The Doctor Is Out!
The cover: 3½ stars
Not one of my favourite covers, but it does the job. Doctor Octopus looks menacing and aggressive, Spider-Man appears helpless and you can tell immediately the scene is set on a boat. So why am I not blown away by it … it’s just a bit dull and static.
Turning Point (21 pages)
This issue lives up to its title; it marks a turn in the storytelling style of this series, it’s a much darker tale than anything we’ve had so far. It also features the return of Spidey’s deadliest villain to date … Doctor Octopus as well as being only the second time that we’ve ventured outside of … .
Doc Ock is released from prison and much to everyone’s surprise is picked up by Betty Brant who left town last issue. We then discover that Betty’s brother, Bennett, is a weak willed mob lawyer, who has to hire Doc Ock to break his boss, Blackie Gaxton, out of jail.
Doc Ock decides to take over Blackie’s mob after springing him … Spidey gets involved … big fight … Bennett gets shot … Blackie and his mob get arrested … Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus fight to a standstill … Doc Ock escapes.
Then there’s the sub-plot, Peter decides he loves Betty and will tell her he’s Spider-Man … Betty blames Spider-Man for the death of her brother … she later decides that Spidey’s not to blame but can’t face Spider-Man as he will remind her of Bennett … the shadow of Spider-Man looms large over the life of Peter Parker.
It’s also a fairly violent issue, Doctor Octopus slaps Bennett about, Blackie Beats him up and then Bennett gets shot dead. It’s an all action, rip-roaring story, probably the best to date.
Peter develops his first Spider-racer.
Stan and Steve never make it easy for our hero, so this issue Spidey sprains his ankle.Some of Stan’s dialogue is still really corny.