Artist: Ryan Stegman
I've been a Spider-Man fan all my life, and along with many Spider-Man fans I have been upset with recent events. I have however came into this series trying to have as open a mind as possible, but I'm still finding it hard to like it.
This issue sees Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus) trying to work out how to be Spider-Man whilst attempting to date Mary Jane, whilst the ghost of Peter Parker follows him.
This wasn't a bad issue, but far from brilliant. Marvel, and Dan Slott have taken a huge gamble with this type of story, and so far it's not worked out, but that's my opinion, and it is still early days. Although I'm upset when any of my favorite characters die, I haven't been as upset as I am now. It's more with who's replaced Peter, as although Steve Rogers is the best Captain America, and Bruce Wayne the best Batman, I didn't mind it when Bucky Barnes, and Dick Grayson replaced them, as they were a good choice. It's not just the fact these characters are heroes, as I also liked Daken when he temporally replaced Wolverine. The only good thing about Doc Ock being Spider-Man is that it will keep people interested, and has the potential for good stories, even if it's not shown it so far. Besides that, this issues story wasn't that good, as despite liking the initial concept, it could have been handled a lot better, as it felt like a filler issue.
Once again Ryan Stegman produces some amazing artwork. I was really looking forward to him joining this series as I've loved his work in the past, mainly on Scarlet Spider, and Fantastic Four. Although some of the extras in crowds look a bit awkward, the main art is fabulous, and he really puts a lot of detail into his art. Although he didn't have many occasions to show quite how amazing his art can be, he did show it in a couple of sequences. The thing I liked most about Stegman's art was how he showed the difference between ghost Peter, and Doc Ock in Peter's body, as Doc Ock still carries some physical traits, as well as his character ones.
The thing I liked most about this issue was that the ghost of Peter Parker was involved. When I saw the end of last issue, and that Peter wasn't out of the picture completely I was very happy. However at the same time, after reading this issue I still think that he could have been used better. The last issue gave the impression that Peter could intervene in Doc Ock's actions, whereas in this issue Doc Ock didn't even know he was there, let alone get affected by him. I think it would have been a much better idea if Doc Ock could actually hear or see the ghost of Peter, as it would act as a conscious, and remind him of his promise. Although I liked ghost Peter's reactions to Doc Ock's acts, it didn't feel as good, cause he felt like an observer, and didn't really have any use.
The thing I disliked most was MJ. I like the character, and have always wanted her to her and Peter to get back together, but not this way. Despite the fact it's Doc Ock in Pete's body I'm surprised that MJ didn't know that something was wrong with Peter. Okay the issue did show that she noticed that he was acting differently, but she should have known that it wasn't Peter, especially considering all the weird stuff she's seen through the years. I also didn't like the fact that Doc Ock was nothing but an old perv in this issue. Okay it's understandable that an older person in a younger body, who has the chance to date a good looking women would take advantage of that, but come on this is taking it too far. The only thing good with this sequence is that it shows that Doc Ock hasn't changed that much, and that despite acting a hero, he's still a villain at heart.
The other thing I din't like was the Vulture goons making an appearance, as it felt very forced, and could have been kept for a later issue. It also could have made for a decent story, but involving it in this issue would make a possible further story less of a surprise.
The only other thing that I really liked in this issue was Carlie Cooper appearance, and what this holds for the future of this series. Although she doesn't have a huge appearance in this issue, it does show that she's still thinking of what Doc Ock (or rather Peter in Doc Ock's body) told her in The Amazing Spider-Man #700. It hold a promising future for the series, and I hope it is used to it's full advantage, as with someone like Carlie investigating this it should be interesting.
This was a decent issue, but the series isn't winning me over so far. I'd only recommend this issue to die hard Spidey fans who don't want to miss an issue, but would still caution them. I'd also caution newer readers, as although some of them would like this issue, others wouldn't, and it's very much a fifty fifty gamble. I do however hope that this series gets better, and that Spider-Man is once more a brilliant series, even if it is Doc Ock.