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Review: Superior Spider-Man #15

Posted on Aug 9, 2013 by in The Page | 4 comments

Superior Spider-Man #15

Well, there are all kinds of goblins running around New York these days, aren’t there?

Oh, as always: SPOILERS!

After narrowly surviving the fall of Shadowland, Hobgoblin is on the run and it isn’t just the Superior Spider-Man who is giving him trouble, he’s having to come up with new ways to pay Roderick Kingsley for the right to be Hobgoblin. He’s reduced to robbing banks to pay for his rights as well as the gimmicks put together for him by The Tinkerer and his ‘best man’ who has more than a few bones to pick with just about everyone (his own fault for being a jerk and having the last name Stone.)

What Hobgoblin doesn’t know, however, is he’s been able to avoid the Spider’s Eye because of a hack done to the Spider’s system by the Green Goblin. The hack allows anyone dressed as a Goblin or bearing the Green Goblin’s mark to effectively become invisible to the Spider-Man surveillance system. Something that annoys Spider-Man to no end, even though he doesn’t realize just how big of a blind spot he has due to the hack. He thinks Hobgoblin is behind it because he has no idea there is a new Green Goblin in town. Sadly, Hobgoblin has no idea about the hack and doesn’t know how angry Spider-Man is getting but when the Green Goblin turns off the hack and Spider-Man tracks down Hobgoblin things get really out of control for the Hobgoblin. Not only are his gimmicks malfunctioning, thanks to Stone, but Spider-Man is demanding to know how he’s been avoiding his eye. He barely escapes but Spider-Man is able to get enough information to effectively out him by broadcasting his real name, Phil Urich, while Phil is surrounded by co-workers. Bad timing.

Another interesting point in this issue is the impact Otto has been having on the people in Peter’s life. He’s been completely neglecting everyone in favor of being the best hero in the world. Aunt May, Mary Jane, Max Modell… they are all here and each are dealing with the absence of ‘Peter’, one of the very few things I feel this book has been missing lately. With Otto taking over Peter’s life and trying to be the Superior hero, he’s not allowing any time for ‘Peter’ to make appearances in the lives of those around him. This is bound to have a negative impact on things in the future, a very near future I hope! It’s going to be interesting when these people start demanding ‘Peter’ explain himself, and how ‘Peter’ is going to react.

This is what I’ve been waiting for. While the mystery of the Green Goblin is a great homage to the original Goblin’s story, complete with the face of the man under the mask being obscured,  I think I have a tiny bit more interest in the impact Otto has been having on the lives of those in Peter’s life. I feel this is something that has been missing lately because part of the charm of the Spider-Man character is the man without the mask. Since Otto took over he’s all but lived in the costume 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He’s gotten used to dealing with people as Spider-Man but needs to be forced to face people without it. I’m looking forward to some of these confrontations, personally.

Essentially, there is a lot going on in this title and it’s enough to ensure that Superior Spider-Man has legs to last for a very long time. Will we lose this book when the, in my opinion, Inferior (Amazing) Spider-Man 2 movie comes out because we ‘can’t have a movie with Peter Parker and not have a book with him as well’? Personally, I think Marvel needs to stop letting the movies dictate the direction of their comics. They should exist independently of each other. If anything, let the Ultimate line become more like the movies and leave the 616 alone. The movies have negatively, in my opinion, impacted the comics with changes that make no sense other than ‘this is how it is in the movies’. I like my Marvel COMICS more than I like the Marvel Movies. My hope is that Peter won’t be back for a long, long time. Writer Dan Slott seems to be having a blast writing this character and it continues to get very passionate reactions from fans showing that Spider-Man is one of the more beloved of all comic book characters. People are still throwing a fit over Amazing Spider-Man #700 and that came out in December!

It’s also another issue expertly drawn by the great Humberto Ramos. This book has a rotating art team and normally that isn’t a big deal because you generally like one artist more than another on a specific book. Sadly, this book has at least three artists that knock it out of the park with each and every issue. It’s impossible for me to pick my favorite Superior Artist. I’ll say this: my favorite artist on this issue is Humberto Ramos. It’s always a pleasure when he’s drawing the book and this issue’s cover is one of my personal favorites!

So, Superior Spider-Man is getting bigger and bigger and, while Otto thinks he has total control, it’s becoming more and more obvious that he’s actually losing control over more than he knows. When everything begins to fall apart it’s going to be interesting to see how he deals with failure after failure.

4 Comments

  1. Anything Slott rolls out this site gives it a 4 or 5…I'm evidently in the minority, but I have no interest in a Otto Octavious book, so I haven't picked up any "Superior" since issue 9…Read ASM since 1971 and now obvious I'm not in Marvel 's demographic anymore.

    • Not this site, the reviewer or, in this case, Me. While I haven't been reading Amazing Spider-Man since 1971 I have read more than enough to be able to call myself a fan (meaning I didn't just start reading a year ago) I've been reading ASM non-stop since #529 and have really enjoyed the direction the series and character have been taken in. This current and, to me, Superior direction has been nothing but entertaining to me so I share my enjoyment of the series and character in my reviews.
      Make no mistake there are people on this site who aren't happy with the new direction but it should be said that with Spider-Man sales consistent and high those who aren't reading the series are in the minority.

      In a way I agree with not being Marvel target demo anymore. Seems like ever since these sad movies became a big thing Marvel has been forcing the 616 to match them. One of the things I love about what Slott is doing here is he's going opposite of the movies. Superior Spider-Man couldn't be more comic and less movie if it tried and I love that.

      Thanks for the comment just the same, I sometimes feel like I'M in the minority because most of the people I talk to at my LCS about Superior Spider-Man aren't happy with it or what Slott is doing. I just sit there and smile knowing that the sales are on my side and, well, I'm loving it. I'm actually not looking forward to Peter coming back but when he does I hope it's not forced or it doesn't feel like a gimmick.

      Feel free to share what you dislike about the series. As much as I like posts from people who agree with me, it's more entertaining and conversation provoking to have people who disagree with my opinions o this series!

      • Thanks for the comment Skott… I was just looking at a preview of the upcoming SSM #16 and I can honestly say I have no desire to pick up the book and read. I didn't like that Marvel allowed Bendis to kill off Peter in Ultimate Spider-Man, but since that was the Ultimate Universe it didn't bother me too much, but when it happened in the "616" (a new term to me) I thought they were crazy. As I mentioned above, I have no desire to read a Doc Ock book and that is exactly what it has become. It was somewhat interesting to see how Otto reacted in Peter's world in the first issues of SSM, but now that is not even part of the story. The other problem I have is the fact that Dan Slott comes across as the most conceited, egotistical little twerp ever….very quick to reference sales numbers and to put himself in the same sentence as Stan Lee. If you ask me, those that seem to like the "new" Spider-Man were probably never really fans of the "old" Spider-Man to begin with. To me a talented writer can take a character like Peter Parker and create fresh, "new" stories with that character. Exchanging brains of the main character with someone else is somewhat of a cop out to try to create those "fresh" stories….what if every writer of a recurring character in movies, novels, comics, etc. went that route? If that is what it took to continue with fresh stories, then it was probably time to change writers.

        • I've been on the receiving end of the 'if you like this story you were obviously never a fan of Spider-Man to begin with' comments and I do take issue with them. I also, to an extent, understand them because I feel the same way towards those people who think the movies are better than, or even equal to, the comics. While I may not have a lot of issues, my longest run of Amazing was from #529-700 and I've got a lot of random issues here and there and most of the Essentials, I consider myself a big fan of Spider-Man. I wear a Spider-Man tie to work every weekend and never leave home without my Spider-Man wallet.
          But I think you're missing something here…
          Otto's reaction to the world of Peter Parker is still very much a part of the story. His neglect of those Peter protected is a highlight but there is also the way he interacts and reacts to the other heroes and villains. There are more than a few people seeing a change in the web slinger.
          But this whole mind swap was a way to create exciting new stories. I would have been disappointed if we go the generic 'Spider-Man figured out a way to defeat Otto and things went back to normal' ending that we always seem to get. What makes this great is Peter DIDN'T win. He lost big time and at this point his return will be one of the biggest fights of his life and will make for even more interesting stories when he does eventually return. He's going to have to repair all the damage done by Otto's ego. That will be the next batch of fresh stories featuring Peter. After all, Peter Parker is at his best when his life is at it's worst.
          As for Mr. Slott… I find him to be one of the nicest guys I've ever talked online with. He's having fun with the controversy over Superior Spider-Man, he isn't hiding from it or hiding behind Marvel, no, he's putting himself out there and in many ways showing just how important Spider-Man and Peter Parker are to comics fans around the world. I know he uses the higher sales numbers but I've only seen him do that when people bring up his 'ruining Spider-Man' but the fact that he was able to get this kind of reaction for a story shows what a talent he is. Everything people are hating about him and Superior Spider-Man are the very things that are credited to his talent. There wasn't this much outrage when Superman died or when Batman's back was broken. Professor X is dead? That kinda sucks… Human Torch died? That's too bad…
          They did what to Spider-Man?!? OUTRAGE! BURN THE ISSUE!
          The reaction was amazing and sometimes too much, Slott did get death threats over this to my understanding. He's like a carney barker. He knows what to say to get attention and it's working.

          I guess what others are hating about this are the exact things I'm loving. I'll be continuing to review this series, because I love it, but perhaps instead of reading the book you can just check in on what's going on with those reviews. I'd be happy to hear more of your thoughts on the Superior Era of Spider-Man!

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