Webbed to My Hands
As a kid, I followed Spiderman's adventures frequently and thoroughly, watching the movies (somehow I liked Spiderman 3 back then) and reading both the original series and the Ultimate version. At some point, however, I grew tired of the character, feeling very one note and annoying. I dropped him from my pull list for a long time, having a falling out with comics altogether because of this.
It's fitting that the Superior Spider-Man is one of the things that has brought me back after all these years.
I will get around to reviewing the first volume eventually (hint: it's really freakin' good), but I recently picked up this gem, and was not disappointed. This series, frankly, has all the bells and whistles; really great action scenes, beautiful art, character exploration, an immediate conflict and a few underlying issues (one that leaves me drooling for more at the end of this volume in particular). It's just brilliant.
And one of the biggest reasons why this works so well is because of how dedicated it is to the franchise. Dan Slott has been writing Spiderman for a long time, and it shows; he clearly has a firm grasp and understanding of the characters at hand. Their voices, actions, attitudes; they make sense. It really makes the book come to life and feel right.
And the art, as always, is phenomenal. Seriously, I can't get enough of the stuff; I love the chance to see another classic character reinterpreted in the format of this series. Admittedly, this time around it was more notable when artists were switched, specifically because of some subtle but noticeable alterations to the design of Anna Maria, but otherwise the change is almost seamless, which is really important in any comic.
The writing, as I mentioned, is spot on, and really draws you in. I can hear the voices of these characters rising in my head, and it works really well, showing just how well the personas created here meets with the characters we've grown to know. But that's not to say that there aren't changes to these figures, as a lot of the villains introduced here are somewhat different, whether it be their goals, focus, so on and so forth. But it all fits in with their character, and it's nice to see some deviation, keeping things fresh and fun.
There are two primary focuses in this volume; the Avengers and the Parker/Ock relationship. In fact, it's really about the character's relationships in general; we see an establishment of the figures, how they relate to one another and this new Spidey, and there's really polished and well-established character work all around.
I can't speak highly enough of this work. If there was ever a series that I would recommend to almost anyone at this point, this would be it. Some of the other series I enjoy a lot (Secret Avengers in particular) are for a select audience, but I feel like this can work for almost anyone (unless you think Doc Ock is too much of an asshole, like my girlfriend does). Go pick this up, absolutely wonderful.