Otto Octavius leaves the moniker of Doctor Octopus behind and once again becomes The Superior Spider-Man! If you think you’ve already read the most intense and surprisingly heartbreaking Superior Spider-Man story, prepare to be wrong. Otto is going to prove to the world that he’s the most effective and (to him at least) the best super hero in the world. But when a villain that overpowers him by so much shows up in San Francisco, there’s no way Ock can win, right?
Back in October, the Superior Octopus was released and had Doc Ock in his new body setting up a new life in San Francisco. Then, Spider-Geddon happened, and that issue feels more like a tease of the series we were supposed to get, Superior Spider-Man. Much of Octopus‘ creative team is onboard with this new series making for a nice transition though it feels a bit like deja-vu at times.
Writer Christos Gage is the one taking us along Doc Ock’s new direction and new life and it’s not a bad start. Some of my complaints of the original series, namely Ock’s speech patterns, are lessened here and instead the issue feels more like a different spin on Spider-Man. And, that’s not a bad thing. As has been seen numerous times, different spins on Spider-Man can work. Here we get the arrogance and brilliance of Ock in a new body and a new location. I enjoyed his time in Peter’s body under Dan Slott’s run and how the character approached similar issues from the past in a different way. Here Gage is continuing that with the use of villains as his eyes and ears, something we know will come back to haunt him in some way.
Mike Hawthorne handles the art along with Wade Von Grawbadger on ink, Jordie Bellaire on color, and Clayton Cowles on lettering. The art isn’t too flashy but there’s solid use of page and panel layouts. Hawthorne and the team don’t attempt to recreate the more iconic bend in all ways Spider-Man poses instead focusing on dramatic angles and perspectives. It works to set the art apart from what else is out there and come before.
The issue is a solid one delivering a new start, after what feels like a false one, and a direction that’s interesting. There’s a lot to like in this debut and for Spider-Man fans, or those interested in a reformed villain, it’s an issue to check out. First issues can really be judged if they get you to want to come back for a second and this one succeeds in that and then some.
Story: Christos Gage Art: Mike Hawthorne
Ink: Wade Von Grawbadger Color: Jordie Bellaire
Lettering: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.75 Overall 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review