ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Devil’s Reign: Superior Four,’ Issue #1

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Devil’s Reign Superior Four #1 - But Why Tho

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1 is a comic published by Marvel. This is a tie-in comic to the Devil’s Reign event. Written by Zac Thompson with art by Davide Tinto. The colour artist is Matt Milla and Ariana Maher is the letterer. 

In Devil’s Reign, New York Mayor Wilson Fisk has made any act of superheroism illegal. Any costumed vigilante is arrested or on the run, including Captain America, Daredevil, and Iron Man. Various super villains have been deputized by Fisk. Doctor Octopus has been given the keys to the Baxter Building. But Octavius had his own plans, bringing alternate universe versions of himself to Earth-616.

In this comic, Doc Ock develops his greater goal. Using the more powerful iterations of himself, resembling the Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider. He sets off into the multiverse with a mission to find more Otto’s. But even his new colleagues aren’t fully aware of his final destination.

The plot of this comic is a lot to take in. The concept isn’t too difficult to grasp, especially in an era embracing the Multiverse. And it is exciting, as different worlds begin to be explored very quickly by Thompson. Many of these areas are brand new and lead to us wanting more adventures through brilliant hints of larger stories. What is confusing about this opening issue is where it fits into the wider event. As we hop from universe to universe, the reader is left thinking what this has to do with Wilson Fisk. Ock being put into the Baxter building is a fascinating prospect, but him going off the beaten path in this way is a huge departure from what Devil’s Reign claimed to be. 

The main character inside Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1 is brilliantly written. A throwback to a classic Fantastic Four issue in which Wolverine, Hulk, Spider-Man, and Ghost Rider became the new Fantastic Four, there is a superb twist on the tale. Thompson understands the overriding aspect of Otto Octavius; his ego. This is resounding in the other versions of him as well; a know-it-all attitude and hatred of having a superior. So when there are several counterparts of the same ego, that can be a problem. The other three incarnations, different that they are, perhaps lack defining traits. The Hulked-out Doc Ock is actually boring, which is odd considering the premise. But there’s not a distinct voice and it actually gets drowned put by the Prime Ock. Perhaps the best character moment was in the opening when a single panel showed a very familiar theme for each of the Octopi’s backstory. 

The art is another area of the comic that excels. The design of each character is fun and well-done. The three main alternate reality figures are fantastic because they have subtle alterations to their looks. From a first glance, they are Ghost Rider or Wolverine. But Tinto adds character-specific details. For example, the Ghost Ock has his chains as his extra limbs. It would have been very easy to use the same style of arm, but this method is great for non-verbal development. Some designs are goofy, but that brings fun to the issue. Tinto also excellently creates the other realms in the Multiverse. As mentioned before, these are worlds that are practically being invented on the fly. The second one is a particularly awesome creation, even if it is essentially a planet-sized cameo. 

The colours are vibrant and exciting. The dimension-hopping, intense science-fiction genre of the comic is partnered with bright and rich colours by Milla. Different scenes have different tones to denote a change of location, and the colours for both the Hulk and Wolverine Doc Ocks are very beautiful. During the page showing the backstories of the Superior Four, each panel has a unique and stunning aura to it, an individual shade dominating the panes. The lettering is easy to read, bold and dynamic.

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1 is a bizarre comic. On the one hand, it is a very fun, character-driven story. Thompson matches the intense personality of Doc Ock with the cosmic scale of a Fantastic Four comic. It’s a great blending of the two worlds with fantastic art to capture that scale. However, there appears to be no connection to Devil’s Reign at all, aside from the situation of giving Octavius access to the portal. It’s such a strange aside from the street-level aspect of the main book. Even from how the story was appearing to go when first introduced, the readers will be left confused. 

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1 is available where comics are sold.


Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1
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TL;DR

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #1 is a bizarre comic. On the one hand, it is a very fun, character-driven story. However, there appears to be no connection to Devil’s Reign at all.

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