Amazing Spider-Man #700 came out to… well, it came out. Let’s leave it at that. An eighteen-second video was pretty much the review for us. It did not inspire confidence in The Superior Spider-Man.
It turns out, if you can swallow the concept, this book is actually worth reading. Spoilers from here on in.
Before we talk about the writing, Ryan Stegman does a superb job on art chores. Most panels are spoilers, so we’ll be refraining from our usual one-panel sample. But suffice to say, Stegman’s Spidey is joyously dynamic, and some of the better art we’ve seen out of Marvel lately.
The basic thrust of the book is Otto Octavius, in Peter Parker’s body, going around being… well, not a good guy, exactly, but not a terrible one, either.
There are problems here, not the least of which is the fact that we totally called the ending of the book. Peter is still in his own noggin, and pushing Octavius to be more heroic, or at least not beat villains to death. But, as a hero, he’s got his own strategies and ways of doing things. Essentially, this is Spider-Man with a tendency to plan ahead and a hell of a mean streak, and Dan Slott makes it work.
But there are side points as well. Spider-Man is still a smart-ass: Octavius is just too arrogant to not get angry at people for being dumber than he is. But most relevantly, he’s still a crappy person: He’s lecherous, he’s arrogant, he’s rude. He’s beating up the new Sinister Six, made up of a series of also-rans, as much because he’s angry they’re using the name as anything else.
While the ending of this book is pretty much preordained, the first issue is actually very solid. Granted, Slott has a lot to make up for considering what a wreck the last arc of Amazing Spider-Man was, but if he can keep this up, it might be worth reading.