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

The Story: Spider-Ock has a lot to day in his first day of his new life, like thwarting evil, a family dinner, getting closer to getting a doctorate and being secretly the target of a bunch of criminals led by an old enemy of Spider-Man.

The Review: This series has now changed once more, which seems to be the norm so far, as it seems to just dodge a lot of our expectations. As soon as us readers were close to figuring out how this could play out, Slott managed to just go in a totally different direction by *Big Spoilers* removing Peter Parker from the whole equation. It was a risky move, yet he seems to be fully willing to play by this direction as can be seen in this issue.

In a smart move, Dan Slott tackles on throughout this book how the book plays out without Peter Parker and his memories, as stuff that had been to Otto’s advantage quickly seems to crumble a bit without his knowledge, which should give a bit of satisfaction for those who felt kind of cheated that Peter is not here anymore. It can be seen in various scenes as we get to see a lot of the supporting cast of Amazing Spider-Man reacting to the new attitude of ‘’Peter’’, like Mary-Jane, Carlie, J. Jonah Jameson and his father. All of these changes being acknowledged does lead to some interesting tidbits, like how Jameson and his father views the new way Spider-Man deals with criminals or how Mary-Jane believes that ‘’Peter’’ is behaving really strangely. It’s all neat stuff that does leave some place for some long-term planning and gives us a good bit of tension and interest on how these situations will develop.

Still, as much as there are ancient elements of the Spider-Man mythos, there are also the new elements brought here to balance with the other stuff, like Anna-Maria and Spider-Ock himself. The scene with Anna and the way Otto deals with criminals are genuinely interesting to see, as those focus on stuff we haven’t seen much in the older Spider-Man mythos. Sure, we may have seen Peter having rather romantic encounter with women before and being absolutely brutal with some of his enemies before, yet those are different thanks to Otto and his arrogant ways.

The opening monologue of Otto in this issue can actually summarize both his appeal and the reservations about this character, as we are shown an arrogant, violent and manipulative person trying to be a hero, yet missing the point of what a hero is entirely. Just the fact that he is such an imperfect and a downright unpleasant character in some places is actually entertaining to see, as we get to see him struggle with his lie and his many obligations while we see situations developing because of choices he has made during the series. For people interested in the long-term potential of this series, this is great stuff.

Unfortunately, while I may praise this issue with its use of older and newer aspects of the Spider-Man mythos, there is a drawback here. While as a piece in a long story this issue does its job pretty well, there’s just not much happening here beside an exploration of several changes in the character of Otto and how he is perceived by those around him. There are some pieces set for future issues that will definitely becoming very interesting, yet it’s pretty much teasing at this point until we hear more from these plot points. It does give hype and hope for the future of the series, yet there’s no actual advancement in the plot like the previous issues. Not a lot of meat on that one.

However, while a lot of the appeal lies in the shenanigans and the chaos brought by Otto as Spider-Man, there is also another person that does give us an excellent reason to go for this title: Ryan Stegman. While he isn’t always the regular artist on this book, it is always a joy to see him handle Slott’s script, as he always brings fun, a wonderful sense of panelling and great and diverse facial expressions and it is very much true in this issue. He also has a very good sense of pacing and scope, which does render the biggest moment bigger and the smaller details, and there’s a lot of those, more relevant to the general tone of the issue.

As good as Stegman is, though, the art wouldn’t be near as gorgeous without Edgar Delgado. What he does here is nothing short of brilliant, as not only does he help set the mood for various scenes by enhancing some of the finer details of both Slott’s script and the work of Stegman, but he does so while showing off his talent. The amount of work that must have been put in the panel featuring a heavy dose of light, like the gang war in the first few pages or the fire near the end of the issue proves that Delgado is one of the greats when it comes to coloring.

The Conclusion: Even though the main plot made close to no progress, Slott still manages to give us a lot of impending plot points that does promise a good future for the series and deals with the repercussions of the last issue, while Ryan Stegman and Edgar Delgado both impress with their work. Overall, a good issue.

Grade: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière