Superior Spider-Man 4: Necessary Evil

superior spider-man volume 4 necessary evil cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Doc Ock starting to get found out, Spider-Man 2099

Horizon Labs

Comic Info

Comic Name: Superior Spider-Man (Volume 1)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Dan Slott

Artist: Ryan Stegman/Giuseppe Camuncoli

# of Issues:  5

Release Date: 2014

superior spider-man #19 cover variant 2099

Superior Spider-Man (1) #19 Variant

Reprints Superior Spider-Man (1) #17-21 (November 2013-January 2014).  Something is happening in the year 2099.  The timeline has been destabilized and the Spider-Man of that era finds he must go back in time to stop it because it could destroy everything he holds dear.  Spider-Man finds himself the target of the strange new Spider-Man of the future and intends to shut him down before it is too late…but events at Horizon could change Peter’s future forever!

Written by Dan Slott, Superior Spider-Man Volume 4:  Necessary Evil is a Marvel Comics comic book collection.  Following Superior Spider-Man Volume 3:  No Escape, the comic features art by Ryan Stegman and Giuseppe Camuncoli.  Issues in this volume were also collected as part of Superior Spider-Man—Volume 3 and Superior Spider-Man:  The Complete Collection—Volume 2.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Dan Slott run on Spider-Man.  He created too many new characters and undid a lot of other years of work (granted some of the stuff he worked to undo wasn’t that great as well including stuff like The Other storyline).  However, Superior Spider-Man was fun and part of the fun was Slott’s Spider-Man world colliding with the traditional Spider-Man world.

Dr. Octopus’s life as Peter Parker is starting to close in even tighter in this volume.  You have Carly searching for evidence of her suspicions and characters like Stunner seeking out revenge on Spider-Man without realizing it is her former partner Dr. Octopus.  Octopus also is discovering that keeping his intelligence might mean having to completely give up his Dr. Octopus inventions (which goes against his pride).  It is a fun mix that is less gimmicky than some of the “Doc Ock is Peter” storyline holds.

superior spider-man #21 cover stunner

Superior Spider-Man (1) #21

I am also a big fan of Spider-Man 2099 so this volume gets a little leeway from me as well.  The 2099 stories were one of the more entertaining early 1990s stories, and Spider-Man was by far the best of the titles.  After the collapse of the 2099 storylines, Spider-Man 2099 would occasionally show-up but it is nice to get him back in a bigger picture storyline (even if the 2099 aspect is lost for a version of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court).

The whole Horizon Lab part of the story still is an aspect of Slott’s run I have little interest in.  With Horizon came a bunch of supporting characters that took up a lot of Peter’s timeline.  Uatu, Max, and others were just not as developed and felt a bit unnecessary.  I don’t know that adding new supporting characters to Peter’s life is a bad thing (that generally happens in real life when you change jobs), but the rich nature of Peter’s supporting cast was always a plus to Spider-Man…and more pieces didn’t really need to be added.  In this, some of the classic supporting characters are starting to crash into Dr. Octopus’s manufactured life for Peter and that is fun, but I think that is where the meat of the story should be.

Superior Spider-Man is a decent read despite being so-so on Slott’s long run.  It is definitely the most inspired of his run and the fact that it isn’t a “What If?” story still is pretty amazing.  It is like a goofy-sci-fi brain-switch movie like Freaky Friday became the main Spider-Man book…I’m just surprised it when on as long as it did.  Superior Spider-Man 4:  Necessary Evil is followed by Superior Spider-Man 5:  Superior Venom.

Related Links:

Superior Spider-Man 1:  My Own Worst Enemy

Superior Spider-Man 2:  A Troubled Mind

Superior Spider-Man 3:  No Escape

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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