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Review: The Superior Octopus #1

Doc Ock has set up shop as San Francisco’s protector, but you won’t believe his methods. Some of Otto Octavius’s new super hero strategies may make Spider-Man regret letting him free, but the good doctor swears that he’s the SUPERIOR OCTOPUS!

I really enjoyed Dan Slott’s run of Doc Ock taking over the body of Peter Parker. Even the eventual spin of Doc Ock getting a younger clone body had potential. Then there was Hydra and logically for the character it made sense in many ways. This comic though… something is off.

Written by Christos Gage, The Superior Octopus is written with dialogue that’s painful to read. Gone is Slott’s take on a character trying to be a younger person. Instead we’ve got Doc Ock trying to sound like a hero with moments that are cringeworthy to read.

A scene actually has Ock saying:

“I am a force for good, while you are tin-plated would-be despots.”

Now, I know he’s not going to be the best when it comes to relatable dialogue but this is bad, even for him. While trying to get a speech pattern that could be the classic villain, the comic treads a bit too much into cheese.

The concepts within are solid as Gage sets up a personal life outside of being a superhero, dealing with Hydra, and continuing how he thinks being a superhero should be. It’s all great in that sense. The flow though is a bit of a chore to read and one that just isn’t all that enjoyable. Great ideas, bad execution.

The art by Mike Hawthorn is ok. There’s nothing too flashy or exciting and there’s some opportunity for that if he wanted. We get battles that are interesting to watch but the character design lacks a certain detail and polish. Octavious out of costume looks off with a large head and hair that’s a bit too stiff. There’s just a polish to it all that’s missing.

There’s a back-up story from Jed McKay and art by Mark Bagley that ties into the upcoming Spider-Geddon storyline which is the best thing about the comic. It answers some questions and plays into Ock’s arrogance and self-centered aspects.

For a comic that I was sure I was going to enjoy, I’m walking away wishing I spent the time reading something else. It just misses as far as story and dialogue and the art is pretty average. There’s nothing superior at all to it except it setting up the world it will revolve around. For a title that was a sure win it’s a hell of a miss.

Story: Christos Gage, Jed McKay Art: Mike Hawthorn, Mark Bagley
Ink: Wade von Grawbadger, Craig Yeung
Color: Jordie Bellaire, Dono Sãnchez-Almara & Protobunker

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Story: 4.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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