THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN! That’s right folks. Forget Superior Spider-Man #1, forget Amazing Spider-Man #700. The Superior Spider-Man’s real first appearance was a surprise one on the final page of Daredevil #21, released on December 19, 2012, the week before ASM #700.
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Chris Samnee
Color Art: Javier Rodriguez
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Paolo Rivera
Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
Editor: Stephen Wacker
THE STORY: Daredevil and a villain named Coyote are overrun by some prisoners Coyote released, and something’s going on with, I think, a teleporter dampening machine being powered by The Spot. Daredevil gets them out of it, but The Spot gets REALLY screwed up (we’re talking hands coming out of all different places), and Coyote pretty much starts crying like a little girl. He explains his origin as a regular guy who was given the Spot treatment by a machine powered by The Spot (not the same one, evidently…), and he’s being controlled by “them.” Spot starts melting and drags Coyote into one of his black holes, but not before Coyote admits to the murder that Foggy’s current client has been framed for.
Matt and Foggy have a fight over Foggy turning his back on Matt when he thought Matt was losing his mind. And it turns out Foggy talked to a mutual friend named Kristen McDuffie who’s an assistant DA, making her think Daredevil may be unstable.
In an epilogue, Kristen is talking to someone about helping out with Daredevil, and that someone is revealed to be the Superior Spider-Man, who promises to crush him!
MY THOUGHTS: Sweet Christmas, this is a difficult issue to review. Here’s why: On the one hand, I do think it’s fair to review it as someone who picked up this issue cold because I heard Spider-Man appeared in it. I am surely FAR from the only one to do so, and in that context I found it hard to get anything out of the issue before the last two pages. But on the other hand, I have no desire to skewer a comic book simply because I came in on the end of an arc, not knowing if the full arc may have, in fact, been quite good.
On that first hand, I have to say this issue didn’t really hold up when read cold. The only other issues of this Daredevil run I’ve read are the other two with Spider-Man appearances (Daredevil #8 and Daredevil #11) so I have no familiarity with the Coyote arc outside of its promos. But I feel like the ending here is a little bit of a let down, even for me. I’ve seen Coyote billed as some kind of big new badass villain for DD, and the bits they’re talking about from previous issues sounds like he was on track to be just that. But in the end it turns out he was just a regular guy who was used and is now terrified of The Spot. Let me say that again – he’s terrified of THE SPOT. Remember the Legion of Losers? Yeah, that Spot. Here we have him crawling around with a bunch of arms coming out of all his holes (don’t take it that way, it’s not dirty) and Coyote is pooping his pants. And in the end? Yeah, he appears to be taken out by The Spot. Who is melting at the time. Somehow. Yeah, big ol’ badass scary villain that Coyote turned out to be.
I also, for the record, have no idea who these prisoners are even having read the full review page. It says Coyote let them out, but it also suggests they were his prisoners. It seems later that they all at one time were wearing these teleportation dampening collars, too, but I have no idea why. And they were out of it for some reason, but…yeah I have no idea why. These things obviously wouldn’t be a problem if you were a DD reader, but for someone like me, I feel like we could have at least made this a bit clearer in the recap page.
That said, there were some nice things in this issue. Matt’s letter to Milla, his ex-wife (or maybe still current?), was very nice. Also the art by Chris Samnee was quite good throughout, particularly in the argument between Matt and Foggy. There’s some nice storytelling and he does particularly good with the layouts for the talking heads. Whatever else, this is definitely a nice comic to look at.
And finally, the reason for this review, the last two pages debuting the Superior Spider-Man, while obviously just a tease, were a very good tease. We get the ADA talking to someone off camera about DD potentially becoming a loose cannon and why she needs outside help, and when we see that she’s talking to Spider-Man he says that he will “crush him.” Much to the surprise of the ADA! This is a very good tease for a different kind of Spider-Man/DD “team-up” next issue and I am definitely looking forward to it.
You should see from the review, of course, that this is not a necessary issue to buy for the Spider-Man appearance unless you’re a real completest. Next issue, though, looks to be one we should all pay attention to!
GRADE: 2.5 cameos out of 5. This is not a strong issue on its own, but it is the end of an arc so take that for what it’s worth. It does have a nice Superior Spider-Man tease, but it is not a necessary read for Spidey fans.