By: Dan Slott (Writer), Giuseppe Camuncolli, John Dell (Artists), Edgar Delgado, Antonio Fabella (Colorists)

The Story: Spider-Ock meets an unusual aide for his classes and deals with Massacre.

The Review: This is a little bit more like it. After the last issue that had shown some unpleasant business, Dan Slott is back on track with some much-needed elements that were a little bit lacking in the previous issues of Superior Spider-Man.

One of these is a small change in the supporting cast, as even though it is still Spider-Man we’re talking about, this is not Peter Parker. The use of the ancient supporting cast was a wise choice in the beginning, as it permitted us readers to get accustomed to the new nature of Otto as Spider-Man. Now though, Slott is trying to gather up some new characters for Otto to interact with, giving us the delightful Anna Maria Marconi, a dwarfish woman that is also a tutor in chemistry and physics. Such an unusual character, both in her look and her demeanor, can only bring some good storytelling potential to the book and it also bring the promise of perhaps more new characters.

What this also shows and promise is more humanity to the main character. In the previous issues, we have seen Otto being a mastermind, a genius, an efficient superhero, a jerk and a lot of things, but we never have seen him just interact in a friendly way with someone. We never have seen him acting without an actual plan or scheme, but he does in this issue with the aforementioned Anna Maria, bringing us a fun little scene. It is a benign scene, but it does make a good contrast to the always serious and pompous Otto.

Still, the issue has a lot more to offer than just some humanizing chatter, as it is the second and final part to that Massacre storyline, bringing us a resolution and some action scenes along with it. The development of this villain comes to a head as he begins to scheme his way for money, without any care in the world. As a psychopath and comic book villain, Massacre truly is bad, yet written in a good way in concordance to his basic concept, making it very easy to utterly hate him as a reader. It makes it so satisfying when Spider-Ock actually takes care of him in his own brutal way.

Considering how Spider-Ock does finish up the villain, it brings up some very interesting points about the methods he use and just where he is going. There is a point where Peter influence his thoughts and actions and saves the life of a child, yet in doing so, he shows his position to Massacre, who then proceeds to shoot at him, killing some civilians along the way. This brings us to the interesting matter that maybe Spider-Ock is perhaps a little bit better in terms of result, yet not in the way that counts. The way he finally deals with Massacre is logically sounding, as Massacre is a psychopath that has killed countless times and has escaped to do so over and over again, yet it is not the noble or the better way. This sticks the theme of this series rather nicely, as Spider-Ock is not a better Spider-Man, but he is more efficient.

The persons who are also efficient here are Giuseppe Camuncoli and John Dell, working together as the art team. Contrarily to the latest issue, the art does a much better job at simulating movement, creating an energetic comic, especially in the action scenes and the traditional web-swinging segments. As they have enhanced these parts, they have also kept the same expertise for the facial expressions and their pose, creating a much better-looking comic than last issue. They are also greatly helped by the colorists team of Edgar Delgado and Antonio Fabella, who does manage to bring their A-game on this issue, creating panels full of tension and others full of action thanks to their color work.

The Conclusion: This is a really nice issue that brings a lot of new elements to the table, while cementing others. Dan Slott is doing something special here and thanks to the rotating art team he has, Superior Spider-Man could become something quite memorable if he continues to bring issues like this one.

Grade: B+

Hugo Robberts Larivière