The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 5: The Superior Venom
by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Humberto Ramos (Illustrator), Javier Rodriguez (Illustrator)
My Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Ramos’s art in this volume was so DAMN good I’ve gotta start there. Humberto OWN’S Spider-man. His illustrations are the only reason I liked this collection a little more than the last one. (The Superior Spider-Man, Vol.4 Necessary Evil ). He just keeps getting better on this title. I’ve picked up Spidey stuff in the past based solely on his artwork, but this is him at his best. No mistaking his cartoony style for anyone else’s because it’s so distinctly recognizable, his layouts are so crazy good, and his characters are so uniquely drawn it just doesn’t get any better for me. Ramos conveys emotion so well with his facial expressions. You can tell by just looking at his work that he is so ridiculously enthusiastic about the characters and story. He is just, quite simply, THE SHIT. Now that I’ve got that out.
Slott picks up where he left off with the last volume and pretty much maintains the status quo. Not as great as the earliest volumes, but I can only hope he is building towards what will be the mother of all showdowns with the Goblin King in the next collection. But, don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty kick ass. Agent Venom comes to NYC and crosses paths with Spidey in an encounter that’s reminiscent of his run in with the Black Cat in the last collection. I really like this version of Venom more than most of the previous reditions of the character. Flash Thompson’s history with Peter (and Octo-Pete’s inability to recall any of them) really makes their interactions more interesting than the drooling “must kill Spider-Man” Venom from years past. The Avengers show up again to make good on their promise to keep Spidey in line. This, of course, leads to another all-out brawl. A ton of action in this one kids. All the while the Goblin King lurks about, putting his pieces in place for what is sure to be a toe-curling climax in the next collection.
Aunt May, MJ, Anna Marie, Jay and the rest of the crew are all back for this one. Enjoyed the dinner with Anna Maria and Aunt May. The maniacal Peter is still friggin funny. Hearing Otto’s voice coming out of Parker’s mouth just doesn’t get old for me. The Superior Spider-Man Annual that was included at the end was sorta alright. Not sure it really did anything significant for the story that wasn’t done already and the art was ehh. And the villain, Blackout, lame. Otherwise, still a much better collection than most of the stuff out there and definitely worth a read. Bring on Goblin Nation. You should check out my pal’s “Superior” reviews at ( Sam’s review , Gavin’s review) and
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