Superior Spider-Man #6

"Superior Spider-Man" #6 showcases Humberto Ramos' first published art for this character alongside his longtime writer, Dan Slott. Ramos and Slott have certainly shared a number of adventures with the webslinger and this issue introduces a pair of new foils for Spidey. Going by the monikers of Jester and Screwball, the duo begins their careers as Spidey-foes by vexing J. Jonah Jameson with a pie to the face. Normally, that would earn them the brand of "allies" to the Webhead, but as with all things since Otto Octavius pulled a "Freaky Friday" with Peter Parker, nothing is exactly as it seems.

Ramos' Superior Spidey is more rigid in his movements while the artist's present-day Peter Parker is definitely more stern and angry. The "old" Spider-Man shows up in place of the Parker spirit and provides a defined contrast for readers to discern between the two. This is a nice study, especially as the story takes a turn, Spider-Man gets violent and provides the Avengers with cause for the concern they emanate in their collective cameo. While Ramos' work is considerably detailed, his heavily-outlined characters, courtesy of inker Victor Olazaba, make the linework in "Superior Spider-Man" #6 seem like a coloring book for Edgar Delgado who delivers a full, vibrant palette expanded into greens, purples and yellows moreso than in the standard-issue Spider-Man comic book.

As this title has progressed, Octavius and Parker "learn" more about one another in their shared mindspace. Along the way, there have been unsurprising moments, surprises and shocks dropped on both characters and readers. This issue adds to that and, if nothing else, Slott definitively (or as definitively as things can get in comics) addresses the still-hanging question of "Did he or didn't he?" from the conclusion of "Superior Spider-Man" #5. Not only that, but the slippery slope gets made more slick throughout this issue. After a half-dozen issues, the facade that Otto Octavius has been hiding behind is beginning to crack more deeply. Those closest to Spider-Man and Peter Parker have noticed things are different with their friend and kept a cautious eye in the wall-crawler's general direction. That caution is being rewarded with panic and fear now.

As the art for this book becomes more animated under the pencil of Humberto Ramos, Slott has taken the story to a darker place, certain to be filled with repercussions. Some things cannot be undone and other actions need to be explained. As this issue concludes, it appears that those explanations are going to be demanded soon. The writer has thrown some surprises and curves since the start of this Marvel NOW! series and given the final image of "Superior Spider-Man" #6, readers are about to get some more.

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