Somewhat Amazing Spiderman Issue
While the stories revolving around Aunt May are excellent, Doc Ock and Spiderman are disappointing in this landmark issue. A good enough comic but not the best of either this month or of Brand New Day Spiderman, this issue keeps up the standard of having forced issues at number 600 and charging extra for it. Still, with the sheer quantity of stories there is some good stuff.
The main story is "Last Legs," which is fairly disappointing. Why? Well, Dan Slott (the writer) has done an excellent job so far in creating exciting new scenarios. The creator of Mister Negative, and a man who helped Guggenheim with Jackpot, Menace, and Freak, Slott is always creating cool new things--even in Mighty Avengers with the underused Ch'thon and the redone Loki. Sadly, this classic issue called for classic characters, and Slotts treatment of Doc Ock is dispicable. Ock becomes a whimpy punching bag with the most corny lines, nothing like the amazing character that inspired a true classic like Spiderman 2.
The Fantastic Four are fun, and the New Avengers are featured, but that can't make up for the Octopus disappointment. If anything can, though, its Aunt May. Her wedding is featured in this issue, so its not surprising that she would be the true star of this (it should be the Amazing Aunt May). Speaking of the wedding, I'll just mention that it doesn't go as well as planned--but Aunt May is still there with some life lessons and a loving personality. However, Last Legs isn't even her best appearance--that comes in the beautiful story the Blessing. I can't remember who wrote it (I was reading it in a bookstore), but I'm sure the site will tell.
Two other points I must make. First the artwork: Last Legs is not Romita Jr's best, but it is freaking Johnny Romita Junior so of course its great. The other stories also all have good artwork, so don't worry about the stories lacking in that aspect.
Finally, I'll mention all the short stories other than Last Legs. There are a bunch of them (one even written by Stan Lee), and they vary in quality. The Spiderman Covers You'll Never See are generally mediocre to offensive, with the exception of a hilarious one visioned by the extremely talented Brian Michael Bendis. The best story is undoubtedly the excellent "My Brother's Son," a story told by Uncle Ben (obviously, before a certain burgalar played target practice with his chest). It is so short, telling anything more will give to much away, but I will say it is excellent and the number one reason to buy this comic. The other stories are also good, especially the Blessing, even though one mocks the Spidermobile. GRRRRR!
All-in-all, Spiderman is a good story Spidey fans will want, but other people can hold out on in favor of other stories like War of Kings and Dark Reign tie-ins. Still, its fun, and I'm glad my bookstore had it. Its really your choice.