Saturday, April 19, 2014

RE: Superior Spider-Man Part 7 (Or "Final Evaluation: 'Superior' Has Been Fun Overall but the En- OH, SWEET MOTHER OF ZEUS, SPIDER-VERSE IS HAPPENING!!!")

Finally, it’s over.  As promised, I will make one final evaluation of Superior Spider-Man

I actually don’t have much to say.  It was a passable finale.  But that’s it: it was just passable.  It merely sufficed, but it’s hardly a glorious ending.   It seemed dumb, rushed, and underwhelming. 

Look, I hated the SpOck concept much because the sly ploys and lying from Dan Slott and Co. instilled in me the idea that it was going to be a very long status quo; if so, this would dilute and smear the awesome quintessence of Spider-Man.  But despite my apathy for it, I also enjoy and acknowledge its originality, good entertainment value, and action-packed pace.  In that sense, Superior Spider-Man is actually quite kickass.  Heck, it was engaging enough to compel me to write lengthily about it in six (five, if you don’t count the first one since that was a piece prior Superior Spider-Man’s actual run that argued it was a terrible idea) different occasions prior to this one.  With that into consideration, I expected nothing less than a conclusion that is at least as exciting and enjoyable as it has been from the start.   

I was expecting the means of Peter Parker’s return to be more creative and mindblowing.  I was expecting the final confrontation with Green Goblin to be more dramatic and grinding.  I was even expecting for Otto to go out in a blaze of glory.   That in that final battle, the two of them would work together – with Otto’s tactical efficiency and Peter’s heroic instincts and resolute courage – in one body as Spider-Man against Green Goblin and his minions.   Then in the end, Otto will provide some form of “preparing” for Peter for the life he had left him.
Still, Otto's end had been a powerful, redemptive moment
The beginning part of Superior Spider-Man was very intriguing (mostly because of its novelty) and engaging, but the ending part was merely satisfactory.   So if I have to grade it, with the beginning and ending parts as the spectrum – the former getting an A- and the latter getting a B – then, my overall grade for Superior Spider-Man is a B+.        

With my anger for it gone (since it ended with Peter back), I can say comfortably that the entire Superior Spider-Man run had been pretty fun and a good addition to the Spider-Man mythos.  It was a brilliant and original concept to do.  It kept me absorbed, that even though I hated it, I was still immensely entertained by and drawn to it – the “love-hate” feeling I had for SpOck has been a unique experience.

Now, onwards to the new era of Spider-Man – can’t wait for Amazing Spider-Man #1

Some random musings:

• My favorite moment in the finale was this...
I missed the natural wisecracking of Peter a lot, hence, that was a very thrilling moment for me.  Spidey’s effortless comeback, the Green Goblin’s immediate recognition of his identity due to the joke, and after not witnessing Spidey’s trademark smartassery for a long time, totally made me laugh out loud.

• The last issue had to rely on a degree of inconsistency and dumbness on many details to make the storyline and conclusion stick.  It left a slight feeling of annoyance in me.   

• So Otto decided to remove every trace of his memory – hence, his entire consciousness – from the mind of Peter Parker by the same process he did in eradicating Peter Parker’s consciousness in Superior Spider-Man #9.   So if the consciousness of Peter Parker could come back from something like that, isn’t it reasonable to assume that Otto’s consciousness can actually come back as well? 

• Or is it a different matter this time with Otto?  In the case of Peter, it seems that his consciousness could have anchored itself to the memories of Peter Parker that Otto still retained post-Superior #9 (since those memories were already accessed by Otto prior to the “Parker-ectomy” done on Superior Spider-Man #9).   On the other hand, in the case of Otto, every trace of his memories are erased from Peter’s mind, so Otto’s consciousness has no memory to anchor itself to, as Peter’s did.   So could this have been really permanent this time around? 

• The mechanics of this mind swap is kind of messy.  In December 2012’s Amazing Spider-Man #700, it is clear that Peter Parker’s consciousness died in Otto’s body but was able to transfer all his memories to Otto who was in his body.  Then why was Peter Parker’s consciousness still living on by Superior Spider-Man #1?  The only logical explanation I can think of is that when Peter (dying in Otto’s body) uploaded his memories to Otto (who was in Peter’s body), it was done in a “copy-paste” manner.  Hence, there became two Peter Parker “files” – the “original file” lay dying in Otto’s body, and the “copied file” was integrated back to Peter Parker’s physical brain.  Hence, the Peter Parker we have now is the “copied file.”  If you think of it that way, the whole “mind swap” looked kind of stupid. But, hey, stupider things have happened before to Spider-Man.  Remember in “The Other” arc wherein Peter Parker mutated into a giant spider-mom, and then eventually gave birth to himself?  That was way stupider.         

• The plot and resolution of Superior Spider-Man #31 are in some ways parallel to the conclusion of “Spider-Island”: New York getting overrun by the bad guys and good guys fighting them off; the use of an antidote; Spider-Man teaming up with another Spider-Man; and mini-bots being instrumental in saving the day.       

• I love how Spidey employed mini spider-bots.  I’ve always pushed for their utilization.  I hope that mini spider-bots will be a common element in Spidey’s repertoire.

• And I hope Peter decides to keep a couple of Otto’s cool gadgetries.  I really loved SpOck’s cybernetic goggles and the retractable mechanical spider-limbs on his back.

• Per Original Sin, Marvel’s next mega comicbook event:
In Spider-Man, readers will learn a second person was bitten by the radioactive spider which gave Peter Parker his powers.
At first, I thought it was going to be connected to the ending of 2012’s Spider-Men and that this second person bitten will turn out to be the Miles Morales of Earth-616.  But the teaser art for Amazing Spider-Man #1 shows otherwise, for the second person bitten was a female.   Also, if I remember it correctly, during an interview regarding the Amazing relaunch, Slott mentioned of this, and hinted that this second person bitten had chosen a life of villainy.    Earth-616 Miles Morales turning out to be a villain would have been an interesting development.  

• I think it’s safe to claim that 2014 is a big Spidey year.  There’s the upcoming movie.  There’s the end of Superior Spider-Man and the Amazing Spider-Man relaunch.  The Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business graphic novel has been pretty awesome – a page-turner of a thrilling plot and of gorgeous art.  Then we’ll have a reunion of “The Amazing Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” trio in Amazing X-Men #7 (I would love a regular series to happen).     But the best of all is the upcoming major Spidey storyline that will start in November…

The concept of different Spider-Men from different realities teaming up is nothing new.  This was done already in the last arc of the Amazing Spider-Man animated TV series and in the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions videogame.   But “Spider-Verse” is obviously going to be a thousand times more epic than those things, for Slott and Marvel promise that “EVERY SPIDER-MAN EVER” will be featured in this event! 

Every version of Spider-Man. 

Every Spider-Man of every universe.  


Let that sink in.   

I don’t know if “Spider-Verse” can indeed deliver what is promised.  There are probably several thousands of Spider-Men featured in comicbook medium alone.  And Slott implied that those from other media – like the Spidey from the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series – will be part of it as well.  Moreover, there will also be new Spider-Men making their debuts in “Spider-Verse.” 

Wow.  That’s a lot of Spider-Men.  It will take some epic, innovative narrative for this to work.  Of course, the possibility of “Spider-Verse” turning out a dud is there.  A storyline premise with this magnitude will always have the risk of being a disappointment present.   But at this point, regardless of how it will ultimately turn out, the mere fact that an epic concept like “Spider-Verse” is happening could be considered a triumph already; it’s enough to bring my excitement counter to OVER 9000!!!

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