Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Superior Spider-Man #31 (Series Finale!)

Review of Superior Spider-Man #31 (series finale)
"Goblin Nation" conclusion & "Actions Have Consequences"

Written by: Dan Slott                                                   Written by: Christos Gage          
Pencils by: Giuseppe Camuncoli                                   Pencils by: Will Sliney

Can a series that has a million loose ends, an epic war being waged and more subplots than you can shake a stick at be wrapped up in a single issue? Yes it can. But can it be done without the ending being rushed, losing emotion or impact? Again, the answer is a confident yes. Superior Spider-Man #31 delivers an emotional, exciting and fulfilling conclusion to the series. It even manages to cover all of the loose ends aka damage done by Otto.

Anytime there is back-matter or multiple stories within an issue it feels forced (to make the issue seem more important) at best and at worst it is a weak excuse to inflate the cover price. However, this was not the case and  a second story was necessary. The first story covers the conclusion of the battle with the goblin nation. It delivers the action as Peter races with Miguel to put an end to the siege of New York and rescue those held captive. The second story is Peter addressing all the damaged relationships that have come out of "Superior" and they may not be resolved but you can see there are plot seeds being sown for future stories as Peter attempts damage control in his personal life.

In my opinion, one of the most satisfying moments of the tale involved Peter convincing others that he was really himself again and not Otto. Some people seemed rather too easily swain as was the case with Mary Jane. But the most classic Spider-Man moment was the way in which he convinces the Green Goblin. The action and pacing of the story feel organic and

The reveal that it is, in fact, Norman behind the mask was rewarding and I can't think of any plot twist involving a different person behind the mask being nearly as satisfying. The stage is being set for "Spider-Man 2099" Miguel to have his own title. I am having high hopes for that title because very intriguing plot threads have been sown in this issue as well. The dynamic between Peter, his family and his loved ones including Jameson were compelling because there was no magic reset button to erase the wounds that were caused. None of those relationships seemed as interesting as the one with Anna Maria. Her impact on Otto carried great weight with Peter and it will be very interesting to see where her relationship with Peter/Spider-Man goes in the future.

I've said that this has been a polarizing series for Spider-Man fans. At the series end Peter Parker has made his triumphant return to the helm of the mantle. I wonder if those who were so passionately anti-"Spock" will now go back in the trades and read what they were missing. During the run, so much of Spidey's mythos has evolved I feel that those readers who passed on "Superior" will be lost at times to the depth of what has transpired. A few examples are Horizon Labs and Alchemax, Spider-Man 2099 (who is getting a new ongoing!) and the legacy of the many Goblins. That is not including relationships both personal and professional (including the Avengers, Black Cat, Flash Thompson). If you were one of the people who stubbornely refused to give this title the chance it deserved than you should admit your foolish mistake and stop punishing yourself. Go and read the series and see why it was loved by so many.

Rating: BUY IT