Friday, June 21, 2013

Guest Review: The Amazing Spider-Man #700

The Amazing Spider-Man #700 Cover

Dying Wish: Suicide Run, Spider-Dreams, & Date Night


Solicit


Last Issue.

Preview





Review


Spider-Man No More Original Review by Johnkmccubbin91 at Comic Vine


This is something I've been waiting ages for, and finally the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man, issue 700 is out. Although I didn't know what my final reaction to this would be, as I've been skeptical since hearing that Peter Parker would not be Spider-Man in the upcoming Superior Spider-Man series. I've still however been very excited and although I'm not entirely sure what I feel since reading it, I am happy I got it.

Plot

This issue sees Peter Parker, who's trapped in Doctor Octopus' body make one last ditch attempt to get his own body, which Doctor Octopus is currently occupying back.

There are also two backup stories in this issue, one featuring an old Spider-Man telling his great grandson about his time as a superhero, and another featuring Black Cat.

Review

This was a very good issue, but the ending, which I'll talk more about later, without won't spoiling was in my opinion a little disappointing. Besides that Dan Slott did an amazing job of building up a to the climax of this issue, using things that have happened in previous battles between Doc Ock, and Spider-Man to great use. I also loved how he wrote each character in the opposite bodies, as although we've seen this for the last couple of issues, we haven't seen much, and it's more been in a narrative way. This time we get to see more of how there minds in the opposite bodies lead to them acting in a different way than usual, which I thought was nice, as they both acted somewhere in between their usual actions, and the actions of the bodies they where in.

The art from Humberto Ramos in this issue was very good, and although like I've said in the past I don't like how he draws Doc Ock, I could still enjoy the rest of his marvelous artwork. The way he drew each character was brilliant as usual, and I loved how he drew some of the more awkward moments. I also loved how he drew the action sequences, and felt that he really set the tone, as the other villains were sometimes confused, and Ramos showed that perfectly. I also thought that the cover for this issue by Pascal Garcin was phenomenal, and I love how it's a collage, with tons of red suited Spider-Men, and the odd Carnage as the red, ton's off Venom's and black suited Spider-Men as the black, and other Spider-Man related characters along with other Marvel characters, without colors as the white.

Peter Talks to Uncle Ben
The thing I liked the most during this issue was that Peter got to have a conversation with Uncle Ben. This happens whilst Peter, in Doc Ock's body gets a huge zap to attach him to an old set of Doc Ock's Arms, which gives him a near death experience where he sees all his deceased loved ones, and people that have died that he feels responsible for, including Captain George Stacy, Gwen Stacy, Silver Sable, and of course Uncle Ben. It's nice to see him talking to Uncle Ben again, cause whether it's real or not his death was Peter's main reason for becoming Spider-Man. The sequence itself was very good, and had a lot of emotion in it, both in the art, and the way it was written. I also liked how although Peter felt partially responsible for all of their deaths that none of them held it against him.

There's Not a Moment to Waste!
After this sequence it is revealed that Peter in Doc Ock's body is still alive, and that he's been attached to the mechanical arms. Although it was Peter in Doc Ock's body, it was nice to see Doc Ock in his original arms, with a lab coat on (although the picture to the right doesn't show the lab coat) as that's retro Doc Ock, and if it does turn out to be the last time we see him it's nice to see him in a more original attire. The way Peter went about after getting these arms was also interesting, as he could tell how desperate it was to get his body back, and that he needed to do it quick. I also loved how he even acted like Doc Ock at times calling Trapster an imbecile, at one point when he was about to make a mistake whilst putting the mechanical arms on him.

Spider-Man and Doc Ock's Last Fight
The final battle in this issue between Doc Ock and Spider-Man was brilliant, and it showed that besides the reader, the characters in the comic itself could be surprised by what they believe to be Doc Ock and Spider-Man's actions. The fight itself was brilliant, and I loved the lengths both character's would go to to stop the other, and how during this Peter could still acknowledge the ingenious things that Doc Ock did with his Web Shooters. I also liked how it teased at what the final outcome would be during the fight, and how when you thought one thing would finish the fight, something else would continue it.

The ending itself was a little bit disappointing, or at least in my opinion. I'll talk a bit about it, but not much to avoid spoiling it. It was maid clear a few issues before this issue that the upcoming Superior Spider-Man series would feature a new Spider-Man. After hearing this it was obvious that something would cause Peter to stop being Spider-Man, whether this was his death, an event that made him hang up his suit, or something completely different. Although I didn't like the news that there would be a new Spider-Man I still decided to go into this issue, as I will do with Superior Spider-Man #1 with an open mind. I did however not like the way this was done, and although I won't spoil it I do think it could have been done in a better way.

The backup stories in this issue were fun, but not as good as I hoped. I was also hoping for the stories to somehow be connected to the main story, which they weren't. Although I thought they were fun stories I still felt that they weren't good enough for this milestone issue, and that the issue might have even been better without them. The art from Giuseppe Camuncoli in the first story was very good, like his previous work on Spider-Man, but I wasn't as keen on Stephanie Buscema in the other, and although it will appeal to some people, it didn't appeal to me.

Final Verdict

A great end to a tremendous series. I would highly recommend this issue to anyone, whether they're a Spider-Man fan or not, and the only reason this isn't rated higher is due to the backup stories, and the fact I didn't like the ending.

Rating: 4/5


What I Thought


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic 

Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.6


So this is the end, or well the beginning. I was excited for this issue to come out. I was hoping they would give Pete a proper sendoff and for the most part they did. This issue had several different variant covers each of which was great. While I like Ramos's art there were times as he usually does draw faces too similar for my taste. I did however like how he drew Pete/Ock's face to show a crueler side instead of the lovable Peter Parker. I didn't care for how they portrayed Mary Jane. I understand she loves Pete, but the way Ock was acting toward her and the way he talked to her as if she was insignificant, it just made her seem naive to what was going on.

I did find an issue with the flow of the book is that it seemed like the ending was rushed. I mean when I saw a 100 page comic I figured we would get basically 3 great issues in one, that wasn't the case. We do get an excellent conclusion but the rest of the pages are two side stories while entertaining to read IMO were filler. They could have taken Pete and Ock's story out another 10 pages and really had you feel Pete's death and give a little more explanation of how the whole linking thing worked. I also feel like this death wasn't as emotional as his Ultimate one. Maybe because we saw this coming with both the prior issues and the Superior announcement. I remember reading Ultimate Spider-Man and feeling it both in issue and in the followup funeral issue. I even felt it again when Miles talked to Aunt May in the new book. This one I really didn't shed a tear over, maybe because unlike the Ultimate version nobody knows Pete died, combined with the age of Pete at the time. Overall it was a great story and I highly recommend it to everyone. I can't wait to see how things play out in the new Superior Spider-Man series.

Purchase Amazing Spider-Man #700 (2nd Printing)
Purchase Amazing Spider-Man #700 (4thPrinting)
Purchase DF Amazing Spider-Man #700 Romita Sr Sgn Ed (GOLD SIGNED)
Purchase DF Amazing Spider-Man #700 Stan Lee Sgn Ed
Purchase Amazing Spider-Man #700

John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.
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