With how many companies the Beyond Corporation has bought up you knew some of the previous owners wouldn’t be too happy with those business moves. One of those being Doctor Otto Octavius, whose technology developed for Parker Industries during his Superior Spider-Man days, was one of those who would take this personal. Doc Ock made it known how personal he took this by taking one of the pieces of technology he developed and is now going straight to the one in charge, Maxine Danger, to talk about it. Let’s see how things go with Amazing Spider-Man #85.
Beyond Board: Kelly Thompson, Cody Ziglar, Saldin Ahmed, Patrick Gleason, Zeb Wells
Writer: Cody Ziglar
Artist: Paco Medina
Inkers: Walden Wong, Wayne Faucher, Paco Medina, Andrew Hennessy, Victor Olazaba, and Roberto Poggi
Colorist: Espen Grundetjern
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Doctor Otto Octavius forces his way through Beyond Corporation’s headquarters. Doc Ock takes out Misty Knight and a random blonde woman cosplaying as Colleen Wing on his way to finding Maxine Danger’s office.
Doc Ock eventually makes it to Maxine Danger’s office. Maxine shows no fear of Doc Ock and instead is able to get him angry for how she acts completely dismissive of him.
Before Doc Ock can attack Maxine, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) appears and starts fighting throughout the building with Doc Ock. Eventually Spider-Man is able to use tech that Marcus Momplaisir gave to disarm Doc Ock of his metal tentacles. Having the advantage Spider-Man takes Doc Ock outside and puts him on a rooftop.
After beating up Doc Ock for a while the villain reveals to Spider-Man that Maxine and Beyond Corporation have many terrible secrets he has uncovered. Doc Ock gives Spider-Man proof of this that includes how they are using Ben. Seeing that he is in shock Doc Ock tells Spider-Man to enjoy his win and leaves.
Later Ben reports to Maxine that Doc Ock escaped and the device he stole was destroyed in their fight. Maxine is fine with this result since Doc Ock doesn’t have his tech anymore and compliments Ben on his determination and strong will. Ben says he has to return to Janine to continue their date.
At his apartment, Ben meets back up with Janine and lets her know about his fight with Doc Ock. He then decides to get cleaned up.
Alone in the bathroom Ben sees his reflection in the mirror and breaks it with a punch. He then decides to become a brand-new man. End of issue.
The Good: From a story standpoint Amazing Spider-Man #85 is a solid continuation of Ben Reilly’s narrative during the Beyond Era. As has been clear from the beginning, the Beyond Corporation isn’t a benevolent company helping out for Ben to become the best Spider-Man. The fact that Doctor Otto Octavius was the one that hotshot this part of the Beyond narrative made everything that happened work that much better.
Throughout this issue you understood that Doctor Otto Octavius wasn’t his usual controlled self. This was a Doc Ock that was motivated by the anger that someone else was using his technology for their gain. That made for the fact that Ben Reilly as Spider-Man was able to defeat Doc Ock with some preparation an understandable outcome. It also allowed the heart of the story in Amazing Spider-Man #85 to be about what Doc Ock discovered about the Beyond Corporation.
Because as we saw with the meeting with Maxine Danger, he was not able to control his anger over what the Beyond Corporation did to his work. Maxine played the ultimate asshole CEO as she was not intimidated whatsoever by Doc Ock. Cody Ziglar did a great job just making her antagonistic nature shine throughout this scene and later when she talked with Ben post-Doc Ock fight. Of this Beyond Era Maxine has really stood out as a breakout character that is always the most interesting character on screen when she is present.
Seeing that he is defeated leading to Doc Ock revealing what he learned about the Beyond Corporation to Ben was a good twist. This action was not done because Doc Ock is a good guy at heart. Instead it was a survival move as Doc Ock was completely outmatched by Spider-Man and knew that in the state Ben was in he could’ve died in that moment.
This allowed the revelation made by Ben to be more of a natural progression of the story as he no longer can be blind to what the Beyond Corporation is doing. Seeing how he was seriously impacted by what he learned from the information Doc Ock provide creates a lot of roads for Ben’s character to go now. For the time being he will likely continue working for the Beyond Corporation but now will be watching his back for moves Maxine and others in the company do. How this all plays out with it looking like Peter is on the road to recovery will be very interesting to see what the endgame turns out to be.
The Bad: The only continued weakness of this Beyond Era that has yet to improve is Janine Godbe’s role in the story. She continues to be nothing more than a plot device to give Ben a love interest. There is nothing about her character that makes her into a genuine person with individual characteristics. She is just here to serve as a different character for artists to draw. Until the Beyond Board actually dedicates time to developing her personality and relationship with Ben her appearance will mean nothing to the reader.
Now as for what really brings down this issue it is the artwork across the board. This issue just does not look as polished as Paco Medina’s work in the previous issue. That all falls on the fact we didn’t have one or two inkers working on Amazing Spider-Man #85 but a total of six inkers. The inking just leads characters to look different from page to page even if their was one artist and colorist working on this issue.
The other major problem in Amazing Spider-Man #85 was the egregious drawing and coloring of Colleen Wing to look like a random white, blonde woman. This error is unacceptable and should’ve been caught by the editor to be redrawn and recolored before ever reaching print. If it wasn’t for Misty Knight calling Colleen by her first name I honestly would’ve thought Misty got a new partner to wear Colleen’s white jump suit. Its an absolute failure by the entire art and editor team that I just will not give a pass to.
Overall: Amazing Spider-Man #85 moves the plot forward in the Beyond Era as Ben Reilly learns information that will impact his immediate future. Now Ben is on an even more unknown path as Spider-Man and it is all thanks to Doctor Otto Octavius. If it wasn’t for inconsistent artwork and a major error the editors should’ve caught right away Amazing Spider-Man #85 would’ve scored higher.
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