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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The web tightens, 15 Feb 2014
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Superior Spider-Man - Volume 3: No Escape (Marvel Now) (Paperback)
The story running through issues #11-16 of the Superior Spider-Man is collected as Superior Spider-Man: No Escape. This consists of two three-part stories, though they flow into one-another, and sub-plots continue to weave through them, but the ‘big’ stories neatly divide into two. The scripting is the usual excellent standard, as is the artwork, so if you have been enjoying this series, you will continue to do so – though the absence of the ‘ghost’ does mean that Otto’s internal monologues are now starting to grate a bit. Fortunately, by the end of the book, MJ, Carlie and The Wraith are starting to get the bigger picture…

The first story – ‘No Escape’ - involves Spider-Man, Jonah Jameson, and the execution of the Spider-Slayer. The official execution, that is, as he is scheduled to be executed as the last official act before the Raft is closed down. Naturally, he has a plan, and even more naturally, Spider-man has thought of everything. Well, not quite everything, and the swarms of mini-Spider-Slayers and mini-Spider-Bots battle it out, Smythe releases the last few villains still held on the Raft – the Scorpion, the Vulture, and the Lizard. Well, dear reader, we know there are only two villains there, and guess which one gets a ride home in the Mayoral helicopter afterwards… Ditko wouldn’t approve, of course, but it is what Stan would have wanted. Jameson insists the execution is carried out, by whatever means possible; and Spider-Man obliges, but keeps a recording of the conversation… and is given the decommissioned Raft as a new secret base.

The second story – ‘Spider Island 2’, as the Raft is renamed – sees Spider-Man hiring an army of henchmen and building a giant Spider-Battle-Robot and demolishing Shadowland; even Captain America is starting to wonder now… In the chaos of the demolition, the Kingpin’s body is found, and the Hobgoblin is forced to flee, only to be hunted down and outed on television as he hides in the Daily Bugle offices. Even taking Nora hostage doesn’t help… On the bright side, the Tinkerer’s apprentice and former Horizon employee, Ty, is now free of the Kingpin’s threats, and his leaving present for the Tinkerer is to upgrade the Hobgoblin’s weapons systems for his showdown with Spider-Man… When the dust settles, the Green Goblin is left ruling the roost, as it were, and also recruits a new Goblin Knight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest Spider-Man story in years continues, 7 Dec 2013
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
This review is from: Superior Spider-Man - Volume 3: No Escape (Marvel Now) (Paperback)
The third volume in the utterly brilliant Superior Spider-man is yet another winner from Dan Slott and his cadre of super-talented artist collaborators. Comprising two 3-issue arcs, both storylines are amazing in different ways but share an originality and freshness that permeates this series.

In the first story arc, Spider Slayer is to be the last prisoner in The Raft, the island prison off of Manhattan, to be executed by the state. His crime - murdering J. Jonah Jameson's wife. Jameson asks Spiderman to join him on the day of execution to ensure the death penalty is carried out and, of course, things don't go the way he planned. As well as Spider Slayer, fellow prisoners Boomerang, the Vulture, and Scorpion also run riot, enhanced by Slayer's mini-robots.

There are so many details about this story that I loved, but, importantly, I really enjoyed the story itself. Spiderman anticipating Slayer's escape and his Spider-bots going toe-to-toe against Slayer's Spider-bots was really fun, and seeing Jameson get in on the action himself was great - and he holds his own too! I won't say how it plays out but it is handled superbly with Slayer thinking he has the upper hand because he knows what Spiderman would do, except this is Otto the Superior Spiderman and he's constantly surprised by Spiderman's choices, as are we as readers.

The Raft was meant to close but because of something Jameson says to Spiderman during the escape attempt, Spiderman's able to take The Raft as his own private lair. It's brilliant how Otto has adapted to the role of superhero but still has the mentality of a supervillain, getting a lair, building his robots, even acquiring henchmen (called "Spiderlings"!). It's both really funny and says a lot about the character, distinguishing Otto once more from Peter's Spiderman.

The second story arc deals with Kingpin's Shadowland headquarters, a crime nexus in the heart of New York. Shadowland was a series Marvel did a few years ago which I admit I didn't read but, having read some reviews of the series, don't feel I missed much. This much I know: it looks like an Eastern fortress and it's making the residents living around it miserable. Why the Avengers don't stomp it to pieces, I don't know, but Spiderman decides to do just that and, armed with his giant robot spider and army of Spiderlings, smashes Shadowland, putting Kingpin on the run - incredibly all in one issue!

This is why I like Superior Spiderman than just regular Peter Parker Spiderman - Peter would never do anything like this, despite knowing Shadowland exists. He just doesn't have the wherewithal to do something of this scale, the planning, the imagination, the firepower, the balls - but Otto does and pulls it off admirably. Otto is proactive compared to Peter who was only ever reactive. Otto's also got no boundaries, is unafraid of taking huge risks, and his boundless ambition and confidence creates enormously exciting stories within a short amount of space, all to the good. He's redefining Spiderman as a superhero and crime-fighter.

The other issues in the story arc feature Ben Urich aka Hobgoblin, whose tenure as Kingpin henchman is up once Spiderman appears to tear down Shadowland, so has to find other financial sources. Luckily for him the Goblin King has hacked Spiderman's Spider-bots so that anyone resembling a goblin is undetected, allowing Ben to get away with his robberies much to Spiderman's frustration. Without going too deeply into the plot, there is one moment that stands out as remarkable and that's Spiderman's outing of Ben Urich as Hobgoblin on every screen in New York! He does this primarily to get the people of the city to help him prevent further crime sprees but it's doubly surprising in that he chose to reveal Ben as Hobgoblin so publicly - again, Otto is one unpredictable superhero and one determined to use all of the resources he has at his disposal.

It feels like all of this is enough for one book, right? Well, I haven't even mentioned the other storylines Slott is juggling like Otto getting his PhD from former classmate Professor Lamaze whom he despises, or his burgeoning relationship with Anna Maria, or how Carlie Cooper is closing in on discovering Peter's secret identity. And I still haven't mentioned the other big moments in this book like a character death and the emergence of a powerful new enemy! It's insane how much Slott is putting into this story, it is absolutely bursting with creativity in one of the most engaging stories I've ever read from Marvel, let alone starring Spiderman. Slott is a genius and Superior Spiderman, I have to say once more, is a masterfully written book by one of the greatest talents Marvel has. Slott's bringing his A-game to every issue and it really shows.

I think I could write a dissertation on Superior Spiderman if I wanted, it's so richly textured and layered - but I'll leave it with this review and simply say I loved this third book like I loved the last two and can't wait to read the next one. I don't know who can read this and think otherwise, but there is only one verdict for Superior Spiderman - it rules. Treat yourself to this incredible story and read it today!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiderman goes to war, 19 Jan 2014
Culleton (Winchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Superior Spider-Man - Volume 3: No Escape (Marvel Now) (Paperback)
There may be spoilers ahead...

Dan Slott continues to deliver his amazing (no pun intended) run in this new era of Spiderman. With Peter Parker's mind finally eradicated from him (Superior Spider-Man - Volume 2: A Troubled Mind (Marvel Now), Otto Octavius carries on his crime-fighting spree as the Superior Spiderman, with devastating effect.

But first, a visit to the Raft - the off-shore prison for super criminals, is in order. At the request of Mayor Jameson, Spiderman visits the raft to oversee the Spider Slayer's execution. Obviously, a breakout is staged, but Spidey has everything covered (having been a prisoner himself as Dr Octopus) until Spider Slayer upgrades a few other inmates, causing a touch of mayhem and carnage on the island prison. The Vulture, Scorpion, Boomerang and Lizard all come into play as Spidey deploys all his wits and tricks to resume normality and protect the mayor and other civilians.

Once mission is accomplished, Spiderman tricks the mayor (with some gentle blackmail) into allowing him in keeping the Raft for himself, using it as a base of operations to wage his war on crime, calling it Spider Island Two! This is where the first story arc finishes and we head into issue 14 which has Spidey leading a small army into the Kingpin's Shadowland stronghold to clean it up once and for all. Seemingly successful, the story then moves into Goblin territory and begins a new arc that continues well into Volume 4 and possibly beyond.

Marvel took a bold step when they killed off Peter Parker and put Otto Octavius into the body of Spiderman. The fans have been divided on this since issue 1. I personally think it's an incredible take on the character, and it's been very interesting reading how this new Spiderman deals with things compared to Parker. Spiderman is now ruthless, and can be a killer to achieve his aims. He employs spiderbots all over the city as his eyes to spot crime - a questionable tactic in this day and age of uber surveillance and dissatisfaction of being constantly monitored by certain governments, and now he has a small army of thugs and spidertech to help him carry out his war on crime.

I'm a big fan of all this, but whether it will last or not only time will tell. Something tells me Peter Parker and the Amazing Spiderman will be back but until then, I will continue to enjoy Slott's Superior Spiderman. The artwork for the first 3 issues is done brilliantly by Giuseppe Camuncoli, but Humberto Ramos is back and normal business resumes for issues 14 -16. Point to note, Amazon states that this volume collects issues 11 - 15. This is incorrect as it actually stretches to issue 16.

If you haven't jumped on to the Superior Spiderman bandwagon yet, I urge you to do so. It's thrilling, fun, AND SUPERIOR.
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Superior Spider-Man - Volume 3: No Escape (Marvel Now)
Superior Spider-Man - Volume 3: No Escape (Marvel Now) by Giuseppe Camuncoli (Paperback - 3 Dec 2013)
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