Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW Review: Welcome to Goblin Nation

So it begins.

What has been slowly building since issue 4 of Superior Spider-Man one year ago has finally come to fruition in the pages of Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW. Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, has been scheming, maneuvering, and growing his army for quite some time now, waiting for his opportunity to take over New York and finish off Spider-Man once and for all. And Otto Octavious, the Superior Spider-Man, unknowingly has been helping Green Goblin the entire time. Otto’s efforts to be the better Peter Parker, to rid the city of crime permanently, and to be the Superior Spider-Man have allowed for Goblin to quietly build his empire from the shattered remains of the criminal world that Otto thought he was destroying.

Ok, now that I’ve made everything feel as gloomy as possible, lets get into it, here’s my review of Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW: Goblin Nation. *SPOILERS AHEAD*

The Opening Act

Everyone in their lives will at some point, and probably multiple points, experience a moment that they should have seen coming from a mile away. All the signs are there, yet we remain completely oblivious to it until it finally smacks us in the face. Otto is experiencing one of those moments.

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The day when everything went wrong

Writer Dan Slott and the art team of Camuncoli, Dell, and Fabela create the perfect opening scene to portray this moment. Otto’s inner dialogue with Goblin’s laughter splashed along the tops of the panels while New York burns showcases a Superior Spider-Man that has been brought back down to earth. It feels as though we’re witnessing the beginning of a battle between a certain caped crusader and face painted clown. That’s exactly the type of vibe this story should be going for and thankfully, it is.

The first half of this issue focuses on Otto trying to figure out how Green Goblin managed to elude detection for this long. There’s also some movement on a few other side story fronts. Peter’s consciousness continues to look for a way out, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson travels to Alchemax to check in on the construction progress of his spider-slayer robots, and New York’s finest are looking for Peter Parker to question him about Captain Watanabe’s disappearance.

It’s not that I dislike these stories or the characters involved in them, but for this issue, aside from Jameson going to Alchemax, they do more harm than good for the story as it interrupts the pacing of the main arc.

Face to Face

Once Otto figures out exactly how Goblin avoided detection, it doesn’t take long for him to track down where Goblin has been hiding the whole time. What follows is an encounter between two of Spider-Man’s greatest villains that I have been longing to see since Goblin’s reveal back in issue 4, and it doesn’t disappoint. Otto and Osborn play a game of one-upmanship with each other that is befitting for the two evil geniuses and Otto once again experiences one of those moments he should have seen coming from a mile away.

He knows

How he knows is the least of your concerns, Otto.

Dan Slott played the long game in setting up this showdown between Octavious and Goblin, everything up to this point has merely been the prologue. The first chapter of Goblin Nation delivers and the battle for Gotham, I mean New York has only just begun between these two. We know that Peter Parker will be returning to his body soon when The Amazing Spider-Man relaunches later this year and even if you haven’t been a fan of Superior Spider-Man, this is an issue Spider-Man fans simply can’t miss.

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