Tag Archives: Spider-Slayer

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #699 – Maybe it’s not so bad after all…

Amazing Spider-Man #699
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos [Penciler], Victor Olazaba [Inker], Edgar Delgado [Color Art]

[HEY!  LOOK!  THIS REVIEW HAS SPOILERS, AND YOU MIGHT FEEL CHEATED IF YOU READ IT BEFORE YOU SEE THE ACTUAL BOOK!]

While I’ve calmed down about the big reveal last issue, it’s still a touchy subject.  If you missed it, a dying Doc Ock swapped brains with Peter Parker, hinting that the “new” Spider-Man in the upcoming relaunch of the book as Superior Spider-Man is actually Doc Ock in Peter’s body.

It’s not that I didn’t like the way it was written–Dan Slott’s writing makes me really want to like the story.  It’s just that there are two types of stories I hate–stories centered around mind swaps and time travel (we’ll get to that another time, maybe, because Slott has actually written a time travel story that I like).  I already know the response to this assertion, too.  It’s a comic bookScience fiction.  Real world logic and plausibility don’t apply.

Fair enough, but the limits of everyone’s suspension of disbelief are different, and this is why we probably won’t ever see Fin Fang Foom in an Iron Man film.

That said, let’s completely suspend disbelief for the rest of this review even if the concept is a bit much to wrap our heads around.  This issue, and the story as a whole, are very well-written.  Amazing Spider-Man #699 opens with Doc Ock’s body being revived following its flat-lining at the end of the last issue. Upon being revived (and spat on by a prison nurse), Peter Parker–keep in mind, again, that his mind is in Doc Ock’s body now with all of Ock’s memories and vice versa–examines the situation he’s in and begins trying to figure out how, with only hours left to live, he’s going to get out of this predicament and back into his own body.

After searching Ock’s memories, and giving us the totally unnecessary reveal that Aunt May had sex with Otto back in the day, Peter realizes that every time he used Otto’s own Octobot control helmet tech to stop him, he made his mind vulnerable.  Ock was then able to somehow put his brainwaves in the golden Octobot (seen occasionally since the end of “Ends of the Earth”), which then made its way to New York City and “hacked” Spider-Man’s mind when he was otherwise distracted by the spider signal jammers from the recent Hobgoblin story arc.

Pete then figures out that the golden Octobot had a mental link with Otto and takes control of it to put into action a plan that his life now depends on–forming his own Sinister Six–which includes Hydro-Man, Scorpion, and Paste-Pot Pete–to break him out of prison and capture Otto-Spidey.

As I said before, Slott’s writing on this story is still great despite my lack of enthusiasm over the premise.  You can tell he put a lot of time into planning this out at least as far back as the beginning of his run on the book with “Big Time,” and maybe even as far back as 2009’s Amazing Spider-Man #600. Humberto Ramos’ art in this issue is some of his best so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ve read is the best art of his career later this month in #700.

Overall, not a bad issue.  I really could have done without being presented the idea of Aunt May and Dr. Octopus having sex, though.

RATING:  7/10 (Because Aunt May having sex with anyone is just kind of gross.)

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #698 – WHY, DAN?! WHYYYYYYYYYY?!

Amazing Spider-Man #698
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Richard Elson and Antonio Fabela [Color Art]

 

WARNING:  THIS REVIEW HAS MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 AND BEYOND.  DO NOT READ IT IF YOU PLAN ON READING THE ISSUE.

Dan Slott, you broke my heart.

Ever since your run on Amazing Spider-Man began last year, I’ve been one of its biggest supporters, going so far as to compare it to the Michelinie and Stern runs.  And then you did it.  You drove that spike in my heart that was like a thousand One More Days.

Actually, that’s a terrible analogy.  I actually liked One More Day.  Comparing that spike to 1,000 Clone Sagas or Ben-Reilly-replacing-Peter-Parker scenarios or JMS runs is far more accurate.

But the point is, you shook my faith in my favorite series.  You weren’t the first, though.

When I was nine years old, I quit reading new issues for five years because of the ridiculousness of the aforementioned Clone Saga and (temporary/retconned) replacement of Peter by his clone, Ben Reilly.  What you have done here, though, may be impossible for me to recover from.

Amazing Spider-Man #698 begins with a reminder that Doc Ock is on his death bed, with only hours left to live.  He’s struggling to say something, and it turns out what he’s trying to say is, “Peter Parker.”  For the rest of the issue, longtime readers will notice that the way Slott has written Peter’s dialogue and inner monologue is strange, and we eventually find out why when Spider-Man is summoned by the Avengers to the Raft (the ultra high security prison for supervillains) because Ock’s about to die and he keeps saying the name of Spidey’s secret identity.

And then, once the two are in the room, we get the big reveal.  We now know why Peter’s words sound so strange in this issue.

It’s because one of the most ridiculous and asinine predictions for what would happen in the “Dying Wish”/Amazing Spider-Man #700 arc ended up being true–Doc Ock somehow switched his consciousness into Peter Parker’s body and vice versa, and Ock’s body dies with Peter’s mind trapped inside.

I’ll probably still buy #699 and #700 just to have a complete run up through the “final” issues of Amazing Spider-Man–and I’ll probably still buy Superior Spider-Man #1, because, well, eBay–but for the first time in about five years, I’m not all that excited about the next issue of Spider-Man.

On the bright side, I can’t imagine this being something that sticks in the long term.  For the foreseeable future, however, it might be time to move on to something else.

RATING:  It’s gonna harsh your mellow, man…but at least the art is good.

 

Review: Amazing Spider-Man #671

Amazing Spider-Man #671
Writer:  Dan Slott
Artist:  Humberto Ramos

According to the “One Moment In Time” retcon that explained the events that ended Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s relationship (Remember…They were never really married now) in the deus ex machina that was 2007’s  “One More Day,” the reason the two went their separate ways was because Mary Jane couldn’t deal with Pete being Spidey anymore.  She didn’t understand the obsession he had with the responsibility that came with his powers, and so on.

With that in mind, fans of the Pete/M.J. dynamic must have been thrilled by the opening panels of Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man #671, as the redheaded bombshell finally came down with the Jackal’s “spider flu” virus that infected Manhattan — giving her spider powers.  Seeing Mary Jane utter the words “So this is what it’s like?  Hate to admit it, but I get it now…I really get it on every level” will undoubtedly add fuel to the “Restore the Marriage” crowd, especially those who aren’t particularly sold on Pete’s current fling, Carlie Cooper.

Speaking of which, where’s Carlie gone since becoming another spider monster and why has that completely slipped Pete’s mind?  Furthermore, how will he react when he learns M.J. has the virus?  Answers for the next issue, I suppose.

Anyways, Pete starts off the issue where we left him last issue, still trying to stop the now-spider-monster Jonah Jameson from killing Smythe — who, if you recall, murdered Jameson’s wife way back in Amazing Spider-Man #654.  After pulling Jameson off of Smythe and quarantined him in his own command center, Spidey heads back to his lab at Horizon to assist with the cure being developed from the Anti-Venom symbiote’s cells.

I can’t really say much from there without spoiling anything, but the issue has several big reveals, particularly who the scientist in Lab #6 is.  There are also a few big developments regarding Spider-Man’s powers, the Queen’s plot, and the futures of Anti-Venom, Tarantula/Kaine, and the Jackal.

Now on part five, this storyline continues to move along at a solid pace.  The only thing that has really been distracting is the cheesy dialogue of the Jackal and the Queen.  Anyone who read the “Clone Saga” of the mid-90s surely remembers just how unbelievable the Jackal’s dialogue can be, and it really hasn’t changed much.  Other than that, Slott continues an otherwise stellar run with this issue.

Ramos’ art remains impressive (and I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t a huge fan back when he was on Wolverine).  It’s never hard to figure out what’s going on from panel to panel, and that can make or break a book with this much action.

Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10 

Fun Easter Egg:  Lines of Mortal Kombat dialogue like “FINISSSH HIM!” and “GET OVERRR HEEER!” (complete with Kaine web-yanking Spidey towards him) are mixed into several fight panels.