Published: November 14th, 2013
Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Ryan Stegman
Marvel Comics, 117 Pages
When I heard about this series before it came out, it sounded like a terrible idea and it seemed that my sentiment was also the majority’s. However, as the series rolled on, people really started talking it up and now it is considered by many to be a high point in the decade long run of Dan Slott on Spider-Man titles. So I figured that I’d give it a shot.
The reason why this was so controversial was because Otto Octavius a.k.a. Doctor Octopus put his mind into Peter Parker’s body and hijacked his life becoming Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Yeah, it sounds terrible on the surface and comes off as a cheap trick to try and deliberately stir up controversy for publicity’s sake. And really, that’s probably exactly what it was.
Controversial moments in comics usually turn out poor results in the long run or at least on the creative side. This is a rare example of it actually working and leading into a narrative and creative direction that fans liked. In fact, this series has since ended but fans are clamoring to see the Superior Spider-Man return in some form, especially after his involvement in the recent milestone issue The Amazing Spider-Man number 800.
I don’t know why this works, as it just seems weird and unbelievable even for comic books. But somehow, you know that this is a redemption story for Otto Octavius, even if his actions to put this in motion were rather heinous. His goal is to be the “superior” Spider-Man and also the superior Peter Parker. He wants to be the best version of both personas that he can possibly be.
Otto alters how Spider-Man operates in a way that is more efficient and he also strives to better Parker’s personal life by going back to school to get his PhD.
Another interesting part of the story is that Peter still exists as a ghost that is attached to Otto but Otto is still unaware of Parker’s presence and his constant commentary on how Otto is messing up his life and reputation.
I know that the premise may sound stupid or off-putting for old school Spider-Man fans but man, this really is a good read and I feel as if it is only going to get better as it finds its stride.
Pairs well with: Other Superior Spider-Man collections and any of Dan Slott’s other Spider-Man titles.