By Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli
Superior Spider-Man is a series about comparisons. In many ways Doc Ock is the superior Spider-Man; he’s more efficient when it comes to fighting crime, he can tie up loose ends that Peter never could as well as eradicate those people or things that hold him back. However, Doc Ock has a huge problem in the morality department whereas Peter had a tried and true moral compass that rarely let him down.
When you have a bad guy that has no qualms about killing mass amounts of people, what do you do with him? Should you let him rot in a jail cell and wait until he inevitably breaks out and murders again, or should you kill one in order to save countless others? Dan Slott delves into this common superhero dilemma quite extensively in this issue. With a homicidal maniac like Massacre on the loose, Spidey-Ock is challenged with a number of ethical dilemmas. By the end of the issue, the reader is shocked and confused, hoping that issue 6 will definitively give us an answer to Spidey-Ock’s choices – there seem to be cliffhangers galore in Superior.
Slott also taps nicely into the zeitgeist by addressing post-9/11 paranoia in America. Spidey-Ock now has even more advanced spider-bots in order to monitor the city and is essentially able to monitor everybody in the city now. This leaves one to wonder how much freedom they are willing to sacrifice in order to feel safe. We don’t do politics here, but it’s an interesting plot device that forces the reader to look in themselves for a correct answer.
Giuseppe Camuncoli is on pencils again and his work is quite admirable, but sloppy at times. His Spidey-Ock sketches are incredible, with tons of detail on the webbing and eyes –or at least they would be incredible if he didn’t draw him with a massive neck in so many panels. The action scene at the end is drawn awkwardly and doesn’t seem to be put together very well, but it’s not enough to take you out of it.
Superior Spider-Man keeps chugging along, with a continued cleverness and new questions to ponder. It’s really impressive how improved Dan Slott’s writing is across the board. If solicitations are anything to go by, the next four issues look very intriguing, so anybody not reading Superior Spidey needs to catch up quickly before this satisfying series passes you by.