By: Dan Slott (Writer), Ryan Stegman (Artist), Edgar Delgado (Colorist)

*Spoiler alert*

The Story: Spider-Ock takes on the new Sinister Six formed by Boomerang.

The Review: So here we are, after the controversial 700th issue of Amazing Spider-Man, with this new status quo. For those who don’t yet know what has actually happened to Peter Parker, here’s the short version: Otto Octavius is now in Peter Parker body’s after promising to be Spider-Man from now on.

This decision, story wise, is ripe with potential, as we have a new point of view on how Peter Parker lives his whole life, thanks to the former villain. Indeed, Dan Slott takes full advantage to show that Otto is a very different person than Peter Parker. He reacts differently to the supporting cast and he has a much more tactical mind when it comes to being Spider-Man. However, he also is manipulative, violent, arrogant and much more self-centered, which results in him being a rather unlikeable character.

It is very hard to root for Otto here, since he is much more villainous than the actual new Sinister Six introduced in this issue, considering what he’s doing with the body of Peter Parker. I am pretty sure Dan Slott is intending for us to completely dislike Spider-Ock, but succeeding in this task does not make him very enjoyable to read so far. There are close to no connections the reader can make to sympathize with him as a character. Perhaps in the long run there will be a further exploration of his personality, but as an introduction to him, this does not make for a great experience.

What makes this worthwhile to read, however, are the actions and the reactions of the supporting cast and the antagonists. Most characters that are of importance in this issue seem to react differently to Spider-Ock, which makes for some interesting scenes, be it with Max Modell seeing that he has requested some very dangerous equipment and materials or Mary-Jane puzzled that he seems to be drinking alcohol. Those little scenes makes us wonder just how are people going to react to this new Peter Parker, as Dan Slott is planting seeds for further storylines or changes to the status quo implemented in the ancient title.

As for the antagonists, all these little changes can be seen in the actions scenes of this issue, as Spider-Ock tries to fight them in the traditional Parker way, only for him to fail. During that scene, he does some much more violent moves and careful planning, only to fail as he is a planner, not a fighter. This can be seen in the second action scene where we can see how Spider-Ock can defeat anyone with science and careful planning. This lead, however, to one of the more brutal scene in the comic, one that could have ended the comic on a rather odd note, yet didn’t. The very last page of the comic is very strong, as it indicates the direction, tone and a very pleasant surprise that shows that Dan Slott does indeed know what he is doing with that rather odd change in the status quo.

What’s also very pleasant about this issue would be Ryan Stegman’s work. His characters are very evocative in their poses and their facial expressions, yet his true strength lie in all the little details he adds, be it the heavy smoke of Wheelman or the sparks from Speed Demon. All those little touches truly add to the experience, creating panels full of life that deserves to be analysed. I especially love his panel layout. Another person worthy of praise would be colorist Edgar Delgado, who does a good job with the various lighting effects and the contrast between several panels, such as the one that shows what Spider-Ock did to prepare himself against the new Sinister Six.

The Conclusion: As a first issue, it does a good job at setting a direction, a tone and some nice action. I do believe that Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman can tell some truly terrific stories with Spider-Ock, yet he has a lot of work to do if the main character continues to be so unlikeable.

Grade: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière

Some Musing: As a fan of Jeff Parker run on Thunderbolts, I was very afraid for Boomerang near the end of the issue, as he was one of my favourites from his terrific run on the title.