Spider-Man No More
This is something I've been waiting ages for, and finally the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man, issue 700 is out. Although I didn't know what my final reaction to this would be, as I've been sceptical since hearing that Peter Parker would not be Spider-Man in the upcoming Superior Spider-Man series. I've still however been very excited and although I'm not entirely sure what I feel since reading it, I am happy I got it.
This issue sees Peter Parker, who's trapped in Doctor Octopus' body make one last ditch attempt to get his own body, which Doctor Octopus is currently occupying back.
There are also two backup stories in this issue, one featuring a old Spider-Man telling his great grandson about his time as a superhero, and another featuring Black Cat.
This was a very good issue, but the ending, which I'll talk more about later, without won't spoiling was in my opinion a little disappointing. Besides that Dan Slott did an amazing job of building up a to the climax of this issue, using things that have happened in previous battles between Doc Ock, and Spider-Man to great use. I also loved how he wrote each character in the opposite bodies, as although we've seen this for the last couple of issues, we haven't seen much, and it's more been in a narrative way. This time we get to see more of how there minds in the opposite bodies lead to them acting in a different way than usual, which I thought was nice, as they both acted somewhere in between their usual actions, and the actions of the bodies they where in.
The art from Humberto Ramos in this issue was very good, and although like I've said in the past I don't like how he draws Doc Ock, I could still enjoy the rest of his marvellous artwork. The way he drew each character was brilliant as usual, and I loved how he drew some of the more awkward moments. I also loved how he drew the action sequences, and felt that he really set the tone, as the other villains were sometimes confused, and Ramos showed that perfectly. I also thought that the cover for this issue by Pascal Garcin was phenomenal, and I love how it's a collage, with dton's of red suited Spider-Men, and the odd Carnage as the red, ton's off Venom's and black suited Spider-Men as the black, and other Spider-Man related characters along with other Marvel characters, without colours as the white.
The thing I liked the most during this issue was that Peter got to have a conversation with Uncle Ben. This happens whilst Peter, in Doc Ock's body gets a huge zap to attach him to an old set of Doc Ock's Arms, which gives him a near death experience where he sees all his deceased loved ones, and people that have died that he feels responsible for, including Captain George Stacy, Gwen Stacy, Silver Sable, and of course Uncle Ben. It's nice to see him talking to Uncle Ben again, cause whether it's real or not his death was Peter's main reason for becoming Spider-Man. The sequence itself was very good, and had a lot of emotion in it, both in the art, and the way it was written. I also liked how although Peter felt partially responsible for all of their deaths that none of them held it against him.
After this sequence it is revealed that Peter in Doc Ock's body is still alive, and that he's been attached to the mechanical arms. Although it was Peter in Doc Ock's body, it was nice to see Doc Ock in his original arms, with a lab coat on (although the picture to the left doesn't show the lab coat) as that's retro Doc Ock, and if it does turn out to be the last time we see him it's nice to see him in a more original attire. The way Peter went about after getting these arms was also interesting, as he could tell how desperate it was to get his body back, and that he needed to do it quick. I also loved how he even acted like Doc Ock at times calling Trapster an imbecile, at one point when he was about to make a mistake whilst putting the mechanical arms on him.
The final battle in this issue between Doc Ock and Spider-Man was brilliant, and it showed that besides the reader, the characters in the comic itself could be surprised by what they believe to be Doc Ock and Spider-Man's actions. The fight itself was brilliant, and I loved the lengths both character's would go to to stop the other, and how during this Peter could still acknowledge the ingenious things that Doc Ock did with his Web Shooters. I also liked how it teased at what the final outcome would be during the fight, and how when you thought one thing would finish the fight, something else would continue it.
The ending itself was a little bit disappointing, or at least in my opinion. I'll talk a bit about it, but not much to avoid spoiling it. It was maid clear a few issues before this issue that the upcoming Superior Spider-Man series would feature a new Spider-Man. After hearing this it was obvious that something would cause Peter to stop being Spider-Man, whether this was his death, an event that made him hang up his suit, or something completely different. Although I didn't like the news that there would be a new Spider-Man I still decided to go into this issue, as I will do with Superior Spider-Man #1 with an open mind. I did however not like the way this was done, and although I won't spoil it I do think it could have been done in a better way.
The backup stories in this issue were fun, but not as good as I hoped. I was also hoping for the stories to somehow be connected to the main story, which they weren't. Although I thought they were fun stories I still felt that they weren't good enough for this milestone issue, and that the issue might have even been better without them. The art from Giuseppe Camuncoli in the first story was very good, like his previous work on Spider-Man, but I wasn't as keen on Stephanie Buscema in the other, and although it will appeal to some people, it didn't appeal to me.
A great end to a tremendous series. I would highly recommend this issue to anyone, whether they're a Spider-Man fan or not, and the only reason this isn't rated higher is due to the backup stories, and the fact I didn't like the ending.