Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Superior Spider-Man #020 – A Review

I wonder if I still remember how to do this…

Superior Spider-Man #020

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: John Dell
Color Art: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99

Just because we haven’t been posting regularly, doesn’t mean we’ve stopped having opinions about our weekly comics.  So far this week I’ve read the ending to the very enjoyable Battle of the Atom cross-over and the satisfying Arms of the Octopus mini-cross-over, but it was Superior Spider-Man #020 that compelled me to come out of hibernation and post its praises to our loving masses…if we have any left.  That’s okay; I’m doing this for fun.

I wrote many posts early this year lauding this series and it still is holding up twenty issues into the run.  Now I liked this issue particularly, because as anyone who has visited Skartaris knows “Always Expect the Unexpected!” and boy did we get several MAJOR plot twists!


Flashback to ASM #700 and the late Peter Parker’s Dying Wish from the emaciated lips of Doc Ock’s ravaged body, where across town something is happening at the Columbia University Medical Center.  Madame Web (Julia Carpenter version) has only just begun to pronounce another impending doom for “All the Spiders”.  That’s not the BIG event though, because on the same floor a rather large and “tubby” person has awoken from their coma and is asking about Otto.  They are not happy to learn he just died!

Back to the present and our favorite imitation wall-crawler is swinging around town while his swinging single life might be headed for an attractive end with the lovely Anna Marconi.  Holy Euphemisms, Batman!  But on the way to his date, one of Potto’s® ever watchful Spider-Bots witnesses a “felony in progress.”  You might call this a Felicia Felony, because it’s non-other than the seductive Black Cat – stunningly rendered by the much-improved Camuncoli (I think Dell’s inks and Fabela’s colors are enhancing his art, but his style seems to be better too as recent X-Men books show).  These two are “friends” with benefits, so you know what usually happens when they meet – a lot of playful innuendo talk just like the cover suggests. Not this time.  SPIDEY PUNCHES HER IN THE FACE AND KNOCKS HER TOOTH OUT!!!  I thought that was a bit extreme, but Potto® nicely reminds us how much he hates her guts (from the excellent Allen Milgrom Spectacular Spider-Man books way way back in the early-80s).  He quickly webs her up and leaves her for the police – so much for being “Superior”!  Boy is she going to get back at him!

That’s all out of Potto’s® mind right now, while he and Anna are enjoying their evening picnic suspended on webs over a Manhattan street.  He has big plans for the two of them and makes a proposal – a business one to have her join him at the new Parker Industries (Horizon is defunct if you didn’t know).  The next day he’s to defend his doctorate thesis and he’s already made up the cards with DOCTOR Peter Parker on them.
To get his business off the ground the next morning, he takes out a loan with the help of his step-Dad Jay Jameson, his personal (non-criminal) assets, and a former Horizon employee.  Poor guy, he’s so over-confident, he’s making this loan deal BEFORE his dissertation.

Meanwhile, Carlie is about to turn over proof that Spider-Man is using Ock’s old off-shore accounts to the Avengers.  MJ also appears this issue and she’s out catch another Tiger.
“Peter” defends his “new form of nano-technology [that will allow] the human brain…to control both internal and external mechanical appendages”.  Everyone loves it, and he has them eating out of his hand.  Everyone that is, except for his teacher, Dr. “Snoze” Lamaze.  Lamaze used to know Otto (and Otto hated his guts) and he knows that Peter’s ideas are not original!

“You, sir, have STOLEN the life’s work of my GOOD friend --- THE LATE DR. OTTO OCTAVIUS!”

So, let’s run down all the bad stuff coming Spidey’s way:

1. Ticked off Black Cat.
2. Business Loan that’s not going to go well.
3. Future expulsion and no doctorate.
4. Carlie about to expose him to the Avengers.

Did I miss anything?  Oh yes!  The large person who awoke when Otto died – she’s just made her way to a secret lair and plugged herself into a virtual reality machine to recreate the  muscle-bound STUNNER (from the 90’s).

Let the beat down commence!

GRADE A+: A FANTASTIC issue with unexpected plot twists galore!  Things are really stacking up against the Superior Spider-Man.  I can’t wait to see how he reacts!!!

See you next time, whenever that is…


  1. Thank you for reminding me that the $3.99 Marvel price is not the only reason I am not reading them anymore.

  2. Ut Prosim! Thanks for reading. I've been offsetting the price by selling most of my digital codes to someone overseas (ebay makes things too difficult lately). They want to pay $2 less for the books and I want to ultimately pay $2 less for the books. It really shows you what they're worth. I can understand why Superior Spider-Man might not be to everyone's liking, but the Bendis X-books have been really good. I'm only down to Batman and Superman Unchained in the normal DCU (and those are primarily to resell). The licensed properties like Dark Shadows and Smallville are good. Powerpuff Girls is great, but it is really hard to pay $4 for a kiddie book -- at least IDW's paper quality is vastly superior to Marvels. Still plenty of good comics out there.

  3. I thought this blog was dead, why did the guy running it (Lee) never post about your plans?

    Anyway, had to read before I commented and wow this book pays dividends if you have followed if faithfully since the 80s based on your post. For myself as only an occasional fan this book is starting to slowly bore me. I have no idea of Potto and Black Cat's history, I have no idea who Stunner was (is) and I have no interest in seeing Potto become Peter again only to have the most "f***ed" up life ever. I hate that Peter is considered the bad luck hero. When I read him he had some tough luck but he was not a joke. I will always remember Amazing Spider-Man 31-33 as the best comic story ever that showed me that doing the right thing no matter the personal cost is what a true hero is all about.

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  5. I guess I misunderstood, I thought we always had the option to post if we felt like it and had time with no shackles of deadlines to weigh us down.

    I think this issue picked up some of the momentum from the start of the series. It had been in a brief holding pattern the previous few months. I'm not looking forward to Peter ever coming back -- I'm sure he will, but I'm not sure I'll be interested. If I want to read Classic Peter, I'll delve into my back issues.

    Stunner was around during the Clone saga (I think). I just enjoyed how things were piling up against him. He'll never break out and become a real hero though, which is unfortunate.

    Did you read that Marvel Now What? book? It was hilarious.

    Glad to hear from you. It's been awhile. Haven't heard from Lee since before Comic-Con. I've missed you guys.

  6. I'm just giving Lee crap.

    Passed on Marvel Now What - but nice to know they can poke fun at each other.

    Wonder when I will see my Flash books again.

    BTW- have some of the Atlas (70's) stuff I can send you way to keep if you want.

  7. When I'm finished -- probably by the time your grandchildren can read. I like free stuff! If DC could make fun of itself they way Marvel Now What did, it would be a million seller.