‘Troubled Mind, Part Two: Gray Matters’
Published by Marvel Comics
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Leters: Chris Eliopoulos
After weeks of hype as the moment that would piss off everyone who had stuck around after Peter Parker’s death in Amazing Spider-Man #700, Dan Slott’s much anticipated Superior Spider-Man #9 has finally hit shelves and, Dan is right, I’m absolutely pissed off about it. Not because it’s shocking or infuriating, but because it’s honestly kind of boring.
If you’ve not been keeping up, here’s what’s happening: Otto Octavius switched brains with Peter Parker, and let Peter die while he was inside Ock’s critically ill and near death body. Octavius, in the final moments of Peter’s life, got a crash course in power and responsibility courtesy of Peter’s memories, and thus has decided to turn over a new leaf as The Superior Spider-Man. However, unbeknownst to him for 8 issues, a remnant of Peter Parker has lived on just beneath the surface, watching Doc Ock’s every move.
But as Superior Spider-Man #9 kicks off, the jig is up, and Otto is on to Peter. Otto ventures inside his brain to rid himself of the remnant of Peter, and a boring, stock fight ensues where the two argue their respective cases, aided by memory powered friends and family. In the end, the fight goes EXACTLY as you’d expect. There’s no twist, no surprise, no shock ending; Otto Octavius comes out triumphant (it IS his book, after all), and Peter Parker appears to be no more.
The few cool moments there are, Peter and Ock ripping off there faces to reveal Spider-Man costumes, the colossal fight between Peter’s friends and his rogues gallery, and Peter finally succumbing to Doc Ock, just don’t have anything to them aside from a single panel of “Oooh, that’s cool”. It’s a huge let down. There’s nothing about this book that is infuriating, but maybe that’s why Slott is playing up the angle so much: there’s honestly nothing to this issue. It’s criminally short, containing an obscene sum of splash pages, and just doesn’t have a lot of punch to it.
It’s a shame. What could have been a great epic comparing the minds of Peter Parker and Doctor Octopus, what could have been a wonderful story, what could have been a fun romp with serious consequences, is just another overhyped let down. And this is from someone who has really enjoyed the hell out of ‘Superior’ so far.
And to all you fans who are pissed about the death of Peter Parker? If past actions at Marvel are any indication, I’ve got a suspicion he’ll be back in about a year.