If the voices of “reason” on the comic book message boards are any indication, Doctor Octopus invading Spider-Man’s body has grown on people. Hints that the SpOck story may not last forever have dropped and some good writing has kept readers at ease. I’ve found nearly each of the first four issues enjoyable or downright great, but how does issue #5 fare; is it good?
Superior Spider-Man #5 (Marvel Comics)
Massacre is on the loose massacring people left and right. This issue reveals he killed a whole lot of folks at Burger Town in order to blackmail and offer the Burger Town CEO a deal. It’s a clever, yet sick sort of deal and it’s a good way for Dan Slott to relay some commentary on the evils of marketing.
So Massacre is really good at videography?
SpOck has a plan to stop Massacre, but not by swinging around stumbling onto clues. No, he doesn’t do it the Peter Parker way, and is actually better at managing personal life with superherodom. Of course that comes with a price, but human loss of life isn’t such a big deal to SpOck as it was to Peter. Over the last five issues one thing is clear, SpOck is much better at multitasking and much more capable of breaking a few eggs to make his omelet.
Is this a promise Peter is getting the body back…soonish?
All of this culminates in an ending that isn’t so hard to see coming. Peter has been attempting to stop SpOck from murdering a couple times now so the fact that he’s close to blowing a villain’s brains out doesn’t come as a surprise. The reaction to his actions is, however, and it speaks volumes as to why Slott’s story is doing great things. Namely he’s touching on new ground for superhero comics in general by having a villain inside a superhero’s body. The moral justification heroes use to not do things is gone and Slott lets SpOck run free. He does well to show in some cases a villain’s perspective on moral justification might be better in some sense. Not to give anything away, but opening this issue by discussing the great lengths a corporation may go to market their product, the conclusion dealing with how the media perceives thing is made even stronger. A hero might detest an immoral choice, but the media may have a different idea entirely.
If Peter gets his body back with 15 pounds of fat on his stomach I’d call this series a success!
Once again, SpOck uses his technology-minded tactics to take on the villains. In this issue he utilizes a very Dark Knight inspired goggle slash facial recognition tech to find Massacre. With so many gadgets running amok—this time spider-bots which are gaining more and more abilities—the whole “with great power comes…” mantra is taking on new meaning.
“Spying on 30 million people is not part of my job description.” Lucius Fox said to not-SpOck.
And that seems to be the theme Dan Slott is coming to, especially with that conclusion. Power can corrupt a good person, but how is it going to change a bad person in a good person’s body?
- Intriguing plot points
- Ever-evolving SpOck
- Art is a little too cartoony for its own good
Intriguing things are moving and shaking in Superior Spider-Man, and if you let this little body switch stop you from reading it you’re missing out. I for one was incredibly skeptical, but the story has enough new and interesting ideas to make most comics pale in comparison. Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art continues to lighten the mood, but when the story gets as dark as it does in this issue you’ll enjoy it immensely.
Is It Good?
Yes. Interesting ideas are afoot with clever angles not attempted in a superhero comic before!