The new Spider-Man has his first encounter with the X-Men!
The Superior Spider-Man comes across a giant spider attacking New York City. Although he finds it odd that the giant spider possesses human eyes, he decides he has to eliminate it to save the city. However, before he can act, the X-Men arrive on the scene, effectively pushing Spidey to the side. While the rest of the X-Men try to contain the spider, Beast determines that the spider has three different strands of DNA; spider, human and mutant.
The X-Men don't have much luck with the spider, prompting Spider-Man to take matters into his own hands. Spidey brutally hits the spider's head and orders Storm to change the air pressure. The X-Men are shocked at Spider-Man's newfound brutality, particularly Wolverine, who attempts to confront him. Spidey however, is in no mood to be lectured, and puts Wolverine down hard. The spider than collapses thanks to Spider-Man's actions, transforming into a human, who, according to Rachel Grey, is a blank slate.
Wolverine than ambushes Spidey from behind and asks Rachel to read his mind. Otto is able to get out of this situation by acting like Peter would, asking Rachel to respect his privacy and asking them all if they honestly haven't thought of beating up Wolverine before. As the X-Men leave, Spidey realizes that the girl's mind was a blank slate because she was a clone, and that he can think of one person who was responsible for her creation...
Meanwhile, the Jackal sits in Mr. Sinister's hideout, eager to perform another experiment using Sinister's cache of mutant DNA!
While the various writers who have worked on Avenging Spider-Man in the past did a commendable job of making the title fun and fresh month in and month out, the fact is that we had already seen Peter Parker team up with all the Marvel heroes at some point in his expansive career. Having Otto Octavius take over the mantle of Spider-Man has really reinvigorated this book, as Otto has rarely interacted substantially with any characters outside of the Spider-Man family.
Chris Yost has a great handle on Otto's voice, and it's a lot of fun reading Otto's condescending views towards his superheroic colleagues. It's like if Dr. House were Spider-Man. Yost also clearly has long term plans for the series, with the inclusion of the Jackal at the end promising a future showdown with Doc Ock that I'm already excited for. Complementing Yost's story is Paco Medina's beautiful artwork. Medina's artwork is clear and dynamic, with his handling of the Spider-Man Wolverine confrontation being the highlight of the issue. The flabbergasted look on Wolverine's face as Spidey beats him up is priceless.
Avenging Spider-Man offers a fresh spin on the typical Marvel team up formula, and is a title that every Spidey fan who is interested in the status quo change should check out.