Ending his work with the Otto Octavius-infused Spider-Man on a high note, writer Christopher Yost decides that “Superior Spider-Man Team-Up” #8 needed just a little more arrogance, so he adds Namor. Naturally, staple-busting arrogance ensues as the two princes of pomposity try to one-up the other throughout the Will Sliney-drawn pages.
Yost opens the story up with a quick recap of Octavius’ actions under the guise of Spider-Man and spins that into Octavius finally deciding that perhaps his charade has run on for too long. Ready to turn himself in to the Avengers, the “superior” Spider-Man slings across New York only to find himself a spectator to a battle between Namor and Hatut Zeraze — assassins from Wakanda. Still possessing enough gumption to attempt to continue to uphold the mantle, Octavius elbows his way into the fight. This affords Yost a few shots at one-liners and humor, both from Spider-Man and, surprisingly, from Namor. It’s not all fun and games, however, as the two mostly heroes remember to fight the common foe of the Wakandan warriors. As he has done throughout his run with Spider-Man (both in this title and in its predecessor, “Avenging Spider-Man”), Yost balances humor and action, showing readers exactly what fun, exciting Spider-Man comics should look like.
Will Sliney brings a strong visual punch to the opening scene of “Superior Spider-Man Team-Up” #8 and also sends off the story with a pin-up worthy splash page. In the middle, he handles the battle with Namor quite nicely, but his style waivers throughout the issue, at times aping the work of Marco Checchetto, while other times slipping into something darker but less gritty. Namor has some moments for dramatic expression, but for the most part remains as stoic and expressionless as Spider-Man, who wears a mask throughout the issue. Sliney makes some camera angle choices that don’t always present the best storytelling choices, which is complicated by really dark coloring from Antonio Fabela. Joe Caramagna’s lettering is solid throughout the issue, but really sells the scene as Spider-Man decides the best way to move Namor is to yank him via webbing.
Despite an anti-climatic ending to its plot, “Superior Spider-Man Team-Up” #8 succeeds on showcasing the conflict of the titular character. Octavius is nowhere near as lovable or relatable as Peter Parker is, but his conflicts and decisions made towards resolving those conflicts continues to make for interesting reading. As Yost wraps up his work here and on “Scarlet Spider,” readers can only look forward to the upcoming relaunch of “New Warriors” to see what the writer can do with the rest of the Marvel Universe. If it’s anything like his work on “Superior Spider-Man Team-Up,” readers are in for more fun adventures showcasing comics striving towards their potential.