Superior Spider-Man Team Up #11
Written by Kevin Shinick
Artist (Page 1): Marco Checchetto
Artists (Pages 2-20): Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema
Colored by Rachelle Rosenberg
Edited by Ellie Pyle
*Note, this issue clearly takes place between Superior Spider-Man #29-30
As SpOck and Spidey 2099 fight Spider-Slayers, Otto remembers back to how he met Norman Osborn in Europe back when everyone thought Norman was dead. Norm and Otto began working together on a plan to kill Spider-Man, becoming friends along the way. After a conversation about the women in their lives, they had a quick fight over how best to kill Spidey. Otto wants to simply kill him, while Norman wants to destroy him body and soul. They put aside their differences and finished their project, a new Goblin armor with Ock tentacles for Stormin’ Norman to wear. Otto returns to New York and lays low to make preparations to go after Spidey when he gets a phone call from Norman. Norman wants to teach Otto the benefits of going after Spidey’s soul by giving him the same type of pain, so he kidnapped Ock’s ex-fiancée and injected her with a deadly virus.
I’m not the greatest expert on Spidey history, but I’m pretty sure that Doc Ock and the Green Goblin never tangled or met for that matter. I remember they had a brief fight (if you wanna call it that) back in Marvel Knights Spider-man #12, but that’s it.
I’ll first cover the stuff I like. The Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus, of course, are Spidey’s two worst foes, so it makes total sense that they would eventually team up to kill him. Because both are men of science, totally driven by their desire for power and to kill Spidey, it also makes sense that they would become friends at some point as well. Shinick wrote their brief friendship very well.Otto’s views on what “crazy” is were well written, but were like the pot calling the kettle black (which was how it was supposed to be). JR can hopefully back me up on this, but the crazy side of Norman’s persona, the one that drives him to be the Goblin, would eventually rear it’s ugly head and it was great to see that. I didn’t know that Otto had a fiancée earlier in life and Norman using that against him is typical for the Green Goblin. (Although shouldn’t that mean that Otto should’ve expected that the Goblin would kidnap Anna Maria?)
As for what I didn’t like, that whole “soul vs. science” argument is the first thing. I got the jist of it, which is that Otto prefers to just kill the web-slinger and get it over with, while Norman wants to torture him by going after his loved ones. Shinick could’ve phrased it better than what he did. Plus “Octo-Goblin”? That just sounds and feels lame, even if it’s worn by Norman Osborn.
This next thing is something that I didn’t necessarily like or dislike, but it’s still something I want to mention. According to this issue, Norman and Otto are putting their plans together sometime around 1992-1993, based on a mention of Carnage and Spider-Slayers. That would make perfect sense, since Otto hasn’t been killed yet and Norman is still thought dead. Which begs the question, what would bring Norman out of hiding like this? What would make him reach out and contact Dr. Octopus to work on a way to kill Spidey? I was going to guess that Harry Osborn’s death could’ve been a factor, but didn’t Norman know that Harry wasn’t really dead? Or does crazy need a reason to be crazy?
Shinick wrote Otto and Norman very well, right down to their little quirks (or eccentricities). The idea of Spidey’s greatest foes teaming up and becoming friends isn’t that far-fetched and I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. Despite the problems I mentioned earlier, the story was well -written. Ron Frenz is one of my favorite artists. I enjoyed his work on Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Girl. This was an overall strong issue. If you have extra cash for it, I’d pick this issue up. It seems like Superior Spider-Man Team Up is going out with a bang.
Until next time!