Okay, world — Better hang onto your banana pants! Here comes the Spider-Man!
THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #2
“The Peter Principle”
WRITER: Dan Slott
ARTIST: Ryan Stegman
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
- Wha-ah? Jameson finally loves Spider-Man . . . when Spider-Man’s really Otto Octavius controlling Peter’s body? OH THE IRONY!
- Peterpus embarks on a series of dates with Mary Jane, but he just can’t score, so he gets off on Peter’s memories of Mary Jane instead.
- To free up his time, Peterpus creates spider-bots to patrol the city.
- Otto dumps Mary Jane, arguing that their relationship “traps” MJ in “an equation that can ever be solved.” Ghost-Peter seems impressed that Otto did what Peter “never could.”
- The Vulture’s henchmen throw Mary Jane from a height. Otto nearly tries to catch her with a web line, but Peter’s ghost influences him to use a different tactic, probably because Gwen Stacy got her neck snapped that way. Dan Slott subtly leaves the continuity reference not explicit. Not bad.
- Carlie suspects the truth about Otto and Peter due to the fact that Peter-as-Ock directly told her in Amazing Spider-Man #700 and only an imbecile would not conclude that it’s true based on Peter’s altered behavior. That won’t stop someone in the comics from saying that Marvel is trying to cram her perfection down our throats.
- The next issue teaser states “The Vulture!” I don’t know whether to take that as a promise or as a threat.
This comic made me laugh, but I don’t mean that as a compliment. Let’s start with ghost-Peter’s reaction to Jonah’s newfound spider-fandom:
I know you can’t discern Peter’s speech because the faded lettering used for Peter’s dialogue only becomes legible when you squint yourself into a migraine, so I’ll retype it here: “AHH! I can’t TAKE this anymore! It’s–it’s CRAZY TOWN BANANA PANTS!” According to Stillanerd on the message board, “crazy town banana pants” is a catchphrase from the TV show Community. I didn’t know that because Slott does not credit his source, but I do know that if an insane murderer, who a few months ago bragged about surpassing Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler, killed me and forced my disembodied spirit to eternally watch this evil man relish the fruits of my very existence, then I would choose words other than “it’s crazy town banana pants!” Only Dan Slott can understate and overstate something at the same time. “Crazy town banana pants” is an understatement because it strips the situation of gravitas. It’s an overstatement because only a chimpanzee on Adderall would talk like that.
Ghost-Peter crowds every panel with this exaggerated color commentary, making him the most annoying Jiminy Cricket ever. Friends, it gets embarrassing. When Otto fails to seal the deal with Mary Jane for the fourth time, Peter’s reaction is “RE-JEC-TED! Suck it, Ock!” Uh . . . did Spider-Man just tell Doctor Octopus to “suck it”? Sorry, I know this is a family website. I’m just transcribing what I see. “Suck it.”
Then Otto goes home and summons Peter’s memories of Peter’s experiences with Mary Jane. The dialogue afterwords calls attention to how Otto “slept so soundly” afterwords. Does that mean he . . . y’know . . .
Ugh. Must . . . clean . . . brain. You know, I’m getting a little tired of the preoccupation with Doc Ock’s sexuality that Superior and Amazing have had since the mind swap occurred. Give me something else stupid to think about, comic. Here’s one: why is Mary Jane the dumbest person in this comic? Sajani notices something’s odd when Peter passingly uses the word “fetching,” yet Mary Jane suspects nothing after several consecutive issues of Peter’s erratic and uncharacteristic behavior, and his blatantly talking like a cartoon super villain. Even ghost-Peter decries her not even flinching when Peterpus declares that “everything’s proceeding according to plan” in the middle of a date. Didn’t Mary Jane once see through the Chameleon’s disguise as Peter almost immediately? As the character closest to Peter, she should exhibit the most sensitivity toward subtle (or extremely unsubtle) differences in his personality.
Mary Jane and Carlie have a friendship that apparently involves nothing other than sitting at a coffee table and talking about Peter. There’s a similar relationship between the ex-wives of Prince Charming in the Fables comic. Do women actually form clubs where they get together and chat about a man they’ve mutually dated? On the other hand, I have a theory that Carlie secretly wants Mary Jane dead. Why else would she not report to Mary Jane Peter-as-Doc Ock’s clear and obviously true statement that he had traded brains with Otto? The only other reason I can think of for her depravedly reckless communication failure is that rational behavior by Carlie would blow apart the scotch tape holding this plot together.
RATING: 1.5 bananas out of 5.
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