Comics : Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #41

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Over the last two issues, Spider-Man has discovered a plot to kill him concocted by Fusion and his lackey Doctor Octopus. But last issue, Doc Ock turned on Fusion, and Spidey discovered Fusion's bloodied body strung up on a wall.

In Detail...

"Mission: Uncomfortable"
Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #41
May 2002 : SM Title
Summary: (#139) Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  Paul Jenkins
Pencils:  Mark Buckingham
Inker:  Wayne Faucher
Cover Art:  Humberto Ramos
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Spectacular) #6
Articles: Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), Fusion II

Okay, so I guess I jumped to conclusions at the end of the previous issue when I declared that Fusion was dead. It turns out that he's alive, but in very rough shape, so at the beginning of this issue, Spider-Man calls 911 to have an ambulance come with the police to pick Fusion up. Upon investigating the scene further, Spidey finds a piece of building insulation stuck to Fusion's foot. He calls Matt Murdock and gets Murdock to tell him where Biotechnix might be doing any construction work.

We cut to the construction site where Doctor Octopus is on the top floor, waiting to meet with a pair of terrorists. The terrorists get in the elevator, but when the elevator door opens on the top floor, Doc Ock finds that the terrorists are covered in webs, and Spider-Man has the briefcase full of diamonds that was to be their payment. Spidey reveals that he's figured out Doc Ock's plan: that when the John Hancock device was stolen, Octopus had no intentions of using it to track down Spider-Man like Fusion wanted - Doc Ock only wanted to sell it to the highest bidder.

Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus have a knock-down drag-out brawl, and eventually Spidey manages to grab the device. Doc Ock demands that Spidey return the device, or else he'll kill a hundred innocent bystanders. Spidey refuses and smashes the device against a wall, where it starts sparking profusely. An infuriated Octopus attacks Spidey and tangles him in his tentacles. But with the John Hancock device still spewing forth electricity, Spidey puts his hand in it, allowing the electricity to pass through him into Doc Ock. Octopus gets the worst of it, as Spidey's superhuman stamina protects him, but they both fall through an unfinished part of the building. Spider-Man slings a web to save himself, and Doc Ock manages to wrap a tentacle around a girder, but not before his other three tentacles were severed in the fall. Spidey swings down next to Doc Ock. Octopus begs Spidey to save him, since his last tentacle is starting to fall apart, but to the mad doctor's disbelief, Spidey turns his back and Octopus falls. But he doesn't fall far, as Spidey slings a web to rescue him.

Afterwards, Spider-Man returns the remains of the John Hancock device to Colonel Nick Fury. Spidey tells Fury where to find Doc Ock , and expresses his satisfaction that SHIELD will no longer be able to track someone by his radiation signature. Fury just smiles.

In General...

Man, it sure is easy to review this book. I just have to come in and say how great the writing and art is every month, and that's it. Once again, Paul Jenkins has crafted another fascinating, exciting tale, and at the same time, he's managed to reestablish Doctor Octopus as a major villain for Spider-Man. I was a little disappointed to see that Fusion is alive, since his "death" at the end of last issue was such a shock, but it will be good keep him around.

And maybe it's just the nice new glossy pages, but the art by Mark Buckingham and Wayne Faucher seems better than ever this issue.

Overall Rating...

A great conclusion to a great story. Five webs.