Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Comic Book Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #700

With the holidays other than Kwanzaa now passed, comic book stores have to deal with the lack of new books coming out until the new year.

BUT... three ongoing series in the two major superhero companies did get released: Amazing Spider-Man #700 for Marvel and two entries to the Throne of Atlantis crossover with DC (Aquaman #15/Justice League #15).

I will be givig my brief thoughts on the TOA crossover issues later in the week, so let's get to Spidey!

This issue has been long anticipated for two reasons. 1) When Superior Spider-Man launches next month, the title that has been Spidey's home for more than four decades will be retired. And 2) This is supposedly the final issue of Spider-Man where Peter Parker is under the mask.

I've already reviewed the two issues in this arc leading up to this, so you can reference those reviews if needed. As for this issue, a spoiler-free review would be difficult so I'll give my overall thoughts before going into the plot.

I think shifting of wills aspect was an interesting development and there was just really good emotion the entire time. I liked the art, although the narration boxes required a couple reads in order to understand exactly what you were looking at.

I do think the change-up of Spider-Men makes for some interesting stories, but overall, I'm not sure I'm sold on this idea. It didn't help that the change wasn't more gradual. This wole thing felt too hurried.


Peter Parker is in Doc Ock's body with minutes remaining before the years of damage finally collapse Ock's decaying shell of a body for good.

To get back in his suit, Parker had to enlist Hydro-Man, the original Scorpion and Trapster to form a new Sinister Six Four while the golden octobots that rewired Ock and Parker to begin with are sent out to undo the damage.

The book is a series of clever plans by Parker in Ock's body being thwarted by the always-one-step-ahead Ock in Peter's body.

The best emotional moments by far are Peter's near-death trip to the netherworld/hallucination where he meets every family member and friend who has died in the previous issues (the most amazing being Uncle Ben, and Gwen and John Stacy). and a scene where Mayor J. Jonah Jameson reveals his affection for his brother and Aunt May (who are a couple now).

Ock's scenes with Mary-Jane felt weird, but they gave me hope that this could be a way to overrule "One More Day" and end the deal with Mephisto, so I won't bi*** too hard.

The whole thing ends with Peter dying in Ock's body, but because of their mind link, Ock is forced to experience all of Peter's life as it flashes before them both. As Peter dies, he utters the "With great power..." line and Octavius promises to carry out Parker's mission with their combined intelligence as the Superior Spider-Man.

As I said, this is not going to be permanent. I'd be shocked if it was. As a native Las Vegas resident, I've set the over/under for Ock's tenure at about 16.5 issues/8.25 months (to avoid tied bets).

Admittedly, there are enough stories to keep this up for a couple years, but I think we'll see some backlash here. I don't hate this story as much as One More Day because everyone is behaving somewhat decently, but I'm definitely not sure of this game plan going forward. Otto Octavius (in Peter Parker's body) fighting crime as Spider-Man?

I'd talk about the back-up stories, but they're clearly non-canon. They are enjoyable reads, though, so if you don't like the developments of the main story, these two will at least help you feel better. Have fun with them.

And good luck to Superior's writers. Make me want to see what happens!

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