Artist: Ryan Stegman
I still don't know what to make of this series, as it started decent, had a bad second issue, but is back to decent this time. I hope that this series will find it's feet, and keep to a certain level of quality, and that it makes the best out of what I personally feel is a bad situation.
This issue sees the new Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus) trying to convert Vulture into being good, whilst original Spider-Man, Peter Parker's ghost is still close by.
This was a very good issue, and probably the best in the series so far, although that doesn't say too much. Forgetting the terrible issue from last week this issue is very fun and Dan Slott is starting to draw my interest, and thankfully it's in the right direction. I still don't think that I will be won over with Doc Ock being Spider-Man, but I do hope that he uses the ghost of Peter, and the doubt about Doc Ock's actions right, and it looks like it is. I liked how Slott continued the minor appearance from Vulture's crew in the last issue into this, making the appearance in last issue feel more justified.
Ryan Stegman continues to amaze me with his brilliant artwork, and I'm very glad that he's working on this series. As people that have read my previous Spidey reviews will know, I've been looking forward to Stegman working on this series, and I don't think I've been as excited to see an artist working on a Spidey book before, although to be fair I've only been collecting new material for three years. His artwork is simply phenomenal, and the detail in his art is brilliant. I also love the emotion that he puts into the characters, as it's not easy to show emotion on a character that wears a mask for most of the issue, but Stegman finds a way. The dramatic flair in his art is also tremendous, and there are times that it feels like watching a movie.
I knew from last issue that the Vulture would pot up sooner or later, and it's probably better that it's happened sooner. I've never been the biggest fan of Vulture as a villain, but at the same time he has been involved in some interesting story arcs. This time however was probably one of the more interesting Vulture stories, as it brought out something in Doc Ock that hasn't been seen before, or at least in the manner that this issue shows it, and it really gives more insight to his character. I won't say exactly what happened but it was a very interesting turn of events, and it's been the thing that has interested me the most about Doc Ock being Spider-Man so far. I hope that we see some more revelations from Doc Ock in this series, as it will make the series interesting, and may actually win me over slightly (although I still can't wait till Peter is Spidey again).
This also had a double effect, as it showed Peter's ghost getting dragged into Doc Ock's memories. Again I won't talk about the actual events as not to spoil the issue, but it also added an interesting feel to the issue, and like my previous statement it also shone some light on Doc Ock's characteristics. At the same time I still don't think that Peter's ghost is being handled in the best way, as he's really nothing more than a bystander, not being able to get involved (or at least the last couple of issues have shown this), and I can't help but think that it would be much better if he could, acting like a conscious.
It was also interesting to see that Carlie Cooper continued to notice the change in Peter's actions. There has to be some notion throughout the Marvel Universe that Peter has changed or it wouldn't be as effective, and I see this being a big turning point for this series, I only hope that I'm right.
I'll finish of this review by talking about the start of this issue, and the Spidey Signal. When I first spotted it on the first page I couldn't help but think that Slott has made a terrible decision, but it quickly showed that it was though out. I'm also a huge Batman fan I would be a moron if I missed the reference, and although it slightly insulted Batman it did give me a small laugh, and further on in the issue came into use, showing that Doc Ock is far from being a saint.
A bad issue followed by a good one. Although this series hasn't been consistent, and is far from perfect, it is finally heading in the right direction, and I hope it gets even better, as I am a huge Spidey fan and hate seeing him used poorly. I would recommend this issue, as it's really fun and a good place for newer readers to jump on.