Superior Spider-Man #9 Review

Writer: Christos Gage

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

Release Date: July 17, 2019

Cover Price: $3.99

Superior Spider-Man is with all honesty one of the books I look forward to releasing most each and every month as an ongoing title.  The adventures of Ock as he figures out the ins and outs of hero-hood are nothing short of greatly entertaining and now that we’ve gotten the mandatory War of the Realms tie-ins out of the way we can get back to business. So now that the “die is cast”lets discuss what Elliot Tolliver, a.k.a Superior Spider-Man, a.k.a. Otto Octavius, a.k.a. Dr. Ock are up to in San Francisco this month.

This starts as Otto, fresh off saving everyone’s bacon in the events that have all lead up to this issue of the series, is being celebrated by being presented with the Key to the City in a big event.  He quickly responds to a fake call to get out of there because he has better things to do than waste time on celebrations when much work is left to be done.  Back at the lab he runs into Anna Maria, then Emma, and both sense Otto is acting a little stranger than normal, which is saying something when you use the catchphrases Otto tends to lean on. Gage does a good job of taking your mind immediately to thinking he might start breaking bad, for whatever reason, which we all hope (I think) isn’t the case … I think.

The second act has Otto deal with a ridiculous villain named Turner D. Century, brought back by Dormammu to take down all hipsters, which doesn’t amount to much other than to add some comic relief to our chapter here and eventually introduce the guest star of this issue, the one and only O.G. Spider-Man.  Anna called him into town because she sensed something was off with Otto, figuring a little Spider bro time might be the cure, so Superior and Amazing swing off as Spider’s do.

The two do the swinging thing, eventually with Peter leaving Otto with a touch of advice to dwell on, which in a way sends Otto into a bit of a panic/breakdown type moment, in which he is eventually calmed by Emma, on city rooftop.  The two head off on a date, to make up for the disaster that was their first attempt, which ironically leads to a pretty interesting cliffhanger when the snoopers are the scene on finally revealed.  So all in all a pretty calm issue but one that continues to distinguish Otto as a truly rounded character and not just a villain playing nice for now.

The art team again does a great job of rendering all characters with consistency, but especially Otto’s surrounding cast, in which you’re easily able to recognize characters like Emma several issues later, which isnt always the case. Even the city has a slight different look and feel than the typical New Yorky comic book setting, which is appreciated when the events supposedly are taking place elsewhere. I continue to enjoy the work this team puts out on this book and hope they continue for the foreseeable future.

Overall, Superior Spider-Man throws out an issue that hits some emotional notes, about what a hero goes through when all the excitement passes and they’re left with their thoughts and the results at hand.  Otto’s surrounding cast shines in this issue and while we dont get a typical action packed Spidey issue here sometimes the emotional breaks in between can be just as enjoyable. Hawthorne and company continue to provide the title a unique look I hope continues.


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