Monday, June 10, 2013

Since I last wrote about Superior Spider-Man #1-3 here, I haven't had as much time to do comic book reviews with all these movie screenings I've been attending.  Fast forward a few months, I hope you enjoy my review of Superior Spider-Man #7-9 "Troubled Mind" and in the near future, #10-12.

Superior Spider-Man #7 starts off with the vigilante Cardiac in his civilian guise as Doctor Elias Wirtham taking over the clinic that the villain Mister Negative, as Mr. Li was running.  Underneath the new clinic, Cardiac is funneling his illegal resources as a robin hood type vigilante to fund medical research on patients deemed not savable by conventional medicine.  Basically, the FDA would frown about this establishment.

One of these such patients is a little girl with severe brain damage who needs a device that Cardiac can obtain from the police storage facilities of confiscated super villain weapons.  The device as it turns out is a neurolitic scanner that once belong to Dr. Octopus.  Dr. Octopus as you know is now the Superior Spider-Man.  In this issue to start, we see Peter Parker still around in spirit, literally.  He tries to exert his control, to the extent that he can influences Superior Spider-man's right hand only.  He does that several times when Dr. Octopus as Spider-man tries to use extreme force on Cardiac.  As Dr. Octopus realizes that Peter is still lingering somewhere inside of him, he is summoned to the Avengers to be questioned and examined for his recent odd behavior.

This was a nice read, with good pacing in my opinion.  I was not really familiar with Cardiac prior to this issue, but found him to be different and interesting.  Some of the dialogue though by Peter Parker when Spider-Man is talking to the Avengers seems not very Spider-Man like.  As well, I don't hate Humberto Ramos's art, but I actually prefer Ryan Stegman's finer details.

Issue #8 continues with the Avengers over powering Spider-man and subjecting him to tests to find... nothing.  Kind of anticlimactic, but not totally unexpected.  Though not noticed by the Avengers, Doctor Octopus sees the anomaly in his brain patterns.  He requires the scanner that Cardiac stole in the last issue.  Thankfully, he has a Spidey tracer on him which leads him to the clinic.  At the clinic, Cardiac and Spider-Man battles it out again but stops when sees his scanner on the little girl's head.  Dr. Octopus touched that it was his prior schemes of world destruction that caused her damage, stops his attack and works to heal her as only he knows how to use the scanner properly.  Cardiac agrees to let Spider-Man take the scanner to use since he helped with the girl not knowing his true intentions.  And we end with Dr. Octopus identifying Peter Parker in his brain waves and even acknowledging Peter when he talks now.  So begins the beginning of the end for Parker again as Dr. Octopus does a "Parker-Ectomy" with his robot assistant.

I've really enjoyed this story arc thus far.  The way it's presented with the moral dilemmas that see Dr. Octopus torn between his former villain self and his desire to become a better super hero than his predecessor is what makes this book great.

Issue #9 continues with the "Parker-Ectomy" that initially fails due to Peter's strong will.  Dr. Octopus enters his brain to take on Peter directly on Peter's turf.  But Peter brings forth from his memory his friends and family to overwhelm Dr. Octopus.   Dr. Octopus is prepared as well as he summons memories of Spider-Man's greatest enemies wiping out his friends and families.  The battle continues as Peter Parker confronts Dr. Octopus as Spider-Man, with which Dr. Octopus counters as Superior Spider-Man.  It is the latter that gets the upper hand as he confronts Peter with the fact that he interfered with saving the little girl in the last issue because of his selfish desire not to be discovered by Dr. Octopus.  As Dr. Octopus finishes wiping out all of Peter Parker's memory leaving just Peter without any memory of anything, what comes next will be a new chapter.

This was probably one of the more well written non physical battles I've ever read.  The back and forth between the two brought excitement at each turn.  It'll be interesting now to see what a truly uninhibited hero Dr. Octopus would be now.  As well what will ultimately become of Peter Parker.  If you've read my Philadelphia Comic Con post which included the Marvel panel, you know it doesn't look good in the near future.

Overall, I would recommend this story arc "Troubled Mind."  I didn't mentioned above but there are quite a few interesting side plots as well.  Including Carlie Cooper who as we learned before is suspicious of Superior Spider-man but have no proof.  It remains to be seen what becomes of that.  Hopefully that comes to a head soon and not be dragged out too long.

What did you think of this story arc?

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