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The Superior Spider-Man was a superhero comic book series that was published by Marvel Comics that ran between January 2013 and June 2014. The series was written by Dan Slott with artwork by Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos, and Giuseppe Camuncoli. It features a reformed Otto Octavius who has taken over Peter Parker's body, and, having allowed Peter to die in Octavius's body but being affected by Peter's memories, is determined to be a better Spider-Man than Peter ever was, and a better man than Otto Octavius. The title replaced the long running series The Amazing Spider-Man, after the conclusion of the "Dying Wish" storyline, as the core Spider-Man book. The Superior Spider-Man also crosses over into other Spider-Man titles such as Avenging Spider-Man and its superseding title Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, as well as many other Marvel titles. The series ended with issue 31, which determined the fate of Otto Octavius's mind, and was followed by the next volume of The Amazing Spider-Man, in which Peter Parker has regained his body and the Spider-Man mantle.

The Superior Spider-Man
Cover of The Superior Spider-Man #1 (January 2013). Art by Ryan Stegman.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
ScheduleBiweekly
FormatLimited series
Genre
Publication dateJanuary 2013 – August 2014
No. of issues33
Creative team
Created byDan Slott
Ryan Stegman
Written byDan Slott
Artist(s)Ryan Stegman
Humberto Ramos
Giuseppe Camuncoli

In May 2014, it was announced that the series would return for two additional issues (32 and 33) that fill a gap left by an earlier storyline, as well as lead into the "Spider-Verse" storyline. They were released in August 2014.[1]

In July 2018, a new one-shot The Superior Octopus was announced. It will serve as a continuation of the history of Otto Octavius after the events of "Go Down Swinging", and also serves as a tie-in to the "Spider-Geddon" storyline.

In 2018, a new volume of "The Superior Spider-Man" will debut also as part the "Spider-Geddon" storyline.[2]

Contents

Publication historyEdit

Marvel Comics first teased the announcement of The Superior Spider-Man in September 2012 by releasing an image of the word Superior without the creative team.[3] A short time before the NYCC 2012 Marvel released a new Superior teaser, this time with the creative team of Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos and Giuseppe Camuncoli.[4] A week later a new Spider-Man centric title was announced called The Superior Spider-Man.[5] In 2018, it was announced that Otto would return in December 2018 in his Superior Spider-Man avatar once again in a series written by Christos Gage and illustrated by Mike Hawthorne.[6]

Plot summaryEdit

"My Own Worst Enemy"Edit

After the death of Peter Parker at the climax of the "Dying Wish" storyline in Amazing Spider-Man #700, Doctor Octopus has implanted his mind into Peter Parker's body, determined to prove himself the "Superior" Spider-Man by being both a better superhero and person than Parker ever could be. Octavius earns public acclaim when he defeats the Sinister Six. Unbeknownst to Otto, he is subconsciously held back by Parker's consciousness which still exists within his body, buried underneath Octavius's own, intent on stopping the villain and reclaiming his life. Peter proves unable to influence Octavius in any more than the slightest of ways. Otto inadvertently causes himself to share Peter's genuine love for Mary Jane Watson, and so pushes her away for her own safety.[7]

When his old Sinister Six teammate Vulture resurfaces, Octavius attempts to convince his old friend to give up crime. Upon the discovery that Vulture employs children as henchmen Otto brutally takes the Vulture down, blinding him in the process. Vulture's remaining henchmen are taken in by the Green Goblin.[8] With his merciless reputation growing, Octavius focuses on increased efficiency, developing thousands of "Spider-Bots" that patrol the city for him while returning to college as Parker to complete his doctorate, in turn growing close to his tutor Anna Maria Marconi.[9] Otto locates escaped killer Massacre, whom he then executes publicly to prevent further murders.[10]

"A Troubled Mind"Edit

His decision to execute Massacre sits ill with his teammates in the Avengers and they bring him in for questioning after a brutal beating of pranksters Jester and Screwball.[11] The Avengers' tests fail to expose Octavius's mind-swap.[12] Otto uses a brain scanner to treat a young girl's brain injury, then uses the device on himself to discover Parker's presence within his mind.[13] A mental battle ensues between himself and Parker. Octavius defeats Parker, then seemingly eliminates Peter by erasing Peter's memories.[14]

Police Captain Yuri Watanabe questions the officers present during the Massacre killing. An autopsy reveals Massacre was unable to fire a gun and was shot point blank, confirming Yuri's suspicions. The Green Goblin hacks the Spider-Bots tech to allow his followers to bypass detection. Former Vulture henchmen torch Mary Jane's nightclub in revenge for an earlier failed attempt. Mary Jane believes Peter will come to rescue her, but is saved by local firemen. Otto becomes closer with Anna Maria Marconi. The Green Goblin declares himself the Goblin "King", as his army grows.[15]

"No Escape"Edit

Spider-Man is asked to supervise the execution of Alistair Smythe. As the execution begins, mini Spider-Slayers allow Smythe to attempt escape. Jameson tells Spider-Man to ensure that Smythe dies by any means necessary. Otto predicts Smythe's every escape attempt and eventually fatally stabs Smythe. Smythe attempts to transfer his mind into Spider-Man, but Otto also planned for this possibility. Later, Spider-Man uses a recording of Jameson's kill-order to blackmail Jameson. Otto then assaults Shadowland, the domain of Kingpin and the new Hobgoblin, with his arach-naught tanks and army of Spiderling minions. Kingpin flees and frames his death with a body double named Smedley. The Green Goblin's soldiers rejoice in the fact their boss now owns over half of New York's organized crime.[16] Tiberius Stone sabotages the Hobgoblin, ruining him. Spider-Man publicly reveals Phil Urich as the new Hobgoblin. Phil realizes that he has nowhere to run and takes Norah Winters hostage.[17] Spider-Man arrives at the Daily Bugle and defeats Urich. Phil Urich is later freed by Menace and brought to Green Goblin, then given new armor and the title "Goblin Knight".[18]

"Necessary Evil"Edit

In the year 2099, Miguel O'Hara is surprised by the appearance of dinosaurs and World War I biplanes. Alchemax sends Spider-Man 2099 back to stop it. Otto in the present attacks Tiberius Stone, but is stopped by Spider-Man 2099.[19] Grady uses the Time Gate to see the day of the Alpha Incident. He returns to find them surrounded by explosive chronal energy.[20] Otto accesses Peter's memories, to try to stop the time explosion. This causes Peter's consciousness to re-emerge. Tyler Stone destroys his time machine in the future, stranding Spider-Man 2099. Carlie discovers that Spider-Man's funds comes from a secret account.[21] Spider-Man heads for a date with Anna Maria only to meet the Black Cat. Spider-Man punches her and webs her for the police. Peter/Otto starts Parker Industries. At ESU, Professor Lamaze accuses Peter of (ironically) plagiarizing Otto Octavius. Angelina Brancale, Otto's former girlfriend, learns Otto Octavius is dead. She restarts her VR power suit and becomes Stunner again.[22] Stunner attacks the Bugle. Otto shuts down her VR interface and takes it back to his base. When she awakes, Otto appears holographically as his old self, and tells her he has moved on. Lamaze drops his accusations after also being visited by Otto. Carlie Cooper & Wraith learn Spider-Man is getting money from Otto Octavius' bank account. Carlie believes their minds have swapped, but she is kidnapped and brought to the Goblin King.[23]

"Superior Venom"Edit

Flash Thompson (Agent Venom) returns to New York.[24] Flash confronts Crime Master, but Otto intervenes. Crime Master is just a common criminal who has purchased the costume from Hobgoblin. Otto then turns on Flash. Flash flees to a hospital, before going to meet Peter Parker. "Peter" invites him in.[25] Otto gleans knowledge about Flash's relationship with Peter during the visit. Otto asks Flash to come to Parker Industries, under the guise of giving him prosthetic legs. Flash doesn't realize Otto intends to remove the symbiote. At the lab the symbiote attaches itself to Otto.[26] The symbiote soon tries to flee back to Flash, but Otto gains control. Superior Venom dispatches criminality more ruthlessly than ever before. Iron Man carries Flash to confront Superior Venom. Superior Venom is ambushed by Flash in Iron Man armor. During the mental struggle between the symbiote and Otto, Peter's consciousness separates Otto from the symbiote, letting it to re-bond with Flash.[27] When the Avengers confront Spider-Man about his brutality, Otto lies by saying the symbiote was in control over the past months. Otto quits the Avengers. Meanwhile, Green Goblin sprays Carlie Cooper with goblin serum and transforms her into "Monster".[28] Green Goblin and Hobgoblin fight for control over NYC. Hobgoblin is killed, but Phil Ulrich discovers that it was a body double.[29]

"Goblin Nation"Edit

The Goblin King lures the Superior Spider-Man to his hideout, revealing that he knows Otto is inhabiting Spider-Man's body. He offers Octavius a truce if Otto submits to him. Otto refuses. The Goblin attacks and destroy his Spider-Base. Otto and Living Brain barely escape.[30] Goblin goes after all of Parker's associates, but Mary Jane has been prepared with an evacuation plan, rescues Aunt May, and warns everybody. Only Anna Maria is kidnapped. Monster/Carlie Cooper reveals that she is partially in control and offers herself as a test subject to create a cure for the Goblin Serum.[31] Goblin destroys everything Otto created/saved to build his new legacy: his childhood home, the research center where he created his arms, the "BoneYard" where all his paraphernalia is held, the soda factory where he did his first heroic act, and the HEART Clinic.[32] To make things worse, J. Jonah Jameson releases an army of Spider-Slayers built by Alchemax, but they are hacked by Green Goblin. Spider-Man 2099 comes to help, but Otto abandons him to save Anna Maria. After hesitating about whether to save a young girl, Amy Chen (whom Otto had helped via brain surgery), or go after Goblin, Otto realizes that saving Anna Maria is beyond him, and allows Peter Parker to take back control of his body.[33] Parker helps O'Hara and cures Menace with the anti-Goblin serum. During his fight with Green Goblin he loses the last serum, before removing the Goblin King's mask, revealing him to be Alchemax associate Mason Banks. However, he confirms he is indeed Norman Osborn, having undergone plastic surgery to move undetected, allowing him build the Goblin Nation, hijack Octavius' security network, and secretly having secured Alchemax to be inherented by his grandson, Normie. Without his mask, the spider-bots recognize Osborn as a threat and administer the goblin anti-serum. He escapes and vows revenge, proclaiming that "they'll never see [him] coming". Tiberius Stone reobtains and intends to sell the Spider-Slayers on the black market. Jameson then resigns as mayor of NYC.[34]

Spider-VerseEdit

During the time Superior Spider-Man was missing after the Horizon Lab explosion,[35] he was teleported to 2099, where he used the future technology to find a way back, but instead discovers the existence of the Inheritors.[36] He recruits the help of other "Spider-Men", in order to fight back.[37] After his transportation, the Superior Spider-Man believed he was encountering a prior version of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, as opposed to a future version since he believed he had defeated Parker permanently. After the defeat of the Inheritors, Superior Spider-Man returns to his spot in the Earth-616 timeline but has no recollection of the Spider-Verse events.[38]

Dead No More: Clone ConspiracyEdit

It is later revealed that Otto regains these memories as he also regains a new body and started living in San Francisco using the alias "Eliot Tolliver".[39]

Spider-GeddonEdit

Superior Octopus establishes himself as a local hero of San Francisco where he has defeated the Night Shift, Arnim Zola, and Count Nefaria. He has a lab with his inventions, including a machine that makes clones of himself, allowing his consciousness to jump to one of those in case of death. This machine uses technology of the Inheritors.[40] Spider-UK, Spider-Woman of Earth-982, Spider-Gwen of Earth-65, Doctor Octopus (Octavia Octo) of Earth-1104, Spider-Ham, Spider-Punk of Earth-138, and Spider-Man Noir gather at the lab to warn him of the risk. Morlun emerges from one of the machines as they talked as well as Verna and Jennix who kill Spider-Man Noir and Spider-UK as Morlun departs to target Peter Parker.[41]

Post-Spider-GeddonEdit

Otto resumes his career as the Superior Spider-Man once again, protecting San Francisco with the hired assistance of the Night Shift. His identity as Dr. Elliot Toliver is uncovered by Anna Maria, who confronts him with the rebuilt Living Brain, but the appearance of Terrax gives Otto a chance to temporarily evade this. Despite lacking the weaponry, technology, and the Night Shift's assistance (who ran away in fear after one of their undead members is cut in half) to take on Terrax, Otto refuses to back down despite being heavily injured during the fight against him. With help from Anna Maria and the Night Shift, Otto is able to use a device to siphon a fraction of Terrax's Power Cosmic and transfer it to himself, giving Otto cosmic powers. Despite this upgrade, Otto is still unable to defeat Terrax until he is able to change the frequency of the latter's axe and trick him into taking it back, causing a feedback which shocks Terrax unconscious. With the fight over, Otto returns the Power Cosmic back to the machine and passes out. When he awakens, he is being treated by Anna Maria who decides that she will help Otto be a real hero. She also warns Otto that if he ever returns back to his Doctor Octopus persona, she will have him arrested or worse. Otto agrees to this, believing she would make the perfect partner for him.[42]

While helping the authorities rebuild San Francisco and rescue survivors, Otto learns about humility and begins to connect with the people. Unbeknownst to him, Master Pandemonium emerges from the wreckage planning to strike.[43]

AnnualsEdit

Two Superior Spider-Man annuals were published during the series' run. The first one was written by Christos Gage and drawn by Javier Rodríguez and Alvaro Lopez.[44] It involved Spider-Man tracking down Blackout after the latter kidnapped Aunt May.

The second annual was written by Gage and drawn by Rodríguez and focused on Phil Urich's relationship with his uncle, Ben Urich.[45]

ReceptionEdit

Initially when it was announced that Marvel was killing off Peter Parker and that his body would be taken over by Doctor Octopus it was criticized universally by fans of the previous series.[citation needed] However, as the series progressed, critics were won over[46] by the fresh approach and its smart writing.

In other mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

  • The Superior Spider-Man series is alluded to in Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors. In the episode "Avenging Spider-Man" [Pt. 1], Loki body swaps with Spider-Man to which Doc Ock says it's a brilliant idea he will take note of.
  • An adaption of the Superior Spider-Man series is featured in the second season of Marvel's Spider-Man. In this version as the end result of one of his schemes, Doctor Octopus's body was left comatose with his mind ending up in the Living Brain. In the episode "The Living Brain," Doctor Octopus is successfully able to transfer his mind into Spider-Man's body, leaving Peter's mind in the Living Brain's robotic body.[47] A 5-part episode arc named after The Superior Spider-Man is currently scheduled to close out season two of Spider-Man in September 2019.

FilmEdit

Concept art for costume based on that of the Superior Spider-Man was designed by Ryan Meinerding during production of Spider-Man: Homecoming. It is intended for the suit to be used in a future Marvel Cinematic Universe film [48]

Video gamesEdit

In popular cultureEdit

Collected editionsEdit

# Title Material collected Pages Date Published ISBN
Paperback
1 My Own Worst Enemy Superior Spider-Man #1–5 June 2013 978-0785167044
2 A Troubled Mind Superior Spider-Man #6–10 September 2013 978-0785167051
3 No Escape Superior Spider-Man #11–16 December 2013 978-0785184720
4 Necessary Evil Superior Spider-Man #17–21 February 2014 978-0785184737
5 The Superior Venom Superior Spider-Man #22–26, Annual #1 April 2014 978-0785187967
6 Goblin Nation Superior Spider-Man #27–31, Annual #2 July 2014 978-0785187974
Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2: Spider-Verse Prelude Superior Spider-Man #32-33, Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #7-8 and material from Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians of the Galaxy) #1 January 2015 978-0785187981
The Complete Collection Vol. 1 Amazing Spider-Man #698-700, Superior Spider-Man #1-16 May 2018 978-1302909505
The Complete Collection Vol. 2 Superior Spider-Man #17-31, Annual #1-2 September 2018 978-1302911836
Hardcover
1 Amazing Spider-Man #698–700, Superior Spider-Man #1–5 September 2013 978-0785185215
2 Superior Spider-Man #6–16 April 2014 978-0785154488
3 Superior Spider-Man #17-31, Annual #1-2 March 2015 978-0785193951
Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Verse Superior Spider-Man #32-33, Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #7-15, Free Comic Book Day 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Verse #1, Spider-Verse Team-Up #1-3, Scarlet Spiders #1-3, Spider-Woman #1-3, Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 2 #6-8 April 2015 978-0785190356

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Schedeen Jesse (May 13, 2014). "Superior Spider-Man (Briefly) Returns in August". IGN.
  2. ^ Marvel's Superior Spider-Man Returns in December 2018. IGN.
  3. ^ "One More Marvel NOW! Teaser". superherohype.com. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  4. ^ "Slott, Stegman, Ramos, Camuncoli Go "Superior" For Marvel NOW!". Comic Book Resources. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  5. ^ "Slott, Stegman Launch "Superior Spider-Man" in 2013". comicbookresources.com. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  6. ^ <https://www.cbr.com/superior-spider-man-returns-marvel/
  7. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #2 (Jan. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #3 (Feb. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #4 (Feb. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #5 (Mar. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #6 (Mar. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #7 (Apr. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #8 (Apr. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #9 (May 2013). Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #10 (May 2013). Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #14 (July 2013). Marvel Comics.
  17. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #15 (Aug. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  18. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #16 (Aug. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  19. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #17 (Sep. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  20. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #18 (Sep. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  21. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #19 (Oct. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  22. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #20 (Oct. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  23. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #21 (Nov. 2013). Marvel Comics.
  24. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #22. Marvel Comics.
  25. ^ . Marvel Comics. #22
  26. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #23. Marvel Comics.
  27. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #25. Marvel Comics.
  28. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #24. Marvel Comics.
  29. ^ Superior Spider-Man # 26
  30. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #27. Marvel Comics.
  31. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #28. Marvel Comics.
  32. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #29. Marvel Comics.
  33. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #30. Marvel Comics.
  34. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #31. Marvel Comics.
  35. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #19. Marvel Comics.
  36. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #32. Marvel Comics.
  37. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #33. Marvel Comics.
  38. ^ Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #11. Marvel Comics.
  39. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 4) #20 (December 2016). Marvel Comics.
  40. ^ Superior Octopus #1. Marvel Comics.
  41. ^ Spider-Geddon #1. Marvel Comics.
  42. ^ Superior Spider-Man Vol. 2 #1. Marvel Comics.
  43. ^ Superior Spider-Man Vol. 2 #2-4. Marvel Comics.
  44. ^ Zawisza, Doug (November 21, 2013). "Superior Spider-Man Annual #1 Review". Comic Book Resources.
  45. ^ Richards, Dave (January 20, 2014). "Gage Rides with the Goblin Knight in "Superior Spider-Man Annual" #2". Comic Book Resources.
  46. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (April 22, 2014). "We Review Dan Slott's Entire Superior Spider-Man Saga". IGN.
  47. ^ http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/spider-man/270484/spider-man-season-2-will-follow-the-superior-spider-man-story
  48. ^ https://twitter.com/MeinerdingArt/status/887347600088735744/photo/1
  49. ^ Morse, Ben. "Go Inside Avengers Alliance: Spec Op - Spider-Verse Pt. 1". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on 2015-06-02.
  50. ^ Martinez, Phillip. "Marvel Avengers Alliance Spider-Verse Spec Op Is Live! Miles Morales And Superior Spider-Man Join The Fight". iDigital Times.