Dan Slott has been under fire since he unleashed the biggest sacrilege in comics history -- killing Peter Parker! As frenzied as fans were over it, they became ravenous after it was revealed the Superior Spider-Man was actually Doc Ock in Peter Parker's body. Personally, I excepted the change but wished that Slott had not revealed his hand so quickly at the end of the first issue. Peter's ghost was already back and Superior Spider-Man became a comically unbalanced version of the movie Ghost throughout issue two. I had wished Slott's vision for this book would have relied more on the "revenge of Doc Ock" aspect, truly letting the villain unleash with his newly acquired powers and destroy the good name of his archnemesis. Well, today, we get a glimpse of that unleashing and my dismay over this book is slowly abating.
I will give no spoilers (sorry Mr. Slott, we all don't do that) for the ending is something I think you will all enjoy. There is a moment in this tale where we see into Otto's past, a brutal life that even his biggest foe can empathize with, and it becomes a catalyst for what occurs. The cracks in this faux hero's facade begin to deepen, not only threatening his secret but the very lives of those who ponder something is amiss with Peter Parker.
This is the first issue of this series that I did not cringe out of the sheer annoyance of the Superior Spider-Man character. There was no hokey dialogue that feigned hilarity, nor was there any overt creepiness over M.J. and the mere thought of bedding her. This issue was pure action from the opening salvo but it wasn't just a "good ol' slobber knocker" either. Slott laced his tale with hints of characterization that actually solidified the character as opposed to hindering him, making this reader finally feel truly interested in his further development.
Ryan Stegman continues to make this Spidey, or any for that matter, a complete treat for the eyes. His darker tone for this book is completely stunning, but it his constant effort to bring new and intriguing visual aspects to the fight sequences that push his art to a higher level. From high flying punches to an emotionally distraught child, Stegman makes the page pop with pure electricity!
Though this might not be your cup of tea, I am slowly coming around to Slott's overall vision. I can do without "ghost Peter" for awhile, but I get it and it's worming it's way in. I must say though, kudos for the creative team for printing both positive and negative reactions to Slott's tale in the letters column. The negative comments are unabashed slams and it takes guts to publicly print the sheer amount that they have. Color me impressed.