Ends Of The Earth reaches it’s conclusion with Spider-Man having to make a fatal decision: Is one life worth more than billions?
[Editor's note: the below review contains spoilers of the storyline. If you haven't read the issue, continue at your own risk.]
From the beginning of this issue, with Spider-Man, Black Widow and Silver Sable fighting Doc Ock’s new Sinister Six, formerly known as The Avengers, it’s apparent that Slott isn’t going to let this final part be any less exciting than the previous five parts. It’s a knock down, drag out fight with our three heroes in the fight of their lives.
Some of the more interesting parts of this includes Ock speaking through the various heroes and how his control over Thor affects the Thunder God and his ability to wield his hammer. Adding to the entertainment of this wonderful fight sequence is Mysterio and his reactions and thought processes while he’s involved. I’ve got a new love for this character now!
Naturally, the Avengers are freed of Ock’s control only to learn that they may be too late in stopping him from completing his Octavian Lenses which will enable him to fry half of the world! As we speed towards the ending of this story we have our main players reach the end game: Spider-Man and Silver Sable take the fight directly to Doc Ock after finding his base while the Horizon crew tries to figure out Ock’s cloaking tech. Spidey and Sable face off against Rhino who, after losing his wife, Oksana (Amazing Spider-Man #625), he no longer cares about living and doesn’t see how a world that would allow his wife to die as she did should be allowed to exist. This is perhaps the most unexpected part of this whole story. The Rhino’s madness has a profound impact on Spider-Man and Silver Sable in this single moment. It’s the moment Spider-Man fails in his ‘No One Dies’ way of thinking as Silver Sable makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the world. Honestly, it took a moment for me to realize what I was seeing here.
The big confrontation between Doc Ock and Spider-Man, who has long since realized that Ock has been using tech he invented to achieve his goals, which in Spider-Man’s mind makes him just as liable for what’s happened, shows a very desperate Spider-Man. He is out of options and has no answers or plans to stop this madness so he resorts to using his strength as only he can.
Ultimately, the world is saved, along with Doctor Octopus, for what it’s worth. He’s basically a vegetable, one step removed from dead, while Silver Sable and The Rhino have their stories ended in this issue.
All in all, this was a fine piece of storytelling on the part of Dan Slott. While last year’s epic Spider-Island kept Spidey in New York, this story took him around the world in a desperate bid to save everyone while having to face some of the biggest odds of his career. Many heroes, and a few villains, died during this story, of which the loss of Silver Sable may have the biggest impact on Spider-Man’s life. Yes, he won but we all know he won’t let something like saving billions of innocent lives keep him from dwelling on the loss of Sable. He had a lot of respect for her.
And so ends another Dan Slot Spider-Man epic. Spider-Man has some major emotional scars and will have to return to New York and try to figure himself out again. Will the big bash Mary Jane is planning to hold for Peter Parker at her new club, MJ’s, help him realize that his failure was more of a success than he realizes? Only time will tell…time and Dan Slott.