By Strider92 57 Comments
Now before I start this is not a hate thread or flame thread about why Superior sucks or is a terrible idea and must be scrapped. This is my view on exactly what went wrong and where.
The idea itself is not a bad one in fact I really like the concept however it has been poorly executed.
This jumped out at me big time within only the second appearance of Superior. His personality and demeanor are inconsistent. In Amazing Spider-man #700 that showed us Superior's birth we got this (see left).
Ock cradling Peter in his arms and then swearing to become Spider-man and protect the innocent. Heck I can quote from that panel "You may be leaving this world but you are not leaving it to a villain." However in Avenging Spider-man 15.1 Superior's second appearance we had this panel (see right).
We went from a repentant villain who found respect for his nemesis on his death-bed and vowed to honor his memory by continuing his legacy to a someone who suddenly doesn't seem to care about the man who's body he now has and is actively celebrating the fact he killed a man and took his life.
This personality shift happened for no reason and within the space of one issue. Why? It makes no sense. We left Superior in one place only to have him reappear straight away with a different mind-set for no apparent reason.
This is not only in the first few issues. This is going on nearly every time Superior appears under the pen of a different writer. The two main writers are of course Dan Slott and Chris Yost but we've seen him written by other people in A+X, Avengers etc... and everyone seems to be changing how he thinks and acts for no apparent reason. The only reason I can think of is that the writers do not know how to handle his character. Some are writing him as a cold calculating anti-hero (Yost), some are writing him as an almost corny 60's villain (Slott) and others have absolutely no idea whats going on (like in the latest A+X). Suffice to say no one has actually agreed on how Superior should be written and this is very degrading and also leaves the reader very confused.
The writers especially the consistent ones need to sit down and decide on how this character needs to be written because from going from this:
Is just disjointed at best. Someone seriously needs to get everyone together and set up some pre-defined parameters for writing this character properly its bordering on lazy now.
Poorly written supporting characters
Now we saw this from the beginning when we saw Mary Jane almost oblivious to Peter's change. Now due to OMD Pete's and MJ's marriage never occurred so there is a distinct possibility that she is no longer as in tune and knowledgeable as pre-OMD MJ however not noticing complete changes in his personality or choosing to completely ignore the changes entirely is just bad writing and a little disrespectful of characters that creators and other writers have put years of their time and creativity into.
Victims of this have included:
Mary Jane: The most obvious one due to her being a fan favorite and a long-standing established character
J.Jonah Jameson: Who suddenly began to endorse Spider-man getting more violent (prior to Superior blackmailing him) despite the fact that he's always been at heart a good guy. Not a guy who openly endorses people getting beaten within and inch of their lives. He's always been an ass but never an evil person.
Kaine: As Peter's clone he should know Peter better than almost anyone and being his evil clone at that should know exactly how far Peter would be pushed before becoming what Superior is and yet he seemed oblivious as to why Peter was doing what he was doing. Especially with his comment about clones. Peter was very close to Ben and Kaine knew that and yet no alarm went off at that?
Peter Parker: He was portrayed as someone who was prepared to let a child die in order to save his own life. The argument made by Slott is that and I quote "Peter is not like Steve Rodger's, he's not a saint." Which is true but that still doesn't make sense or excuse the action. Peter has put his life on the line for villains and other evil people as well as innocents in the past and yet he was willing to risk a child's life in order to save his. This is not just out of character but out-right wrong and goes against everything 50 years of story telling has tried to do. This happened for no other reason than an attempt to assert Superior Spider-man by degrading Peter.
Doctor Octopus: Otto is one of Spider-man's oldest and most dangerous foes who's intelligence and cunning has proved time and time again how dangerous he is. He is an educated man who has shown in the past the up most respect for Spider-man even saving his life during the Clone Saga when Peter was dying and he has been reduced to someone who isn't even smart enough to pretend to be Peter in public to the people who know him best? This is probably the worst one of them all.
I could list so many other characters such as the Avengers but that would take to long and you all probably get my drift by now. Suffice to say characters are being dumbed down and degraded in order to accommodate Superior when in reality it should be the other way around as it shows laziness and disrespect for said characters. Someone of Otto's intelligence should know to at least make an effort to seem like Parker. In fact the only time I have EVER seen Otto do this was here:
Aside from this instance I can't recall another moment.
Now despite all the bad stuff there is a few good moments in this idea. If it wasn't for how poorly and inconsistently it is executed it would be a very interesting and intriguing idea. There are some things i've liked about the series. The new tech is cool and even his personality on the few occasions its written right (Yost seems to be doing the best thus far). These are some of my favorite moments which to me best represent what Superior could have and by all rights should have been:
If Superior was always written like this and was portrayed as the smart, cold, calculating and cunning character he should be and his supporting cast wasn't dumbed down to accommodate him this could have been one of the best parts of Spider-History and sadly it probably will not be so.