“Goblin Nation, Part 4”
PLOT: Dan Slott
SCRIPT: Christos Gage
PENCILS: Giuseppe Camuncoli
INKS: John Dell and Terry Pallot
COLOR: Antonio Fabela
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
MAIN PLOT: Starting the exact moment last issue left off, Otto and Spider-Man 2099 are in battle with the rogue Spider-Slayers. After taking a few out The Goblin begins to unravel his latest plan telling him that the only way he can save Ana Maria is to abandon Spider-Man 2099 to fight the slayers on his own. 2099 calls his bluff but Otto is already long gone reminiscing about his failure stating he is not the master planner. He wonders to himself what would Peter do as he races towards the Goblin underground. Meanwhile Jonah is sowing the seeds of his own destruction as he tries to deal with the fallout from the Spider-Slayer mishap. He attempts to blame Oscorp for the deadly mishap but is debunked when a reporter gets in contact with Liz Allan who promptly lets the public know she did not endorse the early deployment of the machines. Switching to Allan’s perspective we see her interrupted by a tired looking Normie Osborn claiming to have forgotten something inside her office, Allan exclaims she is busy running a company and cannot be interrupted. All the while behind her back she hides a GOBLIN MASK…dun dun dun.
Peter Parker inside of Otto’s mind is living the last few issues of Amazing Spider-Man still under the delusion that he is Otto. In a triumphant scene it is Peter’s final act in Amazing Spider-Man #700 that saves him. He is flooded with all of his heroic memories, and even his downfalls. With a renewed sense of self Peter is back, ready to reclaim his mind.
Meanwhile Otto has his internal monologue interrupted by Menace who leads him to their hostage. Amy Chen the little girl Otto rescued way back in Superior Spider-Man #8. For a moment Otto hesitates, when a new and improved Peter Parker pops up and tells him to jump. Otto saves the girl and Peter demands his mind back telling him he will do whatever it takes. Otto agrees and without a fight he goes back to Parker industries. It is here Otto removes all of his memories, and relinquishes control back to Peter. Otto is now gone, with naught but a tear remaining. Peter the real Peter then goes to his closet and grabs the classic red and blue costume. Stating “now its my turn”.
STORY: Holy crap this issue is Amazing, Spectacular, Sensational, Web Of – okay maybe not Web of but you get my point this is a damn fine issue. It encapsulates everything that has made Superior such a fun read, and delivers some huge surprises. I did not expect Liz Allan at all, no one expected Liz Allan. Everyone was guessing all kinds of crazy theories and we never once saw what was right in front of our eyes. This is a big deal, Liz has been in Spider books from the very beginning this is a Lee Ditko, issue #1 character. While the timing is off for her to be the sole Goblin for all of Goblin Nation she still clearly had a large role in this event. With her past characterization this isn’t an unbelievable reveal. I recently read Spectacular Spider-Man #200 and in that book she was very mentally unstable. Liz Allan has always had a tough life, and it is believable that eventually she’d snap.
While I could talk for pages on the Liz Allan reveal I do need to give some space for the tragic end of Otto as Spider-Man. He had a good run, and he did accomplish some fantastic feats. The idea of him wiping out all of his memories to fully sacrifice himself for Peter is truly touching. It shows that deep down Otto knows that what he did to Peter was wrong. His biggest tragedy however is dying without ever seeing the end of Goblin Nation. He doesn’t go with peace he goes with the knowledge that Ana Maria is still in danger, and that all of his accomplishments have been undone. It is a tragic end to a tragic character. It was interesting
for him to give Peter an honest view of himself, and an honest view of Parker. He really speaks to the core of the Spider-Man mythology. This issue also makes a lot of my complaints in previous reviews seem sort of silly as it all ties together really well.
The only miniscule complaint about this issue is the fact that Iron Man is berating Cardiac for Illegal medicine practices. HEY TONY…THAT THING IN YOUR HEART? YEAH THAT IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF EXPERIMENTS HE IS DOING FOR THESE PATIENTS. It’s just there to set up an Amazing Spider-Man story down the line. Along with this it seems that Jameson is finally going to stop being Mayor. I figured that this was only going to be temporary but it is curious to think with Jameson will go from here. He can’t really go back to being a newspaper publisher, so where does Jonah go from here?
ART: Perfect artwork that has one of the greatest splash pages I’ve ever seen. The sequence of Peter coming back is not only inspiring it’s breathtaking. I want to get a huge version of the sequence and hang it on my wall it’s that good! Along with this Camuncoli captures every page with an expertise that he has shown throughout this series. Camuncoli has been one of the standout aspects of Superior that really made the series work. He is quickly cementing himself as a Spider artist to remember.
ODDITIES: See that tear Parker collects at the end of the issue, yeah that is going to play a part in the return of Otto in a future storyline down the road…believe me. Where is the B-list villain army that the Goblins got from issue #26? They haven’t appeared at all during any of the big showdowns, so hopefully we see more of the Eight-Ball and Unicorn soon. That tablet must have some pretty terrific speakers. Is Thor shown fighting something completely unrelated to Goblin nation, or is he actually the one fighting the B-list villains? The dialogue makes it difficult to figure out just what he is doing.
BEST BACKGROUND CHARACTER: Normie Osborn whose brief appearance serves as almost a “screw you internet” from Dan Slott. I certainly had all my money bet on the wrong horse for this mystery, good one Slott.
ON THE NEXT SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN: The one the only, the TRUE Superior Spider-Man returns to whoop some Goblin butt!