REVIEW: Superior Spider-Man #1
He’s dead! Or is he? Russell Alert in full effect for this Major Spoilers review of Superior Spider-Man #1, that you can check out, after the jump.
There is a fine line between hero and vigilante
Feels too much like Firestorm
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Spider-Man: Having successfully switched bodies with Peter Parker, Doctor Octavious begins to show the world what happens when the villain wins… he becomes the hero? Also, Peter Parker, trapped in Octavious’s body, dies.
THE SPOOKTACULAR SPIDER-MAN
This issue finds the Octavious personality coming out full force, as he revels in his success. Part of me feels this attitude adjustment came on too suddenly, but one of the nice things about reflective writing is time reveals many things. If one thinks the attitude change was too abrupt, one only has to remember that though he had months to be Peter Parker, Ock still had to know in the back of his mind that Peter Parker was still out there, and any slip in character could have lead to a reversal of the situation. Now with Parker out of the way, Octavious is free to relax and be more like himself. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that “Peter”, would change how he tracks villains, use his intellect to develop new methods to take down the new Sinister Six, and then because of his superiority complex, calls in the media to watch the new Spider-Man, the Superior Spider-Man, bring down the gang.
When The Amazing Spider-Man #700 came to a close, we saw Octavious unleash his full power by taking Scorpion’s jaw completely off. It almost happens again, but something holds Octavious back… And that’s when the issue fell apart for me. Some are proclaiming the twist – Peter Parker’s “ghost” being able to exert some control over Octavious, as a brilliant move, and too an extent it is, I just wish Mr. Slott hadn’t done it one issue AFTER we all mourned the death of Peter Parker. As I previously mentioned in the Major Spoilers Dueling Review of ASM #700, there could have been months or even years of Octavious doing his schtick before bringing the real Peter back. So in the end, I’m not really surprised, I just wish it could have been drawn out. Now we get to wonder what will happen next, and that is what is really going to have me coming back to read the next issue, and the one after that. Will Peter regain control through sheer will and might, or will this series turn into a Ronnie Raymond / Martin Stein situation, with Peter guiding Octavious into becoming the hero? And how does/will that all work out when Mary Jane wants to get intimate with Peter Parker? We’ve already seen a teaser image from Marvel that indicates “Peter” is going to be fired from something, and after his antics during dinner with Mary Jane, I think we are going to see the character, who was once on top of the world, take a tumble back down to the bottom rung of the ladder, losing his job, his Avenger’s card, and the girl.
RYAN STEGMAN VS. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
Ryan Stegman gets the privilege of kicking the series off with his art style. To me, and again, this is just me, as I’m sure someone out there will use the comment section below to counter my claim, but Mr. Stegman’s style feels like it sits midway between two extreme Spider-Man styles; that of Gene Colan, and Humberto Ramos. It has the cartoony aspects of Ramos, but comes at it from a more traditional anatomy style. So for the character work, the art in this issue works for me. Where it stumbles is in the layout and flow between panels. I’m all for changing up the number of panels per page and the way in which they are displayed, but when there are moments where the flow of the visual narrative stumbles because an angle change is too abrupt, or from a different perspective that forces the reader to reorient, then it lowers my overall enjoyment of the story.
BOTTOM LINE: CHECK IT OUT
So, Peter is back, Octavious is Superior, and according to Dan Slott we will see Miguel O’Hara in the pages of this book before it is all over. There are most definitely some very good character moments in this book – most of them coming from the secondary characters reacting to Peter’s antics. Dr. Octavious as Peter Parker/Spider-Man continues to work, but the cracks in the veneer, which I expected to take longer to show, are more like flashing signs pointing the way to the return to status quo. Dan Slott’s writing continues to be engaging, and I like what I see in Mr. Stegman’s style. Superior Spider-Man #1 is a very good book, and one I’ll continue to read, even though the surprise twist was more of a let down for me than it has been for others. If you haven’t already, drop the $3.99 and pick up the book, you’ll get some enjoyment out of it, and I’m giving Superior Spider-Man #1 3.5 out of 5 Stars.