Superior Spider-Man #31 Review: Stillanerd’s Take

SuperiorSpider-Man#31--AltCover1“Wow. Your life’s about to get very complicated.”

And here we are—the very last issue of the Superior Spider-Man! Which is also the first story of Peter Parker as Spidey since his return. But the question this finale seems to pose is that, after Doctor Octopus has done…was Peter better off not coming back at all?

“Goblin Nation, Conclusion”
PLOT:Dan Slott
SCRIPT:Christos Gage
PENCILS:Giuseppe Camuncoli
INKS:John Dell and Terry Pallot
COLOR:Antonio Fabela
LETTERER:Chris Eliopoulos
EDITOR:Nick Lowe

“Actions Have Consequences”
WRITER:Christos Gage
ARTIST:Will Sliney
COLORIST:Edgar Delgado
LETTERER:Chris Eliopoulos


STORY 1:  As the Green Goblin holds Anna Maria hostage on top of a building rigged with explosives, Carlie Cooper wakes up from her coma, and Spidey learns about Otto’s cure for the Goblin Formula. Peter also proves to Carlie it’s really him and not Otto by recounting how Carlie tried to shoot him back when he was in Doc Ock’s body. Carlie tells Peter about the spider-bot’s “Goblin Protocols,” and Spidey then swings off to save Anna Maria. Along the way, he fights various factions of the Green Goblin’s army throughout the city, and calls Aunt May to make sure she’s okay. Meanwhile, as Mayor J. Jonah Jameson comes to grips over how his political career is ruined because of the Alchemax Spider-Slayers, Tiberius Stone is showing footage of the Slayers in action to anonymous prospective buyers.

Spidey returns to ESU to find Miquel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099, and after Miquel attacks him, Spidey explains to him about Doc Ock and the two Spider-Men team-up. They aid the Avengers in fighting off the Goblin Knight and the Spider-Slayers, then head to Alchemax only to be attacked by Menace. Spidey, however, injects Menace with the Goblin Formula cure, turning her back into Lily Hollister. The Spider-Men then find Lil Normie Osborn alone in his mom’s office, creepily laughing, saying, “This is all for me. Because I’m so special.” Liz Allan and Tiberius Stone arrive, telling Spidey about the explosives. Stone, however, activates his hand-held spider-sense jammer to immobilize Spidey, only for Miquel to punch Stone in the face. Lily retrieves the Jammer, and tells Spidey the Green Goblin blackmailed Alchemax into working for him. Miquel, taking the webbed-up Stone and Lily, escorts Liz and Normie out of the building, while Spidey heads to the roof. There, the Green Goblin taunts Spidey, still assuming he’s Doc Ock…until Spidey cracks a joke about his “man-purse.” The Green Goblin tries to escape, assuming Spidey will SuperiorSpider-Man#31--p.15choose to rescue Anna Maria. However, Spidey, based on Otto’s memories, knows Anna Maria is capable of taking care of herself, and she’s cuts herself free with one of Green Goblin’s razorbats. 

During their fight, Spidey tears off the Green Goblin’s mask, revealing…Mason Banks…who is really Norman Osborn in disguise! Norman explains he changed his appearance because his face was “too well known,” that he created Alchemax to start an empire for Normie, and that bombing the Alchemax HQ will cover any ties the Green Goblin has to the company. But with Norman unmasked, the Goblin Protocols are no longer in effect, and thus Spidey sends dozens of mini-spider-bots to administer the Goblin Formula cure. Anna Maria jumps off the building just as the roof explodes, and Spidey is able to save her along with a now powerless Norman Osborn. But when Spidey turns Osborn over to the authorities, Liz Allan presses the spider-sense jammer, allowing Norman to escape undetected into the sewers. Liz apologizes, claiming she tensed up when she saw “Mason Banks,” but Miquel doesn’t buy it. Spidey, though, is willing to give Liz the benefit of the doubt, but he still can’t help but note that there’s definitely something going on. And unbeknownst to Spidey, Liz whispers to her son about how “your mother and grandpa did this all for you.” After Spidey and Miquel part ways, Anna Maria asks Spidey whether Peter is okay as she heard he was dead, and Spidey tells her she’s alive. Anna Maria falls down in tears, overcome by shock, and Spidey realizes just she’s in love with “Peter” as much as Doc Ock was in love with her. And as EMT’s look after Anna Maria, Spidey thinks that because Doc Ock “had to die” that it was wrong of him to come back.

STORY 2: Mary Jane, Aunt May, Jay Jameson, and MJ’s boyfriend, Pedro “Ollie” Olivera, return to New York and Parker Industries. Peter apologizes to Aunt May for everything “he” has put her through, but Jay will have none of it, pointing out his ill-treatment towards Aunt May and putting her in danger by working for Spider-Man. Peter agrees, and claims he’s told “Spider-Man” that he’s quit being his tech supplier for good, and that his company will make an official statement. He asks for May and Jay’s forgiveness, and they embrace him.

When they’re alone, Peter tells MJ about Doc Ock taking over his body. MJ believes Peter and is glad he’s back, but also she says she cannot be a part of his life anymore. Even though she will always care about him, and admires him being Spider-Man, she knows something will always threaten them because of it. Peter expresses regret how if it wasn’t for Doc Ock, they might have rekindled their relationship, but says the last thing he wants is to hurt MJ, and that her happiness is more important. They’re interrupted by Jonah giving a live press conference on TV, and Peter, after explaining to MJ that Doc Ock was blackmailing Jonah, reluctantly departs. Carlie, still coping with the residual effects of the Goblin Formula, appears, saying she overheard Peter and MJ’s conversation, and thinks MJ is doing the right thing. And after recalling everything that’s happened to her since meeting Peter, Carlie also realizes she cannot have Peter as part of her life because of the constant danger involved, and decides to leave New York for good.

At City Hall, Spidey returns the recording SpOck made of Jonah ordering him to kill Alistair Smythe, reassuring Jonah he’d never use it, and wanting him to fight against the accusations about the Alchemax Spider-Slayers. Jonah refuses, and dares Spidey to justify his actions over the past several months. Only Spidey can only says that he’s not here to make Jonah like him, but to assure Jonah not to be afraid of him, and that Jonah shouldn’t have to take the fall for what the Green Goblin did. However, after Spidey leaves, we find out that Jonah has already resigned.

THOUGHTS: Endings to stories are always hard to pull off, especially when it involves the ending a of series where there’s lots of running plot threads and character arcs. Almost everything must be wrapped up neat and tidy while also making sense; and if it’s part of a transition into a new series, it has to tease just enough about upcoming stories without giving too much away while still creating a sense of completion. So as an ending to both “Goblin Nation” and Superior Spider-Man, I believe this issue did a serviceable job, but in many ways not well enough.

In terms of ending the mystery of the Goblin King and the rise of the Goblin Underground, Slott and Gage’s first story for Superior Spider-Man #31 does this rather well (and reminds me that my amateur detective skills still needs a lot of work). It seems obvious now in hindsight the Green Goblin couldn’t have been anyone but Norman Osborn with a different face under the mask, because the confrontation between him and Spidey would not have worked as well as it did if the Goblin had been anyone else. This scene is made all the more excellent thanks to, yet again, Guiseppe Caumcolli’s outstanding pencils, as the expression on the Green Goblin’s face upon realizing it’s the real Spidey and not Doc Ock is simply priceless. Also, further mystery is created for upcoming stories in both the relaunched Amazing Spider-Man and the new Spider-Man 2099 when it comes to Liz Allan and ‘Lil Normie, and what may be really going on with those two. I think it’s safe to assume ‘Lil Normie is obviously being brainwashed and Liz, based upon whatever Norman has on her, has no choice but to go along with it.

SuperiorSpider-Man#31-p.25The drawback, however, is that this fight between Spidey and the Green Goblin doesn’t feel nearly as personal as it was in their past battles, and I believe part of this has to do with Anna Maria being the Green Goblin’s hostage. We, the readers, are of course invested in Anna Maria’s survival, but because Peter has no personal connection with her, the stakes are lower than they would’ve been if, ironically, Doc Ock was still been in the picture. And while I’m glad to see that Anna Maria wasn’t killed off, I really hope this comic is not suggesting that Peter will continue being Anna Maria’s boyfriend out of some misguided obligation and guilt over Doc Ock “suicide.” Because in spite of all Otto’s insistence that he was truly in love with Anna Maria and her being in love with someone she thought was the real Peter Parker, there’s no getting around the fact that she, out of all the supporting cast, has been the most victimized by Otto’s deception. And for Peter to continue this deception would be downright wrong, and it would virtually be the Chameleon/Michele Gonzales debacle all over again, only with a far more sympathetic character involved.

I also couldn’t help but notice that much of “Goblin Nation,” particularly as things were winding down, was recycling story-beats from Dan Slott’s other big Spider-Man event, “Spider-Island.” Instead of New York being overrun by spider-monsters, it’s over-run by Goblins. Instead of Spidey team-up with Kaine, he teams-up with Miquel O’Hara. Instead of a cure for spider-powers developed by Horizon Labs, there’s a cure for the Goblin formula developed by Parker Industries, and Spidey even uses mini-spiderbots as opposed to mini-octobots to deliver to cure Norman Osborn. Granted, there’s obvious differences and outcomes between the two stories, but there were enough similarities to make one feel that Slott and Gage were just reusing and repackaging earlier ideas.

Also, with regards to “Goblin Nation” finale and the back-up epilogue, some of the potential problems Peter would have to face as a result of Doc Ock being in his body seem resolved far too quickly and easily. Carlie Cooper in Goblin Formula, plot-induced coma? No problem! She just wakes up in time to bring Spidey up to speed. Miquel O’Hara having a mad-on for Spidey? No problem! Spidey just tells Miquel that Doc Ock was in his body and Miquel responds with “That sounds just stupid enough to be right.” SpOck having quit the Avengers? No problem! “Once an Avenger, always an Avenger,” says Spidey. Jay Jameson being angry at Peter for lying about working for Spider-Man and for his “unconscionable” behavior towards Aunt May? No problem! Peter says, “I’m sorry” for the umpteenth time, claims he’s not working for Spider-Man anymore, and all is right with the world.

To be fair, there still things Peter will have to deal with because of Doc Ock, like suddenly being the head of his own start-up company, and especially Jonah stepping down as Mayor of New York. The moment Jonah had ordered SpOck to murder Alistair Smythe back in Superior Spider-Man #12 and 13, it was clear his days in office were numbered, and while this act isn’t what forced Jonah to resign, there’s no question that Jonah sabotaged his own political career because of his failure to honor his late wife, Marla’s, dying request to let go of his hatred for Spider-Man. And even though Jonah is wrong about Spidey being a “sociopath” and a “monster,” he’s not entirely in the wrong when it comes to him “owning up to his mistakes,” and as a result, I couldn’t help but feel he came off far more dignified that Spidey. Because even though Spidey has a point when he tells Jonah he “shouldn’t take the fall for something [another person] did,” that’s what Spidey himself is doing in this entire issue, and especially the epilogue—taking the rap what Doc Ock did while in his body.

Granted, I understand that Peter, as a character, is someone with a severe guilt-complex and need to take full responsibility even for actions that are not his fault. I also understand he has a secret identity to keep up, and, in spite of the ease which various character seem to accept that Doc Ock possessed his body without question in this issue, it wouldn’t be so easy for those who don’t know he’s really Spider-Man. Nevertheless, we’re still talking about a storyline in which one of his major arch-enemies tried to murder him and steal his identity, and just because Peter may believe Otto repented his actions and sacrificed himself to make amends doesn’t mean Peter should believe everything would’ve been better off had he not come back.

SuperiorSpider-Man#31-p.30But by far the absolute worst moment of the issue is when both Mary Jane and Carlie decide that they can no longer have Peter as part of their lives. Sure, after everything that’s happened to them over the course of the series, it makes sense for them to want to lead as normal of life as possible. Yet looking at it in the full context, even though we’re being reassured that MJ and Carlie, by choosing to want to live their own lives free of Peter is not the same as abandoning him, it feels like this is what actually they’re doing. Although if I’m being brutally honest, I’m glad to see Carlie Cooper presumably being written out of the Spider-Man comics for good, because I’ve always seen her as a bland, overrated and disappointing character with squandered potential which wasn’t helped by Marvel trying to convince the readers she was a love interest on the same level as MJ, Gwen Stacy, and Black Cat. It’s the way Gage depicts MJ and her reasons for walking away from Peter that feel completely off.

Remember, this is the same Mary Jane who has known about Peter being Spider-Man almost from the beginning, and who in spite of knowing this still chose to be in a relationship with him and stand by him even during the most tragic moments of their lives. The same MJ who in this very story, put herself at risk to save Peter’s aunt and step-uncle. That MJ does not at all square with the MJ being portrayed here. And for someone who has just found out that the love of her life was dead and that one of his arch-enemies posed as him for several months, it’s just bizarre that MJ would be more fixated on her own needs than with Peter’s emotional well-being. Nor does she even bother to ask Carlie just how long she’s known about this. Especially considering how Doc Ock took advantage of looking like Peter and having his memories in his unsuccessful attempt to seduce Mary Jane into sleeping with him! Which reminds me, wasn’t it actually Otto who broke up with MJ first back Superior Spider-Man #2? It was MJ who kept trying to get back in touch with him!

Also, note just who the “great guy” MJ is actually “moving on” with: someone whose first name just so happens to be Peter, who also just so happens to routinely put himself in harm’s way to save lives. This isn’t to disrespect any real firefighters (because seriously, anyone who actually is one deserves all the praise and thanks for what they do), but in terms of this particular narrative, all MJ really did is trade someone she even acknowledges “is the best [person] she knows” for a literal second-rate version of that person. That’s not moving on—that’s living in denial. Plus, MJ’s entire rationale for letting Peter go gets immediately undercut mere pages later when Carlie reminds MJ that she’s still a target for Peter’s enemies regardless. Even “Goblin Nation” showed us this when the Green Goblin sent his minions to try to abduct her, thus her entire speech to Peter rings even more hollow. That’s not even counting the fact that since she’s still appearing on covers and mentioned in solicits for future issues, MJ is clearly not going anywhere, despite Will Sliney’s art (which I felt was quite weak) showing MJ in the same pose as when she first met Peter as if to really sell the point that she’s saying “good-bye” for real this time.

Even so, I’m still looking forward to seeing Peter back in action in the pages of the all-new Amazing Spider-Man (which, your humble reviewer will also be covering), and to see just how he will have to readjust to his second chance at life. And even though Doctor Octopus seems to be dead and gone, you know Superior Spider-Man will not be the last will see of him. After all, there’s still the mystery just who dug up his body from his grave to be solved. Until then, see you folks next time, and welcome back, Spidey!




  • Here’s something for you more observant readers with better memories than mine: when have we ever seen Doc Ock use miniature spider-bots. I’m not talking about the ones he used surveillance New York, mind; I’m talking about the very tiny ones Spidey used to inject Norman Osborn with the Goblin Formula cure. Because I sure don’t remember Doc Ock using those before at any time during Superior Spider-Man, so it seems rather convenient that he would just so happen to have them for Peter to use.
  • Oh, and look: Captain America, in spite of his own order last issue that the Avengers need to arrest Spider-Man, seems to have completely forgotten all about it!  Sure, his “Will figure things out later when we’ve taken our city back” does hint that the Avengers will likely follow-up on this, but honestly, based on their actions all throughout Superior Spider-Man, Doc Ock actually did Peter a favor when he quit the team.
  • Okay, Norman Osborn able to slip out of Spidey’s grasp because of Liz Allan turning on the Spider-Sense Jammer is one thing. Norman Osborn being to escape completely unnoticed, on foot, and in broad daylight in spite of being unmasked, wearing a bright green and purple costume, with no super-powers, and police and emergency responders probably swarming all over the scene of the Alchemax bombing?! Excuse while as I go into a fit of uncountable laughter over the sheer ridiculousness of this complete and utter nonsense.
  • And speaking of getting away, why are Spidey and Miquel also letting Tiberious Stone walk off with Liz Allan and ‘Lil Normie? Weren’t they going to turn him over the authorities, too?
  • Hey Carlie? When you and MJ were talking about MJ’s friend and Peter’s former girlfriend, Gwen Stacy? Guess what? You were friends with her too! There was that whole flashback story in The Many Loves of Spider-Man one-shot in which the two of you solved a murder case together when you were kids, and that her dad was a friend and colleague of your dad, remember? Barring that, how could not remember her name other than “that poor girl…who got thrown off the bridge” if Norman Osborn kept talked about her the entire time you were with him? And folks wonder why I don’t feel the least bit bad about you leaving.
  • Finally, Norman Osborn must have changed his mind about his grandson and wanting to leave a legacy for him. Because I remember a Paul Jenkis’ “Death in the Family” in which Norman told Spidey that his grandson was as weak as his father and unworthy to be considered an Osborn. Which reminds me, I thought Norman had disowned Harry to the point where he even tried to have him killed? So why was he so upset when the phony-Hobgoblin was making fun of Harry? I guess in Norman’s (formerly) crazy mind, the only person allowed to talk smack about his son is him.
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(48) Comments

  1. Al

    @#47-I think...I'm sorry but comparing MJ's situation to an abused woman's really not appropriate. MJ couldn't help but be in love with Peter or (partially) love him for saving people, but it was still a CHOICE she made when she understood the consequences. Hell before OMD she walked away from it twice and considered doing so again, but chose not to. It's not the same thing as women who're in legitimately abusive relationships. It's painting MJ in that vein when it doesn't hold water because a cop or soldier's wife is not the same thing as a wife who's husband beats her up. Hell MJ was attracted to Peter because he WASN'T like her dad

  2. Jason

    Finally had a chance to pick up the final issue and read it in its entirety. Anyone else think Peter is cleaning up Otto's mess a little too easily? Carlie, MJ, May, Jay - all moving on after a quick explanation.Also, why does it seem Norman has been cured of the goblin serum, something that's been coursing through his blood for years, while Carlie is still feeling the after affects while having only been recently injected with the serum? Something isn't right there.Like a woman in an abusive relationship, they keep going back to the abuser, or get involved with guys who treat them as poorly as their parents. Same thing with MJ. She's used to being in an "abusive relationship" going back to her father. While Peter and Pedro may not treat her poorly physically, emotionally is another story. MJ is used to being in a relationship where her significant other risks his life to save others, so she keeps getting stuck in same cycle.

  3. Jake

    One thing that really annoys me about Slott's run on Spider-man has been a faint wiff of overall misogyny pervading the book for issues. The female supporting characters (and they're all supporting characters) are either damsels, or dupes and seem to only exist as backdrops for Peter. Even the relationship that Otto had with Anna M. was really trite and lacking of any real emotional development, which frankly ruined the end of the book - something that should have been a big question, "Oh wow, how is Peter going to deal with this girl?" into "Who cares?"Also, the perpetual ret-conning of MJ Watson is starting to get on my nerves - her character history and motivations and such are not at all what has been portrayed in this series. I get that they demoted her to second or third string in the supporting cast, but they did it by basically making her act like someone else.I get that Joe Quesada has a hard on for keeping them apart because he thinks it sells books, and who knows, maybe it does? But it's so transparent that it's a real put off. You can only string people along for so long before they just get disinterested.I can almost guarantee that the moment book sales start to flag, then the MJ/Peter romance will heat up again and the fact that the ongoing plot of the book is subject to such a mercenary view point on behalf of the Editor/Publishers is something that I find really distasteful.It's like... I'm not mad. I'm not even upset anymore. I just know that I'm getting played for $$$ and I am starting to feel bad about spending my money on this product. People shouldn't feel that way, they should feel like they're getting something of value out of the money they spend and I'm starting to seriously wonder if this is the case anymore with this book.

  4. irishfan

    also MJ in spider island. her contagion was different because of her history, could that place her in spiderverse some way and what if she dumps padro for another peter, not the peter, sort of a half way for the fans who are in to the relationship thing but, 'the peter' is still single.

  5. irishfan

    Will be a part of spiderverse, may day and all that. bit of a you seem normal well balanced and not the end of the world, i'd like one of those please sort of moments people have when they decide they want kids.On the other hand there is spiderman reign telling peter, stop being a prick, your radio active sperm is killing her, so the end of it she'll probably want to get back together but he won't.Problem with ross and rahael strategy was while it was a big part of the story at the start that got alot of traction with the audience, it barely registered at the end. Shit they are going to kill of MJ.

  6. hornacek

    @42 - I don't think a classic Spidey story should be littered with pop culture references because that dates the issue. The stories can be made funny without them. And I would say that Slott does use those references, but the ones he uses are just not funny. "Crazy town banana pants" wasn't funny in SSM #1 (?), and even 1+ years later if you reread that issue you'd be thinking "What? What does that mean? Is that a reference to something? Is that supposed to be funny?"

  7. RedHunter

    The major issue with the writing of Slott for isn't the crappy story arcs that he mostly writes, though a few have been good, it is that more and more I get through entire issues with laughing at something spider-man/peter says. Hell with Slott I get through entire story arcs without laughing once. That is unacceptable with peter parker spider-man stories. It has to be funny, it has to be well written and littered with pop culture references. Most of the people that write spider-man get this, but Slott for being "the biggest spider-man fan" doesn't seem to.I can remember several classic spider-man lines and few if any of them have been written by Slott. I don't think he is a horrible writer, but I want him the hell away from spider-man. I want Yost on this book after his work with Scarlet Spider.

  8. Erik

    Here's my question: What do any of us care about anything MJ said in this scene? We've already been through this and reversals of it multiple times, OMD, OMIT, you name it. It is utterly meaningless. If the powers at be at marvel ever change their mind and want Pete and MJ together again, she'll reverse this speech, and then if they ever decide they don't again she'll do it again, and we'll sit around frowning at it and wondering whose bright idea it was to rehash the same tired MJ speech AGAIN.Overall, if I were still reviewing the book, I'd have given this issue a D. The only reason it wouldn't have gotten an F would be one panel:"At least I never carried a man-purse." "...IT'S YOU."Perfect. Just perfect.As for the rest of it I hated the end about as much as I hated the end. I'd be glad it's over, except that I doubt I'm going to like the period after Peter's return any more than I liked the period before his departure. Yawn.

  9. herbiepopecker

    Okay, MJ's actions and words run VERY contrary to her actions and words during (ugh) "One More Day", where she and Peter *knew* they were meant to be together no matter what.I guess no matter what didn't include poor characterization?

  10. darkjan

    realy hope so RDMacQ, glad that there are plenty mj and pete's supporter's out there.og course nothing against gwen stacy,frist love and all of that, i also had crush a girl like her, but she turned out to be so shalow , whn i heard she talikng with my class mate and claeed me a ,lets just not say it.better girl for me which understands other people,like mj.

  11. Sbee

    Man I was so excited to finally have Peter back even though I'm anti-slott but after reading these boards I'm a bit more wary of where its heading.

  12. RDMacQ

    @#28- Enigma_2099-" Then that just means he STILL lacks the cajones to remove her from the book completely, because she’s still dating someone who ISN’T Peter."Which just means that Slott can basically ape the Spider-Man 2 storyarc where Peter pines over MJ when she dated John Jameson."To paraphrase MadGoblin, “if she’s not with Peter, what is her purpose in the book?” And I still believe my earlier assumption to be correct."Her purpsose is for Peter to pine over her and fret about trying to get back together with her. Again, see Spider-Man 2 for what I think would probably be where they will go with this story. Hell, I bet that the whole "I respect you wanting to move on" thing will be forgotten about by the next issue and have Peter pining over her again."… teaming up with Pedro? You leave him because of his life, and now your “boyfriend” has a team-up with him?I don’t wanna get banned, so I’ll just say that’s flat out silly."It is silly. And it means that MJ can "reflect" on how "similar" Peter and Pedro are, and whether she really doesn't want Peter in her life. Angst, angst, angst, and in a year we'll have a big arc where Peter and MJ get back together.

  13. Adam S.

    @27: I didn't think he broke his hands. I just thought he broke the gizmos in his gloves that shoot electricity.@33: I dunno if MJ should logically be dead by now. I mean, even in this story she was proactive enough to use the web-shooters Peter gave her against those Goblin minions and get Aunt May out of New York.

  14. Ronald Johnson

    @Jack Brooks: You certainly nail it quite nicely, Jack about Carol. Although Jessica Drew had personal struggles as well, which might make things interesting for Peter as well. But what would be cool to see is Jennifer Walters human form in Peter's world as she a combination of intellect and compassion because she could relate to him quite well. Jennifer's human side reminds me of Betty Brant and Mary Jane rolled up into one. I think that they would get along instantly if Jennifer got to know the real side to Peter's character.

  15. Jack Brooks

    I can see Peter having a real relationship with a fellow "super" as logical, even though I'm pro-MJ. Carol has also struggled with a lot of self-doubt issues, but she's also military, which made her an interesting foil to Peter. Peter needs a girlfriend or wife who won't be easily injured by super-baddies, and who could participate in some way that makes sense (not sit by a window and worry about him). Sue Richards works because she has powers, and is in the thick of things. Lois Lane worked (before the Eww 52) even though she doesn't have powers, because she's very smart, and had a good reason to get mixed up in trouble since she's an investigative reporter. MJ is a great character, and -psychologically- an excellent foil for Peter, but she probably ought to be dead or crippled by now, and as a professional actress she doesn't have logical reasons to be in the middle of Peter's adventures.

  16. Ronald Johnson

    @ #19 Dapperfex: I do agree that Spider-Man x Captain Marvel might have made for an interesting relationship. Then again, Kelly Sue wasn't interested in picking up the relationship where Brian Reed left off. In addition to the aftermath of Enemy Within(Memory Wipe), we do not know if Carol even remembers Peter as Spider-Man, or her feelings towards him. They certainly killed off something that might have elevated their friendship in the same manner as Felicia Hardy(Prior to OMD). Although, it would seem that Jessica Drew and Silver Sable have feelings for Spider-Man as well. So Carol is not the only one.

  17. Castle

    Honestly this issue seems really rushed. And considering how long and drawn out the previous few issues were it surprises me that they didn't spread some of these plot points over the rest of the goblin nation event. I mean there wasn't a ton covered in the other 4 parts, you could have cut some out of those issues to flesh out some of the plot points in this issue rather than try to tie up all the loose ends in a panel or 2 each.Also I hope the anna marria plot gets resolved quickly. It was creepy when doc ock was hanging around MJ and it'll be creepy if peter starts hanging around her since he isn't the same person she new. Really wish they would have just resolved this in Superior and not have this plot thread hanging around for Amazing.

  18. Enigma_2099

    @#18Then that just means he STILL lacks the cajones to remove her from the book completely, because she's still dating someone who ISN'T Peter.To paraphrase MadGoblin, "if she's not with Peter, what is her purpose in the book?" And I still believe my earlier assumption to be correct.... teaming up with Pedro? You leave him because of his life, and now your "boyfriend" has a team-up with him?I don't wanna get banned, so I'll just say that's flat out silly.

  19. FT95

    So did anyone catch the bit with Peter breaking Norman's hands and saying something about crushing him? Does anybody else think it might be "Ghost Ock" exerting influence over Peter, just like Ghost Peter did with SpOck in Avenging #15-early Superior issues? I mean, the neurothing didn't erase Peter from his own mind back then, why would it work now?I have a feeling 2099 will be a Superior Book though!

  20. hornacek

    I suspect the "Goblin cure" will be as effective as the mutant cure in X-Men: The Last Stand. It worked in that story, but later installments will reverse it by saying "oh, it wasn't permanent, it wore off".

  21. darkjan

    Mj saying goodbye to peter , god this keeps getting more stupid and stupider. she isn't that weak person everyone knows that i am re-reading oldest issues start with petes and mj s marrige, and mj has been throught more horrible things then that. peter needs mj, and mj needs peter both of them togeter are strong enough to over come any difficulties old issues proofs it. this is just wrong they should be married again,marrige with mj and peters thoughts during fights,that he must come back alive for mj sake gives him more power then any other hero,thoughts about mj who is waiting for him at home. plus mj isn't that weak most of us know it from old spidey comcis.anyone agrees with my opinionstill better read old stuff,but iam looking foward to see new realeses , of asm with murlon in it.

  22. George Berryman

    @22 - '‘feck sake charlie, stop being….’"And what do <i>you</i> say to a cup... ?"<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  23. Jack Brooks

    Its also irritating to see MJ lie about why they arent together. We know it's because they made a deal with a devil; here she blames Peter. If she remembers OMD, then she's lying. If she doesn't, then it reveals how mind-damaged she is by Mephisto, which is disturbing. Marvel is going to keep pushing their agitprop, hopingbthat they can create a new reality. But MJ comes off like a tool one way, and a teagic victim of demonic mind control the other way.

  24. irishfan

    charlie has goblin formula in her and knows peters identity. she'll be back, and probably targeting M.J, possibly even attempting to throw her off a bridge just because they just can't seem to get the character right and its turned into a thing now. 'feck sake charlie, stop being....'fair point on the selfishness of M.J, just discovered peter was dead, and 'ah that sort of stuff happens to you all the time' didn't think about that but fair observation.

  25. Stillanerd - Post author

    @ #6 GregXB -- You know, I'd forgotten that little detail and you're right. And as a token of my appreciation, I'm giving you proper credit in the "Nerdy Nitpicks" for pointing my mistake. Thanks again, Greg XB for keeping me on my toes. :)@#8 Bryan Lim -- While I agree that MJ and Carlie talking about Gwen seems more that coincidental, I don't think Marvel would be THAT crazy to try and bring Gwen back. After all, from what I understand, she was originally supposed to come back during One More Day and that was voted down. Now Gwen Stacy's clone on the other hand? That's definitely far more likely, considering how we had a Superior Spider-Man Team-Up/Scarlet Spider crossover with one in it. Yeah, she seemed to have died in that story, but it's clear the Jackal her DNA on file to make another one.@ #16 good riddance to cooper -- Yep. It was during the "Brand New Day" era when Marvel was heavily promoting Carlie as part of their setting her up as Peter's new girlfriend. Also, here's the cover for that issue I was talking about: #19 Dapperfex -- Yeah, I agree that Spidey and Ms. Marvel as a potential couple worked surprisingly well during Brian Reed's Ms. Marvel series and definitely would be an interesting pairing. At the same time, however, I'm of the opinion that romantically pairing up two superhero from two separate comics/franchises is always far more trouble than it's worth. Just look what happened with the marriage between Storm and Black Panther. Or the controversy surrounding the current pairing of Superman with Wonder Woman over at DC.

  26. Dapperfex

    Wow, I think i'm the only HUGE Spider-Fan, aside from my GF a HUGE Black Cat fan, to see MJ finally giving up on Peter as a good thing. I'm actually looking forward to the idea of Peter's love life moving forward. I want him, just like the other girls in his life, to realize that he needs someone with abilities and skills as incredible as his own so she can keep up with him. It looks like Felicia's story will be featured right in the first arc of Peter's return to the Amazing title. And I have been wanting Peter to try and further his relationship with a certain Carol Danvers for quite some time, they just have great chemistry...even though she's started dating Warmach...Iron Patriot. And she's in space. Doing space stuff. It's never gonna happen is it? OnO

  27. Tyson

    Carlie will be back. It just fits with Otto's failings that the goblin serum doesn't fully work. Norman will end up still being insane, Menace will be back and Carlie will show up as a goblin again.

  28. RDMacQ

    @15 Enigma_2099- EXCEPT the fact that she's featured VERY prominently on the covers of the upcoming titles, even appearing on one of the variant covers for ASM#1. Hell, one of the covers for the upcoming comics is just HER. AND another upcoming issue features Peter teaming up with her boyfriend Pedro.So, yeah, she's going to be in the book. Carlie, I wouldn't be surprised is gone for good, to go where Vin Gonzales and Dexter Bennet went after they left the book. But I also wouldn't rule out that she'll be continue to serve some role.I will agree that Slott is dragging out the farce. The problem with Slott dragging it out is that he's essentially repeating himself. I really don't see how MJ's "realization" about her feelings for Peter will be any different from her arc during Spider-Island.

  29. Enigma_2099

    @#14WHAT arc?!?!? She's being booted out of the d*** book!!!Slott is showing NO indication that he's even remotely interested in bringing them back together. He's dragging the farce out even longer. What did all that realization that she had throughout this mess amount to in the end? NOTHING. Because in the end, she LEAVES him.The only thing I feel Slott actually got right in all this s***, he killed off to bring Peter back!

  30. RDMacQ

    @#12- I doubt that her presence alone was meant to keep "MJ fans from dropping the book." I think she is part of a larger arc, but the problem is that this arc is pretty much the same arc she ALREADY went through earlier in the book. Not just from another writer- from Slott himself. MJ "realizing" that she loves Peter, that she cares for him, and that she "understands" what he is going through? This arc was dealt with in Spider-Island. Now we're going to go through it again.

  31. Enigma_2099

    If Slott was gonna pull this "Peter, I can't deal with your life, so goodbye" s*** in the end, why the hell was she in the book at all?Oh yeah, to keep the MJ fans from dropping the book.Notice I'm not complaining about Carlie leaving? It's because I don't give a d***. Someone hold the door open for her.@#8,11If that happens, it means she's NOT dying in the next movie.

  32. George Berryman

    @8 - "Im calling it early! Gwen Stacy is coming back!"I myself made that same call last year on one of our satellite review podcasts. It made sense to follow one gimmick with another. Sending MJ & Carlie out of the picture clears the deck for precisely that. We'll see!

  33. AndrewRoebuck

    Yeah I realized as soon as I google Pedro lmao perhaps I should have done that sooner. Thanks for educating me on that one Stillanerd! haha

  34. Jack Brooks

    Why does Dan Slott and Co get gushed over byvreview sites, when just the plot synopses alone show a story riddled with plot-holes, characters who don't act like their established selves, story directions shoehorned in, mysteries that fizzle, and rushed finale?inale

  35. E. Wilson

    The biggest problem with this issue is that we switched protagonists in the last act, which sucks a lot of the emotional resonance out of the events. Ignoring the MJ/Carlie thing, which is clearly a plot point for the Amazing Spider-Man as opposed to the Superior Spider-Man, Peter has little personal stake in this battle. He's coming in fresh, after having spent most of his time Monday-morning quarterbacking Ock's handling of the crisis, and wraps everything up because the Goblins' plans were specifically tailored to deal with a different threat. That's not a knock on Peter's character, but an inherent flaw in the way Ock's storyline resolved. Essentially, the finale of the series was LAST issue, and the actual final battle is simply part of Superior's epilogue. Or Amazing's prelude. However you want to look at it.Thing is, I can't think of a way to avoid this problem, as the story was presented. It might actually have been a more ambitious move for this issue to actually have been "Amazing Spider-Man #1". (Although it would have taken some fancy slight-of-hand to do so without spoiling the events of the story itself.)Having said that, I did appreciate the (temporary) finality of Ock's sacrifice. We all know he'll be back, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one who expected the seeds of his return to be laid before Superior wrapped up. As much as I enjoyed watching the character, though, he did need a rest for a bit. Enjoy the respite, Ock; ya' did good....well, actually, ya' did terrible, but it was fun to watch.

  36. QuilSniv

    I didn't post this in Andrew's review (I had skimmed over the comic before going to classes, and made the comments during a break period), but yeah... what the heck is up with MJ's decision here?! I mean, yeah, she's dating the 'next-best-thing' to Peter, but she's been at his side since nearly day one, as Stillanerd clearly pointed out! She pretty much did a Gwen Stacy jump when Carlie pointed out that as long as she even knows Peter, she'll be a target. Her entire argument, down the drain in a few words. Real nice, Dan, giving us this 'hip, new MJ with a sack of stupid pills for a brain'!Also, we clearly know that when a character leaves a comic book, they usually don't stay gone forever... except for Michelle Gonzales. So I wouldn't be too surprised if Carlie someday comes back into the comic and goes 'Hey guys! I'm back, because I'm Carlie Cooper and Dan Slott loves my character!' It's not that I don't like her character (see Andrew's review for my Carlie rant) but that we know she won't get out of the picture. It would be cool if she came back with a different personality, traumatized by the effects of Goblin Formula (sort of like Iron Man 3?), but we know it won't happen. If she does come back, which I would be okay with (*runs away from rioting fanboys), she'll be the same cannon fodder for Peter's love life like she was in the past. Either way, we know this promise'll never stay on the ground.Excellent review Stillanerd, and I'm looking forward to what you have to say for Amazing Spider-Man! Signing off in the final and Superior Way:-QuilSniv

  37. GregXB

    "Finally, Norman Osborn must have changed his mind about his grandson and wanting to leave a legacy for him. Because I remember a Paul Jenkis’ “Death in the Family” in which Norman told Spidey that his grandson was as weak as his father and unworthy to be considered an Osborn."He was trying to get Peter to believe that he would kill Normie, so Peter would kill him. Peter later called him out on this. "You'd never hurt Normie, and we both know it."

  38. RDMacQ

    The entire MJ "leaving" Peter feels as forced as about pretty much everything in this story. I have a feeling this was NOT meant to be the finale of the Superior Spider-Man arc, and it was merely decided it would be the "end point" in order to give the series a somewhat sense of closure, but the resolution seems rushed and poorly crafted.This series had a lot of potential, and the resolution to the revelation to what happened to Peter could have had a lot of fodder for some great stories. But once again the creators bungle it in order to give Peter "complications." Except they are the same complications that have come before. MJ leaves because she "can't handle it." Like she's done numerous times before. This has no weight, because it was done so often before and done better that it's hard to buy her reasoning. If they reversed it, had it so that MJ HERSELF felt bad for letting PETER down, and not noticing he was replaced, that would have some sympathetic weight. But, no. This is what was done before, so it's what will be done again.Does Peter get mad at everyone for letting him down? For not noticing his bizarre behavior? No. He accepts it because it creates "complications." Because Dan Slott confuses blaming Peter for stuff that he didn't do and honestly making it seem like he is at fault with actually making his life difficult. But of the complications Slott presents could be handled in a simple, intelligent conversation, which he will NEVER have any of his characters have because it wouldn't serve his "plot" otherwise. But when this grand, overarching "plot" continues to end in anti-climactic action and disappointing resolutions, is it really that important that his plot be continually served?

  39. Stillanerd - Post author

    @#1 and #2 AndrewRoebuck -- Well, Andrew, the name Pedro is the Spanish form of the name Peter. If you recall back in Superior Spider-Man #10 when Mary Jane's nightclub was on fire and she was around for Peter to show up to come and save them, as she was losing consciousness, she thought the firefighter coming to her rescue was Peter and, before passing out, said "Peter, I knew you would..." That firefighter was Pedro Olivera, and he even asked MJ "How did you know [my name was Peter]?" to which she responded "lucky guess." His nickname "Ollie" is short for his surname "Olivera." Hope that helps.Also, great job on your review as well.

  40. AndrewRoebuck

    Wait MJ's boyfriend is named Peter to? I though it was like Pedro Oliver or something...she always calls him Ollie right? Did I completely miss that plot point somewhere down the line?

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