By: Dan Slott (Writer), Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba (Artists), Edgar Delgado (Colorist)

The Story: A duo of troublemaker goes on to humiliate celebrities to get hits on the Internet while the Avengers ponder on what to do with this new attitude Spider-Man is having.

The Review: Dan Slott is playing us right now. It seems that whatever status quo he might be inclined to give us will always be swept under the rug thanks to some new twists or actions made by Spider-Ock. With the first issues being made to push us further away from the regular cast and the normalcy of Peter Parker’s life, we get some more actions by Otto that absolutely destroy any sense of normalcy the fans of Spider-Man may have.

The big action in this issue, of course, would be revealed in the last few pages as we get how much pride Otto has and how much he loathe being mocked. In a clever way of showing just how much humiliation the character has gotten through his life, Dan Slott use the fact that Peter Parker is in Otto’s mind to give us some more depth to the character. He even brings out a comparison with Anna Maria, the newly introduced character from the support cast shown in the last issue, letting us see how much ridicule she gets from other for being very small. The way Otto is written here is interesting, as to see him lash out in such a way makes him a pretty compelling character, as we get some more understanding of his character, but we also see much of his errors, giving us some promises of his decisions biting him back later.

One of these errors would be his brutality as discussed by the Avengers, who could not fail to see that Peter has indeed changed quite a lot. This scene works in a lot of ways, with more people finally seeing that Peter has changed, with the funny-man replaced by a decidedly more arrogant one, as noted by Thor, who references Avenging Spider-Man #18 as to how he noticed the change. With most of the team debating whether or not he still has a place on the team, one of them affirm that if since some of them have killed plenty of time before, Parker deserves a chance to prove his worth on the team. Unfortunately, the person who does say that is Wolverine himself, which kind of discredit the narrative a little bit, not because of who he is but rather because of the fact that they did reference Avenging Spider-Man. Was it not in Avenging Spider-Man #16 that Spider-Ock brutally beat down Wolverine for apparently no reason except a bruised ego? It kinds of break it down a little bit if Slott reference the companion series, but forget an important detail or a previous issue in the process.

Another thing that breaks the issue a bit would be some of the very less subtle ways in which Slott brings some of the elements together. One of them would be Phil Urich and his thought bubble, a thing that has become incredibly rare in comics nowadays for various reasons and, to my humble opinion, should have stayed dead. Like I said before, it seems as if the writer could not trust the artist to properly convey the emotion of the character through the art. Another small thing that does hinder a bit the issue would be a certain scene in which Screwball and Jester speak before doing their joke on Spider-Man, revealing that they steal information from people who goes on their site, stealing their money and identity in the process. It does its job of setting them up as villainous, but the way it is said seem a bit pointless and lacking in subtlety. It reeks of ‘’Mwahaha, we are so evil!’’, the infamous disease that most villains seems to have where they just have to say to people their motivations in the most random of place or to random people. In this scene, it is Screwball who explains it to Jester, which is a bit pointless, considering he is her partner in crime, so he must have known already about it. I’m sure Dan Slott will play with this in further issues, but it is just crudely put right in the middle of the issue without giving us any payoff whatsoever.

What is definitely not crude, however, is Humberto Ramos pencils and the inking of Victor Olazaba, who gives the book a great jolt of energy and style. The exaggerated and rather cartoony lines of Ramos always fitted quite well with the Spider-Man side of the Marvel universe and it still rings true even with Spider-Ock. The action and the movements of each character are very well detailed and expertly done, enhancing the speed and the brutality of certain scenes thanks to the talents of Olazaba and Ramos. Where Ramos excels, though, would be in the facial expressions. His exaggerated style does give much way for twitches and the like, especially with the huge mouth he seems to favorize. Still, a lot of credits should also be given to Edgar Delgado, who manages to make this very great to look at thanks to his palette of colors. He deserves special kudos for the single page where Peter is wandering in Otto’s psyche, giving us a mystical and creepy atmosphere thanks to his colors.

The Conclusion: Even with a certain lack in subtlety and some small problem with continuity, Dan Slott manages to continue his streak with Superior Spider-Man, bringing us another issue with good development and great art, thanks to Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado.

Grade: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière