Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Superior Spider-Man #28 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

The best moment of this issue is, hands-down, Otto bursting from Spider-Island riding his robot man-servant, which has turned itself into a make-shift boat.  It was as hilarious as it sounds.

Does the Goblin know that Peter Parker is Spider-Man?  It's obviously the question running through this issue.  It's hard to know, though, for two reasons.  First, Slott has so blurred the lines between Spidey and Peter Parker that it's hard to tell.  With everyone in the world apparently knowing that Peter designs weapons for Spider-Man, it seems likely that the Goblin could (again) try to go after Spider-Man through Peter and his family and friends, just like Blackout did in the Annual.  (I mean, at this point, even MJ is using Web-Spinners.  Is anyone really going to be surprised if the end result of this arc being Peter revealing his identity at least to his family and friends?)  But, it's also just as likely that Carlie could've told the Goblin Spidey's identity under the effect of the Goblin Formula.  However, here, Slott adds another complication, the fact that Carlie shows that she's able to fight off the effects of the Formula, at least for a time.  The problem is that I'm having a hard time finding this part of the story compelling.  It's not that Slott isn't doing a good job keeping the balls in the air; it's just that I've read so many versions of this story so many times that it's hard for an author to bring new insight to it.

Moreover, Peter's identity isn't the only one in question here.  It's still unclear who the Goblin is.  The Goblin apparently has unfettered access to Oscorp technology, given that he uses it to bypass not just Spidey's Spiderbots but apparently his Spider-Island security grid.  But, would Norman still have that access?  Is the Goblin maybe Liz Allan?  Or Tiberius Stone?  Who knows?  (Who cares?)

At this point, the entire dramatic tension of the arc revolves around identities, exacerbating that "Been there, done that" feeling.  In fact, the only real tension for me is whether Annamaria is going to survive.  It seems unlikely that Slott would want to carry her into the new series, given that Peter probably wouldn't share the same feelings for her that Otto did.  She seems a pretty easy Ensign Jones to sacrifice, using her death to fuel Otto's rage (and make him make mistakes).  But, it would be sad to see her dismissed this way.  She's been the only character (new or otherwise) that's really felt real since this series began, and I'd hate for her to get Women in Refrigerators-ed.

In sum, Slott just keeps using old tropes and convenient technologies to move along this plot.  It's getting harder and harder to care how he's going to end Otto's time as Peter; I just find myself anxious for it to happen.

** (two of five stars)

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