Monday, January 21, 2013

Quick Reviews: The Superior Spider-Man #1, Avenging Spider-Man #16, and Daredevil #22

The Superior Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, and Edgar Delgado

Dan Slott is the most hated comic book creator on the Internet. Amazing Spider-Man #700 marked the death of Peter Parker as Doctor Octopus took over his life. And while this change isn’t permanent, it is interesting. And as we learn by the end of the first issue, a part Peter Parker lives on, tempering the actions of this new Superior Spider-Man.

The title is Superior Spider-Man because Otto’s convinced he can be a better hero then Peter Parker ever was. As far as Otto was concerned, he’s the perfect amalgamation of brilliance with all of Peter Parker’s abilities, resources, and youth. But Otto is still Otto, an arrogant, selfish, and self-involved maniac. The few things he does that are out of character for him in this issue turn out to be Peter Parker’s influence.

Maybe Otto’s journey will be a little more subtle, a little more slow getting there. It’s not unreasonable as Dan Slott has already spent a few years on the Spider-Man title. Chances are if Marvel took this kind of chancing killing off Peter Parker that there are some long-term benefit in the form of a big story arc pay off. Dan Slott and Marvel probably already know how they’re going to bring Peter Parker back. And chances are Peter Parker will be back right around the time the next Amazing Spider-Man movie is released.

The courting of Mary Jane really creeps me out. If they sleep together thinking that he’s Peter Parker would net be some form of rape? Otto is a jerk who is treating everyone in Peter Parker circle badly – which will be part of the fun of Peter Parker coming back seeing him repair these relationships. But the Mary Jane thing really creeps me out. And I find it hard to believe that she doesn’t feel the personality shift – she’s been with Peter when he’s been replaced taken over or under the influence of something. For that matter it seems like his entire supporting cast thinks his new attitude is okay. But that bothered me back in Amazing Spider-Man #698 when he was surrounded by the Avengers and seem glib about Otto dying.

Avenging Spider-Man #16 by Christopher Yost, Paco Medina, and Juan Vlasco

Despite my misgivings about the Superior title, I thought this story was pretty good. I love a good team up and Christopher Yost doesn’t disappoint. For that matter, neither does the art team. When a rampaging giant spider threatens New York City, it’s Spider-Man to the rescue. But when the X-Men get involved, Wolverine smells of body switch (and Wolverine has plenty of experience in being mind controlled).

Wolverine’s always been a jerk to Peter so when Otto decides to hand him his ass, it’s hilarious. But when Wolverine seems to get the upper hand and tells Rachel Grey, a skilled telepath, to scan him, Otto explains his actions: “you can’t tell me you’ve never thought about beating up Wolverine.” The team agrees and Otto is spared a brain scan and is able to maintain his cover.

Daredevil #22 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Daredevil (who is very familiar with being possessed) encounters the new Superior Spider-Man. And while Spider-Man’s behavior seems odd to him, especially because he’s forcing a fight between the two of them, his heartbeat, sent, and footfall all read normal. So the pair team up to take on an improved Stilt-Man who is using Otto’s tentacles for his arms.

Mark Waid puts the new Spider-Man through some paces but I don’t know why he was sent to catch Daredevil - that part wasn’t really clear and I’ve read all the recent titles. I also don’t know about the fight with Foggy so the pair of them making up didn’t have any impact on me. For a title is critically acclaimed as Daredevil, they should have a better artist on the title – Samnee’s artwork is better suited to an independent title than a mainstream one.

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