Superior Spider-man Annual #1 Review

by @octii_pies on Nov 21, 2013

I had always enjoyed how incredibly human Peter Parker was, especially as Spider-man. Still, somehow Otto is simply better than he was at, well, being himself… and he’s still improving.

The Good

With Otto’s mind at the wheel we arrive at very different questions of morality and sanity than we ever did with Peter. In a way, Otto is an incarnation of fans who got frustrated by the repeated series of screw-ups Parker caused, yet, is this really Spider-man? Would he really torture and disfigure? Is he willing to cast away his humanity to save those who prey on others? Otto is, and in many ways he is a Superior Spider-man. One the one hand, I really love the way he works. A mixture of Otto’s brilliance and Parker’s natural goodness within and in his surroundings make a very interesting, well intentioned, very efficient character. Still, Otto is willing to do very different things than the Peter Parker May and everyone else loved. Things that may turn those he is trying to protect against him. I suppose to defeat monsters you would have to yourself become a monster- after all, who better knows them than themselves? Would that not, in fact, merely cancel out the effect? Wouldn’t it just leave an even more terrifying monster behind? While I found his capture and treatment of Blackout very, very satisfying, I can’t help but think, “This isn’t Spider-man.” How could you be a superior version of something you don’t even understand? The conflict between cheering on Otto’s harsh antics alongside his determination to be better at his version of Peter Parker than Peter was or he was as his past self is admirable and engrossing. Though he is oblivious to the struggles and effects he has to those around him, we are not, which makes us as readers more likely to tag along for the ride.

The Not So Good

Overall, I really enjoyed the art- especially the illustration of Blackout! Wow! The only thing that bothers me is that Peter Parker’s body is just too… Manly? Even with the Spider-man transformation Parker still retained the slim, secretly hot nerdy look. Especially in this issue, “Peter Parker” just looks… intimidating. Sure, it matches with what has, er, “happened” to him, and yet it is just so uncomfortable to look at. I suppose this may not really be a con and more a visual addition to what I mentioned about conflicts and contradictions in the previous section.

The Bottom Line

Very interesting change of pace from the old Spider-man stories (formula: Peter messes up + bad luck = tragedy). Superior Spider-man’s world is a lot more controlled and somehow also a lot more chaotic. Probably because Otto is freaking evil. I will probably pick up the other Superior Spider-man series when checking out the next issue of this one. Seeing Ghostrider and Dr. Strange referenced from Superior Spider-man: Team-Up really caught my attention. 4/5

4.0 / 5
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Superior Spider-man Annual #1
Released November 13, 2013
Writer Christos N. Gage
Artist Javier Rodriguez
Cover Artist J. G. Jones

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