An enemy Spider-Man from another universe, Otto’s true identity exposed to the public, and attack on his closest allies and friends. As they said, one of Marvel’s least predictable comics on the stands! It only took one issue, and just about everything about the direction of this story was flipped on its head. These of course are the moments you find yourself invested most, because for a guy like Otto, this is how you truly test his resilience as a hero.
I mean, what would you do when you save San Francisco several times, defeat Terrax and Master Pandemonium, and build a respectable life for yourself, all to have it destroyed by someone who wants to be petty? This issue started off great because the first thing we would all want to know is the extent of the damage that Spider-Norman did in his assault. We got to see who walked away from this in one piece, who got hurt, and who might be in questionable condition. This may be a lot of bad to take in at once, but this at the same time is the kind of experience that Otto needed to have eventually. We already got a version of Otto who beat himself up for not being able to save enough strangers, but what happens when it happens to be people he knows? What every Spider person comes to understand at one point or another is how dangerous it can be to lose your identity. Some may look at this like nothing new, but so far there has been no Spider person who went through the same tragedy as the other. Otto is no different in that respect.
Now what came next for Otto really gets your heart racing. After everything he has overcome up to this point, you would think that another Spider-Man wouldn’t be too much of a problem. We all sit here looking forward to what Otto may or may not do in retaliation, but there was a bigger question at hand. I mean, could he really get justice for what just happened to his friends and loved ones? So far this also is not the Otto who could bulldozed through villains like he used to be able to.
The question after that was what Otto was willing to do with the realization that it may take more than what he has to be able to put a stop to this Spider-Powered Norman Osborn. We all knew a certain individual would have a part to play in this battle, and they nailed the execution of that character making their presence known. I was only ever concerned that something like that was going to drag on before anything actually happened. It was in this moment that this story took on one of its biggest changes that you didn’t see coming. Not sure how I feel about it yet, but some out there may be thrilled by the chance for the old Otto to slip through.
We really couldn’t have asked for a better art team to handle the interiors of Superior Spider-Man. The consistency of the artwork is one of the most commendable efforts you get out of this team, but so is the efforts that they put into convincing you of the rials that these characters have been put through. Otto in particular goes through so many emotions and each one hits you just as hard as the one before because he doesn’t know what to do with these feelings. Angry one scene, hurt the next, maybe a bit broken in another. I loved seeing that in his face, particularly his eyes too. Bellaire tends to do amazing things when it comes to natural effects that can brought out through colors. Whether someone was looking bruised, flushed, upset, or panicked, she applied the right tones to make you believe that that was not a natural state for the character. Even the red overlay and flashing lights in background of the opening scene was excellent for the state of mind it puts you in knowing that people are hurt.
I think so far this was one of the most shocking twists that this book has thrown at us. We have all been prepared for Otto to be thrown through the rings and fire, but not like this! If you were waiting for a breaking point, Superior Spider-Man #11 did not disappoint in giving one to us. This issue messes with your emotions so much that you might not be sure if it was more endearing or heartbreaking.