At the end of 2017 Dan Slott will have been writing Peter Parker as Spider-Man for ten years, but his most-memorable Spider-Man story will probably go down as Superior Spider-Man – the one where he wrote Spider-Man not as Peter Parker … or, maybe more accurately, Peter Parker not as himself.
Superior Spider-Man is the #43 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017 on Tigereyes’s Secret Ballot. Visit the Marvel Masterworks Message Board to view the original posting of results by Tigereyes. And, check out the Definitive Guide to Spider-Man to track down every single issue.
Past Ranking: A 2017 debut!
Probable Contents: Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #698-700, Superior Spider-Man (2013) #1-31, & Annual 1-2.
I could see Marvel also including Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1-6, which adds a bit of resolution to the relatively abrupt ending of this run and butts up nicely to Spider-Verse on the other side.
It could also include some (but probably not all) of Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 & 16-22 and Superior Spider-Man Team-Up (2013) #1-12 & Special, All-New X-Men (2013) Special, and Indestructible Hulk (2013) Special.
(Note that Superior Spider-Man #32-33 were published later as part of Spider-Verse.)
Creators: Written by Dan Slott with Christos Gage with pencils by the rotating team of Giuseppe Camuncoli, Ryan Stegman, and Humberto Ramos (along with one-offs from Marcos Martin, Javier Rodriguez, Phil Briones, and Will Sliney).
Inks by the pencillers along with John Dell III, Victor Olazaba, Cam Smith, Terry Pallot, John Livesay, and Álvaro López. Colors by Edgar Delgado and Antonio Fabela.
Superior Spider-Man is a spider-story that anyone can appreciate, and truly one of the best Spider-Man runs of all time despite not quite starring Spider-Man.
To explain the why and how of that will involve some major spoilers.
As Amazing Spider-Man approached issue #700, writer Dan Slott brought a long-simmering plot to the fore. Doctor Octopus lie dying in in prison, but before he was captured he deployed an infestation of Octobots that he could control mentally. Octopus use one lone remaining golden Octobot to swap consciousnesses with Peter Parker!
Now Doc Ock was living the heroic life in Spider-Man’s body while the heroic Peter Parker now found himself trapped the decrepit, imprisoned body of Doctor Octopus. Parker makes a valiant effort to break out and do some super-science to reverse the brain swap, but in Amazing Spider-Man #700 he comes up just short.
Doc Ock’s body dies, apparently with Parker’s psyche dying along with it – leaving Doctor Octopus behind to live the dual lives of Peter Parker and Spider-Man!
This Spider-Ock – SpOck for short – wasn’t hell-bent on villainy. Instead, his main goal was to drive this young, handsome, super-powered Peter Parker body to the height of its potential both as a man and as a hero. He declares he will become The Superior Spider-Man. No more bouncing from job to job or playing second-fiddle to other, lesser scientists. No more being the put-upon, beaten-up hero distracted by every mugging and D-list costumed bank-robber.
That was the status quo into which the Superior Spider-Man launched in late 2012, ahead of the Marvel Now relaunch by a few months.
It was a wicked delight. Part of the delight is that you really didn’t have to be keeping up with Spider-Man to appreciate the story. Even if you only knew Spider-Man from films and cartoons, you could appreciate that SpOck really was better at being Peter Parker than Parker himself had been.
That made it hard to root against him, especially because he really wasn’t doing anything all that bad. Sure, he was a bit hyper-violent, and he made a bit of a mess of Peter’s personal relationships. He was also keeping criminals off the streets, finally finishing his doctorate, taking good care of Aunt May, and maintaining a real, adult relationship (with a great new character, Anna Maria Marconi).
Slott and his frequent collaborator Christos Gage write a thrilling page-turner from start to end that has no absolutely no filler to speak of. The art rotation of Camuncoli, Stegman, and Ramos are strong. I’m generally not a fan of Ramos’s exaggerated bodies, but here he distends Spider-Man with purpose – distorting his frame into something more and more inhuman as SpOck’s plans spiral out of control.
By the time a glimmer of a hope emerges that the real Peter Parker might finally retake control of his own body, I guarantee you’ll be torn about wanting to see that happen. Even when using his villainous smarts for the common good, SpOck is still driven by his selfishness – and that becomes his undoing.
As it turns out, part of why Peter Parker’s life is always so frustratingly askew is because he always puts his altruism first, and that’s not always compatible with winning.
Still, maybe the real Parker could learn something about thinking bigger from his body’s temporary custodian.
Will we see this omnibus in 2018? Could it finally be time in 2018? I’d rate the chances as better than 50/50.
With the three hardcovers that contain this run hitting the three-year mark in 2018, they might be old enough to warrant heading back to press with this run – which surely deserves evergreen status as much as anything else Marvel has done from 2013 forward.
No matter how Marvel chooses to attack collecting Slott’s extensive Spider-Man run, there’s no getting around this being a single, self-contained volume. That means there’s zero risk to them collecting it prior to the preceding “Big Time” run and the following Spider-Verse run-up and Worldwide.
Would I recommend buying it? 100% yes! This is a fantastic story that’s accessible to any reader.
The 2017 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot Results
- #60 – What If? Classic Omnibus, Vol. 1
- #59 – House of M Omnibus
- #58 – Captain Marvel by Peter David, Vol. 1
- #57 – X-Force by Kyle & Yost
- #56 – Namor, The Sub-Mariner, Vol. 1
- #55 – X-Force, Vol. 3 AKA Cable & X-Force, Vol. 1
- #54 – Conan The Barbarian, Vol. 1
- #53 – Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron
- #52 – Incredible Hercules by Pak & Van Lente
- #51 – Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Vol. 1
- #50 – Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch, Vol. 1
- #49 – Captain America (Silver Age), Vol. 3
- #48 – Doctor Strange by Roger Stern
- #47 – Marvel Horror of the 1970s
- #46 – Killraven
- #45 – Captain America by Mark Gruenwald, Vol. 1
- #44 – Runways by Brian K. Vaughan
- #43 – Superior Spider-Man
- #42 – The Punisher by Rucka & Checchetto