They always told me never judge a book by its cover.  As usual I didn’t listen, because this new issue of The Superior Spider-Man’s cover was comic book love at first sight.  Anytime Marvel and it’s creative powers find a way to bring Spider-Man 2099 into a story line I’m in.  On this cover, he sits perched high an above a futuristic city with the modern Superior Spider-Man below, crouching upside down and imbued in shadows.  A showdown between the Otto Octavius Spider-Man and the cult classic Spider-Man 2099 is just what we need in these strange times of our former friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.   Part one’s story does the cover justice.

The book opens with us in Nueva York, 2099.  Spider-Man is taking on a tear in the timestream, allowing us a reason for how these two Spider-Man’s will meet.  Dan Slott tips the hat to former Marvel storylines that have occurred during our “Heroic Age” in which our “incursions into the fabric of space-time” have broken all of time.  It’s up to the future Spider-Man to stop an event from happening in 2013 that will end in the eradication of his own existence.  The stakes are set.

The rest of the book brings us up to speed on both politics of Peter’s boss Max Modell and how this may plants seeds for the problems in 2099’s world as well.  There are also more glimpses of the plans of the Green Goblin and his team in The Goblin Underworld.

We get a fun character scene where Otto revels in his newly donned abilities from the body of Peter Parker by showboating in a friendly charity softball game amongst athletically challenged co-workers.  He may not be a super villain anymore, but he’s still a jerk.

I can’t say enough about how awesome Ryan Stegman’s art continues to be.  The splash page of Spider-Man 2099’s entrance shows right away how badass he’ll look in this storyline.

Slott continues to wind us through this controversial time of Spidey’s continuity.  Again, it’s hard to know how long Octavius will be Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but until it comes to a head, it’s sure to remain interesting.  After all, we are set up for a battle between Otto’s Spider-Man and the future’s Spider-Man…

8 out of 10