The Superior Spider-Man

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The Superior Spider-Man
Cover of The Superior Spider-Man #1 (January 2013). Art by Ryan Stegman.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Biweekly
Format Limited series
Genre
Publication date January 2013 – August 2014
Number of issues 33
Creative team
Writer(s) Dan Slott
Artist(s) Ryan Stegman
Humberto Ramos
Giuseppe Camuncoli
Creator(s) Dan Slott
Ryan Stegman

The Superior Spider-Man was a superhero comic book series that was published by Marvel Comics that ran between January 2013 and June 2014. The series was written by Dan Slott with artwork by Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos, and Giuseppe Camuncoli. It features a reformed Otto Octavius who has taken over Peter Parker's body, and, having allowed Peter to die in Octavius' body but being affected by Peter's memories, is determined to be a better Spider-Man than Peter ever was, and a better man than Otto Octavius. The title replaced the long running series The Amazing Spider-Man, after the conclusion of the "Dying Wish" storyline, as the core Spider-Man book. The Superior Spider-Man also crosses over into other Spider-man titles such as Avenging Spider-Man and its superseding title Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, as well as many other Marvel titles. The series ended with issue 31, which determined the fate of Otto Octavius' mind, and was followed by the next volume of The Amazing Spider-Man, in which Peter Parker has regained his body and the Spider-Man mantle.

In May 2014, it was announced that the series would return for two additional issues (32 and 33) that fill a gap left by an earlier storyline, as well as lead into the "Spider-Verse" storyline. They were released in August 2014.[1]

Publication history[edit]

Marvel Comics first teased the announcement of The Superior Spider-Man in September 2012 by releasing an image of the word Superior without the creative team.[2] A short time before the NYCC 2012 Marvel released a new Superior teaser, this time with the creative team of Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli.[3] A week later a new Spider-Man centric title was announced called The Superior Spider-Man.[4]

Plot summary[edit]

"My Own Worst Enemy"[edit]

After the death of Peter Parker at the climax of the "Dying Wish" storyline in Amazing Spider-Man #700, Doctor Octopus has implanted his mind into Peter Parker's body, determined to prove himself the "Superior" Spider-Man by being both a better superhero and person than Parker ever could be. Octavius earns public acclaim when he defeats the Sinister Six. Unbeknownst to Otto, he is subconsciously held back by Parker's consciousness which still exists within his body, buried underneath Octavius's own, intent on stopping the villain and reclaiming his life. Peter proves unable to influence Octavius in any more than the slightest of ways. Otto inadvertently causes himself to share Peter's genuine love for Mary Jane Watson, and so pushes her away for her own safety.[5]

When his old Sinister Six teammate Vulture resurfaces, Octavius attempts to convince his old friend to give up crime. Upon the discovery that Vulture employs children as henchmen Otto brutally takes the Vulture down, blinding him in the process. Vulture's remaining henchmen are taken in by the Green Goblin.[6] With his merciless reputation growing, Octavius focuses on increased efficiency, developing thousands of "Spider-Bots" that patrol the city for him while returning to college as Parker to complete his doctorate, in turn growing close to his tutor Anna Maria Marconi.[7] Otto locates escaped killer Massacre, whom he then executes publicly to prevent further murders.[8]

"A Troubled Mind"[edit]

His decision to execute Massacre sits ill with his teammates in the Avengers and they bring him in for questioning after a brutal beating of pranksters Jester and Screwball.[9] The Avengers' tests fail to expose Octavius's mind-swap.[10] Otto uses a brain scanner to treat a young girl's brain injury, then uses the device on himself to discover Parker's presence within his mind.[11] A mental battle ensues between himself and Parker. Octavius defeats Parker, then seemingly eliminates Peter by erasing Peter's memories.[12]

Police Captain Yuri Watanabe questions the officers present during the Massacre killing. An autopsy reveals Massacre was unable to fire a gun and was shot point blank, confirming Yuri's suspicions. The Green Goblin hacks the Spider-Bots tech to allow his followers to bypass detection. Former Vulture henchmen torch Mary Jane's nightclub in revenge for an earlier failed attempt. Mary Jane believes Peter will come to rescue her, but is saved by local firemen. Otto becomes closer with Anna Maria Marconi. The Green Goblin declares himself the Goblin "King", as his army grows.[13]

"No Escape"[edit]

Spider-Man is asked to supervise the execution of Alistair Smythe. As the execution begins, mini Spider-Slayers allow Smythe to attempt escape. Jameson tells Spider-Man to ensure that Smythe dies by any means necessary. Otto predicts Smythe's every escape attempt and eventually fatally stabs Smythe. Smythe attempts to transfer his mind into Spider-Man, but Otto also planned for this possibility. Later, Spider-Man uses a recording of Jameson's kill-order to blackmail Jameson. Otto then assaults Shadowland, the domain of Kingpin and the new Hobgolbin, with his arach-naught tanks and army of Spiderling minions. Kingpin flees and frames his death with a body double. The Green Goblin's soldiers rejoice in the fact their boss now owns over half of New York's organized crime.[14] Tiberius Stone sabotages the Hobgoblin, ruining him. Spider-Man publicly reveals Phil Urich as the new Hobgoblin. Phil realizes that he has nowhere to run and takes Norah Winters hostage.[15] Spider-Man arrives at the Daily Bugle and defeats Urich. Phil Urich is later freed by Menace and brought to Green Goblin, then given new armor and the title "Goblin Knight".[16]

"Necessary Evil"[edit]

In the year 2099, Miguel O'Hara is surprised by the appearance of dinosaurs and World War I biplanes. He tracks the source to Alchemax Tower. They send Spider-Man 2099 back to stop it. In the present, U.S. government agents arrest Max Modell. Horizon's new majority shareholder Liz Allan (Harry Osborn's ex-wife) and owner of "Allan Chemical", announces Tiberius Stone as the new supervisor. Otto prepares to attack Stone, but is stopped by Spider-Man 2099.[17] Spider-Man 2099 takes Tiberius Stone into custody. Grady crosses the Time Gate to the day of the Alpha Incident, and witnesses Tiberius sabotaging the machine. Grady returns, only to find they are surrounded by explosive time-energy.[18] Otto tries to access Peter's memories, trying to stop the explosion. Otto's efforts to access Peter's memories causes Peter's consciousness to begin re-emerging. Spider-Man 2099 and Tiberius escape in the nick of time, thus restoring the time-space continuum. Tyler Stone destroys his time machine in the future, stranding Spider-Man 2099. The Horizon team, minus Uatu Jackson and Sajani Jaffrey, leave New York. Meanwhile, Carlie discovers that Spider-Man's funds comes from a secret account of Otto Octavius.[19] Later, Spider-Man heads for a date with Anna Maria Marconi only to bump into the Black Cat. Felicia starts to flirt, but Spider-Man punches her since he doesn't remember their flirtatious relationship. Felicia swears revenge. Peter/Otto signs the paperwork to start Peter/Otto's new business endeavor—Parker Industries. At ESU, Professor Lamaze accuses Peter of plagiarizing Otto Octavius during his doctoral thesis. Angelina Brancale awakens from a coma and is mortified the learn that her lover Otto Octavius is derad and blames Spider-Man. She then restarts her VR power suit and becomes Stunner again.[20] Stunner attacks the Bugle in order to find Spider-Man. As Stunner thrashes him, the spider-bots shut down her VR interface and he steals it back to his Spider-Base. When she awakes she is shocked to see Doctor Octopus as she once knew him. Otto tells Angelina that he is not dead but has moved on. The next day Lamaze drops his accusations against "Peter" after being visited by former classmate Doctor Octopus, who it turns out was Otto/Parker using Brancale's VR suit. Carlie Cooper & Wraith investigate the source of Spider-man's funding of his Spider Base and realize he is getting money from Otto Octavius' bank account. Carlie believes that their minds have swapped somehow, but before she can tell the Avengers she is kidnapped by Menace and brought to the Goblin King; who now knows the truth about Doctor Octopus' mind occupying Spider-Man's body.[21]

"Superior Venom"[edit]

Flash Thompson (Agent Venom) returns to New York due to his fiancee' Betty Brant informing him the Crime Master has returned.[22] Flash suits up with the symbiote to confront him as Agent Venom. Just as he locates and confronts Crime Master, Otto and his Spiderlings intervene. Crime Master reveals he is actually a common criminal who has purchased the costume from Hobgoblin and pays a franchising fee. He agrees to turn himself in. Otto then turns on Flash, recognizing the symbiote. He attacks Venom, who escapes using a smokescreen. Flash flees to a hospital, before resigning to meet with Peter Parker. He arrives at Parker's apartment, and "Peter" invites him in.[23] He introduces him to Anna Maria, telling her of their friendship, to which Flash admits that he used to bully Peter in high school. Otto then asks Flash to come to Parker Industries, so that he may provide him with prosthetic legs, just as he did with Aunt May. Flash agrees to this, but doesn't realize that the procedure was to remove the symbiote. The symbiote then attaches itself to Otto, transforming him into "Superior Venom".[24] However, the symbiote notices a difference in Peter's mind, and tries to flee back to Flash, but Otto gains control over it and decides to keep it. Although Cardiac, who now works at Parker Industries, attempts to separate them, Superior Venom attacks him. Superior Venom then ruthlessly dispatches any criminal and engages in three more of Hobgoblin's franchisees. Iron Man arrives to assist Cardiac and carries Flash to confront Superior Venom and steal the symbiote back with the help of the Avengers. Superior Venom is able to defend himself against the Avengers, but is eventually ambushed by Flash wearing an Iron Man armor. During the mental struggle between the symbiote and Otto, Peter's consciousness surfaces and allows them to finally separate Otto from the symbiote, thus allowing it to re-bond to Flash.[25] When the Avengers confront Spider-Man, Otto lies by saying the symbiote was in control over the past months, but the Avengers are are still concerned that something is different about Spider-Man. at his recent actions. Otto, unwilling to admit his faults, childishly argues before leaving. When confronted a second time, Otto quits the Avengers. Meanwhile, Green Goblin contaminated Carlie Cooper with goblin serum and transformed her into "Monster".[26] Green Goblin's army and Hobgoblin's army then fight for control over NYC. Hobgoblin is killed, but Phil Ulrich discovers that it was a body double and decides not to reveal it since Hobgoblin's goons have joined Green Goblin's new underground army.[27]

"Goblin Nation"[edit]

Green Goblin knows Otto is trapped inside Spider-man's body, so he offers Otto/Spider-Man a truce if Otto submits to him. Otto refuses and claims he's a hero now. Goblin blasts him, so Green Goblin and his Goblin Underground launch an attack and destroy his Spider-Base. Otto and Living Brain barely escape, but all his Archanauts and Spiderlings are defeated.[28] Goblin then goes after all of Parker's known associates, but Mary Jane has been prepared with an evacuation plan and grabs Aunt May and warns everybody before Goblin's goons can kidnap, except for Anna Maria, Otto's new love interest. Monster/Carlie Cooper attacks Parker Industries, but after her earpiece is destroyed reveals that she is partly in control and offers herself as a test subject to create a cure for the Goblin Serum.[29] Goblin then systematically destroys everything that Superior Spider-Man created/saved to build his new legacy: his childhood home, the research center where he created his arms, the "BoneYard" where all his paraphernalia is stored by the police, the Mocha Cola factory where his first heroic act, and the HEART Clinic were he and Cardiac were saving lives.[30] To make things worse, J. Jonah Jameson releases an army of Spider-Slayers that he created with Alchemax that are hacked by Green Goblin. Luckily Spider-Man 2099 comes to help, but Otto abandons him to save Anna Maria. After hesitating to save a young girl or go after Goblin, Otto realizes that it is not easy being a hero and then deletes all his memories and allows Peter Parker to take back control of his body.[31] Parker then returns to assist Spider-Man 2099 and submits Menace with the Goblin anti-serum. He isn't able to catch HobGoblin. During his final conflict with Green Goblin he loses the last Anti-serum, but removes Goblin's mask to reveal Norman Osborn had a facelift and has been posing as Mason Banks, CEO of Alchemax. Without his mask the spider-bot recognize him as a threat and administer the goblin anti-serum. Unfortunately he escapes and vows revenge, even if he doesn't have his powers. Ty Stone is able to sell the Spider-Slayers on the black market to make Alchemax extremely profitable. Jameson then resigns as mayor of NYC.[32]

Spider-Verse[edit]

During the 24 hours that Superior Spider-Man was missing after the Horizon Lab explosion,[33] he was teleported to 2099, where he used the future technology to find a way back, but instead discovers the existence of the Inheritors.[34] He recruits the help of other Spider-Man in order to fight back.[35] After his transportation, the Superior Spider-Man believed he was encountering a prior version of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, as opposed to a future version since he believed he had defeated Parker permanently.[36] After the defeat of the Inheritors, Superior Spider-Man returns to his spot in the Earth 616 timeline, but has no recollection of the Spider-Verse events.

Annuals[edit]

Two Superior Spider-Man annuals were published during the series' run. The first one was written by Christos Gage and drawn by Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez.[37] It involved Spider-Man tracking down Blackout after the latter kidnapped Aunt May.

The second annual was written by Christos Cage and drawn by Javier Rodriguez and focused on Phil Urich's relationship with his uncle, Ben Urich.[38]

Reception[edit]

Initially when it was announced that Marvel were killing off Peter Parker and his body would be taken over by Doctor Octopus, fans of the previous series almost universally criticized the idea. However, as the series progressed, many online critics were won over[39] by the fresh approach and intelligent writing, as well as storyline and artwork,[citation needed] and new characters.[citation needed]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

Collected editions[edit]

Softcover[edit]

Title Material collected Year ISBN
Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy Superior Spider-Man #1–5 June 2013 978-0785167044
Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 2: A Troubled Mind Superior Spider-Man #6–10 September 2013 978-0785167051
Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 3: No Escape Superior Spider-Man #11–16 December 2013 978-0785184720
Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 4: Necessary Evil Superior Spider-Man #17–21 February 2014 978-0785184737
Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 5: The Superior Venom Superior Spider-Man #22–26, Annual #1 April 2014 978-0785187967
Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 6: Goblin Nation Superior Spider-Man #27–31, Annual #2 July 2014 978-0785187974
Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 2: Spider-Verse Prelude Superior Spider-Man #32-33, Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #7-8 and material from Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy) #1 January 2015 978-0785187981

Hardcover[edit]

Title Material collected Year ISBN
Superior Spider-Man Vol. 1 Amazing Spider-Man #698–700, Superior Spider-Man #1–5 September 2013 978-0785185215
Superior Spider-Man Vol. 2 Superior Spider-Man #6–16 April 2014 978-0785154488
Superior Spider-Man Vol. 3 Superior Spider-Man #17-31, Annual #1, 2 March 2015 978-0785193951
Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Verse Superior Spider-Man #32-33, Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #7-15, Free Comic Book Day 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Verse #1, Spider-Verse Team-Up #1-3, Scarlet Spiders #1-3, Spider-Woman #1-3, Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 2 #6-8 April 2015 978-0785190356

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schedeen Jesse (May 13, 2014). "Superior Spider-Man (Briefly) Returns in August". IGN.
  2. ^ "One More Marvel NOW! Teaser". superherohype.com. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Slott, Stegman, Ramos, Camuncoli Go "Superior" For Marvel NOW!". Comic Book Resources. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  4. ^ "Slott, Stegman Launch "Superior Spider-Man" in 2013". comicbookresources.com. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  5. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #2 (Jan. 2013)
  6. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #3 (Feb. 2013)
  7. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #4 (Feb. 2013)
  8. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #5 (Mar. 2013)
  9. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #6 (Mar. 2013)
  10. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #7 (Apr. 2013)
  11. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #8 (Apr. 2013)
  12. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #9 (May 2013)
  13. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #10 (May 2013)
  14. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #14 (July 2013)
  15. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #15 (Aug. 2013)
  16. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #16 (Aug. 2013)
  17. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #17 (Sep. 2013)
  18. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #18 (Sep. 2013)
  19. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #19 (Oct. 2013)
  20. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #20 (Oct. 2013)
  21. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #21 (Nov. 2013)
  22. ^ Superior Spider-Man # 22
  23. ^ Superior Spider-Man # 22
  24. ^ Superior Spider-Man # 23
  25. ^ Superior Spider-Man # 25
  26. ^ Superior Spider-Man # 24
  27. ^ Superior Spider-Man # 26
  28. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #27
  29. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #28
  30. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #29
  31. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #30
  32. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #31
  33. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #19
  34. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #32
  35. ^ Superior Spider-Man Issue #33
  36. ^ Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 3) #11
  37. ^ Zawisza, Doug (November 21, 2013). "Superior Spider-Man Annual #1 Review". Comic Book Resources. 
  38. ^ Richards, Dave (January 20, 2014). "Gage Rides with the Goblin Knight in "Superior Spider-Man Annual" #2". Comic Book Resources. 
  39. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (April 22, 2014). "We Review Dan Slott's Entire Superior Spider-Man Saga". IGN. 
  40. ^ Morse, Ben. "Go Inside Avengers Alliance: Spec Op - Spider-Verse Pt. 1". Marvel.com. 
  41. ^ Martinez, Phillip. "Marvel Avengers Alliance Spider-Verse Spec Op Is Live! Miles Morales And Superior Spider-Man Join The Fight". iDigital Times.