Posted March 5, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

Future Superiority in AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #17 [Spoilers]

Writer: Christopher Yost
Artist: Paco Medina

detailLast week’s issue of AVENGING SPIDER-MAN found our protagonist Potto Parktavius (Otto Octavius in Peter’s body – read AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 to 700 and SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 for more details) rendering babysitting services, er, I mean, holding the fort for the Future Foundation team, currently led by Ant-Man II, Scott Lang, while they go out on a mission. While the prospect of seeing Potto trying to match wits and energy with a roomful of children with varying ages and attitudes, something about the story bothered me.

Throughout the story, Spider-Ock’s disdain for children becomes quite apparent. The very idea of having to sit through an entire day watching these kids come up with different ways to unintentionally redecorate the Baxter Building is boring for our Superior hero, and his level of irritation only increases every time he is engaged in conversation by one of them.

This seems to run contrary to Spider-Ock’s characterization in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #3, where he was greatly bothered by the Vulture’s use of children as henchmen. Hell, he even made it his personal mission to track down each and every one of them to make sure that they’d be sent to the appropriate authorities to receive proper care.

Aside from that, though, the rest of the issue is a fun read. The story is fairly simple, with the highlights being the ominous foreshadowing of upcoming events in the web of Spider-titles, as well as Spider-Ock’s use of twisted supervillain logic to actually save the day (though we never really get to see what he told Bentley – believe me, I tried squinting AND a magnifying glass, and I came up with exactly nada).

It certainly feels like Yost and Medina are going for one big story, and the surprise ending made me think of that Ultimate Six mini-series from a few years ago. The latest development kind of undoes a significant event in Ends of the Earth, and I would have wanted said event to last a couple of years more. Then again, the solicitation and cover for the next issue makes it a given, I guess.

The time-cops  are pretty freaky, too. I was partially disappointed because I really wanted to hear something, ANYTHING, about Spider-Man 2099. Guess they’re really saving that stuff for the main title. I’m also wondering why they couldn’t directly interfere with the whole Superior mess, as they had no qualms about ending the lives of the FF kids.

I didn’t think I’d ever derive even just a shred of enjoyment from reading one ongoing series starring Otto Octavius, much less two. However, here I am, still reading. I AM waiting for Peter Parker to return, but… well, while we’re here, we might as well try to appreciate the stories we’re getting.

I mean, Peter HAS to come back at some point, right?


Verdict: 4/5

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Mikael Angelo Francisco