At first glance, one might get the impression that Dan Slott was slipping into a funk with ‘Superior Spider-Man’. After all, how could a villain like Massacre headline the next story arc of this great title following the great character-establishing tale that came before it? Well, don’t underestimate the Spidey-office, because they had more up their sleeves than you’d originally suspect.
When we last left Octo-Pete, he was taking down the long-time Spidey villain and one time Doc Ock friend, the Vulture, and his crew of prepubecent minions. While he initially tried to help his old friend by giving him a way out of evil, Spider-Man ended up seeing Adrian Toomes for what he really was: A monster. Though his methods may have been a bit more aggressive than what Peter Parker may be used to, Otto got the job done and put the Vulture behind bars.
This new issue picks up a month after the Superior Spider-Man first hit the streets. He’s managed to create an efficient system of crime fighting that leaves more time for the secret identity stuff like spending time with family happen more often. He’s even found some time to go back to school for a doctorate. It’s like he’s added the power of super time management to his arsenal! But crime won’t wait and Massacre is ready to start some trouble.
The first thing that I’d like to address is that the artistic team tagged out for this new arc. While Edgar Delgado remains to color the book, Giuseppe Camuncoli and John Dell have signed on to bring the Superior Spider-Man to life. There are a lot of subtle differences between this team and the last one like Spidey’s new goggles and muscular build, but they bring some good things to the table as well. For instance, Aunt May’s younger, more hip hairstyle is a nice touch, as well as the detailed Spider-bots, but I was more in favor of Ryan Stegman’s vision of things. That’s not to say Camuncoli and Dell are bad. In fact, Dell’s inks are pretty awesome, but it’s a personal preference that I prefer Stegman’s art.
Next, as I insinuated in the introduction, I thought Slott was sinking into mediocrity with this storyline. The scene where Doc Ock realizes that Peter Parker isn’t a doctor was pretty funny, but Massacre wasn’t a villain that I was really getting into. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t there when he was first introduced, but he seemed pretty run of the mill in this issue. The book was largely meh as I was going through it. But once I turned to the final page, the reveal in the last panel, “WHOA?!” That panel tied it all together and made everything interesting again. Now, I have so many questions that I’m anxious to see answered in the rest of this arc because of who appeared in that last panel. And without giving away who it was, I’ll just say that business is definitely about to pick up.
Though this issue had a pretty rocky, just okay start, I have a feeling that things are going to get much better from here on. And I can’t wait to see if I’ll get to geek out over the battle that I hope is coming featuring two of the most iconic Spider-Man characters since the web-slinger’s creation.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #4
Written by DAN SLOTT
Art by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI, JOHN DELL, & EDGAR DELGADO