When Superior Spider-Man hinted at a new demonic villain the last issue I just had to bring it up on the AiPT! Comics Podcast. It comes at Superior Spider-Man full force this issue, but fear not, as there are so many twists and turns you won’t even see it coming. I mean, the first half of this issue is focused on Doc Ock going on a date.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
The Superior Spider-Man goes on a date (that’s hilarious), goes on a team-up adventure, and fights magic with science. What is stopping you from reading this right now?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This might be my favorite issue of The Superior Spider-Man yet. Christos Gage and Mike Hawthorne have done a good job establishing the main character, his unique relationship to Anna Maria, and how he’s a little more of a hero than he was in his previous incarnation. He’s still evil and needs a pep talk or two, but he wants to do the right thing for the right reasons. It just might take a few missteps of doing some wrong things to get to the right thing. This is a superhero with a very unique ego and personality, which makes for some hilarious moments. Take for instance the first half of the issue where he is cooking for his date. The night goes more or less as planned except for Anna Maria’s advice backfiring. Lucky for Spider-Man, there are demons running amok in San Francisco.
The character’s voice continues to be a major element that works very well. From the captions to how he speaks to a fellow hero like Doctor Strange, it’s hilarious, but also believable. Inside this young spry body is an old Doc Ock who speaks way over the top, just as he did back in the ’60s. His attitude is a bit gruff which makes for funny interactions. He has a lot to learn and has the potential to grow further making him an interesting character.
Hawthorne pencils a fantastic issue here which leans heavily on dialogue early on. The character acting is on point and keeps you invested in both Otto’s attempt at being a good date and Emma’s genuine good vibes. Hawthorne is very good at pulling out somewhat negative, and sometimes unique reactions when Otto is in the Spider-Man costume via his eyes. The musculature looks great as always too. Inks by Wade von Grawbadger and Andy Owens keep the book darker in tone and moodier, suiting the character and premise of the book. Colors by Jordie Bellaire continue to show complex skin tones and you can’t knock those black webs.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
There are some hilarious moments I wish played out longer. The setup for a few jokes are so strong they could have milked it even more.
Is it good?
A great fifth issue shows this series is hitting its stride. Superior Spider-Man continues to be the best unconventional superhero book on the stands.