Sunday, 15 September 2013

Superior Spider-man Volume 2: A Troubled Mind by Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos and Ryan Stegman Review

SO GOOD! Superior Spider-man is SO GOOD - that’s how it should only be described, only in superlative capitals. I picked this up yesterday thinking I’d read an issue or two before I start my day and I couldn’t put it down until I’d read it straight through. Then I went online and bought issues #11-17 on eBay - this book made me switch from trades to monthlies because it’s too long to wait for the collected editions! 

If you’re reading a review of Vol 2, you probably already know the setup, but if you don’t, the short version is Doc Ock’s mind is in Peter Parker’s body. Doc Ock’s body is dead, Peter Parker’s mind is dead (but his soul is still haunting a part of his mind) and nobody knows Peter Parker is now Otto Octavius. Moreover Ock is determined to carry on being Spider-man, but he will use his higher intellect to become an even better Spider-man - a Superior Spider-man! 

In this book, people start to question what’s going on with “Peter” especially after the conclusion of the first volume where Spider-man executed a villain! He starts off this book by severely beating a pair of pranksters in a live streamed video that the Avengers see and decide to bring him in for testing. Meanwhile Cardiac is running an underground clinic for people in dire need of medical help but can’t afford it and he needs a piece of equipment to save a little girl’s life - only problem is, it’s Octavius tech that the new Spider-man is strangely deeply possessive of! And finally, Doc Ock and Peter Parker have a showdown - inside Peter’s head. 

SO GOOD. I can’t stop saying it, I loved this book. I love that Dan Slott is giving Doc Ock numerous challenging situations, both physically and morally. Spidey fighting the Avengers? Great! Then having to save the life of a girl whose condition he caused? Amazing! I love Anna Maria’s character and that Slott is taking Peter back to school to earn his doctorate. Spider-man’s always been written as a super-brain and Slott is underlining this aspect of the character, ensuring he’s raised up amongst the likes of Reed Richards, Bruce Banner, and Tony Stark. 

Peter also plays a big part in this book. He’s slowly regaining control of his body and trying to make people aware that it’s Otto and not him who’s in charge of his body and that’s why he’s so changed, while Officer Carlie Cooper is trying to prove that that’s the case. And the fight between Peter and Otto at the end is brilliant. Surreal, imaginative, full of insights into both characters, especially Otto’s who’s undergone some remarkable changes since the series began. Couple Dan Slott’s dynamite script with Humberto Ramos and Ryan Stegman’s art and you’ve got gold. 

Slott is firing on all cylinders with this series. It’s no understatement to call Superior Spider-man a masterpiece because it really is one of the best Spider-man storylines the character’s ever had and Slott is working every angle, weaving all the story threads masterfully into one coherent, utterly compelling whole. It’s an absolute joy to read - Superior Spider-man is both the title and an appropriate description for this book. Superhero comics at its finest!

Superior Spider-Man - Volume 2: A Troubled Mind

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