Superior Spider-Man is settling into his new home of San Francisco and what comes along to ruin his day? An ex-herald of Galactus. Otto has the worst luck. Can he be truly Superior, or does Terrax have his number?
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Aside from this character being a clever twist on the vigilante hero it’s exciting to see Otto Octavius have to fight a villain that’d give the Avengers trouble. If you aren’t interested in seeing how Otto stays alive in this fight you may not understand how powerful a villain with the Power Cosmic can be. Keyword: very.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue balances two things very well. The first is Spider-Man staying alive long enough for his plan–there’s always a plan–to work before he is smashed like a bug. The second is Anna Maria Marconi getting dragged into helping Superior Spider-Man even though she’s well aware he’s Otto and probably bad news. Writer Christos Gage is forcing these two together in the heat of battle well aware they’re in bad standing, but maybe Otto’s actions can mend their love. That is if he can live long enough.
Much of this issue reveals how powerful Terrax is and how utterly outmatched Otto is in a fight. The character has always required technological advancements to win and yet most of this issue shows what he can do at the moment. He’s biding his time, of course, and has a foolproof plan, but in the heat of the moment he can barely keep up. It’s interesting to see the character keep fighting much like the original Spider-Man would against impossible odds. It’s not quite lifting up fallen steel to get to serum, but you get the sense he’s fighting through incredible pain and odds. It’s the perfect heroic moment early on in the run.
Mike Hawthorne draws some killer action with many clever uses for Otto’s superior spider arms. You will believe Terrax is a threat that could fight gods due to his physical prowess and the ease with which he beats on Spidey. There is also some visual comedy with Spider-Man’s backup evil team too. Anna Maria has key moments in this book that show her fear, worry, and heroic nature too. She may be human but Hawthorne visualizes why Otto loves her so much.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The book has a repetitive quality to it. Watch Terrax beat Spider-Man, then watch him do it again, then watch Spider-Man’s attempt to stop Terrax fail again. There isn’t so much a progression of moments rather than a collection of them. It lacks the build-up that could make the cliffhanger stand out.
Nitpicking a bit here, but early on there’s an odd moment where Terrax punches a civilian seemingly so hard he flies across a street. Oddly the next moment we see him he’s fine and helping Spider-Man get his husband out of danger. I had to flip back and forth a few times to make sure I didn’t miss a panel.
Is it good?
Gage and Hawthorne deliver an action-packed against all odds battle. The fact that it is anchored by an emotional character relationship proves it’s worthy of your time and money. Plus the cliffhanger should be incredibly fun to watch seeing as Superior Spider-Man’s ego may be his biggest weakness.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!