REVIEW: Amazing Spider-Man #698

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While Amazing Spider-Man #700 is still a ways off, writer Dan Slott drops a major bomb in the latest issue that will have your head spinning. I’ve just finished the issue, and the only thing going through my mind right now is, “Dan Slott, what have you done?”

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Richard Elson
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: Having thwarted Doc Ock’s latest scheme to burn the planet and everyone on it, Peter Parker has continued to have a great life, a great job, and even took down two Hobgoblins at the same time. What could be better than that?

THE LAST WISH OF PETER PARKER

For the last couple of issues, readers have seen Doc Ock’s octobots running around the city, so we’ve known the villain was still lurking in the shadows. The last time we saw him, Doctor Octopus was on his death bed at The Raft, the maximum security prison for super-humans. Most probably expected the bad guy to be gone for good, but in perfect villain fashion, Doc Ock wakes up, and starts mumbling something… “Peter Parker.”

There are a lot of reasons for Peter to be in a great mood. He’s got the job, the adventure, the girl, the money – everything a hero should be happy about, but Dan Slott takes Peter Parker’s exuberance and turns him into a cocky sonofabitch. Halfway through the issue, Peter’s constant patting himself on the back becomes tiresome and unbecoming of a hero. Yes, Mr. Slott gives us all the key points in Peter’s history to make this a great jumping on point for new readers, but instead of the lovable nerd that can’t catch a break, we get a self indulgent prick.

It’s only when the Avengers summon Spider-Man to the Raft to have a final one on one with Doc Ock that Peter’s actions and cockiness become clear. And then Doc Ock dies, and quite literally nothing in the Spider-Man universe will be the same again. The big reveal in this issue is a jaw dropper, and Mr. Slott deserves huge praise for handling it so well. I need to now go back to the start of his run and reread it again, just to see if the hints were staring us in the face all along.

SMOOTH ART

I originally was drawn to Amazing Spider-Man in part because of the Humberto Ramos art, and while I will always miss not seeing his work inside the book, I really liked Richard Elson’s style. Mr. Elson’s smooth lines and clean style makes this book feel like it is something from days gone by. Considering there is a large portion of the book that looks back on Peter Parker’s history, the style compliments all parts of the story. Additionally, the colors for the digital version of the book make the panels pop of the screen and really helps to engage the reader.

BOTTOM LINE: MUST BUY!

While many are anticipating the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man, this issue is the must buy issue you will need to pick up today before all of the copies are gone. Dan Slott delivers a story that reads really well, with art from Richard Elson that compliments the shocking moments of the issue. This is a must read book for anyone even remotely familiar with Spider-Man. I was not expecting the big reveal, which really was shocking, and I’m sure readers will be talking about this moment for years to come. All I can say is, “Well done, Marvel. Well done. I hope you have a writer protection program in place for Dan Slott.”

Rating: ★★★★★

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