Superior Spider-man Team-Up #1 review

Octo-Spidey is attacking New York’s superheroes. Has Ock finally reverted to his evil ways? Also starring the Avengers.

 Superior cover (528x800)

Superior Spider-man Team-Up #1

Writer: Christopher Yost

Pencils: David Lopez

Inks: Andy Owens

Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover Art: Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera


Spoilers to follow after the break:


The Plot: Cloak & Dagger are taking down some muggers when Octo-Spidey arrives and punches Dagger in the face. We then see news reports of Spidey attacking Daredevil, Gravity, Power Man & Iron Fist, Sun Girl, Moon Knight and Dr. Strange in succession.


This causes Captain America to decide that Spidey is breaking his Avengers probation and he assembles the team. Spidey meanwhile is just finishing with the Fantastic Four B-team when the Avengers arrive: the six heroes from the movie plus Captain (Ms.) Marvel and Hyperion.

 Superior Avengers (764x800)

Spidey is easily subdued by Thor and Hulk. Spidey tries to warn Iron Man to seal his faceplate because there is a virus on the loose. As they talk Hyperion is infected—for those who don’t know he’s a Superman analog, and he attacks the Avengers taking down the powerhouses first. We learn the Carrion virus has been jumping from superhuman host to host all day and has now found the perfect body. Only Cap and Hawkeye are left to buy time for Octo-Spidey to concoct an antidote. That doesn’t go well but Thor recovers in the nick of time, followed by Hulk and Marvel. Together they keep Hyperion busy long enough for Ock to blast him with some science doohickey and end the threat.


Cap tries to tell Spidey he was wrong to put him on probation but Ock blows him off. In his sea-lab Ock decides he needs a team of his own and we reference the imprisoned Sinister Six. And then in the most horrifying single comic page I’ve seen in over a decade Carrion reforms in the Jackal’s secret base where we see he is growing batches of clones again.

 Superior face punch (754x800)

Critical Thoughts: Ignoring the last page, I liked this for the most part. The main plot of Octo-Spidey attacking random heroes, got me. His punching of Dagger is particularly brutal and it seemed like he was just attacking these low level heroes to prove his superiority and I was wondering and how they were going to get out if it with the news coverage. And then we learn it’s not what it looks like. The jumping virus works for this story but it’s not how I’d want to see Carrion presented going forward. Still this story shows some of the intrigue of the Octo-Spidey concept: as readers we can never be sure of what we’re seeing or how far he will go.


But in the name of the holy that last page practically made me break out in hives because I still have post traumatic stress disorder from having lived through the Clone Saga. I hate the Clone Saga. I detest the Clone Saga. It’s far away the worst thing to ever happen to Spider-man. Or comics. Or the written word. If machines ever take over the world they will need to send Terminators back in time to prevent it from being written lest the human resistance upload a copy and melt their logic circuits.

Superior horrors (699x800)

True story, the Clone Saga was so damn awful it made me quit reading comic books for 10 years. Not just Spider-man but all comic-books. It just got to the point where it was so meandering and awful on every conceivable level that I walked away and found other hobbies to spend my money on. And it wasn’t until I read in USA Today in 2006 that Spider-man was unmasking in Civil War that I walked into a comic book store again. Happy ending I discovered trades a year later and learned some fantastic Spidey stories happened in the early 00’s thanks to JMS and Millar; also I’m just finishing much of the Jenkins run and holy cow do I love his take on Spidey and his villains. So yea in my opinion Marvel struck the right balance in that time period in which there seemed to be an unspoken bargain in which they agreed to never reference the events of the Clone Saga ever again and we as readers agreed ‘well okay, in that case we can enjoy Spider-man again.’  Sadly, the past few years they’ve been going back on that and referencing Clone Saga events, which can only cause insanity, brain aneurisms and bad stories.


Grade: The first 26-pages of the book had an interesting plot and get a B-; the last page involves the Clone Saga which means it transcends the traditional scale of terrible and thus an F is not a low enough grade so I give it a G for Go Away.



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(24) Comments

  1. Big Al

    To #22 and 23- I totally agree. For me it is more important that the characters act true to themselves than be changed for the needs of the plot. Like if the plot requires you to write one or more major characters out of character, that means you should not do that story in the first place.

  2. hornacek

    Roger Ebert called this the Idiot Plot syndrome where everyone in a movie had to act like an idiot otherwise the plot would be resolved in 10 minutes.

  3. Jack Brooks

    It is very weird that Captain America says he was wrong for probating Spider-Man -- for summarily executing an unarmed, defeated, and no-powers man kneeling in the streets. The Avengers were wrong? The Avengers should have arrested him. They ought to re-name this entire story-line "Superior Stupidity", since all the plot-hinges turn on a character or set of characters being intellectually ignorant or acting irrationally.

  4. hornacek

    I predict that issue's letter grade will be the symbol that Prince temporarily changed his name to.

  5. Big Al

    #20 if the issue with Kaine has the Jackal as well we might see a letter grade in a different alphabet altogether

  6. hornacek

    I don't mind a reviewer giving some background information about themselves, especially for the first issue of a series, as long as it's relevant to the issue. Hopefully a hatred of the Clone Saga will not make him review future issues with Kaine unfairly. Oh wait, he gave the last page an F solely based on the appearance of the Jackal. Ruh-roh.

  7. WebbedSentry

    Honestly, I didn't enjoy your review since it pretty much devolved into a rant of the Clone Saga, and if you hate the Clone Saga that much you may as well not review the title since it will be having Kaine pop up which is clone Saga related so clearly you will hate the issue by default.

  8. fantasyfreak

    That look on Cloaks face when Ock is punching Dagger is unintentionally hilarious IMO :) Can anyone explain to me what the deal with that stupid suit is, that Hulk is wearing? I haven´t been reading the Hulk book (partially because of it) so I don´t know. Also, I´m liking this new suit Ock has suprisingly more than I thought I would. Anyone else feel the same?

  9. DadaHyena

    Nothing excited me more than seeing Ock's choices for the Sinister Six (or soon to be Superior Six?). While I'm not crazy about Mysterio's replacement (of which he has several by now), I am glad that Ock has included the Vulture. Perhaps he's ready to forgive him...or just put his boney old butt to work doing his deeds! But who will fill that last tank? Rhino? Kraven? Lizard? J. Jonah Jameson?

  10. Big Al

    @#14 But the idea of Kaine is far from terrible. He is basically a dark reflection of Peter Parker twisted by circumstance. And in more modern times he’s basically evolved into Peter Parker is he was more violent and more cynical and seeks redemption, i.e. his own character who can do things which Peter Parker would never do. Ben is a good character mainly though: -his inexperience (he hadn’t fought as many fights as Peter had) -his job at the coffee house (not done with Peter) -his unique supporting cast (his boss/mother figure Shirley, his father figure Seward Trainer, etc) -his own villains (Lady Ock, who was Seward’s daughter and wanted to kill him which makes it personal for Ben) -his unique love interests (Janine, who was as damaged as he was and Jessica who was a spidey photographer for real and the daughter of Uncle Ben’s killer, also never been done with Pete and never needs to be) - his different relationships with established characters (Ben saw Felicia more as a criminal than Peter did and she saw him as someone who had to prove himself). - his relationship to Peter. He was basically Spider-Man’s brother, which is something you can genuinely say had never been done in Spider-Man before. It was an entirely new relationship dynamic to explore. Essentially Ben and Kaine are in a way Spider-Man’s versions of Nightwing, Supergirl, or War Machine. They’ve got strong ties to another hero but have their own unique identity and related characters. I NEVER saw Ben as a guy I wanted to REPLACE Spider-Man with. I saw him as a guy who’d I’d want to read about ALONGSIDE Spider-Man, either in Spidey’s book (as his bro) or in his own book. And that was the original plan before DeFalco got fired. I’m quite enjoying this back and forth we have going, but I’m gonna PM you because I wouldn’t want to clog up the comments section anymore.

  11. BillWuzHere - Post author

    To #8, while I admit issue 400 was a beautiful story (until they completely reversed it a year later) our fundamental disagreement would be the idea that characters of Ben Reilly and Kane have any value whatsoever. Everyone complains about Judas Traveler and Scrier--and they are indeed terrible characters too--but I'd honestly forgotten they had existed until I read JR's article on the Clone Saga a couple years ago. No what makes the Clone Saga awful is the clones themselves. That's what I mean when I say the Clone Saga kept doubling ideas over and over again. While the idea that Spiderman has a clone and there is some confusion over who is who maybe could have had narrative value is a far different story than the one we got: the idea that the clone has another evil clone is just terrible. The idea that they then all have yet another even more evil clone whose name is frickin' Freakface should be the worst idea ever, and yet somehow they sink even lower with an entire frickin town of clones of the same person while at the same town the maker of the clones also cloning himself as both a zombie and a midget. And on that note I need to scrub my brain with a brillo pad

  12. Big Al

    @#9 In fairness these kinds of things have been happening for years but, still we live in the internet age. E-mail each other or e-mail Wacker. It isn't all that hard. I'm gonna give them a pass on this one instance but then theres stuff like "Spider-Man and Flash's Venom have NEVER met and we made sure of that...except that time they totally did meet...whoops" @#10 Yeah. To me personally I think this is kind of like the fall out from Peter being the clone. People didn't like that and felt it hung over the series. Except that it hung over it for little over one year whilst in OMD's case it's lasted longer and worse, has been ignored more or less by the stories themselves.

  13. hornacek

    @7, 8 - Regarding how OMD was only four issues, Big Al is right in saying that its fallout is still being felt years later. In effect, it's a story that didn't end and it will never end until Peter defeats Mephisto and reverses the deal. Until that happens, Spider-Man made a deal with the devil and the devil won and that will always be hanging over his head.

  14. hornacek

    @8 - I would hope that Yost and Slott would coordinate more on character development and continuity (isn't that Wacker's job?) seeing as how they're writing the 2 Spidey books. In a recent podcast someone mentions how in SSM SpOck seems to have a soft spot for children when he helps Cardiac save the little girl except in that month's Avenging book where he babysits the FF and says that he hates kids.

  15. Big Al

    @#7 It went on for 2 years and 2-3 months but now I'm just being padantic :) My point was that the Clone Saga wasn't a story. It was an era of Spider-Man which, as with all eras, had good and bad. The bad was reaaaaaaaaaaaly bad but there was also a lot of really great stuff about it as well like ASM #400 and the Lost Years, not to mention Ben and Kaine as characters themselves. The Clone Saga had redeeming values to go along with the bad stuff (which OMD did not unless you liked the art). Plus the fallout of OMD is still ongoing, I think it's been like 5 years now. @#5 Yeah Yost dropped the ball on that one although Slott set up this crazy scenario in the first place

  16. BillWuzHere - Post author

    To #3, I fully concede that One More Day is an awful ill-conceived story that even if you accept what marvel hoped to accomplish with it, still went about it in the worst possible way. However, it is only four issues which is such a minor percentage of the awful that is the Clone Saga. That thing went on for like three years at four issues a month plus an interminable tie-in mini-series. It was the suck that refused to die and just kept on doubling down on bad ideas over and over and over again without a bottom. To #6 Yes, the jumping virus is Carrion. Of course there is no explanation for why it can do that now, we're treading into Clone Saga continuity thus logic need not apply.

  17. hornacek

    Also, I didn't read the issue, but is the virus that's jumping from person to person actually Carrion? Can he now transform himself into a virus? When did this happen?

  18. hornacek

    My comment from this morning didn't post. :( But I will reiterate that I find it funny that "Cap tries to tell Spidey he was wrong to put him on probation". Didn't he put him on probation because he shot Massacre on the face? Sure there were other little things, like beating up the Jester and whatserface, but how does SpOck resolving this virus issue change Cap's mind about putting him on probation? "Gee, I really didn't like it when you shot that guy who had surrendered, but shucks, the way you resolved this other completely-unrelated issue makes me realize I was wrong about putting you on probation. First prize!"

  19. Kevin Cushing

    Wow, so I'm guessing your review of the SSMTU half of the Scarlet Spider crossover next issue isn't going to be positive, huh? It'll be weird if I'M the positive one! Personally I really liked this issue, and thought it was a big improvement over recent Avenging issues. I'd probably have given it an A. Maybe this just isn't the book for you?

  20. Big Al

    I think you're too harsh on the Clone Saga. It was so big that parts of it were bad but other parts were awesome, and really it's not One More Day bad. That ending does scare me though. Maximum Clonage II

  21. Enigma_2099

    I like this guy. He's the perfect anti-thesis for Spideydude. I LOVE mirror matches!

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