The coincidence and timing of Amazing Spider-Man #700 coming out during the year of Spider-Mans 50th anniversary could not have been predicted, just like the fact that the series has now come to an end, officially. And while unlike most of my comic book reviews it’s going to be hard to not say anything with spoilers so I must warn you now there will be spoilers and a lot of my opinion injected into this review as not only am I a huge Spider-Man fan but this is one of those comics that ends a series and I have to talk about everything that happened in this comic book.
So with that being said lets play catch up with the story, and here’s the quick gist of things. Doctor Otto Octavius is dying, so he created a little device that actually let himself and Peter Parker switch bodies. This means that Otto’s consciousnesses is now inside of Peter’s body and vice-versa, and to make things worse since Otto is so close to dying there really isn’t much Peter Parker can do since he is trapped in a maximum security prison waiting to die while Otto’ is out in his body having a nice romantic date with Mary Jane (complete with the mental monologue where we find out it’s been quite a long while since Octavius has been alone with a woman). So now trapped in a dying body Peter has devised a plan to break out of prison and race against the clock to get his body back before it’s too late, wow that sounded like a movie trailer voice over for a second.
Since this is no ordinary comic book and to really show it’s importance it was released as a “giant seized” issue, meaning that it’s double the amount of pages and also double the price. I’ve heard a few people complaining about the $7.99 price tag but once you read it and see all the content and the short stories that were put in after the main story you will be satisfied with the price. But, will you be satisfied with what happens in Amazing-Spiderman #700? Let’s go into what happens to poor Peter Parker.
In the main story once Peter (in Octavious’ body) breaks out of prison along with Scorpion, Trapster and Hydro-Man, once out of the prison most of the comic is spent focusing on Peter and Ock facing off with each other while in each other’s bodies, except instead of a physical confrontation they are just playing a sort of game of chess by constantly countering their plans as they know each other so well and also now share memories. I should not that it was quite entertaining when Scorpion and Hydro-Man kept questioning as to why Octavius was constantly telling them not to kill or harm any civilians or police officers. It was also funny to see Octavius as Parker interacting with everyone else in Peter’s life, including Mary Jane and J. Jonah, who now all of a sudden has a new found respect for Spider-Man after a brutal fight with Scorpion, where he ends up ripping his lower jaw right off with one punch leading to Otto realizing that all these years Spider-Man had been hold back his strength when fighting villains.
For a while there it seemed that some cliches in the comic book universe were going to happen as Peter and Otto finally face off one-on-one with every single supporting character throughout the years looking on out in the city streets, as Peter obtained and fixed the device that initially switched their minds in the first place. The surprise was when the device didn’t work and it finally sunk in that Peter was going to really die this time, and without missing a cue Dan Slott’s writing skill came into play as with his last living moments still trapped inside of Otto Octavius’ body Peter decided to use the device to share with Otto all the memories of pain that Peter had felt over the years that helped make him the moral compass that he was, including the death of Uncle Ben, how he caught up to the killer, the death of his friends and so on, which lead to Otto having a revelation and also stopping him on the spot from physically killing the now near death Peter. This exchange ended with Peter using his last breathe to quote his Uncle Ben to Otto saying “With great power comes great responsibility” and that all he ever wanted to do was keep his friends and family safe and made Otto promise him that he would continue to be Spider-Man and protect the ones he love. In a weird twist Otto who is now permanently in Peter’s body promises not only to keep all of his loved ones safe but went on to have a quick monologue proclaiming to be an even better Spider-Man than Peter ever was and now dubbed himself The Superior Spider-Man.
Yeah, that’s a lot to take in, it’s still weird to see the whole “The End” at the end of the comic as for a better part of the last twenty years I have been reading and collecting Spider-Man comic books. The story although ridiculous because how many times now have we seen body switching in the comic universe but something about the lack of a happy ending and everything being fixed and worked out was what made this issue stand out as a better story than others who have tried to do this. I should also note that Humberto Ramos did an excellent job with his style of art in this comic, even little subtle things like how he drew expressions on Peter Parker’s (Otto) face you could just tell that it wasn’t really Peter from a slight smirk to a stern look on his face, as well as the same with Peter in Otto’s body, you could see a more panicked and even a somber expression on his face compared to his menacing glare and smile. I really think the artwork shined in the last few panels of the comic book as if the drawing style didn’t really hit home then the dialog would have just wound up not being taken seriously.
What it really came down to in this issue was that it’s the last issue of the Amazing Spider-Man, there was some fan service included and flashbacks to all the major moments that have happened in the past 699 issues. The comic was good and it could have been worse but it also could have been better just in terms of ending a series, regardless though it’s an impactful issue and now with Superior Spider-Man on the horizon I’m even more curious to see what this new Spider-Man will do. It’s definitely a must read for Spider-Man fans, I’m sure most will enjoy it but there are reasons why many won’t especially if you aren’t up to speed with the previous issues leading up to this grand finale.