The Superior Spider-Man #4
Massacre escapes, Peter returns to school
So far in Superior Spider-Man, we’ve seen Octavius streamline his work as Spider-Man, allowing him to spend more time with Peter’s family and loved ones. This kind of creeps me out. I understand that he needs to appear to care about them in order to keep up his facade, but the fact that he is shirking his duties as SM in order to be there for Aunt May’s physical therapy when Peter was never there before makes me uncomfortable… Could it be that Octavius is treating this as his second chance at humanity and trying to be a better person by building up and maintaining the preexisting relationships in Peter’s life? Possibly. In #3, we saw Octavuis flash back to his childhood when he was abused by his father, lashing out in kind on the Vulture, who had been resorting to child labor to fill the ranks of his mini-vulture-thugs. So Octavius is treating this as a platform to stand up for the weak and to rectify the ailments he has experienced in the past. It’s an extremely interesting dynamic.
The main story featured in this story was Massacre’s escape and the grisly results. Several members of the Raven Croft asylum staff where murdered, all of which Jameson blamed on SM. Peter (and Octavius) decided that he needed to take responsibility for not killing/allowing Massacre to die when he had the chance. Octavius felt bad and wanted to try to clear SM’s name, make up for Peter’s mistake and make Massacre pay. But honestly, does one violent incident like this require mortal retaliation? In the DC universe, they basically put criminals away in Arkham so that they can escape a few months later for another exciting story arc, and yet Batman never alters his steadfast beliefs and ideals? Who are Peter and SSM to so quickly judge and issue a death sentence? That’s what comics are all about to me. The fact that I personally would say “Yeah, obviously you should kill the Joker or Massacre or Lex Luthor etc.” but the fact that the heroes refrain based on their strong ideals keeps me coming back, and gives me someone to look up to. It’s just an interesting dynamic present in this new series. I suppose that is what they are going for though. A new approach to one of the most beloved heroes of the comic book era.
Anyway, one of the funnier aspects that I like about the new SM is the obviousness that it is Octavius in Peter’s body. The way that he speaks and acts is a dead giveaway. His mad scientist behaviors have not changed. My favorite thing about this issue was that SM was shocked that he was not a doctor. Immediately after realizing this, he decided to re-enroll and earn his PH.D. Should be simple right? I look forward to seeing Ock in a 2013 classroom.. It should provide more than a few laughs.
In the next issue, we will also hopefully get to see the force of the vulture-children united under a new flag: the Goblin’s… I’m looking forward to this. Really.