Everyone’s heard about it. It’s the final issue, the end of the longest running title Marvel has ever had.
I know spoilers abound, pages leaked, fan uproar, death threats sent to writer Dan Slott. You’ve got to ask yourself why. This is a comic right? I’ve read comics for more than 3/4 of my life and I have never, ever, ever even considered the idea that a comic could be that important. So I did my best to stay away from all the hype and I have to admit when the book was finally released I considered not buying it. I mean come on $7.99 just feels like a cash grab.
My need to know got the better of me and here we are….
So was it worth it? Is this the book to end all books? No, not really. Did Dan Slott write a great story? Yes he did. Did Humberto Ramos’s art knock it out of the park? Of course it did. So what’s my problem.
Well if you haven’t read it or plan on reading it go no further spoiler-ish stuff follows.
The emotional crux of the story hinges on the idea that Otto Octavious could be effected by experiencing Peter Parker’s life changing events. Let’s look at this for a second, Peter has had a rough enough life but it never struck me as that unbelievably traumatic. How about Otto?
Well Otto Octavious’ father abused both him and his mother, who instead of leaving her abuser just told Otto to focus on his studies. His father’s death in an industrial accident only fueled his fascination with physical science. Otto became a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist, inventor, and lecturer, the youngest person to serve on the National Board of Nuclear Science. He designed a four armed harness to aid in his experiments. An accidental radiation leak (and explosion) resulted in the harness fusing to his body. The radiation also caused changes in his brain. He was murdered by Peter’s insane clone Kaine and later resurrected by a branch of the mystical ninja cult known as the Hand.
So we have an abused boy who drives himself to be a respected scientist. He survives an accident that damages his brain and fuses his tentacled harness to his body (it was later removed by surgery). He turns to a life of crime, is murdered then resurrected. But I’m supposed to believe seeing Parker’s life flash before Otto’s eyes would turn into a man who decides he must carry on the Spider-Man mantle? I don’t buy it.
Add to that the fact that Marvel retired the “The Amazing Spider-Man” title changing it to “Superior Spider-Man”. It wouldn’t be a stretch if a year or so from now The Amazing Spider-Man book was relaunched. A new number one and retcon on par with the “One More Day” mini-series.
Am I cynical? You bet. Marvel and DC have caused me to be. I hope I’m wrong. I doubt I am.
But wait, is that it? Is that all? Nope, this issue also has a Variant Cover Gallery and two back-up stories as well as some other interesting tidbits. The back-up stories Spider-Dreams and Date Night are both good. Spider-Dreams takes us to Chicago in some other future time. We get a taste of how Spider-Man’s life could’ve gone. Date Night - Another Black Cat Storybook Adventure! takes us out for a night on the town with Felicia and Peter, of course mayhem ensues. Pencilled by Stephanie Buscema, whose style I adore, it’s a fun visit with characters that just fit and the adventures that their relationship would invite.
So I guess you should pick it up, if for no other reason then to see what all the fuss is about. Then leave me a comment and tell me what you thought.
The Amazing Spider-Man #700
Writer: Jennifer Van Meter, Daniel Slott, MARC DEMATTEIS
Inker: VICTOR OLAZABA
Colorist: EDGAR DELGADO (STUDIO F), ANTONIO FABELA (STUDIO F)
Artist: Stephanie L Buscema
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Penciler: GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Orig. Published: December 26, 2012
Imprint: Marvel Universe