Alright, we’re going strong into this year’s Spider-Event and, man, is it hot!
Dan Slott is taking Doc Ock to the next level and beyond with this story. The Doc is dying and it looks as if his dying wish is to be acknowledged as the greatest mind on Earth. His way of getting this recognition is to basically hold the world hostage by offering to fix global warming. But if mankind doesn’t give in to his demands, there’s no telling what he will do. After all, he’s going to be dead soon anyway!
Slott is building a fantastic story here by giving more and more pieces as the event progresses. This issue has members of the Sinister Six going around the world on a scavenger hunt and locating items that the Doc needs. Separately, these pieces don’t seem to have much significance, but don’t sell them short. The Doc is planning many steps ahead and it’s taking all Spider-Man has to just keep up.
It isn’t helping matters that the world leaders seem to be buying into Ock’s offer to fix global warming, but the arrival of Spider-Man and the Avengers ends this when, in a panel that will be one of my all time favorites, Spider-Man punches Al Gore in the face. But it really isn’t Gore, it’s the Chameleon posing as the former Vice President in hopes of swaying the other world leaders into giving into Ock’s demands.
This is where part of Ock’s planning comes into play: The Avengers release Chameleon and, thanks to a patented Spider-Tracer, find the other members of the Sinister Six, who have left their secret base to keep it a secret, and Ock tells them to stick with the plan. What follows is one of the worst beatings I can remember seeing the Avengers take from human villains! The items Ock had the Six seek out all come into play as Iron Man is taken out by tech from the year 2020, Thor is impaled by Rhino with a new horn made from the tooth of the Midgard Serpent, Captain America is frozen in ice and the others are taken out just as easily until all that remains is Spider-Man and his spiffy new armor.
While the armor helped him against five of the Six, it’s their leader that gives him the most trouble as he overrides Spider-Man’s armor, taking control of the tech that Peter Parker used to make the suit!
I absolutely loved last year’s Spider-Island event. It was, in my opinion, a better event than Fear Itself on every level and worth every penny I spent on it. This story, however, shows that Dan Slott is the only person who can top a Dan Slott Spider-Man event! Ends Of The Earth is the sort of edge of your seat action Marvel was known for back in the 80′s and 90′s. Doctor Octopus is a real and valid threat now; with nothing to lose and a legacy to gain, he’s no longer pulling his punches and settling for minor league victories. He’s beaten the Avengers and Spider-Man without breaking a sweat (Can he even sweat anymore?) and has proven himself to be a truly dangerous man. What makes it worse is, at this point, it doesn’t seem like he can be beaten!
Just watching the Avengers being taken apart so easily was hard to watch. With Stefano Caselli’s amazing art, I could hear the music you hear in a movie in the scenes where the hero is being pummeled nearly to death and there is nothing anyone can do but watch and hope the hero doesn’t die.
The stakes are very high in this story, and the only regret I have is that the Avengers Vs X-Men event is likely to eclipse this one. Make no mistake, AvX is the event of the summer but Ends Of The Earth is just as big and packs just as big of a punch (plus it won’t cost near as much to get the whole thing)!
Let me put it this way: If you really want to read a high stakes event featuring popular characters, but not so many that you need a program to keep track of them all, and one that is fairly self-contained, then this is the event you need to be reading!
Check back here for more updates on Ends Of The Earth as the books come out and check out the first part of our EXCLUSIVE Interview with Spider-Writer extraordinaire Dan Slott by our own Nick Cavicchio