Gotta Get the Goblin
Superior 15 picks up right where the last one left off. Literally, there is no "between issue events" that sometimes occurs in comic arcs. Hell, I don't even think a minute has past. Shadowland lies in ruins, Spider-Man basking in the glory of his success. He believes the Kingpin to be dead, and the Hobgoblin with him. Well, if you read last issue, you know Hobgoblin is on the run and not dead. He goes to the Tinkerer for a re-supply, and super charge, of some of his gear to get out of the city and protect himself from the "crazy Spider". It is revealed that Tinkerer has an old friend of Peter Parker's in his employ, but I won't spoil that for you. Anyways, in order to pay Tinkerer for his services, and Kingsley for using the Hobgoblin "franchise", Phil Urich needs cash. Lots of cash. He goes on a crime spree and videotapes himself committing the crimes as Hobgoblin and sells the videos exclusively to the Daily Bugle for extra money on top. Sounds a bit familiar does it not? I like the angle of Phil being portrayed as a bad guy version of Peter, like what Peter could have been.
Well, this action obviously attracts the attention of Spider-Man, who in all of the classic Octavius arrogance, can't figure out for the life of him how Hobgoblin is dodging his Spider-Bot network. This too, is something I'll leave for you to discover, but I am pleased to say it involves the Green Goblin. The story of the issue mostly seems to revolve around Hobgoblin, but there is an awful lot of character development in Octavius. Apparently, he isn't that "superior" at all (surprise, surprise). He is having trouble balancing his personal life and being Spider-Man, he is frustrated at how his spider-bot network appears to be failing him and he cannot sit on Spider-Island II and monitor for Hobgoblin, he is ignoring his family (hasn't called Aunt May or MJ in weeks apparently) and is missing classes at school. Most awesomely, he is angry over the fact that Peter found a way to balance this, whereas Ock and all his superiority cannot.
The issue closes with the inevitable confrontation between Hobgoblin and Octavius, and while I've been hoping for a clash between SpOck and an A-list Spidey rogue, this wasn't really it due to some outside interference. What Octavius does at the close of the issue, however, is pretty awesome and very reminiscent of recent events of the ongoing "Injustice" DC comic involving Batman.
When it comes to Ramos' art, I have always found it fitting for Spider-Man. I know some do not like it, but for some reason I find his exaggerated characters and artwork fitting for the looniness of the Parker life.
I don't even really have anything bad to say about this issue, it is one of my favorite in the Superior line to date. I am glad to see that Ock is finally seeing how difficult it is to be the good guy, and I am glad that there seems to be more an emphasis on people seeing something is clearly wrong with Peter and Spider-Man. That, more than anything, has been my biggest grievance with Superior. It's like everyone in the Spidey-verse has taken stupid pills and knew he seemed "off" but couldn't see that something was legitimately wrong. I understand, of course, if they had this series would have all but been concluded at this point, but I hate when characters are dumbed down for plot purposes. So, it brings me great joy to see them finally coming around. Superior is starting to pick up, and I can only hope that Green Goblin makes his move soon.