Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #6

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This story is part of an Arc: "Countdown"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

With the second Spider-Man movie coming out next summer, the marketing geniuses at Marvel have decided to put the push on Doctor Octopus. So here he is to kick off the second story arc of this title...

In Detail...

Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #6
Jan 2004 : SM Title
Summary: Dr. Octopus
Arc: Part 1 of "Countdown"
Editor:  John Miesegaes
Writer:  Paul Jenkins
Pencils:  Humberto Ramos
Inker:  Wayne Faucher
Cover Art:  Humberto Ramos
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Spectacular) #2
Articles: Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), Flash Thompson, Glory Grant

This issue opens with Spider-Man returning to his apartment building with a bag full of groceries. He changes back into this Peter Parker clothes and goes to his apartment only to find it overrun with a number of his friends who have come to play video games with Flash Thompson. Meanwhile, in a secret laboratory somewhere in Midtown, Doctor Otto Octavius works on his metal arms. Back at Peter's house, the video game event has turned into a full-blown marathon as everyone is staying up late playing the game. And Peter receives a huge boost to his morale when it seems that Flash's video game character moved, which would be a nice step of progress as Flash tries to recover from brain damage.

The next day at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson and Joe Robertson argue over headlines. Robbie is pushing the importance of a Palestinian delegation visiting New York, but JJJ overrules him and decides to run something about an explosion in Milwaukee. Later that afternoon in Greenwich Village, Peter is trying to get Flash to squeeze a small toy when Mary Jane walks in. Peter and MJ make plans for that evening, and as MJ leaves, Flash manages to give the toy a little squeeze.

That night, Peter has changed to Spider-Man and is out web-swinging when he is confronted by Doctor Octopus on top of a bridge. Doc Ock smugly tells Spider- Man that he wants him to take off his mask and walk through Times Square for everyone to see. Spidey refuses of course, and Octopus promises him that he will have to take the mask off, just before attacking. Doc Ock quickly gets the upper hand, and reveals that he has made his arms ten times stronger. Octopus offers to let Spidey reveal his identity to the world one more time, and Spidey again refuses. Once again Doc Ock guarantees that the web-slinger's unmasking is inevitable, but with that Spidey scuttles away from his foe and jumps into the water to escape. But after Spidey is gone, Doctor Octopus waits, saying that when Spidey wakes up tomorrow, everything will have changed...

In General...

Paul Jenkins has set up a solid if unspectacular beginning to what is looking like an intriguing storyline. This issue also featured appearances by many members of the supporting cast, which is always nice to see, and not something that happens too often in Amazing. It's great to see some development with Flash's affliction, and also to see Mary Jane back in this title. And the art by Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher was as good as ever.

Some of the staff at Spiderfan.org have expressed some irritation at the fact that Doctor Octopus is now appearing everywhere (in this story arc, as well as two limited series: Negative Exposure and Out of Reach), and also that Doc Ock is no longer a little fat guy in green tights but rather a stocky guy in a trenchcoat, which is how he will appear in the movie. While I agree that having three monthly helpings of Doc Ock is overkill, I don't mind the movie- related revamp. I'm just glad that after the first movie, the comic book Green Goblin didn't start wearing that awful neon-green monstrosity of a costume he had in the movie.

Overall Rating...

More good solid work. Three and a half webs.