Dan Slott possibly spoiled his own storyline on Twitter, with a message to Superior Spider-Man artist Ryan Stegman that appeared to give away the identity of the new Spider-Man — or perhaps was meant to throw fans off the scent. All manner of potential spoilers once you click on the link.
Even though the tweet in question was deleted, this is the Internet; Comic Book Therapy managed to get a screencap of the tweet, which it posted online for posterity. Leaving a little space for what might be spoilers; scroll down if you want to see:
So, there you have it: the “superior” Spider-Man seems to be Miguel O’Hara, AKA Spider-Man 2099. Case closed, and what an embarrassing Twitter mistake for Slott, right…?
…Or, maybe not.
Maybe I’m giving Slott too much credit, but this feels like a red herring to me. For someone who spends as much time on Twitter as he does, I can’t help but think that the above tweet just doesn’t feel like a Direct Message accidentally made public. Not that that’s impossible; I think that everyone on Twitter has accidentally done that at some point or another. But when it happens, it normally looks different: Given the limited real estate on a Tweet, the writer would surely notice that there’s an “@[name here]” taking up some of those 140 characters, and either delete it – It’s a Direct Message, you don’t need it – or realize that they’re writing a public message. Also, “DM me back” feels a bit too on the nose, too “this was meant to be a Direct Message, get it?”, to me; why so specific?
Add to that, the fact that Slott has been playing out a lot of the Superior Spider-Man response on Twitter so far, sharing the outrageous over-reactions from fans to the news that Peter is being replaced, however temporarily – And anyone who really believes that this changeover is permanent, Joe Biden has a bridge he wants to try and sell you (Especially considering that the last time Amazing Spider-Man was relaunched, it had a very similar “And Peter’s not Spider-Man!” hook… as well as an earlier version of the Horizon Labs idea, weirdly enough. Who’d've thought that the Byrne/Mackie era would’ve been such a big influence on Dan Slott?) – and very much playing to the crowd with the idea that this is such a big story that everyone’s up in arms. An attempt to fake out the Internet by “accidentally spoiling” the identity of the new Spider-Man through the service wouldn’t be entirely out of line with either his love of Twitter or his repeated use of teasers, dead-ends, red herrings and downright misinformation in the many, many “Who is…?” mysteries scattered throughout his Amazing run.
I could be very wrong, of course, and it really was a mistake. We’ve only got a couple of months before we’ll know for sure. Part of me almost hopes that it is Miguel as the new Spider-Man; I really enjoyed the original 2099 series way back when, and there’s more than a little humor for me in the fact that it would mean that not one, but two, NOW! series would be based around a time travel hook.