After the “One More Day” debacle a year and a half ago Amazing Spider-Man has become a lot stronger read over the past six months. There have been some average stories but, overall, Amazing Spider-Man does feel like it is returning to form.
The last story arc, “American Son,” was one of the best Spider-Man stories we have had in a while and was a great way to set-up anniversary issue with Amazing Spider-Man #600. With over a hundred pages of new content Amazing Spider-Man #600 should be a fun read.
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Klaus Janson
Colorist: Dean White
Story: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Doctor Octopus talking to a Dr. Louis recounting the amount of times he has suffered a concussion. He says the first time he suffered a concussion was back in his first encounter with Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #3). He then recounts other instances with Captain America, Hammerhead, Ultron, Daredevil, and Sandman and says in total he has had 86 separate case of a concussion.
Dr. Louis explains to him that all the radiation he has been exposed to due to what caused his arms to originally attach to him has caused his system not to recover from all the concussions he has suffered and that he has at most 18 months before something happens, but is cut off by Doc Ock before she reveals what. Doc Ock lashes out at her saying he will not go away being a nothing and he will make it so no one ever forgets his name.
Four months later we see Spider-Man and Daredevil are fighting some villains at The Bar with No Name. One of the villains, Boomerang, throws one of his boomerangs at Spider-Man who uses his webs to throw it back at him. Blindside then grabs Daredevil thinking he will be able to blind him but is thrown through the bar window for his efforts. The cops arrive on the scene which causes all the villains in the bar to make their escape, among them is Hydroman who escapes through a toilet.
Spider-Man and Daredevil are shown on the roof handing over all of the bad guys to Captain Watanabe and the cops. Deke, the bar owner, starts screaming at Capt. Watanabe for working with Spider-Man and Daredevil, who trashed his bar. Capt. Watanabe tells Deke he was running a bar that was a secret location for villains to come to and that he does not have a liquor license leaving him speechless.
Spider-Man and Daredevil start swinging across the city talking about how they just shutdown the supervillain hang out. Spider-Man addresses Daredevil by his name and says it is not fair that he knows Daredevil’s real identity of Matt Murdock but he does not know who Spider-Man is. Daredevil tells Spider-Man to stop and not to reveal his identity to him.
Over at the Front Line Ben is telling all of his reporters that if he sees another front page with J. Jonah Jameson on the cover he is going to lose it. Peter then walks in telling Ben he has his front page news item: Spider-Man and Daredevil taking down the Bar with No Name. Ben says he appreciates it but that Peter should be at his Aunt May’s rehearsal dinner. Peter says he’ll be there in no time.
Peter the boards a stuffed subway thinking to himself that he should have just put on the Spider-Man costume and swung to the dinner.
Over at the Jay and May’s rehearsal dinner both Jay and May are thanking their guest for coming. As they talk to the Robertsons and Norah Peter finally makes it making the excuse he had to make a stop at the paper which Norah calls him out on. Randy tells Pete good luck getting himself out of this one but May is quick to forgive him as is Jay. Jay then walks off saying he has somethings to do. May tells Peter how hard everything has been on Jay and that she will need Peter to be there to walk her down the aisle. Peter says he would never miss it and that he will always be there for Aunt May.
We cut to various parts of New York City were Doc Ock is commanding his octobots to hack into various technological items: street lights, taxis computers, and telephones. Doc Ock puts on a helmet that relays to all the information in his head into the various octobots. Before he can give his octobots further orders he sees a video of Spider-Man swinging through the city and immediately destroys that TV screen in anger.
He then sees the wedding announcement of Jay and May’s wedding. He starts thinking back on what life could have been with her (Doc Ock and Aunt May almost get married way back in Amazing Spider-Man #131). Doc Ock then gets out of his moment of lapse saying he can’t waste time.
Over at Aunt May’s house Peter answers the phone and is told that the reception hall for Jay and May’s wedding got double booked. The bad news just keeps coming as May and everyone receives calls saying the catering service has been shutdown, the priest is no longer certified to perform the ceremony, and that Jay has to provide the records from his previous marriage which he does not have. May starts worrying about everything so Jay decides he has to go to what he thinks is the source of the problems.
Over at Bryant Park Mayor J. Jonah Jameson is holding a press conference for his next brilliant idea swimsuit models of NYC (JJJ has my vote for re-election). Norah questions JJJ’s decision with the mayor saying he has all the best intentions of the city with this decision. Jay comes in and calls his son selfish. He tells his son to stop sabotaging his wedding. Jay walks away telling his son that he may be the mayor of the city but he is not old enough that he can’t be put across his father’s knee. (Damn! Old JJJ just got punked by his own father in front the press. Not good for the political image.)
A few hours later Jay enters his apartment at Atlas Towers were he says he will make thinks right for the wedding. He decides to de-stress by golfing. As he picks up his golf clubs he is attacked by octobots.
Over at Flushing Cemetery May is at Ben’s grave talking to her deceased husband and informing him she met a good man and she is getting married. She tells Ben that she is starting to have doubts about the wedding and she just needs a sign that she should go through with the wedding.
The scene switches to Peter’s apartment where he is talking to Carlie on the phone and asking if she wants to go to the wedding together. As Carlie is about to accept May calls Peter telling him she has a terrible feeling and that she can’t reach Jay anywhere. Peter tells May he will go find him and then asks Carlie, who was on hold, if she would meet him at Jay’s apartment.
Peter then swings off into the city as Spider-Man trying to reach Jay’s apartment. His spider-sense starts acting up and is attacked from a utility pole. As he tries to recover Spider-Man is attacked by all sorts of technological devices: utility poles, light posts, cars and fire hydrants.
Over at Atlas Towers Carlie is walking towards Jay’s apartment building when she spots Norah trying to break into his apartment. Carlie asks Norah what she is doing and Norah tells her she came to question Jay on what he said at the park and his neighbors told her they heard weird noices coming from his apartment. They enter Jay’s apartment to see that it is a mess and Carlie inspects a golf club that has a dead octobot embedded onto it.
The scene switches over to Doc Ock’s secret location where he initiates his Master Planner Program. Doc Ock then runs a simulated image of his old appearance onto every TV, cell phone, and other electronic devices to announce that he has control of every mechanism in New York City.
Mayor Jameson ask his adviser if Doc Ock can actually do that. His advisor asks the mayor if he wants him to call in the guard. Jameson thinking of the NYC budget says they can’t be hasty.
At the same time Spider-Man continues to swing through the city as he sees Doc Ock’s message and is again attacked by electricity. Spider-Man recovers and clings onto a building where he sees all of the cities lights exploding.
Spider-Man’s spider-sense starts going off as he looks up to see a window washer’s platform about to fall on him. He jumps out off the way and saves the window washer before the platform
Spider-Man starts telling himself how he wants to help but if he does things will only get worse. That is when the Secret/New Avengers show and tell Spider-Man they will handle it. Spider-Man starts doing his typical banter calling the team Spidey Ladies Auxiliary when Ronan corrects him and says “How many times we gotta tell you, webs? We’re the Avengers!”
Spider-Man in his typical annoying self says there is already a team calling themselves the Avengers. Ronin retorts by saying they are the real Avengers. Ronan then ask the team why they have not kicked out Spider-Man yet and ask Wolverine that he listens to him.
Wolverine says it is because Spider-Man knows he will pop a claw in his ass. Wolverine tells Spider-Man to scram. Spider-Man asks if he is still on the team and Wolverine says yes and that he has to leave. Spider-Man tries to get in another comment in but Wolverine says “Pop a claw in your ass.” With that Spider-Man leaves telling the team to text him. (Okay I know I shouldn’t have but I did laugh at the Wolverine’s threat to Spider-Man.)
Spider-Man’s cell starts ringing and it is Carlie telling Peter that she is with Norah and that they think they finally found were Jay is. Carlie says she is using the tracking device she used back in the Spider-Tracer killers case to track down some spider-like devices. Before Peter can question Carlie more about where they are Carlie and Norah are attacked by some octobots.
Spider-Man’s spider-sense starts going off and he is able to dodge an attack from a construction crane. Spider-Man then figures out that there is one place not even Doc Ock could control: The Baxter Building.
Over at the Baxter Building Mr. Fantastic with the help from his team are building a device that can override Doc Ock’s signal. Spider-Man then shows up asking the Fantastic Four for help. Susan tells Johnny to go see what Peter needs.
Johnny tells Peter they are a bit busy. Peter tells Johnny that he needs there help to trace a phone call from his phone as there are some girls in danger. Johnny says why didn’t he say so earlier.
The scene shifts to Doc Ock’s secret base were Carlie and Norah are being held captive. Both Carlie and Norah introduce themselves to Doc Ock who tells them to shut up. Doc Ock tells the girls that the only reason they were captured is because the octobots classified them as threats to his plans. He then reveals his new look to the girls and welcomes them to “The World of Doctor Octopus.”
The scene shifts to Spider-Man and Johnny flying over NYC in the Fantasticar. They land in the location were Carlie’s cell was traced to and see the scanner Carlie was using earlier on the ground. Spider-Man tells Johnny that they’ll use the scanner to find Doc Ock’s location.
They quickly find Doc Ock’s secret base and rip open the door not waiting for anyone to open it. As the two of them head over to Doc Ock’s location Spider-Man’s spider-sense goes off and they turn around to see Jay, Carlie, and Norah each with Doc Ock arms.
Spider-Man and Human Torch do their best to dodge the attacks from all the arms and help the three captives out. After a bit of a struggle Spider-Man and Human Torch are able to disable the arms and rescue Jay, Carlie and Norah. Spider-Man tells Johnny to take the Jay and girls out to safety while he deals with Doc Ock.
We then see that Doc Ock has been watching Spider-Man and Human Torch the whole time and prepares for the fight with Spider-Man.
Spider-Man arrives at Doc Ock’s location and is attacked by thousands of octobots. He tries to fight them off but is them attacked by Doc Ock from behind who slams him against his computer. Doc Ock then grabs Spider-Man by the neck, arms, and legs. Spider-Man asks Doc Ock if he can now start calling him Doc Ock and a half with his 12 arms. Doc Ock tells him Spider-Man to be quiet and slams him against some computer equipment.
Spider-Man then uses all of the broken computer equipment and throws all of it at Doc Ock. This distracts Doc Ock long enough for Spider-Man to get on the ceiling and bring all the computer equipment on the ceiling down onto Doc Ock.
As Doc Ock uses all of his arms to hold up all of the equipment Spider-Man gets a hold of Doc Ock’s neuro-interface helmet. Spider-Man uses the helmet to first gain control of Doc Ock’s arms and knocks him out before he can finish his evil rant. Spider-Man then uses the helmet to gain control of the city and return all of the cities technology to normal as the Avengers, Jameson, and the Fantastic Four stand in amazement that Spider-Man actually saved the city.
The scene switches to May’s house where she gets a phone call from Jay informing her that he is okay. May turns to a picture of Ben and thanks him.
Back at Doc Ock’s secret base Doc Ock tells Spider-Man that he is dying and he does not have much time left. Spider-Man says he is sorry to hear that but that he is still going to go spend time over at a prison cell in Rykers. Doc Ock does not accept this and has his octobots, which were working on a different frequency than his arms, to attack Spider-Man and help him make his escape.
As Spider-Man is being attacked by hundreds of octobots Human Torch comes in and saves Spider-Man’s life by scorching all off the octobots off him and burning only a part of his body. (Spidey is lucky that Human Torch did not scorch off his most important body part. It would have ruined his whole weekend with the wedding in a few hours and plenty of desperate woman attending.;))
Spider-Man and the Human Torch locate Doc Ock who is making his escape with his transporter. Doc Ock leaves telling our two superheroes that he will return and do something great. (Gotta love those evil rants. They never get old.)
The scene switches over to the roof of the Baxter Building were Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers are talking about what just happen. Spider-Man of course feels like he screwed because he used Doc Ock’s neuro-interface helmet which transmitted all of his thoughts to all the machines in the city even his identity. Mr. Fantastic reassures Spider-Man that his identity is safe as he wiped out all the information that Spider-Man transmitted off all the machinery.
The Fantastic Four say that they will handle the clean up and that Peter should head to the wedding. As Peter swings off Johnny joins him and informs Peter that Carlie asked him to be her plus one. (Obviously Johnny did not read Barney’s “Bro Code.”) Peter then says to himself that he should have listened to Daredevil.
Over at Peter’s apartment his new roommate Michele (Peter’s former roomate’s, Vin, sister)who ask Peter if he hates his aunt as he is going to her wedding with bruises on his face. Michele then puts some make-up on Peter to cover up the bruises and asks him who is going with. He says he is going stag. Michele asks what’s going to be served at the reception and Peter answers veal picatta or lemon chicken. She then says that she’ll get dressed and that Peter will owe her one.
The scene shifts to Bryant Park to the Parker/Jameson wedding were Jameson is holding yet another press conference outside the wedding hall where he tells the press that the feud between him and his father was just a misunderstanding. And then to get some credit he says that he is paying for his father’s wedding out his own pocket. (Jameson is a former newspaper editor so the new NYC mayor knows how to use the press to spin a everything so he looks good.)
Inside of the wedding hall Johnny and Carlie are talking about how Johnny used to hang out with Peter, Flash, MJ, Gwen, and Harry back in the day. On the other side of the aisle Randy and Norah arrive and greet Flash and Betty. They then see Peter arrive with his date, Michele, and Flash and Randy say they need to hang out at Peter’s place more, which earns Randy a pull of the ear from Norah.
Peter introduces the gang to Michele who reveals that Peter is nervous because he is wearing make-up. With that Peter leaves to go say hi to the bride.
Peter enters his Aunt May waiting room where he and May discuss everything that has happened up to this point. May tells Peter that she knows he has always been worried about her and that he should know that all the good things that have happened to her have happened in quick instances with her romance with Jay to the day Peter’s mom, Mary, put him in her hands to Peter walking her down the aisle. She continues by saying that it is every person’s responsibility to find those moments and cherish them and calls Peter her son. Peter responds by calling May mom.
We then see in Betty and Flash talk about how Harry is not at the wedding.
In the city we see a taxi stuck in traffic with the person in the taxi asking the driver if he can go any faster.
Back at the wedding Jay and May each say their vows and Jameson Jr. ask if anyone has a reason these two should not wed. No one speaks up so he pronounces them husband and wife.
As Jay and May kiss Peter grabs JJJ by the arm and whisper if he can borrow fifty bucks now that they are related.
Later that night all of the women have gathered around May who is about to throw the bouquet. Peter, Randy, Flash, and Johnny are talking about how quickly all the women went to go catch the bouquet with Johnny he will light the bouquet on fire if Carlie catches it.
May throws the bouquet into the crowd and actually overshoots all of the women in the crowd. At the same moment the mysterious person from the taxi arrives just in time to catch the bouquet. Everyone turns around and see that it is none other than everyone’s favorite red-head Mary Jane Watson. End of story.
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Marcos Martin
Colorist: Javier Rodriguez
Story: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The story begins with a psychiatrist finishing up a lecture with words from Socrates “Know Thyself!”
The guy then goes home where he turns on his TV to watch The Simpsons (though they are pink instead of the usual yellow). Spider-Man then enters his apartment saying he is having an identity crisis. This puts a smile on the guy, named Dr. Gray, who imagines himself on the newspaper saying he is the psychiatrist who cured Spider-Man.
Dr. Gray tells Spider-Man to get comfortable who then sticks to the ceiling saying that is where he is most comfortable. They begin the session with Spider-Man first asking the doctor if he is the same person he was which Dr. Gray responds he is. Spider-Man states that is his problem as he is not the same as he was before and does not know which person he really is.
Dr. Gray asks Spider-Man to explain which he can’t and then goes to show him his transformations over the years. First up is when he got four extra arms a few years back (Amazing Spider-Man #100).
As Dr. Gray is about to give some advice to Spider-Man he goes through another transformation into Spider-Hulk (Web of Spider-Man #70). Dr. Gray thinks Spider-Man is just using special effects to go through all these transformation. Spider-Man lifts Dr. Gray up and says this is no special effects and throws him against a couch.
Dr. Gray gets up only to see that Spider-Man has disappeared. When he calls out to Spider-Man he hears a voice telling him not to step on him. He then sees that Spider-Man has shrunk to the size of his shoe (The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #10).
All of these transformations are starting to get to the doctor and as he thinks things can’t get crazier Spider-Man transforms into Spider-Lizard (The Spectacular Spider-Man #39). He then transforms into Man-Spider and Spider-Pig.
Dr. Gray says that Spider-Man is definitely suffering an identity crises but that everything might be just Spider-Man’s imagination. Spider-Man shows the doctor two different Daily Bugle papers showing Green Goblin dead and then alive. He then explains that his Aunt May is always about to die and almost did once but did not (Nice jab at “One More Day” Mr. Lee).
Dr. Gray asks Spider-Man if he has been drinking. Spider-Man continues talking this time about MJ showing various pictures of when they met, when Peter was going out with Gwen and MJ was with Harry, Peter and MJ getting married, MJ pregnant with Peter’s kid, and finally Peter and MJ separated.
We then see Dr. Gray going through his own psych session saying “It all started when Spider-Man came into my office….” That ends the second story.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Collen Doran
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Story: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The story begins several years ago with Uncle Ben and Aunt May outside of Peter’s room with May telling Ben to make it right with Peter.
Ben starts thinking back to the ten years he and May have been raising Peter. He thinks about when Peter was first born to Peter’s time with his parents to Peter’s parents funeral, to Peter burying all his time in his science work and winning a science prize.
Ben thinks that Peter resents him for not being his “real” dad and wonders what Richard would do in this situation.
He enters Peter’s room and Peter asks his uncle if he gave enough money to Mr. Sanders for the camera he broke. Ben says he should worry so much as Mr. Sanders didn’t really care about his broken and that his father would be proud that Peter owned up to what he did.
Peter sighs and Ben asks what is wrong. Peter says he wants Uncle Ben to be proud of him. Surprised by this Ben hugs Peter and says he is sorry Peter thought he was not proud of him and he could be prouder of him if he was his own son.
Ben and Peter then use Peter’s microscope together and look at some bug wings. Ben then thinks to himself that Peter will always be his brother’s son but that he is going to start raising Peter his own way. End of story three.
Writer: Bob Gale
Artist: Mario Alberti
Story: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The story starts with a couple kids at the park discussing how cool it would be if they were Spider-Man. The blond kid says that if he was Spider-Man he would let everyone know who he was and become a celebrity. The kid talks about how he would write a book, be on TV and get rich.
His friend asks what he would do if his parents didn’t want him to be Spider-Man. The blond kid says who is going to stop him because he is Spider-Man.
His friend then asks if he would make his parents and everyone he knows a target by his villains because he is Spider-Man. Another one of his friends that he is right as his villains would kill his parents. He then says that no one would be the blond kid friend because they would be scared that Venom would attack them.
The blond then takes back his comment and says keeping a secret identity makes sense after all. Again his friend asks what he would do if he saw a bank robbery while they were going to school. The blond kid responds by saying he would ditch school and stop them. His friends comes back by saying that he would be late so many times at school that he would end up being expelled and living on the streets.
The blond kid then says he would only be Spider-Man after school then. But his friends again ask him what he would do to fix up his costume after fights like with the Lizard. He continues by saying he would have to wash his suit himself as he can’t have his mom wash it or take it to the dry cleaners.
The kids then just settle that it would be too much work being Spider-Man and that no one would want to be Spider-Man. The kids do not realize that the real Spider-Man has been listening the whole as Peter throws his cup of coffee in the trash and says the kids have no idea. End of story.
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: Mitch Brewttweiser
Colorist: Elizabeth Brewttweiser
Story: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The fifth story is from a few weeks before Jay and May’s wedding were May is visiting Ben’s grave telling her dead husband she is sorry she hasn’t visited Ben’s grave in a while. (Didn’t we just get a scene like this in the main story.)
She says that he probably noticed the ring on her finger already and she feels uncomfortable being their but she feels like she needs his blessing before getting married. She then tells Ben about Jay and how he reminds her a lot of Ben. She says she worries that she is trying to replace Ben somehow.
She then says that the real reason that she has not come down to visit his grave is because of her volunteer work at The Center and that she has build a nice life for herself.
She then talks about Peter and how he has been a bit different since Ben left as Peter has become more distracted as if he was carrying more of a burden somehow. (Being a superhero will do that to a person.)
May then goes back to what she said before and says she feels guilty being with another man and that she wants Ben blessing. It starts raining over the grave and a rainbow appears in the background as if Ben was giving his blessing. May says “Thank you, Ben.” End of story number five.
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Derec Donovan
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Story: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The sixth story begins with Peter and Norah at the Smithsonian National Design Museum on assignment for the Front Lines to write a puff piece on all the superhero tech that is now in the Smithsonian. Norah comments on the reason for super hero tech like the Iron Man Marl I armor is because the museum wanted to capitalize on all of the superhero movies. (Do you think the Smithsonian will put a replica of Thor’s hammer when that movie comes out?)
Norah makes a comment that Peter it wouldn’t kill him to say this is a date, though Randy might. Before Peter can comment the two of them hear some people laughing and Norah drags Peter to go see what people are laughing at.
They then see a bunch of people gathered around the Spider-Mobile which one of the kids comments looks like a dune buggy. Norah comments on how Spider0Man ever thought the Spider-Mobile was cool. Peter tries to say it is probably just a Spider-Man inspired car but a tour guide for the museum (who looks like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons) that the Spider-Mobile was build to Spider-Man’s specifications by Carter & Lombardo Advertising Agency.
A kid says that Spider-Man sold out. Peter thanks the kid and the tour guy says that education is his passion. Norah comments that the car makes her look at Spider-Man a different way as he has such a big ego that he has his face on the hubcaps.
Everyone continues to laugh at Spider-Man with Peter telling Norah he can’t believe kids these days. Norah agrees as they are awesome. Peter yells at Norah that Spider-Man takes his job seriously and is not an ego maniac. Norah ask if he is dating Spider-Man and to not spit in her face.
As Peter apologizes one of the kids turns on the Spider-Signal from the car that serves as a spotlight on Peter and Norah. Norah again calls Spider-Man an ego maniac as someone screams out “Leonard.”
Everyone turns around to see a mother grab her son and drag him away while reprimanding him for making fun of Spider-Man since he saved his dad. Norah asks Peter why he is crying and Peter just says “It’s just nice to see some good parenting, is all.” End of story number six.
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Max Fiumara
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Story: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The final story begins with Madame Web in her old home where she was born thinking about how she is all alone due to her own actions and ignoring all of her visions of this happening. She then uses her powers to see into the future.
In her vision she sees images of an injured Spider-Man walking through a forest, Spider-Woman being attacked, a lab being destroyed by electricity (Electro?), someone throwing Arana of a building, Lizard’s eye, someone with the Mark of Kaine on their face, Spider-Man kissing a blond chick who looks like Ms. Marvel, Rhino fighting off the symbyote, Man-Wolf (?) tearing a black Spider-Man suit, a knife through the chest of Spider-Man, and finally Kaine.
Madame Web starts saying that someone is unraveling the web and that they are hunting spiders. Someone then breaks in to her place and attacks her.
While Madame Web does her best to fight off her foe she is beaten by the mysterious blond girl. Someone else walks in and calls back the little blond girl and saying “We have our eyes…The hunt begins.” End of issue.
The Good: Amazing Spider-Man #600 was a behemoth of a comic that put all other anniversary comic books to shame and told some great Spider-Man stories. At 104 pages of new content this anniversary issue of Amazing Spider-Man is well worth the $4.99 price tag.
Now did Amazing Spider-Man #600 have its weaknesses? Yes it did. But all of those weaknesses, which were few, can be over looked as this issue provided all of the entertainment a person expects to get from a comic book and then some. With the main story taking up around 60 pages of this issue and then the 6 new extra stories that is provided by this issue of Amazing Spider-Man is a great celebration to one of comics most famous characters.
One of the best things about this issue is that from the beginning with the main story by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. the reader becomes so immersed into the story that many of the things that should have been a surprise, like the MJ reveal, really did surprise me as I read the issue. That is a sign of a not just a great comic book but great story in general.
I didn’t even realize how much detail was packed into this issue until I started reviewing this issue. Slott and Romita Jr. did a great job with the main story as they are able to tell one complete story with having to make the reader wait one or two months for all the issues of the story to come out.
Another great thing that Slott did with the main story was his exploration in Spider-Man’s world in the new his new status quo by showing us all of the various relationships Spider-Man has both as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Slott is able to explore Spider-Man’s new status quo in such a way that the reader really does not need to have any previous exposure to the new status quo and just jump into this issue and be caught up with everything that has happened in Spider-Man’s world.
And even though this issue is new reader friendly it does not mean that there is a lack of things going on in the issue. A lot happens in this issue with Doctor Octopus’s return, the Bar With No Name being shutdown, Jay and May’s wedding preparations, the actual wedding, the continuing feud between father and son with Jay and Jonah, Spider-Man interacting with Daredevil, the Secret/New Avengers and the Fantastic Four, and a few other things that happen in the main story alone.
In short Slott packs the main story with a lot of developments that work well as a payoff for all the stories that have been told in Amazing Spider-Man for the past year and a half for long time readers while still making it new reader friendly.
My favorite thing about the main story is all the different interactions between Peter and his supporting cast and superhero friends. Slott did an excellent job capturing Peter/Spider-Man’s relationship with all of the various characters in this issue. None of the appearance by the Marvel heroes that appeared in this issue felt like they were forced in as special guest star appearance but where actually doing what heroes do by going out and helping the city.
I especially liked the intro with Spider-Man and Daredevil taking down the villains at The Bar with No Name. Peter has already re-revealed who is behind the mask to the Fantastic Four and New Avengers and it did not feel right that Daredevil did not know who Spider-Man was. And it really didn’t feel right that Daredevil did not know Spider-Man’s secret identity as Daredevil is probably the second closest friend Spider-Man has in the superhero community next to the Human Torch. While Daredevil did not find out who Spider-Man was behind the mask Slott gave very good reasoning behind why Daredevil did not want to know.
Anyone following the current Daredevil title knows how Matt’s life has been turned out to be a living hell because people know he is Daredevil. It is nice to see a writer follow up the continuity of another title and portray the character how he is portrayed in his own title. So because of that I wasn’t really upset that Daredevil did not find out who Spider-Man was and the advice he gave Spider-Man did a nice job coming back at the end of the Doc Ock story.
Also, while I know I should have found it funny the dialogue between Spider-Man and the New Avengers, specifically Wolverine’s threat. The dialogue between Spider-Man and the New Avengers was a nice way to insert some nice comedy into this issue that was mostly about the soap opera that is Peter’s life up to that point.
Maybe the least surprising thing about this issue, as well as one of my favorites, is the interaction between Peter and Johnny throughout the latter part of the issue. Anyone who has read Slott’s fantastic Spider-Man/Human Torch mini-series knows that Slott understands the friendship between the two characters. All of the dialogue between the two as they go save Jay, Carlie, and Norah’s lives and taking down Doc Ock keep the scenes fairly light for scenes that were action heavy.
And I like how Johnny ruined Peter’s plan to go with Carlie to his aunt’s wedding, though unintentionally, as it brings up the old Parker Luck up again. Also Johnny talking to Carlie about how he used to hang out with Peter and the gang back in the day does a nice job establishing that the two share a long friendship with one another.
While initially I did not like Doc Ock’s plan in this issue after thinking about it for a bit I actually liked the storyline of Doc Ock’s plan to make his mark in the world before he dies. Initially when Doc Ock first started initiating his plan it looked like he actually wanted to make the city better but once he saw Spider-Man appear on the screen he went back into villain mode and started attacking his old foe. Doc Ock and Spider-Man have had a long-standing feud with one another and it is good to see that the hatred between the two has not died down, no pun intended, over the years especially since Doc Ock hasn’t made any major appearance post-Brand New Day.
Personally I have always like Doc Ock as the fights between him and Spider-Man always have a great energy to it due to Doc Ock’s arms. And I liked the addition of the octobots into the fight as it made the fight more unpredictable since Spider-Man could not control them with the helmet he used to save the city. And even though Doc Ock’s story was a one and done story it is good that Doc Ock did not die at the end of the story, like the first few pages had me thinking, and I hope we see another Doc Ock story arc later in the year.
Not to detract from the soap opera that is Peter’s daily life we also get plenty of drama with Jay and May’s wedding as almost everything went wrong with the wedding plans and Peter trying to find a date. Even though the Spider-Man adventures provide some good stories it is what happens with Peter’s personal life that is really what makes the stories in this title great and the drama in this issue did a great job building the tension for the Doc Ock side of the story.
Peter’s women problems were nicely addressed in this issue as he tried to get Carlie to go with him to the wedding but she ends up going with Johnny to the wedding, showing again that the Parker Luck still works. And Slott did a good job using the wedding as a way to introduce Michele, with her going as Peter’s date, to the rest Peter’s supporting cast as she was only recently introduced back in Waid’s 24/7 arc a few issues back.
Now it wouldn’t be a comic book wedding without there being problems leading up to the wedding. Slott did a nice job with his research as he had Doc Ock ruin all of the wedding plans as he remembers he almost married May back in Amazing Spider-Man #131. Leave it to a former ex to ruin all of the wedding plans.
I liked Jay’s reaction to all the plans being ruined being the fault of his son and new mayor of New York City: J. Jonah Jameson Jr. The two have been shown to have a strained relationship since Jay made his first appearance. Jay basically reprimanding his son at a press conference the “young” Jameson was holding at the park for some publicity was a great scene especially with Jay saying JJJ is not old enough for him to be put over his father’s knee. In the end it was nice to see that father and son set aside all of their bickering so that Jay can have his special day with May.
And I thought it was funny that JJJ would use his dad’s wedding to gain some positive media attention by saying he is paying for the wedding himself and then perform the role of priest at the wedding. Leave it to old JJJ to use his own father’s wedding and spin it so that he looks good in front of the media.
I also liked the scene with May at Ben’s grave asking her deceased husband to give her a sign that she should go through the wedding. It was a touching scene and Slott really nailed May’s feelings of getting remarried.
Guggenheim’s story that was an extension of the scene was also touching and was a nice way to catch up new readers to the relationship between Jay and May.
Maybe the most touching scene was between Peter and May right before the wedding took place. Peter and Aunt May have been through a lot since Ben died at it was great that these two get a scene were they talk to one another as a mother and son would talk to one another. And when they each called the other son and mom it was very touching and a nice way to address the relationship between the two.
And to go off that scene I also like Waid’s story in this issue that played on a similar theme by exploring the relationship between Uncle Ben and Peter back when Peter was a kid. Just like his relationship with Aunt May, Peter has always seen his Uncle Ben as not an uncle but as his father. And just like any son Peter showed that all he wanted was his Uncle Ben’s approval as he thought of him as a father. Waid did an excellent job with his story as we see why Ben played such an important part in Peter’s life before Ben’s death.
Returning to the main story, while I know I shouldn’t have been surprised with the reveal of MJ arriving at the wedding at the end of the issue to catch the bouquet I really was surprised while reading the issue. And that just plays to the fact that Slott did a great job telling such a great story that an ending I expected coming into the issue still surprised me at the end. I can’t wait to see what the Spidey Brain Trust have in store for MJ as she looks to play a big role in the next few story arcs in Amazing Spider-Man.
Now I already talked about Guggenheim’s and Waid’s short stories in the issue, I got to say Marvel did an excellent job putting together their biggest talent to write and illustrate the extra stories. The story with the kids discussing why Spider-Man doesn’t reveal his identity was a nice exploration of why superheroes don’t usually reveal their identity. Bob Gale did a good job with the story and I liked the little jab at the Civil War reveal he did with the story.
Another fun story to come out of the back up’s was Zeb Well’s and Derec Donovan’s story about the Spider-Mobile. Anytime a writer can work in the Spider-Mobile into his/her story it is a win in my book. The story was just funny as Norah called Spider-Man an egomaniac for having a whole car designed in his image and having Peter defend the decision. It was just a funny story that ended with a kid getting dragged away by his mom for making fun of Spider-Man. Classic!
My favorite story out of the extras was Stan Lee and Marcos Martin’s story that explored the various transformations the character has been through since he was created. While Stan “The Man” Lee has not written a good story in a while his story in this issue is the stuff I expect from him as he just goes all out with the story that had nothing to do with what is going on in Spider-Man’s continuity. The story was just a fun crazy story with Spider-Man going through a psych session that makes the psychiatrist go crazy. And I loved the last line of the psychiatrist as it was a nice cap off to a very entertaining story.
And just quick shout out I want to thank spiderfan.org, an excellent Spider-Man website, as I used the website to find the specific issues that all the Spider-Man transformations happened during the Lee/Martin story. If you haven’t visited the website it is a very good source to find all things Spider-Man.
The final extra story in this book that was done by Joe Kelly was also just as good as Lee’s back-up. I loved seeing the preview images to what is going to happen in Amazing Spider-Man for the next year. All of those images just had me excited for all the stories that are to come and ensure that’s this title is returning to excellence once again. If that splash page and what happened to Madame Web at the end didn’t excite you as a Spider-Man fan, than nothing will.
Now my second favorite extra we got in this issue after Stan Lee’s story was all the covers that we will “never” see. I especially liked the cover of Spider-Man and Batman with a note covering Batman’s image saying that they will never run that cover. Good stuff!
Not to be left out Amazing Spider-Man also had some excellent artwork to go along with all the stories by some of the best artist in the business. With the likes of John Romita Jr, Marcos Martin and Mario Alberti there was no shortage of great artwork in this issue. Romita Jr. and Martin’s artwork were the standouts of the issue.
Romita Jr. did an excellent job with the main story. He provided the main story with some stellar artwork and as always gave plenty of energy to every scene he drew and had plenty of help from long time inker Klaus Janson. I especially liked Romita Jr.’s design for Doc Ock’s new look. Doc Ock’s new look was both creepy and sad as the character was in his final dies of being alive.
Just as good as Romita Jr.’s artwork Marcos Martin yet again stole the show with his awesome artwork that showed why he was born to draw Spider-Man. It is unsurprising that Martin stole the show with his art and I loved all the different Spider-Man transformations he illustrated. I hope that we get to see Martin get another story arc in Amazing Spider-Man as his artwork is just incredible.
The Bad: Even though this was a very entertaining issue there were a few minor problems with this issue. The first was the timing of the Doc Ock/Master Planner story. The issue really had bad timing as we just got a Master Planner story in The Spectacular Spider-Man a few weeks ago. And I didn’t really understand what Doc Ock’s plan really was as it wasn’t clear if he was trying to help or take control of the city before he died.
And while I liked Guggenheim’s story the momentum of his story was hurt by the fact that we had a similar scene in the main story by Slott. While it was a touching story none the less it did feel like I was re-reading a scene I just read earlier in the issue.
My final complaint of for the issue was that I was disappointed by Mario Alberti’s artwork. His artwork for his story felt rush and was not as good as his artwork from the Spider-Man/X-Men mini-series from last year. It was not his best showing and the story wasn’t really a good showing by Alberti whose artwork is much better than shown in this issue.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #600 was a great read. With over a hundred pages of new content the awesomeness that was this issue should not be missed by even the minor Spider-Man fans. At a cover price of $4.99 this issue more than deliver in its expectations and then some.
Even if you have not read this title in a while Amazing Spider-Man #600 is a great jumping on point for any Spider-Man fan as it is extremely reader friendly. With the preview we got at the end of the issue it looks like we are in store for some great Spider-Man stories for the next year. So if you are a Spider-Man I strongly recommend picking up this issue when it is reprinted or put in trade paperback form, which it already is in with all the content we got in this single issue.