Superior Spider-Man #13 Review: Escalation

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Comic Reviews
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Superior_Spider-Man_Vol_1_13_TextlessYou may recall that i didn’t have a very high opinion of the fact that Doc Ock was Spider-Man.  I made that very clear in my last post.  Even now, i find the very thought of him as Spider-Man makes me sick to my stomach.  However, I’d like to admit that the first few stories following his second killing of Peter Parker promise big things ahead.

I mean right after Peter died (again) the following issue established an unknown Green Goblin (probably Norman Osborn?) as the Goblin King with Ock totally oblivious to the fact.  So obviously big things are brewing and despite Ock’s claims that the city is within his complete control, the Green Goblin is able to obtain one of Ock’s many Spider-Bots, hack it, and then use it to his own advantage, all without Ock knowing.

This issue, we see yet another sign of bigger things on the horizon.  And for a conclusion, I believe that it’s fairly fast paced.  The overall conflict is resolved, that being the Mayor J. Jonah Jameson, the civilians (i.e. Glory Grant, Norah Winters, etc.), and the security guards being saved once Ock deals with the Spider-Slayer, Alistaire Smythe.  It’s fairly abrupt and occurs within the first few pages of the book, giving off the feeling of being slightly rushed story telling.

So if you’ve been reading this story arc you know that the entire plot has been building up to this point and it’s dealt with fairly early in the story.  As I’ve said, I’m not very comfortable with the concept of Spider-Man killing and much in the same way that Ock being Spider-Man leaves me with a sick feeling in my stomach, the event of  Ock killing Smythe just leaves me with that same sick feeling.

And it doesn’t help that several moments later, with everyone now safe that Smythe reappears, his consciousness sustained just moments longer for him to execute his final gambit: taking Spider-Man’s body for himself, much in the same way Ock did with Peter.  Suffice it to say Smythe fails as Ock had anticipated this from Smythe and prepared a counter measure.  But here is where I find it even more sickening.  The title is “The Superior Spider-Man” and this moment is where Ock brings the story back to the theme of “Superiority”. Explaining how he anticipated Smythe’s attempt to take his mind, Ock reveals that he thought of it already and reveals to Smythe that he’s Otto Octavius.  For me, I couldn’t help but see this a Ock gloating, especially this issue starts with the theme of legacy and the line that Peter threw Ock before his death Ock throws at Smythe just before his consciousness dies.

That’s your legacy. Nothing.

-Ock to Smythe

thThe story ends on a very super-villainy note.  Not only does Ock blackmail Mayor Jameson into giving him the Raft, but he also gets to work building some sort of mech weapon while hiring minions.  He also goes to works designing armor for his minions as well as creating a new costume for himself.  It’s here where what I feared about what Ock is doing with Spider-Man is coming to pass.  That in the discarding of Peter’s memories and consciousness, Ock, though he still has that sense of power and responsibility, he still has that villainous streak; that he’ll do anything and everything to get his way.  I guess in this way he’s solidifying himself as a kind of villainous anti-hero.  These are actions and qualities that I would not normally associate with Spider-Man but then i guess that’s the point in establishing a different Spider-Man than what has come before.

Despite whatever reservations I have about Spider-Man currently, the story is there and it’s good.  However, as is common in comics, the story arc, which is admittedly good, is capped off.  However,  in both ending the current arc and setting up the next arc, the story seems rushed.  At the same time though, the themes are solid, which is fairly difficult in an issue that’s clearly trying to do a lot.

-I give it a 4 out of 5

What did you think of the issue?  Would love to hear from you so leave some comments.

(note: I know this is late but went on vacation so I will try to put more comic reviews out sooner)

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