For those of you that have been living under a rock, you may not have heard about the ending of the Amazing Spider-Man series. Doc Ock worked some magic and switched bodies with Peter Parker. If either of them tries, they can recall memories from the others' life. The catch is Doc Ock has a very short time to live, hours in fact. During this time Doc Ock's body dies, and Peter's consciousness goes to the afterlife. He sees all of his loved ones, most importantly Uncle Ben. Ben explains to Peter how proud he is of him, and that he has fought the good fight.
After resuscitation from the medical staff at Rikers, Peter is motivated and recharged from his talk with Ben. Doc Ock (Peter) escapes from Rikers Island with the help of the Sinister Six. During a final confrontation with Spider-Man (Doc Ock), Peter fails to transfer himself back into his own body. While Octavius' body is dying, Peter's life flashes before his eyes. Somehow Otto sees this, only now with himself in place of Peter during the moments that shaped the super hero he became. Because of this Otto vows to use the powers for good. He will not only be Spider-man, but The Superior Spider-Man.
And now for issue number one of The Superior Spider-Man. There isn't a great way for me to review this without spoiling some of the issue, so... spoiler alert.
Otto Octavius has been living life as Peter Parker to the fullest. He has revamped Spider-Man's costume (see Avenging Spider-Man 15.1) and has been successfully juggling work, super heroics and Mary Jane. The issue begins with Spider-Man attempting to stop a bank heist being committed by the new Sinister Six. The fact these six c-list bad guys are using the name Sinister six really bothers Otto. Although he can't stop them, he does manage to get some nano-spider-tracers onto the leader, Boomerang. I mentioned they were c-list, didn't I?
I don't want to spoil the entire comic, so let's just say the meat and potatoes of it is Otto in Peter's body acting like a real douche bag. This is aimed at his co-workers and MJ. He is such a douche that he spends an entire conversation ignoring what she's saying and staring at her chest while wearing a bluetooth headset. MJ questions why Peter is wearing the headset during dinner. It turns out those little nano-spider-tracers not only tell Peter where they are, but he can hear everything they are saying. Rather than go after them immediately, something the old Peter Parker would have done, he has decided to set a trap for them where they plan to strike next... Horizon Labs.
This time the Superior Spider-Man is prepared and does virtually everything right. Including lots of dramatic booby traps. He even called the media 30 minutes ahead of time so they could witness the spectacle that he has set into motion. Having taken it very personal that these c-listers were galavanting as the Sinister Six, Otto intends to make an example of them. After a very short battle, just Boomerang is left. Spider-Man gets the best of him and begins to beat him nearly to death. When he pulls back for the death blow, something stops him. A police officer says, "Good work, wall-crawler. We've got it from here." Spider-Man stares down, stunned.
Now for the worst part that completely ruined any excitement I had for this issue:
Obi-wan Kenobi style Peter Parker is standing behind Spider-Man. Obi-Peter had just stopped Spider-Man from killing Boomerang, and states, "You can't hear me, can you? You don't even know I'm here. Doesn't matter. You don't get to kill. I won't let you. I don't know how, but I am still in the fight! I am Peter Parker. And I swear I will find a way back!"
I understand this REVIEW has been more of a RECAP thus far, but I did so to help prove my point. At the end of Amazing Spider-Man, Peter is at peace with his demise. He finally gets to go be with Gwen and Uncle Ben. Otto Octavius is now burdened with the guilt and responsibility Peter felt for all of the mistakes he made as Spider-Man. Otto vowed to take on that responsibility and not only to continue Peter's legacy, but to do it better.
I liked the thought of watching Otto struggle with the morality side of being a super hero, while being very successful with everything Peter wasn't. The weird feeling of watching Otto eat dinner with MJ gave enough fire in the reader to want Peter Parker back. But not immediately. As the reader, I was hoping for a slow burn that could turn into an amazing climax when Peter finally comes back. More figurative and less literal. Maybe when Otto reached back to kill Boomerang he had some memory flash backs from Peter's life that stopped him. Rather than Peter Parker's "ghost" literally stopping him. They couldn't make it through the entire first issue of this new series without saying, "Oh boy, look everyone, Peter is still in this. We'll hit the reset button soon enough, winkface".
Enough about what I thought, what did you think?