Writer: Zac Thompson
Artist: Davide Tinto
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: VC’s Ariana Maher
I’ve been doing my best to catch up to the modern Marvel universe over my first year of reading comics. During that time, something has become clear: events usually stink. But I’d never encountered an event that had sprung organically from a book I’d been reading. They were always things interrupting the story I had been enjoying.
I devoured Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil, and so far, the Devil’s Reign event has been excellent. Like any good event, action must spiral away from the central conflict into unexpected places, touching all corners of the Marvel universe.
That’s the case with Superior Four. Mayor Fisk has ruled against capes in New York City, leaving the Baxter Building unattended. Reed Richard’s laboratory is overtaken by one of the scariest tenants imaginable: Doctor Otto Octavius.
Doc Ock’s plans to scour the multiverse for his Otto counterparts results in an intriguing Fantastic Four. An Otto Hulk, an Otto Wolverine, and an Otto Ghost Rider join Otto 616 in his quest. The foursome share a near identical personality, which can make for bland conversation, but their distinct character designs more than make up for the static characterization.
As is the case with many multiversal tales, Superior Four shows us a Marvel rarity: the bad guys not only getting wins over the likes of Iron Man and Spider-Man, but the permanent kind of victories. The issue ends with the Superior Four setting their sights power and intellect from across the multiverse, though their plans have not gone unnoticed. Will Otto’s multiversal adventures return to the Devil’s Reign event? Or implode in some remote dimension, far from Fisk and his war against the heroes of NYC? We shall see.
Like every installment of Devil’s Reign so far, the art in Superior Four is fabulous. In addition to the great character work already mentioned, we see imaginative renditions of Iron Scab and an alternate Superior Spider-Man. The latter’s Earth-2902 is an especially cool setting, one that leaves readers wondering how bizarrely fantastic this journey will get.
Colorist Matt Milla’s vivid palette brings Davide Tinto’s designs and layouts to life. I look forward to the new worlds this team is unleashed on in Superior Four #2.
An ambitious entry into the relatively small-scale Devil's Reign event. More diversity with the Otto variants would be helpful, but for now the unique character designs overshadow the static characterizations.