The Superior Spider-Man? More like the Self Righteous Spider-Man!
Usually I try to take the glass half full approach to everything I do in life but I alternate between an optimistic and practical or realistic view. For this issue of Superior Spider-Man, I came in with the glass being empty approach so I wouldn’t be disappointed with how Slott handled this issue. Given that future solicits for Spider-Man still have Superior in the title, it’s not hard to guess that Ock will be sticking around in Peter’s body. But it’s what happens in this issue that easily beats Superior Spider-Man 2 for being one of the worst Spider-Man stories I have ever read and moves it into the worst Spider-Man stories ever category for me.
SPOILERS FROM HERE!
- · Despite my very much wanting to give this issue a zero, that can’t be managed on a CV review. And Stegmans’ art is very good in this issue. His pencilling offers a clear and engaging look at the faces of the characters in the issue. The action scene is brutally drawn by Stegman and Delgado’s colouring sprinkles a suitable tone to the direction of this book. This is one of the few things I can appreciate about the direction of Superior Spider-Man, the tone of Stegman’s artwork
- · Where to begin? Well regarding the ‘witty’ exchange between SpOck and the Living Brain, I can’t begin to express how clichéd that is. It’s a common gag across the entertainment industry that a double act usually has a competent member and a nitwit who constantly makes mistakes and is shouted at by the other guy. Slott tries to for that effect but given his attempts in the previous issues, it falls flat in his face as it’s an overdone gag that doesn’t work that well.
- · If one overdone plot point isn’t enough for you, more is on the way. The story moves onto SpOck entering Peter’s mind to clear out the Parker memory fragment. Peter summons memories of his friends and family to defend him but Ock responds with manifestations of Peter’s doubts and fears in the form of his enemies. Seriously Slott? This is how you express your story? Not in an innovative, creative way but a rehashed version of the protagonist’s friends against his enemies corresponding to the good and bad attributes of Peter? That’s not only deplorable, that’s lazy story telling.
- · After Peter’s doubts have killed his memories of his friends and family, Peter proceeds to Spider-Man up and attack Ock. What Slott has Peter say in these few short exchanges in the fight is kind of related to what’s going on in the story, but it’s as if Slott has forgotten how to write Peter. He sounds whiny, brattish and almost as arrogant and self righteous as Slott depicts Ock in this series. It’s a very disconcerting sight to see Peter demand his body back as Slott has him do. Even though I obviously empathise with Peter and am wholly on his side in this awful debacle, the way he’s written isn’t right. In a way, it’s a good thing the remains of Peter go in this issue so he’s not written poorly by Slott anymore.
- · After enduring a beating from Peter and demands for his body back, Ock realises that apparently the most responsible course of action is to give the world the Superior Spider-Man it needs. And guess who Slott unanimously decides that to be? Yep you guessed it, Ock! A self righteous, stuck up monster who brutalises, terrorises and murders his foes, along with alienating Peter’s friends and allies all for some absurd notion that the anti heroic at best SpOck is capable of being a better Spider-Man than Peter.
- · Whilst the two Spider-Men fight in Peter’s mind, Slott justifies SpOck being the better Spider-Man by pointing out that the Mayor and police are on his side, crime is down, foes like Massacre can never threaten anyone again. Somehow, in Slott’s warped fantasy of how he wants to write this story, this means that SpOck is superior than the greatest, most morally virtuous hero in the Marvel universe. Seems totally the least legitimate thing in comic book history. Throughout his 40+ year history, Peter Parker has done things that leave Ock’s morally dubious acts in utter shambles. There should never be a comparison between the strength of Ock’s character and that of Peter’s.
- · I need a separate point for this criticism and this is gonna be a long one. Not only content with giving Spider-Man fans this Superior rubbish for another year at least, Slott desecrates the very nature and essence of Peter Parker’s character in order to justify why SpOck is going to make the better Spider-Man than Peter for the time being. And then, and then we have the absolute horror of horrors occur. SpOck asks Peter why he interfered with finding the scanner so he could cure a little girl. And Peter says he did it so Ock wouldn’t find him in his mind. That’s right, Peter Parker, the man who sold his marriage to the devil to save his aunt doesn’t want Ock to save a dying little girl because he wants to save his own skin. Such an event happening is a definite call for cursewords so if you know any, imagine they are supplemented in this review. This disgusted me when I saw it on the page. Absolutely disgusted me. I was expecting bad things but for Slott to do this to my favourite Marvel character, it’s utterly reprehensible. For Peter to be this worried about himself to not care about whether the girl died is a disgrace to Spider-Man’s character. Do you know what makes a Superior Spider-Man for me? Someone who makes sacrifice upon sacrifice to do the right thing, someone who faces trial after trial yet stays on the right path, someone who has lost many people he has cared about in his life but still adheres to be a responsible person and hero to others and continue what he does to help other people selflessly. These are all things Peter has done time after time yet in that one moment of bad characterisation, Slott has ruined all those good moments by having Peter act like a self centred jerk just to make SpOck look like a Superior Spider-Man.
I could go on but I’ve said enough bad things for one review. Suffice to say, I’m very disappointed in the quality of this series and the treatment of my favourite Marvel character. I dropped this book at 6AU so I’ve made my position very clear on how I feel about the direction Slott is taking Spider-Man in. If you’re even on the edge about continuing this series, I would strongly urge you to drop it now as by continuing to follow your favourite character like this only reinforces his treatment at the hands of Slott like this. To those who actually like what Slott’s doing, well I guess I’ll never understand the warped perceptions of Slott’s writing. And this is coming from a former Slott fan.
Recommendation: Stay the hell away from this series until Peter comes back with a new creative team!