When this particular story in ‘Superior Spider-Man’ started, I was skeptical about it because of the villain featured in it. I didn’t think that Massacre was interesting enough to carry an arc. Luckily, Dan Slott comes along and proves me wrong and shows me Massacre’s grander purpose. In the larger scheme of things, this new issue was very important in terms of character development, which is really what matters.
Last time in ‘Superior Spider-Man’ #4, Marcus Lyman, also known as the emotionless killer Massacre, escaped from the insane asylum and went on a murderous rampage! He starting with Peter Parker’s friend, Dr. Ashley Kafka, and then moving onto a fast food restaurant, leaving only one woman and her child alive. Angered that Parker let the psycho live last time, Otto is determined to hunt down Massacre and take care of him once and for all.
Now, with the help of Uatu Jackson, Octo-Pete has upgraded his Spider-bots with new facial recognition software in order to find Massacre and put a stop to his killing spree. While the robots are out on patrol, Peter continues his quest to obtain a doctorate and Massacre pays a visit to the head of a soft drink company to cut a deal that may work out in her favor.
To put it bluntly, the whole Massacre storyline is weird. His plan is weird. The character is weird. I’m not too big on the whole thing. But like I said, he serves a purpose, so I’m glad that this arc only lasted for two issues. Up until this point, I was starting to warm up to Otto as Spider-Man. He seemed to get Peter Parker’s life in order. He gained my respect over the first few issues of ‘Superior Spider-Man’, especially when he made that important decision concerning Mary Jane Watson and their relationship. Though he’s doing a bang up job with Peter Parker’s life, this arc is really when we start to see a change in the life of Spider-Man. Until now, we’ve only seen changes in gear mostly. Sure, he was a bit more aggressive, but by the time this issue is completed, I think we really start to see shades of the old Doctor Octopus that we all remember.
Otto knows that with great power comes great responsibility, but that great power is starting to go to his head and he’s making Spider-Man into a killer, which is something that he never was before. He’s not Wolverine or The Punisher or Deadpool, who are all perfectly okay with that sort of justice, but Spider-Man always handled things differently. In the beginning of this new series, Otto was like those anti-heroes that I just mentioned, but now we’re getting shades of the old villain once again. And all thanks to Massacre. So though I didn’t dig him too much as a character, he did some good.
Initially, I got the sense that these past two issues were a throwaway tale, but I can see now that they are a turning point for the character of the Superior Spider-Man. Based on that alone, I can appreciate issue #5, despite the fact that I wasn’t terribly invested in the plot. Like I said in the introduction, character development is what really matters because if you don’t care about the characters, then you really won’t care what happened to them. Kudos to Dan Slott and the Spidey office yet again on a job well done.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #5
Written by DAN SLOTT
Art by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI, JOHN DELL, ANTONIO FABELLA, & EDGAR DELGADO