Comic Book Review: Superior Spider-Man Run, Goblin, Run!

Superior Spider Man 14 interior art Comic Book Review: Superior Spider Man Run, Goblin, Run!

Back when Superior Spider-Man launched I was against the whole idea as much as the next guy, and after reading the first trade of the comic I pretty much gave up on the whole Superior Spider-Man thing and only kept on buying Scarlet Spider on a monthly basis as it was the last good Spider related book left. But recently I started hearing some surprisingly good things about Superior Spider-Man and I found out that a lot of the people who hated the idea at first are now really enjoying the series. So I decided to check out the latest arc and tell you guy’s weather or not this is a book that deserves a second chance.

Following an assault by the Spider Slayer on a highly guarded super villain prison in New York, Doc Ock has taken his whole war on crime to the next level by basically creating an army of foot soldiers and robots created for the sole purpose of dealing with crimes that Ock can’t get too since he’s just one man. To celebrate the formation of his new army Ock attacks Shadowland and pretty much wipes Wilson Fisk and his entire criminal empire out in a single night, leaving Ben Urich AKA Hobgoblin without a job and on the run from the new, more vicious Spider-Man.

What I really liked about this story arc is how Dock Ock operates as Spider-Man as opposed to how Peter did the job. Peter just swung from building to building and stopped any crime he ran into, Ock on the other hand has created an entire army of soldiers and robots that do his bidding and take a proactive role in fighting crime. Its always been something I wished street level heroes like Batman would do as it would make their crusades on crime that much more interesting and effective.

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The story also realistically deals with how people would respond to the fact a masked vigilante has an entire army at his disposal which pretty much invades their privacy and has them all under surveillance 24/7. The majority of people love the fact Spider-Man is taking it to the next level and stopping crime before it can even happen, but there are still a few who are aware that an army created for the purpose of fighting crime on every level spread throughout the entire city could easily become a police state if let to run loose, which is exactly what’s already happening here.

Another great thing the book deals with is, while Ock is a much better crime fighter than Peter ever was his personal life as Peter is going down hill. He hasn’t called or seen either Aunt May or Mary Jane in weeks, he’s completely ignoring his job at Horizon as well as his new teaching position. There’s a point where he thinks about completely devoting himself to “the Spider” as he puts it in order to get rid of this side stuff he doesn’t think is worth it, but he’s quickly brought back down to Earth by Anna Marie, his new girlfriend.

Ock is dealing with something that many heroes often struggles with, he wants to devote himself to his crusade completely and he puts it above everything else in his life but he still has people who care about him and make sure he doesn’t entirely go over to that side. Which is something you need because Ock is still kind of a villain at this point, he’s trying to do something good with this new life and him becoming consumed in Spider-Man could lead to a potential disaster. Some would say this is nothing new but seeing a super villain whose spent years of his life committing horrible things go overboard about trying to redeem himself which could potentially destroy him again is a fascinating idea I hope Slott continues to deal with as the series goes on.

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Ben Urich in this story is used to show us what life is like for a super villain in this Superior Spider-Man controlled New York. Following the destruction of Shadowland, Urich has no steady source of income, he owes a lot of money to Ben Kingsley the original Hobgoblin and he has an entire army of Spider-Man controlled robots and soldiers hunting him non stop. Something that was surprisingly meta for Dan Slott comic was when Urich said “Since when did being a bad guy become a job?!” which actually got me thinking about what’s it like being a bad guy and honestly it kind of is like a job.

You gotta rob X number of banks, find an employer, find henchmen, pay those henchmen, gotta buy equipment and replace it all the time, it really is a ton of work when you think about it and that never even crossed my mind before. I just accepted it as “Yeah he’s a super villain, he has money, resources, henchmen and all that stuff” but I never thought about how much work you gotta do to get all that stuff and then to execute your evil scheme.

Now on to the art, a lot of people hate Humberto Ramos because his art is very… weird. It feels like a mix of anime and the animation style of Spectacular Spider-Man, I personally like it and I think it’s a visually appealing art style but a lot of people are put off by it so I suggest you check out some of his sketches before buying this one if art is a big deal for you.

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While I did like a lot of things about this story arc, there were some things that really bothered me and they stem from my problems with the first trade I got a while back. Aunt May and MJ being gone is used to show how Ock is slowly losing his Peter Parker persona and devoting himself to Spider-Man but I still think its bizarre how neither of them, especially MJ, never comment on Peters complete 180 in terms of personality, Carley is seemingly the only one who notices it and that bothers me.

Another similar problem is his relationship to the Avengers and how they react to the fact Ock has the entire frigging city under his control. A while back Ock killed some one as Spider-Man and they ran tests to see weather or not he was being mind controlled, a clone or a fake pretending to be Spider-Man through various tests, all of which were proven false. But he has a conversation with Black Widow where he tells her he doesn’t regret killing Massacre AND now he has a frigging army patrolling NY and the Avengers barely respond to it.

If I had a guy on me team that was acting weird, killed a super villain and showed no regret for doing it and now had an army of Spider-Men and mechs pretty much giving him complete control of one of the largest cities on the planet with free reign to do what ever he wants, I would definitely start taking this shift in attitude a lot more seriously and would investigate it. Now to be fair the Avengers do have a lot on their plate with the Builders and Thanos all coming to basically murder everyone in the universe, but still them just letting a more brutal Spider-Man have complete control of NY just doesn’t feel right.

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There were also some pretty cringe worthy lines of dialogue where I just rolled my eyes like “Urich you total fuck! First you drink my last beer, make me watch Expendables 2 and now this? We are SO done!” Seriously? You’re being threatened by the freaking Hobgoblin and you’re thinking about him drinking your beer and making you watch a movie… You’re shitting me right?

In conclusion, this new arc of Spectacular Spider-Man really surprised me and with Spider-Man 2099 coming back next issue I’m gonna start picking this one up monthly and hopefully Slott doesn’t mess this book up after I finally gave him some serious props here. I think if you’re curious about this series and you want to know what all the fuss is about I suggest starting here as this is where the book gets good but you’ll need to check up on some of the things that happened before hand to fully understand it.


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