Serious Spider-Man fans surely already know what's going on thanks to online leaks, but casual ones should stop reading now to avoid learning what's in store in the comic book's just-released 700th episode. It's a doozy of a plot twist: Peter Parker dies, and his arch-enemy Doctor Octopus takes over his body and mind. So this is the end for Parker after 50 years? The AP couches its coverage with the phrase "at least for now" and USA Today adds "possibly permanent."
In fact, "the biggest challenge Marvel appears to be facing is convincing the press and fans that the changes are real," writes Scott Johnson at Comicbook.com. A Marvel press release calls this "the single most seismic shift in Spider-Man’s history—and it’s not something that will disappear any time soon," which doesn't exactly have the ring of eternity. What we do know is that episode 700 of the Amazing Spider-Man will not be followed by episode 701. Instead, expect No. 1 of Superior Spider-Man next month. (Read more Peter Parker stories.)