power Generators distracting him at the revelation. Alistair Smythe takes the upper hand until he's narrowly shot down by Mayor J. Jonah Jameson disguised as a Raft guard. The Superior Spider-Man accuses Mayor J. Jonah Jameson of leaving the force field, but Mayor J. Jonah Jameson confronts Spider-Man to tell him he brought him to ensure that Smythe gets executed by any means necessary (implying that he's giving permission to Spider-Man to directly kill him). The Superior Spider-Man accepts and tells Mayor J. Jonah Jameson to go back to the force field with the others. Meanwhile, Glory Grant, Norah Jones and the remaining civilians discuss that the Avengers should be warned of what's happening but Norah replies that before she arrived, the Bugle made a report about them marching into space as well as commenting that if Spider-Man made sure no one leaves the Raft, no one might get in as well, asking what would happen if they're still alive in the event that the force field's power runs out. The Superior Spider-Man hunts Alistair Smythe through his comm system only to discover that he did the same trick and informed his allies (all heading for a full front assault against the Superior Spider-Man) who tries to convince them that Alistair Smythe is using them and will take back their enhancements once he's out. All of them agree that even though that might happen, they'll make the best of the situation against him. Alistair Smythe manages to reach the Raft's generators, destroying them to shut down the power in the entire island, allowing Lizard to escape. Once Alistair Smythe tries to escape, the Superior Spider-Man reminds him about the emergency generators. Alistair Smythe warns the Superior Spider-Man that just like he does with his Spider-Bots, he can see through his Mini-Slayers catching up on Mayor J. Jonah Jameson and the trapped civilians sending their locations to the group. Scorpion rejects it at first, but is easily convinced once Alistair Smythe tells him that one of his targets is Mayor J. Jonah Jameson himself. Scorpion heads for Jonah, Vulture aims at the civilians, and Boomerang stays to fight against Spider-Man who stops him by blocking his Bomb-A-Rangs with his webbing escaping the resulting blast in the process which incapacitates Boomerang. Alistair Smythe warns him that he's still caught in a predicament since Scorpion is heading to his personal vengeance against Jameson and Vulture is ready to kill the group of civilians so he must make a choice only to be surprised when Otto replies that he won't follow any of them. Instead, the Superior Spider-Man is determined to complete his mission of slaying the Spider-Slayer.
The Superior Spider-Man battles Alistair Smythe and after a long battle disarming him. Meanwhile, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson is confronted by Scorpion who attempts to kill him. Scorpion is stopped by the Lizard. Jameson and Lizard flee, with Lizard revealing Conner's mind within the Lizard from which J. Jonah Jameson acknowledges. As Alistair Smythe admits defeat and ask Superior Spider-Man for the terms of surrender, The Superior Spider-Man replies by stabbing Alistair Smythe with his own blade, killing him. This also disables Boomerang, Scorpion, and Vulture's upgrades preventing them from killing Jameson and the leaving them injured once again. As the three are subdued, Superior Spider-Man and the others exit the Raft only to be attacked by Alistair Smythe (whose body is being moved via his miniature Slayer robots). Alistair Smythe effortlessly disposes of the guards explaining that his mind is still alive for a few precious moments. Superior Spider-Man tackles Alistair Smythe, leading to them falling off the Raft and on to the shore below. As they struggle, Smythe reveals his final plan to transfer his consciousness into Spider-Man and takeover his life. However, Doctor Octopus had already done this as he had encased his head with armored plating making Alistiar Smythe unable to initiate the transfer. As Alistair Smythe expresses confusion on why it did not work, Superior Spider-Man (out of the ear shot of anyone else) tells Smythe he did it before him and revealing his true identity as Otto Octavius. Superior Spider-Man taunts Alistair Smythe as he dies stating Smythe has no legacy as in his final battle he wasn't even fighting the real Spider-Man. Alistair Smythe dies as Superior Spider-Man moves away from the body with his secrets still intact. Later as Superior Spider-Man and the hostages leave the Raft on a boat, Superior Spider-Man bribes J. Jonah Jameson with the recording of J. Jonah Jameson ordering him to execute Smythe in exchange for the Raft as his new headquarters renamed "Spider-Island 2". Superior Spider-Man later is seen ordering uniforms for "Henchman." He even builds an unknown device as he declares this will be his legacy and no one will stand in his way.
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