The two previous issues of "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up" were woven into the web of "Infinity," but "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up" #5 steps back outside the sprawling crossover to take its place as the companion title to "Superior Spider-Man," featuring plot threads and guest appearances from the main title. Coincidentally (or not really) the issue also marks the return of writer Christopher Yost, along with artist Marco Checchetto.
Yost throws a whole lot into his return, including a payoff for the collection of supervillains that the Otto Octavius-infused Spider-Man has been building. Charging into action as the Superior Six, Sandman, Vulture, Electro, Chameleon and Mysterion find themselves tussling with the Wrecking Crew. Naturally, Otto's aloofness shines through and the Superior Spider-Man continues to "make friends" -- and by "make friends," I mean offend people, incur their wrath and add his name to more than a few crap lists. Yost packs a lot of characters into the story and gives each one a chance to shine, if even for just a panel.
Checchetto's artwork, meanwhile, details each character's power and personality wonderfully. Spider-Man is nimble and confident, while the displaced hero from the future is sly and sneaky. Every member of the Superior Six and the Wrecking Crew have distinct appearances and physiques, making it quite clear who is fighting whom. Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg delivers topnotch work to shine this story up, melting nicely into Checchetto's artwork and meticulously enhancing it. Joe Caramagna's exclamatory word balloons and sound effects add vibration and power to the pages, helping provide some zing to the already strong work of Checchetto and Rosenberg.
A visual change-up from the more animated artwork that typically fills the pages of "Superior Spider-Man," Checchetto, Rosenberg and Caramagna make "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up" #5 a pretty book to look at. Combined with Yost's proclivity to deliver fun adventures for the webslinger, this comic has found its way back onto my absolute-must-read list. With the recent developments in "Superior Spider-Man" spreading their influence to this title, "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up" becomes a great companion book, but has no problem whatsoever in providing readers with a solid, enjoyable story capable of being appreciated on its own merits. Any Spider-Fan that hasn't checked out "Superior Foes" should pick up this issue -- it's a fantastic starting point and a solid introduction to the characters and concept.