Superior Spider-Man #32

Edge of Spider-Verse Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

While Dr. Otto Octavius was still in control of Peter Parker’s body during his saga as the Superior Spider-Man he found himself at odds with a time traveller from 2099 when a temporal distortion threatened his very existence. What transpired was an implosion of the Horizon Labs that swallowed Octavius in time for at least 24 hours. During that time span, the Superior Spider-Man was pitted against a mysterious killer who has been travelling from dimension to dimension in order to murder every incarnation of Peter Parker across the multiverse. Otto will have to assemble an army to remove this threat from existence and return to his home and carry on with Parker’s power and responsibility.

Continuing the previously (presumed finished) epic of the Superior Spider-Man is Dan Slott along with the scripting help of Christos Gage. In this additional instalment of the book a series of doors into other worlds are opened up and a gathering of every Spider-Man ever is initiated. Illustrated by Superior and Amazing mainstay, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and even containing a backup from the fantastic Adam Kubert, this first chapter in the Edge of Spider-Verse paves a fun and bombastic road into the Spider-Verse crossover event.

It’s only been a few months since the completion of the Superior Spider-Man run but I already am delighted at his return. Slott and Gage teaming up to script the dry, bitter, analytical and sinister Spidey was a treat that I genuinely missed even for its short hiatus. Having the return of the Amazing Spider-Man and having Peter Parker at the helm is of course a joy and the All-New series has been as incredible as expected but their work of Superior was a unique adventure I’m glad to get a little bit more of. This story of course being one that takes place in the middle of the Superior ongoing (during #19 to be exact) is one that takes advantage of a brilliant opportunity to get back behind the wheel of Otto behind the wheel of Peter behind the wheel of Spider-Man…

Many easter eggs are laid throughout this issue as Otto falls through a time stream and sees multiple universes flash before his eyes like Wolverine scowling on the front of Day’s of Future Past or Old Man Logan as well as some Marvel 1602 characters and some Ultimate worlds. Getting to see many of the more apocryphal Spidey characters, events and environments is like a Marvel history ‘Where’s Waldo’ and it is fun to peek around corners of each panel and see what sort of cool teases you can find.

One particular aspect of this issue that I really appreciated was the inclusion of an AI assisting Otto in his lab. The computer changes its form to his 616 girlfriend Anna Maria, a character I have found so much affection for in the current continuity and a really beautiful center that Otto had used to keep himself grounded and really show off his deep seeded compassion and humanity. The role that she played in the evolution of Octavius as a hero and decent person was integral in the series and it’s clear that her warmth and personality kept him going throughout his story. Her inclusion into the Amazing arc has been great and I would love to see her intelligence and wit stick around in issues to come so it was nice to see that little nod here.

Camuncoli’s work is intense and incredible as is to be expected from one of the main three artists of the past few years of Slott’s Spidey alongside Humberto Ramos and Ryan Stegman. Personally I have always enjoyed his style and delivery slightly more (not that it’s a contest and I also may be a little biased due to my love for Camuncoli’s work on Hellblazer) and to see him return to the book and the character was awesome. His interpretation of the sharp, jagged, Superior costume has always been the most exciting to me and in this issue he is getting to draw multiple pan-dimension Spideys so my excitement for more is certainly peaked. Not to mention the design of this mysterious, trident wielding, dimension hopping, steampunk dive mask wearing, suited up villain that Camuncoli draws with finesse.

The Superior Spider-Man #32 is numbered as such as to have neglected to read the previous 31 issues would leave you pretty much in the dark in this story of Spider-Verse so I understand why they didn’t simply go with returning to 1. Basically, if you have enjoyed the madness and chaos of Spider-Island or any of the Superior Spider-Man comics written by Dan Slott I’d say its a very safe bet that you will find a great time at the Edge of Spider-Verse.

Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior

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