The return of Peter Parker was all the buzz days prior to the release of Superior Spider-Man #25, and I wondered, “why do it now?” Issue #25 makes it crystal clear why and while Dan Slott stated there is a subtle nod to Peter’s return in this issue, his and co-writer Christos Gage’s definition of “subtle” must include the use of a sledgehammer!
While the announcement of Peter’s return was welcome, I only wished it could have been revealed exclusively in the pages of Superior Spider-Man #25, but that’s not the world we live in, even less so if you write about comic books. There is, however, much more going on in the pages of this over-sized 25th issue. The Goblin Wars are about to begin, and Norman Osborn is intent on learning who is under Spider-man’s mask; poor Carlie Copper is transformed into a new Goblin family member “Monster,” and Hobgoblin is planning is own defense against the Goblin Underground.
The book kicks off with the Avenger’s finally arriving on the scene to stop Superior Venom, and the action is all out and intense. Even Thor is little match for Ock-Venom. While the Avengers deal with Venom, Iron Man visits a recovering Cardiac and dying Flash Thompson, and it’s far from pleasant or comfortable for everyone involved. It is indeed a jammed packed issue with plenty of consequences.
Slott and Gage also bring the public at large into the mix as they begin to question Spider-Man’s tactics and wage their own revolt against Spider-Man’s minions and robots. All hell is breaking loose, and it’s entertaining and full of excitement. During the battle to regain control of Venom is when the real surprise moment occurs, and rather than spoil what’s already flooded the internet, I suggest simply reading it and letting in all sink in. It’s brings much more impact and fun that way.
Humberto Ramos’ work is so tailor-made for this story and without it would lose a lot of the fun that still resides even in Spider-Ock. Ramos’ sense of action and flow is big and bold and action-packed without apology. That’s what makes it great! The Green Goblin looks his best in Ramos’ hands as do many of the outrageous villains in Spider-Man’s world, but he knows what his art is and uses it for maximum impact and appeal.
This is one of the most exciting issues in the run to date. By the end of the issue Octavius is back to his scheming deceptive ways but by now very few people are believing it. While I am happy that Peter is making his return, I freely admit that Superior has been a very good book and in many ways wish there will be a way both Amazing and Superior could coexist. Maybe Slott has the way that can happen and for a lifelong die-hard Peter Parker fan that’s saying volumes. Superior won me over and for those who jumped off after Amazing #700 you are doing yourself a disservice. Much has to happen before April, and I for one am looking forward to what’s to come.