Superior Spider Man Review
This is what has brought be back into comics. All I had been reading for months on end, year after year, were the absolute turds of comics. So I just dropped them all, stopped picking up my hold, and read Harry Potter books or whatever it is people who don’t read comics do. Black Ops 2, really let’s be honest.
This one was the one that pulled it out of the dumper for me and brought me back to the beautiful incandescent lighting that will forever burn a hole in your mind and make you still spend $3.99 of your hard earned dollars month after month even though you’re 37 years old.
The meat and potatoes of the is book is the premise that Otto Octavius implants his mind into Peter Parker’s body. Then he just let’s Peter die in Doc Ock’s shattered old man body. However, Peter is still alive in his memories and tries to affect him and his judgements throughout the series. By Doing this, Dan Slott has just made Spider-Man his own greatest Nemesis. Otto is an interesting guy in my opinion. I feel like he was previously this kind of blustering mad scientist, who could never get it right. He would be on the verge of victory on many occasions but some long diatribe about how mind-blowingly badass he was, always gave Parker the time to put a spider-bomb in his butt and blow his plans sky high.
Now you get to see he’s actually really brilliant and is quite a capable opponent to spider-man. I’m left wondering why there weren’t battles with him previously that were a lot closer, or him even winning a few. Dan Slott’s take on Octavius has really seen him take it up a few IQ points. Otto’s mind is working even faster now that his body can keep up. No wonder he used to need six arms to do all the things he had on his mind. He’s going to need it too, as he’s determined to be a Superior Spider-Man than Parker ever was. He’s even trying to be a better Parker too.
Now this change doesn’t go completely un-noticed by everyone but the people closest to Parker (I.E. mary jane, co-workers, etc.). They seem to be mostly put off by Octavius’s abrupt manner and new found focus on work. While Otto’s pretty bummed that anything he does in the future will be credited to Parker, he still pushes ahead at work. He starts coming up with hella sweet inventions to help make the Spider-Man gig a whole lot cooler. I won’t give them away here, but it makes you start to think “yeah, why didn’t Peter think of that”.
He even goes back to school to finish Parker’s doctorate. He clearly can’t stand to not have the Dr. title to his name. The Avengers take note here too because Otto beats the balls out of some mostly harmless ding-dong’s that put a pie in J. Jonah Jameson’s eye. Octavius even straight up murders the life out of an escaped psychopathic killer named Massacre in public. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Spider-Man is now murdering mother fuckers? Yeah… shouldn’t this be a tip off? Even Parker thinks “this is my get out of Doc Ock Jail free card”. However, the test the Avengers do on him, just proves that he’s not a skrull and not being mind-controlled. They just chalk it up to the fact that he’s a changed man. Parker does manage to leave behind a really crappy drawing of Doc Ock and Spider mans face with arrows behind for the Avengers which they just assume Spider-Man sucks at drawing.
Parker is still in his brain all this time and for a while things get super creepy between him and Mary Jane. I’ve gone so far as to use the term “rapey”, when seeing the two of them out on a date. It’s just icky. But as soon as Doc Ock starts remembering Peter’s memories about Mary Jane, he sees that Peter really loved her. Therefore, he does too. I’m really glad to say he calls off the whole “lets date Mary Jane” thing, for her own safety. In my personal opinion, red-heads in the marvel universe should all die and stay dead (Jean Grey anyone?). So, now Doc Ock is now being tutored by a little person named Anna Maria Marconi. She cooks like his momma and he’s even made out with her once. So that’s not creepy.
There’s this great dichotomy going on with Doc Ock being the old asshole that he is and trying to be this better person. Also, having a new shot and not wanting to squander it. He even comes across some people, who as Doc Ock, he has injured and has seen how he’s impacted their lives. He uses his brain and powers to help make things right. On the flip-side, there’s also parts where Doc is a massive douche’. He runs away from fights because he’s getting hit in the face and just can’t see the reason he needs to take a punch to the face to be a hero.
Ramos’s art is great! If you aren’t familiar with his work, get up in the mix mang! I’ve seen a lot of people bag on it because it’s so stylized, but this is a comic book people! Spider-Man needs to be tweaked flying across the cityscape! I’m not super thrilled with the coloring in this book as its a little muted and not as vivid as I’d hoped it would be, but between Humberto Ramos and Ryan Stegman its always a great book to look at.
This is just the beginning and there’s so much more going on here. A lot of people are completely pissed about what’s going on here, but people were pissed about Heath Ledger being chosen as the joker too. So, I’m telling you to give it a shot. This is a great jumping on point, especially since Marvel has just collected the first five issues into trade. If a curmudgeon with a chicken farm living in Brazil can teach you anything, its that everyone is capable of throwing you a surprise. And that $3.99 is often the best thing you can do with your hard earned money.
Make Mine Marvel!
– John Powell