Amazing Spider-Man #29: Secret Empire Tie-In Review

Secret Empire has quickly wrapped itself around the entire Marvel Universe. Now the latest comic to tie-in to Marvel’s latest blockbuster event is Amazing Spider-Man. I normally drop any comic that ties into a major event as they aren’t following the story set by the ongoing series, rather building around whatever is going on in an event like Secret Empire. Amazing Spider-Man #29 is a bit different as it has a direct connection to Dan Slott’s ongoing Spider-Man saga with Doctor Octopus back in his new form. Now going by the Superior Doctor Octopus we will see how the “newest” Avenger in Captain America’s regime helps keep Spider-Man off the board in disrupting Secret Empire. Let’s find that out right now with Amazing Spider-Man #29.

Writers: Dan Slott and Christos Gage

Artist: Stuart Immonen

Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger

Colorist: Marte Gracia

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: In London, Anna Maria reminds Peter Parker that the interview they are going to do is important damage control as Parker Industries is in the middle of a lot of lawsuits. Peter sarcastically thanks Anna for the motivational speech.

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Peter starts the interview and is asked about Parker Industries privately funding a war.  Peter says that they took action to stop terrorist and the spread of a deadly disease as his company values people over profit. The interviewer brings up how Parker Industries is a publicly traded company, not SHIELD. Peter defends his actions by saying they stopped an entire country from being turned into Goblins.

The interviewer goes live to Symkaria to speak with Silver Sable. Silver Sable says that Parker Industries has helped save the people of her country and the Uncle Ben Foundation has been working tirelessly to provide humanitarian help.

Peter asks the host if she has any other questions. The host stops the interview to bring up breaking news of an alien attack on Earth. As they broadcast the battle above Earth and villains attacking cities Anna silently tells Peter to stay.

One of the producers tells Peter they will have to reschedule the rest of the interview.

As they enter their car, Anna asks Peter what he was thinking of trying to walk out of the interview. Peter says he was going to go help with equipment from Parker Industries. Anna reminds Peter that it is important he does things to help their company and the people who work for it out right now.

Anna gets a message from her ex-boyfriend Aiden Blain to meet up for coffee. Peter is surprised that Anna was dating Aiden. Anna congratulates Peter for being bad CEO and friend.

Anna takes off on her own while Peter heads inside of Parker Industries headquarters. Peter’s spider-sense suddenly goes off as he enters the headquarters so he quickly changes into his Spider-Man gear.

Spider-Man says hi to all the Parker Industries workers in the building and asks where Gerald is. The office workers know Spider-Man is on to them and they all charge at him while saying “Hail Hydra.” Spider-Mans fights off Hydra until a familiar voice over the loudspeaker tells the Hydra members to stop as he wants to deal with Spider-Man on his own.

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Spider-Man walks to his office already knowing who he is meeting. Spider-Man enters his office and finds Doctor Octopus waiting for him, revealing he is a far superior clone from the others. Spider-Man tries to convince Doctor Octopus to help him save New York rather than work with Hydra to take it over.

Doctor Octopus shuts Spider-Man up and says he knows everything about Peter and Spider-Man and wants Parker Industries to be peacefully transferred to him. Spider-Man doesn’t know why Doctor Octopus thinks he’ll do that. Doctor Octopus reminds Spider-Man that he actually launched Parker Industries and even when he was in the Living Brain he manipulated the markets to favor the company. Spider-Man says that the cornerstone of Parker Industries is his invention, WebWare. Doctor Octopus laughs at that as WebWare is just a derivative design of what they used during Spider-Verse as “Web Warriors.”

Doctor Octopus then asks Spider-Man for his answer on surrendering Parker Industries to him. Spider-Man once again says no. Doctor Octopus reveals that an Ebon Energy bubble has engulfed Manhattan. He then shows Spider-Man that the news is reporting that the Ebon Energy is emanating from Parker Industries, laying the blame all on Peter’s head.

Spider-Man attacks Doctor Octopus and sends him into a wall. The two continue to brawl around the top floor of the headquarters.

Tony Stark suddenly calls, interrupting the fight, and orders all Avengers to head to Washington, DC. Doctor Octopus teases Spider-Man on what he will do.

Spider-Man decides to leave in his spider-jet and to deal with Doctor Octopus later.

Doctor Octopus gets out of his costume and walks outside. Once outside he pushes a trigger button that causes a massive explosion which destroys Parker Industries headquarters.

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Elsewhere, Anna can’t believe Aiden stood her up. She notices people running and soon finds Parker Industries in rubbles.

Nearby, Doctor Octopus pays for Anna’s bill at the coffee shop and says that everything has gone according to plan. End of issue.

The Good: As far as tie-in comics go, Amazing Spider-Man #29 is as good as it gets. Dan Slott and Christos Gage smartly use the Secret Empire event to further the narrative of Amazing Spider-Man’s current direction. In doing so we get a tie-in comic that enhances what is going on in an ongoing series rather than distract from what fans have come to expect from Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man run.

Doctor Octopus is by far the most important villain in Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man run. Since coming on to helm Amazing Spider-Man, Slott has developed Doctor Octopus to be one of the most dangerous villains in the Marvel Universe. And what makes the character so devious is on full display here as Doctor Octopus does not hide who he is or what he knows from Spider-Man.

With all the bad press that Parker Industries has been getting since Clone Conspiracy, giving Peter’s company even more bad press by being seen as responsible for Manhattan’s current predicament makes sense. Especially with how Doctor Octopus is a member of Captain America’s Avengers, it’s not surprising that Hydra would use Parker Industries as the scapegoat for Manhattan’s current predicament. It further pushes Peter and his associates into the corner about what Parker Industries future will be. We are already seeing kinks in Peter’s armor now with how Anna is now showing signs she is not with Peter’s decisions.

This fact made Doctor Octopus proposal to Spider-Man even more interesting. Driving home that everything Peter has done since becoming Parker Industries’ CEO is derivative of someone else’s work. It clearly hit home for Spider-Man when Doc Ock proved his point. It at least puts into question how long Parker Industries will be around given everything that has happened.

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The fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus was a nice way to preview a bigger fight in the future. Since Peter’s Spider-Man isn’t appearing in the main Secret Empire event it’ll be interesting to see if Doc Ock actually takes out Peter. At least, Slott and Gage have a lot of room to tell us what Spider-Man is doing during Secret Empire since he isn’t appearing there at the moment.

Now while everything does seem to point to Peter being a horrible CEO I’m glad that Slott and Gage are keeping Peter true to who he is. The interview that opened Amazing Spider-Man #29 showed us how Peter still drives to help people out and views Parker Industries as a way to help others outside his Spider-Man adventures. Silver Sable backing up Peter’s statement helped drive home how even though Peter’s decisions may be horrible for business he is doing things right by the people in the Marvel Universe.

With how big the conflict between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus is Stuart Immonen the perfect artist to draw it. He is at home with the Spider-Man Universe and gets across the palpable tension that exist between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. Even with his face covered by a mask, Immonen still was able to draw Doctor Octopus as the cockiest genius in the room. That made Doc Ock’s proposal even more dastardly than it would otherwise be.

The Bad: Though Amazing Spider-Man #29 was a solid new chapter in Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus’ rivalry it is getting clearer that this new direction for the series is running its course. There is a general sense that we have gotten all we could get out of the Parker Industries Era and maybe Secret Empire should help usher that in. There were certain parts of this issue that just make the current direction feel like it is running around in circles of showing us why Peter shouldn’t be running a company.

And a lot of that falls on how it feels incredibly repetitive that we have all of Spider-Man’s major villains know his real identity. There needs to be a reset button hit because part of the appeal of Spider-Man is his balance between his personal and hero life. But with everyone knowing who he we are losing one of the things that makes the Spider-Man such an engaging character that has passed the test of time.

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It would have also been good be given a clue as to how Peter Parker was taken out of the Secret Empire equation. Because, right now we are well into the halfway point of Secret Empire and we haven’t seen Peter’s Spider-Man swinging around since the first issue. Some sort of clue how Hydra took him out would’ve been added to the story. As of now we aren’t given that at all, giving this issue a feeling that it is a little too late in the game.

Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #29 did a good job of using the Secret Empire setting to further the rivalry between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. The developments of Secret Empire strike home for Peter Parker as Dan Slott and Christos Gage push the CEO of Parker Industries into a corner. Doctor Octopus’ proposal to Spider-Man should lead to an even better next issue as we learn why Peter hasn’t shown up in recent issues of Secret Empire.