Dan Slott’s run on Amazing Spider-Man has been one of my all time favorites. He’s been going through a little of a slump in the last few arcs, but his lead up to ASM #700 has been a great read. Yes, I’m one of the few who like this new direction.
Spoiler warning for Amazing Spider-Man #698-#699
While many feel the arc may seems out of left field when it comes to a Spider-Man story, I feel the complete opposite. When boiled down, this story is about Peter Parker’s perseverance. No matter what the scenario, he never gives up. And that’s something has made him one of the best superheroes in comics. Slott cleverly ties Peter’s thoughts into Slott’s entire run on the title, without it feeling forced. To often, writers feel the need to cram in a bunch of homages to past arcs for the sake of an anniversary issue. While the recent Lizard arc wasn’t the best in the world, Peter’s quick conversation with Curt was one of the best part of the issue. The humor landed very well, even in the dire situation. It’s just not a Spider-Man title without plenty of humor in a horrible situation.
One thing that left me confused was the way that Peter escaped the Raft. Doc Ock has access to all of Peter’s memories, so didn’t he think Peter would have the same in his body? Ock has planned for every outcome, but he didn’t see that coming? While it’s easy to guess that Ock thought Peter was going to die in minutes, it’s a big plot hole. An entertaining plot hole, but plot hole none the less. The massive amount of exposition does bog down the issue a little bit, but it’s interesting exposition.
Great job by Chris Eliopoulos for the slight change in Peter’s thought boxes. It was a small touch I didn’t even notice the first time around, but it’s a great choice given the story.
This issue worked to the strong parts of Humberto Ramos’ art style. With the issue being all talking heads, this give Ramos more time to add detail to the characters. When there is a lot of action, characters seem to lose detail, even on the non-action pages. His characters are expressive and dynamic. I found it odd to be sympathizing with Doc Ock’s body, and it was mostly due to the eyes. They use the “sad puppy dog eyes” routine, making the reader instantly feel for the character. Speaking of eyes, there is a real evil in the eyes of the Peter Parker. This is when Peter is imagining what Dock Ock could do in his body. As always, the inking and coloring team of Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado rock. They have worked with Ramos for a while, and are a great team.
If you have been hating on Dan Slott for his major changes, do yourself a favor and give the issue a shot.
Amazing Spider-Man #699 gets 4/5.