[Comic Review] The Amazing Spider-Man #700

So, the time has come and Marvel Comics has to end an era and begin anew.

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW!

TheAmazingSpiderMan700In the latest, and last release, in The Amazing Spider-Man series, #700, we see a culmination of the last story arc involving Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus.

I have had plenty of thoughts and theories about how the creative team behind the title was going to wrap things up, and honestly, I wasn’t overly disappointed.

For those that have kept up, in previous issues (The Amazing Spider-Man #698-699), Doctor Octopus and Peter Parker have exchanged bodies through the Doctor’s ingenuity and manipulation of technology that Parker installed into his suit. Cheezy? Maybe, but I thought it made for a damn good read.

In this final issue, we see how things play out and what is in store for us, the readers, when Superior Spider-Man kicks off in January 2013.

Peter Parker, in the body of Doctor Octopus, broke out of prison and has been attempting to hunt down his imposter in hopes of once again taking over his own body, all the while fighting both the authorities and the dying body that has become his prison.

In the end, Parker comes up short.

However, before time runs out, Doctor Octopus (in the body of Peter Parker) got a glimpse of just who and what both Spider-Man was, and the man behind the mask. He finds out that his views of his arch-nemesis isn’t quite what he thought, as Parker pulled punches, showed mercy and committed plenty of self-sacrifice in order to stay a masked hero protecting the people of his city. As Parker’s life flashed before his eyes, so too were these thoughts seen by the Doctor.

All in all, I’m not disappointed or even upset at this newfound direction like many seem to be out there in the comic world. It isn’t the first time Peter Parker has been replaced as Spider-Man, and most likely, it won’t be the last. I think having a former villain become a hero, even in the form of one already established, is a nice change of events, particularly when its one that was on a totally opposite end of the spectrum of the hero they are replacing.

My only real gripe about all of this is that the climax and that whole integration bit at the end was a little lack luck luster. I know that comics are a medium that sometimes isn’t the best at construing emotion, but, in a case like that it needs to be at least attempted. You have a villain that for YEARS has been vile, corrupt and just plain twisted. Simply seeing himself in Parker’s shoes during some flashbacks doesn’t really convey the kind of transformation (mentally) that is required to simply give up one’s old way, throw on your enemy’s mask and vow to carry on his name. ((This is better explained in Avenging Spider-Man #12.1, but we’ll get to that later.))

That aside, I’m excited to see what the new vision of Spider-Man will bring. Whether or not Dan Slott will cave to the death threats (seriously people?!?) and the pressure has yet to be seen, but I feel that this new installment will be entertaining to say the least.

Now, the artwork here I enjoy. It’s crisp, it’s clean and although not my usual preference, it holds up well and won me over by the end.

The story is good (see above), and although there are some places where it wears a little thin I feel it does a fine job bringing an end to an era that is Peter Parker as Spider-Man…again.

Rating: 8/10 Gingered Digits.

Reasoning: Artwork (1.5/2), Character Development (1.5/2), Climax (1/2), Plot Development (2/2), Story (2/2).

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