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‘Avenging Spider-Man # 15.1’ Comic Review

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SPOILERS

Surprised comic retailers and fans just came together with a collective “What?” when the grossly under-ordered 15.1 made its way to shelves across America. If you’ve read The Amazing Spider-Man # 700, then you know our beloved wallcrawler is dead. Trapped in the deteriorating body of his arch nemesis, Pete gave a valiant fight to restore order, even dying for three minutes (see Heavenly flashback in # 700), tricking us into thinking he would live. Sadly, no, he does not. Serving as a phenomenal epilogue to # 700, Avenging Spider-Man gives us a first taste of Doc Ock as the new and improved, Superior Spider-Man. I was excited before reading, now I’m effing thrilled for the new title.

In this bizarre and ironic issue, we’re treated to see just how much Ock loves his new body. Towing the line between striving for Pete’s inherent good, and battling his own lunatic ego, Ock is pouring into the red and blue tights like liquid gold. I can’t take my eyes off this amazing transition. Every Spidey fan was apprehensive (to put it mildly – see death threats) when we learned this insidious genius was claiming the role of Spider-Man. Now that Ock is in the driver’s seat, we’re given the first glimpse of what he’s going to do different – how he’s going to take Peter’s acceptable intellect and inject his tier one genius into his nearly unbeatable foe. Ock loves his new body, perhaps to a fault. He’s enthralled by the raw power and motivation, but not content to live in Pete’s shadow. He scoffs at the fact that Peter never procured adamantium to fashion real webshooters.

Besides the narrative provided by Ock. we see his new life play out as he interacts with coworkers and even MJ. Being rude to the guys at Horizon is one thing, but this Mary Jane thing is so wrong. It’s basically rape; something I now associate with Spider-Man – not to mention the base creepiness of the relationship. It bothers me even more that Ock knows he has this smoking hot redhead at his disposal. Yeah, who wouldn’t, right? Pete is applauded at times, derided the next, as Ock assimilates to his new reality. Ock is creating a new and improved suit, inventing new gadgets as he goes, sticking to the superior theme. Ock travels to one of his old labs where he’s forced to fight his own security system. His former fat and chinless face taunts from a pre-recorded video, helping cement Ock’s opinion of his schlocky and cliche super villain motif.

This is such a strange departure from anything Spidey fans have ever experienced. The whole body swap trick has been played out in geek culture since the idea was first utilized. Somehow, Slott makes this not only fresh, but nearly addictive. I can’t remember the last time I read something so focused and well-planned. Slott is hailed as a savior to the once failing hero, pumping up sales and fanboy love in one fell swoop. Death threats notwithstanding, this might be the best idea Marvel has pulled off in 25 years. It’s nearly impossible to keep heroes fresh when you rack up 500 + issues of one title. So, there’s the trick – completely buck the industry and kill the hero and the title. I’m not sure when and where Peter will show up again, but you know already that it’s going to fucking rule.

Dan, if you come across this humble review – I salute you. Spider-Man was my first favorite comic hero, and I’m stupefied how you’ve simultaneously revived and “destroyed” The Amazing Spider-Man. I have faith that whatever you have in store for us will be bad ass. That’s not a fanboy statement, but a statement of deserved faith. Salute.

Superior Spider-Man debuts on 1/9. Sploosh.

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About Fister Roboto (2239 Articles)
Just ring it up with the dong tea...

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