Book: The Superior Spider-Man, Issue #5

"Superior Spider-Man 005"

Otto Octavius is a man who cheated death. But at a price. When he exchanged bodies with Peter Parker, he gained the amazing skills of Spider-Man–and all of Peter’s memories. Otto finally understands Peter’s mission of great responsibility.

But a tiny piece of Peter Parker is still there in the Superior Spider-Man’s brain, watching Otto live out his life and trying to keep the reformed villain in check.

Massacre, a mass murderer whose life the Amazing Spider-Man once saved, broke out of an insane asyluym, and soon after shot up a fast food restaurant, killing almost all inside.

Now, with the help of his spider-bot surveillance cameras across the city, Otto is determined to succeed where Peter failed and stop Massacre by any means necessary.

And stop Massacre he eventually does. Before you even open the latest issue of Superior Spider-Man, you know what’s going to happen. It’s ingrained in the comic superhero formula. Except when the expected doesn’t happen. Except when your hero used to be villain.

Then things get interesting.

Superior Spider-Man is killing me. There would be issues like this that are amazing, and then out of the blue, a bad one will be released. And I feel weird saying that seeing as the series is only five-issues old. I am very wary of what’s going to happen in Issue 6 now. Will it be as good as this one?

Saying that, I have wondered why a discrepancy in quality even exists. At first, I wanted to chalk it up to the format. I mean, how hard it must be to tell a story that has to end a few pages in, and to leave your readers wanting enough that they would buy the next issue. But Buffy the Vampire Slayer does that without much problem–so it’s possible!

I think Superior Spider-Man is bogged down by too much history, too many characters, and writers who have no idea how to balance both while keeping with the running thread of Otto in Peter’s body. Five issues in, they’ve opened up story lines that has yet to lead to anywhere. And while I do like where they’re taking Spider-Man, I’m not as sold with how they’re dealing with the rest of the characters. Or rather, the lack of dealing with them.

I keep saying that I hope the next issue will be better. I’m not doing that anymore. Now I’m hoping that the writers know where they’re taking this. And that they’re not just taking us for a ride.

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