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Superior Spider-Man #19 Shakes Up the Spider-Man Timestream

Superior Spider-Man #19 Shakes Up the Spider-Man Timestream

Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Ryan Stegman
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Cover: Ryan Stegman and Jason Howard

Marvel often likes to boast how a certain story is going to shake things up and forever change the Marvel universe. So when Dan Slott began teasing across SSM#19Page

social media and during interviews that Superior Spider-Man #19 was just such a story, some may have taken it with a grain of salt and a roll of the eyes. Especially if they haven’t been a fan of the writer’s controversial run featuring the insidious mind of Doctor Octopus in the body of Peter Parker. But it seems the Superior Spider scribe wasn’t just pulling our webs, as this most recent issue delivered on its promise to shake things up.

After purging himself of Peter Parker’s memory fragment, Octavius is left with only the memories of Peter that he’s previously accessed. Like a shelf full of books, Otto is only familiar with those he’s cracked open before. This leads to confusion and a confrontation with Spider-Man 2099 that ultimately is a bit underwhelming but sets up an intriguing new status quo for the time-displaced Miguel O’Hara. It might have been more interesting to see a more direct confrontation between the two Spider-Men, but with so many other developments in the issue, it’s easily forgiven.

Artist Ryan Stegman moves the action along with energetically animated art that creates a sense of urgency and excitement while maintaining a cartoonish style that keeps the book fun. One sequence, in particular, where Otto tries desperately to access a purged Parker memory, features a few classic Spider-Man flashbacks with a young Otto in place of Peter. This single splash page not only injects a bit of humor into the plot but also hints at something (or someone) more than just a memory resurfacing in Otto’s mind.

This issue not only marks the end of the “Necessary Evil” arc, but also closes the chapter in a significant part of Spider-Man’s recent history with the dismantling of Horizon Labs. And while this may seem like a depressing development, Ock’s proposition to Sajani to work for his new Spider-Island facility should lead to some deliciously diabolical new plots in the future. So whether or not you’ve been a fan of the Superior Spider-Man, or SpOck as the internet calls him, it’s hard to deny the interesting developments this issue contained. And while it remains to be seen if these events will have a lasting effect on Spider-Man and the Marvel universe as promised, it’s hard to deny that Superior Spider-Man #19 was a significant and exciting issue in the ongoing mind-swap story that continues to shock, delight, and anger fans of the now less-than-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.