The battle in New York City rages on as the Superior Spider-Man faces off against the Green Goblin in the final arc of Dan Slott’s acclaimed and controversial series, ‘Superior Spider-Man’. With the city at its knees due to the power of Goblin’s army, ‘Goblin Nation’ finds everything Otto Octavius built as Peter Parker in danger. Armed with Octo-Pete’s greatest secret, Norman Osborn and his minions are currently attacking Spidey’s base, Spider Island, because his old colleague refused to join forces and rule at his right hand. Naturally, the former Dr. Octopus plays second fiddle to no one, so the fight is on. But now that the target has shifted to Peter’s loved ones, how much longer will the web-slinger be able to protect all that he holds dear, including his deepest secret?

In the latest issue, the odds don’t get much better for Spider-Man. Spider Island is in ruins, most of his forces are indisposed, and the Goblin’s generals are hot on our hero’s tail. While Otto heads to Parker Industries to try and find a remedy to his Goblin problem, Mary Jane Watson emerges as the hero that Peter Parker’s family and friends needs. After realizing that the Goblin army is after them, she keeps one step ahead of the villains by utilizing a set of web shooters from her ex-boyfriend and her razor sharp wit. Finally, the real Peter Parker is trapped in the web of memories inside Otto Octavius’ mind and struggling to remember that he isn’t actually Dr. Octopus. However, he may be losing that fight while his body is also on the losing end in the real world.

After reading this issue, it’s hard to argue that Mary Jane is a badass. The page where she busts out those web shooters is pretty awesome and I definitely had the same reaction of surprise as Ollie did when the webs went flying past his head. And when she stated that she was the wild card, all I could think of was Charlie from ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ yelling, “WILD CARD BITCHES!”. I’m sure that there’s a meme of this out there on the internet already, but I should probably finish this review before I go looking.

Another star in this issue was artist Giuseppe Camuncoli. I’ve been a fan of all of his work in this series, but the pages of Peter Parker in Otto Octavius’ memories were beautifully done. The layouts were great and warranted a few extra minutes to check out every detail contained in those scenes. We also see how close Otto could have been to being a hero. As Peter points out, they traveled similar paths throughout their upbringing. Bullies, jumping into science, and one miraculous act that changes their lives forever. Lately, Marvel has been really playing with the idea that every character is the hero of their own story, even the villains. Now, with ex-villains like Magneto and Loki showing more of a heroic turn, it looks like Dr. Octopus may be the next one to make the jump from the dark side.

Finally, the last few pages had me so engulfed that I’m pretty sure that I said, “Whoa!” a few times out loud. The twists thrown in at the end were pretty huge and they’ve certainly served their purpose because there’s not a chance that I’m missing the next issue. Love or hate what Slott did with Spider-Man this past year, it’s hard to argue that he didn’t deliver an exciting and enthralling story featuring one of the most beloved superheroes of all time.

Final Score:




Written by Dan Slott
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, & Antonio Fabela