Spoiler sports already know how this comic ends, but for those of you still in the dark this review of Amazing Spider-Man #700 will attempt to keep it spoiler free. Either way the question is whether this issue is any good. For $8.00, 97 pages, two backup stories and a thumbnail sized history of every Amazing Spider-Man cover you got a lot of content, but as a single issue read, is it good?
Amazing Spider-Man #700 (Marvel Comics)
Lo, the issue was released and the nerds did rise up in fury! But maybe it’s a bit unfounded to get so very angry. It’s especially not cool to be sending death threats to Dan Slott. That said, I can see why there’s some frustration. As a serial that’s been ongoing for over 50 years fans feel this character is as much theirs as it is the writers’. I read this issue with an open mind and with the understanding that stories and characters need to change. It’s no secret Doc Ock has taken over Peter Parker’s body and this issue focuses on Peter’s last gasp attempt to get his body back. He only has a few hours left of life before Doc Ock’s body dies. Can he do it?!
What a dick.
It’s a good premise for the issue, largely because Spider-Man/Peter Parker doesn’t typically have death as a possible conclusion. Add in the fact that he’s using a dying body and you have a story about Peter Parker (in Doc Ock’s body) using his intellect to be victorious. The issue opens with Doc Ock (in Peter’s body) hanging with MJ with one thing on his mind—namely to get her in bed. What a dog. He’s been in Peter’s body for what appears to be a day or two and he’s already trying to slam his girlfriend.
And Auntie M, you were there too!
The ball is very much in Otto’s court and frankly I can’t help but cringe at reading this issue. Not because it’s drawn poorly—Humberto Ramos certainly draws a phenomenal issue—or because it’s written poorly, but because it’s frustratingly obnoxious to see Peter so powerless. Like a Ben Stiller film where you feel embarrassed for their embarrassment, I kept flipping the page wanting it all to end already. Win or lose, I was uncomfortable for Peter’s position. At every turn in this issue he’s either one upped or working with a disadvantage. Here’s are supposed to win always! Right…?
A classic, “tell me something only [blank] would know” situation.
On top of that it’s annoying to see Peter’s family and friends take in this new Peter Parker with open arms, even though he’s clearly being a chauvinist to MJ and talking with his hoity toity Doc Ock language. Also can I be the first to point out it’s creepy that Doc Ock is trying to have sex with MJ? She’s got to be in her late 20’s, yet Otto is somewhere in his 70’s if I’m not mistaken. That’s just gross.
This is a regular…Face Off. Ohhh do you get it?
Even if you haven’t read the spoilers you probably know how this ends as Marvel has published previews of the new Superior Spider-Man that debuts next month. I can’t help but feel bad for the property, only because we’ve reached 700 issues and instead of a celebration Peter Parker is pulled through the mud. This issue doesn’t do much for his character as a representation as a hero either, well not until the very end anyway. Through most of the issue he’s trying to save himself and he’s willing to do whatever it takes.
“Honor bound.” What an odd phrase for him to use. In a good way.
The strongest aspect to this story is Doc Ock’s realization that to be Spider-Man you need to have lived through a lot of pain. There’s two beautiful pages that show Doc Ock going through Peter’s most tragic moments and it’s interesting to note Ock can barely take it. It’s at this point he realizes just how heroic Peter is, and it’s at once sad and tragic that it’s a moment for Ock rather than Peter.
Those glasses are so ugly. Yeesh.
The only thing I found unsatisfying with this issue was Peter Parker’s acceptance as to his situation at the end of the issue. Early in the issue Uncle Ben tells him he must fight one last time, but I’m not sure why. I suppose if anyone is close to death the heroic thing to do is accept your fate and go out fearing nothing. It’s an honest turn, but it comes a little abruptly. If you view this scene as a sign of weakness or defeat you aren’t thinking about how terrible death can be. For most people it’s the scariest thing we will ever go through and for Peter to act as he does in this issue you’ll note he’s being heroic. Now whether he dies or not is up to you to find out!
Those Marvel characters look…off.
The issue ends with two backup stories. One is 16 pages long about an old man who is trying to convince his grandson he was Spider-Man. It’s a nice one-shot and cleverly shows his recollection of the heroes and villains he fought aren’t so accurate. The second backup is eight pages long and follows Black Cat in a beautifully drawn story. It’s cute and fun and worth a look.
I was already interested, but after reading this issue I’m very curious and excited to read Superior Spider-Man #1. This issue sets up that issue as far as what we might expect and also lays a few tasty tidbits of story when it comes to characters and how they’ll react to the new Spidey.
This issue is interesting and exciting, but again cringe worthy for me. For $8.00 you certainly get a lot for your money, but I can’t help but think the main story plays out as if it needed another act. After last issue (not counting the .1 issue) I came to expect most of what happened here. Spoilers aside the ending is emotional and for better or worse is a dramatic accomplishment for the 700 issue. The price is going to make it hard to fit into our ComiX Weekly 10 dollar budget, but check back later to see if it makes it into our purchases.
Is It Good?