The Spider-Slayer arc concludes with a fun issue that’s more interesting for what it sets up, than for what actually goes down within it. Yeah, there was the shock of SpOck killing Smythe, but then we’ve already seen this version of Spider-Man kill before, so it wasn’t too surprising really.
What was surprising was the twist at the end, where Smythe tries to switch brains with Spider-Man before he dies, but of course, Doctor Octopus has already done that, and has taken measures to stop it. That was such a great moment, and shows that really, Smythe is a low-rent villain who just does what others have done before him. SpOck gloating about how Smythe wasn’t even defeated by his actual nemesis was a cool, cruel idea as well. You have to hand it to Christos Gage for this last arc, he’s stepped in to script, and he’s nailed the tone that Slott has established. Camuncoli’s art was as excellent as always, I particularly loved that ‘TO THE DEATH!’ splash-page.
But as I said, what’s interesting here is what Slott is setting up, you’ve got The Lizard, revealing himself to be somewhat of a good guy now, which is very intriguing. What next for Dr Connors? Then, at the end, Spider-Man blackmails Jameson (which, whilst I’m sad that the idea of Jonah being a fan of the evil Spidey is over with, was such a cool scene) into not shutting down The Raft, but giving it to Spider-Man as a base of operations. Spider-Island 2! And not only that, he’s looking at getting himself some minions. SpOck is really stepping up his game, but will these more overt displays of villainy be his undoing?
This book continues to a surprising and refreshing read, Slott never rests on his laurels, he’s really taking this concept as far as it can go. I can’t wait to see what Spider-Island 2 is like, and I can’t wait for the Superior, Superior Spider-Man.