By: Dan Slott & Christos Gage (Writers), Giuseppe Camuncoli & Will Silney (Pencilers), Antonio Fabela & Edgar Delgado (Colours)
The Story: The end of an era as a hero is reborn, things change for the supporting cast and the Parker luck remains a true constant.
The Review: Dan Slott really knows how to tell a Spider-man story. The conclusion to Goblin Nation and Superior Spider-man as a whole contains a lot imagery that is evocative of classic Spider-man tales, from the opening scene of the Green Goblin holding Anna Marconi out over a great height a la Gwen Stacy to the final panel of Spider-man realizing that he was unable to uphold his vow that ‘no one dies’, this issue really does feel like an archetypical Spider-man story.
Part of the reason for this is because the supporting characters all get a moment to shine in this oversized issue, Spider-man is always at its best when we get to witness the continued evolution of the book’s cast and in this issue almost every character who has had a sizeable presence in Superior Spider-man thus far receives a moment in the sun that illuminates their character, from Phil Urich’s enduring cowardice to Tiberous Stone’s treachery or Ollie’s snarky comments regarding M.J’s ex.
Where the book’s plot shines is in the sleight of hand element of the Green Goblin’s plan, while he’s been building his Goblin Nation throughout the run of the book deft readers will also have observed the rise of another empire in the form of Alchemax. It is a credit to Slott’s plotting that many readers (myself included) didn’t put the pieces together until this final issue.
While this element of the plot was really enjoyable there were other elements that were simply odd. The reveal of the Green Goblin’s civilian identity in particular makes sense as the Goblin explains his plot but from a storytelling viewpoint it doesn’t hold much impact, as far as I can recall we never got to see the civilian I.D on panel before this issue which renders much of the justification for it something of a moot point.
The art in this issue continues to be fantastic, over the course of his run on the book readers have seen Giuseppe Camuncoli grow into drawing Spider-man, initially he was the least sleek of the Big Time era Spidey artists but his art has become very reminiscent of John Romita Jr’s as well as John Buscema’s which I think can be agreed is a great thing. I really hope that he sticks around to lend his talents to the new volume of Amazing Spider-man.
The backup feature by Gage and Silney does a fine job of spinning many of the supporting characters off in new directions, while Slott’s characterization of Peter focuses mainly on his initial relief at being alive and once more in control of his body, Gage’s story forces Peter to deal more directly with the repercussions of Otto’s possession of his body in the form of his conversation with Jonah. Dealing with these ramifications is the real meat and potatoes of Peter’s return and I sincerely hope that we get more of this moving forward.
Conclusion: A solid conclusion to the Superior Spider-saga that hits a lot of the right notes but is slightly hampered by the slightly jarring nature of the Goblin reveal.
Stray thoughts: The moment when the Green Goblin realizes who is under the mask because Spider-man dissed his man-purse was pure excellence.