Review: Superior Spider-Man #1
Dan Slott has garnered more buzz in the last three issues of his Amazing Spider-Man run than anything in the previous two years on the book. So much so, that fans and celebs, especially Kevin Smith, have taken to all forms of media to talk about the life changing events that occurred to Peter Parker and Doc Ock. While most of the press has been negative, including death threats against Slott, some of us have been intrigued as to how these changes will affect Spidey's world. Today we find out if Dan Slott's gamble is worth your hard earned cash!
Slott poses an interesting idea of a highly intelligent villain taking over one of the most beloved characters in all of comicdom. The question has been posed as to whether he will be a hero or a complete menace to those closest to Peter Parker and the general public?
Unfortunately, Slott decides to ride the middle ground on the question almost through the entire issue. There is an almost Jekyll and Hyde scenario at play in the mind of Peter Parker, which ninety percent of the time has the "villain" win over the "hero" trapped in his head. This aspect makes complete sense and is better than a stylized "tug of war" over his actions. But what makes this book falter, is the complete pomposity of the "new" Peter Parker persona. Arrogant, creepy and completely loathsome, this character is an utter diatribe to Spider-Man! And I could live with that, he is Doc Ock underneath after all, but it is the lack of pushing the character over the top that makes it hard to read. If the gloves were off of this character and Slott used it in order to have him do some irreparable damage to the name of Spider-Man, finally destroy the hero that he so desperately wanted to for all these years, it would have made for a better read. Then, when the real Peter Parker eventually returns, there would be a bevy of great stories just waiting for us about the build up of Spider-Man as a hero again.
Instead we received another look at how socially pathetic and obnoxious Doc Ock is via a more chiseled physique!
All the hokey outbursts ("Because I AM PETER FREAKING PARKER!"), snide remarks and eerie, leering looks at M.J. make this a character piece that just annoys readers instead of intrigues us. By the time Slott truly lets Spider-Man show just how inherently "bad" he is, it is abruptly stopped by the "shocking" ending (spoilers). It is one that I wish would have not been revealed so soon in the series, and especially not in issue #1! If you are going to try and build something different - regardless as to what fan reactions may be - then do it! Do not stick a "shock" ending in the first book! Build to it, let the new status quo permeate the senses for awhile before revealing your hand. Let the "new" tale find it's footing before giving it an easy out scenario.
Some will despise this book, others may enjoy the "jerk" of a hero that Dan Slott has created. Either way, there will be a buzz and Marvel, regardless of the fans, wins again.