There are few ideas in the Marvel Universe as frightening as Otto Octavius with the Power Cosmic. Even though he’s turned over a new leaf as the Superior Spider-Man, there’s still a bit of concern, as shown by Anna Maria Marconi. We’ll have to put those feelings aside as Terrax, a former herald of Galactus is attacking San Francisco and Otto is the only one that can stop him.
Although he’s managed to siphon off a bit of Terrax’s power, Otto is still outmatched. After all, Terrax has had these abilities for some time. Otto has to use his admittedly high intelligence to outthink the warrior. If he had time and patience, it would be easy, but neither of those things are available. Plus, Otto has a tendency of getting wrapped up in his own ego, adding another obstacle.
Much of Superior Spider-Man #3 consists of a heated battle between these two powerhouses. Otto uses his newfound abilities in some interesting ways. At one point, he’s literally tearing Terrax apart. Artist Mike Hawthorne and inker Wade von Grawbadger, bring this warrior to his knees as his skin starts to break away in pieces, almost like something from the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
It’s shocking to see someone like Terrax brought down with such pain and agony. Colorist Jordie Bellaire adds some touches of orange to the exposed sections of Terrax, making me wonder what he’s really made of. These stand out in a glaring fashion against his otherwise grey skin and costume.
Bellaire highlights the raw power on display during this battle as the energy pulses and explodes off the page in vibrant yellows and pinks. At times it’s almost difficult to look at since it’s so bright. Letterer Clayton Cowles adds to this intensity as Otto and Terrax are basically screaming at each other. The volume is raised with some bolded word balloons and some huge sound effects.
While Otto goes all out to protect San Francisco, there are still doubts about his good intentions. He does have a lifetime of evil doing to make up for, after all. He might have gotten a new body and a new lease on life, but it doesn’t change all the bad things he did as Doctor Octopus. Anna Maria serves as checks and balances for him. She has every reason in the world to put a stop to this, but she sees that he is capable of doing some good. This presents a very interesting dynamic.
I have to wonder if Anna Maria will succumb to temptation as this series continues. She’s putting herself in a position of power over not just Otto, but the city at large with her actions. It would be interesting if she becomes the bad guy in this with Otto trying to stay on the path of the righteous. There are some ominous moments as we reach the end of this issue.
Otto Octavius’ path to redemption is a long one. If this battle with Terrax is any indication, he’s taking the right steps to begin it. He still has a lot of sins to atone for. This issue presumably wraps up the first small arc, with writer Christos Gage redefining the character’s status quo. Although Otto can be annoyingly arrogant at times, he is actively trying to make himself a better person.