It’s the Superior Venom versus the Avengers in this oversized 25th issue! Who will win, and what are all those Goblins up to in the background?
Writer: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Previously in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN: The Superior Spider-Man stole the Venom symbiote from Flash Thompson, and has now become the Superior Venom! Mary Jane sees that the symbiote has control of Peter, and does the only thing she can. Call the Avengers to take him down!
SO MANY PAGES, SO MANY CHARACTERS
Dan Slott during his tenure as the only Spider-Man writer over these last couple of years has become a master of a key Spider-Man storytelling technique, the subplot. Even though the main thrust of this issue is obviously Spider-Man’s battle royale with the Avengers, on every other page a Goblin shows up. The Green Goblin, the Hobgoblin, the Phil Urich Hobgoblin, Menace, and a brand new Goblin character all make an appearance. It adds a layer of detail to the story which under another writer might have crushed this celebratory issue. This is the foundation of the final Superior Spider-Man story being laid down right before our eyes in the pages of the current storyline.
Even with the extra pages, this story moves fast! Doc Ock Spider-Man proves to be a genuine threat to the Avengers. It was a genius idea to combine the Superior Spider-Man with the Venom symbiote. I’ve never really cared for the character of Venom, and I never truly classified him as a threat. I always saw him as the perfect personification of the hero’s opposite. Now I’ve changed my mind. Under the disciplined mind of Doc Ock, the Venom symbiote becomes a truly scary threat to the city of New York.
One cannot talk about this issue without mentioning the ending. All I will say is that the setup for the Amazing Spider-Man to return should have been obvious to us all, but I found myself cheering when it happened. Letting the real Spider-Man save the day was a very powerful moment. (No, I won’t tell you how he did it. Go read the issue!)
NEVER LET HUMBERTO RAMOS DRAW ANYTHING BUT SPIDER-MAN
Humberto Ramos has drawn a lot of Spider-Man over the years, and there’s a reason why. It’s some of the best art of his entire career. His quirky figures and fast paced panel work fit the creepy crawly sensibilities of Spider-Man a little too well. The coloring in this issue makes a lot of the action pop as the color red is over saturated, and draws your eye wherever it appears. Years from now, I have a feeling people will equate Ramos’s work in the same breath as Romita when talking about Spider-Man.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT WAY TO BEGIN THE END OF THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
I’m going to miss the Superior Spider-Man. I haven’t enjoyed a Spider-Man book this much in years. The fact that Marvel made a semi-villainous Spider-Man book work is mind-blowing. Dan Slott is definitely crafting a seminal run on Spider-Man. Having the Superior Spider-Man fight the Avengers for his twenty-fifth issue was a great way to show the power of the character while creating an important touchstone in the return of an old hero. Plus this book is just so much fun to read.
Cheers to the superior, and welcome back to the amazing.