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