A Superior Reckoning!
SPIDER-MAN faces a NEW VILLAIN from his SUPERIOR past. As she fries New York with all the power of a living star, DOC OCK makes a life-changing discovery!
MARK BAGLEY and DAN SLOTT continue their Spider-Man run with this 10th-ANNIVERSARY celebration of everything that made Spider-Man Superior.
The Comicbook DispatchWhile loss and memory haunt Doc Ock, Spider-Man, and Spider-Boy, the pint-size wallcrawler demonstrates surprising resilience in Superior Spider-Man #1.
Comic WatchSuperior Spider-Man #1 may not be what everyone is looking for, but fans of what Slott and Bagley have been working on over the last couple of years will love the new direction here.
First Comics NewsMarvel hit the jackpot so to speak when they repackaged Spider-Man by having Otto Octavius aka Doctor Octopus transfer his mind into Peter Parker’s body, thus making him a Superior Spider-Man; Now ten years later, Marvel is reviving the title with Dan Slott back at the writing helm (A second volume came out in 2018 that flamed out quickly) and Mark Bagley on art is a great selling point and the inclusion of Spider-Boy adds charm but the story never hits its full potential when it comes to actually seeing Otto as the Superior Spidey and while the last two pages help in laying the groundwork for future stories (**NO SPOILERS**) while establishing Supernova as a serious threat, this premier issue felt more like a Peter Parker story with Otto himself in a supporting role ….IN HIS OWN TITLE!! The backup feature by Slott and Nathan Stockman is more entertaining and gives us another look at Spider-Boy’s past, this time in his interactions during Otto’s earlier days as Spider-Man. This series looks like it could bring back what was once known as a different yet daring time in Spider-Man’s life while seeing Slott as his best but with this first issue backfiring big time, let’s see if the second issue and beyond will be more invigorating since this issue just has one purpose and that it’s just there.
AIPTThis opening issue teases the next big move for Otto while delivering the best Slott and Bagley can bring. The Superior Spider-Man isn’t quite back yet, but this issue is doing a lot of work to set things up so the return is earned. I think patience is key here, as Slott and Bagley continue to bring their best work to Spider-Man after years of hits. Doc Ock isn’t quite back, but you can’t deny this is a fun-loving and exciting as Spider-Man gets under these creators.
Major SpoilersAll in all, Superior Spider-Man #1 is going to be essential reading only for those who already have encyclopedia knowledge of Slott’s Spider-Man lore, but also adds retconned wrinkles to those, making for a book that wants to serve two different impulses. The clear expectation is for Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus to have to work together, reuniting the brains and the brawn of Superior, but I hope that it’s not quite that straightforward.
Geek'd OutThe problem with this Superior Spider-ManI think, based on the first issue, is that it doesn’t really fulfill the premise in a satisfactory way. Despite what the marketing may have led you to believe, Otto doesn’t actually become the Superior Spider-Man in this issue, and solicits for future issues are worded so vaguely they imply he may not even make the transformation very soon either. I could be making baseless assumptions here, but Otto is notably visible on half of the four currently solicited covers in his Doc Ock persona alongside the Superior suit, which I think is at least suspicious. I understand that this could just be the same culprit that plagues a lot of comics —decompressed storytelling— but I think if you’re picking up an issue titled Superior Spider-Man #1, you would reasonably expect to see Otto become that character by the end of the first issue. But I suppose a series titled Doctor Octopus won’t sell as much based on name alone. The point is just that I don’t know how successful this issue is at hooking people coming for what the title promises, especially if they maybe haven’t checked in on Spider-Man in a while and find themselves faced with all this new (and admittedly, confusing) lore. But if you miss Dan Slott writing and/or Mark Bagley drawing Spider-Man, you could do worse than Superior Spider-Man #1, and it will possibly give you exactly what you want. Those two creators need little explanation, and their work here is probably exactly what you’d expect from them. I’m just not someone who has any nostalgia in particular for either with this character, so I come off reading it a little cold. (What I did love, however, is the appearance of the Marvel NOW! era F4 in the Spider-Boy backup story. Bring back Darla Deering, dammit!!)
ComicBook.comSuperior Spider-Man #1 simply doesn't move the needle any measurable amount. It refuses to inject new life into the concept, and so it simply exists. It doesn't want to stand out, nor does it lay the groundwork for an interesting story ahead. Instead, Superior Spider-Man #1 feels like a story crafted out of the desire to sell to those looking for the long-since-misremembered thrills of nostalgia, only it doesn't even manage that much. It just is, and that may be the biggest mistake it could have made.