Huh… So that happened, didn’t it? With this week’s issue, ‘Superior Spider-Man’ has come to a close and the true Peter Parker has returned to reclaim his place as the one and only true Spider-Man. Now, while it may not seem like I’m happy with this ending based on this paragraph so far, but I assure you it’s only because I’m still not sure what to make of it all. I’m sad that it’s over. I’m shocked and confused by the unexpected twists. I’m relieved that Pete is back. There are just so many emotions that I need to sort out by the end of this review, so let’s start with this: I liked it.
In the last issue of this excellent and rejuvenating Spidey series from Dan Slott, Otto Octavius gave his life in order to save the one that he loves, Anna Maria Marconi, from dying at the hands of the Green Goblin. Now, with the former Doctor Octopus expunged from Peter Parker’s brain, the body’s original owner is back behind the mask and the true Spider-Man can swing in to save the day. But first, he has a few details to catch up on and some wrongs to be righted.
I guess the word I’m looking for is underwhelming, especially when it comes to the reveal of the Green Goblin and the supplemental story at the end. It makes sense that Osborn would want to hide in plain sight, but to go so far as to change his face entirely just seems crazy. I mean, they live in a world where technology exists that can cloak one’s appearance or make them look like someone else without the process of surgery. Mockingbird uses it all the time. Sure, Norman is crazy, but he can be logical at times. It just so happens that this isn’t one of those times. Also, I was expecting something a bit more epic when this encounter went down. There was so much build up and the issues leading up to this point were so good, but the end result in this area just didn’t live up to the ending that we were all anticipating.
However, despite this not being the perfect ending, there were still plenty of great things in this issue. For starters, I love the return of the vintage Spidey quips. When he makes the remark about the purse, I started cracking up at how THAT’S how Goblin knew that his real foe had returned. I also liked how Miguel O’Hara is so quick to believe that Peter had been replaced by Otto. It’s like, “Oh yeah, that totally sounds like something that would happen.” The back and forth between those two characters was great. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing more of it in ‘Spider-Man 2099’ in July.
But going back to the ending, I feel like it came a bit too abruptly. Instead of giving us closure on this chapter of the Spider-Man legacy, we mostly got a ton of setup for the next volume of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ instead of offering a proper conclusion to this controversial and highly enjoyable comic. At least Slott has a ton to work with now when the friendly neighborhood web-slinger returns to his rightful title in a few weeks. Though when it comes to the end of this issue, as heart-breaking as the final panels are, something just felt like it was missing even though all the loose threads from throughout this series were basically tied up once again. The main concern seemed to be to get readers to come back for ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1 than to give a fully satisfying finish to one of the coolest Spider-Man series in years.
At the end of the day, I am sad to see ‘Superior Spider-Man’ go. There were definitely places it could have gone to before ending with Goblin Nation, but with the timing of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ and All-New Marvel NOW, I can understand why Marvel would decide to pull the plug on it at this point in time. And though this isn’t the ending that I was expecting in terms of quality, it can all be forgiven because Slott delivered some very excellent moments in this issue, as he has in this entire series. While Otto Octavius may be gone, his heroic legacy will live on through this great run. Now, we all look forward to seeing just how Peter Parker will pick up the pieces and get his life back in order. Well, as in order as he can get it.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31
Written by Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, Terry Pallot, Antonio Fabela, Will Sliney, & Edgar Delgado