The Weekly Pull (3/20/13) – SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6

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Ottoman – Doc Ock in Spiderman’s body – continues to “enhance” Peter Parker’s old life. But after the heavy business of Massacre, it seems like the time to get less serious. The prank duo of Screwball and Jester take on our anti-hero in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6. Can Ottoman learn to take a joke? Or will the joke be on these new villains? And how are the Avengers reacting to Spiderman’s new hard treatment of crime?

First things first, Massacre is dead. Ottoman straight up executed him last issue, something I don’t think anyone saw coming. Makes perfect sense though, given that Otto Octavius has far fewer qualms about delivering harsh justice. None of that dancing around the issue of why they don’t just kill the murderous psychopath and save every further grief.

I’m looking at you Batman. Granted, Massacre is not nearly as great a cash cow for Marvel as the Joker is for DC, so they wouldn’t mind killing him off.

Naturally, the Avengers have problems with their ol’ buddy Spiderman going around executing villains. But in a good moment – one that makes me appreciate the character more – Wolverine makes the very valid point that most of the Avengers have killed before. And as such, Spiderman shouldn’t be singled out for doing what was arguably the most rational and prudent course of action. As such, the Avengers decide to watch the situation unfold on its own.

Remember this.

Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson holds a press conference to announce among other things his order for all criminals who use superpowers in their crimes to receive minimum ten year sentences (a decision that’s almost certainly hugely descriminatory and worthy of discussion on Law And The Multi-Verse). Phil Urich, the current Hobgoblin, makes commentary on how New York is cracking down on super crooks in a bit I can only assume exists solely to remind the readers that yes, the Hobgoblin is still around. Because here I thought Urich had dropped off the face of the Earth.

Then a pair of villains – Screwball and Jester – rush in and hit Jameson with a pie to the face. The further drop his pants, all to broadcast the act over a live stream. I like seeing writers try to explore classic superhero tropes with modern cultural trends. It keeps things fresh, though obviously it can get really, really bad if misused.

While the book furthers the “Otto finishes Peter’s doctorate” subplot, we’re reminded of little Otto’s time as a child. For the last few issues, the mental projection of Peter Parker has been diving into Doc Ock’s memories looking for a way to reverse the mind swap process. Every so often we get scenes from Otto’s past that serve to contextualize his current behavior. Such is the case with SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6, where we learn Otto’s past trauma with humiliation. He doesn’t care for it.

As you can probably imagine, this bodes ill for the current villains whose entire gimmick is humiliating people.

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