Next year, Doctor Octopus will be the (a?) major villain in the upcoming Spider-Man movie. Reason enough to grant him his own limited series. No, wait, Spider-Man is in there as well.
The Daily Bugle. On the front page we see a picture of Spider-Man fighting Electro. Jeffrey Haight is looking at it. He never made page one. Peter Parker, a so called stringer, made several. Peter then enters the dark room. Jeff and Peter talk a bit about taking pictures. When asked who is influences are, Peter gives a silly answer. So, according to Jeff, he's a real dork.
Later, at the Daily Bulge, Jeff calls a friend in the NYPD. He needs a scoop. Turns out something is going down at the Da Vinci exhibit. It's Doc Ock. Over there, Doc Ock is showing of his powers and steals the "Proportional Study Of Man" sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci. Of course, Peter Parker is in the neighbourhood and minutes later, Spider-Man is at the scene.
A camera is webbed in place and Spidey says hi to Doctor Octopus. A fight follows in which Spider-Man manages to defeats Doc Ock by tricking him into letting him go in favor of catching the sketch mentioned earlier. Jeff is at the scene and he's taking pictures of the whole thing. He's pretty happy, for he finally has page one material. He hurries back to the Bugle, only to find Peter Parker already in the dark room. As always, the pcitures Peter made turned out amazing.
The next day, Doc Ock reads the Daily Bugle. Peter's photo is at page one. On page eleven is Jeff's. Doc Ock finds this to be very interesting...
A great story, well paced. When reading it for the first time, I couldn't help thinking Phil Sheldon would make an appearance. To me, it felt like Marvels!
What we see here is what could (should?) have been done with (the late) Lance Bannon. Jeff here is a photographer, who is employed by the Daily Bugle. Peter is just a freelancer. And freelancers are a nightmare to the regular staff photographers. It's made clear that over the years, the position of people like Jeff has changed. Then his break comes up and still some punk like Peter Parker gets the scoop. The result? In my opinion, great character building towards Jeff. I don't like the guy but I do feel sorry for him.
And the reaction of Doc Ock on the final page, he speaks of "hate" when referring to Jeff's last name, Haight. What does it mean? I can guess, but I'll have to wait for the next issue to be sure. Which is dificult, trust me.
Finally, Spider-Man and Peter Parker. It's been a while since we actually saw Peter Parker shooting pictures for the Daily Bugle. If you ask me, it's been too long since we saw him discuss pictures with J. Jonah Jameson. This issue, we don't see JJJ either, but I hope we will in one of the issues to follow. And the fight scene with Doc Ock, just like it should be done, funny and still serous.
Great story, great artwork. What else do we need? Oh yeah, now that I think of it, Doc Ock's old costume back. But if the story stays this good, I won't mind they changed it so it looks more like the once used in the upcoming movie.