Anghus Houvouras reviews Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2 and The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #2…
The Spider-Man side of the Marvel Universe is getting more and more interesting, simply by adding the phrase ‘Superior’ in front of a number of new titles. To be fair, it’s not that simple. Good writing, art, and a controversial storyline have helped propel the Spider-Man corner of Marvel Universe into its most entertaining run in ages.
These ancillary titles could have been phoned in affairs to capitalize on the success of the core title. The first issue of Superior Team-Up very much felt like a greedy cash grab that lacked purpose. It was bad enough that i questioned whether I’d pick up the second issue. I’m glad I pushed through my apprehension because Superior Team-Up #2 is a great read and exemplifies what works about the concept of a title pairing two heroes together.
Dcotor Octopus has taken over Peter Parker’s life as has set a course to be the world’s most beloved hero. His strange behavior has made his peers take notice, prompting a visit from his clone Kaine, the Scarlet Spider. Since their last meeting involved Kaine snapping Doc Ock’s neck, things don’t go too smoothly pitting the Superior Spider-Man against the Scarlet Spider in a city spanning smack down.
Their confrontation is interrupted by the appearance of an old nemesis, The Jackal and an army of spider powered mutant monsters. Bitter rivals are forced to work together in order to survive. The Sibling Rivalry story (which continues in Scarlet Spider #20) was a great throwback to yesteryear. I may be one of the few comic fans who actually enjoyed The Clone Saga of the 1990s, which many cite as the kind of character overkill that led to the collapse of the medium.
Most of my complaints with the first issue have been addressed. Mainly, the art, which has greatly improved. Gone are the poorly constructed panels of the first issue which resembled those place mats at family restaurants used to occupy four year olds with crayons. The second issue is a dramatic improvement and gives me hope for future installments as it shows the potential for this kind of comic. Small, contained stories that can still add to the overall dramatic narrative.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #2 continues the wonderful and woeful adventures of the new Sinister Six, even though there are only five members. Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber are crafting a great story that is easily the most humorous book on the shelves. I love a good underdog story, and Superior Foes of Spider-Man is the Bad News Bears of the Marvel Universe. It’s hard not to root for these guys. I try to avoid hyperbole, but two issues into Superior Foes and I have a hard time not describing it as an instant classic. If you’d had told me at the beginning of the year that my favorite comic book was going to feature Boomerang and Shocker, I would have asked what prescription medication you were snorting and recommended halving the dose. And yet, here we are.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man is a must read, and Superior Spider-Man Team-Up rebounded nicely.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.