You can’t say this book doesn’t have a direction. It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride that may turn your stomach, but you’ll be thrilled at the same time.
Superior Spider-Man #006
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Color Art: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Price: $3.99 (including “FREE” digital copy which I sold on eBay for $3.00)
Mayor Jameson is pontificating in a press conference at City Hall about his newest proposal to mandate at least a 10-year sentence for any crime that was committed with a super-power. He also wants to shut down the Raft, the prison especially created for super-villains or at least have it moved somewhere well clear of his jurisdiction, especially since people escape from it all the time. While Phil (New Hobgoblin) Urich is video-taping the speech, we get an update that he’s barely making ends meet after payoffs to the Tinkerer and the old Hobgoblin. Suddenly, his video camera cuts out along with all the other recording devices in the crowd when Speedball and Jester show up. They’ve come to play a prank on Jameson, which everyone but his paid bodyguards enjoy. However, their real sinister (and brilliant) purpose is identity theft on a massive scale when people go to their site to view the viral video.
Jameson calls in his “Pal” Spidey to personally ask him to take care of these two jokesters. He declines until he starts to relate to his own experiences of being humiliated time and time again by Parker. What follows is a perfect one-page cameo by the Avengers, which sets up the next issue. The team at the table consists of Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, and Wolverine. Cap confirms that he did indeed kill Massacre and suggests that it might be time to boot him off the team. Thor and Widow are quick to agree, but Wolverine makes a compelling argument:
“You tell me, who here doesn’t have blood on their hands? I look around this table and y’know what I see? A bunch a’ spies, soldiers, and killers. We’ve all done our fair share of “Avenging.” But now we’re gonna hold Spider-Man to a different standard?”
It reminds me of when a Republican elected official (or wannabe) is scandalized because of infidelity and the press goes ballistic to destroy this individual and his own party and supporters are quick to throw him under the bus. But when a Democratic elected official (or wannabe) is caught in a similar situation, it’s no big deal. The reason being is that the Republicans are supposed to hold to some moral standard, but the Democrats don’t promote them as much, which makes the Republicans hypocrites in addition to being adulterers. Maybe it’s not the indiscretion that bothers the public as much as the lying. So for Spider-Man, who once vowed that “No One Dies On My Watch” ironically after the first Massacre incident, ends up executing the guy. Spidey’s supposed to be above such things, right? For the politicians of both parties, just keep your pants on and remember the Proverb to “rejoice in the wife of your youth…and always be enraptured by her love” (Prov 5:17-18).
Before I forget, I wanted to comment on how great Ramos’ pencils look with Olazaba’s inks. Is this the same team behind ASM #700? Everything looks a lot tighter and crisp. The colors are just right too with a very pleasant palette. From the cover to the last page splash, there are numerous ones that would be worth having as original art: case in point, the scenes with Anna Maria Marconi.
Ms. Marconi as Potto ® likes to respectfully call her is the most interesting non-super supporting character that I’ve seen in quite a while. Her being a “small” person certainly influences her personality, but only because of the situations she has to react to, like the clown car jokes. Otherwise, she seems quite content with who she is. Have we ever seen someone of her stature that wasn’t part of a circus? Even Alpha Flight and now X-Force’s Puck was really a tall guy. I like her relationship with Potto® as he genuinely has affection for her. Sadly, her efforts this issue to get him to smooth things over with his professor are horrendously trashed thanks to Potto®’s thin skin and pride.
Let me just say that I was really disappointed with Potto® not having the self-control to finish the luncheon. He has spider-bots everywhere and he could have certainly waited to apprehend Screwball and Jester. But he couldn’t stand reining his ego in anymore and he just had to deal with the two jerks who insulted Anna. Her reaction to his “revenge” is full of compassion and I hate that she’s going to really get her heart broken by him. I know Potto® is not supposed to succeed at being Superior, but part of me wants him to find some redemption. Wouldn’t that be a surprising twist?
Unfortunately, Spider-Man is heading into a downward spiral and it’s only a matter of time before his tenuous grasp on Parker’s life completely unravels. He catches up to Screwball and Jester and they start broadcasting the encounter. He makes a very uncool move against Screwball, which sets him up for painful shot in the groin. While he tries to recover, they pummel him with paint-balloons, which cover up his goggles! Uh-oh, he can’t take that kind of embarrassment again. He rips them off exposing his glaring eyes. Meanwhile, they’re laughing (and the internet is too) hysterically at him.
Next, he goes nuts and brutally attacks Jester. Slott intensifies the battle with the cut-a-ways of Anna finding the crumbled car, Jonah’s enthusiastic approval, Mary Jane’s dismay, and the Avenger’s resolve to put a stop to him. Ghost-Spidey has been relatively silent throughout the issue with only brief appearances. He tends to get stuck in Potto®’s memories and can’t always be front and center to view the present-day action. He materializes (so-to-speak) right at the end to witness the carnage in an absolutely spectacular splash page. The POV, Screwball’s comment, Peter’s reaction, and Potto®’s stance are all wonderful. If the image wasn't so blood-splattering grim, it would be a thing of beauty.
Next the Avengers versus Spider-Man. It’s going to be intense!
GRADE A: I LOVE this series, even if I don’t like what happens!
Next week I’ll be on Spring Break, but I have a special Easter themed message loaded in the queue for Saturday, if you’re interested.