Evil Geek Book Report – Superior Spider-Man #1
A few weeks back, Marvel made headlines (although not as many as these events have in the past) when they more or less killed off everyone’s favorite webhead in Amazing Spider-Man 700. Some of the world’s finest minds (and one of its sexiest) have discussed this at length. This week we enter a new era in the saga of your friendly neighborhood webslinger as Peter Parker jumps into action as the Superior Spider-Man. Now, if you’re not familiar with the new status quo of the book, I’ll give a brief recap: A rapidly deteriorating Doctor Octopus, hours from dying, pulled a Freaky Friday on Spider-Man. Doc Ock had Spidey’s body, along with all of his memories up until that point and vice versa. Now, Spider-Man was not able to reverse the swap in time, and as he lay dying in the good doctor’s withered husk, he forced Doc to remember the many events that made Peter the noble hero he is today. Doctor Octopus, in a surprising turn, decided that he would pick up where Spider-Man left off , using his remarkable intellect and new found lust for life to be a better hero than his former nemesis ever was.
While we did get a brief glimpse of Doctor Octopus in action in Avenging Spider-Man 15.1, this issue starts off with Doc Ock laying his old life to rest once and for all. While visiting his own grave, Doctor Octopus is called into action to a robbery in action. The culprits? His old gang, the Sinister Six. However, none of his old favorites are present. This team is comprised of Boomerang, Speed Demon, Shocker, a new Beetle, Overdrive, and The Living Brain. Boomerang and Speed Demon are D-List villains who previously teamed up with Shocker and the original Beetle in the mini-series Deadly Foes of Spider-Man. Showing up to fight with the Sinister Six and seeing these guys is comparable to opening a bottle of Dom Perignon and finding Four Loko inside. Overdrive was introduced in Dan Slott’s Free Comic Book Day one-shot “Swing Shift” and has the ability to alter any type of vehicle instantly to suit his needs. And lastly, The Living Brain is a character that I was very excited to see appear since I only ever encountered him once before and it was in Amazing Spider-Man #8.
While Superior Spidey uses his noggin to deal with the majority of the team, he finds himself on the receiving end of a lightning-fast asskicking at the hands of Speed Demon. And while the real Spider-Man would pull himself up by his bootstraps and work out a way to best his foe, Doc Ock decides to call it a day and bolt. But as he’s swinging to safety, he finds himself inexplicably drawn back into the fray so that he can stop an innocent bystander from being injured. Hey, Doc Ock! You’re all right, after all!
We then see a glimpse of Otto doing his time at Peter’s day job, throwing together pan-scientific inventions at Horizon Labs. Otto is much more comfortable with super-science than Peter ever was; He’s simultaneously impressing and distressing his employers with his drastically changed work ethic. Plus, one does not often see a double-breasted lab coat in the 21st century.
After work, Otto heads to dinner with Mary Jane where we see some of his creepiest behavior yet. While being mentally undressed, Mary Jane grows increasingly worried by the strange actions of her on-again off-again boyfriend. He reveals that he’s placed a tracking device on Boomerang, but he’s in no particular rush to track down this gang of criminals. Instead, he literally draws them into a web as they attempt to burgle Horizon Labs. With the home field advantage, Octavius makes a spectacle as he thrashes the villains in front of a media circus. With all of those years of super-villainy under his belt, Otto could predict their every move. Things get a little dark as we realize that this Spidey is fully prepared to take a life, but he finds himself unable to deliver the killing blow. There’s something deep down inside of him that just won’t let him kill. We see that all of these shocking moments of true heroism that Doctor Octopus have displayed aren’t just growth on his part. Peter Parker is, in one way or another, very much alive.
While the ending of this issue wasn’t exactly a surprise, it was something I wanted to be right about so I’m glad to see it happen. The next year or so should be a lot of fun as we watch the inner struggle between two mortal enemies who are working toward a common goal. I think this will actually go down as Dan Slott’s best work to date, so I look forward to the ride. I don’t hate Stegman on art, it’s not exactly to my tastes, but I think it suits the high energy mood of the book very well. All in all, I enjoyed this issue quite a bit. Especially the bits with the Living Brain. I’m glad to see that Otto hung on to that hunk of junk, I think Slott will have some more fun with him.
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Posted on January 10, 2013, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged Dan Slott, Doctor Octopus, Living Brain, marvel now, Ryan Stegman, Sinister Six, spider-man, Superior Spider-Man. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.