Superior Spiderman #2 Review – Seriously, Spidey-Ock, Who Talks Like That?

I’m gonna be honest with you, folks.  I’m not really sure how I feel about Superior Spiderman and you know, I don’t think Dan Slott is either.  I mean, in and of itself, it’s an intriguing idea.  Peter Parker’s biggest and most brilliant villain, in a final assault, hijacks Spiderman’s body and his life.  In a last ditch effort to snatch some form of victory from the apparent defeat, Peter Parker forces Doc Ock to experience all the tragedies and milestones that shaped Parker’s life thereby giving Doc Ock some insight into the overarching concept of “with great power, comes great responsibility” and leading Doc Ock (in an assuredly misguided, misanthropic fashion) to become a superior hero and, indeed, a Superior Spiderman.

There’s a lot of potential there.  But, there are more than a couple of problems and that’s what I’m going to talk about right now.  Are you ready?  Of course you are or you wouldn’t be reading this.  Am I right?

Ok, problem-as-I-see-it number one: we weren’t given time to mourn the death of Peter Parker.

Peter Parker died in Doc Ock’s body at the conclusion of issue 700.  It was realistically understood by most comics fans that Peter Parker would eventually be back from the dead (See Batman, Captain America, Jean Grey like 17 separate times…).  However, given the cultural significance, and general love for Peter Parker, we as fans deserved some time to come to terms with Parker being “dead”.  In fact, I would argue the story needed some time and space with Peter Parker 100% out of the picture.  Instead, Dan Slott brings Peter Parker back in ghost form at the END of Superior Spiderman NUMBER ONE.  No lag time, no teasing.  Just BOOM! Ghost Pete proclaiming his intent to return.

This leads directly to problem number two.  Spiderman and the character of Peter Parker is known for his wit, quick banter and general humor.  It’s Pete’s thing and reader’s expect it.  The obvious downside is that Otto Octavius is not so good with the funny.  The immediate reintroduction of Peter, and his incessant, though often humorous, monologueing  in this issue leads me to wonder if this is going to be Slott’s way to bring that Peter Parker comic relief we all expect?  Clearly, I don’t know.  But, the question is there and I’m not sure that’s good for the book.

These problems aside, it’s a competently written comic.  Dan Slott is a solid writer, so there are some good moments (Spidey-Ock saying out loud that “Everything is proceeding according to plan!” or his robot henchman).  Moreover, the one benefit to the introduction of Pete’s ghost is Slott’s use of ghost-Pete as a mouthpiece for the reader.  Slott is hanging a lampshade on all the various inconsistencies and problems that fans have been clamoring about (for instance the fact that no one seems to notice that Spidey-Ock is NOTHING like Peter).

I guess, on the whole, it’s a solid issue with a caveat here and there.  I’d say it’s worth a look, but Slott has taken out some of the potential impact and suspense by making Peter’s inevitable return so immediately evident.  Like I said, I’m not quite certain how I feel about Superior Spiderman, but I do plan to keep reading…

I-Don’t-Know-How-To-Score-This/10

(P.S.  Intrepid Spidey Fans, can someone please tell me if they recall a SINGLE time that Spiderman or Peter Parker EVER said the words “It’s Crazy-Town Banana-Pants!”  We here at Shortbox Podcast have a collection of Stan Lee No-Prizes in a closet at Adam Russell’s place that we’d be willing to part with if someone can answer that)

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About

Keith is a life long gamer, movie buff, occasional harmonica player, and, most importantly, a comics nerd. Like all the best nerds, Keith is a child of the 80's and 90's and an often loud and vocal advocate of the cartoons of that era (seriously, though, they are unquestionably the best cartoons EVER). He currently resides in New York City with his lovely, if often exasperated wife, Rachel and their two cats, Ollie and Juno.

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