Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #1: Chumping The Avengers


Superior Spider-Man Team Up isn’t really a team up. It’s more like Spider-Man making the Avengers look stupid. I’ve been touting recently that the whole Superior Spider-Man idea might be jumping the shark. Issue # 1of this team up book doesn’t help dissuade me of this idea. What is mainly causing the entire idea to jump, with gusto, over Jaws is how far the writers are taking Otto Octavius as Spider-Man.

The Avengers are no slouches. They are, for the most part, the most effective superhero team on the planet. In Superior Spider-Man Team Up #1, writer Chris Yost makes them look like amateurs. Why? In order to show that Otto Octavius is incredibly smart. We get that, we understand it, but this team features Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, and they are no slouches either. In the Superior Spider-Man world, the Avengers might as well be WWE’s The Shield. If they can’t punch it, they can’t figure it out.

Spider-Man spends most of this issue beating up other superheroes. Daredevil, Cloak and Dagger, etc. The Avengers, bristled with Spider-Man’s aggression, decide to take him down. There is a fight, and it turns out the Avengers are just a big dumb collective dolt. Spidey has been tracking the Carrion Virus, which has been possessing superheroes. Why? Well, it has to do with the Jackal, and another sinister plot to kill Spider-Man, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is that Doc Ock is confronted by the Avengers and put on ice. That is, until Hyperion gets possessed by Carrion and starts slapping Avengers around.

The battle is brief, and Spider-Man’s new technology saves the day. He quips smugly at the Avengers and swings off. Turns out, Ock is about to create his own army using recently captured super villains. I’m assuming this is where the “team up” part of this team up book will come in. The usually reliable Chris Yost drops the ball here. First, if the Carrion virus is constantly moving, why didn’t any of the possessed heroes report it after Spider-Man cleared them? Second, the Avengers are too stupid to see something is wrong with Spider-Man for the second time? Third, why would a villain who feels nobody is his equal want a super team? None of this makes any sense.

I’m guessing the point of this entire Superior Spider-Man run is to prove that, even with a brighter mind and higher tech, nothing replaces a genuine hero. I’m going to assume that by the time Peter Parker returns, Doc Ock will have made a holy mess of everything. Still, bending other characters away from how they would normally act in order to tell the story is wrong. Superior Spider-Man Team Up #1 makes the Avengers look bad, and goes against everything we’ve learned about Doc Ock since he first appeared on the scene. An argument could be made that the Avengers didn’t know what was happening because Spidey didn’t tell them. Sorry, that doesn’t hold water. These are the Avengers, their job is know when something’s wrong, and what it is.

David Lopez’s art jumps the shark in one issue. The beginning is great. Solid line work, a really cool looking Spider-Man, and great movement. At about the time The Avengers confront Doc Ock’s Spider-Man, the work falls apart. Thor looks twelve, Captain America looks pointy, the whole thing comes across way too cartoonish. If Marvel wants to continue the Superior Spider-Man arc, they have to do better than this.

(2 Story, 2 Art)


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