Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos pack a lot into "Superior Spider-Man" #25. Overtaken by the Venom symbiote, Spider-Man is more of a menace than he's ever been; Green Goblin continues to build his army; the original Hobgoblin tries to maintain his; the Avengers show up; Iron Man pays a visit to Parker Industries and there are new developments in the life of Carlie Cooper. Oh. And an interesting wrinkle surfaces in the Otto Octavius/Peter Parker saga. I'll spare the spoilers of that last point, on the off chance that anyone reading this review navigated a minefield of potential spoilers with the news that has been breaking about the future of everyone's favorite webslinger.
With so many new developments to the multiple plots orbiting around Peter Parker, "Superior Spider-Man" #25 is easily one of the most critical issues of the run to date. Slott doesn't wrap any one storyline up completely, but does manage to provide dynamic pauses in the chaos on some fronts, with Octavius trying once more to pull the wool over the eyes of Spider-Man's one-time allies in the Avengers. In doing so, Slott shows readers that even though Octavius may have found ways to "improve" Parker's life and efficiency, he's still a no-good fink at his core.
Spider-Man himself gets short shrift in this issue, which is more Venom and Goblin stuff than Parker or Spidey. Sure, the inclusion of other characters in "Superior Spider-Man" #25 helps define the scope of this adventure, but it also flirts with marginalizing the titular star. That said, the construction of Goblin Nation is impressively fun and there will undoubtedly be major ramifications spinning out from the upcoming Goblin War.
Humberto Ramos' art is as crazily animated as ever, with wild proportions and anatomy flying all over the pages of this comic. Mostly that wacky anatomy belongs to Venom/Spidey, but the Avengers and the Goblins all have their fair share of exaggerations in appearance. This story plays that aspect up as a strength and Ramos' art amplifies the wackiness rampant throughout. "Superior Spider-Man" #25 is a wild ride through the absolute biggest collections of weirdness and adventure that comprise Spider-Man's life. Any other artist drawing Octo-Spidey ripping Venom off of him with an assist by the surprise cameo guest star would have turned in a half-baked, all-hokey page, but Ramos' style animates such a scene and makes it electric and fun.
"Superior Spider-Man" #25 is a surprisingly fun read, packed with detailed story and vibrant artwork. Slott uses this issue as a pause in the action, providing an inventory of everything that's been going on since "Superior Spider-Man" #1 while also building up the next major developments for the pigheaded webhead.