“Inhumanity: The Superior Spider-Man” #1 is a kind of entertaining story that, some neat art is aside, isn’t anything to take particular note of.
Written by Christos Gage
Illustrated by Stephanie Hans
• Atitlan has crashed out of the sky into New York City.
• In the chaos, the Superior Spider-Man discovers that super powers aren’t all it takes to be Superior.
In the luxorious Marvel Offices, Stephen Wacker and Tom Brevoort stared at each other from across the conference table. “We’ve given him everything he wants, Axel.” Wacker defeatedly whimpered.
“Enough? He never wants enough! He’s ravenous; there’s no stopping him unless we find a way to stop with all these tie-”
“Band together… for what?” said a commanding voice coming from the door. The two men turn around and met the dead eyes of Joe Quesada.
“Nothing sir!” Alonso blurted out. “We were just discussing ‘Inhumanity.'”
“Ah yes, our latest event, our latest blockbuster, our latest raison d’être!” Quesada continued to list meaningless phrases as he circled the two editors, like a vulture. Not the Adrian Toomes Vulture, no his event “Pop Vulture” was scheduled for 2021. For now, the Marvel editorial team was focused upon “Inhumanity,” the latest crossover that was sure to make them oodles of money from the main book itself to the numerous tie-ins. After twenty minutes of circling, Quesada finally settled upon his throne at the front of the table, crafted from hundreds of melted replicas of Magik’s Soulsword, and sat down. With this movement, Quesada’s suit, crafted out of hundred dollar bills and the faces of his enemies, wrinkled ever so slightly.
“We’ve settled everything with Fraction and Soule.” said Alonso. “‘Inhuman’ will come out in April and for now ‘Inhumanity’ will give our creators a sort of free reign on what to do with the whole Terrigen bomb situation and new Inhumans while Fraction gives us one or two ‘Inhumanity’ issues to tie it together. Overall we think this is a much more freeform style of crossove-”
“What about Spider-Man?”
“I… I beg your pardon?”
“Spider-Man!” The words are spat out from Quesada’s mouth, along with the wine he keeps in his mouth so he can spit it at people. His glare moved from Alonso, to the purple stain on the table, to Wacker sitting upright in his seat.
“Well… you know Slott has his plans. He doesn’t want to have ‘Superior’ cross over into anything”
“Ah yes. Slott.” The name came out of Quesada’s mouth like toxin. Or the “Toxin” miniseries he unsuccessfully tried to order Slott to write. “If we could only find where he buried those tapes. Until then we can’t force him to do anything. Wacker!”
“I want tie-ins of Spider-Man!”
Quesada laughed as he gave JK Simmons his check. The actor then bowed to the others and departed. “I never get tired of that. Anyway, yes, we need a Spider-Man tie-in. Wacker… I need you to take out your key.”
Wacker froze for a moment. They were going to open it. “The Vault.” Where they kept the man, no the… the monster, they’d need for such an occasion. He’d hoped to avoid it one more time, he was specifically moving to animation in order to escape all this. He had only one day left but duty called. Wacker stood up reluctantly and took the key from the magnetic lock Marvel had surgically implanted onto his sternum. Quesada grabbed his key from the pocket that used to be Paul Jenkins’ face. Alonso just had an X-Men keychain.
The trio rode the elevator down to the sub-level basement where they hid all their secrets. It’s where they would’ve kept the tapes too, if Dan Slott hadn’t stolen them with his leprechaun magic. Walking up to the large cryogenic pod, Wacker felt a tingle run down his spine. “Whatever we get… what would we even title it?”
“Um, ‘Inhumanity: The Superior Spider-Man'” replied Alonso.
“Well that’s hardly clever.”
“Of course!” bellowed Quesada. “The point is not to necessarily be creative, but to just fill a quota.” He said matter-of-factly as he input the data in the cryogenic chamber. “Now, I’ve put in some typical themes. ‘Firefighters are the real heroes,’ ‘Don’t help your loved ones by murdering people” and the villain can be, I don’t know, just some guy jealous of the other New Inhumans. These books don’t all need news characters.” Quesada added while tapping away at the keyboard adjoined to the Cryo Lab. “Within a few moments he should be ready.”Continued below
In mere seconds, a clanging was heard from inside the chamber, followed by a large crash as the door was kicked open. Out stumbled a massive figure; ten feet in height, skin made of red scales, and demonic wings measuring twenty feet across. A sharp scream came from its mouth as it realized the sensation of being alive. Christos Gage had been awoken.
“You know your orders Gage.” said Quesada. “Give us a story that’s pretty good. Not terrible, but not great. Forgettable. We just need to steal $5 from our readers and then we evacuate their minds like that one Nolan movie.”
“The Prestige?” asked Alonso.
“You got it.”
Christos took in his commands and looked up to the ceiling. He unhinged his jaw, exposing his sharp fangs, and shot through the ceiling, through every floor of the Marvel offices, devouring the interns who had regrettably been standing over his flight path.
In a few days time, the editorial team would receive a script covered in blood. No one knew where the blood came from, save for the poor campers who took a wrong turn while staying a night in the pine barrens. The script would then be handed over to Stephanie Hans who, all joking aside, actually was pretty great here. Her post-Attilan New York skyline is incredibly pleasing visually as were her highly kinetic fight scenes. Add to that her excellent body language she displays in her characters, especially Spider-Man whose slinking postures indicate that he is not the Parker we know and love, and she’s someone who I’d really like to see on another Spider-Man title and not just a one-shot tie-in.
These would be the same thoughts young Vic Perlman would have twenty years later, after Slott had caved in and released the tapes to the public and after Marvel unleashed the army of Christos Gages they had planned for such an occasion. Hiding for safety in his local library, which would be the only place that owned a copy of the collected “Inhumanity” one-shot, he’d go on to note that “Inhumanity: The Superior Spider-Man” #1 was all in all a kind of interesting book with some neat art but worth neither the $5 price tag nor the fall of humanity.
Final Verdict: 6.7 – Browse. It’s the kind of superfluous tie-in that’s not very relevant to the story or character and is just a reason to sell more tie-ins.