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

The Story: Spider-Ock has to deal not only with the Avengers, but also with Cardiac about his stolen technology.

The Review: Well, Dan Slott keeps on being his surprising self, isn’t he? After such a big cliff-hanger shown in the latest issue, it seemed that a lot of stuff would be going down for Spider-Ock, perhaps a little bit of retaliation for the villain-turned-kind-of-heroic that is Otto in Peter’s body. While I can’t say that’s exactly what is happening in this issue, it still manages to bring some pretty good scenes, including some potent development about Otto that are genuinely interesting.

Let’s talk about what made everyone curious about this issue first: the Avengers scene. How could anyone be uninterested in what could potentially happen to Spider-Ock after all that teasing that Slott and Marvel did about this issue? Well, I won’t spoil you anything, but what actually happens here is actually pretty funny, as we get to see just why the Avengers wanted to examine Spider-Man in the first place. While this makes all kind of sense, considering the previous history in the Marvel universe about such things, it does kind of play with our expectations a bit, something that Slott has proved to be great at. It does, however, lead out to the very next scene with Cardiac, which is arguably the very best scene in this whole issue.

It is the very best because it mixes the classic superhero tropes, while it advances the plot and the character in a significant way. The classic idea of heroes battling against each other due to a misunderstanding is used here, as are many others, but what ultimately happen in the end of said confrontation between Spider-Ock and Cardiac actually lead to a very good and touching scene, one that shows some of the potential both Otto and this series in general have. Here, Otto wants his technology back because he thinks there might be something wrong with his brain, but sees that Cardiac needs it to cure a young girl that is currently dying.

Seeing that his work might just save the life of a child, Otto stops being a jerk and instead tries to help. By actually being a hero, Otto sees just how he can change some life for the better as we see his potential for being an actual hero instead of the facsimile of one. In fact, there are many of the current plotline that advance in huge ways in this issue, like the Carlie Cooper situation, Otto’s confounded heroism, Peter’s inhabitation of his own body and Cardiac’s secret hospital all get a moment here and there, indicating that the big pieces of this huge storyline are moving in places. Slott is playing the long-game here and so far, he is winning thanks to the fact that he can constantly play with our expectations.

He is also winning for another reason and that would be the plethora of talented artists that keeps on drawing the book, with this issue being done by one of the definitive Spider-Man artists of recent years: Humberto Ramos. His cartoonish, exaggerated characters are a perfect fit for the wacky world of Spider-Man, as he has the ability to play a lot of things in a big way, be it the action scenes, the expressions or even the smaller moment. Ramos has a talent to make close to everything count. While he may be stylized and detailed, close to everything here count and is easy to spot, making him a very efficient storyteller for something that might be as close to an example of super heroics as Spider-Man. He is not alone, though, as Edgar Delgado does his usual great job here, providing with the right tone thanks to his tight and well-chosen color work for each panel. The somber moments are definitely darker, while the lighter moments are decidedly more fun thanks to his choice of colors.

The Conclusion: Dan Slott still manages to makes Superior Spider-Man a hit thanks to the good number of development added to the multiple parts of his bigger story. In this issue, we get some good character moment, some great art from Humberto Ramos and the promise of even bigger events down the line. I daresay that this is indeed one of the superior titles that Marvel is publishing right now.

Grade: B+

Hugo Robberts Larivière