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Superior Spider-Man #23

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By Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Humberto Ramos

Jeez. It’s hard to get excited about anything going on in Superior when it’s put together so poorly. Seriously, this issue is a mess. Venom and Superior Spidey fight and they somehow manage to mess that up. Venom and Spidey! The story practically writes itself!’

The biggest problem is the pacing. There’s so much going on that there isn’t a chance to get a real feel for anything. Instead of getting the Venom/Spidey clash that we want, the majority of the issue is dedicated to the foreshadowing of things that are only marginally interesting. The plot thread about Otto being exposed is very appealing, but they even mess that up by flying off to the next plot and not giving anything juicy to hold us off. At least the Goblin stuff was brief. The less we see of that, the better. The only decent thing about this issue is the ending. Not only does this mess end, but there is also what appears to be a new status quo for the Venom symbiote. It’s still up in the air, but Venom fans will want to keep their eyes peeled for what happens next.

Humberto Ramos has been on a roll. His Spidey work has vastly improved. That’s why it’s all the more irritating that this issue is an eyesore. Wow, talk about a step back. Spider-Man’s head looks like an alien from the Alien films and Venom looks like he took a 2 ton dump in his pants. Who approved this? On a positive note, the art gets a tad better as the issue goes on.

This is a very poor issue. That’s a shame, especially since this book sells no matter what and Marvel will never get the hint that a creative change is sorely needed. Things look like they could get better, but I’ve been burned by those promises before. It’s hard to recommend this title until we can get an arc that plays more to the writer’s strengths or a change in creators (this is the more preferable option).

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