"Superior"? More Like "Sinister".
The wait is finally over.
After the mind-blowing ending of Amazing Spider-Man #700 and the epilogue (if you call it that) of Avenging Spider-Man 15.1, it was uncertain on how the first issue of Superior Spider-Man would play out. I mean the idea of Otto Octavius aka. Doctor Octopus seemingly killing Peter Parker by swapping Parker’s mind into his dying body and his mind into Parker’s body, that’s pretty bold. However, before Peter died, he passed on the one key element that kept him going: Power and responsibility. So, how did this first issue fare?
I like this idea. Dan Slott writes a callous Spider-Man under Otto’s control. I like to think of it as black suit serious Spidey meets Otto’s scientific genius. Surprisingly, Slott makes Otto crack jokes at times, but not on the same level as Peter did. As the title suggests, Otto acts “Superior” around others as both Peter and Spider-Man. The Sinister Six featured in this issue are an amusing choice to start off as Otto’s first supervillains, and there’s a little bit of irony to it. However, there are times that Otto is….let’s call it conflicted. His achievements will be known by Peter, but not himself. Plus, because of his arrogance and former villainous ways, it’s still amazing that no one has caught on to Peter’s different behavior change.
Ryan Stegman was a good choice for the artist, as I’m used to seeing it from Scarlet Spider. He brings in the same elements from Scarlet Spider that gives off a vibe that this is not the same Spider-Man we’re used to seeing. Facial expressions are on point as I like the way Peter looks under Otto’s mind. There’s both a sinister and arrogant look to it. The action is a bit choppy and hard to make out on some panels, but I love some of the more brutal action, like when Otto uses his claws on some of the Sinister Six.
One of the problems I have with this issue was the romance revival between MJ and Peter/Otto. It feels forced, like Slott deliberately wants to tick off both Spider-Man fans and Peter/MJ shippers. There have been subtle hints back in Amazing Spider-Man that MJ still have feelings for Peter, but even I had a problem with the last few issues of Amazing Spider-Man with the lack of drive and passion that caused them to start dating again. Both the conclusion of One More Day and One Moment In Time still lingers without a real solution to why they broke up in the first place, and it’s not helping matters when Otto comes off as a perv. I find it funny, but still.
I also disliked the ending. Let me rephrase that, I disliked how soon the reveal was. OF COURSE Peter was going to come back eventually, but the fact that his
Force ghost “spirit” was revealed in the first issue kind of takes the fun out of Superior Spider-Man.
This was a good start for Superior Spider-Man, and the ending will probably have fans rejoicing. All things must come to an end sooner or later, but for now, I want Otto to have his time.