Superior Spider-Man #10 Gives Otto A True Arch-Nemesis

by James Ferguson

Just when you thought Spider-Geddon was over, it has reared its head again. Norman Osborn, the Spider-Man of Earth-44145 has come to our world with an ax to grind. He didn’t like how the Superior Spider-Man treated him during the big event and wants revenge. No one speaks to the great six-armed Norman Osborn that way and gets away with it. He’s about to make Otto Octavius’ life a living Hell.

Superior Spider-Man #10 is a standout issue for the series. Writer Christos Gage builds on everything he’s done so far to really move the book forward in this chapter. It’s pretty impressive to see how nothing was wasted in the storytelling.

This Norman Osborn is set up to be a potential arch-nemesis for Otto. Just as the former villain is starting to understand what it means to be a human being, in comes this monster to tear down everything he’s built. Now he really knows what Peter Parker felt like all those years as he was terrorizing him as Doctor Octopus. Letterer Clayton Cowles adds a hint of the Green Goblin to Norman with his laugh. It shows up in a big green font that breaks out of the word balloons.

It’s interesting to see how the color palettes for Norman and Otto mirror each other. They’re both dark red and black. Colorist Jordie Bellaire matched these up well. Norman represents the path Otto could have taken if he continued down his path as a villain. He’s trying to stay on the side of the angels which has proven difficult, but worthwhile.

The more heartbreaking sequence comes with Otto’s interaction with a small boy he saved back in issue #4. He’s been checking in with the kid and helped secure foster parents for him after his mother died. When Otto’s identity is exposed, the boy looks at him with hate in his heart. How could his hero lie to him like this? Artist Mike Hawthorne captures that raw emotion that can only come through from a child. Even though Otto’s face is hidden by the mask, you know that this is hitting him hard.

This fuels Otto to seek out and stop Norman at all costs. He understands the lengths a madman like this will go and realizes that he’s now in danger in more ways than one. It’s one thing to out him as the villain formerly known as Doc Ock. It’s another to attack his closest friends. This wasn’t a problem Otto had back in his days as a bad guy. It wasn’t even a problem he had all that long ago. He’s opened up and let people in and now he’s more vulnerable than ever.

Superior Spider-Man #10 also heavily features my favorite character from Spider-Geddon, Spiders-Man, a collection of spiders that ate their world’s wall-crawler, assuming his personality. He’s just so weird and I love everything about him. Inker Wade von Grawbadger brings out the darker nature of the character when he breaks up into the various arachnids. You can see how this human form is really just a whole bunch of spiders and that sends a shiver right down my spine.

Otto has faced all kinds of threats, big and small, in his second life. I mean, he fought a Herald of Galactus not that long ago. Norman Osborn represents something different. This is a super villain through and through. Norman can give Otto a taste of the pain and torment he dished out for years. He’ll be challenged in a way he never has before. This will be the true test of everything he’s worked for. How hard will this man fight to keep his new life?

Superior Spider-Man #10 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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