Comic Review: Superior Spider-Man #8
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colourist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Chris Eliopoulos
Previously, in Superior Spider-Man: The new Spider-Man has been garnering attention that he should probably be avoiding. After slamming the Vulture into a spotlight, murdering Massacre in cold blood, and now thrashing Screwball and Jester within an inch of their lives, the Avengers are concerned that Spidey’s methods of dealing with his rogues gallery is getting out of hand.
And in the revitalized FEAST headquarters, now home to HEART and secretly run by the vigilante Cardiac, the medical marauder set his sights on one of Otto Octavius’ most innovative inventions – a brain mapping device that originally allowed Ock to control his mechanical arms, and now could be the key to saving a little girl’s life. But all Spider-Man sees is a theft, and battles Cardiac to a standstill. Before he can pursue, the Avengers call Spidey in for questioning, but Spidey declines – unfortunately the Avengers won’t take no for an answer.
Spidey does tend to get off very easily in this issue; his confrontation with the Avengers hinges on a technicality, and it does actually get mentioned as part of Otto’s inner monologue, but it reads a little oddly and could possibly take the reader out of the story for a precious second or two. It’s good that Spidey will still be an Avenger (at least for now), but the fact that the only reason for this is ‘because the Avengers are stupid’ doesn’t really sit well as a plot point.
On the other hand, Spidey’s dealings with Cardiac come to a head quite well, and considering I spent most of my previous review mentioning how I do not like Cardiac at all, I found myself really enjoying this side of the story. It’s quite heartfelt at times, and yet still plays a part in the overall tapestry that Slott is weaving, with a final page cliffhanger that sets the stage nicely for issue #9, which is meant to be another game-changing issue. The fact that Slott can make me…not like Cardiac, but at least not dislike him as much as before in only a few short scenes is quite a testament to his writing ability.
Run back and check my review for Superior #6. It’s alright, I’ll wait. Done? You’ll remember the bit where I said that Humberto Ramos’ take on our new Spider-Man was very strange, and didn’t really work, but that it’d likely improve as he drew the character more – two issues later, and it’s already getting there. Spidey still has his kinetic, bouncy style, but now his blows are a lot fiercer to mirror his new approach to crime, as opposed to his more restrained fighting style previously. Ramos’ usual flare for battle scenes is ever-present, and the one detail that was dragging his work down has already shown improvement.
It’s been a bit of a strange period for Superior Spider-Man at the moment. Issues #6-8 haven’t had the same fanfare as either #1-5 or #9 onwards, and yet they have proven to be some of the best issues of the series. It just goes to show that there’s never a dull moment where Slott is concerned, and even the most throwaway of issues is part of his tight plotting, even if it doesn’t immediately look as though it will be.
GO Rating: 4/5