Anghus Houvouras reviews The Superior Spider-Man #7…
“An Avenger no more? With the public at large realizing this is no longer a ‘Friendly Neighborhood’ Spider-Man, and in light of his actions in recent events, will the Avengers kick Spidey off the team? Plus the return of Cardiac! And a new development for a Spider-Man who hasn’t been seen for some time. And by time, we mean centuries. The lead up to the Spider-Event of the Summer Starts Here!“
Superior Spider-Man has been such a success, in my humble opinion, because the book has been fearless, unapologetic, and has moved at a ridiculously brisk pace. In a day and age where writers stretch simple arcs into five issue stories in order to fulfill trade paperback minimum page counts. Like many of the Marvel NOW! titles, The Superior Spider-Man has been chock full of good stories and interesting characterizations and not a single issue feels irrelevant to the run. That is, until we got to issue #7,
The seventh issue is pablum. Filler in every sense of the word. After the last issue, it seemed painfully obvious that our friendly neighborhood mind controlled Spider-Man was heading for a collision with Earth’s Mightiest Mortals. The Avengers have noticed some behavorial changes and confront Spider-Man about his activity. Before we get to that point, we are treated to yet another situation where Doctor Octopus opts for brutal violence where Peter Parker would have found a kinder, gentler way to deal with his villain.
This month’s morality play deals with Cardiac, a villain who is more Robin Hood that street hood. He’s a doctor looking to help a sick child with some cutting edge technology that has to be stolen from a warehouse. When the Superior Spider-Man finds him, it seems like Cardiac will join Massacre, Screwball and Jester as the latest victim of a public mauling. That is until the piece of Peter Parker trapped in his mind suddenly begins to reassert control.
Everybody saw this coming. Once the first issue concluded with “Blue Jedi Ghost Peter” appearing, it was clear that Doctor Octopus would not remain in the driver’s seat forever. Pity. Now the internal struggle has taken a turn in Peter’s favor as Octavius begins to hear the inner Parker monologue and with enough effort control his actions.
My problem with this issue is that it feels drawn out. We’ve been here before. The Superior Spider-Man has already dealt some brutal beatdowns to a number of villains and malcontents. Cardiac may be the most sympathetic villain in the Marvel Universe. Bringing him into it does nothing but oversell the notion that Spider-Man is out of control and needs reigning in. Something the last issue accomplished.
We do get some momentum in the final few pages where the Avengers realize that something is up and we’re given the precursor to what looks like an epic smackdown. Unfortunately, it won’t be until the next issue.
To writer Dan Slott’s credit, this is the first issue of the series that felt phoned in. It’s a retread of themes and plot points we’ve already seen addressed. Other than the last four or five pages, everything else in this issue felt like a carbon copy. I still want to see where this story is heading, but i didn’t finish Superior Spider-Man #7 with the same enthusiasm as previous installments.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the graphic novel EXE: Executable File, is available from Lulu.com.