Superior Spider-Month Continues!
Marvel celebrate the Superior Spider-Man all this month and while we’ve already seen the beginning of the exploits of the Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, it’s time to look at the man himself. Also…
It’s last call on The Raft as Spider-Man decides it’s time to end the threat of the Spider Slayer once and for all. While on the surface this issue focuses on the situations of the civilians being stalked by the newly enhanced Vulture, JJJ being stalked by the Scorpion, and Spider-Man hunting down the Spider-Slayer, the real thing to look at here is Spider-Man’s attitude. Once again we see just how different Otto is as Spider-Man as opposed to how Spidey was from his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 all those many years ago.
Previously, Spider-Man promised Jameson that the Spider-Slayer would not leave the Raft alive and Otto means to keep that promise and does so in spades here by using the Slayer’s own stinger against him. But the real moment of this book is at the end as the Slayer makes his final bid for freedom by trying to trade his mind for that of Spider-Man! It’s here that we find that Otto really has thought of every possible escape route the Slayer might try to take and has countered every one of them. It’s also here that the Slayer learns the secret of the Superior Spider-Man.
In other developments we have The Lizard saving Jameson and Jameson actually realizing that the Lizard has the mind of Conners and may try to help the poor man possibly become human again. It isn’t said here but stranger things have happened.
As the issue wraps there is a moment between Spider-Man and Jameson where their relation begins to decay. Mostly due to the blackmailing of Jameson by Spider-Man over certain things said while in The Raft and recorded by the Wall Crawler. Jameson no longer sees Spider-Man as a hero, he once again see him as a monster and has no choice but to give him what he wants: The Raft. He takes control of it with this issue and begins to turn it into his ‘super hero headquarters’ and renaming it Spider-Island… Two.
This series in an interesting one, generally a series begins to flatten out some when it hits its 5th or 6th issue but this series just isn’t letting up. Granted, it’s shipped twice a month so it gives us very little time between issues to rest but that may be a good thing here. A fast-paced story should have a faster shipping schedule. It works.
There does seem to be an issue of clutter here, however. With all the focus on trying to establish this as the Superior Spider-Man and how different he is from Peter Parker there seems to be no room for a supporting cast. We get glimpses of Carlie Cooper and Mary Jane and how they are seeing the change in ‘Peter’ but then they aren’t seen for issues on end because the focus is on how cool the new relationship between Jameson and Spider-Man is or how Otto is, once again, proclaiming himself to be the Superior Spider-Man in his usual villain banter. It’s a minor complaint for a book that has been consistently more fun than is should ever be, but it would be nice to see more development on the impact of Spider-Man’s changes on the people around him.
Perhaps once we have moved Otto to a place where he is more confident in his new-found role of ‘hero’ we can move on to other things.
But beyond all that, there is also the art on this issue. It’s great! Sharp, and appears to be moving as fast as the writing is! This book is, for me, a perfect storm of writing and art.