By Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Humberto Ramos

Superior Spider-Man and Agent Venom are an interesting matchup.  Since Flash Thompson has had the symbiote, he hasn’t spent much time with his hero.  However, this issue doesn’t really give us much of that.  The premise is set, but we have to wait until next issue to see anything come of this.

The issue is primarily focused on Spidey-Ock ushering in yet another status quo, as Parker Industries is now up and running.  All of this success will surely blow up in his face at some point, but it’s still jarring to see any version of Peter Parker have such unprecedented good fortune.

Otto’s relationship with Anna-Maria has definitely gotten more…well, intimate.  Let’s give Slott a ton of credit for her.  She’s the most interesting spider-girlfriend in a long time.  Will she still be around when the real Peter finally returns?  Actually, I’m really hoping that she does.  Now that their relationship has reached a new level, it’s going to be interesting to see how involved she becomes in Otto’s new life.

Slott and Gage don’t forget about some of the lingering threads from past issues.  Carlie Cooper is missing (kidnapped by the Goblins) and Wraith is on the case.  Wraith is also aware of Peter’s current brain condition and is ready to expose Otto.  This has been the most interesting part of Superior, probably because the Spidey-Ock dynamic has worn out its welcome and any indication that this might end soon is encouraging.

Humberto Ramos’ work on Spidey has really improved.  It’s a more mature take on his style.  His past work on Amazing/Superior previously looked like it should have been in the children’s section of your local comic shop (and Slott’s poor dialogue did as well).  This is much stronger work and his depiction of Spidey-Ock is great.  He puts him in quirky positions and there is ferocity to Spidey-Ock that we have become accustomed to.

Superior Spider-Man doesn’t quite deliver what the cover promises, but the premise is set for an epic matchup.  The seeds continue to be planted for future stories and there is foreshadowing out the wazoo.  This isn’t the best issue of Superior, but it presents the case to hang on for just a little longer.


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