Written by Dan Slott
Art by Ryan Stegman
Spider-Man faces a new Sinister Six in Otto Octavius’ first outing as…Superior Spider-Man!
Dan Slott you genius you! The first issue of the highly anticipated Superior Spider-Man is here, and I have to say, I loved it. Now there has been some outcry from fans for replacing Parker with Ock and having Ock take the reigns of Spider-Man, but personally I thought it was a great idea. I mean, why the hell not, right? It’s comics, and one thing is for sure, things always shift. No hero is safe forever, but then again, no hero stays gone forever either. Here, we get a little of both.
It was quite fun to see Ock take offense to the new Sinister Six as if this line up of baddies was akin to a slap in the face of Ock and the bruisers he used to assemble for the Sinister Six. Ock even came with some quick quips during battle, but with a little more of the Ock flare for dialogue. At the outset it seems like this new Spider-Man is going to have one enemy that stands above them all in this Spider-Man run, his own ego. Ock is an egotistical guy, and that was portrayed from the get go. It served him well here, but I can imagine it will only be a matter of time before this starts to cause problems with his Peter Parker-ing. That ego was on full display in his dealings with Mary Jane, I don’t see that relationship lasting too long. I can’t lie though, Ock does make a very impressive Spider-Man and I thoroughly enjoyed him being the good guy.
Slott delivers on the story here, giving us something that still feels familiar, but new at the same time. Every action that Ock takes feels like we are reading Spider-Man, just a little darker. However the biggest difference is how Ock interacts with all the people in Peter’s life. Ock lacks the patience and niceties of Peter and we really get that here. I liked seeing Ock struggling with the fact that he isn’t Octavius trapped in Parker’s body anymore, he actually is Peter Parker now, which was fun to read. It’s not all dark and serious though, as Slott also packs in some slight humor as well, the Living Brain lamenting the fact that he was programmed with pain receptors was great, but on that note, why was he programmed with pain receptors?
I also have to say I was surprised with the ending. I was really hoping that this wouldn’t happen until we got a good run with Ock, maybe in a year or so, but I wasn’t upset with how it was played. We all knew that it would happen sooner or later, but I was hoping to see Otto come into his own as Spider-Man before something like this was pulled, but at the same time it wasn’t done in such an overt way that I had to declare shenanigans. It was subtle and actually seems like it will add to make a rich story going forward.
Ryan Stegman takes over the art duties, switching from Humberto Ramos who teamed with Slott on Amazing Spider-Man. Stegman’s style works well here with some excellent line work and great expressions. Though Ramos will be missed, Stegman jumps in and doesn’t miss a beat. I haven’t seen too much of his work before now, but this issue puts him on my list as someone to look out for.
Overall I think Superior Spider-Man is going to make a great read and I am definitely excited to check out more issues as they come. We were all a little nervous as to how Slott would portray Octavius as Parker, but I think this book hits all the right notes and delivers something I was hoping for, a great story based on a great idea.
4 out of 5 nerds
Follow Christopher on Twitter @AUDone44 and The Nerd @nerdfollowing