Filed under: Comic Reviews, Marvel Comics | Tags: Dan Slott, Doc Ock, Edgar Delgado, Marvel Now, Peter Parker, Ryan Stegman, Spider-Man
Hopefully now that the dust has settled from the events of those last few issues of Amazing Spider-Man in 2012 – we can settle into the new world where Spider-Man is a very different title to read and relate to
(I’ll say Spoiler alert but if you don’t know what’s happened up to this point then you’ve probably been living in a cave or never seen a comic book in your life)
Peter Parker is dead after Doc Ock’s final plot plays out exactly as he wanted it to – swapping bodies with his arch-nemesis and leaving in his own dying body……and we saw in Amazing Spider-Man #700 that even a hero can die. Amazing has become Superior as Doc Ock has taken on the mantle of Peter Parker….adopting his life, his work, his relationships and revelling in a second chance to make a difference. His fights with recognized super-villains instantly take on a new significance as you know it’s really Doc Ock in control, the relationships become deeper and darker as we see MJ being wooed by a new and improved Peter Parker. All the while, the only people that are in on the true goings on are us, the reader and it’s with this new direction that Dan Slott has raised Spider-Man to a different level….at least in my eyes anyway.
Slott has taken a character we all know and made the story fresh, added in a new angle that I don’t think anyone saw coming….that’s possibly why we’ve seen the backlash that has poured out from fans but in a superhero saturated genre like comic books…..we have a long-standing character making waves in probably the most original way we’ve seen in a long time. The Power has passed to Doc Ock while the responsibility has almost passed to us the reader…..we know more than most of the main roster of characters and Slott has truly planned this out….or he at least gives off the impression that he’s had this in mind for some time. He’s made a character that I’ve known all my life and perhaps drifted away from in recent years and he’s made it a must-read title…..as much for the slap in the face that has seen him up the ante with the Marvel flagship title. The fact Marvel let this happen and embraced it with their Marvel Now! approach shows a healthy approach to pushing those boundaries. Taking a risk at telling a new story instead of settling for another “good guy fights bad guy” approach they could so easily have settled for.
We’ve seen Pete drift back in true Star Wars/Obi-Wan style and we’re surely going to see Pete take the control back at some point but this entire journey seems destined to entertain us on the its way through this story. Ryan Stegman on art has added a new level of energy to the action and balanced that well with a level-headed, sensitive approach to the relationships that Peter Parker aka Doc Ock still has to maintain in his day-to-day life. A contrast aided by a smart panel layout and a strong colourist in Edgar Delgado…….and in many titles the colourist can be the overlooked member of the team but given that the story itself is such a fine balancing act………it needs a strong artistic team to back that up…..and for me its mission accomplished.
We’re three issues in and with the world of Peter Parker being firmly flipped on its head we’ve had excitement, action, intimacy and intrigue from a group of known characters in a new and unknown way. While there was always going to be the fans out there that would give an OTT reaction to what’s been done to their favourite character…..I can’t help but think that if they just took a step back, let the plot ease through Slott’s masterful writing…..that they’d see the bigger picture, that they’d see that the change is for the better and that Marvel have retained a high level of respect for Spidey….while breathing life into a character that could well have continued towards its next milestone anniversary with more of the same old stories that we’ve already seen a thousand times before.
If you dropped the title after the events of #700 – I’d urge you to catch up on this new Spider-man that’s been seriously updated and if you’ve not read Spidey before then jump on now while Mr Slott is writing a title that’s worthy of that “Superior” tagline.
This year’s London Super Comic Con will see Dan Slott attend and talk all things Spidey…..Amazing, Superior and otherwise.
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