Well, it should go without saying that there will be SPOILERS in this review.
You have been warned.
Alright… so in the previous issue Otto had discovered the reason he was acting out of character more than usual: Peter Parker was still slumming around in his brain. It was a problem he solved rather quickly and, for the time being, permanently by entering his mind and erasing Parker’s memories completely.
This issue begins with Otto waking up and beginning his first Parker-free day. He has a run-in with the Owl and the White Dragon and quickly takes care of them in rather nasty ways, something that’s becoming a trademark for the Superior Spider-Man. But when he leaves them for the police they begin to miss the days when Spider-Man would just leave villains webbed up with a note on them. He’s gotten very vicious.
Meanwhile, Carlie Cooper is still trying to figure out what it is that’s different about Spider-Man. But the police are rallying around the Web-Slinger now so it’s near impossible for Carlie to get any solid answers about the change in his attitude. Also noticing a change is Mary Jane, who basically gets blown off by “Peter” on the Empire State University campus where he’s earning his doctorate (but his smug attitude might hurt him in that quest). I’m wondering when or if these two gals are going to seriously get together and share what they know and think about Peter’s new attitude.
Speaking of family, Aunt May either doesn’t see the change or isn’t allowing herself to acknowledge it. She’s proud that her beloved nephew has finally pulled his life together, and it might also be because “Peter” isn’t as smug around her, but she’s known him longer than anyone; it seems like she would sense something was different. Especially with J.J.J. actually liking him.
But while Otto thinks he has everything under control in Peter’s former life, there are people working in the shadows against him. The Owl and White Dragon’s gangs have left their leadership and joined another. A guy who likes to laugh, has a love of green and jack o’ lanterns, and has a hatred for Spider-Man. Yeah, there’s a new Green Goblin in town and he’s already got a few hits against Spider-Man and the Wall Crawler doesn’t even know it yet!
So, Spider-Writer Dan Slott has given some closure on the whole ‘spirit of Peter Parker’ thing, which most likely won’t last forever, and has decided that this new Superior Spider-Man has pretty much had it way too easy for far too long. It’s time to turn up the dial some and see how he reacts when he faces off against a villain who is apparently able to bring chaos to his carefully constructed world. Now, I know there is a LOT of criticism about how Slott is running this book. I’ve mentioned a few of the insane complaints that people have had, but here’s the thing: what he’s doing works. Amazing Spider-Man #700 came out in December 2012, and it’s May 2013 now and people are STILL talking about it. People are also still talking about Brand New Day so that tells you that despite the complaints people are still paying attention and still care a lot about this character. Honestly, I don’t recall this happening when DC made Superman give up his red trunks so I guess that means more people care about Spider-Man than The Man Of Steel.
Love it or hate it, in my opinion this series has not slowed down and shows no signs of weakness. Every issue is one more step down a path that we’ve never tread before and when you think about it, isn’t that what we all really want? There are no promises of happy endings here and while we all know that eventually Peter will come back it certainly looks like it’s less possible now, doesn’t it? But for now it’s going to be interesting to see where Slott takes us from here with no Parker and no restraints other than the line Otto himself won’t cross… but are there any lines he won’t cross?
Now, I can’t finish this until I talk about Ryan Stegman’s art. It’s amazing and it’s great to have two artists, Stegman and Humberto Ramos, that are absolutely perfect for this book. There isn’t anything more I can say because I’d just be repeating myself.
Overall, Superior Spider-Man is exciting, fresh, and amazing (natch). It’s given us a whole new era in Spider-Man stories and the fact that people are so passionate, either for or against it, just shows that, despite everything, Slott is doing something right because people are constantly talking. I know I am and I cannot wait for the next issue!