Posted December 2, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Superior Spider-Man #22

Writer: Dan Slott
Artist/Cover: Humberto Ramos

Before starting this review, I’d like to point out that Dan Slott was wrong about one thing – Spider-Man (Peter Parker, with no octopuses of any sort in the brain) and Venom (Flash Thompson, in full control of the symbiote and with no feeling of any sort in the lo- okay, I’m SURE I’d go straight to hell for that one, I should stop RIGHT NOW) actually did meet prior to this story, in the Carnage USA mini-series. Heck, Spidey even stopped Venom from straight-up murdering (or at least trying to murder) Carnage.

Anyway, on to the review.

Doctor Octopus has been making a Superior mess out of Peter Parker’s life in general, alienating him from his friends and allies, engaging in activities that could spell plenty of trouble for the hard-luck hero when (or if) he comes back, and basically going full “mad scientist” and taking a proactive, technologically reliant, and absolutely violent approach to crimefighting. It looks like he doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon, and the next target on his list is none other than Venom himself, who is now fighting on the side of the angels.

There are a lot of things going on in this issue, and once again, Dan Slott demonstrates his gift for handling multiple plot threads and weaving them into a web of near-seamless narrative. I guess writing the same character (or at least in this case, the same secret identity) for so many consecutive issues does grant you an improved understanding of the way his world works. On the other hand, Humberto Ramos delivers the same kind of “hey that’s pretty cool- wait, what the hell am I looking at?” art that leaps out of every issue of Superior Spider-Man that he’s done so far. While he excels at dynamic, action-packed scenes, his consistency between pages needs some work – the size of Spider-Man’s body on the last page is a very good example.

While this issue was a good read (and I’ll admit that the prospect of seeing Flash-Venom fighting this Superior impostor is an utterly appealing one), the Superior ride is becoming more and more tiresome with each issue. I’m kind of getting sick of issue after issue of MINOR PLOT DEVELOPMENT THAT PLANTS SEEDS FOR A MAJOR EVENT THAT WILL SHAKE THE WALL-CRAWLER’S WORLD TO ITS VERY CORE, and I miss the old days when I could just grab a comic book and read it without needing to pay attention to “seeded plot elements” like a dog owner trying to spot fleas in fur. Plus, I want Peter back, just so he could do damage control already. I swear, this stuff’s really getting out of hand now, and maaaaaybe that’s a good thing, as far as what Slott’s trying to go for with this book is concerned.

“Dark and weird”, indeed, and as the title of this story arc promises, the Darkest Hours do seem to be on the horizon.

(I’d give this a 10/10 rating, but Ramos’s art is a bit weirder here than usual, and that last page completely threw me off.)


This review was sponsored by Druid’s Keep (third floor, Fort Strip Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig). Join the group on Facebook (here) and pay the shop a visit – it’s an awesome place to hang out and play games.

Mikael Angelo Francisco