... of course, he is crazy. Crazy to think he can just steal Peter Parker's life. It's only a matter of time before he's challenged by MJ, who'll gradually put together the clues that this isn't the man she loves. The drinking, the inattentiveness, the body language - it'll build and MJ being MJ, she's not going to give 'Peter' the benefit of the doubt for long.
This issue, though, throws a spanner in the works of my expectations, with a last page surprise that brought a big old smile to my face. I won't spoil it here, if you really want to know, it's out there on the web. Let's just say that writer Dan Slott surprises me by dropping a story bomb I expected much farther down the line.
That apart, there's loads to enjoy here - the latest Sinister Six irritates original founder Ock by being not just all-new but, in his opinion, all-lame; there's Speed Demon, Boomerang, the Living Brain, a female Beetle, Shocker and the utterly ridiculous Overdrive, a guy in a giant tyre. The self-proclaimed Superior Spider-Man is making short work of them until a barrage of super-fast blows from Speed Demon sees Ock decide that the fight's not worth the hassle.
So much for being a better Spider-Man - Peter would have stayed and found a way to turn the tide.
Not that Ock lets the Six roam free. He plants spider-tracers in a unique way and races back to Horizon Labs, using Peter's access to hi-tech resources to build a few toys that may turn the tide. And on the way he finds himself compelled to save a policeman from one of Boomerang's deadly weapons. Hmmm.
Slott's script is well-crafted, pacy and witty. The only change I'd make would be to show Ock trying to tone down the mad scientist speech patterns when in public - 'Dolts!' He should be smarter than that.
The cover looks great too, courtesy of Stegman and Delgado - what a creepy little Spider-Man this is. A shout-out, too, to Nessim Higson for a logo that suits Ock down to the ground, and production guy Manny Mederos for ensuring all the elements hang together so well - even the issue number works with the art.
So, the first issue of The Superior Spider-Man is a hit with me. I can't see myself wanting to read about Dr Octopus for long - I'm too big a Peter Parker fan - but this is a terrific debut.