Welcome back friends, to another edition of Obsession Perception. I hope you all have had a good week and have all finally seen The Winter Soldier and enjoyed it the way I did. This week I’m going to spend my time here discussing Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos’ The Superior Spider-Man. Anyone who has been reading Spider-Man at least since Amazing Spider-Man #700 knows what’s going on and I’m sure many of you who haven’t have heard the gist of it, but if you intend on reading it yourself and don’t want possible spoilers then now is the time to exit. Here we go, the 11th installment of Obsession Perception, The End of the Superior Era.
In his time writing Spider-Man comics, Dan Slott has no doubt experienced a lot of highs and lows. Be it death threats or high praise, there’s no doubt that pretty much everyone has some sort of opinion about his decision to kill off Peter Parker and replace him with Otto Octavious. Personally, I have had mixed feelings about it through the whole ordeal. I started out bummed at the absence of Peter and how the 616 universe seemed to lack the sort of hero that he is (was). Peter Parker is a very important character to me and to super hero comics in general. He isn’t quite like any other character anywhere else in comics. The whole dichotomy between his often tragic personal life and his optimistic super hero attitude is what draws so many readers and fans into his lore. Pete deals with a lot of terrible loss and personal sacrifice and it is always met by Spidey never giving up and always trying to do the right thing. It is for this reason that when getting deeper into Slott’s “Superior” run that I began to become okay with Peter’s absence, because with Otto Octavious at the helm, having taken over Peter’s body, defeating his consciousness and blurring the lines of Spider-Man’s persona between super hero and anti-hero super jerk, it made me really think about and appreciate Peter Parker in an even bigger way. To me, that seems to be what Slott had been going for, it certainly feels that way when you see the shift in Otto in the last few issues. Otto realized that his hubris during his tenure as Spider-Man had almost cost him the woman he loved and that he wasn’t superior after all. Though it could have been more of a through line in the story and I would have enjoyed to see a bit more of Otto’s realization play out, I think the way he was written and the way he went out was a pretty gratifying ending for Otto.
So, like he always does, Peter Parker prevails. He’s left with a lot to clean up and a lot of explaining to do. Issue #31 handled some of it but left enough interesting threads for Pete to deal with in the new Amazing Spider-Man series. Going forward we know he has to clear things up with Anna Marie and clear things up with the Avengers. However, he now has a full PhD and a company of his own so Otto didn’t completely leave him behind empty handed. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds and, even more so, I am happy to have The Amazing Spider-Man back.
Dan Slott has been the sole writer for the main Spider-Man book for a long time now. Love or hate what he’s done, there’s no doubt that it had an effect on everyone to some extent. There have certainly been worse Spider-Man stories and the Superior era is now a piece of Peter Parker’s history, and at the very least will be a memorable time in comics. How it ranks in Spider-Man’s rich history remains to be seen. Personally, it’s not among my overall favorites but certainly not toward the bottom either. I hope Slott re-establishes “Amazing” and moves on from Spider-Man and let’s a new writer take Peter in a new direction. Not because I dislike Slott’s writing, but because I like other writers and would like to see what someone else can build on top of what Slott did. So here’s to The Superior Spider-Man, a solid run that, while met with a mixed bag of reactions, made at least one Spidey reader realize that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and in my book that’s a success.
So what do you true believers think about The Superior Spider-Man and its ending? Did it fall short of, live up to, or exceed your expectations? Did you leave it with even more of an appreciation of Peter Parker like I did? Tell me all about it in the comments. Come back to www.all-comic.com for all your comic needs! I’ll see you next week with episode 12 of Obsession Perception!