Review: Spider-Man: Dying Wish

Spider-Man: Dying WishSpider-Man: Dying Wish by Dan Slott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

4.5 Superior stars

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THIS is the prequel to Superior Spider-man. I’ve been wanting to find out how the hell Doc Ock managed to shove his mind into Peter Parker’s body for a long time, and if there’s anyone else out there like me, you might kind of confused as to what you need to read.
Ta-da!

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Review: Superior Spider-Man Team Up Vol. 2 – Superior Six; by Chris Yost and Kevin Shinick

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Volume 2: Superior Six (Marvel Now)Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Volume 2: Superior Six by Christopher Yost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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Continuing EVIL week buddy reads with the Shallow Readers, here we’ve got Superior Spider-Man (Evil Otto in Good Peter’s body) alongside the Sinister Superior Six (Vulture, Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, Chameleon (and usually Doc Ock!).

Here’s an interesting twist on things: Otto has the other members of the Six under control via his Spider-bots, so he has control of all their actions, and is using them for various evil shenanigans good!

Of course, since this is Spider-Man, everything goes tits up…Otto is finding out the hard way, he’s got his AND Peter’s bad luck multiplied! The Wrecking Crew shows up to steal some Quantum Physics thing, and he gets help from some Sun Girl character.

Also, the Six talk about how something is off, because Spider-Man was never this mean and also not this long without a joke…talking about how it’s juxtaposed between their evil torture and his, and his taking control of them and imprisoning them to do his bidding is far worse than anything they ever did to him…and they’re kinda right.

Spidey Otto learns from Sun Girl, the minor nobody who wanted to be just like Spidey, what it really means to be a hero, and Otto chastises himself for being too cocky and losing sight of the real reason…there’s also some sad stuff about Sandman, and how he used to think Spider-Man wasn’t all bad, but now, it’s different, and Otto realizes that he’s done far worse than keep them prisoner, he’s united them in the bond of hatred they feel for Spider-Man. Irony of ironies, Otto as Doc Ock could NEVER get them all that together.

The next story Anne will love! It’s all about Otto Spidey being all woebegone after his failures with the Six, and deciding to turn himself into the Avengers and admit everything…but he runs into NAMOR!

Namor is being pursued by Wakandan assassins, and Spidey helps him out even though the Sub-Mariner wants nothing to do with him. Then Spidey tells his tale and Namor laughs in his face and tells him thanks, that’s the best laugh he’s had in years. Then Namor sees Spidey disarm the robot assassins (because they’re not actually Wakandan) and he says, forget this shit Insect Man, you’re superior, you’re better than the sheep you protect, never forget that. Namor is about to tell him he’s earned his respect when Otto straight up BITCH-SLAPS Namor.

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Yeah BOI!

Then he tells him that his bullshit better not endanger the people of his city anymore…and this convinces Otto not to be so emo, that in fact, he’s the greatest super hero EVER! So score one for Namor’s attitude making Otto Spidey stronger…and he gets bitchslapped. Awesome.

Next story is a switch from Chris Yost to Kevin Shinick, and while I enjoyed both, I think Shinick did a good job inserting a bit more humour into the rest of the volume.

This one features our favourite NYC Street Trifecta: Spidey, Daredevil, and Big Pun!
Spidey is internal monologuing about how the city sits on the brink of tension, like before WWI, the American Revolution, and:

“Or the bullet that killed someone named “TWO PACKS” that apparently kicked off some Bi-Coastal WRAPPING War…”

BWAHAHAHA! I laughed so hard at that one I woke my wife up. Two Packs…hahaha. OTTO I love you so hard.

He’s interrupted by Frank and Matt, Frank shoots him to get his attention, and Frank asks when the webbing became bulletproof…then Otto asks how he knew that, only for it to click that he didn’t know and he just shot at him! LOLZ! Oh you guys!
Anyhow, Daredevil says relax, the Devil made him do it…HAHA! (See? a Pun? Weak but funny. Even little ones like this would help DC) it was rubber bullets…at least Frank said they would be…and we need to talk.
Otto freaks out, to which Matt replies “We’re going on five seconds and you’ve already said “Egads” and “Confound it”. You’re NOT yourself…and I’m a tad concerned…”

When Spidey checks to see if Punisher followed DD’s instructions to use rubber bullets, his reply?
“Let’s just say I hear as well as he sees”

This is comedy gold. I mean a Punisher who cracks jokes? OK sure. This I love, and Spider-Man is the ruthless angry one…bingo. LOVE IT.

Down to business, someone stole some of Frank’s weaponry, and he and DD want Spidey’s help, plus they’re not sure if maybe he didn’t take it…so we go back to his secret lair Spider Island. There we discover that someone has stolen all of Otto-Man’s stuff, and that his whole team of minions has been infiltrated…a large battle ensues, and we see the trifecta working together, but Otto refuses to trust the other 2…Daredevil is all “bitch please, Punisher is blind from a flash bang, I’m blind, and we are running around, and Spider-Man doesn’t make ONE ‘blind leading the blind’ joke? who is the sketchy one here?’ (I paraphrase)

Then we have a revelation as to who could have engineered such a job, and gotten into everyone’s heads, once the 3 are on the trust game again (Punisher even makes a trust exercise joke, about falling backwards onto his knife. – I LOVE the Punisher being a smartass….here’s a free idea for Marvel…Peter Parker’s mind in Frank Castle’s body!) Otto Spidey gets SUPER MAD when he discovers that everything is Green Goblin!

The last 2 issues are a very cool retro-drawn look back at how Gobby and Doc Ock started to work together, and how Gobby fucked Otto over super hardcore. Otto’s realization that Goblin did the same thing to him a second time while he’s been Spider-Man is very cleverly illustrated over a 2 page spread, where we see the parallel situations…except this time, Otto thinks with his heart instead of his brain, and that’s what allows Peter’s soul to re-emerge in Spider-Man, and defeat Osborn where Otto never could.

Otto even refers to Peter as the better man, and says he saved both Otto and Anna Maria (Otto’s love while living as Peter). The last page belongs to Pete, telling us in a recap what happened, and how he’s learned about Otto by reliving all his memories and entire life…he won’t condone his actions, but he can empathize with him and relate far better. He also says that Otto deserves the credit for the goblin serum that removes it from those who were infected, so his brain actually was scientifically superior to any other. Then Pete’s final observation is the irony behind Otto’s victory over Norman is that he didn’t think with his mind for once…

I gave this book 4 stars but I think I enjoyed it more than that. I will say so because I just finished Superior Spider-Man’s whole run, and Otto went out in such a way…This feels like returning to a long lost friend…which means that Otto’s Superior Spider-Man was a success, because reading him again made me smile. I have to think that the Superior Spider-Man may be one of the best story arcs of the last decade plus. It took away someone we took for granted (Peter Parker) and it turned our perceptions of his longest running enemy (Otto) and flipped them. Otto as Spider-Man was a great idea, and executed so very well too, which is half the battle with good ideas, letting them come to fruition properly.

I will be seeking out the first volume of this Team-Up series (I did read another one, but it was actually Avenging Spider-Man issues with this title on them instead…).

Strongly recommended for anyone who liked Superior S-M. Very enjoyable, and I do hope Otto rises again somewhere, and is forever changed by his experiences.


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Review: The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 6 – Goblin Nation; by Dan Slott

The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 6: Goblin NationThe Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 6: Goblin Nation by Dan Slott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My triumphant return from the Indy world, I picked the right thing to read.

Dan Slott, you are Mr. Spider-Man.

I’d been waiting for this final chapter for a while, my library was late to order it, and it somehow hid from me until now…

Well it was worth the while.

Otto realizes that the Green Goblin has defeated him, NYC is burning, everyone is turning against him, there’s no one left to trust…

But we see Otto keep fighting, not giving up, and asking himself “What would Parker do?” in a split second decision…but Otto doesn’t have to wonder, because the Soul of Peter Parker has survived inside the Mindscape of Spider-Man, and screams out to Otto to act!

The result saves a life, but lets the Goblin escape. In the process, Peter reveals to Otto that his soul is still alive in Spider-Man’s body.

We see Peter’s soul hiding from Otto, so much so, that he dives into Otto’s own memories, and experiences his whole life, which nearly robs him of his remaining memories as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The struggle is played out very well, convincingly, with Peter losing himself at times, only able to recall who he is by the very strength of self and powerful memories that cannot be taken from him.

This 2 page spread covers the entire history of Spider-Man, with art way back from Ditko all the way forward. It is in web form all around Peter, who’s just established dominance in the Soul of Spider-Man. He focuses on how important his memories were, the ups, downs, triumphs, tragedies, and the fun, surprisingly, (or not, actually) he focuses on how much FUN he had.
It’s so effective.

Once Peter re-emerges, he and Otto back and forth, except, it’s not nearly what you’d expect. Otto owns up to his arrogance, and tells Peter that he’s always underachieved, and he (Peter) could be so much more.
Otto swings back to Parker Industries (which Peter is totally confused to see) and (view spoiler)

(AWWW!!)

Peter realizes just how true the love Otto has is, and Otto’s final words to Peter: “only YOU can save her. Because you ARE the Superior Spider-Man.” and then Otto fades to nothingness…

OK, I cried when I read it for the first time, and I’m not afraid to admit I’m misty right now. Curse you Dan Slott! For hitting it right on the nerve. (hide spoiler)]

His oldest enemy stole everything from him, only to discover that even with his victory, Otto would never be Peter. It’s positively powerful what Otto does, and with it, the greatest act of selflessness of his life, towards the person he had hated longer and more than anyone…

To me, this is the pinnacle of the entire series right there. Yes, we still have some stuff to do, but I’m sure you can figure out what we do from here…and you should absolutely read this.

Dan Slott is the Scott Snyder of Spider-Man. A very creative, super planned out, and cognisant of the history of the character, respectful, incorporating it into the present, but also paving new grounds.

The Coda of the book/epilogue if you wish, shows just how much damage was done between Otto’s arrogance, and Osborn/Goblin’s destruction. Broken lives, damaged relationships, forever change the whole scope of Peter’s world.
It’s Greek Tragedy, in a sense, because although there is a resolution, and what needs to happen happens, the return is not as triumphant as one would think. Poor Peter, struggling that hard to survive, and this is what you come back to…

But. If there’s one thing anyone knows, it’s that Peter Parker is Amazing, and he can make it back from this. He will, and I think it makes me appreciate him a whole lot more…I think many of us took him for granted and just joked about his whipping boy status in Marvel.

This was an eye opener, and I hope I don’t take the Wall Crawler for granted anymore…poor bastard, welcome back Pete. We missed you!


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