REVIEW: Amazing Spider-Man #699

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Two issues left and Peter Parker isn’t who he should be. Doc Ock has pulled off his greatest trick yet and if situations aren’t changed Peter won’t be making it into Marvel NOW! Does this penultimate issue of Amazing Spider-Man hold up under the weight of readers’ expectations? Find out in this Major Spoilers review of Amazing Spider-Man #699!


Amazing Spider-Man #699
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Letterer: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Amazing Spider-Man: Doc Ock has hours to live! Well more precisely the body of Doc Ock has hours to live and Peter Parker’s mind is stuck inside! So while Peter is stuck in prison, Ock is out slinging web and stopping crimes. What does this mean for Peter?! Will Doc Ock swing into Marvel NOW?! How did any of this come to be? Which of these two old foes will come out the superior? Let’s dig into it already.

SMOOTH MOVE PARKER

As previously mentioned, Doc Ock does not have long to live. The years of schemes and fights have taken a toll on his body and it’s starting to fail more rapidly. You will not have a chance to forget this since we are reminded multiple times just how serious the condition is. Two big moments are when doctors cut into his chest to pump his heart and when Peter is waiting for his plan to kick in he comments, “I think one of my organs just failed.” Peter is going to need some help.

And help he gets, albeit from a strange source. Not being able to use any of Ock’s bodily functions Peter is reduced to only his brain to escape his horrible situation. So think he does and he realizes that he can access Otto’s past thoughts just as the villain is using Peter’s to function as Spider-Man. When looking back Peter sees Ock’s abusive childhood, the day of his life-altering accident, himself fighting Octavius, and a glimpse of the day Ock almost married Aunt May. Eventually Peter learns just how this body switched occurred (going to have to read the issue for the full reason faithful Spoilerite) and is able to use that info to call together a rag tag team of villains to break him out of his cell.

Dan Slott definitely caught the world with a quick one when last issue revealed that Ock and Spidey had switched bodies. With no details on just how this was pulled off readers were left scratching their heads and scouring past issues for any clues on just how this happened. This issue reveals just how it came to pass and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s clear that Dan has been plotting this story out for quite some time and it shows, as this is one of the most engaging scripts I have read from him. With moments calling back to recent stories and stories of long ago Slott is putting together a superb series wrap-up.

NIGHTMARE IMAGES

Humberto Ramos is back on penciling duties after taking #698 off. Ramos is generally characterized as making characters seem young with big eyes making them easy to look at. This holds true throughout the issue with one exception: Doc Ock. The dying villain wasn’t missed drawn by any means but the image of a sickly, dying man drawn in Ramos style was terrifying. The issue opens up on a two-page spread with doctors attempting to stabilize Otto and seeing his torso was borderline sickening.

Overall the art here is going to come down to your own individual taste. Readers generally really enjoy Humberto’s art or they dislike it very much. I went through this issue multiple times and I couldn’t find much of anything technically wrong. He is consistent and tells a visually engaging story throughout. But then again, I’m a fan of Humberto Ramos art.

BOTTOM LINE: HITTING ON ALL CYLINDERS

When Dan Slott embarks on a little three-issue arc, which he has been doing consistently over the last year, I have always felt that the story ends up slumping a little during the second installment. That theory falls apart with this series wrapping up arc. For as shocking as #698 was, #699 was a clinic on character development and a character driven storyline. Slott showed his hand on how he was been building to this moment for well over a year and it doesn’t disappoint. But I wouldn’t get comfortable yet, issue 700 is sure to be one hell of an issue as Dan wraps up Amazing Spider-Man while laying more ground work for Superior Spider-Man debuting next month. Amazing Spider-Man #699 is one of the best issues of Spider-Man I have read and earns 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★½

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