Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #43

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Last issue, Peter missed out on making an important meeting with Mary Jane.

In Detail...

"Cold Arms"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #43
Sep 2002 : SM Title
Summary: (#484) Doctor Octopus
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  John Romita, Jr.
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #14
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #3
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Carlyle, Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius)

This issue, we get a bit of bad guy build-up and Pete crawling after MJ for a bit of lovin'.

In a nutshell, after last issue, Pete wants to sort things out with MJ. He calls her, but she blocks. Luckily, it's school break, and Pete hooks up with Aunt May to go and visit MJ and sort it out in person. Pete tracks down MJ, who responds very coolly. She gives him two minutes to say what he has to say. But of course, there the issue ends, so we have to wait to see what Pete's going to come up with.

Meanwhile, MJ's not the only old acquaintance of Pete's in California: Doc Ock is visiting on the request of some corrupt corporate businessman, Mr. Carlyle. Mr. Carlyle traps Doc Ock and reveals his nefarious plan: to discover the secret to Doc Ock's arms and use that power for himself--which Mr. Carlyle does in short order, making his own, new-and-improved octopus arms. Of course, he then goes out to rob a bank, leaving Doc Ock behind to die. Doc Ock manages to escape, setting the scene for some interesting stuff in the next issue.

In General...

This is pretty standard stuff, but done very well. The Doc Ock storyline isn't exactly new, but it still has me interested, I'm hoping JMS can breathe new life into this character, because ever since his resurrection, he hasn't really seemed to serve any purpose. Whether this will happen or not is still to be seen, because Doc Ock has minimal involvement this issue, with a lot exposition and time being devoted to the new bad guy, Mr. Carlyle.

The highlight this issue is really Pete's determination to get back with MJ. It's great to see. And everything around this plotline seems to ring pretty true, from MJ's cold shoulder treatment to Aunt May's support of Peter. There's also a pretty good comic moment this issue between Pete and Aunt May. It may be a little out of character, but it's pretty funny.

And of course, in the art department, John Romita Jr. and co. put in a great showing as always. My only complaint is on the depiction of Doc Ock. A couple of months ago, Peter Parker: Spider-Man featured a storyline with Doc Ock. In the storyline, the good Doctor was quite chubby. This issue, while he's not really muscle-bound, he's depicted as at least well-toned. In fact, when I think back, Doc Ock has suffered from these massive weight fluctuations before. All I'm really complaining about is that it's good to have consistency with a character.

Overall Rating...

This is another solid issue, with the character moments providing the real enjoyment.