Comic Picks By The Glick

Superior Spider-Man vol. 1: Full Otto

September 22, 2019

Going back to yesterday’s first volume of “Miles Morales,” if his latest adventures felt fun yet predictable, this new “Superior Spider-Man” is a more self-aware version of that.  Picking up from the “post-credits scene” of “Amazing Spider-Man #800,” Otto Octavius has a new body and identity. That of the newest professor at Horizon University in San Francisco.  Yes, he’ll have to balance the social demands of being a university professor with that of being the city’s newest self-appointed protector. It’s one thing to save it from the likes of Stilt-Man, however, it’s quite another when bigger threats like Terrax the Tamer and Master Pandemonium come knocking and the Superior Spider-Man has to face his greatest challenge:  Getting over his own ego to ask others for help.


Among other things, writer Christos Gage helped out Dan Slott a lot with co-plotting and scripting lots of issues and arcs of “Amazing Spider-Man” as well as the recent PS4 “Spider-Man” videogame.  That includes the original “Superior Spider-Man” storyline and I’m mentioning this because I want to emphasize that he’s a guy who knows his Spider-stories as well as Doctor Octopus as a character. Which is how we get an Otto who is at once supremely arrogant yet still an engaging protagonist.  He genuinely wants to be a hero and is fighting as best he can against his natural impulses in order to do so.


Impulses, and Terrax and Pandemonium.  These actually turn out to be some pretty good fights because not only is Gage pitting Otto against characters Spider-Man hasn’t tangled with but he also has the character display some genuine cleverness when dealing with them.  Particularly with Terrax and I really liked his reasoning about what to do with the power he gained at the end. It’s the kind of smart writing I like seeing in my superhero comics right down to the prickly new status quo between Otto/Elliot and his former girlfriend Anna Maria Marconi.  If only Mike Hawthorne’s art was as polished as the writing this series would be the complete package instead of one that veteran Spider-fans will find entertaining in spite of it.

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