Comics : Superior Spider-Man #10

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This review was first published on: Jun 2013.

Background...

A dying Otto Octavius, Doctor Octopus, swapped bodies with Peter Parker, Spider-Man. Otto thought that Peter had died in his body, but a piece of him remained in his own brain that watched over Otto’s life as a Superior Spider-Man. Recently, Otto discovered this fact and fought a battle inside his brain: Otto the Superior Spider-Man vs. Peter the Amazing Spider-Man. Otto won and wiped Peter from existence!

In Detail...

"Independence Day"
Superior Spider-Man #10
Jul 2013 : SM Title
Summary: Green Goblin
Writer:  Dan Slott
Pencils:  Ryan Stegman
Inker:  Cam Smith, Ryan Stegman
Cover Art:  Marcos Martin
Lettering:  Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist:  Edgar Delgado
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alonso
Editor:  Stephen Wacker
Assistant Editor:  Ellie Pyle
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Articles: Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Owl, Tombstone

Otto wakes up and begins anew! His Spider-bots tell him that two of his targets, White Dragon & The Owl, are engaging in a gang war. Determined to not be reactionary, as Peter was, he seizes this opportunity to strike whilst both criminals are weak! Spider-Man leaps into the fray as White Dragon, The Owl and their henchmen battle! He grabs White Dragon and crushed his trachea, meaning he can’t breathe fire! Recalling his battles with The Owl as Doctor Octopus, he holds no qualms in treating The Owl with an equal force too!

Meanwhile, the henchmen escape! Each gang is cornered separately by members of the Goblin Cult, who direct them to safety beneath the streets!

Spider-Man webs up the two gang leaders for the police and makes it to Empire State University (as Peter Parker) in time for his morning class. Mary Jane Watson is waiting for him, which Peter finds infuriating as he’d let her know he wanted nothing to do with her. He fobs her off, leaving MJ questioning what has changed…

Returning from leave, Captain Watanabe questions her officers regarding Spider-Man’s shooting of Massacre. They all defend Spider-Man’s actions. Once completed, she invites Carlie Cooper to come out from where she was listening. They realise they have to find another way to prove that things with Spider-Man are not what they seem.

Beneath the streets The Green Goblin studies a Spider-Bot and discovers a flaw. He invites his ex-Vulture minions (who now have Goblin masks) to test it out!

Peter aces his mid-terms and winds his tutor up again. He arranges dinner with Anna Marconi as he leaves.

At MJ’s (the nightclub) MJ is sure that too much has changed and that there is no spark of Peter left. MJ considers phoning Aunt May to talk about him, but finds the phone is dead.

The Goblin Minions make it past the Spider-bot watching MJ’s and swoop to attack.

Peter is having dinner with Aunt May, Jay and JJJ, appreciating the support from his new family. They discuss the recent change in Spider-Man’s behaviour, with JJJ now being his greatest fan! Peter leaves Jay and JJJ fighting it out as he has a date with Anna.

Things escalate at MJ’s when a pumpkin bomb explodes and everyone is trapped inside by fire! MJ doesn’t panic, relying on the fact that Peter is watching her…

At Anna’s, Peter saves her as frozen carbon dioxide (she’s been using to make a sorbet with) nearly falls on her! She takes this opportunity to thank Peter… by kissing him! Suddenly his Spider-bot APP goes off and he has to leave.

The fire rages at MJ’s but she refuses to panic. However much Peter has changed recently, she has faith in him to save her. She passes out as she is rescued by a fireman and not Spider-Man…

…as he has taken down Tombstone and a couple of his men! He asks the police about the fire across town, but they explain that it was dealt with. He leaves, acknowledging that this is how things work properly: everyone doing their jobs and carrying out their responsibilities. It means that he can keep his eyes on the big picture.

In the sewers, the Goblin Cult take Tombstone’s remaining men to meet their leader. He welcomes them into the family and his empire. He is their… Goblin King!

In General...

As we finally get Otto’s voice without any of the Peter Parker annoyances, I find myself a little annoyed again that we haven’t had this characterisation strong enough from #2. To be fair, this tenth issue harks back to the successes I found in #1. Otto uses his brains, his tech, he outthinks his competitors and has this amazing sense of arrogance. It’s this twisted sense of arrogance and responsibility that sees this great flaw occur as Dan Slott throws this completely natural result of Otto not being able to see the wood for the trees.

Slott continues these references to his first arc in a couple of ways, with great success. Ryan Stegman’s good art, use of and comparative opportunities between first arc MJ and now MJ, the minions and the taking down of minor villains all help highlight the lack of Peter and start things afresh. You even get this romp through Otto’s current new relationships with Anna, May, Jay and MJ and the on-going queries that Carlie has about the antics in Amazing #700. But… I’m still slightly frustrated by the sense that this is Slott doing his first arc properly, without the Peter Parker bit!

Stegman’s art remains fine. It isn’t as involving nor polished as last issue, but still does a great job of the action and this sense of weight behind Otto Spidey (as opposed to the skinnier Peter Spidey).

And the icing on the pretty good cake is a new Green Goblin. A Green Goblin involving himself in a gang war. A Green Goblin with a secret identity. A Green Goblin who has the technical knowledge to outmanoeuvre Otto. And a Green Goblin… with Goblin minions! I know it’s a cliché to get involved in a Goblin mystery, but I can’t help it. I’m a Spider-Man fan after all!

Overall Rating...

Several steps in a new direction, some changes in narrative voice and a new mysterious Goblin (we Spider-Man fans sure are suckers for that!) make this one of those queitly important transition issues.