Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #45

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Peter has travelled with Aunt May to find Mary Jane and hopefully get their relationship back on track. But, Spidey is drawn into conflict between Doc Ock and the new Octopus on the block.

In Detail...

"Until the Stars Turn Cold"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #45
Nov 2002 : SM Title
Summary: (#486) Spider-Man & Doctor Octopus vs. Carlyle
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 #16
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #3
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Carlyle, Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius)

After last issue's brutal fight we were left with the prospect of SPidey being crushed under tons of debris. This issue starts as Spidey struggles to stay alive under the rubble and find his way out. As Spidey struggles to free himself. Mr. Carlyle has moved onto the studio where MJ is filming and Aunt May is hanging out. As Spidey finally frees himself, Carlyle has taken the set of MJ's movie hostage, putting MJ and Aunt May in danger. But, as Carlyle reaches out to do something nasty to Aunt May, Doc Ock knocks down the wall and takes Carlyle on. Doc Ock gets a couple of good hits in before being laid out on the pavement by Carlyle, but just before Carlyle can perform the killing blow our hero enters the fray. After taking a little advice from Doc Ock and a bit of a beating, Spidey defeats Carlyle.

In the aftermath Spidey looks for Doc Ock, but he's run off. He also looks for a little loving from MJ, but she's helping the injured Lobster-Man. Spidey's a little discouraged...

Later, Pete, Aunt May and MJ share coffee. Basically, MJ still wants a little space from Pete and his Spidey alter-ego, but confirms she still loves him. Pete says some mushy lines and promises to wait for as long as she needs. Aunt May discusses with Pete Otto Octavius' (Doc Ock) true identity, after all her and the good Doctor were intimately involved at one time.

In General...

This was great end to another story arc for JMS and co. Once again my expectations have been exceeded and a seemingly tired Doc Ock encounter was turned into and interesting and thrilling encounter. Some elements were still just standard superhero fare, but JMS and JR Jr just do it so darn well!

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but something that continues to impress me about JMS's Spidey is who hard hitting the action is. This issue and last had a alot of action. And the way it is drawn and presented seems so much more realistic and hardhitting. Not just the blows, bruises and blood splatter that show the characters involved are in real pain, but also the way other characters react to the extreme violence. This really makes Spidey's adventures to seem more meaningful than when he and his villains would just knock each other through walls with seemingly no consequence.

This feeling of consequence isn't just restricted to the fight scenes though. MJ basically pushes Pete away again this issue and it's hard to fault the logic presented, especially when MJ is confronted so graphically with what it means to be with Spider-man. The consequences of Spidey's identity being known are truly felt and not just used as a plot device. This is great and I'm particularly glad that Aunt May is still prominent and her reactions a major focus.

There's more that could be said and of course John Romita, Jr and the whole team did an excellent job. Even the cover is pretty cool (I haven't really liked the previous couple of covers, they've been too dark and drab). But, this is really another great issue and I'm beginning to realise and truly appreciate some of the great things that JMS has brought to this title.

Overall Rating...

All I can say it's a great time to be a Spider-man fan and this comic proves it!