Spider-Man, Silver Sable, and Black Widow have taken out Sandman, but the odds are even more stacked against them. Doc Ock has turned the world against the heroes, stepped up production of the parts for his lenses, and called out super-villains to help defend his factories. Even S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to arrest them after they defeat the Rhino in North Korea. Only Horizon Labs is working along with them, and Spider-Man reluctantly allows Sable to torture Sandman to get more information about Doc Ock's plans. The remaining members of the Sinister Six, meanwhile, wonder if they should simply take the money Ock got for them and go their separate ways, but decide to remain with Ock when he demands they see the mission through to the end.
Spider-Man makes a counter-call to any and all superheroes who are willing to trust him, pleading for assistance in hindering Ock's plans, to which there are a number of responses across the world. He and his team tackle a base in Symkaria, where they find a wealth of bad news: the factory is abandoned, Ock's satellites are finished, and he is about to implement his plan, which is not the friendly one he advertised to the rest of the world. Bitter at his impending demise, Ock uses the satellites to deep-fry the world like he did in his first demonstration, starting with the portion that's currently facing the sun. He intends to take the world with him when he dies.
Well, I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that Peter turns out to be right about Octavius, but I can't say I'm very surprised about it. Doc Ock has typically been a very spiteful and petty character (though there have been exceptions to this depiction), and I would imagine having to finally face down the endless maw of his impending death wouldn't do much to improve his disposition. I think Slott took a good handle of the reins with this portrayal of him, and has set up a denouement that makes me want to see how Spidey can possibly beat him this time around.
I also like the scale on which Spider-Man is set in opposition to the world, thanks to Ock's manipulations. He, Sable, and Black Widow are alone, with only Horizon Labs and a handful of heroes across the world agreeing to trust and help them. It really ramps up the drama and the action, forcing Spidey to desparate actions like "acid-boarding" Sandman for information and using a pretty vicious detonation against Rhino. Ock has clearly thought about the lengths to which he must go to finally beat Spider-Man, and at present, it looks like he's succeeding.
|You REALLY think he didn't kiss|
her back? (from ASM 679)
Artistically, things continue to look good, though I do wonder about some of the panels. It seems some of the details get minimized or glossed over as Humberto Ramos continues to churn out page upon page upon page during this run. It's not enough to make the issue look bad, though perhaps not as good as other issues I've seen leading up to this one. Note to Marvel: please don't overburden your artists on your flagship titles.
Overall, this has been a good story, and I'm eager to see how it ends. I'm not sure how much is left, but it feels like we're approaching the endgame soon--if not next issue, then the one after. The story is compelling, and the artwork is good. Highly recommended.