Well we've had quite a few appearances from Superior now and I felt it was time I gave my opinion on it. When Slott first announced what he was doing I like i'm sure many other people banged their head against the desk in disbelief. The idea seemed completely awful. Unlike quite a few people I wasn't so opposed to Peter getting replaced (as a lot of people were) my main problem was with how Slott did it.
- A supervillain becoming Spider-man.....I could handle that sounds interesting.
- Doc Ock becoming Spider-man........less interested now but I guess i'd give it a shot. A much cooler villain could have fitted this purpose better. (Alistair Smythe or Eddie Brock anyone?)
- Someone taking over Peter Parker's body.......Now you're pushing it!
But the combo of all 3 made me hate the idea before it had even begun. However being the Spider-man fan-boy that I am I bit the bullet and gave the first issue a shot and I was honestly surprised by what I got. Although the idea I still found distasteful the story was executed pretty well. The further the series went the more I got to realize that it wasn't so much the story that was bad but the timing that was badly off!
Allow me to explain:
1. At the time of 616 Peter's death Ultimate Peter Parker (one of the best things about that universe) had barely climbed into his grave. People including myself were still sad at his departure and when it happened again 616 it left a bitter familiar taste in my mouth that had barely been washed away since the first time.
2. Scarlet Spider another spider-themed series had also barely been going a year before Superior occurred. Scarlet Spider represented what Peter Parker would be like if he had a slightly less lenient view on how to deal with criminals and it was pretty refreshing to see. Superior Spider-man completely made that series redundant by doing the same thing only a year after it had begun and that really REALLY annoyed me.We had only just got a series where the possibility of Spider-man's morals not holding him back has been created and what happens in the ongoing title not a few months later? We get the same damn thing. now we have to really violent Spider-men which detracts from the variation we previously had.
3. The story happened on the 50th anniversary and i'm sorry but you've got to be one cold son of a ***** to do something that awful to a character on its 50th. Not to mention due to the movie reboot the series was already going to have problems as new readers who come from the films are going to have no idea whats going on when they see Friendly Neighborhood Spidey shooting people in the face or snapping their necks.
We had heard from Slott prior to the event that nothing like this had ever been done but forgive if i'm wrong but killing Peter and replacing him with a colder more violent Spider-man which are the main themes of Superior all happened before Superior that same year. We had Pete die in the Ult-verse and Kaine become a more violent version of Spider-man. Suffice to say this series biggest problem was timing. Slott highly misjudged (in my opinion) when to launch this series. If he had left it maybe a year or two before putting this on the table I could almost guarantee people would have been less pissed off. Granted a lot of people would still be a annoyed but the backlash would have been far less violent.
Ok having got that off my chest I can talk freely about the rest. Despite the awful timing this series has turned out a pretty top notch story and scenario. There are many things I like about Superior Spider-man but the one thing I like most is seeing him use his intelligence to its fullest. Slott touched on this previously in Amazing Spider-man but in Superior, Spider-man is not just a big physical threat but a very dangerous intellectual one as well. SpOck has shown that he can use his brain and thats pretty fun to see. Thus far my favorite moment in the Superior Spider-man series was SpOck taking over the Ultrons! Not only was it a credit to SpOck's intelligence but also a little nod to Ock's old ability of controlling machines.
Another thing that has been interesting is Spider-man's villains reactions to this new Spidey. Although a lot of classic villains have yet to turn up a few of them have had the misfortune of falling on this new Spider-man and have seen (and felt) the difference. I especially like the instance of some of the surrendering before even putting up a fight. This is something that villains would never do when faced with the old "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man". I'm actually itching to see how the Green Goblin takes this new Spider-man after the teaser in issue 4.
Although Slott's writing has been ok on Superior Spider-man its over in Avenging that Superior's character really shines. Now I may be a little biased due to Yost being my favorite writer but Slott seems to treat Ock as if he's writing a cheesy villain whereas Yost has thus far portrayed SpOck as far more cold calculating and controlled which in my opinion is how SpOck should be. He doesn't need to run around spouting big words and monologuing he needs to be calculating and articulate which is exactly how he is portrayed in Avenging. Superior in Avenging seems far more scary than the one in Superior. What Thor said about Spider-man regarding his enemies as problems to be solved is the exact type of cold behavior I would expect from SpOck and the SpOck i'm seeing in Superior does not have the same cold logical mind and speaks like a corny 80's villain. Its as if Superior Spider-man is U rated and Avenging is R rated in comparison. If Slott really does plan on making Superior a longtime running status quo he needs to take a leaf out of Avenging and make SpOck more threatening and less corny. Another thing to point out is that what keeps most people reading Superior is Pete's ghost hanging around and yet a lot of people still consider Avenging the superior (hah pun) title. Despite the fact ghost Peter has yet to make an appearance in it. That in itself says something.
Another thing i'm loving about this series is the humor. When I heard about what Slott was was going to do I thought all the humor from Spider-man would be gone and fortunately its not true. The humor is still there its just changed. Pete's humor is more slapstick and observational whereas SpOck has a much more caustic and sarcastic sense of humor and generally insults his allies and enemies in such an arrogant condescending way its hilarious. (Something tells me SpOck isn't joining Scott Summers mutant revolution!) Although he's mean and downright insulting sometimes I am growing to like this dry callous sense of humor and I think it fits the character well.
I also quite like that Superior despite being villainous still has enough of Peter Parker's personality left in him to make him question his every move. For example he shows legitimate concern for Screwball when he thinks he's hurt her due to the fact he knew she wasn't really a villain and just someone out playing around........until she and her mate Jester pissed him off and he beat them to a bloody-pulp of course......but we'll ignore that for the moment!
Overall I think Superior Spider-man is a good idea with a lot of potential however it was executed prematurely and unfortunately is paying the price for it. Having said that i'm really enjoying the series as a whole and i'm interested to see where this leads especially as its been hinted that Spider-man may become the new leader of "The Hand". Superior Spider-man in charge of an army of nigh-unkillable ninjas? Sounds both awesome and bizarre at the same time!