World building can be a delicate thing; you do too much all at once and it becomes overwhelming and sloppy. It requires good pacing to keep the interest levels up and Superior Spider-Man has been doing that from day one. The latest issue hits today. Is it good?
Superior Spider-Man #16 (Marvel Comics)
Missed our review of Superior Spider-Man #15? Check it out here.
Last issue focused on the new Hobgoblin, who just so happens to be related to Ben Urich, acclaimed reporter at the Daily Bugle. Spider-Man took over all TVs in the city of New York, including the jumbotron in Times Square, asking the citizens to locate Ben. Oh, and he outed him as the Hobgoblin. That puts a damper on Ben’s life, no? This issue continues that thread.
Ramos does a great job with all the faces here. It also alienates Hobgoblin nicely.
Once again, writer Dan Slott slowly builds up elements that will assuredly come back in later issues. Spidey’s already got Carlie hot on his trail along with the Avengers looking sideways at him. A lot of folks might claim this issue ends with not much happening and they’d be right, at least when it comes to whether or not Hobgoblin is in chains from beginning to end. They’d be wrong however, as far as how NYC sees Spidey, the creation of a vengeful Hobgoblin and potentially new enemies from the Daily Bugle. God knows you don’t want a reporter on your trail or you might be found out.
Man, Spider-Man has no class.
Slott also utilizes two TV news sequences to get a bead on the pulse of the nation. It goes a long way to frame how Spidey might be perceived and how he’s essentially making Hobgoblin a martyr. He also builds up our fear of Spidey killing Hobgoblin, or at least horribly disfiguring him. There’s a moment where it appears he’s going to do something terrible, but luckily he gets stopped when he gets a call. The fact that I was biting my nails with anticipation as to what he might do to Hobgoblin tells you how good this book can be.
Artist Humberto Ramos continues to do a swell job all around. In fact, he doesn’t get a lot of cool Spidey poses to do, with most of the art normal people in the regular world. The image that opens the book (as seen above) goes a long way conveying the emotional place Hobgoblin is in. This helps frame him as a victim which could have been easily lost without his deft hands at the helm.
News in America.
- Emotional aspects conveyed in the art
- Man, this is all building nicely
- Very hard to enjoy without reading the last four or five issues
Once again we have a great read, but a pretty terrible one if you haven’t been following along. That’s because Dan Slott has been slowly adding new aspects and building this new world for Spidey to explore. When Robbie tells Spidey he’s created a pressure cooker I instantly realized that’s what this series is, and that’s a fantastic thing. Each issue has something to love, but it’s all building and building to the point where it’s practically painful to watch at times. In a good way. Another enjoyable issue…when will I ever stop saying that?
Is It Good?
Great, if you’re reading along. Man, this is going to go down as one of the greatest runs ever.