Stretching back to when this book was called Avenging Spider-Man, we’ve seen writer Christopher Yost making the former Dr. Octopus and current Superior Spider-Man go around collecting his former teammates in the Sinister Six, but for what purpose, we didn’t know.
Now we do, thanks to Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5. It’s called The Superior Six.
It seems that Otto Gunther Octavius’ newfound sense of responsibility extends even to his former partners in crime, and he’s just as determined to make them into heroes as he has been making himself into one – and that includes using supervillainous methods to keep them in line. When the Wrecking Crew attacks the newly-formed Alchemax in search of a quantum particle engine that nobody should know about, Otto decides it’s time to unveil his Superior Six project – Sandman, Electro, Chameleon, Vulture and the rookie in the Mysterio outfit, all fitted with mind-control devices to force them to act under his command, and each with cute new red-and-black outfits to match his own. His first command – beat the crap out of the Wrecking Crew. The result is exciting chaos, as the new Sun Girl is in the mix as well, and by the end of it, we see that the Sinister Six look at the Superior Spider-Man and see only a Sinister Spider-Man.
And there might be the title of whatever spin-off series Doc Ock gets when Peter Parker comes back.
It’s cool to see Yost’s plan come to fruition like this, and the unveiling of the Superior Six is a ‘hot damn!’ moment in comics. If I’m honest, sometimes I get overly excited about new team-ups just because it gives me more options when playing Heroclix, but rest assured, I’m also geeking out about this because Spidey-villains are my favorite villains in comics (yes, that’s right, I said it, Batman. You know where to stuff your Arkham War), even if this isn’t the real Mysterio. In fact, if the real Mysterio DOES show up and lift the curtain on Ock’s big show, it could be a perfect resolution to this. It would be even better if Otto realized the futility of persistent mind control and actually had a team of sympathizers that would make a legitimate team for him to lead, but perhaps he has to make this mistake first to come to that conclusion – and maybe it’s something to look forward to. Plus, we’ve got the promise of Spider-Man 2099 getting into the action, and we know Yost likes to take stuff from the 90s and make it cool – see Scarlet Spider. Yost also does a fantastic job of capturing Otto’s disdain for meathead goons like the Wrecking Crew.
Marco Checchetto does a solid job with capturing all this chaos, but the whole Sun Girl thing was a bit confusing at first. She shows up as a tiny yellow speck, and then a leg getting tackled by Bulldozer, so we don’t quite grasp that there’s somebody on the scene until Otto mentions a vague memory of punching her once. Also, the introduction of the Wrecking Crew seems a bit awkwardly placed, with Piledriver and Wrecker’s intro boxes switched. So it feels like there may have been minor miscommunications going on, but overall, Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5 is a lot of good time comic book action.