Josh Wilding Reviews: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700; "Dying Wish: Suicide Run"

Arguably one of the most controversial comic books to ever be released by Marvel, here is my verdict on Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos' Amazing Spider-Man #700 (on sale today) which sees the introduction of a NEW Spidey. Be warned, MAJOR SPOILERS for the landmark issue follow!

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By Josh Wilding - 12/26/2012

With all of the rumours and speculation surrounding Amazing Spider-Man #700, I pretty much got to the point of having already decided that I wouldn't like it. Replacing Peter Parker? WHAT?! How dare Dan Slott even consider the idea! And with a villain no less? Well, just as I was sharpening my pitchfork and finding a torch to light, I actually read the issue and have only one thing to say to the writer: You f*cking nailed it man! During his run on the book, Slott has been responsible for arguably some of the best Spider-Man tales ever (issues #600 and #655 instantly spring to mind), but this may just be his greatest yet. Yes, he "kills" Peter Parker and yes, it is now Otto Octavius who is Spider-Man. There's no getting around just how upsetting and controversial this is sure to be for some fans. However, if you really believe that the writer doesn't have something else up his sleeve, well, you should probably take into account the fact that he has been building up to this particular tale for one hundred issues of the series. When a story is this well told and this cleverly handled, it's time to sit back and let the man tell the story he wants!

There's not a superhero in the world I love more than Spider-Man and that has been the case since I was five years old. I started reading comic books on a monthly basis when I was twelve (around the time Spider-Man came out in cinemas) and all of that baggage makes Amazing Spider-Man #700 a difficult read. Seeing Peter Parker trapped in the dying body of Doctor Octopus as he leads a group of murderous villains in an attempt to defeat Ock isn't easy. Neither is the fact that he eventually makes the decision to throw himself and "Spider-Man" out of Avengers Tower, thereby resulting in him doing something we know that he would never normally let happen ("I was ending your life. That's a line I swore I'd never cross," says Peter). The fact he eventually fails in defeating Ock arguably makes for a far more interesting and poignant read than had he actually succeeded. Issue #700 is a superbly written comic book, and regardless of whether it's seeing the Ock in Peter's body as he interacts with Mary Jane - it's creepy as hell! - or how the villain continues to outsmart the increasingly desperate Spider-Man, this is true edge of your seat stuff. We feel just as panic stricken and desperate as Peter does as the issue goes on and the powerful ending is what ultimately makes this such a standout comic - Slott clearly cares for this character.

As Peter Parker dies in the arms of one of his greatest foes, we get an extremely touching sequence between the two as Ock finally realises the responsibilities that come with being Spider-Man. What this means is that instead of this being as simple as a villain running around causing chaos in Peter's body, Ock has been set on a far more heroic path as he sees what it truly means to be a hero. Of course, his arrogance ALSO means that he intends to be a "Superior" version, so there's no doubting just how interesting a position we're left in as readers. For me, Superior Spider-Man will most definitely be a must-read. So, Slott nails it in terms of writing, but how about the art? Well, Humberto Ramos' style isn't to everyone's liking, but this too is some of his best work. The guy just knows how to draw Spider-Man, and while his Doctor Octopus sometimes looks a little TOO disfigured and monstrous, his character work is spot on and the scenes between Peter and Uncle Ben (not to mention ALL of the action sequences) are just beautifully rendered.

As controversial as it is upsetting, Amazing Spider-Man #700 is not only one great looking comic book, but also a powerful read and undoubtedly one of Slott's best pieces of work yet.




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campblood - 12/26/2012, 3:06 PM
still skeptical
Superior - 12/26/2012, 3:06 PM
At least you see the good in Slott instead of all the bad stuff.
Mrcool210 - 12/26/2012, 3:11 PM
how much did they pay you?
ToTheManInTheColdSweat - 12/26/2012, 3:12 PM
Your loyal minion is confused Mr Josh, 5 stars?

Sixo - 12/26/2012, 3:12 PM
Good review, and well done for making it clear that an unsettling or perhaps even upsetting read does not mean bad storytelling.

Incidentally, I've looked this up on a few different sites and seen no mention of it so far, but I have a possible theory about how they could (eventually) bring Peter back...

Ask yourself... whatever happened to the gold Octobot?

We see it trying to attach to Spider-Man's cranium, then it disappears, presumably still with all of the data about Peter's mind still intact. So where did it go? Although Pete died in Octavius' body, it's possible he's still 'alive' in the Octobot...
Nick56 - 12/26/2012, 3:12 PM
Good art, everything else was awful. I would be fine with Peter dying and passing on the torch however Ock being the new Spidey is a terrible idea. The transition from villain to hero was way to quick. No way am I picking up Superior Spider-Man.
MyInnerDork - 12/26/2012, 3:14 PM
This issue sucked ass and did not give Peter an honorable death. It was not touching at the end because it was cheesy as f*ck and lame.

Here is a review I found that mirrors my thoughts on this terrible, terrible, terrible ending to Peter Parker: http://www.dailysuperhero.com/2012/12/amazing-spider-man-700-is-not-worthy.html
MyInnerDork - 12/26/2012, 3:16 PM
My guess is that Superior Spider-Man has great sales with issue 1 but then FAILS miserably and gets canceled. There is nothing superior about it except it will be a superior failure.
charlie2094 - 12/26/2012, 3:26 PM
I'm looking forward to reading this. I usually read digitally, but for this issue (being 700, oversized etc) I have actually ordered it, so should have it in the next few days. I avoided the review and went to the 5* summary! Glad to see you don't hate it as much as everyone else has already decided they do.

I'm all ready for change, the idea of a villain living in the body of a hero and trying to change is interesting, and if I want to read about Parker, there's 1000's of issues already out there, and far more to come.
wickedlester - 12/26/2012, 3:27 PM
The only reason to buy the first issue is for monetary reasons. Every comic fan in the world should boycott the new direction. Stupid.
MrDonut - 12/26/2012, 3:29 PM
I thought it was shit, I've like a fair bit of Slott's run but this was just crap... If it was a gradual change in Ock becoming a better person it might be understandable and a little bit more acceptable but the fact that his change of heart was so last minute and Pete got killed off in such a poor way just frustrates me beyond belief... The least Slott should've done is kept Pete alive in Ock or via that robot thing, making him darker as he becomes a 'villain' to Ock's Spider-Man... If it was done like that it wouldn't feel so final (yes I know comic book deaths are hardly permanent) but the way in which he died seemed like such a poor and stiff sen off that I find it hard of making him come back without the story being complete shit... I hope Ock Spidey gets his ass handed to him and Daredevil (with his ability to catch out liars) figures it out and partakes in beating the shit out of him!
CPIXLEY - 12/26/2012, 3:35 PM
I really enjoyed it.
JordanKing - 12/26/2012, 3:35 PM
I'm really growing to this new Superior Spider-man. I always found Doc Ock's diologue to be mustache-twirling cheesy but in a good way.

HOWEVER, I do not like the sound of him getting back with MJ. If it does indeed head in the direction I think it is, and they do get back together with her thinking its really Peter; then i can't support the book.
juansam26 - 12/26/2012, 3:42 PM
No you idiots. If you read Avenging Spider-Man after you would've seen that his change IS gradual. He's not instantly mr. good guy.
juansam26 - 12/26/2012, 3:42 PM
Yeah guys, God forbid Josh has an opinion of his own.
spiderclone - 12/26/2012, 3:55 PM
hated it, nuff said
HelaGood - 12/26/2012, 3:57 PM
great review, @Josh!
MarsivNayr - 12/26/2012, 3:58 PM
Hehe... Man, Josh; so much hate in here. Golly. 5 stars is right on the money.
Slider13 - 12/26/2012, 4:03 PM
I feel cheated, that was a lousy way to kill off Peter Parker. I'll never look @ the character the same way again. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
KeefNCookies - 12/26/2012, 4:05 PM
"...take into account the fact that he has been building up to this particular tale for one hundred issues of the series. When a story is this well told and this cleverly handled ..."
Are you kidding me?! I wont even get into how there was no sense of building up to this. There are no words for what a joke this is. I certainly wont be reading any more of your reviews... good God, its ridiculous.
GodzillaKart - 12/26/2012, 4:05 PM
I enjoyed the review, Josh.

I still think you're a bit crazy with the five stars, but good review.
Xandera - 12/26/2012, 4:07 PM
This is probably the DUMBEST idea I have ever heard...
I have no problem with Doc Ock wanting to be a hero, but replacing Peter Parker with him is just awful...
This sucks... HARDCOVER!!!!!
Xandera - 12/26/2012, 4:17 PM
I'm not going to knock your review Josh, it was very well done. However, I have to admit that I am surprised by your acceptance of this. Much like myself, you are a huge fan of the original Spider-man, Peter Parker. I thought you would be furious by this.
lapress - 12/26/2012, 4:19 PM
I liked the J.M DeMatteis story better than the other two within the issue. The main story felt like an episode of a show that realized it was ending, like scooby doo, so Doc Ock had to realize he had to be a good guy. I will now go reenact Gwen Stacy's death.
Wildaniel - 12/26/2012, 4:22 PM
LOL Josh I thought you would be made about 616 Peter/Spiderman dying.

I cant wait for Peter to come back. You know no one stays dead in comics, except for Uncle Ben, lol.
jimoakley666 - 12/26/2012, 4:31 PM
Nope. Still not interested.
lapress - 12/26/2012, 4:32 PM
Also: "Daredevil admits Spider-Man has some strange power that prevents his heightened senses from identifying Spider-Man's real identity" issue 600. I guess there is some proof that he planned an event where Spiderman's identity would be put into question Dan Slott, but it was not handled in a way that would seem like he knew what he was/is doing.
fawfulmark2 - 12/26/2012, 4:35 PM
so question for you lot: is this the biggest Bullshit to happen to Spider-man since One More Day?
MJPETTY7 - 12/26/2012, 4:40 PM
I love Spider-Man, and Slott's work until this final arc has been very VERY good, but I absolutely ABHORRED this issue. A TERRIBLE send off for the last 700 issues of ASM. The ONLY good stuff was the Peter-in-Heaven scene towards the beginning. But it went all downhill from there. Plus, Ock's "sudden" personality change? Really? It makes absolutely no sense. I cannot stand this. At least Ultimate Spider-Man gave Peter a GOOD send-off, this just sucked. I will NOT be picking up another Spider-Man comic until good ole Peter Parker returns.

Can't wait for Amazing Spider-Man 2!!!!
MJPETTY7 - 12/26/2012, 4:41 PM
"@fawfulmark2, this makes One More Day look like The Dark Knight Returns." - PeterDarker

Well said!
Wildaniel - 12/26/2012, 4:41 PM
It was alright, a little too long, lol. I think I will read Superior Spiderman #1 and see how it goes.
thorne316 - 12/26/2012, 4:49 PM
Not sure if anyone has read AVENGING SPIDERMAN 15.1 which is the direct after Amazing Spiderman #700 story but about halfway through in the top left panel DocOck Parker walks right by what he calls fat hippy and bald kid.

The bald kid says "Yeah, and I think I found a way to actually catch a ghost and hold it indefinitely"

To me that shows exactly how Peter Parkers gonna be coming back somewhere down the road.
jasonicus - 12/26/2012, 4:50 PM
The book itself wasn't terrible but this whole idea is so no.
FlixMentallo21 - 12/26/2012, 4:53 PM
I'm sorry, but on the whole, the decision to greenlight a story with a reused gimmick as such just doesn't feel right, and should've been shot down. Slott, though he is a nice guy (I've met him), should've reconsidered. I think of the thought process when writing this story was something along the lines of this:
Xandera - 12/26/2012, 4:54 PM
@thorne316 I don't think anybody is going to dispute that Peter will return someday. That is the wayof the comic book. The people that are upset over this issue simply hated the death and the replacement of Peter with Doc Ock.
MidNightWind - 12/26/2012, 4:54 PM
You know what? I don't care anymore. spider-man may have his moments but his stories aren't terribly that interesting to me. I have to admit that spider-man isn't my favorite character so whatever happened to him I just don't care anymore. I've tried to like him but it's just not worth it anymore.
JoshWilding - 12/26/2012, 4:59 PM
I'm as upset and angry as anyone about Peter Parker being "killed", but we all know it's not permanent (look how quickly Captain America came back), so let's just give this new status quo a chance...for now, it definitely means some interesting stories and Slott really did handle this issue brilliantly. Pete will be back by the time the new movie is released in 2014. :)
Tevii - 12/26/2012, 5:19 PM
I say... Eh whatever.... Peter Parker will be back as Spider-Man in no time. I guess try to enjoy it for as best you can while it lasts
ThatFan - 12/26/2012, 5:24 PM
I can accept this ending. Even though, I don't like that its an ending.
Nivekian - 12/26/2012, 5:30 PM
Hmm, I hope you are getting some Marvel exclusives after this "Kneel before Zod" job.
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