Written by Dan Slott
Art by Richard Elson
Spider-Man swings around the city and tries to get back with Mary Jane…or is he?
I’ve been a long time fan of Spider-Man, but admittedly, I haven’t really delved into the comics before. I started in the 80’s with re-runs of the Marvel Showcase cartoons that were pretty much comic panels presented with very little animation. (Funny, now they call it motion comics.) I moved onto Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, coasted into the 90’s with Spider-Man the Animated Series and landed in our present decade with Spectacular Spider-Man and (shudder) Ultimate Spider-Man. (sorry Marc, I know you love USM.) After reading Bendis’ excellent Spider-Men miniseries I decided I need to start reading me some Spider-Man, and now, here I am with ASM #698.
The story starts off like any other typical Spider-Man story would. Spidey swings around town, despite his mood he’s either lamenting some issue he’s dealing with because he is Spider-Man, or he’s loving life…because he is Spider-Man. He takes some time to kick some random villain butt, swings by work and then visits the girl of his dreams, Mary Jane Watson. Only this story takes quite a different turn. Receiving a call on his Avengers I.D. card, Spider-Man swings over to the super villain lock up, The Raft. Once there, Spider-Man meets up with a few of the Avengers, where he learns that an arch-nemesis of his, Doctor Octopus, is dying. Without much time left, Doc Ock has requested a special audience with the web-slinger, and then the twist is revealed. I’d hate to spoil it in case you’re reading this and haven’t picked up #698 yet, but let’s just say that everything you thought you were reading, you weren’t reading at all.
Without giving away the details, this twist here is epic, like Neo finding out about the Matrix epic. Except on a smaller scale since we are dealing with a 22 page comic book and not a two hour long movie that blew my mind the first time I saw it causing me to see the world in a completely different way after leaving the theater, but yeah, something along those lines. Being that this is one of the last few issues before Amazing Spider-Man ends its 50-year run, Slott has decided to go over the top and deliver one slam-bang of a final story arc.
Elson’s art also keeps pace with Slott’s crazy story here delivering some excellent images of Spidey doing his thing around town as well as one seriously messed up looking Doctor Octopus. Seeing Ock laid out in that bed with all those tubes inserted into him was quite a sight to behold. ASM #698 delivers on all fronts making this one hell of an issue. Whether you are a long time Spider-Man reader or just wanting to pick up a piece of the ASM action before it leaves town for good, this will be money well spent. Excitement is running through me as I wait or this story arc to continue.
4.5 out of 5 nerds
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