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Comic Book Review: Amazing Spider-Man #700


I am a lifelong Spider-man fan.  My Father was a fan of DC Comics and their characters. I deviated away because Spider-Man captured my imagination at an early age and held it for over 37 years.  I write this review of Amazing Spider-Man 700 purely as a fan with all of my biases and thoughts. For anyone who doesn’t already know, issue 700 is the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man. In January, it will be replaced by the new Superior Spider-Man.

Peter Parker resonated with me as a kid. He was the kid who was picked on in school by the bullies and made fun of for being different.  It was similar to my own experience.  Peter Parker was always relatable for me.

Dan Slott has been the writer on Amazing Spider-Man for the last 53 issues (according the letter column in Amazing 700).  He has done a tremendous job of writing entertaining, moving, and amazing stories with my favorite fictional character. For the most part, he has hit the story out of the park with every issue.

I was hesitant to stay with Amazing after “A Brand New Day” began. I didn’t like the treatment of Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage and possible future. I hated the Deal with the Devil to save Aunt May and doom their marriage to have never existed. It was the worst idea since revealing the Gwen had an affair with Norman Osborn and had twin kids (worst idea ever). But yet I stayed faithful to Amazing Spider-Man through the bumpy transition and it paid off. Dan Slott came in and stabilized the situation and made me love Spidey stories once again.

Credits:
The Amazing Spider-Man-Issue # 700
Marvel Comics
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letters: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Mr Garcin
Price: $7.99 (way too much)
(There were to back stories with other writers and artists)

Plot: (Major Plot Spoilers)
(I will only review the main story and not the two backup stories.) Previously in Amazing, Doctor Octopus is on his death bed.  Over the last year, he has been preparing for this moment by setting up Spider-Man and mapping his brain. Doc Ock uses his last bot to transfer his conscience into Spider-Man’s body. Now Peter Parker’s conscience is in the broken down body of the dying Doc Ock. Peter initiates Doctor Octopus’ escape plan from prison. He is now on the run in the wrong body with the help of the villains: the Tinker; Hydro-Man; and the Scorpion.  Can Peter get his body back before Doc Ock’s body dies taking Peter’s conscience with it?

Otto Octavius, AKA Doc Ock, is enjoying his new life as Peter Parker. He has all of Peter’s memories and knowledge. He woos Mary Jane and is trying to re-spark Peter’s relationship with her. He is working hard at Horizon Labs and creating new technology. He is using his new found super powers as Spider-Man but with a bit of an edge.

Meanwhile, Peter is not fairing as well. The body of Doc Ock is failing. He died for 3 minutes where he sees all of his old friends and family that have passed away including Gwen and Captain Stacy, Peter’s parents, and Uncle Ben.  He gets sent back to stop the lunatic Otto from taking over Peter’s life for evil.

Peter prepares the mind transfer device to take his life back with the help of the villains.  Otto is alerted that “Doc Ock” has escaped. He prepares to face Peter one last time. He fakes Peter’s escape overseas.  He gathers all of Peter’s friends and family together to “save them from Doc Ock.” Since Otto knows all of his old secret lairs, he finds Peter’s hiding place. Otto has Jameson send the special police unit, Anti-Spider Patrol, to stop Doc Ock and the other villains.

The Tinker discovers that Doc Ock has way to transfer his conscience. Tinker assumes it is meant to be used on him and he confronts Doc Ock. Peter uses the Tinker’s own glue gun against him and glues him to the wall like he would if he was still Spider-Man. Peter/Doc Ock escapes with Hydro-Man and the Scorpion.

Knowing that the body of Doc Ock is failing, Peter launches his last ditch effort to change back with Otto. He breaks into Avengers Tower knowing the Spider-Man (Otto) would be there. This leads to the big fight to conclude this story.  Peter tries everything to get his conscience back into his body. But Otto is prepared and is able to thwart every attempt by Peter.

Peter realizes that Otto has all of his memories. Since he was unable to transfer his conscience, he had his previous memories overwhelm Otto’s conscience. This caused Otto to experience all of Peter’s life. This caused Otto’s personality to be changed by Peter’s memories and for him to truly understand with Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.  Otto promises Peter that he will be a hero and keep the reputation of Spider-Man and Peter Parker pure.

Peter dies in Otto’s body.  He hopefully ends back up in the piece of Heaven he experienced just pages before. Now Otto Octavius, along with the memories of Peter, is the new Spider-Man. He sees himself as Superior to previous version of Spidey and Peter Parker.

Review:
Art:
The art by Ramos is very good. It is what I have come to expect from Amazing Spider-Man. It is better than most comic art. It has great details. The action sequences are great. There is a scene with breaking glass that reminds me of 80’s George Perez.

The inks by Olazaba seem to add to Ramos’ pencils. The coloring by Delgado is great.  I love how the color scheme changes when Peter dies.

Story/Plot:
I have such mixed emotions about this issue and story.  I found it to be well written.  The plot made good sense up till the end.  The story moved along well.

I am still having trouble buying into the ending of Peter’s memories overwhelming Otto and making him a good guy.  Maybe part of Peter’s conscience is still in his body. Maybe that is how the real Peter comes back eventually.

My REVIEW:
As a huge Peter Parker fan, I hate this change. I understand that this will give the character a chance to be different and approach Spider-Man in a whole different way. As a writer, I fathom why this occurred and some of the benefits to writing the character from a whole new angle. As a fan of Peter and Spider-Man, my essence is screaming NOOOOOOO!

I enjoyed this issue over all. I am having trouble accepting the conclusion of the old Peter Parker and the new Peter/Otto combination.  I could have lived without the two background stories.  the $7.99 was way too much for this issue.

I honestly don’t think Peter will be gone forever. In the Marvel Universe, death is rarely a permanent problem. In most cases, the heroes are back within a year or two.

I will read the first several issues of Superior Spider-Man.  Dan Slott has rarely let me down. He has been telling some of the best Spidey stories in decades. I have to trust this will continue. But it is possible that I just won’t buy into it and drop out of Spidey all together. It would be a complete shame if that happens since I have loved Spidey for over 35 years.

Grade: B

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