Review: Superior Spider-Man #25
With the recent announcement that Peter Parker will be coming back into the red and blue spandex, Dan Slott, Christos Gage, and Humberto Ramos seem to be going all out with pushing SpOck’s secret to the limit. Superior Spider-Man #25 ends up being an immensely enjoyable issue while trying to keep the secret of, “What is going on with Peter Parker?”
One of the biggest complaints against Superior Spider-Man has been the wild characterization of Ock in Peter. At points he’s been a jerk to the point where you have to ask, “How is he still on an Avengers team?” After reading #25 a couple of times, I started have mixed feelings about the result. While having the symbiote in Peter’s system (see Venom #4) is a great way to explain his erratic nature to his friends, part of me was worried that everyone would just write it off and everything would be fine. But Slott bucks that though with the last page. With the Goblin War coming up, things are going to be hard for SpOck, and also for Peter when he comes back. Slott takes the classic Spider-Man story point, stack the odds heavily against Spider-Man, and gives it a nice twist. Superior feels radically different than traditional Spider-Man stories at times, but it’s nice to see the heart of the story is similar.
One thing Slott has always been stellar at during this lengthy Spider-Man run has been the ability to tease upcoming events. The Goblin War has been brewing for some time, to a point now where readers can’t wait for the storyline to start. The “reveal” that the Green Goblin is Norman Osborn is written with a lot of weight, but doesn’t invoke the surprise that Slott and Gage meant for it. It ends up creating an air of skepticism, as I partially don’t believe that it’s Norman Osborn behind the mask. The issue is a little longer than normal Superior issues, which helps the story from being cramped. It gives the slightly quieter moments a chance to breathe. Many of Superior’s issues have felt cramped, but thankfully not rushed. While I’d hate to pay $4.99 twice a month for one series, the extra pages helped immensely. The stupid pull out ads doesn’t help the size of the issue either. I wish Marvel had made those removable, so I could save room in my long boxes.
Humberto Ramos’ artwork is something you love or hate. I know plenty of people who love his artwork to a point where his name on the cover is a reason to buy the issue. But I know others who do the opposite. His artwork is his normal work here. Occasional exaggerated physiques, while he handles the quieter moments nicely. His Venom is imposing, and flows smoothly through the panels. Venom’s size can make it a little hard to understand where everyone is in relation to each other though. One panel had me baffled as to what is going on. When Spider-Man hits Thor with Captain America’s shield, Spider-Man’s arm makes it look like the shield should be coming from the right, but it comes from the left. I see the trail of where the shield went, but this could have been fixed when Ramos was penciling the issue. The quieter moment between MJ and SpOck are perfectly penciled though. Peter has that hint of menace around his eyes that scare you when he says something sincere.
Superior Spider-Man #25 gets 4/5.