Story: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba
What They Say:
What’s it like to be a villain in the Marvel Universe… Once the Superior Spider-Man sets his sights on you? Find out, from Phil Urich’s point of view, in what might be the final days of the Hobgoblin. Plus, what is the secret of “The Tinkerer’s Apprentice”? Who’s been helping the Terrible Tinkerer? And how is he, of all people, the reason everything in Spider-Man’s life will be changed forever?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Getting involved in the Shadowland side of Hells Kitchen wasn’t exactly a surprise as it’s been a familiar part of the Spider-Man lore in general for a long time, but I can’t say it thrilled me all that much. While I have enjoyed stories involving Fisk with Spider-Man over the years, the two never really felt compelling in a way as I thought of him better as a Daredevil opponent. What we got was a nice escape on his part from all the carnage, Spider-Man being a greater hero in the eyes of many that lived in the shadow of the place, and Hobgoblin scurrying off to figure out how to survive a bit longer as he really feels like there’s a huge target on him now.
This gives us an interesting angle that it works with at first as Hobgoblin ends up going to Tinkerer in order to really juice up his slate of weapons to deal with what’s to come, but it’s also going to cost him significantly. And he also already owes the original Hobgoblin a lot for licensing the name and costume. This instance is also interesting because the Tinkerer has been getting a bit of help with his gear lately with Ty, who has been hiding from Fisk but now feels free. Free to get a whole lot of revenge himself as there’s a lot of people that he holds accountable for the way his life has gone into the crapper. There’s certain similarities between him and Hobgoblin over the course of their personal lives, and a kind of tragic sadness to it as well that’s covered with a huge dose of rage.
Octavius has a lot of good stuff going on in this issue as we see him cleaning up from the Shadowland assault but also that his actions and dialogue there have Cooper and now Watanabe, aka the Wraith, all the more aware that he’s not who he seems. And that sets a new course of investigation into action. But what Octavius really has to deal with across this issue is Hobgoblin, as he’s out on quite the spree in order to get funds to pay off people, making it more of a job than he ever imagined. What sets off Octavius is that Hobgoblin is able to evade his spider-eyes throughout the city, which is the cunning work of the the Green Goblin. We do get a good bit of time with the secret identity of the Hobgoblin, so it’s not all mask stuff that we get to empathize with here, but I just loved seeing Octavius frustrated by the whole thing that leads him into a decent fun. But it also leads him to calling out Hobgoblin outright as he knows who he really is, and he does that in a really big, public way that’s surprising – since the tables could always be turned.
Superior Spider-Man works through a bit of the fallout from the fall of Shadowland and it definitely has its moments. I like working through the various bits of the criminal subculture and what they represent, how they interact and the kinds of mundane things that happen as well. Hobgoblin has never been one of my favorite villains, but I liked the more human side of him here with how he’s handling being this persona with the stress and strain of it all. Overall, there’s a kind of wonky feeling to this book at times with what it does but I’m definitely curious to see how it plays out for the current Hobgoblin.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: August 7th, 2013