traviswest's Superior Spider-Man #1 - Hero or Menace? review

Marvel sets Spider-man in a bold new direction

Marvel sets Spider-man in a bold new direction with its new, darker series, Superior Spider-Man.

This review contains spoilers if you haven't read the issue yet (or ASM 700).

Desperate and about to die, Doctor Octopus uses his mad science to swap bodies with Peter Parker. Parker then apparently dies in Doc Ock’s old body, but Octavius gets more than he bargained for when he absorbs Parker’s past experiences as well. Instilled with a new-found sense of responsibility, Octavius vows to be a better Spider-Man in Parker’s place. A superior Spider-Man if you will.

This is a fun new direction to take Spider-Man and I have been greatly looking forward to Superior Spider-Man since Peter Parker’s ‘death’ in Amazing Spider-Man 700. I find myself impervious to the rage-fueled internet controversy over this title because I never for one second considered this a permanent change. Body-swapping is pretty much par for the course in the Marvel universe, and if you thought Marvel/Disney was going to permanently axe Peter Parker with new Peter Parker centered Spider-Man movies on the horizon… no. So I looked at this as a fun departure from the increasingly stale Spider-Man titles I’ve been reading(or not reading) over the past months.

This new Spider-Man is dark, twisted and more than a little bit sinister. He’s also made some upgrades to the suit, including claws. He say’s things like “Oh the inequity of it all!” and “Of all the unmitigated gall!” and is more surprised than anyone when he risks himself to save a police officer. His genuine outrage at the Sinister Six for using the name without his presence is hilarious.

This first issue also really shows the differences in the methodology of the two Spider-Men. It’s interesting to see how this new Spidey deals with the threat of the Sinister Six, once he realizes he can’t take them all in a head-on fight. After tracking them, Doctor Spidey-Octopus doesn’t go after them. Instead he casually has a date with Mary Jane. He discovers their next move, and sets a series of high tech booby-traps at the location, and proceeds to make short work of them when they arive the following day. Superior indeed.

Also, the whole Mary Jane thing is super creepy. I’m pretty curious how that is going to play out…

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Parker showing up in Doc Ock’s head at the end of the issue. Sure, I never expected this to be a permanent change, but having Parker make an appearance so soon takes some of the intensity out of the whole situation.

Ultimately, this is a dark, fun Spider-man story and I look forward to more, for as long as it lasts.Ultimately, this is a dark, fun Spider-man story and I look forward to more, for as long as it lasts.Ultimately, this is a dark, fun Spider-man story and I look forward to more, for as long as it lasts.

Ultimately, this is a dark, fun Spider-man story and I look forward to more, for as long as it lasts.Ultimately, this is a dark, fun Spider-man story and I look forward to more, for as long as it lasts.

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