Peter has accidently created the strongest superhero this world has ever seen, and he is a teenager. Will be this be the beginning of the end for Spider-Man? Find out what happens in this review of Amazing Spider-Man #694, with slight spoilers.


Amazing Spider-Man #694
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Humberto Ramos
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Chris Elopoulos
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: Peter Parker was hosting a demonstration at Horizon Labs for students from his former high school when things went very wrong. Andrew Maguire, now known as Alpha, was exposed to Parker Particles, which gave him a high enough power level he became the first Alpha-level hero/threat on the planet. Spider-Man has been tasked to train Alpha in the proper manner a superhero should conduct himself; it’s not going well.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

From the moment Alpha came into his powers there has been one limitation: he could only use one power at a time. Throw that out the window now because his power level is ever growing and can now combo up. A better time couldn’t have been picked for this development because Terminus has arrived on scene to strip everything away from planet Earth. Once Alpha starts in on his attack it is clear that Terminus is able to deflect the energy away from him. Good for the bad guy, bad for every flight in the area. Spider-Man and a few other Avengers must leave the battle to start cleaning up the mess that Alpha has created. Peter quickly remembers that Aunt May was flying out of NYC and thwips through the air to save her from falling out of the sky.

At this point in the issue some really great character moments start happing. First comes from Aunt May calling Peter to leave him one last message where she says she always thought of him as a son. Next there is JJJ as he actually thanks Spider-Man for, once again, saving his family.

And finally there is Alpha. The manner with which Slott built up the young hero to be, for lack of better words, a giant douche made it so I never saw this ending coming. To see Andrew’s face at the realization that he must return to being ridiculed at high school was mildly heartbreaking. But with those ending moments Slott cemented the point he was trying to get across with Alpha: to show what Peter could have ended up like if it weren’t for Uncle Ben giving him the wisdom of, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

RAMOS, RAMOS, RAMOS

…Darn. I thought maybe saying his name three times would make him appear in my room so he could sketch out a quick web-slinger for me.

Anyways, Humberto Ramos is outstanding. I mean simply look at the page of Captain Marvel and Spidey completing a web-slingshot maneuver; the entire page is filled with dynamic motion and Marvel looks gorgeous. That page, along with the rest of this issue ecompases why I think Ramos is perfect for Spider-Man. He has the ability to do clear, precise action sequences, is able to slow it down for moments, and does both with characters that ooze emotion. Here’s to hoping Ramos can stick to another Spider-Man series after issue #700.

BOTTOM LINE: WHY MUST ALL GOOD THINGS END?

December is creeping closer and with it brings stupid snow, stupid cold, stupid wind, and the stupid 700th issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Why do I think that it’s stupid? Because with that the series is stopping and that means we may no longer have new Spider-Man issues like this. Bringing in Alpha had me slightly worried, but it ended up being a fascinating story. After this I have little doubt that Slott will handle the conclusion of Spider-Man with class and a truly amazing story.

Rating: ★★★★½

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
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The Author

Zach Woolf

Zach Woolf

Zach is a recent college graduate who’s love for consuming media is surpassed only by his love for creating it. He has a firm belief that if we could all just play with LEGOs for 30 minutes a day the world would be a better place. If those two statements don’t tell you everything you need to know about Zach, follow him on Twitter at @zwoolf.

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5 Comments

  1. Ian
    September 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    Love the cover homage but man that art sucks

  2. September 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    I don’t really care for Ramos’ work either, as Spider-Man always looks strangely proportioned and goofy…

  3. September 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm — Reply

    Wow.Dc comics have Alpha One and Marvel Comics also have their own Alpha.Small world.

    • September 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm — Reply

      Yeah, and proof of how generic and awful Alpha is as a code-name.

  4. September 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm — Reply

    There’s no doubt Marvel will start a new Spidey title to replace this one. Spiderman is one of their cash cows. My fear is that the current creative team will go entirely out the window, along with anything Slott intended storywise down the line. That’s the real problem with replacing creative teams: all the plans have to be scrapped, and we have to wait until the new team gets a handle on writing the book.

    And when the creative team shifts every six months, that can make for a poor reading experience.

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