The Superior Spider-Man is forever free of Peter Parker’s influence and memories, leaving Otto Octavius to be Spider-Man as he pleases. Thankfully he still wants to continue being a hero, but as this issue shows, it will be much more difficult for him to pass as Peter Parker as time goes by.
This issue is simply great from cover to cover. There are tons of little comments from everyone Spider-Man comes across on how he’s different, and there’s a great range of compliments, complaints and simple acknowledgements. Probably the most notable of these are through Peter Parker’s ex-girlfriends. There’s also a brief stop in the college and a visit with Otto’s potential girlfriend, Anna Marie, and it’s nice to see she’s still around. Their relationship is kind of adorable. Despite all these side-stories touched upon though, it doesn’t feel the least bit unfocused. Every scene, besides the quick look at the villains, focuses squarely on Otto and the man he has become since the beginning of Superior Spider-Man.
There’s a good amount of action as Spider-Man continues his initiative to clean up the streets, even if he’s a little brutal at times. There’s also build-up to a potential retaliation from a few fairly powerful villains, which could make things interesting down the road. The ongoing investigation by Carlie Cooper and the growing suspicion in Mary Jane could also make things interesting.
The art in this issue is also great. Otto’s expressions capture his moods perfectly, from trying to hide his smug pride to his slight shame when the Jamesons argue over his methods. Environmental details are impressive, especially in the fire scene. It’s also refreshing to see random thugs have different appearances for once, even if for only one or two panels.
I can’t think of anything bad to say about this issue. It’s entertaining, compelling and well-focused. This is an easy recommendation to anyone who isn’t’ offended at the idea of Dr. Octopus acting as a hero through Peter Parker’s body. It’s exactly the fresh take Spider-Man’s franchise has desperately needed.