Comic Book Review: Superior Octopus #1
I personally count myself a fan of Superior Spider-Man from the time that he was first introduced back when. It was a controversial time for the character and the twist given to Peter’s death, but all of that was white noise when given this chance to explore a Spider-Man who did not slap band-aids on problems. For better or for worse he beat evil and corruption into submission. So since then, I have wondered if this is the same version we are dealing with. Especially when this Superior Oc has played other roles since then.
Being a tie-in to Spider-Geddon, there was the big question of how lost a reader would be if they aren’t following that event. Honestly I can’t say I’m the kind of guy to follow another multi-spider story again. It doesn’t come off as very inspired. With that said, I don’t think at any point I felt I needed to know what was going on in Spider-Geddon, or know what led to Doc Ock setting up shop as San Francisco’s protector.
As someone who has been up to date on his activities, that was what made this first issue so exciting. There was no telling what you could expect from Superior Octopus when he springs into action. Did he finally get his act together to be called a proper superhero? Or was this going to be another time where he proves that he can’t handle holding back when facing villains who he should be able to take down without too much effort? Fortunately this issue wasted little time addressing the answers to that question. The choice of villains I would have called scraping the bottom of the barrel, but the numbers game alone that they brought to the table at least challenged Octopus to put a lot of his gadgets and skills to use. I think I was more captivated by the way he brought the confrontation to a close. They were right that you would not believe the methods he has now chosen as a hero. It was very out of character for him, while at the same time being very bold. Overall I liked how this Octopus is challenging himself to work around the rules in a way that doesn’t necessary get him in as much trouble as killing someone.
The exploration of his personal life I found very engaging for the big differences he has made from past mistakes. Having a new face opened up for more room to work in the same area, but with the added advantage of being his own person this time around. What also make this exploration engaging is the effort that went into creating both voices for Octavius. What we aren’t allowed to forget is the act he puts on for other people, while constantly thinking the exact opposite of what he says. It’s almost humorous because he represents everything about the things you think another person must have going through their head when they are seeming nice on the surface.
Off the bat I was impressed with the artwork for this series. I have to say that this would have been the dealbreaker for me if it wasn’t to the right level of quality. Normally having the right artist on board tells you everything you need to know about how seriously they are taking the book. The pencil work was solid, and I would say at its best when it came to drawing Superior Octopus in action.You could tell that they had the most fun when they were drawing him. He has many toys to play with, and it feels like we haven’t seen anything yet when Octopus is the kind of guy who likes to be prepared for the villains he takes on. The new costume design is awesome if you ask me. The color scheme is more of his own, and so is the tentacles as well. Not to mention his logo is now more fitting of the line that has been blurred between Spider-Man and Doc Ock. What I appreciate most about the design is how they have made him look like more of his own person underneath the mask. Making sure that he doesn’t look like another copy of Peter anymore is crucial at this stage.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel as though Otto Octavius’s new super hero strategies may make Spider-Man regret letting him free following the events of Superior Octopus #1. He is not your average superhero, and doesn’t play by the same rules. This is a refreshing series for anyone who wants storytelling that will without a doubt change the way you look at superhero comics.