Review: Amazing Spider-Man #698
Well, it’s finally here. The issue of Amazing Spider-Man that, according to his Twitter and Facebook, has caused writer Dan Slott to go into hiding for a while. So, what’s all the hoopla about?
The issue, written by Slott with art by Richard Elson, features what appears to be the final death of Doctor Octopus as Peter Parker begins to finally enjoy his life. But, this story takes an old school twist, and that isn’t a bad thing.
So, we begin with, as I mentioned already, Peter Parker enjoying his life. It’s as if he’s finally taking a moment to take stock of the good things that are going on around him. He goes to Horizon Labs and contemplates his inventive history and nature, he visits Mary Jane and decides it’s time they try to get back together (shortly after, he flirts with other women), he visits Aunt May in physical therapy only to be called away by the Avengers.
The ending of this book, with its shocking conclusion, takes place at The Raft where Doctor Octopus is being held. It seems Ock has been saying the name Peter Parker so Captain America figured it would be best to call in Spider-Man to figure the situation out. They have their final conversation behind closed doors and a major revelation is revealed.
Now, I’m sure there are people reading this who have yet to read the book and have managed to avoid any and all spoilers for this issues so I’m not about to spoil it for you. I will say, again, that it’s an old school plot twist but with a new wrinkle. Once you read the book you’ll understand. But, for now, all I can say is it certainly explains a lot and makes for some very interesting possibilities for the future of Peter Parker and the soon-to-be-named Superior Spider-Man.
Dan Slott has certainly gone above and beyond with this story, something he has continued to do since he took over this title some time ago, and I’m really beginning to wonder if there is a ceiling for this guy. Just when it seems like there isn’t a way to have a shocker ending for an issue of Amazing Spider-Man… Dan Slott gives you a shocker ending.
Moving onto the art, Richard Elson has a certain talent for drawing. This book has a Classic Marvel look and feel to it that made the whole thing even more fun that it already was. If anything, the only thing that seemed out-of-place was, of all things, the head of Captain America when he and Spider-Man were talking to each other towards the end. It just seemed like Cap was from a different book. Odd.
But, beyond that, the whole package here is a great example of what a super hero comic book can, and should, be. Also, Slott wasn’t kidding when he said this issue was a game changer and would be a surprise hit for the series. If this is the lead in to next year’s Superior Spider-Man I may just have to keep with this book, forgiving the, in my opinion, really bad name (although Slott has assured me and others that the title will make sense once we read the book. I’m more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt)
So, we have two more issues (not counting #699.1 because the Point One issues rarely seem to have anything to do with the main book anymore) until Amazing Spider-Man is shelved for the time being (honestly, do you really think Marvel will keep Amazing Spider-Man away forever?) and this issue has completely changed the face of the series. One page. That’s all it took for Slott to completely change everything. It’s amazing… until it becomes Superior.