THIS REVIEW CONTAINS ALL SORTS OF MAJOR SPOILERS.
The Amazing Spider-Man #698, written by Dan Slott and penciled by Richard Elson, starts out with Spider-Man taking on The Destructor, who is just a bluffer (new comic book term for someone that makes a costume at home and claims to be a super villain). Spider-Man takes him out with one punch to the jaw. I do have to say that The Destructor’s costume was very well done for being homemade (Richard Elson has wasted an awesomely creative villainous costume on a nobody…sighhh).
Spider-man then gets a call from his fellow Avengers. His awkwardness still continues to shine through in this chapter, as he says, “I need you to take me over to the raft…I’m an Avenger.” It sounds completely nerdy, Peter. Captain America tells Spidey that Doc Ock is dying, and is asking for Peter Parker. The Avengers escort Spider-man to see Doc Ock. Richard Elson has given Doc Ock a very grim and meek look to the character. He is hooked up to a bunch of machines, with wires all over the place and is even drooling slightly.
Spider-Man goes into Doc’s room, alone, without the Avengers. He takes off his Spider-Man mask to reveal to Doc Ock that he is Peter Parker. It appears as though Doc Ock swaps minds with Spider-Man, so that the real Peter Parker is stuck inside Dr. Otto Octavius, while Doc Ock moves his mind to Spider-Man. Now, Peter Parker is stuck inside of the dying Doc Ock’s body! They say their goodbyes, and then Doc Ock flatlines. This means that Peter Parker’s mind has died with Octavius. Spider-Man is asked by Captain America if he is okay. Spider-Man responds that he won’t waste another thought about it (it is Octavius inhabiting Spider-Man, at this point).
So, in this chapter of The Amazing Spider-Man, we see the bitter death of Peter Parker’s mind at the hands of Doctor Octopus a.k.a Dr. Otto Octavius. Octavius made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 in July of 1963, and has been a prominent villain throughout the years. Out of Spidey’s numerous villains, he can relate most to Doc Ock, as he was also an inventor and scientist. Slott has written a gripping new storyline that is leaving Spidey fans wanting more and Elson has yet again drawn Slott’s ideas wonderfully onto paper. Colorful, crisp and very stylized is Elson’s style and he has definitely achieved it with this issue.
There are only two more issues of the classic The Amazing Spider-Man series before it is replaced by The Superior Spider-Man next month. After issue #700 in December, The Amazing Spider-Man will be no more. At this point, readers are unsure whether or not Slott will kill off Spider-Man entirely at the end of the series. We are at a very exciting moment in Spider-Man comics, as we truly don’t know where the comic series is going now. Octavius is now in control of Spider-Man, making Spider-Man evil. Slott could ruin Spider-Man in the public eye, thereby defeating Spider-Man’s appeal to the masses and basically banning Spidey from dawning the mask. This chapter is a prelude to the new “Dying Wish” storylines of Spider-Man.
Rumor has it that The Superior Spider-Man will continue with a new Spider-Man not portrayed by Peter Parker, but a new man. Dan Slott has so many fans of the series upset that he has actually gone into hiding after writing these next few issues that are being released. While it is probably a marketing ploy to sell more copies, I have no doubt in my mind that the next three issues of Spider-Man comic books will change the face of the superhero forever.