This week the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin square off, and we delve even further into Black Science!
Superior Spider-Man #26 (Marvel Comics)
We’re one step closer to “Goblin Nation”, but first, Dan Slott brings us the showdown we’ve been waiting for: no, not Peter Parker vs. Otto Octavius, Green Goblin vs. Hobgoblin!
That’s right, Superior Spider-Man #26 brings the two major Goblins head to head, and it takes quite a few different twists and turns throughout the course of the match. Slott’s script for these pages is packed to the brim of possible revelations and great dialogue, even if it is hard to follow in some parts.
It’s not all Green Goblin and Hobby punching each other though. The issue also finds the Avengers finally confronting OttoSpidey about deleting the body scan files that were in their computer, and we also get more revelations about SPOILER Peter’s consciousness still being inside his mind. Somehow Peter’s still alive and kicking inside his brain, and he’s determined to figure out how to get out and regain his body.
Like all Superior issues, there’s a lot going on at once in this issue. However, this was the first time that events seemed a little rushed to me. While I understand the desire to get to “Goblin Nation” and Peter’s return, the massive Spidey fan that I am wants to see this story built up effectively. Sure, there’s a ton of crazy reveals and events in this issue, but as it stands right now, things happened either way too fast or were thrown in awkwardly. It’s still a good issue, but Dan Slott probably could’ve tightened things up just a little bit.
Adding to the awkwardness of the issue, the different story moments are handled by three different Spidey artists. Humberto Ramos pencils the Goblin fight, Javier Rodriguez the Avengers scenes, and Marcos Martin pencils the scenes with Peter inside his mind. While Ramos, Rodriquez, and Martin are all great artists, mashing the three of them into one book gets pretty disjointing. You’ll go from the crazy cartoon action of Ramos to Rodriguez and Martin’s old school styling multiple times, and I’d be lying if it didn’t seem like it was set up this way to make sure the issue was released on time. At least the three respective artists are perfectly suited for the parts that they were given.
While this is the first Superior Spider-Man issue that didn’t “wow” me in a very long time, it’s still a very good issue. With more time and thought, it would’ve been one of the better ones, but it seems like everyone, Slott included, is so focused on “Goblin Nation” that they wanted to hurry up and get to it. That’s all well and good, but I still want to be able to enjoy the issues that lead up to it. Still, a “very good” issue of Superior Spider-Man is still better than most superhero books by the big two.
Black Science #3 (Image)
Damn. Are you reading Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s Black Science? Cause if you’re not, you need to rectify that NOW. Focusing on scientist Grant McKay’s interdimensional exploration trip that goes horribly awry, Black Science features some of the craziest, most out there Sci-Fi action on the stands.
The third issue flashes back to give us some background info on “The Onion”, the device that McKay creates that allows him to “peel back” the layers of reality and travel to different dimensions. Remender fills the script with a lot of pseudoscience that threatens to bog down the pace of the story, but thankfully it never does. Juxtaposed with the team currently being trapped in a strange reality where native American-looking aliens are fighting German soldiers (remember when I said “craziest, most out there Sci-Fi?), the flashbacks give us the insight we’ve desperately needed for our main character and a majority of the supporting cast. With Grant severely wounded, it’s up to the members of his team who are trapped along with him to try and heal him.
Second only to Fiona Staples’ Saga, Matteo Scalera creates some pretty awesome looking aliens and planets. The Native American and German beings that fill up the current dimension are both familiar, but feature small things that remind us that these familiar creatures are not from our world. Scalera draws some fantastic facial expressions on many of the characters, but the team’s battle with a giant robot mid-issue clearly takes the cake.
Black Science is only on its third issue, so there’s still time to catch up. Unfortunately, some of those early issues may be pretty hard to find. Whether you hunt them down on eBay, get the new printings, or wait for the trade, you should definitely check it out. For pure balls to the wall science fiction insanity, they don’t get much better than Black Science.
Jonwahizzle is a jack of all trades: educator, comic book slinger for Jetpack Comics, and member of Another Let Down. Follow him on twitter and check out his blog, The Collective: Examples of Nerdery for more!