The conclusion to the Sinister Six arc
Superior Spider-man Team-Up #7
Writer: Christopher Yost
Artist: Marco Checchetto & Paco Diaz
Color Art: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera
Spoilers to follow after the break:
The Plot: In somewhat jarring beginning from where we left off last issue, The Sinister Six has already captured Octo-Spidey, Sun Girl is presumed dead and Lightmaster is back and an emotional wreck because of his daughter’s presumed death; and they are all on top of the Empire State Building.
With Lightmaster unable to help the Six reactivate the teleporter, Vulture throws him off the top of the Empire State Building. Sandman meanwhile has inexplicably grown so large he dwarfs the Empire State Building. Like I know we’ve seem him grow in the past on beaches (or at stone quarry in Spider-Man 3) but I don’t think we’ve ever seen him grow this large. The scale in this picture means he’s like 100-times larger than King Kong or Godzilla style monsters; and I severely doubt there is that much sand lying around the streets of NYC.
Sun Girl either falls from the sky or reforms from an energy state (the art is vague) and then flies up and saves her dad. Vulture and Mysterio(n) are sent to intercept as apparently fake Mysterio can fly now. Electro decides if Lightmaster and Sun Girl can power up the teleporter so can he, but Ock warns him he has more power than they do and will blow up Manhattan if he attempts it. Electro doesn’t care. Of course you’d think Chameleon and the other Sinister Six members would care since of them only Sandman could possibly survive something like that.
Ock nearly reveals himself to the Six as he tries to talk sense into them but the device starts to power up. We then get a reaction shot of the other major heroes in NYC as the sky glows which begs the question why they aren’t on the scene already? Did they not notice the 2,000-foot tall Sandman rampaging a few pages ago?
Anyway Sun Girl frees Spidey. Spidey takes down Chameleon and Electro with ease. Mysterion runs away. Ock tries to talk sense into Sandman, who has a past as a hero thus should be the least likely to blow up a city but Sandman is so enraged and disillusioned by Ock’s mind control he doesn’t care anymore. Sun Girl shoots a laser through Sandman’s head and he disintegrates. Just as the machine is about to go critical she zaps it was a laser too, which blows it up without blowing up everything else.
Sun Girl also expresses disappointment in Spider-man. Ock reflects on how he has let down Peter with his actions as the authorities arrive.
Critical Thoughts: The interpersonal relationships are really well written but the action scenes are a total mess. The opening is so jarring I thought I had missed an issue by third page and went back to dig up last issue and check the issue numbers before I continued reading. I also have no idea what Sun Girl’s powers are. Like my assumption until this issue has been she had no powers just gear (namely a jet pack and laser gun) she stole from her dad. Now she may or may not be turning into energy. The art is vague and the narration doesn’t fill us in. Did the teleporter last issue energize her? Is that why everyone thought she was dead at the start issue? Did she then reform and thus the gizmo gave her energy transformation powers? This has happened to her dad before (most famously in the Dazzler team-up) so it’s possible. But it is also possible she was just thrown from the scene of the explosion and fell from the sky when she reappears in this story. The art is vague and there is no narration to clue us in. Speaking of vague powers Sandman and Mysterio are suddenly manifesting powers I’ve never seen them have before with no explanation. The art is unclear in several scenes involving the villains. Mysterio and Chameleon also fill similar roles in several scenes.
In addition the ending implies the whole city is going to be mad at Octo-Spidey. But how will anyone know he mind-controlled these guys? Even if the villains said he did it, why would anyone believe them.
All that aside there were several character touches I liked. The references to Sandman’s heroic past and fake Mysterio wanting to just go home. I think I like Chameleon’s psycho edge in this story, although I can see arguments that he has been a coward before Chameleon’s schtick lets him change personalities fairly often and he can claim it was for some ruse/plot. I like the Sun Girl/Lightmaster stuff. She shows potentials although we could have used more back-story and clearly defined her powers to strengthen her introduction.