Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Superior Spider-Man #30 finishes too soon

Comic Review: Superior Spider-Man #30 finishes too soon

Superior Spider-Man #30 cover Marvel Comics by Giuseppe Camuncoli

Not yet.

I’m not ready yet.

Why does it have to be now?

But it is now: Peter Parker is back, in case you haven’t seen the million teasers for next month’s Amazing Spider-Man #1, and that means Otto Octavius has to go somewhere.

Unfortunately, that “somewhere” is oblivion. Non-existence. Death.

And that’s where Dan Slott and Christos Gage’s Superior Spider-Man #30 falls flat. After taking a huge risk by “killing off” Peter Parker and replacing him with Otto, Slott and company have built a complex, truly compelling anti-hero over these 30 issues. There’s been no status quo, no comfort zone.

So to see Slott suddenly leap back to the familiar as quickly as he does here is an injustice to the work he’s done until this point.

Yes, we need to get Peter back – and in time for a little art house film called Amazing Spider-Man 2 (but you’ve probably never heard of it). We all saw this coming, and most of us knew it would come even in the last pages of Amazing Spider-Man #700.

But the execution doesn’t work, and after making us care about Doctor Octopus for 30 issues, that character has been tossed aside like he’s nothing. His year-long redemption arc hits a brick wall at the end, and Slott basically says, “Forget that guy, I brought Peter back!”

Let me lay it out for you: Peter makes his way back from Otto’s mindscape, catching up on Otto’s life before reaching the moment when he takes over Peter. That restores Peter to himself, just in time to make Otto act quickly – and heroically – to save one of the Green Goblin’s hostages.

The move lets Otto know Parker is back, just moments after Otto saw the city in ruins (thank you, Spider-Slayers) and realized he’d failed to be the Superior Spider-Man.

So when the chips were down, Otto did the convenient, non-Otto thing: he threw in his cards, said “You deal with it,” to Peter, and wiped away all of his memories, acknowledging that his old foe is really the superior superhero.

Poof. Otto Octavius is dead, and Peter Parker lives.

Sure, it’s great to see Peter back, but now Slott has killed off a character he spent 30 issues trying to make us care about – and a character we spent over 30 years hating as one of Spidey’s foes. And it wasn’t much of a send-off, because before you could snap your fingers (or do that web-shooting thing with your hand), Otto was erasing every last vestige of his memories.

I’ll admit, I spoke to a friend about Otto’s inevitible demise – a friend who’d come to really appreciate this new Spider-Man – and I offered some words of comfort. “Come on, there’s no way they’re going to throw away such a high-profile villain, and now hero,” I said. “Surely they’ll put him in another body or something. And maybe we’ll get to have Superior and Amazing Spider-Men?”

Not so. And while I’m happy to see things back to normal (and Peter is going to have lots to sort out now that he’s back), I’ll miss Otto.

All that aside, there’s one part of this comic where I’m going to offer some straight praise. Giuseppe Camuncoli’s work is excellent, and I’m glad he got the art duties over sometime Spidey artist Ryan Stegman, whose more cartoonish style would’ve killed much of the drama of this story.

No, Camuncoli was the man for it, and he delivered both on his own and in collaboration with many past Spider-Man artists. There’s one fantastic double-page spread for Peter’s return that encapsulates many of the huge moments in Spidey history, and it includes the panels straight from those moments. Sure, we saw something like this last year in Peter’s supposed death, but it’s still fun to see those moments again.

And even Peter says so as he resumes his identity. “My God, there was so much fun,” he says.

Glad to hear it. And while Otto will be missed – perhaps not by everyone – here’s hoping he’s set Peter on a path to renewed adventure in the future.

But for now, Peter’s got one task: wrapping up this Goblin problem.

Watch for a glorious return in Amazing Spider-Man #1 next month.

7.5 out of 10

  1. Hyperion 712
    March 27, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Superior Spider-man is amazing (see what I did there) and to see it finish is pretty upsetting (as far as being upset for a story end). This take on Spidey was my favorite and Spidey-Ock has quickly become one of my favorite characters in all of comics.
    It is far too soon to bring Superior Spider-man to an end. The only way to make it right would be if Ock found another body (maybe a spider-clone body) and then became the new arch nemesis. Oh how things would get interesting. Please Marvel don’t let this amazing character go to waste.

  2. Dan
    March 27, 2014 at 11:24 am

    First i want to say great review. I like the breakdowns of your likes and concerns. The only thing I did disagree on was the charater SpOck. I was somewhat attached to him. I definitely wanted to see him go through what Peter went through daily. I am a die hard long time fan of the Amazing Spider-man, so at first I was pissed about the whole Peter dying story. This run has been fresh, entertaining, inventive for the history of Spider-Man. Did Ock rush to give up the Spidey Mantle? Yes he did, because under that amount of pressue in such a quick time, he realized that is the reason Peter, can do what he does.

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