Spider-Man

The Superior Spider-Man 19 (December 2013)

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So does Slott successfully conclude his Spider-Man 2099 thing?

Define successful. It’s not a terrible issue. It’s definitely one of the better ones with Spidey 2099 in it, probably because there’s none of his annoying narration and he’s treated like a buffoon throughout.

Otto loses the spotlight even more, however. And for some inexplicable reason, Slott wastes a whole page on a monologue from Mary Jane. Mary Jane who hasn’t been a part of this comic book for over a dozen issues; she gets some spotlight time.

What else happens… oh, right, a big double-page spread of famous Spider-Man panels, only with Otto, as he tries to remember something of Peter Parker’s memory he needs. It’s not an effective sequence. Slott aims low throughout.

I still generally like Stegman’s art–there’s one panel during a car chase I absolutely love–but it really does remind of McFarlane.

CREDITS

1.21 Giga-Whats?!; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Ryan Stegman; inker, Livesay; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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The Superior Spider-Man 18 (November 2013)

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Well, it’s definitely better than last issue but it’s still one of Slott’s weaker efforts on Superior. He’s got a big time travel story and it’s boring; referring to Back to the Future in the issue’s story title and then delivering a bunch of plodding exposition. It’s like he’s promising something good next issue, not this one.

The opening fight between Otto and 2099 isn’t bad, except Otto’s megalomania stops him from actually understanding what’s going on. It comes up a lot throughout the issue, actually. If Otto would just listen, he’d be able to solve the problem.

Why Slott wastes four or five pages on Peter’s lab buddies is beyond me. Yes, it might tie things together later, but for now it’s even worse than the 2099 solo pages.

I knew it was a mediocre one when I was actually getting more interested in Stegman’s art than the story.

CREDITS

Smack to the Future; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Ryan Stegman; inker, Livesay; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 17 (November 2013)

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When the Goblin Underground scenes are the best thing in the issue, it’s obviously Slott is running into some problems with Superior. At least there’s some bickering between the Goblin King and Hobgoblin… it’s kind of amusing. Otherwise, the only good thing in the issue is Otto showing off for his lady friend at a softball game.

Slott’s introducing corporate espionage–involving Liz Allan (who I really did think was spelled Allen) and her weird kid and some other goober–along with Spider-Man 2099. So, Slott’s overwritten megalomaniac interior monologue is great for Otto, but why does Spider-Man 2099 have it too? Slott wastes half the issue with the character and related exposition. It’s dreadful.

And then Spider-Man 2099 stops Otto from beating up a white collar criminal? Slott’s really killing the fun in Superior this issue.

I’m less annoyed by Stegman’s art, but otherwise… it’s weak.

CREDITS

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Ryan Stegman; inker, Livesay; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 16 (October 2013)

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I really don’t like the whole Goblin Army thing. It’s a little much, to say the least. Slott plays it tongue in cheek–which Ramos’s pencils just encourage–and it feels silly instead of scary. It’s like a Joker thing out of Batman, only repurposed for Spider-Man.

Otherwise, the issue’s got some decent moments in it. Slott’s back to not developing Otto at all. It’s an action issue and the Daily Bugle staff gets some good play time. Robbie Robertson might actually be the most formidable opponent Otto’s had so far.

There’s also some odd stuff–Slott being fast and loose with his characters morales–where the annoying cop girl who suspects Otto hacks into a person’s bank account while her superhero sidekick is actually assaulting said person. Who’s totally innocent of any crime. I hoped Slott would get the disconnect, but he doesn’t. Shame.

Still reads well, anyway.

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Humberto Ramos; inker, Victor Olazaba; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 15 (October 2013)

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I think with so many Spider-Man issues a month, sometimes Slott gets too disposable with the single issues. There are usually two Superior, I think, then a bunch of others, right? This issue is on the right track again though.

Slott opens with the fallout from Otto taking out Shadowland, with maybe the only weak scene in the issue. He’s trying to explain himself to the suspicious lady cops and one of them reveals she’s got a costumed identity to investigate him. It’s goofy.

Otherwise, there’s a lot of chase the Hobgoblin going on with a fantastic cliffhanger. Slott keeps the series fresh thanks to Otto’s innovative nature.

There are some character pages–Anna Maria is worried about Otto (so are Peter’s friends but who cares about them). One has to hope Slott sends her off well, she’s a lovely character.

Plus, Slott finally readdresses the Goblin hacking stuff.

CREDITS

Run Goblin, Run!, Part One: The Tinkerer’s Apprentice; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Humberto Ramos; inker, Victor Olazaba; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 14 (September 2013)

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Umm. Couple things. First, Slott doesn’t have Otto narrate this issue. Maybe the first Superior without some insight from him. Second, Marvel never resolved that “Shadowland” crossover? Wasn’t it like five years ago?

Otto–with an army of spider-robots and spider soldiers–cleans up the Shadowland compound this issue. Apparently Kingpin has had a fortress in New York City and no one did anything about it. I love how Marvel zombies claim 616 is so much more realistic than DC.

Anyway, it’s kind of obvious why Slott doesn’t get into Otto’s head… because it turns out he’s letting crime continue. He might even be in cahoots with the Goblin King, he might even be selling drugs. Or at least employing drug dealers.

I hope Slott’s got something good up his sleeve because otherwise this setup will be for nothing. The issue feels off, like the storyline wrap-up’s starting.

CREDITS

A Blind Eye; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Humberto Ramos; inker, Victor Olazab; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 13 (September 2013)

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It’s weird how Slott let Gage handle the script on this arc. It’s got some of the biggest changes to Superior since it started–a new page in Otto’s relationship with Jonah, a secret base (and lab) for Spider-Man–one would’ve thought Slott would want to be more hands on with it all.

The issue’s pretty good, with some nice moves for the Lizard. Hopefully he sticks around, even though he wouldn’t really be good with Otto.

Sadly, even though the issue moves well, there’s nothing memorable. The villains each have their own problems, but who cares? They were never interesting in the first place. Just the Green Goblin movie version–visually speaking–of familiar (and not familiar) characters.

The stuff with Otto and the main villain is a little tired though. Besides Otto revealing himself in the Spider Slayer’s finale moments… it’s the same as the previous showdowns.

CREDITS

No Escape, Part Three: The Slayer The Slain; writers, Dan Slott and Christos Gage; penciller, Giuseppe Camuncoli; inkers, John Dell and Terry Pallot; colorist, Antonio Fabela; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 12 (August 2013)

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Gage (and the plotting Slott) put Otto in an interesting place. Given the standard superhero trope of having to save one person or another, Otto apparently goes from the villain himself instead of bothering to save anyone.

Apparently, as it’s the hard cliffhanger.

Otherwise, some of the issue goes to Jameson, who decides to hunt down the Spider Slayer himself. Making Jonah sympathetic always seems impossible but then one remembers the dead wife.

There’s a fun scene with Otto and the Spider Slayer rambling about their master plans. Having a hero who goes on and on about it is pretty fun–especially since Otto gets called on it–but it really just distracts from the issue’s lack of content. Nicely, sure, but obviously.

And Gage gets to write an Otto who doesn’t have the best plan too. He doesn’t have everything planned out. It’s a good read, only too fast.

CREDITS

No Escape, Part Two: Lockdown; writers, Dan Slott and Christos Gage; penciller, Giuseppe Camuncoli; inkers, John Dell and Terry Pallot; colorist, Antonio Fabela; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 11 (August 2013)

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Giuseppe Camuncoli and John Dell make Otto look so positively condescending it’s wonderful. He only has a couple scenes outside his Spider-Man adventures, one with Anna and then one with his boss. I didn’t pay attention to the credits so I didn’t realize it was Christos Gage scripting from a Slott script; a lot more makes sense now.

Gage spends a lot of time writing maniacal Otto narration, which is always fun, and also goes far in establishing the revised ground situation since Ghost Peter is gone. Also gone are Peter’s supporting cast members. This issue–save Jameson–is just Otto.

Except, of course, the villains. There are lots of them and they’re really dumb looking. It feels very early nineties once the Spider Slayer gets his armor on.

As usual, the best stuff is Otto’s personal journey. The action is simply the cost of getting that peculiar story.

CREDITS

No Escape, Part One: A Lock For Every Key; writers, Dan Slott and Christos Gage; penciller, Giuseppe Camuncoli; inker, John Dell; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 10 (July 2013)

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Very interesting issue. With Otto freed of Ghost Peter, he makes some different choices–first is prioritizing responses to crimes and crises (which Slott addressed earlier in the series but not as directly) and, second, how he’s going to spend his Parker time.

Without the old Peter Parker memories, Otto’s scenes with Aunt May completely different. He’s not trying to fit in as much as enjoy the company of his new family. The same goes for his pursuing the tutor, Anna. Slott writes them a couple good scenes together this issue.

There are a couple action scenes, of course, one at the open and a disaster one at the close. There’s also the introduction of two new villains; the first comes in dialogue, the second gets the final page reveal.

One of them appears smarter than Otto, which should give him a fine adversary, as Otto’s intellect makes him invincible.

CREDITS

Independence Day; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Ryan Stegman; inkers, Stegman and Cam Smith; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 9 (July 2013)

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Whew. There I was, having to take back some negative comments about Slott’s pacing last issue and how well he sold the story overall… and now I’m validated.

This issue reads in something like two minutes, maybe three if you take a bathroom break.

Otto zooms down into his own mind to fight the collected memories of Peter Parker–Ghost Peter isn’t a ghost as much as congealed memories–and there’s a big street fight out of Superman II.

Lots of guest stars. Pretty much every supporting cast member, friend and foe. Ryan Stegman must have had a great time drawing it, but there’s no story. It’s a scene out of a bad Matrix knock-off. Slott gets in one moment at the end where Ghost Peter is revealed as selfish (just like Otto) but he doesn’t do anything with the duality.

The issue’s pointless. Slott wastes the reader’s time.

CREDITS

Troubled Mind, Part Three: Gray Matters; writer, Dan Slott; artist, Ryan Stegman; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 8 (June 2013)

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Well, Slott recovers this issue. Big time.

He must have watched “ER” too–all you need to make something touching is a sick child, add a megalomaniac like Otto being touched by said sick child? One’s sympathies for the story and its characters go through the roof.

There’s also the big Avengers fight, which is funny afterwards because all Otto’s ramblings of them being morons are accurate. Ramos proves the right artist for it too. He draws everyone like a giant baboon.

The resolution with Cardiac is outstanding too, though Slott still isn’t addressing all his ongoing subplots. He also addresses the Ghost Peter thing–which is a big surprise this early–and uses it for his hard cliffhanger.

And so I have to eat a little crow. Slott does know what he’s doing, though this issue and last would’ve been better as a giant-size instead of two issues,

CREDITS

Troubled Mind, Part Two: Proof Positive; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Humberto Ramos; inker, Victor Olazaba; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 7 (June 2013)

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This issue Ghost Peter discovers he can influence his old body and also make enough noise to distract Otto. Sadly, Slott uses that trick three times at least this issue to save someone from Otto’s wraith. Well, maybe twice with the third just being a little wink.

But it’s not a particularly good issue. In fact, it’s the first one where Slott doesn’t deliver a worthwhile narrative. Otto beats up some superhero who steals medical equipment to save poor people and then the Avengers confront him.

There’s nothing else to the issue. It’s a short opening, a long, poorly illustrated fight scene with Otto’s megalomania taking over, and the Avengers finale. And that finale’s just the cliffhanger.

Subplots aren’t just absent, Slott doesn’t even acknowledge the series has any.

It’s a rather upsetting turn of events. I sort of thought Slott could do no wrong on Otto’s adventures; he can.

CREDITS

Troubled Mind, Part One: Right-Hand Man; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Humberto Ramos; inker, Victor Olazaba; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Superior Spider-Man 6 (May 2013)

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Been a while since I read an Humberto Ramos comic. Between steel fortitude and Slott’s writing, I didn’t get sick.

The issue continues the “Spidey is going too far” theme, with Mayor Jameson setting Otto loose on some superpowered Internet pranksters. There’s also the stuff with Otto and his tutor, which is wonderful.

The Jameson stuff plays to the reader’s expectation of him being a boob and deserving getting pranked. The Spidey too far stuff–the Avengers cameo–plays to the storyline in general, but the stuff with Otto and his tutor is where Slott is doing something different.

Whatever his end game is for Superior Spider-Man, one hopes Slott has a good resolution for the tutor romance in mind.

It’s a fast read; Otto doesn’t show up for a little while and Ghost Peter spends his time watching flashbacks of young Otto being bullied.

Ramos aside, good stuff.

CREDITS

Joking Hazard; writer, Dan Slott; penciller, Humberto Ramos; inker, Victor Olazaba; colorist, Edgar Delgado; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editor, Ellie Pyle and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.