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Superior Spider-Man #9 - Troubled Mind, Part Three: Gray Matters Review

4

It's a battle of minds as Peter and Doc Ock face-off inside of Peter's mind!

Warning: There will be some spoilers within this review.

The Good

Doc Ock finds the Peter Parker brain pattern anomaly with his scanner and attempts to wipe Peter away for good. Inside Peter's brain, the two battle it out for supremacy.

This is quite the controversial issue, probably just as controversial as AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 where it's revealed Peter Parker and Doc Ock switched bodies. I will not spoil anything big, but this issue is a huge game changer for the series. On top of that, the decision writer Dan Slott makes in this issue with this character is an awesome way to go.

In the epic battle between Peter and Ock, I thought for sure I'd be cheering for Peter. He's Spider-Man, right? How could you not want to cheer for the good guy? Dan Slott has this magical ability to slowly make you root for the bad guy. There's this amazing turning point where Doc Ock realizes is not Dr Octopus, he's Superior Spider-Man now, and he has this conversation with Peter where he, in a weird way, proves that even though he's killing people, he's actually a superior version of Spider-Man. It comes to this stunning conclusion where I really feel for Peter and all he's gone through, but as the reader, I find myself siding with Doc Ock. I'm blown away with how Slott's writing changes my perception of Peter and Ock all in one issue.

Taking a breather from the craziness, for a moment, Ryan Stegman's cover here is amazing. Not only is it a great representation of the story within the issue, but I love how Spidey's brain is also the title of the book. What a cool concept.

Another quick thing I loved about this issue was seeing Doc Ock, in Peter's mind, in his old green costume with his terrible bowlcut again. I haven't been a fan of any of the redesigns of this character, so seeing this, for one last time, made the Spider-Fan in me happy.

Back to Ryan Stegman... His work is top notch. This is an insane issue. There's a ton of stuff going on, and art-wise, Stegman nailed it. There's so much going on here, and so much action taking place, and Stgman puts together a very clear-cut style that's easy to read and brilliant at telling the story within the book. By far, my favorite page here happens towards the end when a beaten Doc Ock realized who he truly is. It's three, pretty simple panels that flow so well, and I loved the use of the negative space and how Ock's face blends into it.

The Bad

My only real problem with the issue was that the back and forth battle, in the first half really didn't grab me. I didn't like the scenes with Peter and Ock saying to each other "I've got these guys backing me up!" It was a tad cheesy. However, it really picks up the pace and becomes really awesome around page 13.

The Verdict

I know there's going to be people freaking out because I'm not freaking out. Frankly, I'm sick of stagnant story lines. It's nice to see someone doing something risky. Tons of people freaked out during #700 and vowed never to read Spider-Man again, and then those people, for some reason, picked up SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, stuck with it, and really ended up enjoying it. It's going to be the same thing here, but there's no reason to fret. Everything, at some point, will most likely all go back to normal, so let's enjoy this crazy ride while we can.

This was an awesome issue. It was better than I expected, after reading issue #8. I had a bit of a problem with the first half of the book coming off as a tad cheesy, but overall, this was such a great issue, and an amazing way to wrap up this first arc of this book. Slott does wonders with these characters and the dialogue here, especially during the final scenes, and Ryan Stegman's art is so pretty, and that cover is so awesome. This is an issue I could easily read multiple times because it's the perfect mixture of crazy and amazing.

Overall, I highly recommend this issue.

141 Comments
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Posted by Rixec

I hate how a majority of comic book fans (at least online) always act like whiny bitches when things like this happen. They can never sit back and find the amazing - or, in this case, superior - story within it. They just find the first thing that breaks the status quo and bitch about it. I see comments online where people complain how Dan knows nothing about Spider-Man and the like and it sickens me. They don't even bother to think about the future. When ASM 700 came out people whined about Peter's death when he appeared in SSM 1. People need to take a chill pill and just watch as the story unfolds. Although, I'm sure Dan Slott would have been disappointed if there was no bitching. LOL. I just realized ultimately it's the typical fan bitching that brought all this about. :D

Posted by mark15

best issue of the series so far

Posted by akbogert

@revendawn said:

Personally I think this story ends with Otto willingly bringing Peter back because he knows that's what the world needs. What greater knowledge of power and responsibility is there than knowing you have to give it up because it's the right thing to do?

You know, I hate it, but I think you've actually sold me on this. As you say right after, "or the point of this entire thing could just be to blow up Peter's life again," which is how I have interpreted and why I'm so angry (frankly, I will remain angry until Peter and MJ are back together, because even though I got into comics after I am retroactively pissed at OMD). And I still maintain that the means of resurrecting Peter will be necessarily ridiculous based on how they've played this whole mind purge thing. But it'd be worth it, I think, if it played out like you said above.

Edited by Fenderxx

I am really happy with the direction this series is taking .... looking at the comments I maybe in the minority, but I am really glad the issue did not go the predictable route.

Posted by glfmntn

I really enjoyed this issue, and I think the people who really disliked it are the same people who had problems with ASM 700. We all know that Peter Parker is not gone for good so complaining about this doesn't make much sense. Stegman's art is really great in this issue. I really liked the way each character turned into Spider-Man.

Edited by leokearon

One think has got me thinking, Now that Otto has erased Peter's Memories,How is he going to continue pretending to be Peter/Spider-man, when he can't access Peter's memories anymore. It's just going to get him found out sooner.

Posted by leokearon

@teerack: Sadly this does remind me of Ben, the fact that some people can't except anyone but Peter as Spider-man and do anyway with any replacements. That's what happen to Ben, angry fans complain about Ben being Spider-man and so they got rid of him (sadly)

Posted by longbowhunter

Spider-Man was the character that drew me to comics back in the late 80's. I've always had a soft spot for the character. That being said I really like what's being done on Superior and quite enjoyed this issue. Almost as much as I enjoy reading these comments.

Edited by DrellAssassin

Dan Slott right now:

Posted by tximinoman

This issue have blown my mind. NOW I'm getting interested. I hope it last at least a good whole year (two will be even better but who am I kidding, this is Marvel nothing lasts)

Posted by Dernman

I miss buying Spider-Man comics. I wonder how long I will have to put up with not buying because of this garbage.

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

I Think most of the backlash is coming out of how Peter was written out of his own book . The story itself was great its just that one part with the little girl, I could never ever see peter putting himself before anyone else in that way cmon slott your the writer ffs

The issue with massacre shows peter cares about others more than himself still when he exposes himself to massacre to save the kid about to get shot

Edited by TheAcidSkull

Oh for F*cks sake people, how can you like this? HOW?

Online
Posted by fodigg

My only problem with this issue is that it puts us back where we started with issue one—the understanding that Peter Parker is gone. So what was the point in the struggle up to this point then?

Posted by Dernman

@fodigg said:

My only problem with this issue is that it puts us back where we started with issue one—the understanding that Peter Parker is gone. So what was the point in the struggle up to this point then?

Ghost Pete was only ever there so fans would stick with the book during the change and not drop it immediately. They figured that if they could keep people on for short term less people would drop the book later. Make the transition easier.

.

That and it gave Slott another chance to troll fans.

Posted by fodigg

@dernman said:

@fodigg said:

My only problem with this issue is that it puts us back where we started with issue one—the understanding that Peter Parker is gone. So what was the point in the struggle up to this point then?

Ghost Pete was only ever there so fans would stick with the book during the change and not drop it immediately. They figured that if they could keep people on for short term less people would drop the book later. Make the transition easier.

.

That and it gave Slott another chance to troll fans.

Nine issues is a pretty slow-burn "transition".

Posted by Dernman

@fodigg said:

@dernman said:

@fodigg said:

My only problem with this issue is that it puts us back where we started with issue one—the understanding that Peter Parker is gone. So what was the point in the struggle up to this point then?

Ghost Pete was only ever there so fans would stick with the book during the change and not drop it immediately. They figured that if they could keep people on for short term less people would drop the book later. Make the transition easier.

.

That and it gave Slott another chance to troll fans.

Nine issues is a pretty slow-burn "transition".

The longer Marvel can string you along the happier they will be.

Posted by Strider92

I for one am liking Superior. However there is one thing I highly disagree with in your post. Slott is not being risky. Risky implies that Slott thinks this could pay off and work well but its been blatently obvious since dying wish he is simply being controversial for the sake of being controversial and is in the frame of mind of simply using shock value rather than putting in effort into making it a well played out story. Slott is a good writer but honestly if you think this series is based on anything other than shock value you are kidding yourself imo. Which is a shame because the concept is good but just badly executed.

Edited by fodigg

Hahaha wrong thread. lemme try again.

Posted by fodigg

@dernman said:

@fodigg said:

@dernman said:

@fodigg said:

My only problem with this issue is that it puts us back where we started with issue one—the understanding that Peter Parker is gone. So what was the point in the struggle up to this point then?

Ghost Pete was only ever there so fans would stick with the book during the change and not drop it immediately. They figured that if they could keep people on for short term less people would drop the book later. Make the transition easier.

.

That and it gave Slott another chance to troll fans.

Nine issues is a pretty slow-burn "transition".

The longer Marvel can string you along the happier they will be.

True enough, but then I was sold on the premise of the book to begin with and thought it was a cop-out to put Pete in there in issue one anyway. If they were trying to ease us into it, I think they should've moved quicker. This feels like another status quo shift.

Posted by k4tzm4n

Man, I really hope Slott has a brilliant endgame, because this issue made me feel terrible. Yeah, Ock is more effective when it comes to reducing crime, but I feel like Peter has faced this moral dilemma for decades and by now has a firm stance that he's been doing the right thing. I know we can't always get sunshine and flowers and a happy ending, and it is commendable that Slott is trying something new, but if he's trying to pass off Ock as redeeming, I'm just not buying it yet and can't bring myself to cheer for him. Oh well, at least Stegman's artwork is fantastic!

Great review, Mat, but I respectfully disagree.

And if that's villains Parker fears, I'm surprised we didn't see Venom or Carnage in the mix. But hey, Gargan is totally fearsome :)

Staff
Posted by Dman1366

@frogdog said:

There is difference between risky and plain stupid. This story falls on the latter.

Yep, exactly right .

Storylines that haven't been done before are often not done because writers have had the good sense to not write something so stupid.

It's why no one has written a romantic comedy set in Auschwitz.

100 times this

Edited by CTG

I'm just enjoying the story thus far. It may be hard to read for a lot of folks, but you have to allow yourself to enjoy the ride and see where it goes.

Bravo to Slott

Posted by SavageDragon

@akbogert: Well people have been wanting Bruce Wayne to admit that for years man, just saying.

@akbogert said:

Someone needs to create a go-to .gif that I can use whenever someone uses the banal "it's just fiction" argument. I don't understand why people are allowed to have positive emotional reactions to comics but when they have negative ones they're told "it's not real, stop caring."

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that, within the main Spider-Man book, we have basically had Peter Parker admit that he would have been a better hero if he had killed people. We have, in canon, had Spider-Man apologize for one of the biggest things that made him the hero that he was. I'm not sure I have the ability to comprehend how someone could praise that.

People like to root for the villain now they have that chance.

Edited by akbogert

@akbogert: Well people have been wanting Bruce Wayne to admit that for years man, just saying.

@akbogert said:

Someone needs to create a go-to .gif that I can use whenever someone uses the banal "it's just fiction" argument. I don't understand why people are allowed to have positive emotional reactions to comics but when they have negative ones they're told "it's not real, stop caring."

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that, within the main Spider-Man book, we have basically had Peter Parker admit that he would have been a better hero if he had killed people. We have, in canon, had Spider-Man apologize for one of the biggest things that made him the hero that he was. I'm not sure I have the ability to comprehend how someone could praise that.

People like to root for the villain now they have that chance.

People have wanted him to say it. And if he ever did, wouldn't that kind of take away a major part of what makes Batman, well, Batman?

Since you brought up him as an example, consider how ridiculous it would have been if at the end of Death of the Family Batman had said "you're right" and then Joker actually took over Batman's life to add insult to injury. Because that's about as insultingly ridiculous as what's happening here: to have what may well be considered the hero's arch-nemesis defeat the hero in every possible way and have said hero concede moral defeat in the process.

People can root for villains all they want, but rooting for the villain to be a hero kind of undermines that.

Edited by Teerack

@leokearon said:

@teerack: Sadly this does remind me of Ben, the fact that some people can't except anyone but Peter as Spider-man and do anyway with any replacements. That's what happen to Ben, angry fans complain about Ben being Spider-man and so they got rid of him (sadly)

That's not even true. Fans were upset about Ben because Marvel tried to turn Peter into the clone and make him a fraud which cheapened Spider-Man's past a lot.

The problem with this story is the fact that that there is literally dialog where Peter comes out and says killing makes Doc Ock a better Spider-Man. The fact that Slott couldn't just let Peter die or introduce a real replacement is tragic and honestly disrespectful to past writers because what it does is cheapen the past 46 years of pre-Slott Spider-man. It essentially makes all of the moments where Peter was about to kill and cross a line like in "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" where he was able to stop himself no longer his strongest moments but his weakest moments.

I know for a fact that myself and probably most other people that don't like Superior aren't upset because it's not Peter. That seems to be the go to logic for fans of Superior Spider-Man when ever anyone has an issue with it. Bendis showed with Miles Morales that you could have a really great new Spider-Man.

If he had just let Peter's story end and have him die not wipe away what used to be Peter Parker so he could deform Spider-Man into something more typical of a cheesey cartoon character then I doubt there would be much resentment about this story.

It seems to me that modern "fans" of Spider-Man thinks that being Spider-Man is just having spider powers and crime fighting, and it makes me so sad because Spider-Man has always been about Peter's personal struggles and his inability to forgive himself. The most famous line in all of comic books is "With great power comes great responsibility" if you really think that that means "you have the power to kill people so kill the people that deserve it" you have to also try to say Kira from Deathnote was the good guy. It's a very childish and irresponsible way to look at it, and actually says a lot about the decline of our generation.

Now that being said if they wanted the book to be about a Spider-Man version of the Punisher I would be fine with that. I probably wouldn't read it because the concept sounds boring to me, but it wouldn't bother me at all. The fact that Slott gone out of his way to ruin Peter Parker's story and not just let it end is what makes me not want to read this "book".

Honestly if so many long time fans of Spider-Man didn't stop reading the book after OMD I think Superior Spider-Man would be getting canceled around now, because I don't see how so many fans can not care at all about the history of the series.

Edited by BigMaraSpence

One think has got me thinking, Now that Otto has erased Peter's Memories,How is he going to continue pretending to be Peter/Spider-man, when he can't access Peter's memories anymore. It's just going to get him found out sooner.

^ Thank you!

I have no qualms with this issue, besides this overlooked fact. Without Peter's memories, how will Otto even remember any of his (Peter's) secrets that he (Otto) didn't already know before their mind swap?

I'm sure people will say that I am thinking too much about it, and just "role with the story", but it bugs me.... a lot.

Posted by TheVowelO

Good book but I though it was frakked up though when Peter witnessed uncle Ben getting shot up. I couldn't help but feel bad for the dude.

Posted by Hawkguy

Oh for F*cks sake people, how can you like this? HOW?

Hahahahaha you're hilarious, bro. This was a superior issue! FINALLY, we see Peter Parker fall like never before, he saw ALL of his loved ones die before his eyes (would that be right? even if its all in his head?) and then forgot everything in his life. Many iconic heroes have died before and they COME BACK. Peter Parker has been Spider-man for so long, of course he's coming back.

The biggest part of a story isn't the beginning or end, its the journey, and you either keep an open mind and let the story happen or stay stubborn yet buy the comic and rage on a monthly basis.

And imagine how badass, epic and heroic it will be when Peter Parker comes back from something like this...

Posted by SavageDragon

@akbogert said:

@savagedragon said:

@akbogert: Well people have been wanting Bruce Wayne to admit that for years man, just saying.

@akbogert said:

Someone needs to create a go-to .gif that I can use whenever someone uses the banal "it's just fiction" argument. I don't understand why people are allowed to have positive emotional reactions to comics but when they have negative ones they're told "it's not real, stop caring."

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that, within the main Spider-Man book, we have basically had Peter Parker admit that he would have been a better hero if he had killed people. We have, in canon, had Spider-Man apologize for one of the biggest things that made him the hero that he was. I'm not sure I have the ability to comprehend how someone could praise that.

People like to root for the villain now they have that chance.

People have wanted him to say it. And if he ever did, wouldn't that kind of take away a major part of what makes Batman, well, Batman?

Since you brought up him as an example, consider how ridiculous it would have been if at the end of Death of the Family Batman had said "you're right" and then Joker actually took over Batman's life to add insult to injury. Because that's about as insultingly ridiculous as what's happening here: to have what may well be considered the hero's arch-nemesis defeat the hero in every possible way and have said hero concede moral defeat in the process.

People can root for villains all they want, but rooting for the villain to be a hero kind of undermines that.

I will agree to that argument. I dont read Superior regularly so I cant say personally how the story has been. I read 700 and the "!st" issue as weel as the second and I thought it was alright. I know many any people hate it.

Posted by blackkitty

I'm sorry, but I find many of these comments hilarious. Here we had people saying this is just temporary, don't get upset. Peter will be back soon. Now they've made it so peter won't return and those same people are now saying, why are you upset? It's good writing, enjoy he book for what it is. It appears distance does in fact make the heart grow fonder. I've said repeatedly that if sales continued there was no incentive to bring him back and this issue they have just proved it. I'm sorry, but Spider-Man IS Peter Parker. I will not buy anyone else in that role, especially not a villain running around pretending to be him. If you want Doc as a hero, give him his own identity, but this is just an insult.

Posted by ILLO_29

@blackkitty: How do you know the Peter Parker is actually gone? I have this sinking feeling that parker pulled the 'ol switch-o-roo on Ock. I think it's Peter saying I'm free at the end and not ock. I know we see Perter blinking out and Slott on the Marvel AR app saying he's gone, but he pulled pranks on fans before.

Posted by 8008S

@illo_29: That victorious grin was too evil-looking to be Peter's imo.

Posted by Lapsus
@akbogert said:

@revendawn said:

Personally I think this story ends with Otto willingly bringing Peter back because he knows that's what the world needs. What greater knowledge of power and responsibility is there than knowing you have to give it up because it's the right thing to do?

You know, I hate it, but I think you've actually sold me on this. As you say right after, "or the point of this entire thing could just be to blow up Peter's life again," which is how I have interpreted and why I'm so angry (frankly, I will remain angry until Peter and MJ are back together, because even though I got into comics after I am retroactively pissed at OMD). And I still maintain that the means of resurrecting Peter will be necessarily ridiculous based on how they've played this whole mind purge thing. But it'd be worth it, I think, if it played out like you said above.

Too humiliating for me, not only Dock defeat him, but must bringing him back ??

Is a posibility but i don´t like it.

Posted by djneked

@akbogert said:

It is rather amusing that almost everything you liked about this issue and placed in the "The Good" section will fall under many other people's "The Bad" section.

Divisive indeed, but suffice to say I'm siding with the people who are upset that the original Spider-Man is being made to look bad and unsympathetic in the fallout of his very own book. Everyone was upset when Parker died, but keeping him pseudo-alive just to do this strikes me as far more insulting than it would have been to simply off him.

@fadetoblackbolt said:

@frogdog said:

There is difference between risky and plain stupid. This story falls on the latter.

Yep, exactly right .

Storylines that haven't been done before are often not done because writers have had the good sense to not write something so stupid.

It's why no one has written a romantic comedy set in Auschwitz.

^ALL THIS

I concur.

Look, every writer tries to find a new angle or direction to take a character in for more character development and growth then the last writer, or for that matter, the decades the character has been around.

But to forego all of the previous history of a villain's rage to allow him into a role such as this. *sigh* It's a copout in my honest opinion. Batman has had over 900 issues, plenty of stories and such. But looking at the current "BATMAN" series by Scott Snyder, he's been doing a wonderful job playing off of the history of his character (*cough *cough Court of Owls *cough *cough) and continues to build and create new dimensions to a classic character.

Spiderman has so many places to go, this was a horrible way of doing it. I absolutely agree, putting Peter Parker in this setting and painting him in this emotional direction was total crap. I appreciate Dan Slott and what he did prior to 700, but I can no longer support this direction.

If he wanted a new character to build with, start a new comic book.

Posted by InnerVenom123

Love that mad.

Love all that mad.

Edited by djluongo

I think it's obvious this guy is NOT a Spider-Man fan by any means. So let me get this straight dear reviewer.... by saying you're siding with Doc Ock you actually agree that killing the criminals is a good thing instead of what Batman and Spidey have taught us that killing is bad and that would just lower ourselves to their field and stuff huh?

Edited by WinterFreakinSoldier

@fadetoblackbolt said:

@frogdog said:

There is difference between risky and plain stupid. This story falls on the latter.

Yep, exactly right .

Storylines that haven't been done before are often not done because writers have had the good sense to not write something so stupid.

It's why no one has written a romantic comedy set in Auschwitz.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Is_Beautiful

Posted by mickeymayhew

late to this discussion but I'm also in the camp that says I'm more interested in Spidey thanks to this storyline than I have been in years

Posted by Phaedrusgr

Dan Slott is EVIL!!!!