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.