Superior Spider-Month Continues!
After the events of the last issue, mostly the part where Spider-Man tells Mayor Jameson that he’s in control now, Spider-Man decides to ratchet up his game. A lot. He’s no longer content to just take down muggers and lower level costumed villains, he’s got his eyes set on a bigger prize: Shadowland. The Kingpin is working on expanding his criminal empire by absorbing the vacancies left by the people taken out by Spider-Man never thinking that the Web Slinger would actually target him, much less take the fight to his front door but this is exactly what happens.
The surprising thing here is he doesn’t do it alone, no, he got the minions he wanted and has created new spider themed machines and he calls them Spiderlings and Arachnaughts respectively. The Spiderlings go head to head with the members of The Hand and the Arachnaughts, essentially huge tanks, take out the buildings and the house of the Kingpins forces. It’s an all out assault and Spider-Man, with his neat new outfit which also has Invader Zim-like legs that come out of a pack on his back, makes it known that he isn’t there to just destroy the Kingpin’s empire and bring him and Hobgoblin to justice, no, he’s there to put them down. Permanently.
In a rare moment where the Kingpin is actually concerned he notices that while the voice is the same, this isn’t the same Spider-Man he’s sparred with in the past. He makes a quick escape while ensuring that Spider-Man will think he’s dead.
After a very short and violent battle, Spider-Man and crew declare that the Shadowland is no more, little realizing that both Kingpin and Hobgoblin both made their escape. Hobgoblin has an interesting confrontation with one of Spider-Man’s Spider-Bots, it makes him but lets him go announcing something called the Goblin Protocol. This leads to a bit more on the background story of the new Green Goblin who has been amassing an army to take out the Spider once and for all. He has hacked into Spider-Man’s tech without Spider-Man knowing. This is interesting because with this one exception, Spider-Man has been many steps ahead of everyone. I have to wonder who this new Green Goblin is and how he’s able to think around Spider-Man.
While Spider-Man is making good on his vow to be a Superior Spider-Man he’s also being blind sided by a very twisted new Green Goblin.
It’s nice to see Spider-Man taking things to the next level. His ego and confidence are certainly getting out of control, and will likely be worse now that he has a team of his own, but it’s better seeing him BE a Superior Spider-Man rather than constantly talk about it. His interactions with other characters is finally coming into play here, and will continue with Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #1, which means more than just those closest to Peter Parker are going to notice a big change in his personality. Kingpin certainly noticed it in this issue.
Dan Slott is still building something special here, whatever he’s making makes me look at this book differently with each issue. It seems like when a new issue comes out it makes the previous issues seem as if nothing happened in them despite the reality that a lot is going on here. He’s really making this Superior Era something to behold. One thing that has been tossed to the side is Peter Parker, not just the spirit of the man but everything. We used to see almost as much Parker in these books as we did Spider-Man but Otto seems to have little interest in being Parker, outside of further stroking his own ego to show up those he sees as inferior to him. His obsession with Spider-Man over the years seems to have taking him to a level where the only thing he can think about and the only person he can be is Spider-Man. Saying the guy has issues is like saying the ocean is a little damp. All in all, Otto isn’t slowing down, he’s always looking forward and making things bigger as he widens his wed of influence and it’s only a matter of time before he spreads himself too thin.
With this issue we also welcome back one of the premier Spider-Man artists, Humberto Ramos. I absolutely love the way this guy draws Spider-Man. I’m not trying to take anything away from the other fine artists on this series but Ramos has been around for a while and really has made this character his own. I always look forward to having him back on this series.
Superior Spider-Man #14 shows just how serious Spider-Man is about being Superior while setting up a few possible ways for the man to fall and fail. What will happen when someone finally upstages Otto and knocks him down a few notches? I’m curious if he is willing to learn from his mistakes as Spider-Man much in the same way he’s used his failures as Doctor Octopus to make him a better Spider-Man. Regardless, this series continues to the foundation Marvel book in my collection. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an Earth-based Marvel book that I’ve liked as much as this one. I’m sticking around for the long haul!