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Superior Spiderman #27
Review by Paul Bowler
The Superior Spiderman’s plans to rid New York of organised crime have failed, and the Green Goblin has taken control of the criminal underworld. Having hacked into Otto’s network of Spider-Bots, the Goblin and his minions have evaded detection, preparing for this moment to strike back at the city. Otto Octavius resolves to take responsibility for the crisis and reclaim the city. Superior Spiderman tracks the Green Goblin to his underground lair, where he must face his greatest battle of all; unaware the Goblin’s cohorts have now set their sights on Spider Island itself…
Goblin Nation gets off to a terrific start in Superior Spiderman #27 as Spidey-Otto is left reeling after the Green Goblin launches his attack on New York. After seeing the Goblin’s message on the Brooklyn Bridge, it becomes clear to Otto that he has been chasing the wrong Goblin. After the fantastic smack down between the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin last issue, Superior Spiderman #27 jumps forward 30 days, as the Goblin and his forces go on a massive crime-spree. Dan Slott’s handling of the story is superb, as Otto’s fixation with uncovering the flaw in his systems means he begins to neglect his responsibilities at Parker Industries, and even his new girlfriend Anne Marie. Then we also have the subplot involving Mayor J. Jonah Jamerson, as he sets about getting his Spider-Slayer patrol up and running as soon as possible.
The scenes were Peter Parker’s consciousness explores the strange Mindscape within his shared psyche with Otto Octavius become increasingly surreal, especially when Peter watches as Otto searched through his memories about the Green Goblin. Fearing he might be detected, Peter’s attempt to find somewhere to hide inside Otto’s mind puts him in a horrifying predicament
With the help of Uatu Jackson, the Superior Spiderman is able to track the Green Goblin to a disused subway tunnel, where the two mortal enemies finally confront each other. The nail biting showdown is brilliantly handled by Slott as the Green Goblin and Superior Spiderman engage in a dangerous game of bluff and double bluff, where the line between masks and secret identities becomes increasingly blurred, and a grave error of judgement leads to disaster.
Superior Spiderman #27 is a fantastic looking issue, Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art, with inks by John Dell, and great color by Antonio Fabela, moves the story along at a brisk pace. I really liked the early scenes in the area around Brooklyn Bridge, where the Green Goblin has left a message for Superior Spiderman. The scenes in the Mindscape with Peter Parker are also really good, it’s quite unsettling too, as Peter wanders the ethereal landscape of his innermost memories that Otto regards as little more than corrupted scraps of information. The confrontation between Superior Spiderman and the Green Goblin is a real show stopper, we’ve been building up to this for a while now, and the explosive finale scenes are magnificent.
Superior Spiderman #27 is a really good issue, Goblin Nation Part 1 looks set to be a really exciting storyline, and together with the superb artwork, this series continues to impress and is always great fun to read.
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Superior Spiderman #26
Its time for the eagerly awaited Green Goblin Vs the Hobgoblin showdown, as the vicious battle for control of their crime empires begins. Now that he is free of the Venom symbiote, Superior Spiderman (Otto Octavius) lies to the Avengers, saying that traces of the symbiote were the cause of all his strange behaviour recently. Unconvinced, the Avengers decide to confront Superior Spiderman about the computer files he secretly deleted. Everyone is also unaware that the Peter Parker side of the Superior Spiderman resurfaced during Otto’s struggle with the Venom symbiote, and is now trying to find a way to regain control from Otto…
Superior Spiderman #26 spins an action packed web out of the aftermath last issues giant sized special, as the Avengers confront Spiderman about his actions, while all out war breaks out between the original Green Goblin and the original Hobgoblin. The Green Goblin’s activities in recent months, as he slowly took over organized crime in the city, have gradually encroached on the Hobgoblin’s schemes. Now we finally get the confrontation we’ve all been waiting for, as Osborn and Kingsley slug it out in a no holds barred fight to the finish.
I like how Dann Slott keeps the banter going between the Goblin’s, especially as they taunt each other. But are we really witnessing a fight between the original Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin? Although we haven’t actually seen Norman Osborn since he vanished from hospital, this Green Goblin certainly seems to be Osborn. There is a point where Dan Slott ingeniously weaves this into the narrative of the fight itself, which leads to a very surprising outcome.
Things become even more strained between Superior Spiderman and the Avengers when they summon him to Avengers Tower to confront him about secretly deleting his medical scans. While Otto-Spidey faces up to some difficult questions, somewhere in some bizarre mindscape of their shared psyche, the consciousness of Peter Parker scours the remains of his memories for some way to fight back against Otto.
Superior Spiderman #26 has three artists working on this issue, with the action split between Humberto Ramos, Javier Rodrigues, and Marcos Martin respectively. Having multiple artists working on an issue like this can sometimes affect the flow of the story, different artistic styles don’t always work well together either. On the whole I thought this issue looked great, the shift between artistic styles works really well, and actually manages to succeed in enhancing certain aspects of the story rather than detracting from it in any way.
Superior Spiderman #26 is another exciting issue by Dan Slott, every twist of the story means you never know quite what to expect next, the scenes in the mindscape as Peter explores what’s left of his memories are especially poignant, and the battle between the Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin reaches a thrilling climax.
Superior Spiderman #25
Review by Paul Bowler
The hype surrounding the return of Peter Parker has made the build up to Superior Spiderman #25 all the more exciting, with Spidey (Otto Octavius) having wrested control of the Venom symbiote from Flash Thompson, MJ called in the Avengers who soon arrived to deal with the threat posed by the new Superior Venom. While Otto attempts to control the symbiote and fights the Avengers, Flash Thompson must find a way to be rejoined with the symbiote if he is to survive, and as the Hobgoblin’s conflict the Green Goblin escalates, a new Goblin is born.
Dan Slott and Christos Gage keep this action packed issue rattling along at a cracking pace. The Avengers are soon locked in battle with the Superior Venom, with Captain America and even Thor unable to contain the enraged Otto-Venom. It’s a good job the conclusion of Darkest Hours is a giant sized 25th issue of Superior Spiderman, as there is so much plot to cram in, especially with Norman Osborn’s plans also taking shape, Carlie Cooper’s shocking transformation, and the Hobgoblin preparing to strike back against the Green Goblin.
Humberto Ramos does a great job of all brining all the big action sequences together. The fight between Superior Venom and the Avengers is full on, with Otto’s strength and intellect proving to be more than a match for them. While Cardiac and Flash recover in hospital, a surprise visitor arrives with a plan to help Corporal Thompson. The general public have also grown tired of Spiderman’s recent actions, it seems that watching him battling against the Avengers is the last straw, and they begin to turn against his robotic spies.
Superior Spiderman #25 builds to an exciting conclusion, as the Hobgoblin’s operatives are faced with a new Goblin, Dan Slott and Christos Gage also throw in a great surprise as the Avengers attempt to free Superior Spiderman from the Venom symbiote – one that is sure to have very significant implications for the future.
This has been one of my favourite issues so far. Now with Otto retuning to his scheming ways, things are set to get even more complicated, especially as suspicions have been roused amongst those closest to him. Although I’m looking forward to Peter Parker’s return in April, I have really enjoyed Superior Spiderman as well. It’s been a great title, and I’m looking forward to what Slott has in store as the Goblin Wars begin!