I wonder if I still remember how to do this…
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: John Dell
Color Art: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
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…