I gotta say that I was heartbroken when it finally sank in that this was going to be the final issue. I’ve said it plenty of times that Superior Spider-Man turned out to be one of my favorite series this year. I still remember the time where this character was created and not enough people were onboard with the idea. They they said there’s no room for another Spider-Man, that it was too much of a slap in the face to Peter Parker fans for this to exist while he was dead. Yet here we are how many years later and Superior Spider-Man is still a thing. A book that took being a web-slinger to new heights, and caught many of us off guard for the emotion that a character like Otto hit us with through every adventure.
As the finale for the book, I was definitely broken inside because this was the last note I ever wanted to leave this story on. We’ve come so far in this journey with Otto, and he rose too high to suddenly take a deal to become Doc Ock once more. I don’t know what I was expecting from this final issue, but I was hoping that this would not undo everything that has been made possible through Otto proving that “With Superiority Comes Responsibility”. Then again, who am I kidding? To switch things up that quickly over the course of one issue? That would be impossible. So there was only the intrigue in seeing what this version of Otto could do. I was interested in seeing if this would be the same Otto who was a victim of his own habits, or if this was something new created which took the best of both worlds between Doc Ock and Superior Spider-Man. The answer to that question was quite chilling.
This final issue hit the ground running with what came next when this Otto made his next confrontation with Spider-Norman Osborne of Earth-44145. From the minute he made his presence known, I hated to say that they had my attention since little time was wasted showing what action looked like from an Otto who has now removed that angel from his shoulder. This was him with the full capacity to utilize his intellect in more creative ways, while removing all the restraint he had once held on to. What followed was a brutal scene, and I think most of us will appreciate the twist that you could sympathize with the villain. How I felt at the conclusion of that battle, was the same way I felt when Otto took his first swing at Rhino with one-hundred percent of Spider-Man’s strength. That is the best way I could describe what unfolded, and it made a big difference seeing this from Doc Ock than the prior identity.
When it came to the last stretch of the issue, it was compelling the way that we were able to put ourselves in Anna Marie and Emma’s shoes. It was a shared experience seeing what was thrown away, and wishing there was some way to preserve what was still the Superior Spider-Man inside.
From start to finish, I commend the fact that we could enjoy this book through story, and through art. Up to this last issue, I don’t think there was ever a time where I was let down by the efforts of the artist who have worked on this book. It made such a difference as well that this was a book where it was the same art team for almost every issue. The team of Mike Hawthorne, wade von Grawbadger, and Jordie Bellaire consistently knocked it out of the park. This issue in particular too. What I loved about this one is how they yet again struck a brilliant balance between the intensity of the action, and the emotional weight of the story. This was Doc Ock unleashed. The anger was written all over him, the brilliance was captured through an ingenious use of his tech, and the darkness held your eyes hostage as he did to Norman Osborne things you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
The die was cast one last time. I wished for a different ending, but this was the end that we were going to inevitably get one of these days. It was probably best that this also ended with the writer who made this such a compelling character. Superior Spider-Man #12 wraps up what will be one of the boldest stories told for any Spider person in the Spiderverse.