Superior Spider-Man #4 Review

Writer: Christos Gage

Art Team: Mike Hawthorne, Wade von Grawbadger, Jordie Bellaire, VC’s Clayton Cowles

Release Date: March 27, 2019

Cover Price: $3.99

Superior Spider-Man has been a pleasant surprise, showcasing Otto Octavius (aka Elliot Tolliver) turning over a new leaf, in San Francisco under the watchful eye of Anna Maria Marconi.  With Terrax now out of the picture, and Superior Spider-Man currently licking his wounds, where does that leave us?  Lets find out and discuss.

We start events off with a quick scene showing the help Otto is lending to the citizens of San Francisco, CA, as Superior Spider-Man, to those stuck in the aftermath of the battle that recently occurred.   From there we move backwards in the story and find out the motivation provided for getting his butt in gear. It happens to be a fun little scene, showcasing the current rocky relationship between Otto and Anna Maria, which may be more layered than Anna Maria really wants to admit to. It’s a pretty good setup to get the issue off and running, that lends itself to creating opportunities for Otto to have some hero moments, with the citizens of the city.

As Superior Spider-Man heads out he calls on his hired help, the Night Shift, to lend a hand. It turns out the team currently has a new recruit in their ranks, the Waxman, who isn’t vetted properly leading to a few issues. Apparently the HR team approving new Night Team members was on vacation because Waxman, a serial killer, has other motivations than rescuing the trapped citizens. Ultimately the quick wits of Superior Spider-Man put the ‘dolt’ down leading to a heartfelt scene. It’s a strong moment showcasing the redemption in progress for our title character even at points surprising the ever watchful Anna Maria.

All in all there aren’t really a lot of other developments in the issue as a whole, but it is a nice one shot story, featuring Superior Spider-Man, showing him really reaching a turning point in his career, seemingly now pursuing the status as a true blue Super Hero, and feeling good about doing it.

Otto’s done heroic things before but this was a nice turn for the character this issue, while simultaneously setting up a love interest (or triangle?), and even towards the very end establishing a new threat to be dealt with coming up.  I definitely look forward to this series going forward for the ideas its established quickly in four issues, which is taking the character in a direction we haven’t seen before, and not wasting the readers time or money to do it by writing for a trade.

Mike Hawthrone, Wade von Grawbadger, and Jordie Bellaire do a good job of giving this series a unique life and feel each month. While there wasn’t a whole lot of action to fill space this time, the art team captured all the emotional beats in the story quite well, adding to the feels you’d get while reading through. The silent scene was especially powerful.

Overall, Superior Spider-Man continues to take Otto/Elliot down a path to becoming a true blue hero, if he could just match his words to his intentions more often. Honestly isn’t that a problem we all could relate to in some way? This issue does a good job of pacing action, with fun, while hitting a few emotional notes, that by the end that feel pretty earned, revealing the heart behind our once hardened villain.  It’s a standard bad guy gone good story sure, but one with a deserving cast of characters, and intriguing style so far.


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