With Age Of Ultron ending and Hunger coming it’s easy to forget there are other things going on in the Marvel Universe this week. One of those things is the release of Superior Spider-Man #12 plot by Dan Slott, script by Christos Gage, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell and Terry Pallot on art.
But before we go any further it must be said that this review will be talking about specific things that happen in this issue so, you know, SPOILERS.
If you think keeping a character in the Marvel Universe dead is difficult, try executing one of them. This story continues the day where Alistair Smythe, the Spider-Slayer, was to be put to death for his many crimes including the murder of J. Jonah Jameson’s wife. In #11 we see just how badly Smythe wants out and how Spider-Man is more determined to keep him contained. This issue continues Smythe’s mad quest to escape as well as the end result of his tampering with Boomerang, The Vulture, and Scorpion. He gave them new armor and augmented their powers to make them bigger threats then set them loose against Jameson, Spider-Man, and the innocents trapped in the Raft.
All right, so while Smythe is trying to get away, Spider-Man is countering everything he tries. This is something we wouldn’t have seen if Peter was still around. His plan would have been to get everyone out safely then go back and hope the villains were still around. Otto planned for this down to having a way to protect the people while he went directly after Smythe. Even his plans for dealing with Smythe are different as Jameson tells him to stop him. By any means necessary. Jameson wants him dead and makes sure Spider-Man knows this. Where Peter would have tried to contain Smythe, Otto means to kill the man.
We have an exciting moment where Spider-Man meets with the upgraded villains and its apparent Otto still doesn’t fully understand his Spider-Sense as he gets nicked in the back. Things get really interesting when the villains split up and Smythe tries to force Spider-Man to decide between saving the people, or Jameson but after viciously dealing with Boomerang he maintains his only real goal: Stop Smythe once and for all. We end the issue with a very nice full-page shot with all the players being focused on and Spider-Man racing to end Smythe once and for all.
This issue was without a doubt the most exciting of the series so far as well as a great showcase for exactly how different Otto and Peter are as Spider-Man. It’s almost side-by-side comparison on how different Spider-Man is now compared to what we’re used to. It’s also interesting to see that Jameson is apparently the only person that’s alright with the sudden change in Spider-Man’s demeanor. This has to be one of my favorite issues for this series so far because of it’s in your face comparisons between the two Spider-Mans. This is as close to a perfect issue as you can have for a Spider-Man comic. It really solidifies this new era of the character and while we’ve seen the differences between Peter and Otto this issue make it very clear.
Gage does a fine job with Slott’s plot, to the point where I wouldn’t mind seeing this writing combination on this book again. And soon. The dialogue was fast paced and well-rounded, the art kept up perfectly, all in all, as I said, this issue was as near perfect as you can get.
Also, the nod, however unintentional, to the world of 2099 was nice.