Inhumanity: Superior Spider-Man #1

Posted by Donovan McComish 06 February 2014

Hello everybody and welcome to my review of Inhumanity: Superior Spider-Man #1.

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of Infinity, New York is partially in ruins, with many people taking part in repairing the city. The "Superior Spider-Man" is one of them, though he isn't doing this for entirely altruistic reasons. His main motivation is instead to harvest the Inhuman technology that's now scattered across the city. Having just claimed a piece of said technology, he moves on, wondering how people can stand having no control over the world, before receiving a call from one of his Spider-Lings, who informs him that they've maybe found another one in a nearby apartment block. The henchman moves in for a closer look, but the mystery tech in the building disables the Arachnaught, forcing SpOck to prevent it from flattening several civilians, which he does so by suspending it in mid-air with his webbing (I'll give him that since he tweaked the formula.).

As the henchman acted without orders, Otto promptly fires him before speaking with firefighter Lieutenant Coyle, who tells him that their communications are gone. SpOck takes him up to the roof so he can show Otto the impact site there. It turns out a chunk of an Inhuman building hit the roof, which the firemen tagged since it was a low priority when compared to the damage. Upon reaching the roof, the two discover that someone has broken in and stolen whatever was inside. They quickly deduce that the residents of apartment 10D, Arthur and Susan Schweibe, have the mystery device since there's an otherworldly glow coming from their window. The pair enter the building, with SpOck noting that the tech is sapping the bio-energy of the buildings occupants. Otto tries to gain access to the apartment by knocking, but instead gets a punch in the face from Arthur Schweibe who is wearing the mystery Inhuman device, an exoskeletal suit.

"Spider-Man" attempts to reason with Schweibe, asking him to take the suit off (oh you'd like that wouldn't you?), but he refuses to listen, saying he's sick of everyone else getting the breaks, and that this device is his wife's last chance since she is suffering from cancer, which Ock discovers when he finds some Katipatine (a cancer drug) by her bed where she is still sleeping. He then reveals to Schweibe that the armour he's wearing isn't meant to cure disease. It is in fact, used to strengthen wounded warriors by feeding on the "the enemies", in this case, the occupants of the apartment life force. Schweibe however, doesn't care, his only concern is his wife. Coyle then makes his presence known by asking Arthur why his wife is asleep? He reveals that Schweibe in fact drugged his wife since she didn't want the energy that was being drained from other people and he couldn't say no to her. Coyle also tells him that when you use the ones you love as an excuse, your not doing it for them, your doing it for you.

Arthur then slumps to the floor in defeat, allowing Otto to deactivate the exo-suit. He tells Schweibe that he will make arrangements for Dr. Elias Wirtham (aka Cardiac) to treat his wife and as the suit did affect his mind, he'll tell the authorities that Arthur wasn't responsible for his actions, remarking that no one should go through what his wife is about to face alone. SpOck then leaves the apartment, noticing one of his Spider-Lings talking down to another fireman. Otto interjects, ordering the henchman to treat the firemen with respect and assist them any way that he can, because today, they are his superiors...as well as Otto's...

Thoughts:

This issue is written by Christos Gage, who previously did the series tie-in to Age of Ultron as well as co-writing the "No Escape" & "Darkest Hours" story arcs with Dan Slott for the main title. Like with the A.U issue he uses the backdrop of Inhumanity to tell a small scale, but compelling story that puts the "Superior Spider-Man" through a satisfying character arc.

One of Otto Octavius' most defining character traits (besides his ego) is his authoritarianism, his desire for control on a grand scale, which is undeniably selfish, so watching him work with firefighters, whose job is entirely selfless, is an interesting idea and one that Gage deals with very well. The character of Lieutenant Coyle is likable and represents that selflessness brilliantly, but I do feel it was a missed opportunity to not feature Mary Jane's boyfriend Pedro Olivera since he is also a fireman and it would have allowed for more tension between Otto and the fire service.

I also have to commend Gage for not going the predictable route such as having "Spidey" face off with a newly hatched Inhuman. Instead, the "villain" of the piece, Arthur Shweibe, is more interesting and way more sympathetic than some shallow, xenophobic youth disgusted with their new form. He also serves Otto's character arc by showing him the strength of compassion through his desire to save his wife. Her struggle with cancer not only reminds Otto of what he went through before he became Spider-Man, but I think it also makes him think about how things would have panned out if he'd had the same love and support that Arthur, however misguided, shows to his wife. Once again Otto comes away from this experience a better human being with more dimension, something he's been lacking for the most part in his duration as the wall-crawler. This lesson of compassion he receives goes hand in hand very well with the lesson of selflessness that Coyle demonstrates, strengthening the resulting character arc considerably.

The artwork on display from Stephanie Hans looks more like a painting, especially with the opening shot of a post-Infinity New York. The muted colours and faded inks capture the feeling of exhaustion throughout the issue, with the former brightening up towards the end to bring a renewed sense of hope that mirrors Otto's character arc perfectly. Once again Christos Gage has done a great job in bringing more dimension to Doc SpOck, and the addition of Hans frankly beautiful artwork makes this tie-in a worthy successor to the previous one...

Score: 4.5/5.0

Superior Spider-Man # 26

Posted by bulletproofsponge

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN # 26 REVIEW
Goblin War

This issue begins with a war between the two goblins - the Goblin King, and the Hobgoblin, aka Roderick Kingsley, happening right in front of a spiderbot, (over run by the goblin protocol hack of course).

In the midst of war, the Green Goblin, or Goblin King, decides to stop the fighting and call for a truce. He then suggests that they not waste their men's lives and fight one another to settle the battle. Hobgoblin gladly agrees to the fight.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man is stopped by the Avengers, and is told to come with them as his probation period is over. While this is happening, we also see Peter Parker, inside the mind of Otto Octavious, unable to remember any of his life's memories, except for those that Otto had stolen from him. For a moment he has given up hope, but he soon realizes that the memories he is left with are his core memories that make him who he is. He is now in fact stronger than he ever was!

Returning to the battle between the Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin, the two are still fighting, each calling the other a copy. While the original hobgoblin may be a copy of the real Green Goblin, this Hobgoblin does not believe that it is actually Norman Osborn behind the mask he is fighting.


It is not until, the Green Goblin's shirt is torn off, revealing the scar on his abdomen from being pierced by his own glider during his battle with Spider-Man long ago, that the Hobgoblin gives up. Stuck with fear, the Hobgoblin is unable to fight back and is soon killed by the Green Goblin.


Back at the Avenger's tower, Spider-Man is being questioned as to why he deleted the files. Spider-Man gives the excuse of trying to protect his secret identity. When Iron Man insists that they need to run the tests on him as he is a member of the Avengers, Spider-Man leaps out the window saying he quits the Avengers.

While the Green Goblin is celebrating his victory over the Hobgoblin, Phil Urich, now the Goblin Knight decides to double check the body that was killed. He unveils the mask to see that it is not Kingsley who is behind the mask. Fearing that Kingsley's men will not join forces with the Green Goblin if they know that Kingsley is not really dead, Urich proceeds to burn the body.

Meanwhile, elsewhere far way, we see the real Roderick Kingsley, mind controlling another man to think they are the same person through a process called the Winkler Process.. He will later program him with combat training ( don't ask me how this is possible)


It ends with Roderick Kingsley proposing a toast to Norman Osborn.

Thoughts

This issue was pretty average, no where as good as the Superior Spider-Man Team Up # 9, which takes place right after this issue. With separate artists illustrating the different scenes, it makes the issue less pleasurable to read.

The story in this issue as rather simple.

1) Green Goblin kills the Hobgoblin
2) Spider-Man quits the Avengers after being questioned for his behavior
3) Ghost Peter Parker has lost most of his memories, but retains his core memories that define him.

In regards, to Peter's memories, if his amnesia is going to be permanent, it would be quite a shame to have lost memories about Gwen! As the death of Gwen Stacy has become somewhat of a memory that has shaped Spider-Man as a character over the years, fans will not be too happy if this memory loss is permanent.

Being a Mary Jane fan, I'm glad Dr Octopus tapped into Peter's memories with her, early during the Superior Spider-Man run. Also, Peter's memory loss regarding Carlie is not going to help things either. If he really did forget everything, he is going to have a hard time proving to the Avengers, and everyone else that he really is back, when he does return.

That being said, is Peter still a semi genius scientist with all his memories erased? Everything he has experienced of late, including the events that created Alpha, will be erased. It will also be a fair bit harder to get Spider-Man 2099, back to his timeline with Peter's memories of Grady's time machine erased. In fact, Peter may not even remember Spider-Man 2099! Whatever it is, Peter Parker knows he is Spider-Man, and apparently that's all that matters!

That's enough for now. Good day!




Superior Spider-Man Team-Up # 9

Posted by bulletproofsponge

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP # 9 REVIEW
-featuring Daredevil and Punisher

Before starting, it would be helpful to know that this issue takes place between Superior Spider-Man #26 and Superior Spider-Man # 27.

It begins on a quiet night, with the Superior Spider-Man swinging through the streets. Although the night is quiet, he can sense something is not right in the city.

He begins getting shot at, and soon finds out that it is the Punisher who is shooting at him. We also witness a new invention of the Superior Spider-Man - bulletproof webbing.

In an epic scene where Punisher is trying to explain to Spidey that he was not shooting to kill, but shooting to get his attention, we see Daredevil, telling Spider-Man that he instructed the Punisher to shoot at him as he was not answering to any of his usual methods of contact.



Essentially, one of the Punisher's safehouses were broken into, and his goblin glider was stolen. DD asks Spider-Man to prove that he wasn't the one who took it. Spider-Man takes them to his Spider-Island, where he keeps all his confiscated weapons from villains.

When Spider-Man enters the vault however, he soon realizes that it has been emptied! They are immediately attacked by a man, disguised as one of Spider-Man's spider patrol guys. With the help of Daredevil's super hearing, the impostor is soon discovered, straddled with bombs to his body, waiting to blow himself up, awaiting only the instruction of the Goblin King, whom of late has been referring to himself as the Green Goblin.

The Goblin King however never gave the instruction, afraid that Daredevil would be able to recognize his voice. Phil Urich, aka the Goblin Knight, is unhappy that the Goblin King left their mole alone at the hands one Spidey, Daredevil and the Punisher. The Goblin King, associating their plan to a game of chess, states that their mole was a mere pawn. Nevertheless, he was not alone.

Back at Spider Island, the mole is fighting his way out of captivity. He throws a smoke bomb, causing the Punisher to put on his night vision goggles, but then throws a flash bomb, literally blinding the Punisher. Furious, the Punisher throws a knife at the mole upon hearing his voice. ( Much like daredevil)

In the final scene, as Spider-Man tries to get some information from the mole before he dies, he is mocked at, and told about the war that is coming. Spider-Man turns around to see that his whole spider patrol has turned against him, wielding all the super villain weapons he had once confiscated.


Thoughts

I thought this was a brilliant issue from start to finish. The art is consistent and beautiful. The story, is fantastic, being the first episode of the goblin war that has been building up since the start of the Superior Spider-Man's reign.

Several times already the Superior Spider-Man has proven himself to be inferior to the original Amazing Spider-Man. This final blow will be the last that will leave Dr. Octopus embarrassed to the point that he finally acknowledges he is not a Superior Spider-Man.

For months, the Goblin King has been building his army. His latest straw, gathering the spider patrol and turning them against Spider-Man will be a major blow for our 'hero.' What is great about this story is that as readers, we will feel almost no remorse for the Superior Spider-Man, as we all know he is really a crook. It's a sad story about betrayal that we have been waiting to happen.

While initially, I was hoping that the man behind the Goblin King mask was not going to be Norman Osborn, I'm beginning to hope that it actually is him behind the mask. The reason being to further prove to Doc Ock, that he is not Superior, being no match for the real Green Goblin, whom the Amazing Spider-Man had beaten numerous times. Also, with the Goblin King repeatedly referring to himself as the Green Goblin more and more often, it is quite possible that it may actually be him.

Phil Urich, I presume is eventually going to betray the Goblin King, being a coward that he actually is. While he may be a villain, we can see that there is still some good in him as he expresses his concern for the stranded mole they planted in Spider-Island.

The team up in this issue, which is what this issue is all about was also fantastic. I love how Daredevil and the Punisher are working together with Spider-Man, while still keeping their distance, knowing fully well that something is not right with him. They also portray Punisher as more superior to Spider-Man, being able to detect that someone was aiming at his head, while Spider-Man and Daredevil were not.

Overall, this was a great start to what I hope will be a great final story of the Superior Spider-Man!











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