Graphic Novel Review: Superior Spider-Man: Necessary Evil

Superior Spider-Man: Necessary Evil

Superior Spider-Man: Necessary Evil - Credit: Archant

The new Spidey is forced to deal with challenges from the present and the future

Having usurped Peter Parker for control of his body and becoming a superior Spider-Man in the process, former Doctor Octopus Otto Octavius is now focusing his attention on bettering his secret identity, including obtaining a long-overdue doctorate for “Parker”.

But events are conspiring behind the scenes which threaten to undermine his newfound heroic status, and also shatter into pieces the life he has built for himself.

Yes, there might be a different mind controlling the physical shell of Spider-Man, but the web-slinger is certainly not free from the problems which have dogged his career for the past 50-odd years.

Things take a further complication following the arrest of his boss at Horizon Labs, Max Modell, and the arrival in the present of Miguel O’Hara, aka the Spider-Man from 2099, to fix a temporal anomaly which is having major repercussions throughout future history.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Goblin King is cementing his empire in a secret base beneath New York, and Peter’s former girlfriend Carlie Cooper has uncovered Otto’s secret and stands ready to bring down the Superior Spider-Man once and for all…

There are plenty of plot threads dancing throughout this latest volume of SSM, and the reader can be confident in the knowledge that writer Dan Slott knows exactly what he’s doing in the long-run, whether that means Octavius retains control of Spider-Man’s body permanently or not.

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As I have said in previous reviews, there are a lot of positive things about this new status quo for the wall-crawler, but with the second Amazing Spider-Man movie set to be released next year, it seems increasingly likely that this will result in a return of Peter Parker’s consciousness to tie in with his film incarnation.

However, with Octavius having broken friendships, created new relationships, and irrevocably changed Spider-Man’s position in the superhero community, it seems unlikely that even if Peter does regain control of his body then it will be a life he recognises, and the legacy of Otto’s time as the Superior Spider-Man will be continued to be felt for many years to come…

But for now, enjoy the ride with some of the freshest, most unconventional Spidey stories in the character’s long history, because the Superior era may be over sooner than you think.