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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 3.25 out of 5)

Superior_Spider-Man_1_coverSUPERIOR 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.


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 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.


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.

Rating: ★★★½☆

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. January 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm — Reply

    I mean, when is the Amazing Spider-man 2 coming out? Peter’s got to resurface by the time the trailers come out.

    This whole thing is cute for twelve issues tops. After that, between Brand New day and this, I am done even skimming Spidey issues in the store.

  2. Chris
    January 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm — Reply

    I have to say, I was disappointed with this issue. I really liked #700 but something about this didn’t sit right with me. I think it was the over abundance of the Doc Ock personality. I felt at the end of #700 we had a Doc Ock who was a little more noble, but here he felt like a total jag bag.

  3. J_Michael_T
    January 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm — Reply

    … but …. Parker is dead … how …. they can bring people back from the dead in comic books? What?!?

    Snark over.

    I liked this issue but had some of the same problems Stephen mentioned. There were pages where I had to stop and re-read them just to make sure I had it right in my head. The effect of the art was very disorienting to me. In my opinion that brought the story down a notch as I wasn’t enjoying the flow and felt like I was working too hard to follow along.

    The reveal was handled well but I agree that maybe this should have happened later on. Too soon!

    I will read a couple more issues but these days it doesn’t take long for me to drop titles I’m not enjoying (I learned my lesson after years of holding on in hopes things would get better with a lot of other books !).

  4. Revendawn
    January 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm — Reply

    Ok I’m going to go against the grain and disagree with most everybody. I absolutely loved this issue.

    First I’m a little confused by Stephen thinking this was an abrupt change and he mentions Peter/Ock having months to hide in his body. When did these months happen? I’ll fully admit I might have missed something but the mind swap took place post ASM #697 (you see the gold octobot hunting Peter throughout the issue) and was revealed in ASM #698. I don’t really see months going by between those issues. ASM #698 – #700 had to be only a day or two max because of the condition Ock’s body was in.

    Anyway to me we never really got a good look at how Ock would behave in Peter’s body. I do agree that following ASM 700 I got the impression he had turned over a new leaf, but Avenging Spider-man 15.1 and his brief appearance in Daredevil made it abundantly clear that was not the case prior to this issue. So the personality shift didn’t seem all that weird to me, especially when you consider that this is now a Doc Ock that feels like he won.

    As for the rest of the issue I found Superior Spider-Man to be very entertaining. In fact I began to despise Ock as Peter, but actually like him MORE as Spider-Man. His cerebral methods for dispatching his foes almost felt a bit Batman-esq and I really got a kick out of seeing him in action. Then he went a little too far and we got the major twist that everyone kinda knew was coming and that’s exactly why it being in the 1st issue doesn’t bother me.

    Go back and read any coverage for issue 700 and beyond and you will almost always see people using phrases like “for however long this lasts” “he’s dead for now” and “let’s see where we are in a year”. This was something of a forgone conclusion. The fact that Dan Slott has decided to admit to that upfront I think helps the story. People can get over wondering how, why, when, and where Peter will make his triumphant return and just focus on the story being told. I might be in the minority, but I’d much rather they come out and say “we both know he’s coming back” than try and run the line of “oh no he’s dead, keep buying into our crazy new idea”.

    If I was going to express one concern though I will say casting Ghost Peter back as the Hero and Peter/Ock as a villain means that probably a lot of fans (myself included) are now more interested in ghost Peter than Superior Spider-man. If this was a brief nod to fans saying “he’ll be back”, they may have a problem holding interest in a character that is ostensibly still just an antagonist for the hero.

    That said this issue hooked me and got me excited. Marvel NOW has not been a very successful gimmick for me. I’ve dropped almost every Marvel title I currently read, but this arc for Spider-Man has gripped me and it will be the first book I get every week it’s out if the quality stays where it is at.

    • January 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm — Reply

      You can most certainly disagree – nothing wrong with that.

  5. Oldcomicfan
    January 11, 2013 at 3:28 am — Reply

    The last Spiderman issue I read was back in the middle of the clone saga. Marvel had so badly destroyed my happiness with the title that I’ve never gone back. But you’ve got me tempted to pick Spiderman up once again. As for the rush to bring Peter Parker back from the dead, I wonder if the saga has been rushed because of the perceived short attention span of the readers or because the writer realizes he probably won’t be on the title long enough to carry through on a long story arc – or perhaps he is writing for the trade. The era where one writer and artist would remain on a book for a decade or more seems to be Gone with the Wind. Or, as had been mentioned above, since there is another Spiderman movie in the works, the rush to bring Peter back is coming from above.

  6. January 11, 2013 at 8:44 am — Reply

    I gotta agree with Steven on one point. I’m ok with the twist that Peter is still hanging on, mainly cause it keeps the door open to his coming back. I also forsee this becoming one of those, can Otto become the hero given the chance, or will he always end up the villain. But I do have to agree that the reveal of his ghost is WAY TOO early. This would have been an interesting development to tackle later. To me the better idea would have been keep that whole scene as is, but don’t show Peter’s Ghost. The idea that Peter’s in their somewhere trying to claw out would have made things much more interesting.

  7. ryanchan
    January 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    his memorys were being throwen about but not his sole thats what i thought when i seen the final page yes there minds were swoped but the body the man and spider connected to the web of life, peter was chosen for that and thats why i think this is about, just because differnt memorys were put in the body it doesnt change the fact that his memorys are in the body of the person cnnected to the web of life, or else he has 2 soles all alone , the man and the spider thats my theorys anyway

  8. January 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm — Reply

    I agree they tipped their hand WAY too early. Now that we know Octo-Parker is on borrowed time, it takes away some of the urgency of the story.

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