THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #10
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Ryan Stegman
INKS: Stegman & Cam Smith
COLOR ART: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER ART: Marcos Martin
- Without the nagging voice of Ghost Peter holding him back, Otto does . . . basically the same things he’s been doing: brutalizing criminals, screaming out loud that he makes for “a better hero than you all deserve!” as he swings around, and overall being a the same smug Spider-Man we’ve seen for ten issues going.
- Otto targets New York’s crime lords, including Owl, White Dragon, and Tombstone. Meanwhile, Green Goblin cult members recruit the each toppled boss’s henchmen to form an army of Goblin acolytes.
- ”Peter” blows off Mary Jane when she tries talking to him. She finds that odd.
- Carlie Cooper and Captain Watanabe investigate Massacre’s death, but the cops and eyewitnesses are lying to protect Spidey. Only through Carlie’s autopsy can they confirm that Spider-Man shot a helpless Massacre at point blank range.
- The Green Goblin tampers with Otto’s spider-bots and sends the Vulture former child minions, now dressed as Goblin Babies, to pumpkin bomb Mary Jane’s nightclub. Otto notifies the fire department to handle it.
- At family dinner, Aunt May asks “Peter” not to associate with Spider-Man due to his brutally beating Screwball. A debate erupts between Jamesons junior and senior over Spider-Man’s tactics, with junior taking Spidey’s side and senior calling Spidey a fascist.
- ”Peter” has desert with Anna Maria Marconi. They kiss! Is it “rape-by-deception”? You decide in the comments section!
- The Green Goblin gathers his followers underground, declaring himself “The Goblin King.”
Having Ghost Peter excised from this book almost feels like a tumor was removed. His floating in the corner of every panel, spouting incessant, annoying, crazy town banana pants commentary will not be missed. I probably shouldn’t be so happy to have Peter (or a “piece” of Peter, or whatever Ghost Peter was) flushed out of a Spider-Man book. I should probably curse Slott’s name for making me hate my favorite character that much in the first place. I’ll get there eventually. Right now I’m in the relief phase.
I don’t perceive much difference in Otto’s behavior due to Ghost Peter’s absence yet. It’s pretty much business as usual in Superior Spiderville. But all the page space saved by cutting Ghost Peter goes toward significant progression for many subplots. The Goblin built his army and perpetrated his first act of aggression by bombing MJ’s nightclub, Otto’s relationship with Anna Maria escalates, Octo-Spidey pummels some villains, several supporting characters make appearances, and we see at least some investigation into the fact that Spider-Man murdered someone. With one exception, its all good stuff. A multitude of small developments add up to a worthwhile “day in the life” type issue.
That one exception to my approval is Carlie and Watanabe’s investigation into Massacre’s death. I feel like a broken record consistently griping over the post-Massacre subplot review after review, but it keeps sucking. Now Slott means us to understand that the general public never learned of Spidey’s lethal deed because the police and the witnesses lied for Spidey’s benefit. The only reason Carlie and Watanabe even know it happened is because Carlie autopsied Massacre and diagnosed him with getting shot in the head by Spider-Man. First of all, it isn’t plausible that no one would have exposed the truth. Someone would have sold cell phone footage of Spidey popping Massacre to the press. Second, were there no cameras in Grand Central Station? Wasn’t Massacre’s whole plan to achieve maximum publicity so that people would see him killing folks wearing a Mocha Cola t-shirt, thereby tarnishing Mocha Cola’s brand? Third, how did the Avengers learn that it happened? I should not be this confused about who knows what and how, and that’s an egregious symptom of unclear writing.
But everything else is pretty good. I have no complaints, for example, regarding Stegman’s art. He draws a wicked-looking Green Goblin.
Speaking of the Goblin, he’s returning to his Ditko-era roots, trying to take over the criminal underworld. That’s quite an about-face from his recent portrayal as a high-level global Avengers villain. The back to basics–waaaay back to basics–approach refreshingly reintroduces the character to Spider-Man’s sandbox while shrugging off some of the burnout readers like me felt regarding his character thanks to his overexposure on the larger stage. I’m hankering for a good Norman Osborn story more than I thought I’d be.
Of course, that’s assuming this Goblin is actually Norman, and not some lame substitute. There can be no substitute for pitting Octo-Spidey against Peter’s other arch nemesis. This series needs to tell that story.
I don’t know what to make of the Green Goblin calling himself “The Goblin King.” Members of our message board might remember that a character with the same moniker appeared in a story written by Kevin Cushing. But no, I am not accusing Dan Slott of ripping off Kevin . . .
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