The War of the Realms has reached far and wide so it was only a matter of time before it hit San Francisco and drew the attention of Otto Octavius, the Superior Spider-Man. After recently teaming up with Dr. Strange, he is ready to fight back some more magical beings. This time he seeks the help of the West Coat Avengers.
I could not have named a weirder team-up than the former Doc Ock and the current West Coast Avengers. If you needed another example for how out of touch Otto is, just look at how he tries to talk to these kids. You know that Steve Buscemi meme taken from 30 Rock? It’s like that in super hero form. “Hello fellow heroes.”
They go along with Otto’s plan because it means keeping the area safe. It’s only a matter of time before they ditch him because he’s super bossy and more than a little mean. Writer Christos Gage keeps the interactions here pretty light and fun, however, I just can’t get into Gwenpool. I had the same problem with Deadpool. I think this is a one note joke that’s carried on far too long. We get it. She knows she’s in a comic book. Fortunately, Gwenpool is used pretty lightly so she doesn’t distract too much from the overall narrative.
Since this series began, Superior Spider-Man has been about bigger and badder villains. We’re not talking about street level work here. So far Otto has faced a former herald of Galactus, a demon from Hell, and now a horde of frost giants. Artist Lan Medina drives home the size difference between Otto and the giants as these being tower over the Superior Spider-Man. He really does look like a bug when compared to them.
That doesn’t mean he’s going to cower and hide. Otto does anything but, leaping into action to slice at their weaknesses. There’s a double page spread that shows just how far this invasion has reached into San Francisco that instantly sets the stage for this issue. Inker Cam Smith captures all of the small details between the buildings covered in snow and the frost giants stalking the streets in shadows.
Letterer Joe Caramagna further shows how otherworldly the frost giants are with larger than life word balloons. You can imagine their words bellowing out of their mouths, shaking the windows of the nearby buildings. The balloons are framed in a scratchy blue, adding an icy tone to their voices.
The War of the Realms is definitely felt in San Francisco with the cold, desolate snow that’s covered everything thanks to the frost giants. Colorist Andy Troy drives home the feeling of dread here. This contrasts well with the sunny Los Angeles where the heroes are able to keep the frost giants at bay for now. There’s still some hope here as they fight back the enemy forces.
Event tie-ins can be hit or miss, especially with one as far reaching as War of the Realms. There is so much going on in every corner of the world, so it can be hard to keep track of who’s going where. More importantly, the story has to feel like it matters both to the event and the character’s book. What is Otto Octavius going to get out of this? Will he learn anything? Or will this be a quick detour in his overall journey?