Comic Vine Review

41 Comments

Superior Spider-Man #20 - Spidey Still Standing Review

4

Dan Slott continues to weave more story threads and

The Good

After the craziness of last couple issues and the fate of the entire timestream at risk, it's nice to get a moment to catch our breath. But that doesn't mean Dan Slott is going to let up on the story.

Starting off with a flashback to that fateful moment in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700, you'll practically scream at your comic, "WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?" as you hang onto each moment in each panel. If there's one thing that Slott has proven, he knows how to set something up and let it simmer in the background for as long as he feels is necessary. It's easy to see that everything he does is done for a reason.

Apart from this flashback and potential story build up, there is the confrontation between SpOck and Black Cat. When the cover was revealed, this was a moment many have either looked forward to or feared. Along with this, Slott is also moving things forward for Peter Parker's personal life after the events with Horizon Labs in the previous arc as well as Carlie Cooper's investigation.

Giuseppe Camuncoli steps in nicely with the art, capturing the feel and look of the characters.

The Bad

While the action does settle down a little and even though there is some build up for future storylines, it almost feels like an abrupt stop. It might not be fair to judge this issue based on that but of course comic readers are a fickle bunch. What happens here is important to the overall story of SpOck but it feels like a series of separate events.

Camuncoli does a nice job with Spider-Man, Black Cat, etc but there are moments when Peter (unmasked) or Mary Jane looked a little off.

The Verdict

Dan Slott is continuing to plant and harvest seeds in Doc Ock's reign as Spider-Man. The action (from the previous arc) slows down a bit but there is a lot being set up to drive the series forward. Slott proves that you should never take any moment for granted. There's no telling what he has planned or what tiny detail will later come into play in a big way. Giuseppe Camuncoli does a good job with the art but there are some moments that cause tiny distractions. And if you thought Slott was making things too easy for SpOck, wait until you see the development at the end. You never know what Slott will cook up next.

43 Comments
Edited by Trevel8182

Jesus Carlie Cooper is the stupidest character ever. 20 issues later she finally understands.

http://i.minus.com/ibuVG3PedQSPGp.gif

Posted by PeppeyHare

@trevel8182: That made me laugh way more than it should have

Edited by personz

I am.... STUNNED!

Posted by Ando123

Looking forward to reading the next issue.

Posted by Trevel8182

Word of advice Doc, don't mess with Black Cat, that lady is all kinds of mental.

Posted by ScumDestroy

really confused as to what is happening on the final page here.

the scene with black cat is the first thing that SpOck has done that has truly bothered me so far.

stoked for the upcoming academic revenge on I hope Slott drops some more story on the horizon/modell/alchem/parker ind. seperations and developments, giving some 2099 "origins" I guess.

Edited by simple_man815

Oh, I loved this Black Cat's "WTF" impression.

Posted by TommytheHitman
Posted by PunyParker

@trevel8182: That made me laugh way more than it should have

Exacly,me too.

@g_man "you'll practically scream at your comic, "WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?"

Ok,i give up.....what does this mean?

Posted by PunyParker

really confused as to what is happening on the final page here.

What's to be confuced about?.....Stunner thinks Spider-Man killed Ock and she seeks revenge.

BTW Lord almighty ,she is out of shape....

Posted by GraniteSoldier

Always been a fan of Black Cat. Hope Slott doesn't dumb her down too and not notice clearly this is not the same spider...

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

ugh all this DONT MISS THIS ISSUE BS has got to end....im sorry but anyone want to clue me in to what i missed while reading issue 20.I found nothing to be groundbreaking or book defining

Posted by PunyParker

ugh all this DONT MISS THIS ISSUE BS has got to end....im sorry but anyone want to clue me in to what i missed while reading issue 20.I found nothing to be groundbreaking or book defining

Exacly.#19 was WAY more exciting.

Always been a fan of Black Cat. Hope Slott doesn't dumb her down too and not notice clearly this is not the same spider...

Please.....the Avengers,Carlie,even MARY JANE who knows him more than a decade(comic yrs) havent noticed a thing....you expect Felicia to notice....despite the fact that he punched her tooth out,and that's what Peter does,right?....it's a sex thing.....(?)

Posted by Trevel8182

@punyparker: The contrivance when he was faced with the Avengers was all the super scientist and plain smart Avenger weren't there that day right?

Posted by Kerrigan

Please.....the Avengers,Carlie,even MARY JANE who knows him more than a decade(comic yrs) havent noticed a thing....you expect Felicia to notice....despite the fact that he punched her tooth out,and that's what Peter does,right?....it's a sex thing.....(?)

This really is one of SSM's main flaws, and one fairly common in comics. Instead of making the plot smarter, you make the characters dumber. Especially dumb in the Marvelverse of clones, demonic possession, shapeshifters, mind control, and other body-swaps.

The less tech-savvy Avengers ran some brain scans, but neglected to show them to Stark or Pym or anyone else who might be able to read them right.

Really, "Pete's" behavior has changed so much he'd be strapped to a slab with psychics and Doc Strange picking his brain and soul apart.

Edited by Trevel8182
@kerrigan said:

@punyparker said:

Please.....the Avengers,Carlie,even MARY JANE who knows him more than a decade(comic yrs) havent noticed a thing....you expect Felicia to notice....despite the fact that he punched her tooth out,and that's what Peter does,right?....it's a sex thing.....(?)

This really is one of SSM's main flaws, and one fairly common in comics. Instead of making the plot smarter, you make the characters dumber. Especially dumb in the Marvelverse of clones, demonic possession, shapeshifters, mind control, and other body-swaps.

The less tech-savvy Avengers ran some brain scans, but neglected to show them to Stark or Pym or anyone else who might be able to read them right.

Really, "Pete's" behavior has changed so much he'd be strapped to a slab with psychics and Doc Strange picking his brain and soul apart.

THIS a thousand times this!!

Edited by Smart_Dork_Dude

In all honesty, the ONLY reason I'm reading Superior Spider-Man is to see just where this insanity goes. It's like going to see a horrendously bad movie, yet the plot is so engaging that you can't just get up and leave. That being said I'm so glad Felcia and Ock didn't hook up because Ock/Cat is......

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@punyparker: Hence my "too". I hate how Spidey's entire cast has been dumbed down to make this story work. I expect it to happen with her as well, although I haven't read the issue yet so I'll have to wait and see. I'm hoping they don't, I'm expecting they will.

Posted by InnerVenom123

Jesus Carlie Cooper is the stupidest character ever. 20 issues later she finally understands.

She had a hunch from the start, though. She was looking for physical proof this entire time.

Edited by Lvenger

@trevel8182: LOL most suitable gif for an idiotic story moment ever.

Edited by Spideress

@innervenom123: Yes, a hunch born of her being flat out told what was going on. I get finding proof, but it's not like she came up with this all on her own.

Edited by silent_bomber

In the real world human interaction is kind of a mess to be honest.

I've read studies which pretty much said that the majority of what you say to just about everybody out there will be misinterpreted and misunderstood anyway, people project their own thoughts and explanation's onto everyone else.

Sad fact of the matter is that in the real world the families of dementia patients rarely even notice a difference the majority of the time until their loved one has reached a very severe stage in their condition.

My next door neighbor used to go on about his lazy sister faking illness so she could get out of work, he'd mention it off an on in conversation from time to time. One day she had a fit and died from this fake illness, she was like 20 years old.

Look at all the psychos of the world, the people who go about their lives killing random people and burying them in their back yard, ask the neighbours, friends, family whether they were ever suspicious and they never have any idea at all "they seemed so normal" they always say. These people hang around with psychos for years and don't really know anything about them at all.

I'm not surprised at all that Peter's friends and family don't notice a difference, they'll make up their own explanations and project their own feelings onto him, thinking that maybe he's overworked, tired, upset about some undisclosed occurrence etc.

and anyway, sometimes people change, I've had friends who just up and acted like asses before, never seen them since.

Now the Black Cat thing though, unlike what's happened with the other people in Pete's life that's an extreme situation, but still, she could very well search her memory for any reason for him to be angry at her that comes to mind and then go "screw him, he's obviously angry about such and such thing, I thought I knew him, I guess not" etc people do that crap all the time.

Even more plausible than "Pete had his mind swapped with a super villain" would simply be that he's undergoing some kind of psychotic break, I mean the guy is in life or death situations all the time.

Posted by DrellAssassin

I'm so glad Ana got some of the spotlight in this issue, I've yearned since the earlier days of Superior Spiderman for the series to go back and focus more on Otto without the mask on. Also the Black Cat encounter had me literally laughing out loud.

Edited by Mezmero

Really enjoyed this issue a lot. The opening scene with Black Cat depicts one of the things I like about this whole story. It was like sucker punching the fans who have become far too comfortable with Peter Parker to the point that they think they can dictate what stories should be told despite lacking actual writing credentials. I've said it before but watching Otto squirm when things don't go his way is as entertaining as seeing him succeed in his crusade on crime. The ending was underwhelming because for one thing it was already teased in previews and I'm also not a fan of most comic book continuity from the 90s. I'm excited to see where this goes.

Posted by w0nd

Jesus Carlie Cooper is the stupidest character ever. 20 issues later she finally understands.

compared to everyone else who HASN'T

Posted by comicbookfan93

Disappointed by black cats involvement in the issue mainly as she's one of my favourite characters but I'm glad she and spock didn't hook up or whatever

Posted by darthfury78

Disappointed by black cats involvement in the issue mainly as she's one of my favourite characters but I'm glad she and spock didn't hook up or whatever

No one thought for a minute that Spock and Black Cat would ever hook up, given their history. Meaning that Otto almost killed the Black Cat in the past. Why would he want to have a relationship with a woman he despises?

Posted by PunyParker

@punyparker: Hence my "too". I hate how Spidey's entire cast has been dumbed down to make this story work. I expect it to happen with her as well, although I haven't read the issue yet so I'll have to wait and see. I'm hoping they don't, I'm expecting they will.

It's preety straight forward for Cat to understand something's not right with him...it's like a "punch in the face"........but noooooo....

@punyparker: The contrivance when he was faced with the Avengers was all the super scientist and plain smart Avenger weren't there that day right?

Yep....

@kerrigan said:

@punyparker said:

Please.....the Avengers,Carlie,even MARY JANE who knows him more than a decade(comic yrs) havent noticed a thing....you expect Felicia to notice....despite the fact that he punched her tooth out,and that's what Peter does,right?....it's a sex thing.....(?)

This really is one of SSM's main flaws, and one fairly common in comics. Instead of making the plot smarter, you make the characters dumber. Especially dumb in the Marvelverse of clones, demonic possession, shapeshifters, mind control, and other body-swaps.

The less tech-savvy Avengers ran some brain scans, but neglected to show them to Stark or Pym or anyone else who might be able to read them right.

Really, "Pete's" behavior has changed so much he'd be strapped to a slab with psychics and Doc Strange picking his brain and soul apart.

They dont realise what i were saying from SSM#1 and forth....THIS.DOESN'T.WORK!!

How more clear can i make it?!!....you have to make some sacrifises and making main characters stupid,is one of them...

Edited by silent_bomber

If the Avengers acted like real people, they wouldn't have bothered doing the scans in the first place.

They would've just fired Spider-Man and gone "wow, we dropped the ball on that guy, who knew he was a nutter?" or they would have sat him down and recommended that he seeks professional help, or take time off.

Again, another real world example is spousal abuse. Do you think these guys who beat on their wives were doing this when they started dating? no, the women in these situations always say "he used to be so nice" "he changed" etc. These guys literally go from acting loving and affectionate during a dating phase, to getting violent later on. These women don't start thinking an evil scientist must have swapped their loved one's personality around!, they just come to terms with the idea that they didn't really know them well enough in the first place. This example isn't really that far from the scenario laid out in Superior Spider-Man at the moment.

The reader also has access to far more information than the other characters, other characters cannot read thought balloons :)

Furthermore, in comic books the majority of loved ones of superheroes, never, ever put two and two together and work out that someone they know intimately is a superhero in high stress danger all the time risking their lives, even when said hero keeps turning up covered in bruises, or making excuses just as danger happens etc etc, so their lack of perception is consistent anyway.

Worse still the actual Spider-Man has done a lot of this stuff already himself anyway!! during the early to mid 90s when he was babbling about being "The Spider" he beat a whole bunch of his enemies to a pulp, stopped speaking to his wife etc etc.

Posted by freeballer

this could be a flicker of light at the end of the !@%^tty, dark hole that is "superior"...

Edited by InFamous_Wolf

@silent_bomber: Thank you, finally someone takes their time and looks at the situation on a deeper level. Not just "How come no one notices that Peter is not Peter they're stupid herp derp"

Seriously, is the first thing they are suppose to think is " yep Peter got his brain switched obviously".

-sigh-

Edited by darthfury78

@infamous_wolf said:

@silent_bomber: Thank you, finally someone takes their time and looks at the situation on a deeper level. Not just "How come no one notices that Peter is not Peter they're stupid herp derp"

Seriously, is the first thing they are suppose to think is " yep Peter got his brain switched obviously".

-sigh-

Marvel allowed Slott complete freedom over Spider-Man. And you would think that Black Cat's Bad Luck Powers would have seen Spock's punch coming. Otto just beat Black Cat down to the ground. Where was her bad luck powers to protect her? Otherwise, Otto would not have been able to attack her so easily. This is certainly a fake out. The Avengers do not know what's wrong with him. His friends don't know what the problem. It's obvious the the stupid pills were instrumental of allowing Slott to progress his Spider-Man story. I am surprised that not even super spies like Spider-Woman and Black Widow do not know the difference in his behavior, despite knowing the man behind the mask very well to detect that somethings not right with Spidey. Even Jessica Drew had said that she would personally kill Dr. Ock if she could. But when Spider-Man kills, that should have been a red flag that the person she knows isn't Peter Parker at all because even at his worst, he would not take someone's life with blood on his hands.

Posted by frogdog

In the real world human interaction is kind of a mess to be honest.

In a world that has skrulls, professional imposters, and clones, mind swapping isn't a stretch of the imagination. Not to mention your example of "the spider" falls flat considering that Ben Riley was covering for peter's absence and even confronted peter about his crazyness within less than 15# issues.

Posted by silent_bomber

@frogdog said:

@silent_bomber said:

In the real world human interaction is kind of a mess to be honest.

In a world that has skrulls, professional imposters, and clones, mind swapping isn't a stretch of the imagination.

and someone just changing their personality, or showing a side to their personality that they previously hid is even less of a stretch of the imagination, and happens constantly in the real world.

Again, people start relationships with guys all the time in the real world and the guys go from seeming loving, and affectionate, to complete monsters who beat the crap out of them.

Easy going, well liked people who sometimes have friends over for barbeque's, and are considered a little bit bland by people who know them etc, etc, turn out to have a bunch of corpses buried under their patios. These psychos happily chat to their neighbours during the day in their everyday life, and then commit hideous violent crimes when nobody's around. Imagine being a neighbour of one of these guys who gets caught on the wrong end of an axe, after seeing this boring guy suddenly raving and trying to kill you, you'd think there was a bit of a "personality change" going on, right?

Heck, in the comic book world people suddenly changing major aspects of their personality is even more common than it is here! What about poor Phil Urich? he went through a personality change that was pretty damn extreme and there wasn't really even that many reasons for it.

Black Cat's personality changes every time a new writer turns up!

@frogdog said:

@silent_bomber said:

In the real world human interaction is kind of a mess to be honest.

Not to mention your example of "the spider" falls flat considering that Ben Riley was covering for peter's absence and even confronted peter about his crazyness within less than 15# issues.

I think my example is cast iron :)

Ben Riley confronting him is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that the actual Spider-Man spent months beating criminals to a pulp (including criminals who were effectively begging him to stop), and refused to speak to any of his family, he also shouted death threats semi-regularly to his enemies.

To outside observers its just going to be a re-run of those months, except he's now stepped over that final line. Perceptive people will likely take it for granted something has happened in his personal life.

and there are many such examples anyway

How about this, the Avengers are sitting around and happen to be talking to Daredevil, they mention that Spidey has been killing bad guys recently, Daredevil replies -

"Yeah, I've witnessed him go off the rails many times, I had to stop him from murdering the Sin Eater once, who he pretty much crippled, when I tried to calm him down he attacked me"

etc etc

Edited by Mezmero

@silent_bomber: I wouldn't bother trying to explain suspension of disbelief to hardcore Spidey fans. They seem to have become extra crazy and unreasonable since Superior started. Best to focus on giving positive feedback to the book than to try to get through to these people. It's actually a pretty funny social commentary to contrast with this story line. Doc Ock thinks he can be a better hero than Peter and the hardcore fans think they can be better writers than actual professionals even though most of them have horrendous grammar. Now they think by acting evil towards this series they can get it cancelled. Such good satire is hard to come by.

Posted by frogdog

@silent_bomber:

and someone just changing their personality, or showing a side to their personality that they previously hid is even less of a stretch of the imagination, and happens constantly in the real world.

It isn't just a simple personality change, peter talks and acts like the person he murdered a few months ago. The dialogue between his alter ego and spider-man are hardly different, other peter calling himself superior. It just reminds of that terrible Lizard storyline that Dan Slott wrote where nobody could tell the difference between Doc Conners and the lizard, even with obvious difference in tones.

Heck, in the comic book world people suddenly changing major aspects of their personality is even more common than it is here! What about poor Phil Urich? he went through a personality change that was pretty damn extreme and there wasn't really even that many reasons for it.

Black Cat's personality changes every time a new writer turns up!

Most of it is down to inconsistency of different writers, rather than actual character development. Phil Urich is an example of Dan Slott's writing.

I think my example is cast iron :)

Ben Riley confronting him is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that the actual Spider-Man spent months beating criminals to a pulp (including criminals who were effectively begging him to stop), and refused to speak to any of his family, he also shouted death threats semi-regularly to his enemies.

When you have near identical clone of yourself covering your absence, who is going to know notice that you lost your sanity, other than mary jane?

Even when peter lost his mind, he never killed anyone, which wouldn't cause any concern to avengers. Sin eater incident took place 5 years before the clone saga and completely different to a public execution. Bringing up Daredevil just reminds how dumbed down the story is, seeing how his radar sense couldn't point out otto's lies.

Posted by Owie

I think I'm done with this series. Not because I'm against the SpOck idea, or that I miss Peter. I think it's fine. But I've ceased to be interested in it. There's no long-term narrative tension that I care about. It's become kind of dull.

Posted by blackkitty

I have so many problems with this issue I don't even know where to start. Okay, when did Black Cat become a thief again? Last I knew she was running Cat's Eye Investigations and working as security for Jonah Jameson, now she's a thief robbing a store? Can someone explain this to me please cause I'm really confused.

The issue itself to me was just there. No real character development except to make Black Cat hate Spider-Man which, is fine but, if anyone could tell that wasn't Peter, it should have been her. I was looking forward to her appearance and she only got 3 pages, I feel ripped off.

Posted by blackkitty

@mezmero: The beautiful thing is, when people aren't happy with something they have a right to say it, just as those who like it have the right to criticize as well. You want to talk about how great the series is, cool. Personally, not for me. I refuse to read a book about a villain. Sorry, you don't kill the main character and expect me to support it, just not gonna happen. But hey, I don't get Avengers Arena either. As for me, I merely do what I think anyone who doesn't like the book should, namely don't buy it.

What amazes me are the people who are buying the book and complaining how much they dislike it. That seems counterproductive to me.

Posted by mickeymayhew

SpOck's doing stuff Peter never dreamed of because, as May's husband said, he was always so quiet and unassuming. And people want that back?!? Otto is actually moving Peter's life forward, for heaven's sake!! new stuff is actually happening!!

Posted by J_HickmanIsGod

man the hate this comic series gets is unwarranted.

just be open minded you dicks. and honestly aside from a few dull issues here n there, Slott is doing a great job