The Superior Spider-Man was by far the most anticipated book from Marvel NOW, followed by the upcoming AGE OF ULTRON event. Why? Well, Peter Parker is dead. (They didn't put #700 in the death polybag!) The Amazing Spider-Man ended with its 700th issue last month. In it we saw Peter Parker in Otto Octavius's dying body battling Otto whom was in his body. In the end, Peter's plan of switching failed but he managed to shoot his saddest memories of when he couldn't save some people, convicting the Doctor. Peter died, and Otto vowed to be the new Spider-Man, the superior Spider-Man. It was a pretty big shock for the comic world, getting plenty of hate beforehand, but once it came out, that hate died down. Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 was the perfect 'epilogue' of #700 and 'prologue' of Superior #1, it established just how Otto was going to work as the new Spidey. I was intrigued, there's something really interesting about it, plus Otto is just funny. Peter Parker is my favorite character of all time, so I wasn't exactly welcome to this, but sometimes things have to be shaken up for a new story. Superior Spider-Man #1 is a great opening issue with an awesome yet kinda hypocritical ending.
Let's start off at the beginning. We have Otto paying his respects to his body's grave, a great character moment. After so many years of constantly battling Peter, it's really interesting to see this. Soon he hears on the police band that there's trouble. This trouble comes in the form of..are you ready for this...the New Sinister Six. Not the most original thing since the team just appeared not too long ago, but they'll do. The roster is what's interesting, having Shocker, Overdrive, the Beetle, Speed Demon, the Living Brain and...Boomerang? Probably the most diverse version of the Sinister Six. Once Spidey swings in, things get interesting. There is something definitely 'dark' about this series, Otto is definitely what you get when you combine Peter with the Punisher. Dan Slott writes him well for the most part. In the beginning he sounded like a carbon copy of Peter, but in some scenes such as the dialogue with Max Modell and his referring to the Horizon team as "Dolts" are spot on. Mary Jane is quite clueless though. She knows Peter more than anyone...yet in #700 and here she's not the least bit suspicious. There's something wrong with that, right now she's one of the worst written characters of the book. Some parts of the dinner scene were just...not good. I do like Ryan Stegman's art. Even though Otto is using Peter's look, the art succeeds in making him look different than Parker. One particular scene in the lab when he refers to the team as "Dolts" (I know that's the second time I brought it up, it's just funny) his face looks so 'high and mighty', it's good stuff. This brings me to discussing the biggest thing about the issue, the ending...
So Otto finds the Sinister Six, beats them, but decides to really give it to Boomerang. In fact, he's about to kill him when a ghostly hand stops him. That ghostly hand belongs to Casper the Friendly Ghost and...well, actually it's Peter Parker. The ending was leaked a few days ago, I managed to avoid it, so this came as a shock. This is definitely very cool for fans, because the Peter Parker ghost says "I don't know how, but I am still in the fight! I am Peter Parker. And I swear I will find a way back!" It's good stuff, but also kind of hypocritical when you think about it. The whole point about the Superior Spider-Man was for Otto to become the hero, to be the new Spider-Man. Stephen Wacker even commented last month saying, "Peter Parker fans will sort of fade away over the months and years." So to see this happening makes the whole thing moot. Why? I read an interview today that Peter will be a "very strong presence" in the book, which is great, but at the same time this doesn't leave room for Otto becoming the new Spider-Man. Let's look at it this way...if readers see Peter throughout the story, then they're just going to want him back, it just doesn't make sense. But, these comic surprises keep happening...so I guess we'll see where this goes.
The Superior Spider-Man #1 is a very interesting start. Otto makes for a very funny title character, I'm looking forward to seeing how other heroes and villains react. Mary Jane sadly is not written well at all. The ending is...intriguing to say the least. Where it goes I do not know, we'll find out as the issues go. Superior? Not quite yet.