Saturday, March 2, 2013

Superior Spider-Man Superior?

I've been remiss in my updates, sorry about that folks. Last semester of actual grad classes, though, so hopefully I can get back to posting more after.

For now, I've been reading a bunch of comics (thanks to my comics-and-capitol trip and a recent Pull List pick up), playing the Dead Space series, and watching Downton Abbey.

Is that seems a bit eclectic... Well, yeah.

I was not pleased with the ending of Amazing Spider-Man. I still do not care for the idea of Doctor Octopus as Spider-Man -- he was never an interesting villain for me. Now, however, I've seen him as Spider-Man and Peter Parker in Superior Spider-Man and in Avenging Spider-Man. And we're going to talk about it Wild West style.

The Good:

From the get go, the art is strong and relatively consistent with recent ASM, which I've enjoyed. The differences come in depictions of Spidey and Peter, and I think both of those are being done reasonably well: Spidey's suit is modified to be a bit more vicious as well as more capable, with claws and digital lenses. Peter, when working, wears a lab coat and goggles, very much in Ock style. That being said, it works and is never overstated. 

The writing is done well, though Peter's language is obviously modified by Doc Ock's lexicon. This... well, disliking Doc Ock, makes me a bit annoyed at times, but it is necessary. It does manage to keep things funny, though not with Peter-Peter's slapstick. And Ock-Peter has a lot to reflect on; things he's done in the past compared to his new memories of what Peter-Peter had done. The stories so far have been acceptable -- a new Sinister Six, the Vulture, and Massacre are who we've encountered before, and we're definitely seeing a new Spidey in how he handles them -- viciously and publicly, much more like a Batman than our normal, goofy, red and blue Spidey.

A final element that personally sells the series to me was introduced in the last panel of the very first issue: Ghost Peter! He's NOT gone, which means he will be returning in the future, eventually. Well, that's an assumption, but I'm sticking with it. Ock-Peter is either temporary or not the be-all, end-all I wasn't looking forward to. Ghost-Peter is in ever issue so far, getting his own inner thoughts and visualization while Ock-Peter goes through his day. It can sometimes be a bit annoying, really, but I'm just glad they didn't hold to eliminating Peter for long.

The Bad:

Yeah... that happened.
The Peter Parker moments with Ock in the driver's seat are generally annoying, if not borderline revolting to a long time fan. Fortunately, the writers are staying away from him doing anything wrong or potentially vulgar, but there are a few moments here and there (pretty sure Ock-Peter touches himself to Peter-Peter's memories of MJ...), and every time he interacts with someone, it feels like the annoying bits when someone is masquerading as a particular hero/character and ruining their reputation. Ock hasn't ruined anything per se, but his general dick-attitude is coming awful close to burning bridges with interesting characters Peter-Peter made friends with.

Ghost-Peter tends to nag. Yeah, I want him back, but it's almost enough for me to know he's around; I don't necessarily need him in every frame criticizing, complaining, or realizing that Ock does do some things better.

Ock-Peter is a lot more Batman than Spider-Man. It's not a huge issue, but I'm here to read Spider-Man, you know?

The Ugly:

MJ doesn't have a clue the pervy Ock is in Peter's body, but Carly Cooper does. Sure, Carly is a cop and was there when Peter-Ock was still trying to get his body back, but MJ has more than enough history that she should know when Peter isn't quite Peter.

In Avenging Spider-Man, Spidey fights Wolverine and more or less ruins my favorite team-up for the foreseeable future. This is a sad, sad day for Spidey/Wolverine fans.

Now, to answer the question, is Superior Spider-Man superior? Ock as Spidey is definitely being more effective than Peter ever was, however nothing will overwrite the fondness for the character I've built since my childhood. It's good, and you should definitely read it, but I'm looking forward to some sort of resolution with Ghost-Peter soon.

Note to Marvel: I WILL accept Ghost-Peter jumping into a clone body. While you're add it, let's get some Ben Reilly back too.

Alright, that's all. Next time we'll be talking about a certain Norse God of Thunder...

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