In part two of the ‘Goblin Nation’ prelude we see Spidey under attack on Spider-Island with the Green Goblin having brought the initial attack straight to Spidey’s doorstep. In fact, his entire base was infiltrated and half of the men here are actually the Goblin’s soldiers and they are on an all out attack.

Sadly the issue really felt like it was falling short both as part of a larger story arc and with the characters on hand. If I had to fault the artwork at all, it would be that The Punisher had no beard and looked rather young. Otherwise, it was a very fitting Frank Castle on tone and weapon usage.

On the writing side though, this is the problem: the dynamic here felt completely off. Even with Otto still in charge of Parker’s body, the book just didn’t gel with what we’ve seen of him so far. Otto has already met up with both of these heroes previously as Spidey and really it felt like he wasn’t taking charge here. He didn’t seem to be using their strengths how he had previously and was being far too reactive compared to how Otto has been since donning the mask of his most sacred enemy. Yes, the point of this attack by the Goblin was supposed to destabilize Otto, but it felt like they really overdid it in this issue as he didn’t seem nearly this bad when th Goblin tried to surprise him in the actual first issue of the event. In fact, he seemed like normal Doc Ock in the first issue of ‘Goblin Nation’.

Too many flashbacks of a young Otto, too long to figure out that the Green Goblin was behind this, too much being led around by the nose. None of it felt right. In fact it really felt like the Punisher was the only person close to being true to character and that Daredevil could have been replaced by almost any B string hero with how he was used here.

If anything, the creative way they used a half blinded Punisher fighting off their enemies was one of the few saving graces here.

I suppose it didn’t help the issue that it came out after ‘Goblin Nation’ already kicked off last week.

Even so, the fact that Spider-Man was able to be manipulated into flooding the base or even allowing it to happen and destroy all of his toys before Goblin Nation was to officially start seems a stretch here. Yes, there was a lot of enemies but it never felt that these three weren’t able to take down everything that was being thrown at them.

Is it a required ‘Goblin Nation’ tie-in? Not really.

Is it a well written ‘Superior Spider-Man Team-Up’ book? Again not really.

If you love these three characters paired together you will probably be disappointed with how Ock is acting through the entire issue. It’s really a let down after how much I’ve been enjoying the team-up line.


Writer: Kevin Shinick
Artist: Marco Checchetto