Superior Spider-Man #7 Review

by Charles Martin on June 12, 2019

Superior Spider-Man #7 Review
Writer: Christos Gage
Penciller: Lan Medina
Inker: Cam Smith
Colourist: Andy Troy
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This new volume of Superior Spider-Man has been cruising along as a sort of under-the-radar treat: Just Otto Octavius hero-ing as best he can, fighting baddies, teaming up with heroes, and being a gigantic ham in San Francisco.

The War of the Realms drops a battalion of Frost Giants on the Bay Area, and even the most Superior-iest of Spider-Men finds himself in need of a little help. The nearest team is the West Coast Avengers, and while Otto's initially dismissive of their powers, he sees some potential in the dimension-hopping expertise of America Chavez.

Once he actually teleports them in, though, it's Gwenpool who starts taking over the show. And this is entirely to the story and the readers' benefit.

Christos Gage's script does a superb job integrating Gwen's tricky genre savviness (referred to in Otto's files as "meta-existential awareness") into general super-heroics. We get to see the way her teammates (and Otto) react to her craziness in a way that the all-too-brief WCA title never quite got around to. And it is gorgeous.

Gwen pegs the story as "an ancillary tie-in to a crossover event" and mentions the risk of catching a tragic death to emphasize the event's lethality: "That usually happens to newer characters the writers didn't grow up with, or legacy characters whose freshness has worn off … so, uh … maybe we should go hide."

That's a nice callback to Civil War II, at the start of Gwen's career, when she intentionally abandoned New York to go bounty-hunting in Florida with Rocket Raccoon and Groot.

Otto and the WCA come up with something a little more heroic, star-portalling to New York to find some Asgardian expertise and, hopefully, take the fight off Midgard. It's a surprisingly canny and courageous plan, and it serves perfectly to engage the reader and make #8 look like a must-read despite its ancillary-ness.

#7 is no slouch in the readability department itself. Besides Mr. Gage's razor-sharp character and dialogue work, this issue features plenty of Frost-Giant-whupping excellence. Lan Medina and Cam Smith team up to make the action look great. They also have a strong grip on heroic posing and faces, neatly tying up the extensive guest-star roster with consistent clarity and appeal. 

Colourist Andy Troy makes the most of the frosty palette the event imposes, letting the Giants' chilly blues drop a neutral background against which heroic colours pop. 

This issue looks every inch the high-stakes save-the-world event. But its real appeal is in the clever, hilarious character interactions. They suit the characters perfectly, and Gwenpool's presence works wonders. It bends the story in a delightfully demented way without breaking it. Otto and Gwen are treasures, but Mr. Gage's script also does impressive work with the other West Coast Avengers, particularly Quentin Quire and (to a lesser extent) America Chavez.

Teaming up Otto Octavius with the West Coast Avengers is the very definition of "just crazy enough to work." And work it does; the combination of Otto's irrepressible smugness, Gwenpool's "meta-existential awareness", and a horde of Frost Giants that need pummelling produces delightful magic. Otto might loathe magic, but readers are going to love the spells his creators are weaving here.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
If you haven't read that Rocket & Groot & Gwenpool story, I highly recommend it. That memetic panel of Gwen saying, "Is #$%^@ Bendis writing this?" That's where it's from.