This title once again delivers an excellent issue, but this time out we get a bit of a different perspective on ol’ SpOcky. Whereas in previous issues, Slott has endeavoured to show how Otto’s approach to fighting crime is more successful, and well, superior to Peter Parker’s, in this issue, we see that it’s not all roses for him, and that perhaps the old-school Parker way did have it’s advantages.
The catalyst for this is the Hobgoblin, who escaped the destruction of Shadowland last issue, and, with no regular money from the Kingpin, is on a desperate crime-spree in order to pay back Roderick Kingsley. Because of the Green Goblin making it so any Goblin-looking dude is not detectable by the Spider-Bots, Phil Urich is able to elude Spider-Man, which of course, drives Otto a little bit angry. It’s clear that Peter Parker, who didn’t really rely on technology, would have just accidentally swung into Hobgoblin, but SpOck is over-thinking things, and just sits in his lair and forgets all about everything else.
In this issue, Slott returns to a lot of Spider-Man’s supporting cast, from Mary-Jane, to Horizon Labs, Aunt May to Anna-Maria, they’re all here, and ‘Peter’ has forgotten about all of them. It was cool to see this side of the new Spider-Man. This character has always been about a guy trying to balance being a superhero with having a regular life, Spider-Man has always been soapier than your average superhero, and here, we see how well Peter managed to juggle it in comparison to Otto. The new Spidey may be better at some aspects of this job, but at others… he sucks. This is a bit of much-needed balance, as I think Slott may have gone a bit far in making Otto way better than Peter. It’s all well and good surprising us with him actually being decent, but if you go too far, it not only becomes a bit silly, but it makes the actual hero look bad.
The role of the Green Goblin here is interesting, not only is he the reason why Hobgoblin gets away with his crimes, but he’s also the reason why Hobby eventually gets shut down, as he deactivates whatever it is that stops the Spider-Bots from seeing Goblins. It’s intriguing me that in this scene, the Green Goblin’s face is masked, which I would have thought unnecessary, but it looks like this Goblin is not actually Norman Osborn, but someone else. Who? I have no idea, but I can’t wait to find out.
In the end, Spider-Man catches up to Hobgoblin, they tussle, and Spider-Man announces to the world that Hobgoblin is actually Phil Urich, which should set things up for an exciting second part. I’ve enjoyed Phil’s role as an ‘evil mirror-image’ of Peter Parker, but since the actual Peter is kind of evil these days, it’s not really needed.
This was a great issue of Superior Spidey, especially since it brought back a load of subplots I haven’t even mentioned yet, there’s the stuff with Peter’s college and his romance, Carly and Captain Watanabe are stepping up their investigation of Spidey, and Stone, the ex-Horizon guy who was working for Kingpin is back. Slott is at his best with this book when there are almost too many subplots, and this issue had that in spades, throw in some excellent Humberto Ramos art, and you’ve got a perfect Spider-Man comic. That is, if you ignore the fact that Doctor Octopus is the hero. But I can manage that now.