I’ve been holding off of writing a review for Amazing Spider-Man #700 and Avenging Spider-Man #15.1, because I wanted to see if my hunches were true and as a whole I was guessing the issues would enhance each other. The whole being more enjoyable than the parts. Well, interestingly it is, but the parts are excellent on their own too. Now on to the reviews…
Amazing Spider-Man #700
This is, the “final” issue to the long running series and the “end” (or is it the beginning) or Dan Slott’s controversial storyline. Peter Parker in Doctor Octopus’s body has to battle Doctor Octopus in Peter Parker’s body. Who will win? Well, if you someone how not been in front of a computer or news show, you should read the comic.
I myself am relatively new to Slott’s run to Spider-Man, but have heard some great stuff about it. I started a few issues ago with the big “reveal” issue. I needed to see what was up and I was impressed then.
Going into this comic, you know what’s going to happen, but the question is, how well does keyboard cat play Parker off? Slott masterfully closes out this chapter of his story and does it with a great reflection upon what it is to be Spider-Man.
Peter realizing that he’s beat has some words for Ock and in it gives the villain a choice. Ock can use his power for evil, or this is his moment to attempt redemption. We’ll see that play out over time, but it’s a nice closing moment to the chapter. It’s quiet, somber and fairly mute. That’s the way it should have been and should be.
I’m sure these changes will revert back to the way it was by the time the next Spidey movie comes out, but Slott’s writing is so solid that even a controversial move like he’s done has you cheering for him as a writer. The man is a master and loves his Spider-Man, it’s clear in the writing and under his guidance, I’m along for the ride to see where he takes us.
Seeing the issue is such a huge number (700!) we get all kinds of extras including some entertaining extra strips and a look back at all of the covers. All of them are great and the extra material makes the cover price worth it. A solid package overall.
Story: Dan Slott with J.M. DeMatteis and Jen Van Meter Art: Humberto Ramos with Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stephanie Buscema
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Avenging Spider-Man #15.1
Marvel’s Point One comics initiative has been a massive let down generally. My understanding is the comic’s point is to allow new readers to easily catch up on what’s come before. It’s a primer issue that creates an easy to identify jumping on point. Very few have met that goal.
Now, on to this issue. It actually meets it’s goal! We get a round up and explanation of Otto as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. How it happened, what’s on his mind, what his current motivation is. It’s all there.
This is an actual hopping on point for new readers, hallelujah! I’d actually say folks should grab a copy of this and read it before Superior Spider-Man #1, it does it’s job and does it’s job really well.
Story: Chris Yost Art: Paco Medina Cover: Paolo Rivera
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Superior Spider-Man #1
Ok, I’m hooked on Dan Slott’s Spider-Man. I’m digging the story of Otto as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. We get a new spin on the idea of redemption of “with great power” but in this case from the villain’s perspective.
This first issue sees Otto taking on a new Sinister Six. He uses his brilliance to devise a bunch of new items to make life easier, and coming to a realization (and what seems a bit appreciation) for what Peter was doing during their battles. How Otto comes at these problems to solve them is new. We don’t get the old schtick that Spidey would do. We get Otto’s take and that should be some of the most entertaining aspects of the series.
There’s also Otto pursuing Mary Jane. Many people screamed “rape” when this was first explored, but so far Otto has seemed to have some qualms about it when it first came up in a previous issue. Yes they go on a date, but that’s it. The man is pure arrogance and his new found obsession of being a superior Spidey of course takes priority when it comes to his focus. I’m predicting when he’s given a chance to sleep with MJ he actually decides not too, his conscience getting in the way.
My only issue with this first issue is Otto’s motivation isn’t quite upfront as much. He’s dived into Peter’s life and wants to prove how great he is, but why isn’t he committing crime instead? There was that nice moment between Peter and Otto at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #700, but I’m not completely convinced that’d be enough to turn him so quickly to do good. But, that doesn’t detract from this first issue at all.
Ryan Stegman’s art is unreal. He seems to have been made to draw Spider-Man, the flow of the comic and detail is awesome and combined with Slott’s art, that’s going to be an amazing combination.
It’s pretty clear where this is all going and what the likely end result will be. That was clear in Amazing Spider-Man #700, but with Slott writing it’ll be entertaining no matter how foreshadowed it is.
Story: Dan Slott Art: Ryan Stegman
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy