Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #11 Review

SUPSMTUP2013011-DC11-LR-43ebc“With Friends Like This…”

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.

My Thoughts

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 SUPSMTUP2013011-int-LR2-4-0a46fOtto 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!

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(7) Comments

  1. AndyM

    I welcome Ron Frenz to any of the Spidey books. He should be drawing Amazing. Even the new Amazing.

  2. Luke

    This here is the best thing to come out of Superior. Norman is so wonderfully crazy. The "science vs soul" argument captures him perfectly, and the way he shifts from calm to enraged and vice versa compliment it well. The final scene especially is just beautiful. Norman is so collected and friendly when he sets the trap up, the vibe I got from this is that he really believes he's doing Otto a favor, in a "harsh lesson about harsh life" sort of way.

  3. Aquashark

    I really liked this issue. The art and plot brought me back to a more cherished time for me in Spider-history, and I do feel this story would fit in well in the early/mid-90s. The timeline thing does seem a little strange - that he would contact Otto during the time he's planning the clone saga. To have Harry's demise be the trigger for the team-up doesn't quite work, either. At first, I thought that the last scene in the comic (with the hospital meeting) could've been a post-Harry's-death trigger, but the more I read it the more it just seems like goblin madness. I guess it doesn't really pay to try and place it specifically until after the next issue comes out... but it's fun to try!

  4. Web-Head

    I thought the Octo-Goblin design would have fit right in perfectly with something you'd see in the Spidey books in the early 90s!

  5. hornacek

    It seems very weird to have a different artist for just one page. Was there something specific about that page? Is the Frenz/Buscema art all flashback? I just can't picture Norman and Otto (a) teaming up, or (b) becoming friends. It just doesn't seem in either of their natures. Is Ock's ex-fiancee the same woman he was going to marry but his mother forbid him to get married because that would mean he would leave his mother alone, as shown in Obituary For an Octopus (Spider-Man Unlimited #3, I think)? I can't think of any other women Otto has been seen with, except for Stunner. Oh, and Aunt May.

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