Anghus Houvouras reviews the third issue of The Superior Spider-Man…
It was inevitable. After making the decision to fundamentally change Spider-Man, there was the lingering suspicion that Marvel Editorial would either try to hit the reset button on the whole concept or give us a more sympathetic and ultimately more endearing Doctor Octopus. For some reason, Marvel is drilling down on both.
We already know that Peter Parker isn’t dead. He’s trapped inside his own mind, a passive passenger while Octavius is behind the wheel. This dual narrative is effective if not completely original. The last two issues have fallen into a familiar pattern. Octavius continues to make radical changes to the way both Spider-Man and Parker do business. Small suspicions arise forcing the reader to wonder how long this charade will last.
The third issue sees Ghost Peter dumpster diving through Octavius’ memories looking for anything he can use to regain control. He comes across some disturbing childhood memories of being physically abused. This ties into the Superior Spider-Man’s current predicament, dealing with The Vulture who has started using children as his henchman. This doesn’t sit well with Octavius who channels all his childhood traumas and rage into a brutal beat down of the Vulture.
It’s another good issue from writer Dan Slott who provides Octavius with another conundrum. As Spider-Man, he’s facing villains that he used to call friends. He’s sympathetic towards perpetual failures like The Vulture. It’s easy for Octavius to identify with them, and makes his brutal, near murderous rampage all the more troubling.
Superior Spider-Man #3 is another solid issue. Slott proves there is still unexplored territory in this premise. I have no issue freely admitting how much more of enjoy this comic without Ghost Peter offering his ongoing commentary on everything. This book works well when it’s focused on Octavius dealing with the role of reluctant hero. Ghost Peter hanging around dispensing his opinion every thirty seconds does a lot to take the wind out of The Superior Spider-Man’s sails.