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Superior Spider-Man #1

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Cable
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Superior Spider-Man #1

Post by Cable » 28 Dec 2018, 15:20

Otto Octavius's new series begins!

Spoiler: show
The book opens with Superior Spider-Man stopping Stilt-Man and coming close to killing him in the process but not really caring because Otto's new alter ego Elliot Tolliver is late for a lecture at Horizon University. He gives a powerful lecture about breaking all the limitations of science and within yourself, and it proves very popular with the students. Anna Maria not so much as she is somehow suspicious. Max Modell though asks him to take on an extra class next term; Otto/Elliott tells him he has to consider his other obligations, and Max says of course they respect his personal life. Otto thinks about how a personal life is the one thing he never mastered, recalling his past. His abusive father. His controlling mother who pushed him to break off his engagement with his first love Mary Alice. His invention of the Octo-arms, the fusion of which he believes led to brain damage that caused him to become obsessive with besting Spider-Man. His death and then resurrection within Parker where he proved himself superior in so many ways but cost him his new love Anna Maria. But he has learned from his mistakes and is now ready to be the ultimate Otto Octavius. He doesn't need a personal life, there are more important things to do. He meets up with his new allies Dansen Macabre and Digger and they take out Master Pandemonium's cult. Otto praises Macabre and suggests she get a performance bonus; when she offers to hook up with him he says it is professionally inappropriate and leaves. He thinks it foolish that he would be attracted to a lowly common criminal, though he dwells on it and thus must be missing something in his life. The next day he ends up confronted by Anna Maria. She correctly guesses who he really is and accuses him of stalking her. He insists he is at Horizon University to make a new start as a hero, both in costume and in the lab, and before he was deranged by the brain damage. She mocks him for clinging to that theory and says he is a megalomaniac that has used chemical weapons against innocent people. He may have some good from Peter Parker''s memories but deep down he is the same Otto and she is contacting the police. She calls out a rebuilt Living Brain to make sure Otto doesn't try to hurt her. He is shocked that she would think he would do that but she says that his surprise shows he doesn't realize how he already has hurt her and shows he will continue to hurt everyone around him. He says he will leave and take a new identity elsewhere; she says he is going to prison but he insists she cannot interfere with his mission. It is then that an alarm goes off and news reports show Terrax the Tamer coming to Earth and wreaking destruction. Anna Maria allows Otto to go stop him, but says this isn't over yet.
This is off to a good start. We get a real character-focused issue with the only action being the "beat-up-low-level-throwaway-villain" scene that is obligatory for every solo ongoing debut (and even that scene had purpose as showing this is not your friendly neighborhood Spider-man). I really like how Gage is somewhat subtly putting possible contradictions into Ock's personality. He blames his past behavior on brain damage from his science experiment and yet you can see ways in which it seems old habits still manifest. I mean he claims to no longer care about Spider-Man and yet he is still running around in a Spider-Man costume...And you cannot be quite certain at times whether he is motivated by genuine empathy or rather some kind of narcissistic pride. When he tells Anna Marie he will leave is it because he feels remorse and concern for her or is it because he doesn't want to face his own shameful failure? These kinds of questions that come up are what make this new version of Ock so fascinating. Can a bad guy turn good? We thought so for Terrax and look at him now! What happened to Terrax the Tiller?! Did export tariffs tank his farm?! Seriously though this book is looking like it is going to be good.
Best X-Comic last week: X-Force #4

Best non X-Comic last week: Amazing Spider-Man #17

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