Saturday, April 7, 2012

Comic Review -- Amazing Spider-Man #683: The Ends of the Earth, part 2 / Dan Slott, Stefano Caselli, and Frank Martin, Jr.

Whenever I look at cover, I basically ask myself two things when determining whether I like it or not: would I wear this on a shirt? And, would I want this for a poster on my wall?  The answer in both cases is a resounding yes for this cover.  It's a dynamic pose of Spidey and the Avengers, along with his new costume.  While I'm still a little iffy on that, I'm pretty impressed with all the new tech he's put in it to combat the Sinister Six.  Overall, a definite thumbs-up.

While Ock has the Sinister Six out stealing artifacts, Spidey and the Avengers crash an emergency gathering of the world's leaders to persuade them not to go along with assisting in the creation of Ock's Octavian Shield.  Spider-Man brashly punches Al Gore during the discussion, revealing him to be the Chameleon in disguise.  Ock sees this, and in response reinforces the effects on his lens, blocking out all harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.  Meanwhile, Mayor Jameson shuts down Horizon Labs, even as they're trying to help the world leaders with new information about Ock's lens.  Ock requests the Chameleon's release, which is granted, with Spidey tagging him with a tracer so the Avengers can follow him.

In the ensuing battle, it looks like the Avengers initially have the overwhelming advantage, but Ock has prepared his men for this.  Using a combination of the stolen artifacts and solid tactics, the Sinister Six manage to down the Avengers handily, with Doctor Octopus forcing Spider-Man to kneel before him in front of his knocked-out allies.  It seems Spidey's given Ock the greatest gift of all: his complete and utter destruction.

Wow.  I have to admit, I was pretty blown away by this issue.  From the Stephen Hawking and Al Gore cameos to actually seeing the tech Peter created to deal with some of his greatest foes, there's plenty in here to enjoy.  I'm on the fence about the new costume, looks-wise, but I do think the forethought Peter's put into its gizmos makes for some really neat and useful ways to combat his foes.

The battle between the Avengers and the Six was pretty awesome too, though I did think Electro's taking down of two Avengers and a Quinjet to be a little much.  Thor shooting him into the sky, however, was pretty funny.  I'm not sure how Ock is able to get his hands on Stark tech from the future, but whatever.  It's not like Cable didn't use a similar strategy to beat Iron Man recently.  He really should look into that.

I'm pretty sure Spidey and friends aren't down and out yet, though.  Black Widow remains unaccounted for, and Silver Sable was talking about keeping an eye on Spidey in this issue as well.  I'm sure we'll see them in the next chapter.  And, of course, I can't wait to see how the crew at Horizon shows up a power-tripping Jonah in the segments to come.

The artwork was really good in this issue, as well.  I enjoyed the cameos of Hawking and Gore, which looked pretty accurate, and was especially surprised when Spidey punched out "Al Gore." The beach-side battle was well portrayed, action-packed, and very vicious in places.  Seeing Rhino impale Thor from behind threw me a little.  Very solid work all around!

Overall, I enjoyed this issue very much.  Compelling story, excellent artwork, and still more to learn and ascertain about Ock's final motives.  A definite must-read for Spider-Man devotees, especially if you're currently collecting.  Highly recommended.

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