Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Superior Spider-Man #5

It is hard to believe, but I think Dan Slott is actually getting better with this Superior Spider-Man thing. The moral dilemmas are getting more permanent and the stark contrast between Otto-Spidey and Peter Parker are really showing off the best of both characters. Otto is going to start doing serious, permanent damage to Spider-Man’s reputation as a hero. But that’s not all. Ol’ Otto always enjoyed chowing down, and he’s now eating mass quantities while possessing a slim spider-tuned body. Peter might come back to a middle aged body squeezed into the spandex!

Otto’s totally different approach to life is refreshing too. The costume is the same, but the somewhat laid back approach to super-heroing is so different, it is weird! This is clearly a different guy in the suit! Otto puts equal focus on personal development as the hero business, and he is quickly removing the need to stay on patrol. Sure, he’s blurring the line about too much power vs. keeping an eye on his city, but there is no doubting he’s a lot more efficient than Peter Parker. This set-up of a watchful, overlord Spider-Man would make him a good city-level villain should Slott and Marvel go in that direction.

I’m deliberately avoiding talking about the showdown with Massacre. Slott does an absolutely fantastic job showing how Otto’s arrival on the scene differs from Peter’s. The reader can see what Otto is doing, but Peter is frantic when he thinks Otto isn’t taking the situation seriously. And then the old moral dilemma about rehabilitation. Why let a known murderer go free when you know he will kill again? I can’t be sure what Otto-Spidey actually does here, but either way, I don’t think it is going to be good for Spidey or Peter’s reputation.

I continue to appreciate Giuseppe Camuncoli’s bulked-up Spider-Man. Giving Otto that extra heft makes him seem even more like a new character. I like the new Empire State tutor, but I’m not sure Camuncoli has quite mastered drawing a little person yet. She looks a bit too child-like, but her clothes and facial expressions do a good job showing her true age.


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