With only a few issues left in the Superior Era (it sort of rhymes, shut up), we really are in the endgame now for SpOck, as Dan Slott moves every plotline that little bit closer to culminating. This issue is pretty much evenly split amongst 3 separate stories, and each one has a different artist accompanying Slott.
The first one, drawn by Humberto Ramos, features the surprisingly swift end of the so-called ‘Goblin War’, as Green Goblin leads his forces against those of the Hobgoblin. In the midst of battle, Green Goblin calls for a halt, and suggests that, rather than waste any more time, money or henchman, they end the battle in one-on-one combat between Gobby and Hobby, which is cool indeed, and as I said, surprising. The fight between them is mostly involved with eacho of them finding out who is actually under the other’s mask. Green Goblin quickly figures out that yep, this is Roderick Kingsley, but Hobgoblin actually thinks it might be Harry Osborn. That is until he rips open Gobby’s chest and sees a craterous scar that could only come from being impaled by a Glider. This means that it can only be the real deal, Norman Osborn, which shocks Hobby enough and allows Gobby to take control of the fight and kill his enemy, declaring himself ‘The Goblin King’. Now of course, we still haven’t seen the Green Goblin’s face, so the mystery still stands, and I do still think it’s a misdirect, and it isn’t actually Stormin’ Norman.
Green Goblin brings all of Hobgoblin’s men onto his side, and now it looks like he finally has an army to take on Spider-Man. Of course, there’s another twist, as it turns out that this Hobgoblin wasn’t actually Roderick Kingsley, but instead a stooge that had been brainwashed and modified into acting, talking and fighting like Kingsley. Only Phil Urich knows the truth, and he’s keeping it from Green Goblin, so who knows when this will come back into play? I imagine Kingsley won’t appear again until Amazing Spider-Man is back.
The second storyline, with art from Javier Rodriguez focuses on Spider-Man and the Avengers. Spidey is leading his Spiderlings against some AIM soldiers, but they are interrupted by Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Wolverine and Spider-Woman, who take everyone out, both AIM and the Spiderlings, so they can take Spider-Man in and question him about why he deleted all their files on him. Basically, all of SpOck’s chickens are coming home to roost, and now he’s got an intellect that beats even his in Tony Stark’s trying to find out the truth. So, rather than try and worm his way out once again or face discovery, Spider-Man just quits, by, in quite a symbolic moment, jumping through the same window that ‘Doctor Octopus’ (Peter Parker) pushed him through back in Amazing Spider-Man #700. So now, Spider-Man is all alone, with the Goblins circling.
The final storyline of this issue, where Slott is joined by the always awesome Marcos Martin, is focused on the ‘ghost’ of Peter Parker, as he wanders around inside his and Otto’s shared mind, seeing some of his remaining memories. Because he has lost so much, Peter thinks he’s weaker, that he has no hope of fighting back, but then he realises that the memories that are left are the most important ones, like busting out from under the machinery, and that he’s actually been ‘distilled to his core’ rather than erased, and that he will find a way to win. Which we know he obviously will, but it’s going to be fun to see how he does it. Also, this raises some interesting possibilities about what Peter Parker will be like when he does return, will he have lost a lot of his memories? I’m not sure how I’ll feel about that if it happens, but Slott has a way of making strange-seeming ideas work, just look at this series!
This issue was mostly about moving things into place for an epic final story, but it was still highly enjoyable, with 3 great artists working in tandem with Slot to give each story it’s own feel.
Last edited by Punchy
on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.