Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, Antonio Fabela
I don’t know who to root for as Superior Spider-Man is building toward the return of Peter Parker. I mean, I know I should be pulling for Pete, who’s been dead for a long time considering he’s who people think about when they think about Spider-Man. But Otto Octavious, who has occupied Parker’s body for 27.1 issues, has proved to be such an interesting and effective Spider-Man that I don’t want to see him go. And on the other hand, pitting Doctor Octopus against the original Green Goblin is the kind of stuff that nerds like me dream about. Doc Ock in Spider-Man’s body versus Norman Osborn with his Goblin army? And on the other hand, if I had three hands, the J. Jonah Jameson wildcard is quite intriguing. All in all, this Goblin Nation story arc is just tantalizing and we’re only one issue in.
In this issue, which takes place 31 days after the events of last issue, everything that has conspired against Spider-Man is finally coming to a head. Osborn has the results of Carlie Cooper’s investigation into Spider-Man’s new ‘tude, Jameson is organizing a Slayer Patrol against the red-clad hero, Parker’s partners at Parker Industries are feeling the crunch of his frequent absence from his fledgling company, and his own Spider Army is outsmarted by the Goblin Army. Internally, Peter Parker is clinging to the fragments of his own memories in the hopes that those 31 pieces (unlikely to be a coincidence) are powerful enough to steel his resolve against Otto’s. The pressure is such that it’s affecting his relationship with Anna Maria, who has moved in with him. This has been a very busy long month for Spider-Man and he’s starting to feel a little less than superior.
The drama is high and I can feel the tension ramping up to its inevitable snapping point. As far as story arcs are concerned, this one feels particularly important. Regardless of who triumphs and how much the status quo changes, as it surely must, I think that this is going to be a very satisfying conclusion to what has been an incredible comic. Dan Slott’s wildly different Spider-Man has been a very refreshing look at the character and I think putting such insane odds against him is only going to reveal more about the metamorphosis of Otto Octavius. His journey has been eye-opening and I can’t imagine that he’s going to come out of this the same villain we’ve known for all these years. With Magneto getting his own book, I wouldn’t find it hard to accept a Doctor Octopus ongoing. I’d argue that his experiences as Spider-Man might give him an appreciation for justice and continue to seek it out once he’s been usurped from his stolen throne. With his body dead, there would have to be some finagling to make that plausible, but I have faith in Slott’s ability to establish a solid, probable plot for such a thing. Get on it, Marvel!
This seems to be my week for discovering new artists, because I’d never seen Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art before. I liked it. It didn’t really strike me as anything special but he’s drawing a readable story so I can’t complain. His close-ups were especially good, if I had to pick something I noticed. I hope he continues on in comics but hopefully not on anything with too stylistic a story. I’m not sure he could hang there.
All in all, a riveting installment in the Superior Spider-Man saga. I am glued to this series to the bitter end and have really developed a real appreciation for Spider-Man as a whole as a result.
Rating: 10/10 for coming out swinging, Green Goblin and for Dan Slott knocking it out of the park