SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25 SPOILERS AHEAD!

It’s been a very busy week for Spider-Man! There were all kinds of comings and goings announced but before we get to April and the return of Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man we have to close the chapter on the Superior Era of Spider-Man we have to deal with the conclusion of “Darkest Hours” and the beginning of the end for Otto!

Dan Slott and Christos Gage being this story of a bad situation getting worse to an end but while Otto is able to, in his mind, defeat the Venom symbiote he also leaves himself open to a whole lot of new problems…

Now, I’m not going to try to downplay the situation with Superior Venom because that was a nasty bit of business. However, the way he was defeated is the bigger story. Somehow the Spirit of Spider-Man Past, Peter Parker, was able to come back and through his own force of will, was able to get Venom off Superior Spider-Man. Needless to say Otto, never being one to let a bad situation go to waste, overlooks this fact but blames the symbiote for his recent behavior changes in an attempt to get the Avengers and everyone else off his back.

The Goblin King makes his move in this issue as he is joined by the newest goblin: Monster (we knew her as Carlie Cooper) and Superior Spider-Mandeclares all out war on the original Hobgoblin with all of New York City at stake. The Goblin War begins full force next issue and it’s going to be messy! Let’s not forget, did we actually learn the identity of the many under the Goblin’s mask? I’d have to guess no because this guy is seriously messed up and I doubt he’d give it away that easily.

But this isn’t the only problem Otto is going to have to deal with, he doesn’t realize Peter is fighting to take back his body and his life. He may realize this far to late because his attention is going to be placed elsewhere with the Goblin War going on as well as the Avengers finally discovering that Spider-Man was up to some sneaky stuff when they tested him a while back. Now they are gunning for him.

To put it clearly: Otto’s word is beginning to crumble.

This is almost the sort of thing I miss. I miss the days when a comic would hit its 25th issue and it was something special. This issue had endings and beginnings, even setting up the ultimate ending with the return of Peter. It had all the action and edge of your seat excitement that I miss from Marvel Comics. Dan Slott once again proves his ability to juggle many different story lines without them crashing into each other and becoming a mess. He proves why he’s been the most dynamic writer for the Web-Slinger in recent memory.

Let us not forget the art, though. Humberto Ramos shines once again making Superior Venom look like a real threat as he beats the tar out of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. He’s also, hands down, one of the very best Goblin artists. Doesn’t matter what Goblin, Green or Hob or whatever, his Goblins always look psychotic and dangerous.

It’s becoming clichéd to say that this series only improves with every issue but I can’t say anything less than that. The writing, the art, the stories and the characters… everything always comes together just perfectly to create an exciting tapestry of Spider-Man at his very worst and best at the same time! This is what will be remembered about this series after it ends in April. I have to admit, Peter has some seriously big shoes to fill because Otto, for all the damage he’s done, has really raised the bar on what it means to be Spider-Man and Peter Parker!

Now, we’ve started doing self-imposed ratings on the comics we review, I’m sure you’ve noticed, and while I normally have a difficult time with this sort of thing I’d have to say, using the common scale, this book gets a 5 out of 5…. let’s say ‘Goblins,’ shall we? And it’s HIGHLY recommended!

My Rating: 5/5