Saturday, 25 October 2014

Superior Spider-Man Volume 3: No Escape


Superior Spider-Man Vol. 3: No Escape

SUPERIOR... y'know what? This joke's
getting tired.
Writers: Dan Slott and Christos Gage

Artists: Guiseppe Camuncoli and Humberto Ramos

Collects: Superior Spider-Man #11-16

Background Information:

I know what the haters are thinking;

WAH, WAH, WAH… Superior Spider-Man is different to the Spider-Man I knew when I was eight. WAH, WAH, WAH… Dan Slott changed a character. WAH, WAH, WAH!

Okay haters, first thing; don’t cry on the internet- it makes you look silly. Secondly, shut up; Superior Spider-Man represents the best of Dan Slott’s run. Don’t believe me? Check out what people are saying about Slott’s current run on Amazing Spider-Man.

For those wondering, Otto Octavius’ mind is now in the body of Peter Parker. That’s Superior in a nutshell.

Review:

By now, you’d expect that Superior Spider-Man would have become stale as a concept. We’ve seen Otto as Peter in two volumes already. Surely there isn’t that much in that concept, right?

WRONG!

Slott’s showing us that the character of Otto has more than enough depth for many more stories to come. By now, I’ve reached the middle of the series, and it’s disappointing that the ongoing ends with volume 6, because there’s so much good here!

"So, I was thinking about power and responsibility the other
day..."
So, Otto/Spidey’s been called in to oversee the execution of Alistair Smythe, the Spider-Slayer, the guy most recently known for killing the wife of now Mayor J. Jonah Jameson and commonly known for creating robots designed specifically to kill Spider-Man. Smythe’s meant to be executed at an island prison known as The Raft, but thinks taking the prison over sounds rather more fun. Hell, he even releases Boomerang, the Vulture and the Scorpion to raise a special kind of hell. Naturally, Otto has to take them down in his own particular manner.

Yep, you’ve heard this plot before; it’s the story of the video game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. That’s my only real issue with this collection. See, Dan Slott tries really hard to convince us that he thought of this story all on his own; using the event to change the status-quo between Otto and Jameson. I find it hard to believe that anyone’s convinced it’s his own idea, though. Plagiarism has been fairly common in Marvel NOW!, Avengers Academy is a blatant rip-off of The Hunger Games. At least Avengers Academy admitted its influence. No Escape doesn’t even try to cover itself, and it’s disappointing, to say the least.

But that’s really the only problem here, as Slott goes back to what he’s been doing best; giving us a Spider-Man who fights crime using the same tactics that Otto used as a villain. This issue sees Otto get his own secret lair, massive spider-like tanks and an army of minions. It’s really fun to read and seeing Otto really put himself into Spidey’s role gives the book a great amount of character development not seen in other titles.

The fact that they look more like ticks
than spiders aside... this is pretty cool.
Throughout the whole of Superior Spider-Man, Slott has been teasing an eventual takeover of New York by the Green Goblin, and No Escape gives us the biggest developments for that eventual moment yet. I won’t go into it, as I’ve probably spoiled the series enough already. Suffice to say it is well worth your read.

Art here is up to its normal standard. I love seeing the exaggerated lines and expressions on these characters. A real stand-out for me has to be the faces drawn by Camuncoli and Ramos when Jameson freaks out. His face contorts in all different, hilarious angles. You’ll want to go back to these pages.

Overall, No Escape continues to be one of the best books in Marvel NOW! It’s a crying shame that the series is now over, especially considering the lukewarm reception given to the new Amazing Spider-Man. This collection gets a four out of five Arkham Asylums.

****

+ Otto as a hero is amazing.

+ Expressions are drawn excellently.

+ Building up to something awesome.

- Way too similar to a game based on a game for a certain Distinguished Competition…

Alternate Option: Superior Spider-Man: My Own Worst Enemy.

Start from the beginning. You’ll be glad you did (okay, so the technical beginning is actually The Amazing Spider-Man: Dying Wish, but you’ll know all you need in this one).