Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let me first say I am a huge fan of Amazing Spider-Man #700 and the issues that led up to it.  I thought that the change was a good and interesting twist to a relatively stale title as of late.  In case you haven't read about it, there are going to be spoilers galore on that issue as well Superior Spider-Man #1-3.

So just a brief recap, in case you didn't read #700, Peter Parker is dead.  Or is he?  Doctor Octopus is a weak old man dying of old age.  A nemesis of Spider-Man ever since his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #3, he can be considered as an egotistic genius utilizing the robotic (Octopus) arms that he had invented.  A mad scientist that he is, he develops a plan to escape death by switching the minds of himself and Peter Parker.  In the final pages of Amazing Spider-Man we witness the death of Doctor Octopus with Peter Parker's mind still in the body.  Doctor Octopus meanwhile experiences all the memories of what it means that with great power comes great responsibility of Peter Parker.  So a new super hero is born?

That's exactly what we see in issue #1 of Superior Spider-Man.  Doctor Octopus still in Peter Parker's body strives to be a better version of the former owner of that body.  From trying to court Mary Jane to developing new gadgets for Horizon Labs.  And as Spider-Man, or rather the "Superior" Spider-Man takes on the latest version of the Sinister Six.  It is quite a ho hum start to the new series til the final pages when we see what is a ghost of Peter Parker, or conscious you might say that actually disappoints me.

Why does it disappoints me?  After all, heroes never stay dead do they?  But to have him show up so soon, without more buildup is what disappoints me.  Knowing full well that if his ghost or conscious is there, then a return to status quo can't be too far behind.  Which leads us to issue #2.

As much as issue #1 was learning more about the new Peter, issue #2's focus is on Peter's relationship with Mary Jane.  He constantly tries to impress her and get what he could never get as Doctor Octopus.  At least not without paying or threatening death!  But in the end he learns what Peter has long realize, that for their love, they must be apart.  The scene where Doctor Octopus comes to that revelation is the best scene to date of this short lived series.  As far as the real Peter Parker in issue #2?  He spends most of the issue providing back seat comments which only the readers knows.  There is a separation between Doctor Octopus psyche and Peter Parker's conscious apparently.  It's amusing to see how frustrated Peter gets when Doctor Octopus pursues Mary Jane.  But the amusement gets old really fast.

In issue #3 of Superior Spider-Man, we get a glimpse of Doctor Octopus old relationships with the Vulture (Adrian Toomes) as well as his father as a child.  Both are pretty interesting, especially in his relationship with the Vulture.  In the Vulture we see that he generally had a friend whereas the other villains he could never relate to.  He tries to help his friend in the present but is attacked naturally due to him being Spider-Man now.  At the end of issue #3 we see that Peter's ex policewoman Carlie has finally figured out what she's been suspecting all along.

Overall, I enjoy the series thus far.  There's a lot of promises.  My only gripe as I've said before is that I thought they should have held back on the real Peter Parker til later on in the series.  The interior artwork on the book is done by Ryan Stegman does a more than adequate job.   I especially like his drawings of the Vulture's henchmen kids.  What I am hoping for now in the next few issues is that Carlie stays alive.  I really like her character.  That Peter stays dead a little longer.  Captain America was dead for over a year.  And that we see the "Superior" Spider-Man take on more classic villains like the Green Goblin!

Have you read Superior Spider-Man?  What are your thoughts on this series?

(image sources: marvel.com)

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