I was one of the few who loved Amazing Spider-Man #700, I was excited for Superior Spider-Man #1. Even fans who were pissed off at #700 will be able to find something to love about Superior Spider-Man #1.
SPOILER WARNING FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698-700
#1 acts as set up for how Dan Slott is going to go about writing Dock Ock in Peter’s body. Life seems to be going the same as if Peter was still in the picture, except Ock is trying to understand it all. We have the big battle scene, showing readers how Ock is going to fight in different situations. The interactions with the rest of the supporting characters do the same. The entire issue keeps the reader in the know, and sets an air of suspense throughout the comic. How long will it be until the other characters realize that Peter is acting really weird? How long before Ock as Peter becomes an enemy to everyone Peter calls friends? The dialogue is the biggest hint to the readers, and will no doubt be the spark that sets someone off. Slott has been writing Spider-Man for some time, and knows the character well. After reading Superior Spider-Man #1, it feels as if there is a new spark in Slott. The dialogue sizzles on each page. Maybe he was killing time in the last ten issues of Amazing, and that lead to a decrease in quality, but he found something here that has brought the dialogue to it’s former greatness
The big reveal should calm the fears of quite a few fans. Many, myself included, saw something like this coming. This actually cures my biggest fear about Superior Spider-Man going forward. And that is how to handle the Ock and MJ relationship. It’s something that needs to be handled very carefully. If anything physical happens, it’s borderline rape. The plot beat that I see coming from the last page is Peter FURTHER trying to better himself. He’s always looking for ways to be a better Spider-Man, but he always seems to lack the same growth in his friendships. During the “Big Time” era, he certainly did a lot of that, dating Carlie and showing up to family events with Aunt May, but he still forgot things and let things slip away. Maybe seeing Ock be on time and remember the friendships that Peter has built up over the years will leave a mark for when Peter comes back.
Ryan Stegman has been steadily improving his pencils since launching Scarlet Spider last year. Superior Spider-Man #1 might be his best issue to date. The occasionally scratchiness is gone, in favor of well developed characters. Stegman also adds a little menace into Peter’s eyes. He looks exactly the same, but the reader can tell that something isn’t right. The big fight scene flows like a dream, with the bombastic action that rivals a blockbuster movie. He nails the character moments as well. The dinner scene with Mary Jane is hysterical, with Stegman giving Peter way to much swag for his body to handle. MJ’s reactions are equally priceless. Ryan Stegman was born to pencil the flagship Spider-Man title. Edgar Delgado colors pop off the page. This is a big superhero book, and the spandex looks great.
If you were scared by the ending to Amazing Spider-Man #700, do yourself a favor and give this book a chance.
Superior Spider-Man #1 gets 4.5/5.