Comic Vine Review

Comments

Superior Spider-Man #14 - A Blind Eye Review

5

Spider-Man goes for the jugular of New York’s crime, and he’s taking things to a level never before realized.

The Good

The “superior” in Superior Spider-Man was often thought of as a cheap, and some thought underhanded jab, prefix to keep up Spidey books’ love of alliteration, but very early in the run, it became clear Doc Ock had appropriated it for another, specific use: he was going to be a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker ever was, regardless of what price he had to pay. “Better,” in Otto’s mind, seems to mean “most efficient,” though certainly not more compassionate, as he has now demonstrated his use of lethal force on two separate occasions. But there’s a new target in his crosshairs: Wilson Fisk’s Shadowland palace in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen. Now that Spider-Man controls the Raft, and has re-purposed it into Spider Island 2, staffed it with his own private army, his first act is to launch an all-out assault on Fisk’s fortress, and he’s taking no prisoners.

Dan Slott took a huge risk when he introduced the idea of Doc Ock as Spidey in Amazing Spider-Man #700, but the reward has been some of the most unique, interesting, and different, web-slinging tales in a very long time. No retcons, horrible secrets from the distant past, or unnecessary twist required, just solid, good storytelling, and that continues into this issue. Slott’s wallcrawler is certainly NOT of the friendly-neighborhood variety, and that trend continues into this issue, as we now see Spidey leveraging his newfound power and authority, but Slott is sure to include signs that all this power may be going to Ock’s head. Near the end of the book, we see a massive confluence of consequences brewing, consequences that even his superior intellect could neither foresee, nor is he likely to be prepared for. It’s also the culmination of something that’s been happening in the periphery of Superior Spider-Man for several issues now and it feels great when it’s finally revealed.

Humberto Ramos tackles the art, a polarizing artist, but one who I fall on the side of loving. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t like him on just any book, but few artists capture the kinetic athleticism and acrobatics of Spider-Man like Ramos does. His exaggerated, wild style lends itself to action, but even the more speech-driven scenes are served as there’s a level of intensity that exists in this issue that makes every panel seem more important than the last. This is especially apparent when Mayor Jameson is shouting at his newfound "ally." Victor Olazaba handles inks with Edgar Delgado on color and both of them do a fantastic job of bringing Ramos’ pencils off the page as both are critical in a book this action heavy. As this is a nighttime book, the colors are actually a little more subdued than we’re used to in a Spider-Man book, but the more mellow palette befits the darker tone that the book achieves perfectly, and the inks ensure that the action is always clear and impactful.

The Bad

There’s very little to dislike in this issue, other than, perhaps, a lack of character development. This is definitely an action issue, and I’m starting to miss the supporting cast, both new and old, that this Superior Spidey has begun to build.

The Verdict

This issue opens with a narration from a citizen of Hell’s Kitchen who’s had to adapt to life underneath the Kingpin’s ever-present shadow, and it gives the reader an excellent view of why people would support such an extreme action against Fisk. This isn’t the Spider-Man we’re used to, so it makes sense he’d have different methods for dealing with a villain of this caliber, and while some fans may balk at people just giving him a pass, when we see into the minds and eyes of the civilians forced to live under the boot of a known criminal overlord, it begins to make more sense why they’d support this new Spider-Man. But Slott isn’t letting Octavius off the hook, as this book shows, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the “superiority” of this Spider-Man may, indeed, only be his own declaration.

65 Comments
  • 65 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by PunyParker
Edited by Mezmero

This issue was so good it's ridiculous. At first I was not sure where it was going with the Shadowland stuff then as soon as those Spider Destroyers or whatever were revealed my jaw dropped. I've said it before but my favorite part about this book has been how Superior has been fighting more like a tech-focused anti-hero who takes every advantage he can. I just didn't think his tech would be so awesome. I have a few petty gripes with the art. At least one panel had Superior's leg bent in an unnatural way and Fisk had too much of a baby face for a character who has witnessed a lot in the Marvel universe. Other than that the art looked great.

I was a bit disappointed that Superior didn't cut off Fisk's escape route like he did with Spider Slayer but I guess he's just not as familiar with the layout of Shadowland and also The Kingpin is not a character I'm ready to see die just yet. At least with Massacre it was Slott's creation in the first place so he had license to do what he wanted and Smythe has been a dead end for a while. They shouldn't kill off someone like Fisk because he's a badass and a piiiiimp.

The true test for Superior Spidey is going to be the upcoming arc. The Goblin King's scheme has been planted and soon he will spring it on our menacing neighborhood Spider-Man. This will truly be a battle between two of Spider-Man's greatest villains. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Octavius tech clashing with Oscorp tech and see who is the superior villain. It seems like a distinct possibility that Osborn might die in this encounter since people were bitching so much about him in Dark Reign. For the record I loved DR because I knew something wicked was being plotted in that Goblin side of his brain. Imagine all the prep time he's had while lying dormant this whole time. I wonder who the haters will root for on this one. The identity stealing mad scientist murderer or the genocidal rapist dictator freak show. No matter who wins we lose. I love it. If they take the boring predictable route it will be Peter Parker who wins. I simply can not wait for more.

"People don't read reviews for purchasing advice. They read reviews to agree with them."

-Corey "Unblackcatpool" Schroeder.

I agree... with this review. Guffaw!

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

I lost interest in Amazing Spider-Man long before SpOck reared his ugly head. I used to read Spider-Man because he was just a regular-ass dude with regular-ass problems that just so happened to have super powers but somewhere a long the line that all changed and Pete turned in to Iron Man in a spider suit, his aunt married a millionaire and cruses around in a private jet, his ex-model girlfriend is now nightclub manager, he works as a world renowned super scientist and when ever he get's in to trouble he ether pulls out some Reed Richards-like tech or just call's in a battalion of Avengers. I'm sorry but non of the interests me in the least and that's why I think Ultimate Spider-Man has been a far better book Peter Parker or not.

Posted by jaybefre

@inferiorego: You're spot on! You've taken what I have been trying to put in to words and hit the nail on the head when it comes to how the past Spiderman issues have been. When I was a child I grew up loving Spiderman but, as I got older I realized Spiderman wasn't growing up with me if you know what I mean. Nothing has changed really outside of him getting his new job at Horizon Labs it's been the same Peter Parker handling the same almost sophomoric issues since I was a young boy. The character hasn't evolved. I then moved onto Daredevil because I felt that he was kind of the more mature version of Spiderman handling "adult" issues. With Superior Spider-Man stuff is happening now! Huge things! I love Otto as Spider-Man. For the first time in a while this is a more mature Spiderman. He knows to give up on MJ, he's going back for his doctorate, he's created ways to better patrol the city and now he has his own island of minions! Lol! What's not to love?!? I know sadly, that this run is eventually going to come to an end but, I'm going to savor every moment of it. Hopefully when Peter returns he'll learn a few things from Otto and "grow up" a little bit.

Edited by cerial442

I get tired of the same old stuff, but how is SPock any different than all the other anti-hero books out there? I do read this series, but it doesn't stand out against something like Scarlet Spider or Black Bat. At least before Peter Parker was able to stand out.

Most of the years people said were boring, were also written by Dan Slott.

Superior isn't bad. The Green Goblin stuff is interesting. I don't think it's a book that warrants coming out twice a month. This current issue wasn't bad, but it read like filler. The raft storyline was more interesting.

Posted by xkoenig

I've been waiting for Ock to go full on "Big Brother" on the city. I'm guessing that the Spider-Bots have preprogrammed targets to sweep for? And I'm confused as to why it didn't pick up Hobgoblin.

Also, I'm really loving the new costume. I could have done without the Iron Spider arms, though. Makes it feel like someone recolored a sprite.

The Green Goblin has reprogrammed the Spider-Bots. I think it was shown in a previous issue (maybe 10 or 9?) Clearly that makes them avoid Goblin-related people.

Posted by xkoenig

Haters are gonna hate I guess, but all this talk of voting with wallets makes me just want to let you all know that Superior Spider-Man is currently Marvel's TOP SELLING ONGOING MONTHLY. So lots of people out there are evidently on board with what is happening here. I think it's a quality series and while not every issue is a 9/10 or 10/10, it's definitely a book I look forward to picking up every other week.

Edited by tximinoman

I love how crazy this book's getting. I really do. Even if Spider-Man is now a jerk, and sort of evil and creepy... I just love it. Things are happening, shit matters and I really get the feeling that things are different now

Posted by cameron83

If you don't like it, don't read it. Vote with your wallets not with your keyboards. Also, check out the 700 older issues of ASM featuring Peter Parker, since so many people are wistful for their "golden age" of Marvel.

Marvel (aside from 1610) and DC (pre-52) have become stagnant. I don't want to read another 6-issue throw away arc that does nothing for the series or character. This is interesting. This is worth my money. Something is ACTUALLY happening in a comic book.

Don't you all get tired of the same old crap, month after month? Comics shouldn't be a security blanket. They should be exciting and shake things up. Isn't it great that the main character is someone you've hated over the years trying to be better than the old protagonist, yet on the complete moral opposite? That's insane! That's awesome. I think the thing a few people have is that they like this, but don't want to. They like Otto as Spidey, and that's what makes them angry because it's not the norm. It's out of their comfort zone.

As for that blog post, I stopped reading when he said "I haven’t been buying it, but I’ve been reading it ." Why should I respect someone's opinion on the industry who doesn't want to support it?

And cue angry replies...

This to the nth degree.

Not only that,but I can actually see the character progression and there are even points in the comic that deal with "once a killer,always a killer" and such. And it's clear Otto is trying to be a much better person while at the same time making more logical decisions.

Posted by superior_prime_maybe

i liked how this was an assault not a war.
Even when peter comes back i would still want spOck around.

One problem of mine has been that peters life experience made otto a good guy... but that completely undermines ottos life experience. So suddenly all his horrible pain while growing up doesnt matter?

Posted by kcjr

I've really been enjoying Superior. I know in a year Peter will be back (maybe sooner), but for me it's an interesting change of pace. It's interesting to watch just how powerful SM really could be if it weren't for his humanity. The truth is, aside for the heavy hitters like Thor or Iron Man, there aren't many characters that can match SM with his combination of brains and physical power when he's not bogged done with crossing any lines. I feel this book has done a good job of showing that. Like another poster wrote, every issue is not a 9/10, but it has been really good.

Posted by Teerack

Why is Spider-Man still part of the title at this point.

Posted by novi_homines

Huh. I guess I really need to pick it up.

Posted by mickeymayhew

If you don't like it, don't read it. Vote with your wallets not with your keyboards. Also, check out the 700 older issues of ASM featuring Peter Parker, since so many people are wistful for their "golden age" of Marvel.

Marvel (aside from 1610) and DC (pre-52) have become stagnant. I don't want to read another 6-issue throw away arc that does nothing for the series or character. This is interesting. This is worth my money. Something is ACTUALLY happening in a comic book.

Don't you all get tired of the same old crap, month after month? Comics shouldn't be a security blanket. They should be exciting and shake things up. Isn't it great that the main character is someone you've hated over the years trying to be better than the old protagonist, yet on the complete moral opposite? That's insane! That's awesome. I think the thing a few people have is that they like this, but don't want to. They like Otto as Spidey, and that's what makes them angry because it's not the norm. It's out of their comfort zone.

As for that blog post, I stopped reading when he said "I haven’t been buying it, but I’ve been reading it ." Why should I respect someone's opinion on the industry who doesn't want to support it?

And cue angry replies...

yes yes yes yes yes!!! I love this book because I've been reading comics since 1980 or so and I genuinely come to each issue with the sense that, 'I've not seen this before, this is something new' - and I LOVE it!!

Edited by kirbyverse

Superior is the best cycle of Spiderman since the original Ditko run, and while Slott is telling Spiderman in a completely new way, it is with the same majestic authority and unfettered artisic license that Lee wrote and the same wild enthusiasm and sublime freedom that Ditko drew. The legacy of "The Logo" has not been so honored and alive since Kraven's Last Hunt. Slott is not at all destroying Spiderman ( which had been nothing more than an epic vapor trail since Issue #122 ) he is reinvigorating a mythology that had been all but dead for 40 years. Nothing like this has happened to an original Marvel hero since Steve Rogers was pulled out of the Arctic, and Slott knows it. Fittingly, Slott paid homage to The King with a brilliant Funky Flashman reference, signalling that he knows it is only a matter of time until the first man to write Spiderman like Lee did when he was still a rebel without a cause, becomes the next Kirby, a king forever in exile, betrayed by The Man that the rebel became when the company he conquered became him. It's a story to rival Fidel and Che, Lenin and Trotsky, Bill and Beatrix, Romeo and Mercutio .... well, you get the picture. Now get this. Atlantis has resurfaced true believers. Take a look before it sinks again.