Superior Spider-Man #31 is labeled as the conclusion of ‘Goblin Nation’. It could have easily been called the fallout of the return of Peter Parker. Solid series finale focused on the damage Otto has caused and how it all will effect Peter moving forward.
Official description from MARVEL:
SERIES FINALE! The end of an era! A tale of triumph and tragedy! The GREEN GOBLIN unmasked! A hero reborn! But what does this mean for OTTO OCTAVIUS?! There’s only one man who can save us from the Goblin Nation… PETER PARKER: The one, true SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN!
Peter is back! Well actually Peter has been back since last issue it’s just now he gets to clean up Otto Octavius’ mess. Peter with the aid of Spider-Man 2099 has very little time to issue individual explanations as to why he’s been acting so “off” and why we wasn’t able to stop Goblin Nation to begin with? Writer Dan Slott takes the seemingly easy route to solve the problems when in reality it’s not so much “easy” but it is a solution only Peter would have used and Otto would have you ineffectively. It really goes to show why Peter is a hero and Otto was a failed one. It was a neat tidy end to Goblin Nation and Peter gets to confess to at least to the people closest to him. But does any of that reverse the damage Otto has done? Not hardly. Peter may have made amends but the fallout of Otto’s actions reverberate with overwhelming force in Peter’s personal relationships.
Write Christos Gage pens a follow-up story to the main one centers on the emotional difficulty Peter will face from here on out. It’s sad really. We’ve been clamoring to get Peter back and now that he is his personal relationships are taking a major hit. Even those willing to walk away from Peter, even with the knowledge that Otto hijacked his brain can’t make up for the damage done and Peter’s choice to be Spider-Man. The series ends on a down note but it’s for the best as readers will feel the burden Peter carries. There’s nothing stronger than a sympathetic hero and Gage gives us that in spades.
Although I might have wished for a happier ending I do feel that Slott and Gage conclude this series with strength and poise and they show they understand Peter, his burden and ultimately pay respect to it. Issue #30 was really the moment fans could jump for joy but #31 lets the reality sink in and fill readers with cautious optimism and hope for the Amazing Spider-Man.
Giuseppe Camuncoli does nice work on this issue. His style is more classic superhero and gives a refreshing ring back to early Spider-Man and his classic look. Fans get plenty of bang for their buck with Camuncoli’s work. Will Sliney does the pencils for Gage’s back-up story and establishes his own look and feel without jarring readers sensibility of Peter, Aunt May and Mary Jane. His lines are harder and bolder but since the tone of the story is more emotion than it is action it suits the story extremely well. You feel the weight and heaviness of the consequences racked up by Doc Ock at Peter’s expense and those he loves.
All in all this is a very solid end to the Superior Spider-Man. It may seem as though Slott left the fate of Otto open ended but Peter’s realization of the cost of Otto’s actions seals his fate…if only for the moment. It’s heavy on the melodrama but instead of making a pitch perfect happy ending the team went for honesty vs fantasy. I will miss Superior Spider-Man and Slott won me over as a fan who never wanted Peter gone. But I think Slott’s intentions were to show his respect and love for the character and Superior did just that. Look beyond the obvious and you will see it for yourself.