The Amazing Spider-Man #700 | Writer: Dan Slott, J.M. DeMatteis Jen Van Meter | Art: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Giuseppe Camuncoil | Colors: Edgar Delgado & Antonio Fabela | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $7.99 | From my column THE PULL LIST @ Forces of Geek.com
One of the most popular comic book series of our generation has come to an end. Unless you have been living under a rock, it was almost impossible to avoid the spoilers since they were released three weeks in advance. If that wasn’t enough, Dan Slott received very descriptive death threats for the tangled web he’s weaved.
Peter Parker died. It happened while he was trapped in Doctor Octopus’ decaying body and currently Doctor Octopus is inside Peter Parker’s body. He has declared that he will be a better Spider-Man than Peter ever was, and will become a Superior Spider-Man.
Slott and Ramos get their point across with quality writing and strong visuals but the execution of the final act could have been better. Ramos’ gets a lot of flak for his artwork being too cartoony but he has truly produced some of the best work seen in a Spider-Man series in quite a while. Slott’s outstanding propensity for story telling impeccably ties up loose ends while creating new subplots particularly with Peter confessing everything to Carlie while in Doc Ock’s body. Will she investigate the matter or will she assume it’s the ravings of a mad man?
A lot of sweat equity went into the production of this comic book. At the same time, this story arc does make you think of the clone saga and “one moment in time.” Fans hate it when you make drastic changes to a beloved character. I think fans hate it more when you try to change Spider-Man. His story is simple and captivating at the same time. However, like in every major franchise, at some point a major change will be set in motion in order to get people talking.
There are also two interesting back stories. One is a cartoonish and over the top tale involving Blackcat and Spidey. The other is about a grandfather who tells his grandson he used to be Spider-Man in order to relate better to him. Of course, the kid doesn’t believe him. I’m not sure where this will fit in to the realm of continuity because it takes places in the future and we know how often that can be changed. It turns out the grandfather was, in fact, Spider-Man. This story was written and drawn so you can’t tell if we are looking at the future of Peter Parker or Otto Octavius. There are some clues that point in either direction which makes reading it even more enjoyable.
Doctor Octopus is now Spider-Man. Think about that for a moment. This is bizarre on so many levels, but I want to see how this goes before I pass judgment. You know Peter Parker will rise from the grave to reclaim what is rightfully his someday. Let’s just enjoy the ride and see what Dan Slott has in store for us.
In closing, I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are very critical about this book because of its dramatic conclusion. I understand that, but personal feelings aside, this book was well put together from front to back. This issue was more about the Doc/Spidey saga. It’s about the culmination and celebration of a series that has defined a generation. A web of spectacular books has produced a plethora of countless memories over the years. However, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is the definitive Spider-Man comic book and while this is one good thing that didn’t have to come to an end, it definitely went out on a high note.