There is so much going in both in this book and in the controversy surrounding it, it’s really difficult to know where to begin. so I think I’ll start with what happens in this issue and go from there.
So, in the second issue of SSM, we find Doctor Octopus still in the head and body of Peter Parker and Peter Parker being frustrated and forced to see someone else in control of his life because as the song goes: He ain’t got no body. Peter has to stand by as Ock does things in his life, with his body, that he would never dream of and it’s maddening. Especially where Mary Jane is concerned.
And that brings us to the main focus of this issue: Mary Jane. Ock tries his best to get with her and she does nothing but shoot him down. This whole sequence is really entertaining, while Ock had no problems coming up with schemes to ‘rule the world’ he can score more than a kiss on the cheek from a girl. All the while, I’m thinking of a certain blogger who ranted and screamed that Dan Slott and Marvel are actually making Spider-Man a rapist and they want us to cheer for him. Naturally, this was before the story was actually told and was really, really stupid. I don’t know which was worse: him thinking Spider-Man is a rapist or thinking Mary Jane is just some stupid girl. Both were insulting and both were wrong. By the conclusion of this issue, aside from some really neat inventions Ock came up with to help him with his Spider-Man duties, he finally figures out the puzzle of Peter Parker and Mary Jane. He also figures out the only possible solution: Walk away. Something Peter Parker was never able to do. So, I have to wonder what that blogger is going to say to spin this in his favor. I wonder, but not enough to actually look. As far as I’m concerned, Dan Slott has been doing an amazing job since he took over Spider-Man’s flagship series and I had nothing but faith in his abilities to get right up to the line but not cross it.
Another sub-plot focused on here concerns one of my favorite newer characters: Carlie Cooper. She had a run-in with Doctor Octopus/Peter Parker and ended up getting shot but it was something Doc Ock said that still haunts her, Doc Ock said he was Spider-Man. I think she might put the pieces together faster than anyone because, well, she is a really smart gal. That’s why I like her and while she’s mainly playing the part of Mary Jane’s best gal-pal, I hope Slott brings her back in as more of a main supporting character because she’s very interesting to me. But Carlie begins to really think about what Doc Ock said to her especially after Mary Jane tells her what happened between her and Spider-Man.
Finally, we get to see the set up for Spider-Man’s first run in with a long time Spider-Villain: The Vulture. Now, as part of the Sinister Six, Doctor Octopus and The Vulture have worked on the same side. But now things are different with Doctor Octopus being Spider-Man and I’m really looking forward to the confrontation!
So, Superior Spider-Man has two issues in the can and it’s shaping up to be yet another exciting and amazing (can we still say that when talking about Spider-Man?) era for the Wall Crawler. My initial concerns about this change has been addressed and now I’m happy to say I can just sit back and enjoy the ride, for however long it lasts!
But, if there is one thing I wish Slott had done different, it’s the thing with Peter Parker. I would have loved to have had him not shown for about a year. Have Ock question why he can’t cross the line and actually do damage to people, why he has conflicts with himself. Maybe slowly drop hints that Peter might still be around before the big reveal. I would have done the big reveal in something like Superior Spider-Man Annual #1 and actually have an annual that’s important for a change instead of just another issue of the series for no specific reason.
So far this has been a really exciting era for Spider-Man. Dan Slott has given us something truly different and the open story’s art by Ryan Stegman has been nearly flawless. Sometimes his mouths are a bit odd. But it works still. His covers are nothing short of astounding (I have the promo poster Marvel released with the cover of the first issue framed and on my wall now) and have become part of the reason I love this series so much. It’s a near perfect package.
Unlike most of the Marvel NOW! books, I’m actually looking forward to the next issue! Also, I’m really happy Marvel isn’t shipping this as often as they are their other books. I prefer to have my serialized comics on a monthly basis, not weekly or bi-weekly.