Superior Spider-Man #29 Review: AndrewRoebuck’s Take (Spoilers)

The reign of Goblin terror continues this time striking someone Otto may have some affection towards DUN DUN DUUUUN.

“Goblin Nation, Part 3”
PLOT: Dan Slott
SCRIPT: Christos Gage
PENCILS: Giuseppe Camuncoli
INKS: John Dell
COLOR: Antonio Fabela
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
EDITOR: Ellie Pyle

MAIN PLOT: The issue begins with Lilly Hollister regrouping with The Green Goblin Ana Maria in tow. Lilly becomes immediately distressed when she discovers via news broadcast that Carlie is missing and presumed dead along with Peter. The Goblin is disappointed Peter went out so easily and decides to ramp up his game. Meanwhile all of our complaints from a few reviews ago are answered in a single page: The Avengers are busy with collateral damage, so is Cardiac, oh and Glory Grant finally gives Jonah a reminder of his wife’s final words. Jonah gives a sad face and then initiates the Spider-Slayers.

Mary Jane stops driving and gets a call from Peter who lets her know he is fine but is busy at work so his family must be calmed down and kept safe. Switching to the other side of the phone call Peter is hard at work attempting to reverse the Goblin formula within Carlie. Halfway through the process he is interrupted as the Goblin hacks his phone and lets him know everything he has achieved in his life has been destroyed. As Otto realizes the weight of his mistakes the Goblin lets him in on another secret that he has kidnapped someone from Empire State University. Otto barges into where his classmate is being held except :O its Doctor Lamaze! Otto laughs in the Goblins face who annoyed yet again decides to turn Otto’s arms against him, as they start attacking him Lamaze leaps in front of an arm and gets stabbed saving the Superior Spider-Man. In anguish Otto chases after the Goblin but is sideswiped by an army of SPIDER-SLAYERS. Spider-Man 2099 shows up and deactivates the Spider Slayers…but they are reactivated with a new master at the helm NORMAN OSBOURN…or at least Norman Osborn’s face.

STORY: This is an issue that suffers the mid-storyline curse. It has some action, and shocking moments but on a whole it doesn’t really do anything amazing it is mostly an issue that repeats story beats from its predecessors. The Goblin again destroys something Otto has built up, Peter abandons Sajani again, Spider-slayers show up…again. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It answers a few questions like where the Avengers have been, and it answers definitively that The Goblin doesn’t know that it’s Peter under the mask. Now it’s not a bad issue in any sense of the word it just feels very repetitive. I did enjoy the continuity tidbits in this issue such as Jonah getting reminded on his wife’s last words, and the specific references to Otto’s past. It was also nice to see that The Living Brain is still out and about. I am glad he is still a member in this puzzle.

The biggest complaint about this issue however has to do with the fact that The Green Goblin does not know his secret identity. Are you telling me he hacked into Otto’s personal phone line in which he directly talks to Mary Jane and clearly uses as a Peter Parker phone line and still doesn’t know who is under the mask? Another thing that bugged me was the Goblins use of the word “Midget” I understand it is the villain using the term but it is thrown out there without any condemnation of the word. I don’t mean to sound like I am being overly politically correct but I’ve read Slott himself talking about the term and saying that it shouldn’t be used and that some people see it as offensive. Again this may just be more of a personal thing and not a huge deal, still it bugged me somewhat. The death of Lamaze was also a sad addition to this story, I understand why it was required from a character standpoint but it feels to me as if it’s a pointless death. This is a character that will never be brought back (similar to Slott killing Dr. Khafka earlier in the series) and has any future story ideas evaporated. It is sad to see someone kill off a supporting cast member that still has the ability to render good stories.

ART: Love the artwork this issue, Camuncoli really fleshes out every detail and background within a scene. Specifically the Mary Jane section felt particularly well rendered. He also has a multitude of little things hidden in the background. For example there is a Stark Expo sign as Otto rushes through the city, and oddly enough when Green Goblin is laughing about destroying Otto’s world you can clearly see a sign saying “Marla Jameson” (this is the place in which the Goblin has Lamaze later in the issue). Overall top notch stuff from Camuncoli and it really helps to bump up the excitement in an otherwise repetitive issue.

ODDITIES: Sooooo The Living Brain…he is just…back? Nothing happened to him last issue? While I am glad to see his return I was surprised as it seemed last issue that Monster gave him a whooping. The fact that during Otto’s mindscape scenes he is always wearing the same green jumpsuit…come on guys give us at least a taste of some of his other outfits. AN editor’s note oh my we rarely get a glimpse at those nowadays. The fact that while the city is in flames Spider-Man 2099 is willing to sit there and interrogate Otto. How is it that 2099 stood idle for so long as the city was destroyed? The Goblins laughter…my god he laughs more than the Joker in this arc.The final oddity to bring up is Mary Jane dismissing Peter saying he never could handle it when a woman raised her voice. This just kind of bugged me Peter has always seemed capable of having a rational argument with Mary Jane in the past, and the fact the she relates Otto’s rude dismissal as a Parkeresque trait seems totally off. Peter would never in a million years use that condescending tone with Mary Jane.

BEST BACKGROUND CHARACTER: Don Lamaze has to get this one for me, he will probably not be remembered fondly and soon forgotten but I thoroughly enjoyed his character. He brought a nice comedic edge to a book that has been for the most part quite dark in tone. His blundering attempts to thwart his students were laughable but at the same time understandable. When you aren’t respected it is very difficult to compose yourself professionally. Lost but not forgotten…goodbye Mr. Lamaze.

ON THE NEXT SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN:  The Goblins destroy Otto’s beloved pet Octy the Octopus, and the original set of Otto’s arms comes in and saves the day.


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(15) Comments

  1. Jason

    @3 "He’ll probably be a submissive coward who urinates himself every time something happens." This cracked me up!! Does anybody else find it odd The Goblin knows so much about Otto's past? Just makes me think The Goblin is someone closer to Otto than Spider-Man.

  2. AndrewRoebuck - Post author

    @8-10 Good catch Hornacek it has been fixed! Also I understand what you are saying about the Green Goblin thing I am just surprised there wasn't more soapboxing behind its use. Yes Ghost Peter was in this issue but for one panel which sums up exactly what happened last issue and I really didn't think mattered enough for a mention haha.

  3. hornacek

    Regarding Norman using the term "midget", he's a villain, he's supposed to do things that make him look bad. Not every bad guy has to be polite or politically correct. It reminds me of the BND issues where Chameleon is disguised as Peter and has sex with Michelle and readers were saying "he raped her!" and Marvel immediately back-pedaled because they couldn't have a villain doing something that bad. They're bad guys, they're supposed to do illegal and evil things. Poor Lamaze. I can't think of you without hearing Chris' "You'll rue the day!" impression. Was there no ghost peter in this issue?

  4. hornacek

    @1 - "I think this just reinforces my belief that Slott just likes to make up “traits” that Peter has ..." Like Peter being willing to sacrifice a little girl in order to protect his own safety? I was really hoping that Kevin was right when the podcast reviewed SSM #9 and that that Ghost Peter was not the real Peter but just a photocopy of the Parker memories that were not complete and therefore would make mistakes/decisions that the real Peter would not. But the fact that Slott chose to make Ghost Peter the real Peter and therefore have Otto's declaration to Peter about Peter's willingness to sacrifice the little girl for his own safety be accurate and therefore Peter wasn't worthy of being Spider-Man ... well, no matter what Slott has ever said or ever will say about being a super-fan of Spidey, because of that it shows to me that he does not understand the character at all. I've probably mentioned this before, so sorry if I'm beating a dead horse. But when it comes to giving characters new traits for the sake of the plot, that's at the top of my list. And I can't forgive Slott for that - character assassination at its worst.

  5. hornacek

    Did Slott do the Plot and Script? Stillanerd's review says Plot by Dan Slott, Script by Christos Gage. I found it strange that your review would identify who wrote the Plot and who wrote the Script when they were both the same guy.

  6. Phantom Roxas

    @5: Oh, but she couldn't! Alas, her super special awesome love powers made it so that she can sense that Peter is still in his mind even the phone! Alas, her power's greatest weakness extends even to talking with someone over the phone!

  7. Adam S.

    Mary Jane should definitely have figured out by now that something is terribly wrong with Peter during that phone conversation, I mean damn.

  8. Lockdown

    Yeah, who is this Peter Parker that keeps being used as moron. Not the Peter I've been reading all these years. I'll have my review on Friday.

  9. Gary

    Agreed with the criticism of Slott making it seem like Peter is this whimpering wuss who can't hold himself together when a woman raises her voice. It's like Slott just wants to further degrade Peter more than he already has. Who knows what Slott's going to do to Peter once he's back. He'll probably be a submissive coward who urinates himself every time something happens.

  10. Gary

    Lamaze was a good supporting character who could render good stories? He was only used once! This was only the second time he's done anything since almost ruining Otto's doctorate chances as Peter. He's a minor character. I classify supporting cast as people like MJ, Jonah, Aunt May, Jonah Sr., Sajani, etc

  11. Phantom Roxas

    "This just kind of bugged me Peter has always seemed capable of having a rational argument with Mary Jane in the past, and the fact the she relates Otto’s rude dismissal as a Parkeresque trait seems totally off. Peter would never in a million years use that condescending tone with Mary Jane." Criticisms of this kind don't seem really new to Slott's run. I think this just reinforces my belief that Slott just likes to make up "traits" that Peter has, just so Slott can justify HIS beliefs about what the franchise should be like. Anyway… two more issues. Two more issues, and we can put this idiocy behind us. I hope.

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