Superior Spider Man is one of those stories in comics that’s going to be immortalized due to its controversy. Removing Peter Parker as Spider Man was something that had never been done. Sure, he had been killed off in the Ultimate universe and replaced with Miles Morales, but with continuously low sales, nobody was really tuning into the Ultimate series anyway. Mainstream Spider Man always had Peter at the helm…until Superior Spider Man. In today’s Comic Corner, we’re going to be taking you into the world of the collected Superior Spider Man comic. There will be minor spoilers ahead, so please be wary of those if you’d like to remain spoiler free.
Superior Spider Man (at least the collected edition) begins after Doctor Otto Octavius has taken over Spider Man’s body. At first, this sounds like a 1960’s plot, but what you realize is that the stakes are much higher this time. Writer Dan Slott teased prior to this coming out that there were going to be big changes in Spider Man’s World, and boy was he right. Otto Octavius died in a scheme gone wrong, and in his last moments he transferred Peter’s mind into his dying body. You heard it right folks, Peter Parker is dead. The collected Superior Spider Man picks up after this, with remnants of Peter Parker’s mind attempting to take back his body.
Unfortunately for Peter, this iteration has no plans of bringing him back. Peter ultimately fails to reclaim his body, and Doctor Octopus lives on within Spider Man. However, this time he vows to do things differently. Rather than become a villain again, he’s decided that he’s going to turn over a new leaf. He’s going to assume the mantle of Spider Man in Peter’s stead. On top of this, he’s decided that he’s going to clean up Peter’s life, and make a name for himself as Peter Parker. In this lies the brilliance of Superior Spider Man.
Although the shake up was temporary, and current iterations of comics have Parker back in the reigns, the year or so that we had Doc Ock as Spider Man was extremely intriguing. Gone were the days of a scatterbrained Parker failing to manage both life and his responsibilities as Spider Man. Gone were the days of hesitations where he was unable to choose between bringing down the bad guy, or sympathizing with them, and trying to change them. Otto is ruthless, and in this ruthlessness he finds efficiency. Breeding new spider themed technologies, we see a different type of Spider Man that breathes life into a series that has had a singular character for about as long as memory serves.
Beautifully drawn artwork helps to keep you captivated in these issues. On top of the extremely comic book-y styles of art, we’re treated to the interactions of Otto in the every day life of Peter Parker. Coming into contact with folks like Mary Jane show the differences between Octavius and Peter, and in building a new life for himself, he ultimately rebuilds the entire identity of Peter Parker.
Ultimately, Superior Spider Man is witty. Otto Octavius is the hero you hate to love. You’re begging for Peter to come back, but you can’t help but to admire the efficiency, power, and ideals of Octavius when he’s in the reigns of Spider Man. If you’re an avid Spider Man fan, or just looking for a taste of something different, I’d recommend picking up the Superior Spider Man collected editions. They’re a fascinating read, and they definitely make you realize just how much we’d miss Peter were he to be gone.
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