In this issue of Superior Spider-man Otto Octavius/Spider-man offers his old friend the Vulture a deal if he'll quit his life of crime, but when he sees just how disturbed the Vulture really is he goes overboard in order to take him down.
If anyone had wondered if Dan Slott's genius had come to an end at the conclusion of his Amazing Spider-man run, this issue should answer with a resounding "no." The fact of the matter is that Peter Parker is not the only character worthy of development. In a flashback, Slott shows us a scene of mutual respect and friendship between a younger Otto Octavius and the Vulture. Reading the old comics about the first time the Sinister Six came together, I doubt anyone wondered, "What does this look like from the perspective of Doctor Octopus?" No. The actual response was, "Doctor Octopus is heartless."
But it is the heart of Otto Octavius rather than the devious mind that leads him astray in the third installation of this series. It seems that his respect for Vulture and their shared hatred for Spider-man blinded Otto to the true nature of his former friend. After all, the Vulture has been abusing the young in a variety of different ways since he first began using them as batteries in order to keep him from decrepitude. Perhaps for the first time, Slott informs readers that there are limits to how far Otto Octavius will go, and those limits have nothing to do with the memories and conscience of Peter Parker that have been superimposed on Otto.
This issue was mostly disturbing. If the Vulture's child abuse wasn't enough, then the eerie scenes where it is clear that Carly knows the truth about Otto's deception should have sent a shiver down your spine. It is clear to Peter Parker that Carly knows, but it is also clear that she has to play this one carefully. If Otto were to be exposed, there would certainly be a deadly backlash as he uses all of Spider-man's "great power" to protect his secret, to protect his newly found life.
The only bad thing I have to say about Superior Spider-man is that new issues come out so often that it has become difficult to keep up with reviewing them. Fortunately, I am having no problem keeping up with enjoying them. Superior Spider-man remains the best new comic of the year, and I don't think Bendis's Uncanny X-Men or Johns's Justice League of America will be able to dethrone the king.