Next year is the year of the Octopus.
Synopsis: Doctor Octopus goes to war with The Intelligenica.
I can't help to think that Ends of the Earth may possibly be the last time Doctor Octopus will be around. Ever since reappearing in issue #600 and showing up in other series like Iron Man and Avengers Academy, he's been planning something. When most villains learn that they are dying they either try to cheat death, make peace, or go out in a blaze of glory. Doc Ock rather go out in a blaze of glory and then some.
This issue marks the beginning of the Ends of the Earth as Doctor Octopus and his Sinister Six take on M.O.D.O.K the Intelligenica. Like Ock, the other Sinister Six have been going through some changes as well during Spider-Man. Some have gone with different methods as seen in the Gauntlet (Electro, Sandman, Mysterio) while some have grown darker somewhat (Ock, Rhino, and Chameleon). The funny thing is even without Spidey, The Sinister Six still manage to insert some jokes here and there throughout to help lighten the mood.
Humberto Ramos' artwork is unique for this type of issue. I say that because, it doesn't feature Spider-Man. He still brings that cartoony style like always, but it's focused more on the villains more than usual. Doctor Octopus is pretty much more machine now that somehow makes him more appropriate.
Other than the cover, Spidey doesn't make an appearance (Minor complaint).
So what happened to that talk between MJ and Carlie in the previous issue?
I didn't expect to enjoy this issue seeing how it had nothing to do with Peter. However, this issue is definitely a great setup to what Doctor Octopus have in store this year.