It was never a matter of if, but when Peter Parker would come back. A year ago this week, Marvel launched Superior Spider-Man, a classic mind-swap story that saw Doctor Octopus switch minds with Peter Parker, then proceed to take over both his personal and heroic life. It was a pretty standard mind swap premise, but with a bit of a twist: shortly after Doctor Octopus forced the switch, his body -- which was now occupied by Peter Parker's mind -- died, seemingly giving the villain a final victory over his hated rival.

But it was never meant to last, of course. And today, Marvel has announced the anticipated return of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, with a new era for the character beginning in April's Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, marking the return of the flagship title for the publisher's most popular hero.

Slott spoke to the Daily News about the return of Peter Parker, and how difficult it was to keep the character's return a secret from fans for the past 13 months, a move that meant lying to fans of all ages: “To do that for a solid year of my life, that’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do — to look small children in the eye at a convention and lie to them. One of them with an honest-to-God Little League uniform and a quivering lip. Inside, part of me was dying.”

At the time, removing Peter Parker from the Marvel universe, and replacing him with arguably his greatest adversary, was a controversial move. Many readers, and at least one Marvel employee, were not immediately on board. “It would have been great if you took a photo of my face at that time. I was not very thrilled,” confessed Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso of Slott’s initial pitch, made during one of Marvel's editorial retreats a few years ago. “Let’s just say that as cynical as the hard-core fanboy was, I was more cynical.” Alonso believes that Peter Parker's absence will ultimately give some fans a better appreciation of him, adding that he feels some longtime readers "have been taking him for granted.”

And while many will be pleased to know that Marvel's flagship character is returning to the webs, anyone familiar with Spider-Man's history likely knows it won't be that easy. "There's a twist," says Slott. "There's always a twist."


Amazing Spider-Man #1 variant by Jerome Opeña
Amazing Spider-Man #1 variant by Marcos Martin