Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Amazing Spider-Man #700
Slott, Ramos, Olazaba, Delgado, DeMatteis, Camuncoli, Van Meter & Buscema
The landmark anniversary and "final" issue of Amazing Spider-Man wraps up a bizarre story that has Doc Ock switching into Spider-Man's body and retaining his thoughts and memories. The comic is a dense one with two back-up stories and a cover gallery. The book weighs in at eight bucks and sadly just doesn't live up to the hype. Regardless of whether you agree with the ending and the direction of the character it's the execution that just doesn't work. I found this to be a mess of a comic book.
In previous issue Doc Ock's body becomes a husk that is on the verge of dying. To save himself he manages to teleport his consciousness into the body of Spider-Man. In doing so, he retains his memories as Doc Ock and obtains all the knowledge of Spidey's identity and, subsequently, knowledge of the family and friends of Peter Parker. The opposite is also true. Parker is now in the dying body of Dock Ock where gains all the memories of Ock's, while keeping his own. The concept is sound and makes for an interesting story.
The bulk of the comic is Spidey (as Ock) trying to switch back into his real body before his lights go out (when Ock's body finally dies). However, Ock (as Spidey) has already out-thought Parker's tricks. The comic has a good pace to it as it has that real race-against-time feeling to it.
However, the book bottoms out just when it needed to stick the landing. The ending and its subsequent explanation is so poorly done that I was shocked that Slott brushed the details aside so easily. The ending simply doesn't make any sense and the entire comic suffers badly for it. Mind you, I have no horse in this race and I couldn't care less if a main character dies or not but this comic book never sold the ending.
The two back-up stories are nice additions to the book. However, they have the same what-if feel that the main story contains and it makes you wonder if the entire book is in continuity or not. I was a huge fan of having Stan Lee take to the mailbag though.
I love Ramos and his art. However, this comic book is simply not his best effort. The characters look much too stiff in too many panels where they need to sell the emotion. An example is the panel in which Parker (really Ock) is in the airport, about to run from Spidey, when he gets taunted by JJJ via a TV broadcast. Parker needed to sell the anger, but he looks like he's waiting to see if he's been called up as an Academy Award winner. Another example is when MJ professes her feelings for Parker. Unfortunately the emotion, dialogue and visuals just do not line up. I was very disappointed with the comic book visually.
I drop into Spider-Man books once in a while. This is one of the worst ones I've read under Slott and I really don't care about the outcome as much as the trip to get there. This trick ending needed to be sold and it simply wasn't. Glossing over an ending where there is so much attention is simply a bad idea. Skip this one, especially at the hefty price point.
2.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles