the_mighty_monarch's Superior Spider-Man #2 - The Peter Principle review

Anything You Could Do, I Will Do Better

Ryan Stegman is definitely a great artist. Not only does the action have plenty of dynamism, but he does an excellent job with the facial expressions, especially of Ock-Parker. In fact, I think the mastery of his face in this issue is vital to understanding how the character can work. While I, as a reader, am LOOKING for signs that he's Ock, the general public and Peter's friends and family AREN'T looking for a reason to distrust him. His expressions are a goofy and definitely set to Ock-Parker over Peter, but they're clearly not a huge departure from faces Peter might make.

From a story perspective, Peter and Spider-Man have been through a lot. After his "nobody dies" edict, one of his oldest and greatest foes died in his arms, in the eyes of the public. And thus, he's changed. BECAUSE PEOPLE CHANGE IN REAL LIFE. He's just not changed drastically enough to think he's a different person, and again, most people aren't going to be looking for that, it's not something people normally suspect of others. And there's still splashes of Peter left, and I don't just mean the ghost. When Ock-Parker's on his dates with MJ, he significantly overplays the charm and romance, and it puts him into goofy territory, and that's Peter's wheelhouse right there.

On a much more subtle story level, this issue really emphasizes the 'superior' in Superior Spider-Man. Yes, his motive behind it is lazy and somewhat sleazy, but the patrol spider bots are an undeniably DAMN GOOD IDEA. Even Peter can't deny it. It saves him webs, time, and effort on the more fruitless patrol nights, giving Spidey greater efficiency. Peter took so much effort into making sure he shouldered the burden of 'the hero' in reverence to his failed responsibility. You could say that all this time, subconsciously, Peter was drawn to the path of the burdened hero, and while it made him a better person, it's arguable that Ock could be a better Spider-Man. And the delicious irony that J. Jonah Jameson loves Spider-Man now? Priceless.

In Conclusion: 4/5

There's a lot of subtle things that made this issue work, and most of what made this work was how much it justified the existence of the series, and the ability of the status quo to be maintained. The overarching status was moved forwards, but the immediate story didn't have a whole lot going on.


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